Heavy Seas Bourbon Barrel Aged Below Decks | Heavy Seas Beer

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88
very good
301 Ratings
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Heavy Seas Bourbon Barrel Aged Below DecksHeavy Seas Bourbon Barrel Aged Below Decks
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Heavy Seas Beer
Maryland, United States
hsbeer.com

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.

BEER STATS
Ratings:
301
Reviews:
108
Avg:
3.94
pDev:
8.88%
 
 
Wants:
35
Gots:
54
For Trade:
4
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 301 |  Reviews: 108
Photo of bespin15
5/5  rDev +26.9%

Photo of THECPJ
5/5  rDev +26.9%

Photo of Burt
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of Gatordaddy
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of bmur112
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of Exiled
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of AgentMunky
3.7/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a St. Bernardus goblet. 2010 vintage.

A: Light off-white forms bubbles before migrating to the sides of the glass. The beer is a murky, reddish sienna. Not particularly translucent. Good lacing!

S: Strong smelling. Boozy fruits, bready chocolates, and a bit of funk that might come from yeast. It smells a bit like a chocolate chip oatmeal cookie. Bourbon isn't particularly present, but alcohol is.

T: Meh, it's alright. The flavours are muted...perhaps because the beer was inexpertly stored before purchase? The maintaste is as murky as the appearance, betraying only a hint of chocolate and a gentle alcohol. A touch of red grape. The end/aftertaste is strongly reminiscent of whisky, not bourbon but some of the older single malts I've encountered -- it's old leather, pleasantly musty and enduring.

M: Sturdy. Musty and musky.

O: Not as good as I expected, but still worth the money I paid for it. I generally enjoy all of Heavy Seas' Mutiny Fleet productions, but this is a qualified exception. I guess it didn't age well. I will withhold any recommendation, positive or negative. I won't buy another it, even if I ever see one.

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Photo of jamescain
3.87/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a sniffer, thanks pwsoldier for sharing this one.

Appearance: Murky dark riddish-brown with a thin head that fades into a thin lacing and clings a bit to the side.

Aroma: Bourbon, vanilla, oak, caramel, toffee, and slightly bready, mixed with dark fruits.

Taste: Dark fruits with a tough of bourbon and alcohol, pleasing but not overwhelming alcohol contribution.

Mouthfeel: Syrupy but not too chewy, with a noticeable alcoholic finish.

Overall: It was enjoyable and I look forward to comparing it to the red wine version that I have.

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Photo of billab914
4.07/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It poured a murky, caramel brown color with a thin white head clinging to the edges of the glass. I got a bit of lacing on the glass as I drank it.

The aroma shows a good amount of bourbon to it. I immediately get the boozy, woody, oak barrel character to it. A sweeter, malty, caramel, dark fruit presence comes out as well and mixes very well with the bourbon character. The bourbon was fantastic in it, very flavorful and smooth. The beer was good but didn't bring as much to the table as it could have.

The taste also has a strong bourbon presence to it throughout the flavor. I get more of the sweeter, malty and vanilla flavors to it up front while more of the alcohol and wood character show in the finish. The maltiness really comes through with some sweeter, caramel notes that really compliment the bourbon nicely.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with carbonation is low. Overall it was a delicious beer, the bourbon and the sweet, maltiness of the barleywine were integrated and balanced almost to perfection. The bourbon especially really stood out to me. The barleywine flavors were very good, but seemed a little overshadowed by the bourbon at times. Excellent beer overall though and an extremely enjoyable one to sip on this evening.

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Photo of russpowell
3.62/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up a Peabody's in Boone NC, sadly the last of my NC mini-haul

Pours chestnut with a finger of tan head. Average head retention & above average lacing

S: Pears & Bourbon, fades a bit as this warms

T: Rich bourbon notes, cakyness & a touch boozey warmth up front. Jammy notes (apricot & pear ) wrap with vanilla, oakyness, a touch of leafy hops & dryness as this warms. Finishes with fruitty notes, nice Bourbon flavor, oaky dryness & a touch of butterscotch

MF: Slightly over carbonated & a touch thin, warming & smooth once nearer room temp

Loved the flavor on this, but other areas fell flat. For the money I'll take Schlafly's Barrel aged BW at a fraction of the price any day. Still, I was thrilled to try it...

