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

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72 Reviews
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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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Reviews: 72 | Ratings: 102
Photo of colts9016
2.29/5  rDev -40.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Poured into a pint glass at 45 degrees.

Appearance: There is no head to speak of, I forced the poured and still ended up with nothing. The color of the beer is a medium to a dark brown color. There is some effervescence visible on the side of the glass.

Nose: A medium dark roasted malt, with some fruity characters, floral, toffee, caramel, and some phenols. The fruity characters are dried cherries, and raisins. There are some bready and yeasty notes.

Taste: The flavors is roasted malt, dried cherries, caramel, burnt character, phenols, solvents, yeast, bready, and some caramel.

Mouth feel: There is some carbonation and some stickiness.

Overall: This beer is a drain pour. It has a terrible stickiness and just linger on the tongue too long. I didn't like this beer.

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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 sisuspeed
2.72/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Andre for the bottle!
2010 Vintage, 9.2% ABV

Poured into a Cigar City snifter. A clear, burnt-amber body holds up over a finger's worth of creamy, off-white head. Large waves of lacing trace the glass.

Sweet malts with a touch of fruitiness. Not overly strong and a bit muddled. Touch of burnt caramel and faded hop. Some booze as well. Not overly pleasant.

Like the nose, the taste is mostly sweet malts with the addition of slightly astringent fruits and woody hops on the finish. Awkward and muddled. This needs some work.

Mouthfeel is smooth up front, almost creamy and then finishes with some bitter hops and alcohol warmth. Probably the best part of the beer besides the appearance. Low carbonation, as it should be.

Overall, this is not a bad beer, but definitely not good. Fairly lacking for the style. Both the nose and the flavor are a bit of a mess and not overly enjoyable. I wouldn't recommend this one. Good for a tick, but there are much more enjoyable barleywines out there.

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Photo of freed
2.75/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I'm always excited to try barleywine because it generally reflects on the potential of a brewer. This poured a completely flat deep cola color and didn't give much of a starting impression. There's just a slight bit of sediment at the bottom.

The aroma is aggressively spicy and alcoholic but a bit unbalanced. The malt smells are hidden under the blanket of other accessory smells.

The taste, much like the aroma, is burdened with strong flavors that should compliment the malt, but instead hide it. The smokey flavors in particular dry the mouth out and really wipe out any sweetness you'd expect. The sensation of alcohol is also rather aggressive. All combined, its really not a very drinkable beer in this incarnation, and maybe aging the 2004 would help it. As such, its a brash, pimply and smokey teenager.

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Photo of ChadQuest
2.8/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The color of the body is a dark cola color.
The nose is saying toffee, over caramelized sugars half burnt.
Flavors are brown sugar on rye bread, toffee, grapefruit hop note that doesn't mesh very well, will probably be a good deal better once the hops integrate more i think. Fruits like Figs and Dates and Prunes.
Feel is slightly sticky, medium body.

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Photo of olympuszymurgus
2.89/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

2007 bottle at the brewery. our first stop on a brewery tour, it had to be done. wait a minute, this is a coke! no, it smells like a beer, kind've. super thin, totally flat, little caramel, alcohol, the disappointment of seeing your mother eating the cookies you left for santa. i just can't get over how uninteresting this beer is. to make it more interesting, i drank the little left from the bottle with a straw. this did not help enhance the flavor, but it was more entertaining. i've had this beverage before and not been impressed but i don't remember it being quite like this. i have a feeling this may be one for having fresh on tap.
anyways, props to these guys for open fermentation, and i hope to try some of that barrel aged quad in a year or so.

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Photo of belgbeerdrinker
3.1/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

a: thick brown color, nice thick head settles to a beige ring, little lacing
s: dark sweetness--molasses and some malt and alcohol
t: sugary - not quite molasses sweet in taste but not far off, some other aged sweetness in there with the alcohol and moderate bitter finish
m: medium body with little carbonation
d: a fairly moderate flavors make for an approachable barleywine, but that said it wasn't smooth, full-bodied enough or memorable

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Photo of Crosling
3.11/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

English mold, no doubt, but lacking in flavor, palate and aroma. Dark Brown. Quite dark.

Moderately aromatic, a strong willed fruitiness is evident with notes of plums, chocolate and dates.

