Galaxy Hopped Barleywine Ale (Brothers' Reserve Series) | Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

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Galaxy Hopped Barleywine Ale (Brothers' Reserve Series)Galaxy Hopped Barleywine Ale (Brothers' Reserve Series)
Very Good
151 Ratings
Galaxy Hopped Barleywine Ale (Brothers' Reserve Series)Galaxy Hopped Barleywine Ale (Brothers' Reserve Series)

Brewed by:
Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
Oregon, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Released Spring 2011

Added by msubulldog25 on 03-23-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 151 |  Reviews: 78
Photo of RDHerm
3.53/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep, reddish amber color with marigold highlights. Has a thin, cream colored that retains quite nicely and has good lacing.

Strong but pleasant aroma with strong notes of floral hops and citrus fruits. There are hints of yeast and light malts, as well as a touch of vanilla.

Very strong flavor of floral hops, with good notes of malt, yeast, and bread underneath, as well as hints of spice and a bit of alcohol bite.

Medium in body with a higher carbonation level. Good body, but the carbonation could be a bit much at times, walking the line between creamy and frothy. The bitter aftertaste also lingers a bit too long.

An interesting take on a traditional style, if you're a fan of either barleywine or IPA this is definitely worth giving a shot. It's not something you'd want to drink more than one of, but not bad overall.

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Photo of shand
4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a nonic.

This one pours a nice deep red color with a decent head. Retention and lacing are good. Aroma is full of citrus, hops, and sweet caramel malts. A touch of nuttiness as well. The taste is full-bodied and strikes a good balance between hoppiness and maltiness, almost to the point where this is surely between a double IPA and a barleywine. There's some solid citrus flavors with some piney hops and caramel malts.

The mouthfeel is nice, it's full-bodied and coating. The drinkability is very good for the ABV. Overall, this is quite a good brew from Widmer Brothers. It's an enjoyable barleywine that I'd recommend to enjoy fresh.

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Photo of gopens44
3.62/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark coppery red with a quickly diminishing creme colored frothy head.

S - Hop heavy at first with a touch of a berry like sweetness. Maybe a touch of caramel as well.

T - Again with the hoppy start. After the hop front, there are some nice toffee and vanilla notes coming up. Finish is slightly metallic. The alcohol isn't hidden too well as a nearly medicinal alcohol taste quickly overrides the metallic taste. I guess it was an improvement?

M - Very smooth yet a touch thin. Bitter with relatively low carbonation. Bitter aftertaste.

O - I guess I was looking for a real dandy here but came up feeling a little let down due to the off tastes. This will be one that I buy in a bottle as well, just to see if it mellows out decently over about a year.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.47/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Thanks to mdfb79 for this bottle!

Reviewed blind as part of Blind BIF Round 5. It pours a murky brown-copper topped by a minor bit o' dirty white soapy foam. The nose comprises pine, toffee, light leek, light mint, dank greens, and light candi sugar. The taste is generally the same, with more toffee character, less mint and greens, and a kinda sharp piney character. The body is a staunch medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta dry finish. Overall, a generally okay b-wine, though nothing really outstanding in any way. It is nice to see a hitherto unknown (to me, anyway) hop variety get the spotlight.

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Photo of Thickfreakness
4.42/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours deep ruby/maroon color. One finger creamy head that fades quickly. Nice crispy carbonation that never stops! Very surprised and delighted by the color of this one! I can't remember ever seeing a Barleywine this blood red before!

S- Tons of fresh picked citrus! Grapefruit, toffee, vanilla, peaches, mango, and fresh lemon peel. Nice balance between the sweet caramel malts, and the pungent citrusy/pine hops.

T- Punched in the mouth with the bright citrus and peppery pine... followed rather quickly by rich, sugary caramel, toasted wood, licorice, and a touch of alcohol. The bitterness and sweetness blend wonderfully! Just got a hint of buttered popcorn between my lips and gums.

