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 DanOLeary
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aroma: Initial hint of an expected dark fruit but this gives way very quickly to aroma's of sweet cherry and candy sugar. I was a bit surprised, though pleasantly, to find a floral hop aroma which is quite prevalent. Alcohol notes are light but come off as peppery and clean, not fusel.

Appearance: Pours a deep ruby to mahogany red, nearing brown but the clarity is so good that it allows enough light through the edges to produce a lens flare effect of dark cherry red. No head. There is but a trace of creamy tan bubbles outlining the edge of the glass.

Flavor: The sweet candy sugar comes into play immediately on the tongue. It lingers for a moment then you're hit with citrus hop bitterness that nearly puckers the tongue. This is clearly a heavily hopped ale, but the malt backs up strong bitterness with dark fruits, raisin and some molasses. Alcohol spice comes in near the finish, though not overly hot by any means. There is an almost oaked presence in the malt but it's more astringent than what you'd expect from an oak aged beer. Finish is clean and biting with the hop bitterness lingering through the end.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with medium carbonation. The hop bitterness has a drying effect, bordering on astringent but it just pushes to the edge without going over. Alcohol spice doesn't become overly prevalent until near the end where it stings and warms the throat.

Overall: A barley wine worth seeking out because it balances considerable hop bitterness on top of a rich blend of malt character with a well rounded alcohol presence. As a personal opinion I would enjoy a little more grainy texture to the body but I'm being picky. The hop bitterness is very high, and unlike some barley wines it's not over the top on bitterness while lacking depth in body and other malt flavor characteristics.

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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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 midaszero
4.06/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dec 2007 vintage

A - Cloudy mahogany body with pretty much no head at all. A few bubbles gather on the edges

S - Nice rich dead caramel and malts with some good hop notes bouncing around as well

T - Nice and sweet caramel with some smokiness to it. Dark fruit and mellow hops bounce around in the back ground

M - Medium body with little carbonation

D - Very easy to drink and damn enjoyable

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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 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 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 BigMcLargeHuge
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12/02/06 Walk the Line Barleywine Festival, Dunedin, FL. 2001 vintage. This beer poured out a murky brackish brown color with a tan head. The aroma has lots of caramel. There seemed to be sweet caramel and maybe a more burnt caramel too. Nice aroma for this five year old beer. The flavor was tasty with the caramel that I smelled as well as toffee, dark grapes and a tad of pine hops. Very nice brew.

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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 rye726
4.18/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2006 Vintage

Quite dark for the style. Medium brown with a tan head. Poor retention. The nose has sweet malts and a touch of bitter hops. The taste is nicely balanced with a full body. It is a bit roasty and has a good helping of fruits, candies and hops.

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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 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 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 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 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 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 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 Vancer
4.18/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep amber brown pour, and some large bubble frothy tan foam. Different and nice. Tons of sheet lacing.

Holy smokes, the INFAMOUS sweet caramel malt meets my snozola. I can tell in a heartbeat from it that it’s gonna be a good evening. And yes, I’m not disappointed in the first sip of this nectar – the sweetness is balanced with a woody and vinous hop.

Very dry and sharp for a BW – it draws me like a moth to a flame. And the underlying alcohol stings like a hornet nest – but quickly dies as the New Belgium snifter approaches for another run.

I’m sipping too fast, this will be gone soon – and then I’m done. But I’m a better man for it,

thanks to Dubbercody for sending this 2005 version bottle to me on my BA anniversary.

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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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