Heavy Seas Bourbon Barrel Aged Below Decks | Heavy Seas Beer

Heavy Seas Bourbon Barrel Aged Below DecksHeavy Seas Bourbon Barrel Aged Below Decks
301 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: 301 |  Reviews: 108
Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of 3Hops
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%

Photo of FalconA
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of Birdlegs
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of whallgren
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%

Photo of swh1972
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of twaddlac
2.56/5  rDev -36%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A- Very beautiful. Dark amber color with a nice creamy head. The carbonation in the beer is what I really like about the looks of this beer - I haven't seen this many before.

S- Very sweet and nutty with a hint of banana

T- It has a strong metallic note to it that lingers throughout. You can definitely taste the alcohol which is mildly unpleasant. A very nutty flavor with a strong hop bite at the finish.

M- Very nice (Borat voice). Finishes very dry and the carbonation isn't too bad. Medium bodied.

O- I didn't think that bourbon barrels would complement a barleywine well.. I was right. I would have much rather had the cabernet barrel for this brew.

To note: I don't know if it's just me, but the barrel aging process that Heavy Seas uses seems to not be the best... It's always overly sweet with a very nutty overtone and not much for a bourbon taste. I remember having their octoberfest (or one of their fall beers) and it was almost indistinguishable from this beer. Just something the take caution about.

 1,021 characters

Photo of claaark13
3.91/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 bottles served at cellar temp. Sent as an extra from Brad in a RB trade. Awesome.

A - Dark brown with a reddish hue. Thick off-white head turns to some nice lacing. The lacing retention is fantastic.

S - Sweet malts, slight oak, slight vanilla.

T - Much like the aroma. Sweet malts, dark fruits, then hints of vanilla and sweet oak push through. Very smooth throughout. There is a little bit of a drag in the flavor before the barrel picks up. The vanilla/caramel/oak almost shows a candy-like flavor from middle to end. The finish gives the slightest amount of heat and dryness, but is fairly smooth.

M - Medium, feels a little thicker and has some carbonation. Pretty nice.

O - Good flavors, not too hot, good finish, good beer. I'm really enjoying this one.

 770 characters

Photo of JakeDebus
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of Duff27
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of Bierguy5
3.8/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 vintage, 22 oz bottle, 10% abv. Mahogany in color, with ruby highlights. Thin white head disappears quickly, but leaves a collar around the sides of the glass, along with a few random spots of lace.

Bourbon and oak shine through first in the nose, but do not dominate. Candied fruit, toffee and caramel notes follow. A bit of vanilla and a spicy note round things out.

Toffee and candied fruits show up first. Nice amount of fruit up front. A bit of a dry note, then the wood and bourbon flavors round things out. Bourbon lingers in a nice way.

Medium body, soft carbonation. Warming alcohol present. Very nice that the barrel does not overwhelm this beer, but I feel like there is something missing in the middle. Still a good beer, for a very reasonable price.

 773 characters

Photo of pnkRed
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%

Photo of freduardo
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%

Photo of reeemer
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of jegross2
3.97/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewing the Bourbon Barrel Aged Below Decks from Heavy Seas Beer.
Score: 90

2011 vintage bottle served in a Surly Darkness snifter and enjoyed on 02/29/12.

Appearance: Pours a rich, dark mahogany color -- cognac-like, albeit in a darker tint, in appearance. Pours one finger of creamy cream colored head at pour that settles into a thin ring around the glass. Appearance falls between translucent and opaque. There is a dark brown center surrounded by thick globs of reddish brown highlights when held up to light. Minimal lacing, minimal retention. 3.5/5

Smell: First impression is caramel, vanilla and booze. More wafts reveal brown sugar, dark fruit, barley, plum and "birthday cake." There is also an aroma of sweet red grape that is not in the least tart or acidic. Also detecting what can only be describes as the smell of a "leather belt." 4/5

Taste: This brew is very bourbon barrel-forward on the palate, and the taste is pretty much dominated by three flavors: bourbon soaked raisins/fig, vanilla and sweet red grape that is neither tart nor acidic. There's also a distinct "whiskey-like malt" flavor and boozy caramel. Some brown sugar too. Huge bourbon soaked raisin backbone. This one is super malty, but it's not very "grainy" in flavor -- which is great. The 10% ABV definitely shines through and renders this one is a sipper, but it is far from the type of beer that burns on the way down or makes you cringe. To the contrary, it is quite the pleasant brew to sip and the kind of beer that should be enjoyed as it warms. 4/5

Mouthfeel: Medium-full bodied with low/minimal carbonation. There is just enough carbonation to make some of the alcohol flavor prickle the tongue and make the "whiskey malt" flavors shine through. This brew has a syrupy mouthfeel and seems to have a chloraseptic lozenge "rigid numbing effect" on the throat. Finsh is a little dry and sweet -- even a little sticky at points. 4/5

Overall: Like the Central Waters Bourbon Barrel Barleywine, this is a super solid barrel aged barleywine at a very reasonable cost. For under $10 a bottle, I would certainly seek this one out again.