M- Sticky, syrupy, sweet, bitter, and amazing! Like sucking on a buttered pinecone slathered in brown sugar! Not thick like oil or syrup... but really coats the tongue and tastebuds and takes you for a ride!!!

O- Really lovin' this as it warms up a bit! The flavors just bloom and blossom! Each sip starts different... one time its that piney citrus kick followed up with chewy caramel... the next first sip is like biting into a warm sticky bun, and then eating caramelized grapefruit brulee! I've been putting off buying this one for a while now... no more! Going to get a few more ASAP!

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Photo of jayhawk73
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a dark crimson/brown color w/ a nice one finger off white head. Opaque looking w/ beautiful red highlights. Decent carbonation and lacing. Nice looking beer.

S- Hops, malt, hops, malt.. Slight smell of candied fruit as well. Very nice for the style, just wish it was a little stronger. Still, a very nice smelling barleywine.

T- Very hoppy, w/ a nice strong malt backbone. Very smooth, with a nice aftertaste. Very tasty barleywine. Strong sweet candy fruit is there, but it's overrun by the hops and malt. 9.5% ABV, but I don't taste any alcohol at all. This is probably one of the more enjoyable barleywines I've had.

M- Very smooth. Sweet. Couldn't ask for anything more.

O- Very impressed at this barleywine. It's not the best I've had, but it's right up there. Definitely worth picking up if you like the style... or good beer in general.

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Photo of jnn4v
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Consumed in a tulip glass at approximately 55 degrees.

A: Reddish / burgundy hue. Much darker than I was anticipating. Almost a mahogany but not quite as brown. Translucent. No sediment or haze.

S: Not nearly as strong of scents as I had anticipated or hoped. Some caramel malts and slight hints of orange, grapefruit and lemon.

T: Honey wheat bread, grapefruit, a slight resiny herbal bitterness (possibly slightly piney as well). Very nicely balanced between the hops and the malts, as would be expected for a barleywine that has a hop in its name.

M: Fine-textured carbonation (ie. the bubbles are small) although an adequate overall level of carbonation. Density and viscosity were nice as well.

O: I enjoyed this beer for sure, but it was disappointing compared to my expectations. I didn't get any tropical fruit scent or flavor out of this. Then again, I suppose maybe that's a hallmark of the Galaxy hop to begin with.

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Photo of BigE90
4.12/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Looked great with a light foamy head and a good deep mahogany color

S: This blew me away! The fresh hop smell was evident as it was poured into my sniffer. Very citrus and floral.

T: The fresh hops are very evident and it was great not to experience any bittering. Just a great fresh IPA but yet had a slight barleywine twang to it. It hit all the senses of the tongue and was full of flavor.

M: Good, again no bad bittering and the slight presence of what you would find drinking a true barleywine.

O: A great beer! Although hard to classify as a true barleywine because that aspect of it was not strong. The fresh hops was a nice twist to it though as if you were drinking a full flavored IPA but yet without it giving you that bitterness of being boiled to long. Looking forward to see how it ages in 6 months and a year.

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Photo of Pencible
4.32/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This poured a clear mahogany with some tan head.
S: It smelled like ripe mango and honey with grapefruit and pomegranate, and a bit of alcohol.
T: It tasted like mango and grapefruit, with honey and pomegranate and a bit of raisin and confectioners sugar. It had a clean bittersweet aftertaste with some alcohol warming.
M: It was slightly thick and oily with moderate carbonation. Nice body.
D: This was surprisingly good! The scent and taste were fantastic, with delicious bitter and sweet character. It had nice body too, but was a bit hot, so needed to be sipped. Lovely beer, especially on the tip of my tongue. Not sure if age may help, but definitely recommended fresh. About on par with Flying Mouflan.

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Photo of olmatty
3.73/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep amber brown with a low white head. Light smell of honey and caramel and some spicy floral hop. Flavor is deep layers of sweet biscuit and earthy, bitter hops. Bitterness is intense for the barleywine style. Long lasting bitter finish. I'm not sure I appreciate the huge hop presence in a barleywine ale.

