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:
No notes at this time.

Added by Higravity on 09-09-2005

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 521 |  Reviews: 346
Photo of spoonhawk
1/5  rDev -72.5%

Photo of TheDarkestYouveGot
1.75/5  rDev -51.8%

Photo of RuntoBarleywine
1.93/5  rDev -46.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5


At first pour you catch the aroma, not pleasant if you are new to barleywine, but overall not a potent scent. The very first sip is not a pleasant one but it is very flavorful, not my favorite flavor. Yet if you are willing to get used to a powerful flavor this is a decent beer. I did save one from my six pack to see how it ages.

This is my first taste of a barleywine and I do not mind drinking a powerful beer. I am going to work my way through every barleywine I can get my hands on and improve my ratings and reviews to a point were if you need any suggestions on barleywine I will be the guy to ask. I will update this as soon as I get another barleywine to compare against.

First review of a beer ever, let me know how I did and how I can improve.

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Photo of Damian74
2/5  rDev -44.9%

Photo of Phyl21ca
2/5  rDev -44.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

(2005 vintage) Bottle courtesy of Sammy: Poured a light amber color ale with small foamy head with minimal retention and lacing. Aroma of dry malt is quiet weak compared to what I was expecting. Taste is strong on cardboard which is probably due to oxidation (makes me wonder about that label mentioning that this will aged with the best of them). I couldn’t notice any hops and malt was slightly watery with no sweetness at all. Definitely not something I would go back for in the future.

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Photo of jfcaa193
2/5  rDev -44.9%

Photo of gordavidson
2.09/5  rDev -42.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A- A hazy, orange/red beer with a very thin white head. Not too bad looking.

S- Just a hint of sweet caramel malt and alcohol. Nothing else. Very boring and bland.

T- Sweet caramel malt, a little bitter, and an alcohol burn. For some reason, I don't see this blending and mellowing with age.

M- Kind of thin and harsh. A little metallic twinge in there as well.

D- This is just kind of a beast with some alcohol burn. There is a surprising lack of hop presence. I will not be getting this again.

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Photo of santoslhalper
2.18/5  rDev -39.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearence: Pours a very dark, dull looking copper with no head at all. It looks dead.

Smell: Feet. I smell feet and some fungus. Dirty Laundry. Diapers. Litter. Ok it's not that bad, there are some nice malt and hop aromas, but something in there smells funky.

Taste and Mouthfeel: It's mostly fruity with some floral hops. There is no malt profile at all. It's completely lacking the big, sticky, sweet, chewy wonderfulness that a barleywine is mean to have. This one's weak. Real weak.

Drinkability and Overall: I love barleywines. I love Clipper City (mostly). This one just didn't work out. Next...

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Photo of ski271
2.18/5  rDev -39.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

When Pearl Jam's "Vitalogy" came out, I bought it without hearing anything about the album. I just bought it because of the quality of the previous two albums. After listening to it, I thought it was basically a piece of crap. Well this beer was a similar experience. I bought a case, knowing that I have loved other Clipper City Heavy Seas offerings. Boy that was a mistake. Now I'm stuck with a barleywine that left me VERY disappointed. Flat looking, bland smelling, dusty-cardboard tasting.... this is a sub-par beer. I guess cellaring it like the label suggests might help, but I doubt it would help much. My advice is to avoid this beer... not worth the price.

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Photo of alkemy
2.24/5  rDev -38.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Pours a deep mahogany with minimal off-white head, yet leaves behind generous amounts of lacing. As far as taste and aroma, I can only compare this to soy sauce. Smelled of salty burnt toffee. Taste was overtly salty. I really don't have much good to say about this one. Not at all barleywine-esque. I don't want to degrade the brewery as I've had many other good beers from Clipper City, but this one just didn't do it for me.

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Photo of BeerNinja007
2.33/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

12 oz bottle poured into my beer mug.

Had to pour heavily to get a head started, but once it got going it really billowed up. Small thick bubbles dissipated into large bubbles making a tall porous head. Dark red/ mahogany in color, attractive.

Yeasty/ doughy aroma with vanilla and light fruits apparent, some cherry-like esters, also some caramel sweetness and a hint of cinnamon underneath. Taste is cinnamony up front with cherry esters and fades to bitter unpleaseant inkyness in the finish. Not too enjoyable in my opinion.

Alcohol is very noticable in the finish, leaves a significant burning sensation in my mouth. Carbonation is appropriate.

I won't be getting this one again.

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Photo of DrJay
2.38/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

This amber/orange beer poured pretty clear with a light beige foam that quickly fell to a ring and left behind a bit of fine lace. Pleasant enough aroma, oranges and caramel with a hint of vanilla. But it also had a bit of mustiness and vegetal character to it. The flavour was thin, especially for a barleywine. It was sticky sweet, fruity (think tangerine or orange character from hops), with a little alcohol warmth. Thick, low attenuation with carbonation on the low side made for a texture that was a bit of a mess. It wasn't offensive at all, but just not what I consider a good, or even passable, English barleywine. The flavour that was present fell away by the finish and it had little in the way of complexity.