Recommendation: The flavors of this beer might be a little aggressive for the casual beer drinker, but beer geeks and those who like whiskey/bourbon should give this one a whirl.

Pairings: Lamb.

Cost: $7.99

 2,338 characters

Photo of Jimmys
4.02/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

sampled on-tap at the RFD Strong Ale Tasting, 2/26/12. review from notes.

A: shiny chestnut brown body.
S: sugar in the raw. brown sugar. sweet plums. maybe a bit of fig. toffee notes.
T: lots of toffee. lots of soft fruit, pears and apples. a little different from the dark, sweet fruits i smelled in the nose. some bourbon. tons of residual sugar.
M: average carbonation on a full body.
D: pretty good english style barleywine here. however, personally i did not detect as much bourbon as i expected. lots of sweet malt almost overpowers any and all bourbon, oak, vanilla notes. unfortunately i do not remember the vintage the brewer brought to this tasting, but i am going to guess it has been out of the barrel for a little bit of time. otherwise, a very solid english barley.

 782 characters

Photo of russwbeck
3.83/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Clear, deep brown pour with a finger or so of white head. Minimal retention, the head does leave some lacing down the side of my Deschutes Snifter.

S: I'm getting mostly Barleywine on the aroma, but some hints of barrel treatment, such as vanilla and oak, are noted. Not a ton of bourbon to be honest.

T: The taste is a big shift from the aroma. This seems to be far more focused on the barrel. Slight notes of bourbon, but again mostly oak and vanilla, mix with plum and other dark fruits, molasses, and sugary caramel malts. Very, very sweet taste. Slight booziness noted as well, although it seems to be coming more from the barrel end of the spectrum instead of from the beer itself.

MF: Medium body, creamy on the palate. It's just too sweet, takes away from the drinkability.

O: This was tasty, but 22oz was too much. I would probably pass on it again, but we'll see how it does with age. Still, for $7.50 a bottle you can't really go wrong here.

 959 characters

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of argock
3.69/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz brown bomber into a clear glass snifter. 2011 vintage. Purchased at Market Street Wineshop (Charlottesville, VA) for $7.99.

A: Chestnut brown with thin cap of off-white tightly bubbled that dissipates quickly.

S: A wide range of succulent aromas arise from this brew including coconut, pineapple, bourbon, alcohol, caramel, and toffee.

T: The flavor is pretty one-dimensional of bourbon, coconut, and vanilla flavors. The maltiness is way too subdued to matter although therer are some musty, leathery notes in there.

M: Way too light for the style Carbonation is low and does not help the drinkability of this brew.

O: A simply good beer but for the price I can do a lot better many other ways.

 720 characters

Photo of thecheapies
3.92/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap in a little snifter.

Mahogany body with a wine red hue. Little foam topper looks meager.

Vanilla, caramel, bourbon, and butterscotch in the nose. Warm dates and chocolate, too. Sweet. Nice.

Big sweet caramelly punch, punctuated by vanilla and bourbon whiskey notes. Very sweet. Some grape skin bitterness with a hot breath of booze. Finishes strong, sweet, and with some hop bitterness. Oak woodiness, brown sugar, and a hint of apple. Tasty, huge, slightly messy, but still good stuff.

Needs a year or two in the cellar, but I like the direction that it's going. Cloyingly sweet and sticky. Decent fizz. Nice body.

I still recommend. I'd love to try the Cabernet version.

 685 characters

Photo of b3shine
3.42/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deuce to tulip. 2010 vintage. Looks good; deep amber with very thin lacing. Smell is almost nonexistent. Pretty underwhelming, actually. Tastes good; nothing too complex, but a nice journeyman's attempt at a BA barleywine. Mouthfeel is good; little carbonation. It's a tasty brew and a good value for the price.

 311 characters

Photo of heff316
3/5  rDev -25%

Photo of loupap
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of Kromes
3.92/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: A clear dark copper with a thin line of bubbles on top. Good legs.

S: A nice vanilla and oak aroma with a bit of caramel and butterscoth.

T: Taste follows the nose. Vanilla and oak up front with a bit of caramel and then the bourbon and alcohol flavor and warmth kick in.

M: Medium bodied for a Barleywine. Good carbonation....smooth.

O: The Barleywine does get overpowered a bit by the alcohol. But it is a nice mixture of both.

 436 characters

Heavy Seas Bourbon Barrel Aged Below Decks from Heavy Seas Beer
Beer rating: 4 out of 5 with 301 ratings
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