Barley Wine
Nils Oscar

Barley WineBarley Wine
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Style:
British Barleywine
Ranked #226
ABV:
10.4%
Score:
85
Ranked #34,074
Avg:
3.71 | pDev: 12.67%
Reviews:
71
Ratings:
116
From:
Nils Oscar
 
Sweden
Avail:
Rotating
Wants
  5
Gots
  3
SCORE
85
Very Good
Barley WineBarley Wine
Notes: 20.3° Plato.

Also sold as "Swedish Barley Wine-Style Ale"
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Reviews: 71 | Ratings: 116 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by Mebuzzard:
Photo of Mebuzzard
3.98/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A solid barley wine. Very sweet. Dominant caramel and heavy sweet bread.

Nice looking gold hazy beer. Semi sticky lacing.

Strong aroma, very sweet. Thick caramel and syrup. Not much to review here. It's a solid beer, but very sweet. Can use some time to mature, if it ever does. This is an early 2011 release.

Dessert beer for sure

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More User Reviews:
Photo of jdhilt
4.13/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a three finger white head that fades slowly to a thin layer leaving some lace. Crystal clear amber color. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Malty nose. Flavor is slightly sweet caramel, really balanced with the hops. Nice barley wine. Pricey - $6.79 for a 330ml bottle from John's Marketplace Portland, OR.

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Photo of rastaman
2.94/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Well, probably not my style, quite a thick, sweet, malty palate, quite suruppy, doughy and sticky, bordering on cloying, but not quite, had it on a warmish day here in sydney, so maybe that affected my rating, slightly enjoyable, but not my style.

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Photo of stcules
3.15/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Light cherrywood color. Slightly hazy, an half inch of head.
At the smell there is a sharp malty and fruity note: dry fruit, raisins, some woody-tannic, and some alcohol. Cheery, and some sweetness.
Better taste: dry fruit, vanilla, raisins, woody, and some light alcohol hint. But it slips away, very fast, although it is quite warming, leaving a feeling of warmness in the mouth.
Notes fruity of tangerine, and bitter orange, something like a punch.
The body is average, and so it is scarce for the style.

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Photo of Gusler
4.07/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a deep mahogany red color, translucent, with a modest head, fair to middling lace. Nose is malt, brandy like with the sweet aroma of over ripe bananas. Front is sweet malt, the top slim, the finish pleasantly hopped, mildly acidic, the aftertaste malt dry. The high ABV, leaves a nice warm feeling in the "Tummy". A beer that would age well and most certainly improve, but it will be hard to find I’m afraid.

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Photo of taez555
2.88/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours an extremely clear orange body with a small white head.

Nose is almost non existent. At first I thought this was BMC. You really have to inhale deeply to get any malt. Very disappointing.

Taste is medium to full bodied, with an immediate strange pepper/spice flavor. It has a very tea like quality to the taste. It's as if instead of malted barely, they used Hibiscus or something. It's familiar, yet uniquely different. It leans more towards an English BW, but with touches of heather ale or something. Ends with a unique earthy lingering bitterness.

As a swede I'm curious to see how my ancestors do the barleywine. Gotta say, I'm glad I've got some English in me as well. It's very unique, not bad at all, just not great.

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Photo of lackenhauser
3.67/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Muddy orange in color. Winey and vinuous aroma. Vinuous taste up front. Touch of caramel like flavor. Some bitterness and a slight oakiness. Full mouthfeel that is quite dry in the finish. Decent enough version of a UK barleywine. The dryness might get to me after a while.

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Photo of Rocko
2.7/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark copper color with a tiny head that fades after a few seconds. Very sweet smell of cherry and other fruits. The taste is the same, TOO sweet imho, there is also quite some taste of alcohol. I didn't like this at all. :( The suruppy taste already described in earlier reviews is too much for me, yuk.

I'm very disappointed, for some reason my expectations where quite high..and it didn't fulfil them at all. In the end I think Barley Wine aint my thing at all, so if you like this style give it a go...if you can find it.