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Photo of ferrari29
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer poured from bottle into a stemless Tulip shaped wine glass

A - Beer pours with a deep dark burgundy color; not cloudy and somewhat clear; low amount of visible carbonation; beer poured with a 1/2 finger white colored foam; the head did not hold well; good amount of lacing formed

S - Oak; bourbon; sweet notes; fruit and citrus; hops; caramel; soft malty notes; pine

T - Oak; bourbon; has tangy dark fruit flavors like a young wine; finishes with a hop bitterness; licorice; caramel with other subtle malt flavors

M - Thin consistency; dry aftertaste; tangy tart feel on the tongue, a mixture of carbonation and dark fruit sour flavors

D - Too much hop for a Barleywine; I'd prefer something with a bit more flavor up front instead of the hop bitterness at the end of each sip; worth a shot and should not be overlooked when comparing to other beers of the same type

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Photo of jsanford
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Bomboras Grille in Hilton Head, SC. Poured into a New Belgium globe.

A - Pours a cloudy brownish-red with a thin off-white ring and slight haze.
S - Moderately sweet and malty with a fairly pungent grapefruit and pine resin hop profile. Bit of pineapple and peach too.
T - Caramel-toffee malt heavy, with big notes of pineapple, peach, strawberry, grapefruit, and pine resin.
M - Smooth, slightly viscous and sticky, with a medium mouth-feel and moderate carbonation.
O - A pretty good beer, very unique from the addition of the Galaxy hops.

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Photo of siskiyoucellar
4.07/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My first review on BA, after doing a lot of reading here (usually while enjoying a delicious beer). Many thanks to the bros., and all the reviewers who have helped me learned more about all the brews I am enjoying.

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Palmer Station Antarctica pint glass.

A: Beautiful clear darkish copper color, very pretty in the late afternoon mountain sunlight.

S: Bright clean floral hops predominate, with sweet earthy malt notes underneath, very appealing.

T: A nicely nuanced balance between tangy citrus hops and a sweet malty backbone with perfect finishing tones of pepper and figs. The alcohol blends in very nicely. I think they got the Belgian barleywine thing just right and the hoppy updating works beautifully.

M: Very pleasant, not cloying or too dry.

Overall: Very well done. In general I have not been terribly impressed by Widmer brews lately. I thought that the Brrrbon was only OK; but this time they really hit it. I think they did a great job of getting the essence of the classic barleywine style just right and then taking it in a new direction with flair and nice control.

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Photo of Scotchboy
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a New Belgium snifter.

A: Pours dark deep brown, one of the darkest ales (non-stout, porter or brown ale) I've ever seen, with hints of ruby and blood orange shining through. Off white head fades away but leaves great lacing and even some alcohol feet. It has some carbonation and from what I can see appears clear and filtered.

S: Mild sweetness, hops and malt. Just hints of spices and citrus really, with a sweet bready character. Alcohol is covered fairly well IMO.

T: Has some of that American Barleywine character for sure: pine, resinous hops, juicy & bittersweet. Dry piney bitterness and caramel malts are really the biggest performers. The malt bill isn't as intense as one would think for a barlewine; this is really much closer to a 2IPA.

MF: Not completely full bodied, with good carbonation. Drying.

O: I like it a lot as a hopped up ale with a good caramel malt bill. It lacked some of the aspects of a good American Barleywine (I couldn't detect much candy sugar other other malts besides caramel) but its a good beer all around. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of billab914
3.78/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Southern Tier 2xIPA glass. It poured a deep mahogany color with a frothy, off-white head taking up the top inch and a half of the glass. The head faded, but left a nice thin covering throughout drinking it. Pretty good lacing as well.

