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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Ratings: 102 |  Reviews: 72
Photo of jaydoc
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of t0rin0
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

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 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 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 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 mdaschaf
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of JAHMUR
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

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 Hopheadjeffery
4/5  rDev +3.4%

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 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 brandoman63
4/5  rDev +3.4%

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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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 Derek
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep mohoganny, tan head, very little retention & lace.

S: Pine and slightly floral hops, bready malt, molases, dark toffee, alcohol.

T: Warming alcohol up-front, sherry, dark rye bread, chocolate, piney bitterness, hops come in the middle and remain throughout.

M: Well-attenuated, moderate body, lower than moderate carbonation.

D: Warming, but good drinkability.

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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 jdhilt
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a two finger light tan head that fades slowly leaving a good lace. Deep mahogany color. Medium carbonation and heavy bodied. Burnt caramel nose. Flavor is burnt caramel, some sweetness, smooth. High ABV is hidden. Brewed Dec 2005, $1.99 for a 12oz bottle from John's Market Tigard, Or.

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

On-tap at the brewery in Seattle.

Pours a deep amber, slightly hazed colour, with a very solid body that holds lots of static, fine-bubbled carbonation. Head is a firm, full crown of yellowish off-white that leaves some streaky lacing. Good looking brew.

Nose is rich with chewy, sticky caramel, shot through with singular hops that give a bright contrast. Aromas of musk come through as well giving a nice twist. Good stuff.

Caramel entry, big and chewy, which is soon joined by some light citric lemon characters and a dash of pepper. There's a touch of mild astringency on the finish, along with a boozy note on the back (the only hint of its rather heavy weight yet). There's a slight build up of bitterness after a while, but it creeps up, and isn't immediately noticeable after your first couple of sips.

Feel is chick and chewy, as you'd expect.

This ticks the boxes for a barleywine. Does it go beyond this? Not much beyond, but even getting a beer this big to feel so coherent and tasty is a good achievement.

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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.

 1,104 characters

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The mark of a good bewer is his Bwine.
Poured a flat deep amber color. Nose is spicy, deep malts and caramel and alcoholic. Taste is spicy, boozy with deep caramel with brown sugar. Mouthfeel is thick and a little boozy. One of my favorite Englush bwines

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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 twelveinches
4/5  rDev +3.4%

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