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Heavy Seas Cabernet Barrel Aged Below Decks | Heavy Seas Beer

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Heavy Seas Cabernet Barrel Aged Below DecksHeavy Seas Cabernet Barrel Aged Below Decks
Very Good
182 Ratings
Heavy Seas Cabernet Barrel Aged Below DecksHeavy Seas Cabernet 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: 182 |  Reviews: 89
Photo of 2dogbrew
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

Photo of djre4orm
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 vintage. Drank side by side with a 2010 Bourbon barrel aged Below Deck. Poured into my Brawley's snifter.

a - Pours a very dark mahogany brown color with two inches of light tan head and light to moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of caramel malts, toffee, sweet dark fruits, molasses, toasted malts, light wood, and light wine and alcohol. Smells like a nice barleywine, but there isn't much barrel presence at all. Wonder if aging it a little over a year has hurt it.

t - Tastes of caramel malts, toffee, sugar, sweet dark fruits, molasses, raisins, toasted malts, wood, and more alcohol. Tiny bit more alcohol/wine/port like qualities, but still not a lot. Sweeter than the nose too. Pretty nice.

m - Medium to full body and moderate carbonation. Thick and smooth, a very nice body for a barleywine.

o - Overall I thought this was an interesting, pretty good barleywine. The nose and taste are very sweet with that sticky sweet dark fruit quality to them. If you like that you'll probably like this one a lot, and I enjoyed it. The wine and barrel seems to haved faded a lot in a year, so I wouldn't recommend aging this one, but it is worth trying and something I'd buy fresh once a year.

 1,208 characters

Photo of Viciousknishs
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- pours mahogany brown with a finger of light tan head. Ok head retention.

S- aromas of oak, caramel and a hint of milk chocolate mingle with notes of red wine and a slight nuttiness. Finishes with some fruity character and a touch of toffee.

T- starts off with a good oak and dark caramel flavor. A touch of chocolate and nuttiness fleshs out in the middle with a hint of Cabernet. Finishes with an aggressive toffee and vanilla.

MF- slick sticky mouthfeel with a medium body and fine carbonation.

D- decent drinkability

Overall a worthy solid barleywine with unique flavor.

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Photo of jayhawk73
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice dark brown color w/ a one finger cocoa head. Good lacing considering the 10% ABV. The nose is really pleasant- caramel, toffee, oak, wine, dark fruit, and grapes are what I get. Very nice, although a little light on malt and complexity. The taste is very unique. Chocolate, caramel, wine, dark fruits and oak. Not bad at all... In fact, quite a bit better than the regular version of this. Feel is great- It's super smooth, and just glides down your throat. Awesome alcohol burn on the backside that reminds me of a wine alcohol burn. Overall, this is a very nice beer. Several of these categories are very close to being a tick higher. I would definitely drink this again. Cheers.

 694 characters

Photo of kbuzz
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of harrymel
3.32/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


Having just had the regular and BBA versions, it is time to hit this one up. I'm anxious.

Murky, dirty brown with a nougat sheet of foam. There is the slightest, bloody red ruddy tone. The base beer smells profoundly of cocoa, this one has a hint, but mostly I get oak, red wine (cheap red wine), some hints of a tannic, metallic tone. Honestly reminds me of the nose on many Oud Bruins I've had.

Flavor does not follow the nose. Sweet, malty; infused with toffe and caramel tones this is accented with some fruity character, but nothing tannic. Some hints of raisin and if I reach, a little bit of juicy berry, but that's a stretch.

Medium on full bodied with low carb. Somewhat of a velvety feel. I'm unimpressed on how the barrel impacted this brew. It's nice, but I would take the regular, unaged version over either variants.

 839 characters

Photo of OWSLEY069
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber to black in color with a light tan head. In the aroma, it smells just like cabernet wine. In the taste, cabernet wine, licorice and a nice alcohol taste. A smooth and medium to bigger bodied mouthfeel, with a dry dark fruit and notes of cabernet in the aftertaste. Very much wine like and mellows out the base of Below Decks.

 344 characters

Photo of ATLbeerDog
4.14/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky dark rust color with almost no head whatsoever. What little head there was dissipated quickly. Smells mostly of wine and oak with just a tad of sweet malt comprising the nose. First sip is super malt sweetness layered in a ton of wine notes supported nicely with oak. The wine and malt sweetness hits first leading to a bitter finish that is highlighted almost entirely by the mighty oak. Though thin bodied there is enough carbonation here to warrant a decent mouthfeel. The 10% ABV is not well hidden at all. It is in your face making one to think it is stronger than it really is. I am surprised. I never would have thought I would like the Cabernet version more than the same base beer in Bourbon barrels. I like this showing much more. This one rocks!

