Old Embalmer | Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

BA SCORE
86
very good
211 Ratings
Old EmbalmerOld Embalmer
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
Oregon, United States
widmer.com

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by freed on 08-08-2004

BEER STATS
Ratings:
211
Reviews:
48
Avg:
3.87
pDev:
11.37%
 
 
Wants:
12
Gots:
36
For Trade:
0
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Ratings: 211 |  Reviews: 48
Photo of Bladezone
1.72/5  rDev -55.6%

Photo of jason_nwx
2.04/5  rDev -47.3%

Photo of Whiteturtle
2.28/5  rDev -41.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 2

Widmer Brothers Old Embalmer '13- featuring x-431 hops

*This is not barrel-aged, as there seems to be some confusion with previous reviews.

Eyes: Pours a burnt sienna colour, with a minimal head- about 1 fingers worth (but is one finger ever really worth it?). A pretty hue, and quite transparent. Low carbonation, but bubbles remain prevalent.

Nose: Butterscotch, carrot cake, and vanilla hit the nasal passages hard. Followed by pine, allspice, and toffee. Smells reminiscent of my old retired favourite- smuttynose barleywine.

Tongue: Caramel, cherry, sherry, and peppercorns. An extremely light, earthy, and unfortunately watery taste to this beer. Heavy spices, with not a lot of malt to back it up. The malt notes that are there are fruity, maybe pearish? Tastes like an vienna lager to me- woody, munichy, and lacking in depth.

Cheeks: Way too light. The 10% is masked nicely, but with flavour being the primary sacrifice. The mouthfeel during and after each taste reminds me more and more of a vienna lager. And as I mentioned earlier, an unfortunate H20 quality keeps peeking through.

Overall: Extremely disappointed. I love Widmer Brothers, and when I saw this bottle chilling in my local store I thought I came across a hidden gem (and I have quite the affinity for barleywines). I honestly don't know how this beer can be called a barleywine. Usually barleywines either veer towards the american way of hoppy bittery goodness, or the english malty syrupy (and better) route. This tastes like a watered down amber ale. I'm really hoping I got a bad bottle, and the actual beer that was meant to be tasted by the public is out there for others to enjoy.

 1,672 characters

Photo of pjs234
2.5/5  rDev -35.4%

Photo of adam5454
2.5/5  rDev -35.4%

Photo of fermentedbarley
2.75/5  rDev -28.9%

Photo of kojevergas
2.78/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Bottled July 18th 2012. Featuring Bravo hops. 10.2% ABV confirmed. 22 fl oz brown glass bottle with uninspired label art and branded pry-off pressure cap served into a stem-tulip in low altitude Minneapolis, MN. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average; I'm in the mood for a barleywine. Reviewed as a barleywine because the label clearly identifies it as such.

Served cold - straight from the fridge - and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as I pour.

Pours a half finger wide head of nice khaki colour. A bit thin. Poor complexion and consistency. Retention is poor - maybe 40 seconds at best. No lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

Body colour is a decent translucent quasitransparent amber red. No yeast particles are visible.

Overall, it's a bit too much of a clean amber for the style. I've never seen a good barleywine of this hue. I'm looking forward to trying it, but I'm suspicious given the brewery and colour. Not unique or special. No egregious flaws.

Sm: Toffee, caramel, light toasted malt, amber malts. Bread crust. Faint alcohol. Some pear/green apple - not really an orchard character, but enjoyable.

No yeast character is detectable. I'm not getting much hop character - if there is any, it's generic and fruity.

A pretty pleasant aroma of below average strength. I'm not horribly excited to try it, but it's average for the style.

T: Amber malts, light toasted malt character, toffee, caramel, and some very faint apple/pear. Generic fruity hops comprise the entirety of the hop profile. Balance is mediocre. Build is loosely cohesive but far from gestalt. Lacks complexity and subtlety - especially for the style. No intricacy or nuance at all. Not well layered. Below average depth, duration, and intensity of flavour. It just isn't that flavorful or tasty.

No yeast character comes through. Has some faint alcohol presence. I'm unimpressed. There's none of the rich malt foundation you'd expect in a great barleywine, and nothing about the flavour profile suggests it'd handle age well.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Full-bodied and thick without the diversity of flavour to back it. Overcarbonated. Unrefreshing.Okay presence on the palate. Suits the flavour profile okay, but doesn't feel custom-tailored to it.

Not oily, astringent, hot, boozy, gushed, harsh, or weak.

Dr: Drinkable but very unremarkable. A forgettable barleywine from a downright mediocre brewery, Old Embalmer offers nothing of interest to the discerning drinker. I wouldn't get it again and I wouldn't recommend it to friends. Not worth the cellar space to put down. I'm not sure what Widmer thought this was bringing to the already well-saturated barleywine market, but its relatively low quality renders it quite mundane. Barleywine fans will be disappointed.

Low C

 2,921 characters

Photo of Envelopes
3/5  rDev -22.5%

Photo of Belittle
3/5  rDev -22.5%

Photo of TooGood
3.03/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Photo of JOHNKNEEGEEZ
3.24/5  rDev -16.3%

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.24/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

2012 vintage...not sure if there are any others, or if there will be, but there's a '12 on the bottle, so there it is. Poured from a bottle into a snifter, the beer has a very thin, light appearance on the pour. Light, bright, amber-copper coloring with a thin ring of film on the surface. Aromas of tropical fruit sweetness, with some fig and date sweet in the backbone, cherry highlights, and a fairly heavy dose of resiny hops the clean everything up. Flavors have a more roasty and woody characteristic initially, followed by cherry and old world fruit sweetness. Peppery spicings, with a molasses characteristic at the tail end of the palate. Very jumbled flavors jumping all over the tongue. The beer is very thin in mouth, with a sharpness as it nears the finish. The aftertaste has notes of pepper, tobacco, and very light hints of molasses. The finish is filmy and quick, almost watery. From start to finish I do not get Barleywine on this brew. All in all, it's not a bad beer, but it's not a Barleywine, in my opinion.

 1,029 characters

Photo of acurtis
3.25/5  rDev -16%

Photo of fleurdelou
3.25/5  rDev -16%

Photo of kdahnke123
3.25/5  rDev -16%

Photo of BSUBronco
3.25/5  rDev -16%

Photo of jsteele
3.25/5  rDev -16%

Photo of beernads
3.25/5  rDev -16%

Photo of rderedin
3.3/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Faxmesomehalibut
3.31/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of russpowell
3.4/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

2013 Vintage pours caramel/copper with a sliver of cream colored head. Good head retention & nice lacing, stays effervescent throughout

S: Breadyness, pears & little bit of woodiness, a bit of boozeyness

T: Dryness, woody hops, pears, boozey notes & a little caramel & green appleskin up front. Dryness, pears, booze & oakyness as this warms, plus some pine & citrus hop showing up late to the party, slight butterscotch notes. Finishes dry, piney, boozey & slightly fruity, plus a little bit of caramel

MF: Medium bodied, slight carbonation, actually thins out as this warms

A pretty run of the mill American Barleywine. Rough on the edges. I know these guys can do better. The barrel-aged one is better, but still nothing to crow about...

I am sure this will get better with age

 785 characters

Photo of kaiyote
3.46/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of target88
3.48/5  rDev -10.1%

Photo of TKEbeerman
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of valkyre65
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

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Old Embalmer from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
3.87 out of 5 based on 211 ratings.
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