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Photo of oberon
3.63/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an imperial nonic a deep rich amber with a thinner but well formed off white head atop.Aromas of deep vaniila,and caramel eally stand out,the vanilla tinged oak is a bit heavy handed in my opinion.Somewhat boozy and very oaky on the palate,vanilla and caramel flavors add more sweetness,it is very smooth going down though.Another barrel aged beer that gets a little to much of the "aged" flavors,its not bad but it could be better with less aged flavors.

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Photo of Florida9
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to neorunner for this one:

2010 Vintage

A: Deep mahogany brown in color, yet still fully translucent. Forms a thin, light tan head. Little retention though causes it to reduce to just a thin ring around the edges. Some spotty lacing. 4.0

S: Vanilla and oak. Caramel malts. Aroma was quite pronounced at first, but it seems to have burned off as it warms. 3.5-4.0

T: Lightly sweet caramel malt. Vanilla and oak. A bit earthy with a stewed tea quality. There is a slight bit of alcoholic heat on the end. Finishes rather quick, with even more oak and vanilla. 3.5-4.0

M: Medium in body, but feels thinnish. Lower carbonation level. Oddly clean for a barrel aged beer. Just a little bit of heat on the finish. 3.5

O: A good BA Barleywine. Vanilla and oak are quite pronounced, possibly more so than unsual because the underlying beer seems a little thin. I imagine this one has some age on it as seems to be quite mellow. 3.5-4.0

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Photo of maximum12
3.79/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to bb189 for yet another generous trade, made even more so by this fine-looking extra. I hope he enjoyed the avalanche of Furious I buried him in! Split into our two CC goblets & allowed to warm while doing nothing at all. Watching Rock Star, actually, my wife has a crush on that Marky Mark fella.

I would say that technically, this is a very dark brown. The only way to describe the smell is wow, which I uttered out loud. Wow. Bourbon, vanilla, sultry malts with barely anything on.

Heavy Seas Bourbon Barrel Aged Below Decks simply can't live up to the smell, & doesn't. Nice bourbon bang with a penetrating needle of vanilla that sticks around forever; the vanilla seems to permeate everything it touches. There's probably a base beer underneath the rubble somewhere, but it's hard to tease out; there's a hint of sweet malt, maybe flakes of dark fruit, but not much else going on. Beginnings of oxidation are creeping into this brew, too. Very heavy beer, both in the mouth & the stomach; splitting a bomber is more than enough.

Very good beer, & I rarely say this, but perhaps too heavy on the bourbon. I really enjoyed the base beer, & would have liked to see more of it shining through the veil of the barrel. But alas, it wasn't to be. Still very enjoyable!

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Photo of gamwich
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Rust colored, with a dun-colored head. As the head disappears it leaves sheets of lacing. The nose has strong bourbon notes, vanilla, alcohol, and oak. The flavor is good, with lots of bourbon and vanilla backed up by sweet caramel and molasses/brown sugar notes. Also there is a good bit of heat, but hey, it's 10%. There is just enough carbonation, although I feel like the beer could have a touch more body.

Overall, for $7.99 a 22oz this is a pretty tasty bourbon barrel aged barleywine.

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Photo of emmasdad
4.12/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I can't for the life of me remember where this one came from, in fact I initially thought it was a different vintage of Greater Pumpkin. That said, I loved this beer. Poured a dark amber/brown color, with a little light brown head. Aromas of bourbon, oak, vanilla and brown sugar. On the palate, this one was medium to full bodied, with bourbon, brown sugar, oak and booze. Very good.

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Photo of stakem
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a bomber that I believe I found in a shop near the finger lakes in New York last year. Opened this with a couple friends for a side by side tasting with the cabernet version.

Poured into a snifter, this brew appears a hazed amber color with some orange coloration and yellowish stain around the edges. Some particulate is stuck in suspension of this brew. A creamy tan head holds fairly well leaving spotty lacework clinging to the glass.

