Heavy Seas - Below Decks (Barley Wine Style Ale) | Heavy Seas Beer

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Heavy Seas - Below Decks (Barley Wine Style Ale)Heavy Seas - Below Decks (Barley Wine Style Ale)
521 Ratings
Heavy Seas - Below Decks (Barley Wine Style Ale)Heavy Seas - Below Decks (Barley Wine Style Ale)

Brewed by:
Heavy Seas Beer
Maryland, United States

Style: British Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 521 |  Reviews: 347
Reviews by psinderson:
Photo of psinderson
3.77/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into snifter-type glass.

Appearance: Dark brown/red with a thin off-white head. Great color, but highly filtered.

Smell: Buttery rum-raisin and caramel.

Taste: Spicy character. Brown sugar and molasses dominate the taste. A bit hoppy in the end. Well crafted - Not much alcohol taste present.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with lower carbonation than most beers.

Drinkability: For a barleywine, this is pretty smooth. Lack of alcoholic character helps it out quite a bit.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.41/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured clear but dulled copper with a white one finger head after a hard pour,aromas are really bland for lack of another word some sweet alcohol with drier malt just nothing going on but not bad like I said bland.As with the aromas somewhat bland but a little more character sweet alcohol is prevalent along with some caramel malt finishing with just a tinge of pine but not enough to get excited about.This beer could be alot better it has some good points but not enough to search out.

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Photo of RoyalT
3.97/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – This poured out a chestnut brown with some bright hues around the edges and a modest head.

Smell – The sugary malts here are quite strong at the nose and there’s a nice toasty aroma as well. The wine character is again very sweet more like a dessert wine.

Taste – The sugars are modest but outweigh the malts. They are a mix of light port, early-harvest gewürztraminer, and maybe raw sugar. The malts are very lightly toasted.

Mouthfeel – This is a big medium-bodied to full with understated carbonation and no drying.

Drinkability – This was a rare treat as EBAs are very difficult to come by. I enjoyed it as is but, exactly like it says on the Clipper City website, although approachable upon release this one will benefit from aging. A year in the cellar would sweeten this up just a tad, it’s borderline undersweetened for the style, and open up the malts a bit more.

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Photo of MadScientist
3.81/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: A dark copper with good clarity. The light tan head is low and thin.

S: Interesting, moderately fruity like oranges and peach esters from the yeast with a moderately-strong earthy and flowery hops aroma. There is also a moderate toasty malt aroma with some sweetness. The alcohol also comes through with a light sweetness to it and a little bit of diacetyl.

T: A rich and sweet malt flavor that is has a lot of toast with a fresh grain and bready taste and some treacle. The moderate hops flavor is earthy with a moderately-strong hops bitterness. There is more of the yeast's fruit ester like oranges and pairs. The balance and the finish are slightly sweet.

M: Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation.

O: A pretty good English Barleywine sure to take the chill of on a damp December evening. There is a decent amount of bitterness but it still ends up being a bit sweet for my liking however it's well with in style.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer review from BA Mag Dec 2007.

First brewed for their 10th anniversary, is 10% ABV a coincidence? Vintage dated just in case you wanted to drink one now and lay down the rest.

Good clarity in the deep mahogany-colored brew, the head retention is not too shabby either with a crown of lacing in the glass that leaves patches all the way down the side. Perfume-like rosy alcohol and faint hop aroma, delicate but noticeable. A malty nose as well with hints of caramel, cotton candy and Portuguese sweet bread. Smooth and creamy mouthfeel quickly dissipates, full bodied with moderate carbonation. Huge maltiness drops a ton of flavor on the palate, layers of caramel, brown bread and toasted biscuit unfold as the beer warms a little. Hops leave a trace flavor throughout and the bitterness tries to double up with the alcohol for balance. Very warming but not hot at all, ripe plums, raisins and figs flash before the taste buds. Sweet finish with a blend of toasted malt and ripe fruit.

Between the complex lush character and the lush mouthfeel and palate that lean towards drinkable this is no doubt a beer to seek out.

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Photo of blitz134
3.54/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer isn't retired as its indicated on here. Picked up the newest release at Green's in Atlanta. $7 for the 4 pk.

Pours with a huge head for a big beer, over an inch thick and it seems to gladly rest at the top of my glass. Head is light tan over a clear caramel, crimson body. Lots of carbonation bubbles come up and there appears to be some fine particles in circulation. Rings of lace form on the glass after each sip.