 770 characters

Photo of ChrisPro
3.41/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Have had previously (and enjoyed it much much more), but reviewing blind on 12/23/11 as part of a "BA barleywine" tasting. Finished #5 of 6 for me.

A - Pours medium brown with a nice light tan head

S - Weird nose with saurkraut, dark fruits and a little vanilla and oak

T - A mild sweetness, then a little bitterness but has a fantastic caramel finish. Taste overall is a bit strange, but not inherenetly bad.

M - Medium body and sharp carbonation

O - Okay, but nothing special. Just not that good. The nose is slightly offputting, but otherwise, just a solid barleywine with unique barrel aging.

 601 characters

Photo of Rickythejeweler
4.44/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 Vintage (aged for over a year in cabernet barrels)

A - Muddy-dark mahogany, thin soapy off white head, light lacing.

S - Wonderful oak, red wine, chocolate scents.

T - Very oaky, hints of vanilla, chocolate, & caramel sit atop the massive fermented dark fruit flavors, the cabernet leaves a slight alcohol & tart flavor as well as a dry finish to the beer.

M - Because this was aged for over a year in the cabernet barrels it really smoothed out well, but still is is heavy, low carbonation.

O - Excellent beer, the year in the barrel really made this an over the top experience!

 589 characters

Photo of DavidEddie
5/5  rDev +27.6%

Photo of THECPJ
5/5  rDev +27.6%

Photo of ithinkimasofa
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of Exiled
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of claytong
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2010 vintage

appearance - a copper brown with some murkiness. decent beige head. decent lacing.

smell - vanilla, toffee, brown sugar, oak...no wine?

taste - again the same with some fig and no wine is coming to me, a bit sad about this but its still good nonetheless especially for the price

mouthfeel - good body and carbonation for the style but a bit sticky and cloying.

 377 characters

Photo of DavoleBomb
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. 2010 vintage (which I think is the only one anyway).

4.0 A: Dark brown color. Actually more like a purplish black. One finger of creamy beige head that retains okay given the ABV and leaves

4.0 S: The cabernet sticks out, lending a vinous component in addition to oak and a touch of tannic astringency. The underlying beer adds plum and fig foremost, with caramel and toffee following. Not bad.

4.0 T: Again the cabernet is aggressive yielded an almost tart vinous grape. Lots of oak and little bits of tannins. Dark fruits including plum, prune, date, fig, and maybe some currant. Caramel and toffee underneath that. Absolutely no hints of alcohol.

4.0 M: Heavier medium body. Good moderate carbonation. The slightest bit chewy, but smooth overall.

4.0 D: This is incredibly mellow for a beer only around a year old. Flavors are well integrated and well balanced. Plus, $8 for a bomber of barrel aged beer isn't bad at all.

 952 characters

Photo of billab914
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into my Dogfish snifter. It poured a dark, caramel brown color with a thin white head concentrating around the edges of the glass.

The aroma really shows the Cabernet character to it pretty nicely. I get a grape presence mixing with a little bit of a woody, vanilla like flavor. The barleywine flavors come through as more of a sweeter, caramel, malty flavor. The red wine character is very nice in it.

The taste mixes a red wine, oaky, vanilla flavor and a sweet, malty, barleywine character. It starts with more of the red wine, while more of the oaky, vanilla, caramel flavors come out in the finish. I really loved how the flavors came together in it.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with carbonation being lower. Overall I really liked what the Cabernet barrel added to the beer. The red wine character really integrated into the beer flavors better than any other wine barrel aged beer I can remember having. It really added a lot of depth and character to it. I expected the bourbon version to be my clear favorite of the two, but this one is pretty damn good as well as being more unique. Very enjoyable beer overall.

 1,146 characters

Photo of Meerkey
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: a finger or two of pale beige head. Very cloudy chestnut.

S: Smells like red wine. Sweet, dark fruit. Some bready malts. Nice.

T: I like it. More red wine. Fruity and malty. Alcohol. Maybe a little spicy and slightly vegetal?

M: Hint of carbonation, but creamy and smooth, heavy. Nice, but nothing exceptional.