The aroma of this brew is sweet, soothing vanilla, light oak and a little nuttiness mixed with some minor oxidation quality. The bourbon is very mellow on this brew with a smoothness that is quite enjoyable. The alcohol becomes more evident as it warms with a tingly and fusel aspect to the brew. The nose of this brew is quite enjoyable however the base brew is pretty much dominated by the barrel aging contribution.

The taste is a strong bourbon infused kick of alcohol. The malt inclusion is toasty and a bit nutty like the aroma led on. Some herbal hops are noted mixed with the barrel contributions of oak and vanilla smoothness/sweetness. The finih includes a light oxidized touch that places more emphasis on a dry almost nutty taste yet remains enjoyable.

This is a medium bodied brew with a medium level of carbonation. It is sweet and easy drinking for the most part. The oxidation quality gives it some depth. Overall it's not a bad offering, the 10% abv is hidden quite well. At less than $8 a bomber this is worth having again.

 1,489 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark caramel brown in the center that fades to muddy pumpkin along the margins. The wheat toast colored crown barely reached two fingers, but has settled in to become densely creamy. It's also beginning to deposit thick curtains of finely stippled lace.

Bourbon barrel-aging should have helped the standard Below Decks nose more than this. The spirit, while easily appreciated, does not take over like it does in some ale of this ilk. That could be either a positive or a negative, depending on your point of view. Still holding out hope for an improved taste bud experience.

Bourbon barrel-aging has helped the standard Below Decks where it matters most. The original beer, with its pale-to-midrange malts, seems to be a pretty good blank slate on which to add the somewhat bold chalk strokes of bourbon whiskey.

Double-digit ABV beer at less than one year of age isn't often mellow. HSBBABD is sorta kinda mellow... in a big beer sorta kinda way. The malts, which are sugar cookie drizzled with caramel-like, provide a background sweetness that's easily kept in check by modest hop bitterness. Vanilla bean and lightly charred oak round out the flavor impressions.

The mouthfeel does just enough to earn the good score. It isn't the biggest beast on the barleywine block, but it has a softly silky smooth quality that is lightly peppered by just the right amount of carbonation.

In my humble opinion, the Mutiny Series ales from Clipper City has more misses than hits. The latter includes The Great Pumpkin, Hang Ten, Letter of Marque 2010... and Bourbon Barrel Aged Below Decks. $7.99 is a more than reasonable asking price, considering how much enjoyment I'm getting out of the bomber.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.84/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I believe this 22 oz bombarrr is from 2009. Pours a reddish-copper color with a bubbly tan head. Low retention and lacing.

Nose is a nice balance of sweet malt and spicy bourbon. Low hop aroma and fruit is minimal.

Mmmm, pretty tasty. This along with the cabernet version might be my favorite so far from the Mutiny Fleet. Bourbon and oak flavors are in perfect harmony with the beer, not too overpowering but notable enough. ABV is well hidden, goes down smooth. Gets a bit thin and surprisingly mild as the ounces pass, but this is a fine beer that I would certainly drink again.

 583 characters

Photo of srandycarter
3.94/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Somewhat murky brown with orange hue. Viscous pour achieves only minor tan head - leaves fast. Very little lace.

S - Deep malt, booze, bourbon and wood.

T - Caramel with the wood, booze evident. Vanilla in small part.

M - Light carbonation and more watery than expected for big barleywine. Balance pretty good.

D - Just not a wower. Fun to try.

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Photo of DIM
3.79/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a: This was a dark chestnut brown and just the the cabernet barrel version there were lots of suspended particles.

s: Bourbon barrel first and foremost, but the aromas weren't overpowering. Lots of vanilla, bourbon, and a little oak. Some toffee and raisins managed to peek through as well.

t: A bit more abrasive than the smell would suggest, with a surprisingly strong hop bite. Still, the barrel dominated overall. Very sweet up front with vanilla, booze, and a hint of fruit. The finish was woody with some solventy heat.

m: Pretty nice body for a BA beer and gentle, fizzy carbonation.

d: Its been awhile, but I seem to recall liking the regular version better than either barrel aged version. I did enjoy this, but stronger barleywine elements would have been welcome.

