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

Heavy Seas - Below Decks (Barley Wine Style Ale)Heavy Seas - Below Decks (Barley Wine Style Ale)
Liked This Beer
3.64 w/ 519 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: English 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: 519 |  Reviews: 346
Photo of mpyle
3.71/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pretty amber color with sparkling clarity. Healthy sized off-white head. Creamy and long lasting, with good lacing.

Subdued aroma. A malty, slightly fruity (raisin) sweetness and some alcohol. No hop.

A metallic note competes with initial maltiness. Balancing bitterness controls the malt sweetness. A lingering alcohol sensation late with some associated bitterness, but also a lingering malty sweetness.

Fullish body and medium carbonation. A bit of alcohol warming, but well conrolled. Generally smooth and slightly creamy - not harsh.

A nicely balanced barleywind. Strong but not overpowering. Neither cloyingly sweet nor a hop bomb - eminently drinkable.

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Photo of SkinnyElvis
3.76/5  rDev +3.3%
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 Backer2004
3.48/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this as part of a blind tasting. At least I figured it out was a Barley Wine. Reddish hues with a thin wisp of lacing. Constant carbonation, but nothing out of the ordinary appearance-wise. Smells of currants, a bit hoppy fragrance as well. Medium body and not as hot, considering the alcohol content. Not one of my favorites for the style, but average.

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Photo of JohnnyM2002
3.2/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sampled from a 12 oz bottle, poured into a red wine glass at 50 degrees.

A - Poured a clear rust-copper color with aggressive carbonation. Medium off-white head was pretty light on the lacing.

S - Alcohol and piney hops up front, with a blend of pepper, caramel, and grapes.

T - While not overpowering, the alcohol is strong enough to dominate the other flavors. I really don't know my grapes so I can't go into detail, but together with sweet and biscuity malt, the flavors just can't quite overthrow the warming alcohol. Not bad taste by any means - very run-of-the-mill for a high ABV brew.

M - Medium body with a bubbly, warming aftertaste.

D - Nice flavors, and I'm glad I tried it. Saying that, I probably won't try another, but it's a good call in my book.

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Photo of Jwaks
3.05/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Serving 12oz bottle

A beer with great looks sporting a deep shade of copper, new translucent body and several pillars of fine carbonation. A thin, sticky third of a finger's worth of off-white head sits just below medium lacing clinging to the side of the glass.

A noteworthy but muted nose of bitter orange zest, piney hops and rich malts suggests hints of grapefruit juice, brown sugar and allspice.

Initial lip licking sweetness deceives leading to bitter, hoppy orange zest flavor, reticent malts and earthy spices. All the activity beings to trail off on the mid palate evolving into smooth buttery phenols, peppery, warming alchol, bitter, ripe citrus flavors and pleasant grassy dryness. The medium finish is a bit piney, astringent, and bitter with the dried up fruits and hops dominating.

Mouthfeel is a bit thick upon entry and gives way to a bit thin and creamy finish. Drinkability for this brew is a touch above average.

A great example of an english barely wine, good going Clipper City!


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Photo of jjayjaye
3/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Being a sailor, i soooo want to love this one...but it may be a bit young. I was really disappointed with my first one.

Pours a mild amber color with a thin light tan head that is kept alive by notable effervescence. Subtle nose; more of of a floral fragrance than anticipated. A lighter than average mouth feel complemented by a malt-hop balance. Nice lacing after time. The 10% alcohol is well hidden.

I'm going sip on this one a while and put the other 2 away to have later this summer with some BBQ.

Not my favorite Barleywine....yet.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.43/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- Pours a deep stained oak amber with some light bubbling when I tapped my Belle-Vue snifter. Very light and thin foamy ring around the edge of my beer.

Aroma- Pretty muted in every sense. Even after it warmed up. Definetly some fruity mlats, but the alcohol takes to much of the foreground. Doesn't incorporate into the smell very well.

Taste- Starts with some plums and caramalized apricots. Then quickly goes to warm, and then almost synging alcoholic punch.

