Rudyard's Rare Barley Wine | Hale's Ales Brewery & Pub

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Rudyard's Rare Barley WineRudyard's Rare Barley Wine
Very Good
103 Ratings
Rudyard's Rare Barley WineRudyard's Rare Barley Wine

Brewed by:
Hale's Ales Brewery & Pub
Washington, United States

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 04-09-2002

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 103 |  Reviews: 72
Reviews by yeaprolly:
Photo of yeaprolly
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Very dark ruby black body with a smallish head that went down slowly and laced the glass.

Smell – Raunchy barley wine smell to this one. This beer reeks of giant dark fruit juices, especially plums, prunes, and Bing cherries.

Taste – This is a mouthfull. There’s actually some balancing hop in this one (typical – Seattle) but the giant dark fruits are the show here. This is as much wine as barley, with monster fruit sweetness, stingy alcohol, and dark, tobacco undertones.

Mouthfeel – Flat and full in accorance with the style.

Drinkability – W.C. Fields might consider this a session beer, but for most of us this is a sipping meal. This is my idea of a NW barley wine.

Comments – Nothing perfect, but everything close.

Update – I first rated this in Sept ’03 shortly after joining the site so thought that I would revisit this ale with a 2004 vintage. I picked up some soft chocolate notes that I didn’t get in my first review but otherwise this is just as I remember it. It is the gem of the Hale’s Ales brewery.

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Photo of warriorsoul
4.14/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Marked "Special Limited Edition Release December 2005"
Chestnut brown in color...very cloudy.
Wow...fantastic aromas going on here...citrus, cherries, raisins, cinammon.
Taste is really good too...the flavor is not as distinguished as the smell, but this barleywine has aged quite well in the two years plus since bottling. Fruity, with orange and fig most prominent...still packing quite a hop punch with floral notes to dry it up as each sip runs off the pallet.
Mouthfeel is medium-bodied...carbonation is perfect. No oxidation going on and the alcohol is covered up nicely.
A definite sipper, but I'd opt for a couple snifters of this gem any evening.
Well done Hale' first brew from you and already impressed.
Thanks to skyhand for the rare treat.

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Photo of jpbebeau
2.75/5  rDev -28.9%

Photo of JasonSiedman
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of IntriqKen
4.12/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an extremely dark amber with a half finger tan head that melts to a nice ring of sticky lacing.
Aromas of dark fruits (raisins, prunes) and alcohol with distinctive cherry scents.
Taste is sweet dark fruit, a touch of alcohol soaked cherries, and then a light touch of citrus hops. As it warms prunes and cherries become more prominent.
Aftertaste is clean and smooth with lip-smacking sweetness and lingering tastes and a pleasant alcohol warming.
Thanks to weefisheads for this wonderful surprise.

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of Metalmonk
4.37/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

December 2006 bottling. Hoping the hops haven't diminished too much in one year...

Pours a very dark, oily brown/ruby color, with a beige head. Unsurprisingly, for the style and ABV, the head doesn't stick around long, reducing to a thin crown quickly.

Aroma is big, caramely, chocolatey and woody, but not in a barrel-aged way. A wonderful Twizzlers-like smell shows through. Mild sherry further back.

Flavor is wonderful...smooth sherry; fresh-cut wood; liqueur-drenched black cherries & prunes; toffee; vanilla; piney hops. The warming glow from the alcohol is just perfect, tamed but present, definitely not overpowering. It's only helped by a creamy, thick, sticky feel, which is how I prefer this style to be.

The first Hale's beer I had was very different than this--a cream ale on cask; it was excellent. Seems Hale's is just as comfortable with the big stuff as much as the lower alcohol beers. Hail Hale's.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up a bottle of this at Belmont Station in Portland, Oregon ($3.29). Nice label in bold red and yellow. It says it's a "Special Limited Edition Release! December 2007". I'm not sure about that, but I didn't see anything on their website about it. So...

Roughly poured into a half pint it displays a very dark brown - (almost opaque) body with glowing chestnut highlights at the base wen held to the light. The frothy tan head holds a height of about an inch and a half for mere moments before it starts to steadily slide back, leaving behind a magnificent ring of creamy, craggy lace. Unfortunately, the lacing beyond that is far less impressive.

The limited lacing is somewhat understandable though once you've tasted it. The carbonation is restrained, and quite smooth at somewhere around 2.0 volumes CO2/liter. I'm guessing that this is bottle conditioned as it reminds me of a soft, cask-conditioned ale.

The aroma expresses red fruits, both dark and light, amidst a medium-dark caramel malt base. If you swirl the glass it releases its hop character, and it's softly floral and leafy (I'm thinking East Kent Goldings).

