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

very good
102 Ratings
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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

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 102 |  Reviews: 72
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 BigJTrucker
4.6/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz bottle marked Dec 2006, so i'm drinking it relatively fresh. Pours with a thin mocha colored head that disipates quickly. Very dark, color reminds me of molasses. Smells faintly sweet, of vanilla perhaps? Tastes of toasted malt. Very smooth, very nice. Hard to believe it's almost 10% abv... VERY easy to drink... Retired? Hmm....if that's truly the case then i guess i should consider myself lucky to have found this.

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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 t0rin0
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of ktrillionaire
4.47/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2003 bottle, much thanks to the ever-generous beerzebub. The brew pours with an appearance like day-old cola; syrupy, and near flat, with a smattering of soapy bubbles throughout. The beer has definitely kept well; it has qualities of a fine port or sherry at this point. Deep vinous character, tannic and oaky qualities, and a robust earthiness are evident upon the palate. A very enjoyable sipper, indeed.

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Photo of 99bottles
4.45/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

December 2003 release

Appearance: This pours an ultra dark garnet color, with a small head of tan that fades to wispy lace.

Smell: Deep and rich malts with the slightest tickle of hops. Blindfolded, I'd call this St. Bernadus Abt 12 by the smell.

Taste: Quite different than what I was anticipating. Rich figs and prunes soaked in rum play with the immense malted barley. Now it reminds me of WWS 2002. Then, when you think you've figured it out, the hops crash across your palette with some serious bittering force. Carmel and brown sugar, malted barley sweetness and just the right amount of hops make this an incredibly complex and memorable beer.

Mouthfeel: Super minute carbonation gives just enough life to this otherwise rich and smooth bodied beer. Again, a lot like St. Bernadus Abt 12.

Drinkability: Well, it's called Rudyard's Rare for a reason I suppose. I'd easily drink as many as I could get ahold of, but alas, only one was to be had. Very good, and hides its ABV spectacularly. Awesome, though I think the bros are correct in calling this a strong/old ale instead of a barleywine because it certainly strays from the style.

I must give endless thanks to BA Weefisheads for this one.

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Photo of brentk56
4.42/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a mysterious dark chocolate color with an ecru head that resolves into a bunch of big bubbles but leaves a splashing lacing around the glass

Smell: Rum-soaked raisins, burnt caramel and grapefruit pith

Taste: Starts out with a fruity combination of raisin and grapefruit flavors that build in the direction of the bitter hop flavors by mid-palate; after the swallow, the sweet caramel and cookie flavors emerge with a touch of honey on the tip of the tongue as a residual delight; the bitterness fades into the background but remains as a reminder of the starting flavor profile

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation; some warmth after the swallow

Drinkability: Overall, I'm pretty impressed by this barleywine; at first I thought it was going to be in the Bigfoot genre, but after a few minutes it settled down and became a very pleasing after dinner companion

Thanks, TheBungyo, for the experience

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Photo of Bighuge
4.42/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep looking burgandy tone. Thin beige head. Bubbly collar leaves droopy rings sporadically for lace. Love the aroma. Sweet cinnamon. The figs and dates thing is going on. Berries soaked in alcohol. Fruitcake. Caramel malts. Very nice. Taste is big on the fruity, rum soaked melon like aspects. The figs and dates come into play again. Sweet molasses and caramel and toffee. Definitely a sweet version of a barleywine, but very enjoyabel. The body is a little better than medium and the mouthfeel is ever so slightly carbonated. Nice brew.

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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 feloniousmonk
4.39/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Easrthy brown coloring, with a negligible head. Aroma is arousing,full of dark fruit and alcohol, sharp, sweet, nutty, malty.
Taste: rich and delicious, with very small hop appearance, thick with malt, candyish, toffee,caramel, maybe. Very complex, with the booze stepping up to the fore with each subsequent sip.
Flavor never ends, gets deeper, revealing raisins, plums, still fresh and potent. Full-bodied, with a warm, fruity finish.
A welcome, tasty take on the barleywine style. Not what I expected, but enjoyable all the way.
Thanks to weefishheads for this one!

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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 sulldaddy
4.37/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am sampling this beer thanks to Mickey! Another WA treat for me!
I am drinking a 2003 bottle in a snifter slightly chilled. THe beer pours a clear mahogany color with thin beige edge layer of head only. Aroma is rich with brown sugar, toffee, raisins and red grapes. A few hints of chocolate poke through as well.
First sip reveals a fairly sweet start with toffee and brown sugar up front and some ripe dark fruit, mostly plums in the middle. I get a bitey hop finish that makes me want more of the sweetness.
No hint of alcohol anywhere on this well craftd beauty of a beer. Very nice smooth and easy to drink. I would seek out if out west!