Mouthfeel- Had the warmth, just lacked the depth of flavor to make my palate say ahhh.

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Photo of PBRstreetgang
3.62/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear red-amber with a two finger head of dense, pale-biege soap bubbles. Decent retention and weak spotty lacing. Lots of crystal malt and Fuggles in the nose, along with slight apple-ester and buiscuity malt aromas. Toasted malts and caramel flavors upfront, followed by malto dextrin taste and and nice blend of soft citrusy american hops (Amarillo?)and herbal fuggle hop flavor. Aftertaste is a little slick with the dextrins lingering and showing signs of cidery booze, then slowly dries out with english hop biterness. This demonstrates the balanaced profile of an English-style Barley Wine fairly well. The carbonation is light but seems appropriate given the full-body and rich dextrinous texture. Finishes borderline cloying and certainly residual, lots of toasty caramel and apparent estery alcohol. The english hops really hold on and slowly put the flavor back in check to secure a respectable drinkability. Flawed by the one-dimensiaonal malt and ester, but this is a welcome change from Clipper City's underwhelming "Heavy Seas" line-up.

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Photo of AndoBrew
2.95/5  rDev -19%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

*i did not like it and will not have it ever again*

app: ugly barley wine. small lil eggshells head. tan not rich amber.

smell: it stinks. fake malt flavor smell, lil bad hop spice. some soy..

taste: its gross. an ok beer.. a bad BW. it is more on the dipa side with brown ale malts .. its off and bad and not great at all. I wish it were more rich more pure, less cheap tasting.

mf: fine i guess, lil more life and a okay.

drinkable?: it sure is, even though its not that good.

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Photo of oelergud
4.5/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2006 Release at 10% abv per the neck label.
Clear translucent golden brown body topped by a big pillowy and creamy off-white head. Low carbonation. Good retention and lace especially for a barleywine.
Some sweet lightly spiced malts carrying prune and raisens along. This brew has not warmed enough yet so I'm looking forward to the full barrage of scents once that happens. Marzipan and cookie dough shows up upon warmth.
Very well balanced. Seems hops are dominant one moment and then the malts appear to take over. Raisens, strong brown sugar, spice, resin hops with a kick of spiked pine and just enough citrus to be noticed. Even the aftertaste is balanced with the jumbled confusion of whats more powerful lasting until the end maybe with the hops finishing slightly higher.
The abv was kept well in check and was mostly noticed by it's effect rather than by it's flavor.
Full body and only a little coating yet leaving a feeling of slick sensation.
Highly drinkable save for the high abv.


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Photo of Dewey0603
3.8/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear ruby red with a large tan foamy head. The head is OK,not much lacing, but the color is lighter than other b/w's. The smell is very "bisquity" with dark fruit and alcohol aromas. Nice smell ,not too strong,but very pronounced. The taste is like the smell, alot of bready yeast, some dark fruit, and alcohol. it's not bad,but the m/f is thinner and not as bold compared to most b/w's. A good tasting beer,but not up to b/w styles. It's too thin and weak,although this does a good job of hiding the alcohol. I like it, I just think it could be more.

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Photo of mentor
3.37/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

English style barleywine! Don't find too many of these around...thanks to GCBrewingCo for sharing.

Pours half finger of soda pop-like head. Tan over a sharp and clear orange rust liquid. Tiny particulates suspended within. Smells oranges and caramel. Sweet.

Tastes sweet with a tangy orange. Fruity esters of apricot tempered by a mild pepper on the tongue. Sweet shows a brief appearance and then the beer finishes quite dry. A bit of light woody. Alcohol is present, but nearly slips by, as it is quite clean of fusels. Mouthfeel is thick, holding the sweet on the tongue a bit longer than usual, which is a good thing in this case. Carbonation is much too strong for the style and way to soda-pop like.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.78/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into an oversized snifter. Apperance is typical barleywine; dark brown, almost purple. Off white head of minimal size. Some lacing is left down the side of the glass. A nice ring of foam remains around the top of the beer.