Flavor is very sweet, too sweet, with a distracting dark berry element and notes of plums, dates, currants and chocolate. Thin body and light on the palate.

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Photo of froghop
3.24/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

pours a very dark brown with little to no head and a little lacing.

smell of barley, burnt caramel, and some roasted nuts.

taste is watery, malt, roasted nuts, and some caramel, end is on the dry side.

overall average lacking on the appearance and mouthfeel, would expect it to be a little thicker.

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Photo of jreitman
3.3/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very interesting beer, my first barley wine to be exact. Medium bodied, very strong alcohol taste. Fruity character. Nnot very complex on the palate.

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Photo of beerceller99
3.35/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle, Dec. 2003 release.
Has a garnet hue, pretty dark for a Barleywine. The slight head fades to a sheen. Smell is caramelly, bready with raisons. Caramel sweet malts and raisons dominate the taste. Light bodied for the style. Has a spicy sweet alcohol tang to finish.
A decent tasting, but pretty tame Barleywine. Doesn't seem to age very well.

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

Poured from a bottle dated December 2006 into a goblet. No carbonation and nearly no head, what little head there is disappears into nothing. Beer is dark brown and hazy, can't see through it at all.

Beer smells like raisins and malt. No detectable alcohol, smells better than it looks.

Beer is still, completely flat. There is a roastiness to the flavor that is not unpleasant. The beer is more dry and less sweet than the initial aroma made me think. Second taste, the alcohol is much more obvious in this second taste, very forward and strong. Its not bad, at least its some sweetness. Overall, its drinkable, its fine, not the best barleywine I've had but its pretty good.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.58/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

"Of all the liars in the world, sometimes the worst are your own fears."

--Rudyard Kipling

December 2007. Murky mahogany with no highlights and an extremely thin slice of beige colored cream that fades within the first minute. A thin line of foam is seen where beer meets glass meets air. Here's hoping there are enough bubbles in this brew.

The nose is incredibly blunted. Warming has to bring out some sort of aroma, doesn't it? Note: it does. A whiff of medium-dark fruit is about it. Taste bud submersion better be a different story.

On the flavor front at least, Hale's Rudyard's Rare has held up pretty well in the almost three years since the release. It's clearly an aged version at this point, with everything that that entails. I've had more than a few English barleywines and old ales over the years that tasted (and felt) pretty similar.

Alcohol, while not completely masked, is nearly so. Otherwise, we have steely caramel, dates and figs macerated in port wine, hints of dark chocolate and a tea leaf bitterness that can't be due to hops at this late date. It all comes together pretty well if you're into sipping and savoring...

... and don't need even a hint of creamy chewiness with respect to mouthfeel. Yes, the body/mouthfeel has broken down quite a bit, but it's still somewhat enjoyable. Besides, the bubbles are right there, just below the surface, adding more than was expected.

It's too bad that I didn't crack the crown on Rudyard's Rare Barleywine Style Ale prior to today. It was probably better beer in 2008-2009 than 2010. It's still worth a purchase if you see a bottle and if you like fruity, vinous, thin-bodied English barleywines.

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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 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 mikeys01
3.62/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Weefisheads for this one! Bottled December 2004. Pours out a quite clear ruddy amber capped with a modest amount of off fine light tan foam, quickly fading to a clingy ring around the edges. Aroma Is quire sweet and caramel malty, with a pronounced bready yeastiness as well and some citrusy hops poking through. Tasting reveals a much more prevalent hop bitterness than expected that stays with you all the way to the finish and leaves your tongue dry and shriveled. After settling in, the Rare evolves to reveal its malty depths, plying you with English Toffee and caramel, and some deep raisins and plums. A bit of underlying smoke wafting about in there as well. Moderate sweetness is counteracted by the slightly spicy and highly bittering hops. Mouthfeel is full enough, but the dryness and alcohol keep it from feeling too thick. Definitely still a young barleywine and in need of some maturity, but shows good promise.

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Photo of abuliarose
3.66/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter, revealing smoky deep rouge-brown body under two fingers of cream-colored head. Some lacing. Smells like candy apple and mealy malts. Decent smells.