The flavor backs that up. It's initially fruity with just a suggestion of subtle tartness wrapped in some medium-dark caramel. Then, as it warms across the middle the hops come out, and the caramelish malt-base widens to express softer notes of brown sugar, and darker notes of molasses. Some alcohol appears, and it becomes a bit leafy with an added note of anise as it slides into a dry, and somewhat bitter, lingering finish. It's a bit nutty, woody, and leafy with alcohol fumes hanging about in the background.

As an English-style barleywine I'd say they've hit the mark pretty much right on. I'd love to see the alcohol toned-down a bit, but this is an older bottle and I'm not sure how it really is fresh. This sample may have dried out, and lost some maltiness - maybe even lost some carbonation. Still, it's an enjoyable sipper!

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Photo of ElGordo
3.62/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled in December 2005. Pours a deep amber-brown color topped by a half-inch of creamy, khaki-colored head. Rich aroma of roasted malt, caramel, toffee, biscuit, and some notes of dark fruit and English ale yeast. Palate is big on rich, sweet, malty goodness, tempered by some lightly bitter English-style hops. Body is a bit thin for a strong barleywine, but creamy on the finish. Not particularly memorable, but worth a try.

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Photo of Kevin73
3.72/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Pours brownish amber with almost no head poured vigorously from a bottle. The nose is nice with notes of lavender, banana, other fruits, leather, caramel, and hops. The hops flavor is very strong and overpowers many of the more subtle sweet notes masking the alcohol. Medium bodied, mouthfeel is average. Not a bad barleywine but it lacks balance.

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Photo of russpowell
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2007 vintage pours chestnut/mahogany with a pinky of tan head. Average head retention 7 above average lacing

S: Dark fruit & leafy hops, both fade as this warms

T: Leafy hops, plums & a touch of oakyness up front. More of the same as this warms. Finishes dry with more leafy hops & plums, sound kind of boring, but tastes melded well

MF: Semi-chewy, low but noticeable carbonation, skews fruitty with good balance

Drinks a bit slow, due to the malt heft & lack of interesting flavors. I could still drink a few before calling it a night...

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Photo of justiceavocado
4.8/5  rDev +24%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From a bottle at Concordia in Portland. After a really, too big meal.

A -- just fine. Better than average lacing, eggshell white head, really really dark brown-red, as close to opaque as you can get.

S-- smaller than you'd think for its big big flavor. Mostly a smoky caramel smell, a kind of funky fruit maybe too, like old prunes and walnuts.

T -- whammo. Huge hop nose, the piney, leafy kind, immediately followed by funky fruit -- dates, prunes, dried apricots, all overripe; these are good flavors, sweet and bitter in the hops, sweet and bitter in the yeast, understated but powerful malts... Yes, Hale's Ales Ltd., yes.

M -- feels anti climactic to talk about this now, but the fermentation obviously didn't over-carbonate this bad boy. Suede, yo.

O -- this is what we mean when we say barley wine. Pay attention, other barley winers.

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Photo of cougarbait
3/5  rDev -22.5%

Photo of jaydoc
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of compass40204
4.31/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Warm, coppery color. Off white head that lingers for a while. Malt dominates the aroma. Smells slightly sweet, with scarcely any hop in the nose. Tastes of slight alcohol (wouldn't have guessed it was 10%) and some toffee. Flavor lingers. Mmmm... barleywine. Profuse lacing all the way down. Hops are barely evident in the taste of this, being pushed aside by the slight alcohol heat. English barleywines shouldn't be hop-heavy, anyway, and this is super balanced. Nice mouthfeel, not syrupy or thick like some bw's, but has a full body you'd expect in a beer this big. The warming effect from this one's abv creeps up a bit slowly and builds as you drink. This is my kind of beer.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.92/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2007 December on the label.. Picked this up in November of '08 at Belmont Station .. looking forward to this tonight as part of the ongoing cellar clearing project.. poured into my shaped SA glass.

3/4" sorta tan yellow head... leaves only touches of lace atop a surprisingly brown brew.. much darker than expected.. yet still clear and certainly fine... a careful pour kept a bunch of crusty sediment in the bottle.. sorta close to a lite porter for sure..

Nose is rich and malty.. caramel and toasty malt notes.. some hoppiness combines with some alcohol that reminds me of cinnamon...

Flavor is malty caramel sweetness that immediately gives way to a fairly sharp bitterness.. the palate has a significant amount of fruitiness..

the flavor gets better after I let it sit on the counter for a long while.. a bit of a mishmash of BW flavors that are going in the right direction.. cocoa is present along with dried sweet cherries.. finish is a bit tannic .. the body is fairly lite for the style.. yet still good .. I guess.. the carbonation is fairly dialed in.. but overall.. I still say this is pretty good and some time in the bottle has helped.