Aroma is a bit lacking. Not really much to speak of. Earthy hops and a big bit of caramel malts. A sweetness is also present in the aroma.

Flavor is okay. I prefer the american barleywines, but for an english, I suppose this is pretty much right on style. Malty, soil and dirt flavors, minimal hops if any. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied. Nice carbonation gives this beer a nice mouthfeel. Alcohol is certainly noticeable and makes this a one bottle type beer. A nice english BW, but I prefer the american version.

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Photo of BeerNinja007
2.33/5  rDev -36%
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 BlindPig
3.73/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- 1/4" light tan/ off white head on a clear deep mahogany body.
S- Some hints of fruit. Cherries and plums. Caramel malts with lighter grass hops.
T- Big cherry flavor. Almost like a candy cherry with big caramel malts. Theres a pretty hop bitterness just can't really taste the hops. Alcohol warms up the throat in a harsh way. The aftertaste is made up of an alcohol warmth with a medium bitterness and cherry. Also there's a hint of caramel in there also.
M- Medium to full body with low carbonation.
D- It is pretty good. It is a decent barley wine but nothing to go crazy about.

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Photo of wcudwight
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark copper color with a thin head that doesn't retain very well. Spotty thin, watery lace.
Smell: Some caramel malt and a mixed bag of wood chips.
The flavor is amazingly complex and balanced given the appearance and smell. Rich malty caramel sweetness. Maple syrup, some piney hops. The flavor is faint, but they are there. The alcohol mixes in nicely during the finish. It just kind of lingers in the back ground watching the show.
Mouthfeel is light given the style and rich malt flavors. But, I think it adds to the beer.
This is a very drinkable barleywine due to the light mouthfeel and balance. The light body does not mean it is light on flavor though.
Overall a good beer that I recommend.

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Photo of peabody
3.43/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours out like a dark Ice Tea with two fingers of off'white suds. Nice lacing here.
An odor of cherry/raspberry adds to the yeast/hop smell. Hints of caramel and sweet malt.
Very sweet at first then the hop bitterness comes to the front.
Damn good brew for an 11%er.
I could drink a few of these at a time but I would have to be 'cared' for.

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Photo of rodrot
3.48/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a pretty reddish/amber color with a large 2 inch head that took a while to subside. I didn't expect such a lively head for a beer of this strength. Aroma was fruity and malty with some hints of grape and prunes in the nose. Taste was quite fruity and malty sweet, reminding me of maple syrup and ripe fruit. Some alcoholic warmth was noted as the beer warmed to room temperature. Mouthfeel was kind of light for such as strong beer. Overall, not much going on here except for a lot of sweet flavors and alcohol. Perhaps a little bit of cellaring is in order? Not a bad attempt at a barleywine, but a little boring in my opinion.

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Photo of rajendra82
3.25/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

English style Barleywines in general have been more of a hit and miss proposition for me than their American style counterparts, nonetheless when a new one shows up on the store shelves, I am pretty much set on trying it; and such was the case when I noticed, and immediately brought home, a 4-pack of Below Decks from clipper city. I chose a Duvel tulip for the primal tasting, and the beer came of amber brown in color, and clear. The head was small at first and disintegrated to a ring of bubbles shortly thereafter. The looks were typical for the style, but that is rarely the point of a Barleywine anyway. The smell was loaded with a plethora of fruits which were hard to characterize into individual types. There was also a salty air about this beer, which was appropriate considering the maritime theme on the label. The taste was punchy and not well melded. There was an odd clash sweet and sharp flavors in each sip with alcohol trying to play a spicy (but unsuccessful) mediator. Thick bodied, but not soft, this seemed to lack a lot of polished qualities at the time of release. I think a couple of years in the cellars will smooth out the rough edges, and bring the favorable qualities more to the forefront. At this time though, this was a little too harsh and aggravating. Pick up if you have some storage space for it to mature.