The aroma has a lot of hoppiness to it. I get some pretty big grapefruit and pine flavors to it coming out of the hops. I get a good dose of sweet, malty and caramel flavors to it as well with a little bit of a candied like presence. Pretty decent aroma overall, the hops are definitely the best part of it.

The taste shows more of the caramel and toffee flavors to it. I get amount of the citrusy, bitter, grapefruit and pine flavors to it towards the finish. Pretty nice flavors to it overall, not outstanding but definitely good.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with carbonation being about average for the style. Overall it was a pretty good beer. I really liked the hoppiness it had, but the malty, traditional barleywine flavors were a little lacking relative to some of the better in the style. Overall a pretty enjoyable beer though.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4.17/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Limited Release #4
Spring 2011
In a snifter the beer was a clear dark amber color. A small head that still left a bit of lace.
Pretty sweet aroma, sugary. Some fruit.
Even nicer taste. Still very sweet, caramel and cherries. Good hops presence, but tempered by the sweetness. Good staying power from the hops.
I thought this was an assertive beer. The Belgian influence made it very interesting.

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Photo of avalon07
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a copper color and a clear consistency. There was a big, foamy, very long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: A solid smell of hops, malt, caramel and fruit.

T: Tasted of hops (above anything else), caramel, malt, and lighter fruit. This is the sort of beer that front loads all of its flavor and leaves nothing for the finish. Not bad, but certainly uneven.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a dry finish. Medium-bodied.

D: Despite some flaws, this is drinkable beer.

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Photo of mactrail
4.12/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aromatic and hoppy strong ale.

Beautiful dark amber in the Brigand chalice. Rich and really spicy. If Galaxy is the only hop here, it's a winner. Both aromatic and bitter. The Belgian touch is just right. Adds a mellow, sugary touch to the sharp bitterness of the hops. Well-balanced in a flamboyant style. Sweetness is almost over the top, but then the tropical hops come on strong. Every mouthful is an adventure.

I have been enjoying a lot of Widmer beers lately. Like the Deadlift Imperial IPA, which is generously hopped but on the sweet side. I'll definitely be willing to spend more on their special releases.

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Photo of lowendfrequency
4.14/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Galaxy Hopped

22 oz bomber poured into a Double Mountain flared-lip snifter.

Appearance is of a deep burgundy with good clarity when held to the light. Very thin and light head which quickly dissipates to a fine ring around the edge of the glass.

The aroma is a pleasant balance of hops and malt. Big notes of dark fruit like plums, raisins and currants are joined by great floral, citrus and tropical fruit characters from the galaxy hops.

This one starts with a malty sweetness like caramel and dark sugars with subtle red fruits, maybe plums and pomegranate. There is a sharp and pronounced hop bite towards the end before finishing with a nice rum-like booze.

The mouthfeel is a roller coaster ranging from a semi-thick sweetness to dry and crisp while achieving a nice balance in between.

This isn't your gran-daddy's barleywine. This is the new school. This is good stuff. All the makings of a solid strong beer but hopbursted with big tropical fruit flavors and bigger citrus aroma. I enjoyed this beer thoroughly and will be purchasing several more. However, I must pose the question… how will this beer age? It's already well balanced. Will it lose it's signature hop note? Only time will tell.

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Photo of emcohen
3.78/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: A color the appearance of fine mahogany with a thin whitish head that dissipates quickly. Leaves some lacing when the head disappears.

Smell: Citrus and cherry notes jump out at me right away. I also get some dark chocolate and toffee.

Taste: Reminds me a little of a toffee crunch candy bar with some cherry or raspberry flavors. The hops are very apparent from start to finish, but not overwhelming. Not overly sweet and the hops cuts that really well.

Mouthfeel: The smooth caramel feel at the beginning is replaced with hoppy bitterness at the finish. The hops and malt linger for quite a while but it's balanced enough that it's not a problem. The carbonation is light and prickly.