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Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Courtesy of markwise over on ratebeer. It pours clear mahogany with tan head. The aroma starts with sweet bourbon and then moving toward mildly harsh boozy bourbon as well as prunes, figs, raisins, molasses and some heat at the end of the draw. The taste is smooth sweet inviting molasses, caramel, vanilla, sweet bourbon, spicy oak, raisins, figs and a thin strata of dates. Yummy.

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Photo of chicagobeerriot
2.93/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours dark copper with a medium veil. One inch of head quickly settles to a thin gauze on the surface.

The smell is very bourbon forward. With some toffee and caramel underneath. There's a little vanilla and oak, but I'm getting much more straight bourbon than I am getting some of the more subtle characteristics from the barrel.

Mouthfeel is on the thin side. With only light carbonation, I would prefer that the mouthfeel be fuller.

The taste is much like the smell: very bourbon forward without strong complementary flavors to provide balance. To put this in perspective: I like bourbon in my beer. But here, there is not enough of a malt or hop backbone to provide depth (and heft). I'm left with the sensation of just drinking watered down bourbon. That's not the end of the world, but it keeps this beer from fully succeeding.

I'd recommend aging this one for a couple of years to restore balance. The alcohol bite should retreat and some of the sweet malt should develop to give this beer a more rounded and complex flavor profile.

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Photo of nezelrac
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The only information I had about this was that it was "wood aged" - given what I found in the glass I am fairly certain it was the bourbon not the cabernet...

12oz snifter, draft

A - a chestnut-auburn topped with a minimal off-white head that quickly dissipates leaving little on the glass

S - strong woody notes, vanilla, plenty of malt and toffee, hints of dried fruits

T - woody and malty with hints of nuts and more toffee, balanced but favoring the barrel

M - lightish for a barleywine, quite appealing, the wood gives it a dry edge

D - quite easy for the style, the wood may put some off, I would have another

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Photo of jrallen34
4.02/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber into my Narke glass...Murky dark brown, lots of amber in the light. The head is light tan, but doesn't show much of head. There is a thick ring around the rim, ok lacing...The aroma is too light and almost exclusively just shows off the bourbon barrels. Light toffee and vanilla too, can't tell its a barleywine. Like most in this series, the bw is too light and dominated by the barrel...The taste is all bourbon, light bourbon, at that. A hint of vanilla, tastes good, like a watered down bourbon, no hint of barleywine or beer though...The feel is light on the palate, no burn or aftertaste...Easy to drink.

Another decent bw, but again a Heavy Seas light bw that couldn't hold up and took on all the character of the barrel. If you like bourbon its worth drinking, otherwise skip it.

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Photo of augustgarage
3.85/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2010 vintage. Big thanks to ShogoKawada for this extra - enjoyed lightly chilled on a frigid (well, by L.A. standards) eve. Poured from a 22oz bomber into my snifter.

Portland orange highlights suffuse the ambiguously colored dark liquid, topped by a lacy pearling yet meager head with a popped dirty snow collar.

Bourbon assails you at first sniff - the mildly acrid tobacco notes are backed by a touch of vanilla, butterscotch, and a light fruity/floral scent. Very slight oxidative notes seem derived from the barrel - though with bourbon this doesn't make a lot of sense.

Candied fruit, chocolate, moderately bitter hops, loam, brandy, and a sharp almost solventy finish. Brown sugar and maybe a hint of maple come out mid-palate. Aftertaste is long and evolving, suggesting burnt sugar, orange peel, plums, and bourbon.

Medium-bodied, slick, and a touch hot with moderate carbonation.

The ABV is unapologetic in this brew - even reaching your sinuses; this makes the flavor distribution that much more potent, yet reduces the drinkability somewhat.

A hefty powerful barleywine - while not overwhelmed by barrel notes, it certainly doesn't seek to balance them.

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Heavy Seas Bourbon Barrel Aged Below Decks from Heavy Seas Beer
3.94 out of 5 based on 301 ratings.
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