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Photo of charlesw
2.82/5  rDev -24%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is a barleywine? Since when? Yeah, unfortunately, it says it's one right on the bottle... Really too bad. It might be OK as a 'light' I2PA but barleywine? Never. No color, no head. Weird caramel and straw smell (not like I'd expect - still, I give this an average grade). Taste? What taste? That went with the color... Flavor 'light' - light sweetness, light bitterness, light malt. Bah. I feel cheated!

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Photo of rajendra82
3.63/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This barleywine came in a 330 ml. bottle, and when poured turned out to be quite a pale looking ale. The fizzy carbonation and clear body made me believe that this was not bottle conditioned. This has to be one of the blandest smelling barleywines out there. Deep breaths revealed a raisin like smell, but there were barely any hops at all. The taste was very sweet and a little citric. Restrained, mellow, and subtle are some adjectives that came to mind as I sipped it. I was actually quite underwhelmed at first, but the taste grew on me slowly, as I got deeper down. Some earthy, and spicy notes started to poke out towards room temperature. Unfortunately the carbonation was a bit overdone, and got more in the way than anything else. Body was sticky and enjoyably thick. A plus point was the well hidden alcohol. If you don't mind sweetness and subtlety, this one could be worth a try, although I doubt it would make anyone's top ten list of barleywines.

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Photo of katan
4.07/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz into a pint

A - Pours a light brown color. Head formation is light, off white, retained at about 1mm. Very creamy looking. Opaque, thick looking, slightly hazy - yeast suspension is present.

S - Supremely malty - thick and sugary scents bury the nose. Lots of caramel and toffee malts, lightly toasty.

T - Starts off with a light malty note. Caramel, toffee, lightly roasted notes. Very sweet. Mid-stream continues sweet, with just a little bitter background - tongue catches it through some stinging flavors on the edges. Finishes with a a strong sugar cling, with some maple notes, and a light lingering hot fusel alcohol feeling.

M - Moderate body - creamy and sticky. At times seems a little bit thin, the carbonation is very light. Leaves a sugar film on the tongue.

D - Moderate to low drinkability. ABV is pretty potent, but well hidden. Not very filling. Flavors are not too direct, smooth and not palette damaging.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.32/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A reasonably vigorous pour produces a scant, half-finger thick, pale, off-white colored head. The beer is a brilliantly clear, amber color that shows bright, copper highlights when held up to the light. The aroma is quite malt focused and is somewhat sweet and chewy seeming. Aromas of caramelized apples, light toffee and caramelized bread crust character make up the most dominant malt notes. There are some light herbal hop notes here as well as a touch of warm alcohol aromatics, somehow though the aroma seems quite a bit more restrained than one would expect from a beer of this strength. As my nose gets used to it this becomes more and more vegetal in character and also has a green apple note to it, while never overwhelming it is a bit disappointing.

Not overly sweet, but what malt sweetness is here is fairly rich and complex, though not overly flavorful. Again, the flavor seems light for a beer of this strength; somehow a malt richness that I would expect seems to be lacking here. There is some hop character here, though it is light, but it seems to add a bit of astringency and play up some light phenolic notes. Fruity notes of green apples, and regular apple notes, some green-grape notes. A touch of toffee up front, yields to some soft toasty, bread-like, and cracker leaning malt character towards the finish. Somewhat light for a beer of this strength, though it of course has a heft to it. The flavor is more fruity than anything, though there is some astringent hop character here.

A very interesting beer, not at all what I was expecting, and really it doesn't seem to really work for me.

Purchased: Plaza Liquors, Tucson AZ

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Photo of akorsak
3.58/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A 330 mL bottle purchased at Stateline Liquors.

A: The ale is a brilliant golden orange color, bright with no turbidity. A finger or so of white bubbles emerged on pour and quickly whittled away.

S: The barleywine has a thick congealed aroma, full of intensely concentrated barley and cereal notes. Not much hop-wise appears but there is a faint bitterness overtop of the malts.