Overall: This not your usual spring-time ale and I'm surprised it's their limited Spring release. However, the day is cloudy and I have nothing else to do but nap off the 9.5% alcohol. Very hoppy for a barleywine but it's malty enough to balance that out. The further I got into the bottle, the more the malt came out and my enjoyment increased. Not my favorite barleywine but certainly a good bottle. I bet it'd age really well.

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Photo of Prime16
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- dark chocolate brown with a tan stand alone head.

S- Piney hops, grapefruit, earthy.

T- The aroma masks the malt flavor on this one. Alcohol well hidden with a big bitter ending.

M- Some carbonation, standard medium body.

O- I enjoyed this one a lot.

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Photo of DaveHS
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours dark amber/ruby with 3/4 inch of off white head. Reduces quickly, leaving soapy lacing.

S-Caramel, wildflowers, honeysuckle, citric/bitter hoppiness, candi sugar.

T/M-Surprisingly soft and balanced for a hoppy barleywine. Caramel malts accentuated by a delicate touch of candi sugar fade into lightly astringent hoppiness. Medium bodied with low to moderate carbonation.

O-Best yet from this series. The Galaxy hops are a big part of what makes this so good, so drinking it fresh is reccomended.

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Photo of surprenant1138
3.78/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bomber into a snifter. This beer pours very dark for a barleywine style, deep mahogony colored with minimal head and excellent, slow lacing. Aroma is of hops, barley, cherries, oakey, and slightly floral. Mouthfeel is fairly heavy. Taste is very hoppy for a barleywine (hence the name). It is flowery, and not so much tasting like a barleywine. There is only a hint of that earthy, farm-like, hay and grassy taste to this beer. That certainly isn't bad, but it doesn't seem to much fit into the barleywine category. It is basically a floral, hoppy IPA, with some barleywine splashed in. That being said, it is very tasty, but more if you are in the IPA mindset.

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Photo of Docer
4.04/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

- Appearance: (3.5)
Pours a clear and dark rich brown/red mahogany with a quick fizzling off-white foam that relaxes to a nice ring and island of foam in the middle of my Rogue winter glass (excuse the glassware, just moved and am still building my collection). Nothing like a spring release in a winter glass eh?

- Smell: (4.5)
This is where this brew pops out and grabs you by the nose hairs with little clenching fists of glory. The fresh and fruity hops are greatly present, but I feel are helped greatly by the Belgian candy sugars. The malt is rather light, and smooth... which are huskless malts! Mild fruit salad, strawberry, passion fruit,and an earthy grassy aroma.

- Taste: (4.0)
Smooth, balanced, and just the right sweetness to start. Light caramel, bready malt flowing with a fruit ester-filled flavor going down. The massive bitterness that I get shows itself after the barleywine is swallowed. I really love the bitter quality of this barleywine. It has a 'gin-like' effect on the palate. Light floral and passion fruit finish on the hops. Again, some fresh grassy earthy flavors.

- Mouthfeel: (3.5)
Like as stated in the taste, this is a rather clear, refined, filtered medium bodied barleywine.. almost on the light bodied side. It's rather dry (which I like), but still wets the palate with its huge array of flavors.

- Overall: (4.0)
This is not your typical barleywine. It's not thick, creamy, cloudy, and loaded with caramel like a John Barleycorn. It's light, dry, full of flavors, esters, and wonder. It's one to try. I really don't know how this one would age, or if it even really needs to. The alcohol is barely present at all. It's a dry, not-so-hot alcohol. Perhaps a bit too clean and dangerous. Certainly a good brew, and I can't wait to see what Widmer has under their belt for the next release.

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Photo of kscaldef
4.12/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark, deep red color with a healthy tan head, good retention

Aroma is bready with dark fruit, strawberry, toffee and candy

Good balance of biscuit malts, hop bitterness, and mild sweetness. Long hoppy finish.

Everything is really well in balance here, a very nice sipper.

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Galaxy Hopped Barleywine Ale (Brothers' Reserve Series) from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.88 out of 5 with 151 ratings