Smell is rather weak and not very complex. Sweet candy like sugar comes forth immediately. A bit of caramel malts work in with some sweet biscuit malts.

Simple, subdued flavor. The English influence is evident. Biscuity malt predominately with some sweet caramel. Candy sugar sweetness is again evident. Its a lot like the smell except with more malts showing through. Some alcohol flavors are present but not so much to be a turn off.

Thinnish mouthfeel for the style, I like these a bit heavier and slick. Carbonation wasn't as evident as I thought it was going to be. Overall good drinkability. This one is way to easy to put down for its ABV level. Aroma and taste aren't overly spectactular, but the easy of drinking helps this out a lot.

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Photo of chOAKbarrell
2.75/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Sometimes there's just not a whole lot to say about a beer. This is one of those times.

Really, really average, straight across the board, except for the taste & mouth, which are below average. There's not a whole lot of flavor - just a lot of alcohol and some hops. Somewhat-bitter lingering aftertaste. The mouthfeel is suprisingly thin.

I guess its a good thing that this beer only comes in a 4 pack. I cant imagine anyone would want more than that.

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

2010 version, poured into a snifter.
Pretty garnet color, thin tan head.
Sweet fruit aroma, caramel malt. A bit of floral hops.
More pronounced malt taste, caramel. Some dark fruit. Mild hops presence at the end.
I thought this was rather meek, even for an English barleywine. Much more genteel than I expected.
Still, it was an enjoyable beer.

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Photo of Doomcifer
3.4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

- 2007 Edition -

Poured a ruby color with a decent head that retained fairly well. Aromas of fruits galore; cherries, figs, pie filling, apples, lots of sweet malts. Tastes of more fruity malty goodness. Lots of apples, cherries, plums, etc going on in here with a good dose of hoppiness. Alcohol was definitely detected but less hot than a fresh batch. Fairly warming going down. Mouthfeel was pretty velvety but not as rich as a lot of barleywines, not too much carbonation, and slick. Not a bad example here from Clipper City. Not the greatest of BW's but very palatable and enjoyable.

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Photo of megamass
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of Billolick
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 ouncer recently purchased in Fairfield Ct. No freshness indication. Pours clear bright brandy hued amber, with just a slight tan head and leaving minimal lacing. Nose of some brandy and alcohol. notes here of smoky malts, more rum/brandy. Overly sweet in the finish, with some "hot" alcohol notes. Another reviewer mentioned "plastic" flavor notes and this is a good description of what is going on here. Kind of thin in the body and lacking in the flavor and complexity departments. BWines that are not that great really are a waste of brain cells and not very enjoyable to even sip. Glad I only picked up a single bottle

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Photo of warriorsoul
3.23/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks for this one Josh...
A worn copper color with two full fingers of off-white head...1/4 of which sticks around, leaving behind some sporadic lacing.
Not so much in the nose...some caramel malt, a generous dose of floral hops, spice, a touch of alcohol.
Flavor is decent...some mild burn due to the 11%, but not distracting. A small amount of fruits, raisins mainly...and more of a citrus hop flavor...finishes somewhat bitter and dry.
Mouthfeel is slightly above average and the carbonation could be less for me.
A decent attempt at the style, but I'd prefer to make it richer and throw it in a bomber.
Either way, another brew from CC worth trying...for me, there are many others in the style I prefer.

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Photo of SkinnyElvis
3.76/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased at Capones and drank while fresh. Pours a one inch head and is rather dark in appearance. Not much smell to it but a little boozy malt. Tastes pleasant and malty but not very complex. I don't taste a 11% ABV here at all and this is very drinkable. A good English barley wine which is reasonable in price. I would not recommend cellaring this brew.


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Photo of 1Adam12
2.69/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours with almost no head. Dark red color. Smells like sugar. Light dark fruit smell as well. Tastes extremely watered down. It's like a barleywine was made, and then 5 gallons of water got added to it. Resembles a barleywine though. Slight dark fruit and fig flavor. Sweet and sugary. Mouthfeel is very very light and watery. Not the creamy sticky feeling I'm used to from barleywines. Overly carbonated. Not because it is actually overly carbonated, but because the carbonation is overpowering to the mouthfeel and the overall flavors of the beer. Overall, flavors aren't very good, and there's no balance. Kind of a mess.

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Photo of Tabni
4/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of Kraken
3.23/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed 1/12/09

Poured from a 12oz bottle into an over sized wine goblet. Very aggressive pour yields 1/2 inch of yellowish head that dissipates very quickly. Spotty lace at best. Color is a deep ruby brown.