T: Interesting first sip. Based on the nose, I was expecting lots of grains, a cornucopia of bready thickness. Surprisingly, the body is mild. Sure there are big malt flavors, lots of grain and cereal, but they aren't completely in your face. In fact, a touch of smokiness runs throughout a sip, adding a nice flourish of flavor. The effect is a smoked ham sandwich with the cured meat and bready grains. The hops don't add much to the body.

M: The mouthfeel is full of grains and the result is a sweet, biting flavor that isn't half bad.

D: The booze is well hidden for a 9.5% offering. That being said, one glass is enough because the strength can catch you off guard.

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Photo of Rastacouere
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Orange coloured, no head basically. Fruity aroma (oranges, apricot), mostly on the malty side of things, made me think of an old foghorn considering those understated mellow hops. Big toasted bread maltiness dominates the palate at first, but the hops come in with surprising energy, vigorously green and vegetal. Heavy bitterness. Medium oily body, low carbonation. Pretty good. Thanks again Per!

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.16/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

"The afternoon knows what the morning never suspected."

--Swedish proverb

Polished persimmon with honey colored highlights along the edges of the glass. The upper third of the snifter is filled with a creamy chunk of pale lemon colored foam that is doing a fine job in the lace department. Does it look like a Swedish barleywine? Sure, why not?

The nose isn't very distinctive, which is frequently the case when it comes to primarily pale malted beer of this style. Each sniff delivers whiffs of apricot fruitiness and Absolut. Too bad there's almost nothing to go on.

This Nils Oscar brew is too simple and is way too tame. It tastes like both malt and hops are in short supply. Water and ale yeast never do add much, so we're left with... an extremely lackluster barleywine that is in dire need of a flavor hook. On a good note, it isn't the least bit boozy.

Describing the flavor profile will be a challenge, albeit a short one. Specifics include rock candy, a teensy bit of apricot and orange, and a small shot of vodka. Sweetness and bitterness are moderate in amount and are balanced throughout. Talk about a lack of excitement.

The body/mouthfeel started out impressively thin and is now beginning to fill out and smooth out just enough with warming to eke out an average score. Soft and gentle carbonation helps.

Nils Oscar Swedish Barley Wine-Style Ale is too easy-going for its own good. Maybe the Swedes like it, but I find it hard to believe that it sells very well in the American and U.K. markets, considering what else is available.

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Photo of Sammy
3.72/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sweetish barleywine ale. Nothing special to look at, and a mild barleywine and malty aroma. A little grapey taste, a little hoppy,toasted caramel,dash of licorice, a nice one. Average mouthfeel. Good drinking.Alcohol well hidden. Suitable carbonation.

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Photo of bark
4.41/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2004.

The colour is cloudy, deep ruby red with a tint of brown; the beige finger thick foam dissolves quickly into a thin lid.

The smell is sweet and very malty with fruity, roasted notes. There are also some notes of raisins, hazelnuts, some peppery hops, alcohol and sweet rye bread. I found it quite complex and very inviting.

The taste is sweet and a bit roasted; it is loaded with a fine mix of malts and aroma hops with some mild bitterness. There is some alcohol, but also a warming flavour of some kind of sweet strong wine (Madeira?) and a fruity note of fried apples and maybe some chocolate toffee. The long lasting alcoholic aftertaste is also filled with burned notes of vegetables and butterscotch and bitter apples.

The carbonation is rather mild with medium sized bubbles, which suits the complex flavours fine.

In other words: A fine barley wine with a clean, balanced taste.

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Photo of ppoitras
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz bottle via Christmas gift. Thanks for the opportunity, Kris.

Poured into a heavy glass chalice, formed a scant 1/8" white head above the clear orangey amber brew. Head is down to an uneven layer of bubbles in a flash, with sporadic small bubbles as lace and heavy legs. Aroma is moderately fruity with alcohol. Taste is actually pretty much an even trio of malt sweetness, fruitiness, and alcohol. Small bubbles seem to give the mouthfeel and incredible touch, and drinkability is quite good. Fits into my idea of an English barleywine quite well.