I like Hale's and am damn glad they are in Boise but it is a tad astringent.. tannic qualities should not be there.. I can see how this one would age well.. but Christ.. this is my first bottle that I can remember having in years... and think it is gonna age very well.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.59/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from 7/2010 notes. Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a dark, dark maroon amber with a hint of a head and no lacing. Intense barley wine aroma. Heavy with dark fruits, figs, dates, dark malts, molasses. Nice rich flavor, but a bit too bitter; very astringent, medicinal bitterness in the finish spoils the experience. I have a few aging and will review again later.

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Photo of Gusler
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer after its release from the 12 ounce brown bottle sets in the glass a deep brown color with a smallish tan head, the texture frothy and the residual lace a very thin but covering sheet upon the glass. Nose is sweet caramel, hints of fusel alcohol, fresh and pleasant to the senses, start is sweet, thick with malt, the top full. Finish is light to moderate in acidity, the hops delightful in there spiciness, quite dry aftertaste that maintains the alcohol bitterness, another fine beer from a most special brewery, and a long time favorite of mine.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
2.49/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Just purchased a couple months ago, this December 2007 vintage. 12 oz bottle pours a hazed and sedimentated dark brown color. Absolutely no foam here and darker than most BWs I have had.

Nose is interesting...heavy red grape and raisin fruit, almost to the point of tartness. Burnt caramel sweetness, solventy alcohol. Pine-Sol maybe?

Malts and raisins are very dark and fruity, bitterness like chewing on pine needles. Very odd that the hops have seemed to hold on in this beer while nothing else was able to. While not a drain pour, it will be tough to finish my half of the bottle. Perhaps this beer just does not age well, but there are not too many barleywines that cant hold on for at least two and a half years.

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Photo of nathanho
4.28/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

V. December 2005 - 9.2% ABV

Muddy brown with an almost cascading tan head. Beautiful. I let it sit for about 15-20 minutes.

Smells like alcohol, burnt sugar, malt, earth. Clean, but perks up a bit with a vigorous swirl.

Caramel, sugar, malt, alcohol, root, wet earth flavors; bananas. Delightful.

Very smooth with some pleasant bitterness bouncing around with the other flavors on the finish.

Definitely not a session beer, but so delicious I immediately would like another.

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Photo of Rastacouere
3.57/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Diminishing off-white head tops a dark bronze hue. Aroma is deep and malty comprising definite smoky overtones. Slightly phenolic and heating on the nostrils. Notes of pear, soil, toffee. Very warming on the tongue, yet no alcohol overexpression. Mild malty tartness reminds of english barleywines. Intense woody character is finally complemented by subdued green hops flavors in the finish that had somehow developped a soy sauce feel which was not for its own good. Palate was rather uninventive, rather thin and displaying a depressingly low carbonation level though I can’t say if I’m right when thinking that more effervescence would give a kick to the malt’s lack of evolution.

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Photo of Murchmac
3.94/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Arnie for leaving this beer in my trusted care.

December 2006 it says on the bottle.

A: Thick, cloudy center, syrupy, brown. with thin ruby highlights. Kinda the opposite of Sir Mix a Lot's famous quote "Little in the middle but it's got much back."

Smells of caramel, dark sugars, licorice, sherry. Like a Chocolate twizzler made by a drunk Willie Wonka.

Sweet, annis, bourbon, vanilla? caramilzed brown sugar taste. Complex.

Medium carbonation still, thick bolus that sits on your tongue waiting to ride the double dutch bus smoothly down.

It was a very good beer. It's posse's on Hale St.

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Photo of meathookjones
4.4/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled date of December 2003 on the 12ozer. Pours out a very dark red with small tan head that leaves spotty lacing around the glass. Molasses, sweet dark fruits and a ton of malt fit you upon first sniffing this. Light smoky notes and a slight mustiness add an interesting layer of scent here. Plenty of sweetness as well, but a complex blend of different aromas really make this a great one to sniff. Sweet ripe fruits with sticky sweet malt kick off the flavor. Undertones of smokiness, caramel and molasses add plenty of depth. A few other various tastes are going on but I was not able to identify them. Great tasting brew all around, the sweetness is balanced perfectly with the other elements. Sticky sweet in the mouth but it falls a little short on body but not too much. Creamy and smooth going down makes helps the drinkability. I only wish I picked up some more of this when I got it, great all around Barley Wine with plenty going on to keep you busy.

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Photo of Hopheadjeffery
4/5  rDev +3.4%

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Rudyard's Rare Barley Wine from Hale's Ales Brewery & Pub
Beer rating: 3.87 out of 5 with 103 ratings