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Photo of ChadQuest
2.47/5  rDev -32%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

2008 bottle. Post training ride reward.

pour is a translucent dark amber color, head is dense before fading into large bubbles around the edges, looks healthy.
Aroma is faded a lot by now, there is some light malts, and a soft fig newton nose.
Flavors are a little past prime, or maybe in a "dumb" phase as the call it. There is an odd tart cherry note up front that has a quick cut, some alcohol, fruitcake flavors are thrown around, and light toffee flavors to round out the sweet side of the map.
Mouthfeel is thin to medium for the style.

I remember liking the 2009 & 2010 bottles a bit more.

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Photo of kms910
2.5/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Read instruction carefully or you may be disappointed:

Created to celebrate Clipper City’s 10th Anniversary – extremely limited and “vintage” dated – this extravagantly malty barley wine will show well upon release but continue to evolve for years.

A - Rust to amber body with an off white lace

S - Apricots and cherries (dried)

T - Some malts at the beginning with a fruit middle and a big alcohol finish

M - Oily and thick

D - Worth a try but I wouldn't recommend it for a Barleywine. May have been too early to drink.

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Photo of chrispoint
2.5/5  rDev -31.1%

Photo of Blitzstyle
2.5/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

2008 batch cellared for a year. Poured into a pint glass. Very small amount of head with no laceing. Pours a copper orange with a little hazyness.

Smells of sweetness of caramell and alcohol. A bit of rasin hidden in there as well.

Taste of sweet rasin's and alcohol. Very sugary can pick up molasses and darker fruits. Not a huge fan of this one, especially after haveing the Stone Gaurdian before hand.

Thick almost syrupy on the mouth kinda gives you heart burn.

Not very drinkable would not recomend this style by heavy sea.

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Photo of IrishRedRock
2.51/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Translucent copper with very little head, indistinguishable from Yuengling Lager. And surprisingly, the aforementioned Lager has more aroma. Not that this has an unpleasant nose, it just doesn't really have one. Sweet malt and caramel, but I really have to swirl and stick my entire face in the glass to get anything.

Very thin on the palate and in the flavor profile. Nothing bad to speak of (aside from the plastic aftertaste) but absolutely nothing stands out. Some woody characteristics and brown sugary malt, and then booze. And then plastic. Carbonation is low is barely stings the tip of the tongue. Hops? Complexity? Nay! This is more ADV (alcohol delivery vehicle) than delicious barleywine.

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Photo of hchinaski
2.55/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Had this on tap at the Legend Brewpub yesterday, 2005 release.

I was not impressed with this at all. The mouth was heavy, there was a bad aftertaste that i just couldn't put my finger on that made me want to not finish the beer. That's saying something for me.

I made myself sit and finish in hopes that it would open from warming and time, but the taste did not change.

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Photo of Tropicalslip
2.56/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Right of the bat I thought this Barley wine appeared a little thin, a little light. To my nose the heavy barley and fruit nose weren't as pronounced and at ten percent I expected my nose to sense the the alcohol beneath it. As far as taste goes, its not that I didn't like the flavor it just wasn't what I hope for in a Barley Wine. I want my pallet to be full, it doesn't need to be excessive, but the flavor should be strong and bold. I found this barley wine balanced and quaffable, for a BW I want bold and reprehensible in strenth and stature. I taste the fruit, but I want it to hit me in the face, and I want to almost have to chew the barley taste. Not as heavy in the mouth as I would like. I will drink it but there are others, if available by belly would put first.

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Photo of aforbes10
2.56/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

red to crimson with some floaties in there and a soft pillowy head. Sticky hop odor, some cherries, prominent alcohol smell. Taste is a fruity ethanol flavor, harsh in its attack. Some maltiness, but mostly just a cherry and ethanol punch that's not all that enjoyable. sticky and thick and not all that great. definitely my least favorite of an otherwise darn good series of beers.

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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 n811
2.64/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a goblet glass revealing a one-finger head of coarse bubbles that quickly settled into zero.

Aroma was lightly malty, but was one of those strange moments where once I smelt the beer I knew I wasn't going to like it very much.

Taste confirmed my hunch. The initial taste took me aback due to the astringency. The shock of the first sip wore off and the rest of the beer was more tasty, revealing deep malt flavors, but for me the alcohol was too prominent to make this beer enjoyable.

To be fair, barleywine is not my favorite style, but I've been trying all the Clipper City offerings after having the Loose Cannon, which is by far the best of the line. I've been a bit disappointed with the others, and this is no exception.

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Photo of NCSUdo
2.65/5  rDev -27%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle

A: Clear brown under a small white head, good rentention, minimal lacing.

S: A toasted malt, some slight allspice notes, some sweeter malt undertones, pretty balanced but not much of a head turner.

T: Bitterness that is unexpected and that is probably a little inappropriate for an English Barley Wine. 10% is not hidden that well and is a little solventy on the tongue. Malt makes a short sweet appearance up front and can be found roasted every so slighty in the finish but it is all down hill after that.

M/D: Carbonation is tad high, body is full but could use some bolstering. Drinkability is lower than expected after first look and smell. The taste is just so off.

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