Nose- some notes of caramel, and dark fruits. Vanilla and alcohol.

Palate- Tasty, caramel, vanilla. Noticeable alcohol. Very smooth in the mouth velvety. Some finishing hops, although not nearly as much as I expected.

Mouthfeel- lightly carbonated, velvety.

Drinkabillity- Strong, this is a fireside sipper.

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Photo of jondeelee
3.46/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Typical of most barleywines, this one has a sugary, malty nose.

On the tongue, the malt still dominates, bringing out sweeter flavors such as sugared berries, caramelized apples, perhaps bananas flambe. There are deeper notes too--toasted rice and lightly roasted Grape Nuts cereal, in addition to a very thin grapefruit-bitter vein. But by far, the sugars are what win out, making this one of the sweeter barleywines I've had. For some, this sweetness might make this particular brew ideal, as its sugary palate does a better job of masking the alcohol flavor (which, at 10%, could be considerable) than the more-bitter examples of this ale. But I find the result slightly off-putting, and end up wanting just a hint more bite.

Still, it is a decent fare, despite that criticism, and well-worth the effort to find and sip. Especially if you prefer, say, ice wines to red wines, this would be a good choice; indeed, it would make an excellent dessert beer.

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Photo of Mantooth
4.1/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter, straight from the cask.

Deep amber brew with a small creamy head that quickly fades; the lacing is thick and sticky. The nose is malty, hints of black cherries and some wood are present. The taste follows suit, and the beer is a bit boozy... but hell, it should be. The mouthfeel is oily, really nice. This is a very well concieved brew, grab some if you get a chance; on cask if you can find it.

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Photo of HopsForBrains
4.25/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of toutaboutstout
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

--2007 vintage--

Appearance: reminds me of apple cider, but more translucent. the head was minimal and disapated quickly into a small film. this suprisingly left an exceptional lacing.

Smell: if the head and the nose are any indication, this is going to get malty.

Taste: malt...earth...fruit. what a complex brew. finishes with a few hops just tempting you to take in some more of that sweet malty goodness.

Drinkablity: given the abv(10%), this isn't that bad. went through one pretty easy, and I wish I had another to keep the 1st one company.

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Photo of rwilde
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of whoneeds8
4.15/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a stemless wineglass. Pours out a ruby red with a finger thick white head that lasts a good amount of time. Very good lacing remaining the entire experience. Smells very woody. Initial taste is of oak with malty sweetness following.

Overall, this is a very good drinkable barleywine. I wish is were available here.

Thanks to CrazyMacHarris99 for the bottle.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
2.63/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I hate to join the haters but I didn't care for this one either appears caramel amber ruby hued with an off white cream head leaves ample lacing. Aroma has a deep pine cone scented hops touch of alcohol with some fruity highlights touch of caramel malts it tickles my nose hairs. Taste, I think thiis is where the tide turns flavor is discombobulated noncohesive throws me piney hops, tart fruit lighter malt body slight acidity just doesn't combine well alcohol is well hidden just stay away from big beers they proved that with the Peg Leg, to be fair I liked the Uber Pils, both DIPAs, and the Saison. Mouthfeel is medium bodied fuller carbonation lacks smooth texture. Drinkability, this just isn't the barleywine I'm looking for let's just move on and grab an Ol' Ho.

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Photo of martyyy1
4.05/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Deep amber color, very fine carbonation bubbles, moderate head with a very delicate lacing

S- Kind of fruity and nutty at the same time. nothing exceptional but very nice.

T- Nice crisp flavor with earthy, fruity notes. Hops are there but not overdone.

M- Not too thick but a bit heavy for a beer this sweet.

D- Okay, this is where this beer shines. I could sell this beer to someone who thinks michelob amber bock is a real beer. You take a drink and think "not great but pretty darn good." Then you drink a couple more and fall off the barstool. The 10% alcohol in this beer must have been encrypted by interpol.

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Photo of stereosforgeeks
3.55/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance - Clear dark copper color. Thin head with a little retnetion but good lacing.

Smell - Caramel malt, piney hops, wood chips, and maple syrup.

Taste - Rich caramel sweetness. Some nice piney hops. Alcohol lingers in the background.

Mouthfeel - Light and crisp considering style. Nice carbonation.

Drinkability - Great considering the alcohol content. Im impressed.

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Heavy Seas - Below Decks (Barley Wine Style Ale) from Heavy Seas Beer
Beer rating: 3.63 out of 5 with 521 ratings