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Photo of Reidrover
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle from "Lifesource".Salem. $2.95 LOvelly beer to look at.. hazy( morelike pea-souper) dark brown ale..with a gorgeous rocky,thick,creamy light tan in love with the looks. Great malty aromas..caramel,treacle,fresh whole wheat bread. Thisk malty brew to drink..sour malt, unusual and throws many off..but its the same kinda sour if you ever had Monkman’s Slaughter..i like!! Great smooth/thick mouthfeel. I definatlly like this aquired taste, but delicious stuff.

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Photo of harrymel
4.33/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 2011 (January) Consumed 11AUG11

A: pours a toasted brown ale with three fingers of light graham head. This falls slowly to a quilt of the same. Cobweb lacing above rosy hues in this brilliantly clarified ale. Great look.

S: toffee, caramel, burnt sugar, thick and sweet malts. Man, I love the way this smells. A hint of bitterness.

T: Sweet toffee with metallic hints. Burnt caramel, nutty malt, earthy yeast. Slightest hint of bitterness and floral hops.

M: Medium to heavy body with moderate on hi carb. semi dry finish.

O: Man, this beer is going to age sooo well. I've had this beer at the two year mark, and remains one of my best beer memories. Can't wait for my stash to age appropriately. My hidden gem.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.32/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

December 2003 9.2% vintage received as an extra in a trade with pranaferox. Thanks! Consumed on 10/8/2009 in a snifter. A hard pour yields a fizzy one finger light brown head atop a dark reddish brown liquid.

The nose is initially booze soaked dates with lesser notes of figs. Sugary caramel is prominent, as well as some toffee. I also detect dried prunes and figs. The aroma is very rich with a slight nuttiness. This has a great aroma.

The taste is of dried dates, figs, and prunes. It's sugary sweet caramel with a high moderate level of booze and some nuttiness. The finish is sweet and sugary with lingering date notes. Hop bitterness is low.

The beer is full bodied with a high level of low carbonation and a chewy mouthfeel. A very nice English Barleywine that has held up wonderfully.

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Photo of woemad
4.32/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, December 2003 vintage, purchased at Jim's Homebrew in Spokane for $2.50.

Poured a deep, dark brown, virtually black except at the fringes. Very thin, tan head thad dropped quickly. Moderate amount of lace.

Smell is odd - but good. Not at all what I expected. This smells a lot like an imperial stout with a little more hoppiness. There's figs, raisins, port wine, dark, bitter chocolate.

Taste is similar to the smell, but more complex, mainly in the way the hops smoothly kick in midway through and gracefully take command of the situation from the malts. This does not taste like a typical barleywine, which often seems to be an attempt to shove massive amounts of malts and hops together in one beer. This, while big, is much more restrained. The large percentage of abv is obvious and reminds me a little bit of a cognac.

Obviously, this is a very full-bodied ale. It has a relatively oily, almost syrupy mouthfeel, but there's enough bitterness to keep it from becoming too cloying.

This is a great beer. Some may be put off by it's lack of typical barleywine characteristics. I think it's a refreshing change in a style where there's normally one particular approach. It goes down relatively easy for someone that's a fan of robust stouts and porters, though a neophyte might find it tough to get into.

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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 RedDiamond
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The aroma begins with rich notes of cherry and plum while the taste carries this forward to flavors of dark fruit and honey-dripped cherries. The aftertaste is slightly off, but not so much as to disappoint. The color is shadowed mahogany, clear, with high gravity. It is laceless and virtually uncarbonated yet not at all flat. The mouthfeel is heavy but smooth (like a bowling ball?).

Rudyard’s is complex yet approachable. I find it to be both colorful and appealing. Very drinkable.

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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 ReebShorts
4.26/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2003 sample picked up recently at Bottleworks. Poured into a Westmalle Chalice, virtually no head to speak of. Color is a murkish reddish brown.

Aroma is sweet, brown sugar, cola, molasses, caramel, and sweet malts.

Mouth is thick and chewy, caramel is prominent, but the sweetness is not cloying. This may be aged about right, although I do not have other samples to compare and verify that. I'd get this again if I could find it.

Side note, my roomate said he smelled soy sauce in it, and i'll be damned if I didn't agree that there was a hint of soy sauce in there. Tasty treat.

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Photo of jaydoc
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of jkdrummer
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dec 2006 vintage. Pours a nice thick tawny head - nice and dark ruby color. Aroma has hints of plum and cherries. Exceptional BW, strong malt presence and some bitterness. Alcohol taste isn't that bad with nice sweet roasted aftertaste. Recommended!

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Photo of muchloveforhops3
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of powdersoldier
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of SeaAle
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

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Rudyard's Rare Barley Wine from Hale's Ales Brewery & Pub
3.87 out of 5 based on 102 ratings.
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