O: I'm surprised by how much it tastes and smells like red wine. I enjoy it, I'll have another. Recommend.

 425 characters

Photo of AgentMunky
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a BrewDog cervoise glass. Vintage 2010.

A: A finger and a half of head. Murky, dark brown beer with a ruddy tint. Not particularly susceptible to light. Nice lacing.

S: Winey-tart and very pleasant. Reminiscent of the brandy barrel Angel's Share, but less intense. Some funky old ale style yeast? Maybe not, but an odd sourness nonetheless.

T: Hrm, much more malty-sweet than yeasty-sour. Definite red wine character to the beer. The mild tartness, a large amount of grapiness, and a wine-like/dry aftertaste with lingering tannin/grapepeel. I wonder if the Cabernet ageing hasn't overpowered the beer. Still, good barleywine, and the alcohol barely shows. Vague hops are never really an issue.

M: Smooth, lightly carbonated, and drying. Nice.

O: Good beer. Recommended; will have again. I still think it was a little heavy-handed with the wine barrelling, but it was an interesting twist. I continue to appreciate the Heavy Seas range. Yum.

 981 characters

Photo of ShogoKawada
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to.... AleWatcher, I think. Can't remember. Poured in to an imperial pint glass.

A- A murky brown with purple and ruby red highlights. Small but respectable sandy tan head.

S- Boozy.. brandy soaked figs and toffee. Noticeable alcohol presence.

T- Dark fruit is strong on raisin. Not sour but tart, for sure. Barrels express grapes several ways- mild brandy/cognac which is complimented by the English malt. Interesting and ultimately successful flavor profile.

M- A bit syrupy/sticky and lethargic. Would benefit from a bit more carbonation.

O- Weird, but enjoyable. YMMV. Not for the unadventerous.

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Photo of stakem
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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 bourbon version.

Poured into a snifter, this brew appears a gazed ruby amber color with particulate stuck hanging in suspension. A creamy finger of tan head forms and retains well. A swirl revives the cap and forms spotty lacework on the glass.

The smell of this brew is tangy with Brett. It smells of a combination of scents that include cheese, minerals, sulfur and citrus hops. The alcohol stings the nose. Underneath are sweet undertones of caramel malt that accent a minute amount of mellow oakiness and vanilla smoothness.

The taste is brett'd with a tangy kick that includes citrus hops, sulfur and minerals. There is a toasted malt flavor that includes some vanilla smoothness that is sweet underneath the more bold flavors previously described. The aftertaste includes bitter herbal hops.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is an interesting take on the style that is complex and enjoyable but in limited quantities. I'm glad I shared the bottle because I don't know how much more I could tolerate beyond 6 or so ounces. For 10% abv it is incorporated very well. I could see the cabernet choice of barrel aging here being something that is not for everyone however I enjoyed it. In the side by side comparison though, I favor the bourbon version as it melds with the base flavors moreso than the clashing cabernet.

 1,523 characters

Photo of clickpush
3.91/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour: 22oz bottle to tulip. Found this at The Andersons in Dublin, OH, after not being able to find it in Baltimore. Pours a 1.5 finger off-white head over gorgeous red hued body. Lots of carbonation visible within. Head recedes slowly, sticks all over every inch of the glass and leave a soft cap of lacing.

Nose: Caramel malts, a raspberry type sweet/tart to it. A touch of oxidation.

Mouth: Dry yet malty flavors. Some lingering hoppiness. Spices & a touch of tartness. A lingering warmth in the finish. Creamy yet firm carbonation.

 537 characters

Photo of ne0m00re
1.2/5  rDev -69.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Live review of a 22 oz bottle.
A: Murky mahogany, it poured with a cream head with lacing.
S: What the hell... this is a very subtle aroma of fetid grapes, corny biscuit malt, chlorine, cranberry juice and mint. I really don't want to drink this, but I do, and...
T: Watery wine like cheap fruit juice, biscuit malt, some caramel with booze, Marshmallows!, a weird wood flavor. Is this poisoned? I think it's poisoned.
M: Thin with a weird froth.
O: Holy hell this is a mess. Terrible, terrible drainpour. This is a barleywine like Natty Ice is a lager.

It doesn't taste like it was infected... it just tastes like they meant it to be this mess.

 647 characters

Heavy Seas Cabernet Barrel Aged Below Decks from Heavy Seas Beer
Beer rating: 3.92 out of 5 with 182 ratings
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