Tastes sweet and still very hoppy with a rich buttery grapefruit rind bitterness over toasted hazelnut and caramel malt. Mouthfeel is smooth and silky, slightly syrup-like, with a tiny-nucleating, tongue coating carbonation that adds a little lightness to the medium-heavy body. Drinkability is decent for a 9.2% beer.

Overall it could use some aging to mellow out to my favorite kinds of English barleywines, but it tastes like it has a lot of potential.

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Photo of corby112
3.71/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 vintage.

Pours a dark chestnut brown color that's completely opaque with a one finger, light beige head that slowly settles into a thick, lasting ring. Streaks of soapy lacing left behind. Surprising considering the style and ABV.

Earthy, leathery malt aroma with spicy hops, sweet alcohol and subtle dark fruit notes. Surprising hop presence with some grass and resinous pine followed by alcohol, leathery malt, caramel, toffee, plum and fig.

On the fuller end of medium bodied with a spicy hop bite that lingers over the earthy, leathery malt and sweet booze into a hot, bone dry finish. Again, it's surprisingly hop forward with lots of dry, earthy bitterness and resinous pine flavor dominating until the malts and booze come in on the back end. The leathery malts compliments the earthy hops but it could use a bit more sweetness. There's some caramel and toffee but the vinous dark fruit notes found in the nose are barely noticeable. Some boozy heat in the finish that provides some nice warmth, but overall the high ABV is decently masked. Not very complex but still a flavorful sipper.

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

This is an interesting PNW Barley wine because it is actually underpowered rather than young and brash( Old Crusty) . I loved the bootpolish colour and the fruit notes on the nose were pleasant. What disapointed me a little was the lack of bigness that I expect from this style. Drink now rather than cellar as I doubt this beer will much improve. It must be noted that the rounded aspects of this beer score it high in the drinkability area.

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

12 oz screw-top bottle from the recently released 2007 vintage poured into my Delirium snifter, Rudyard's Rare (one of my favorite barleywine name's of all time in fact!) is a pitch black amber with a small light tan head that leaves a lasting collar and very light, scattered lace. Super dark, but the slight red glow around the edges is enough to entice.

Smell is lots of sour citrus hops and dark caramel malts, dark fruits and a touch of cocoa. Familiar yet flirting with the exotic, very nice.

Taste is also pretty hoppy, enough to clearly be in the (West Coast) American style, in spite of the impressively smooth viscosity. Big malty flavor, semi-sweet with a bitter, dry, boozy finish.

Mouthfeel is dry, sharp, medium bodied, could use a bit more carbonation to cut the thickness.

Drinkability is

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Photo of wagenvolks
3.79/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Single 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass; listed at 9.2% ABV.

Rudyard's Rare pours a bit darker than expected, with a hazy, plum hue backed by mahogany edges. A well-retained khaki head recedes to a patchy and thin cap of foam, with a ring of large bubbles surrounding a sheet of uniform smaller ones. The aroma is excellent, and instantly reminds me of SN's Bigfoot, with earthy, floral hops balanced by big notes of caramel and toffee malts, fig, and raisin.

The flavor is a bit thin, although powdered chocolate and sweet caramel combine for a nice malty presence. Mocha coffee bitterness arrives on the finish, although the hops almost disappear, along with the dark fruits that were present in the aroma. Some oxidized, cardboard off-flavors chime in as well---not a fan. A kiss of musty hops finally show up on the finish, but it's too little too late. Body is thick and heavy with a decent carbonation level. Overall, this is nice english barleywine, but not one I'll likely reach for again.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass. This is the December 2007 vintage and clocks in at 9.2% ABV according to the bottle.

Appearance: extremely dark brown, nearly black; just little edges of brown when held up to the light. No head at all.

Smell: sweet fruit aromas, principally raisin, but also pears and cherries. Quite nice.

Taste: sweet malt, raisins, pears, cherries, fresh tobacco and an alcohol bite. Not dynamic, but nicely complex. This is pretty good.

Mouthfeel: medium-thick body; it coats the mouth like a syrup. Carbonation is extremely low. While in most cases this texture is not my cup of tea, it is quite appropriate for the style and I think it suits the flavor profile and general experience quite well.

Drinkability: the flavor is pretty strong and the alcohol not particularly well-masked; while this is tasty, it's definitely not a beer of which I need more than one.

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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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