Heavy Seas Bourbon Barrel Aged Below Decks | Heavy Seas Beer

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Heavy Seas Bourbon Barrel Aged Below DecksHeavy Seas Bourbon Barrel Aged Below Decks
Very Good
304 Ratings
Heavy Seas Bourbon Barrel Aged Below DecksHeavy Seas Bourbon Barrel Aged Below Decks

Brewed by:
Heavy Seas Beer
Maryland, United States

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by John_M on 05-18-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 304 |  Reviews: 109
Photo of brittanylicious
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Photo of jlindros
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Another one that got lost in the beer cellar, 2010 vintage. Hopefully it's just as good as the cab version I had last night, but hopefully more barrel.

Pours a tiny fizzy head that fades instantly, dark murky molasses brown color, long legs

Nose is similar to the cab version from 2012 I had last night, sweet aged soft malts, lots of aged malts, some caramel less that the other one, a bit of toffee, less fruits than the other one as well, a bit of bourbon, touch of barrel oak, sweet syrupy candy.

Taste brings big candy as expected, some caramel, less than the last one, little toasty biscuity, toffee, this time some dark fruits fig raisin date thing, a touch of bourbon sweet cream like flavor, and faint vanilla barrel, plenty of soft aged malt effect again as well, chewy nougat caramel candy, a bit of alcohol but barely. Finishes a bit sticky, syrupy, more caramel and candy bar lingering.

Mouth is med to heavier bod, a bit creamy chewy caramel nougat but less than the last one, light on the carbonation but OK for the age, very little alcohol

overall dangerously drinkable like the previous one, less oxidation, but less barrel unfortunately. Need to try it fresher next time.

 1,194 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.75/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle: Poured a clear light copper color ale with a small foamy head with limited retention. Aroma of grainy malt with some bourbon notes and vanilla is pleasant enough. Taste is a nice mix between some woody notes with vanilla and bourbon and some grainy and caramelized malt notes. Body is a bit thin with good carbonation and some warming alcohol notes. Quite pleasant barleywine and very little oxidation for a 2011 vintage tasted in 2016.

 444 characters

Photo of BYOFB
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Klourie
4.16/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 bottle poured into an Olde Hickory Omega Point Snifter. Pours a dark amber, slight head that disappeared quickly.
Nose is of vanilla, bourbon, and a good bit of oak. Has that true "English Barleywine" smell
Tastes very nice, lots of bourbon and slight alcohol burn, vanilla, and caramel
Med body and mouthfeel with med carb
Overall, this is a very enjoyable BBA English Barleywine. Drinks a little bigger than the 10% IMO but I'm not complaining.

 451 characters

Photo of ShadyRigglesbee
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Jadjunk
3.66/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

"This English style barleywine ale has been aged in American bourbon barrels. Enjoy now or cellar it "Below Decks" as it will become more complex as it ages." Brewed in the style of an English Barleywine ale. Released parallel to the Below Decks Barleywine standard ale in 2012, available in 22 oz. bottles and on limited draft.

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle to a snifter glass. Served above 56 degrees Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a frothed creamy head of an ecru tan color over a medium brown body with moderate sediment in tow, ample lively visible carbonation. Retention is below average and lacing is light and spotty. 3.25

(Smell) Faint caramel grain and bread, trace toffee character with a light impact of oak, trace vanilla and bourbon for a reserved sweetness. 3.5

(Taste) More bourbon impact up front in the flavor, lots of corn sweetness, drying toasted oak, hints of vanilla. Alongside the mellow Below Decks recipe, it is a dominating impact of flavor but a welcome one. 3.75

(Mouthfeel) Texture is slick, residual, lightly sticky, moderately dry. Carbonation is modest, generating a mild frothiness and a mildly crisp finish. Body is medium for the style, medium overall. Balance is slightly boozy and sweet over bitter. Alcohol presence is moderate and there are no off characters. 3.75

(Overall) The simplicity of Below Decks barleywine makes it a good enough candidate for Oak aging to create a significant impact of bourbon oak and bourbon flavor. It's not nearly the most complex of barrel aged beers from the barrel nor the base malt, but it's drinkable and generally enjoyable, and I favor this version over the standard Below Decks ale as it creates enough of a flavor profile to keep things interesting. 3.75

Heavy Seas Beer's
Below Decks Barleywine Aged in Bourbon Barrels

 1,814 characters

Photo of kwgduke
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of scotorum
4.23/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the 22 oz. bomber into an English nonick pint.

a: Clear very dark ruby with a finger thick offwhite head which receded to very thin surface foam and spotty lacing.

s: Mild dark fruit,

t: Mild dark fruit and bourbon up front. Dry to a bit sweet finish. High ABV is well covered.

m: Medium, good body, some carbonation tingle.

o: A very nice BBA barleywine, at least with two years on it, haven't had it fresh.

UPDATE 2/1/16: Found another bottle of this no longer brewed BBA barleywine, a 2012 on sale for an irresistable price. Now that BBA brews are so popular, surprised to get this. More to the point, this is one of my favorite style variants, This bottle was everything I could have hoped for, although the extra aging did not seem to smooth it out any more, the bourbon flavor was dominant over the substantial dark ripe fruit malt base. Raising my ratings for taste and overall to 4.5 from 4.25.

 926 characters

Photo of Stinger80OH
3.77/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

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

Photo of sunofneurot
3.81/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of MorganMessersmith
4.44/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Not too harsh for a barley wine

31 characters

Photo of misternebbie
4.19/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of aasher
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of a77cj7
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of harryhops
3.96/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of Stum-pub
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of SlothB77
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of RavenForBeer
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

Photo of BuckeyeSlim
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%


Nose of medium-toasted malts, brown sugar, and liquid caramel. Traces of light, raw wood occasionally emerge in the background. Hints of toffee and vanilla when it warms, and brown sugars take on more of a molasses. I like how the wood in the nose gets darker, too.

Lots of luscious caramels on a foundation of whiskey wood. Hints of vanilla in the finish. ABV is quite well hidden, but emerges soon enough warming the tummy. After it really warms in the glass, the malts take on a dark molasses flavor. There's also some dark, bitter fruit in the finish after it warms and opens. In fact, this is what becomes the lasting impression of the latter half of the bottle.

Overall, a solid bourbon barrel-aged barleywine that impresses by the quality of its even execution rather than any single memorable aspect. Not a go-to like Insanity is, but definitely worth consideration.

 891 characters

Photo of jzeilinger
3.89/5  rDev -2.5%

In review is a 2010 vintage.

A - When cold, pours an opaque burgundy brown color, as the beer warms in the chill haze subsides and leaves a nice, clear dark burgundy amber color, no carbonation, very little head retention, and very viscous when the glass is swirled.

S - Sweet toffee malt aroma, some bourbon, brown sugar, and dark fruit.

T - Very mellow and evenly blended: bourbon, toffee/caramel malt, dry oak, vanilla, raisins, and bourbon soaked plums. At 10%, there is alcohol effervescence, but no burn.

M - Medium body (on the heavier side of medium), slippery, sticky, and coats the mouth.

O - Held up pretty well for being four years old and enjoyably mellow.

 676 characters

Photo of DCgolfpro
3.25/5  rDev -18.5%

Photo of reyna311
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

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Heavy Seas Bourbon Barrel Aged Below Decks from Heavy Seas Beer
Beer rating: 3.99 out of 5 with 304 ratings