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Photo of Brent
4.3/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This isn't the most complex barleywine you'll find, but it struck me as being very well rounded, with nice depth of malt and fruit flavors, not overly sweet and potent without being overpowering. Flavorful and drinkable seem a rare combination in this category. Predominant caramel malt and raw cane sugar, with raisin and prune. Alcohol lent some black pepper notes at the end. One of the few barlewines I've wanted more than one of in a sitting, although this might be ill-advised.

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Photo of IntriqKen
3.93/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thankyou Aprillovesbeer for this opportunity.
Pours a deep chestnut brown you can't see through with a small tan head that disappears very quickly to nothing.
Aromas are faint for a barleywine...still, sweet amber slightly toasted malts and brown sugar.
Mouthfeel is slightly thin but tingly from the tons of carbonation. (so much carbonation, what happened to the head? A mystery)
Taste is English subdued barleywine...nice....toasted dark malts, brown sugar, then a slightly west coast entrance of citrus peel hops that dries the palette nicely.
Aftertaste is mostly the citrus hops...dry and not cloying at all...a fault with many American Barleywines...but not with this one.
Nice...intoxicating, but nice.

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Photo of SixpointJMH
3.26/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2006 Version:

Pours a very nice looking deep ruby colour with a surprisingly decent sized head that hangs out for a bit before dissolves down to a thin lace.

Smell is faint: Berries mixed with some caramel malt and perhaps a hint of citrus from the hops.

The flavour is berries mixed with alcohol and some more earthy rather than caramel malt, although the sweetness from the caramel makes itself known toward the finish of each sip. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and could be a bit more slick overall.

This one wasn't bad, but wasn't overly impressive. Sort of a middle of the road barleywine. No real flaws (save for a very mild aroma) but no attributes really stick out either.

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Photo of malcontent
3.85/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear, brilliant amber with just a little head and a solid ring of lacing.

Mild malt-scent is backed-up by a strong raison aroma to provide an alluring presentation.

Hoppy for what I'm used to from a barleywine. Good spiciness with shockingly mellow alcohol. Still, it warms nicely.

There is an astringency in the finish that I didn't enjoy and put a damper on the drinking a bit. Still, the alcohol is as subdued as I've encountered from a barleywine making this one of the most drinkable I can imagine.

Thanks to kmpitz2 for the taste.

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Photo of Foxman
3.78/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It pours a rather clear orange amber. Perhaps a finger of light tan head de-fizzes soon to tufts of froth. Points of lacing dot the inside of the glass.

The aroma carries a notably sweet maltiness, lifting thin strains of caramel, fig, raisins, and cherry. The merest petal of floral hops bows to a gust of vapory alcohol.

Upon sipping, a cloying malt sweetness speaks of cherry, berry, and caramel. An understated film of gently spicy floral hops brings a muted bitterness against a central column of alcohol. Residual malt sweetness of cherry and apple is promptly dried by a crisp, lingering bitterness. It's sizable, but also soft and pleasant.

Full bodied, the malt is chewy sweet on the palate, and the crisp dryness is a nice closing touch.

It's sweet with a touch of savory. The aroma is a bit thin dimensionally, but once it hits the lips, all is well. It's decently drinkable, almost in spite of an ABV that's meaty and does its best to put a damper on things. Below deck, above deck, whatever deck, this one is worth a try by the side of the fire.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.79/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2006 Release

Appearance: Pours a reddish-brown body with a thin, bone white head.

Smell: Unappealing, ultra thin aroma of caramelized sugar and little more.

Taste: A thin, sweet flavor leaves the taste a bit wanting, though there are some unmistakable banana esters in the mix and a downright peppery finish. The 10% ABV can be a bit glaring at times. Clearly, this is a rather off-beat barleywine.

Mouthfeel: A dreary, medium-thin body that lacks any of the substance regularly found in other barleywines.

Drinkability: By no means an exceptional beer, or even one that is complex or distinguishing. Just a vague sweetness and some alcohol.

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Heavy Seas - Below Decks (Barley Wine Style Ale) from Heavy Seas Beer
Beer rating: 49.1% out of 100 with 519 ratings
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