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Photo of DrJay
3.63/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one was a very pretty clear orange topped by a combination of fine and soapy bubbles. The off-white foam showed good retention and produced some spotty, streaky lacing as it settled to a ring. The aroma was mostly toasted malt with some orange peel, plus a little bit of alcohol. Moderate bitterness mostly balanced the significant sweetness. There was plenty of malt, along with a lot of fruit character, faint alcohol and oranges in the finish. Medium to full bodied with lowish carbonation and a bit of warmth. This one was pretty solid with the alcohol hidden well enough.

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Photo of Viggo
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Lexx for picking this up at West Lakeview Liquors.

Pours a crystal clear orange/amber, thin white head forms, quickly settles to a thin ring, a few lace spots. Smell is fruity, caramel, some butter, oak, vanilla, light citrus, alcohol is nicely hidden, raisins, pretty interesting. Taste is very sweet, sugary, rich toffee, bread, raisins, oak, citrus/floral, some spicy alcohol, very dry balanced finish, sherry like alcohol notes in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with medium carbonation, some heat going down. Pretty solid, nothing wow but nothing to really complain about. Thanks Lexx!

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a tulip)
A- This beer has a hazy deep orange body with a sea of microbubbles and a sticky egg-cream foam on top.
S- The light but rich caramel aroma has a slight buttery quality and a fresh raw grain aroma to it. There is a nice white toffee aroma at the finish.
T- This beer has a slightly dry caramel flavor with a softer white toffee note that becomes just a bit sweet in the finish.
M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with no real alcohol heat.
D- This beer has lots of light toasted malts and just a bit of sweetness but it is still rich and full bodied. This an interesting version of a barley wine and great for the cold months.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My bottle is labeled Swedish Barley Wine. Anyway, pours into my glass an intensely clear almost pinkish goldenrod hue. A thin white ring above the brew but not much in the way of head. Steady active carbonation. An interesting lighter colored barley wine. Aromas start with a deep caramelized grain with some cherry and fruity scents as well. A touch toasty with toffee notes and a nutty, spicy aspect. A bit subdued.

First sip brings a rich caramel malt flavor upfront. A nice fruity flavor moves in with cherry coming out as most apparent. It flows down with some nutty, spicy flavors and finishes with a touch of herbal hop bitterness as well. Not much alcohol in the flavor at all.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and chewy. It makes itself known but is not as heavy as most American barley wine's I have sampled. Pretty easy to drink overall. This is a unique take on the style from a brewery whose beers I've just started to see across the pond here. Makes a good night cap. I'll probably try some of their other styles if I run across them again.

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Photo of acrawf6
3.97/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a clear reddish amber with a white head that drops after a minute or so.

Smell. Has a big spiciness to it, like alcohol drenched fruitcake. I get a strong cherry fruitiness to it.

Taste. Flavor is rich with the fruitiness, mostly cherries. The alcohol, carbonation and subtle hops gives it a nice peppery taste and feeling in my mouth. Aftertaste is keeps that pepperyness to it, but sweetens some, and leaves my lips sticky and my stomach warming.

Mouthfeel. Body is full, but not chewey full. Carbonation is at a nice level. Has a good balance to this beer.

Overall, a good and interesting barleywine. Seems to have a cleaner flavor than other english barleywines, which i like. I wouldnt mind having this one again.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.12/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear, orange-amber body with a small white head.

Smell: Aroma of honey and caramel and sherry-soaked orange peels.

Taste: Caramel maltiness with plenty of honey-like sweetness. Dash of sherry. Mild bitterness blends into the lightly alcoholic finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Warming alcohol presence.

Drinkability: It's alright for a barleywine!

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Photo of dgallina
3.45/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

11.2 ounce slim brown bottle. No obvious dating.

Pours clear gold with faint carbonation, no head or lace. Smells like caramel and honey with woody alcohol overtones. Simple, but clean and fresh. Very sweet flavor. Honey and toasted malts come to the front, with some dry woodiness in the finish. Alcohol is restrained for the style and only appears significantly in the lightly warming aftertaste. Body is on the light side; smooth and unobtrusive.

A pleasant drink that doesn't especially distinguish itself.

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Barley Wine from Nils Oscar
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 116 ratings