Harpoon 100 Barrel Series #04 - Barleywine | Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

very good
73 Reviews
Harpoon 100 Barrel Series #04 - BarleywineHarpoon 100 Barrel Series #04 - Barleywine

Brewed by:
Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
Massachusetts, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.30%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by taez555 on 12-28-2003

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 73 | Ratings: 80
Photo of Seattleman
3.97/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Encore - bottled in 2006 and poured into a tulip.

Appearance: light cloudy copper with a quickly disappearing head.

Smell: brown sugar smell with a hint of floral.

Taste: malty with hints of hop that give it a slightly bitter aftertaste. Slight hint of fruit.

Mouthfeel: oily and boozy mouth feel.

Interesting and solid barleywine. Much more crisp and light than usual barelywines, making it more drinkable despite its high abv.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.35/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to Mess for this brew.

22oz. Bomber
Session: 04
Batch Date: 7/01/03

Eight years on this bottle.

Poured into a chalice a very nice cloudy dark peach color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy off-white head, with a nice big oil slick in the middle of the glass. The nose is malty, with a nice little hop note, slight dark fruits, slight citrus. The taste is malty, slight hop note, raisins, grapes, plums, figs. Medium Body. This one is still holding up very well after 8 years. Very Very tasty still. Thanks Chris!

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Photo of Urbancaver
3.92/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from 2006 opened on December 22nd 2010

Very light in colour. Pale orange/yellow. Smells fruity and a bit hoppy Tastes smooth and malty with very little hop presence. Boozy on the tongue with just a hint of bitterness underneath. Very tasty :)

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Photo of hoppymcgee
4.05/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz. Encore Series bottle dated 2006 into an Ommegang tulip glass.

A: Yellowish-orange color that glows and has plenty of carbonation left.

S: Surprisingly I still get a boozy whiff, with wheat, peanuts, and barley.

T: Fruity and nutty. This is unlike other barleywines in that it is not rich and caramelly.

M: Carbonation is still in full force. The overall feel of the beer is a little slick and oily, but on the thinner side.

D: The best feature of this beer. Although booze was evident in the nose, the taste does not give way to it. An easy beer to take down for 10.3%.

Overall, a beer that's still worth seeking out if you can find it. I love seeing beers age, and this one held up. Please note that this review most likely does not speak for the 22oz. bomber bottles of this beer (which are much older).

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Photo of mikey711
3.48/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2006 bottle

A: Light orange/amber color, cloudy, with only a faint psst when opened and a touch of head that sits on top.

S: It smells slightly like cardboard, but there is some sweet caramel and toffee notes. Also a touch of smokiness and leather

T: It is just about to be completely undrinkable. It reminds me of a very old bottle of fred. There is some leather notes, caramel sweetness, but it is just about to turn into teriaki

M: It is actually pretty smooth, with a good mellow creamy feel.

D: I am happy i split this bottle as i dont think much more than half it would be enjoyable

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.35/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2006 release, poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a cloudy light golden brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of fruit, brown sugar, caramelized malts, some spice, some hops and a significant amount of alcohol.

T: The taste is very sweet up front with flavors of citrus, honey, caramel and brown sugar. There's also a very strong alcohol sting. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy. The hops presence is weak for the style but this beer was bottled well over 2 years ago. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp but not that smooth, medium body, light-to-medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, strong kick, decent representation of style, it's a decent beer to sip on for a while but there are several other beers in the style that I would choose first.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Note: the original Harpoon Barleywine was bottled in bombers in July '03. This 12 ounce bottle is one of the 100 Barrel Series Encore beers and was bottled in November '06.

Sparkling topaz with a great deal of tangerine too. This is one of the paler barleywines that you're likely to run across. The upper half of the snifter is filled with a splendid looking crown of pearl colored foam that leaves little squiggles of lace as it melts.

The aroma delivers pale malt and golden fruit, with a drizzle of honey and a suggestion of alcohol. If Belgian yeast was used, HB would almost smell like a tripel. Since it wasn't, and it doesn't, there isn't a great deal of olfactory complexity. There needs to be more power and a sharper focus.

Barleywine would be a great place for a newbie to start. In other words, this is a 'training wheels' beer... except for less than expertly buried alcohol. Like most pale malted, less than hoppy barleywines, there aren't enough flavorful ingredients to cover up the taste of ethanol. It isn't bad, though, just more noticeable than it should be.

The flavor profile consists of sugar cookie dough, as well as pears and apricots soaked in fruit brandy and vodka. Given 80 IBUs, more hop flavor would be great. Then again, this bottle is pushing two years of age. The finish is semi-slick with a modest tightening that is due to alcohol as much as to alpha acids.

If you like your big beer to be full without being heavy, then this sucker will be right up your alley. It features a glassy smoothness that only time is capable of achieving. The mouthfeel is the highlight of this entire experience.

It's a good thing that Harpoon Brewery decided to bring back Barleywine because it gave me a chance to see what I missed the first time around. That said, one Encore is enough. This recipe is too safe and too unimaginative to be special.

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Photo of bbeerman
3.72/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I had a six-pack in the distant past, so I cannot recall all of the details. However, I do remember that I enjoyed the beer very much (I picked it up at the Boston brewery).

It was a nice (light) barley wine with a good flavor and scent. I thought it was somewhat rough going down, but perhaps I was not that used to barley wines back then.

Overall, something I wish was more readily available.

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Photo of kirok1999
3.68/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very light copper with a nice lingering white head.
Smells a lot of citrus, crisp and clean with an underlying sweet malt presence.
Taste is not at all like a traditional barleywine. Almost a wheat note with the nice crisp apple, orange and grapefruit tastes.
Honestly, I never would have pegged this as a barleywine, too crisp and citrusy. Very nice as it is; it would go very well with some sharp cheese, just not as rich, lush and sweet as I think a barleywine should taste like.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.45/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a Snifter

A – Poured a very nice and hazy soft amber with a smallish, maybe one finger high of head sitting up on the top. A nice slow fade left behind almost nothing, except for a small touch of film across the top and some decent side glass presentation. Some carbonation could be seen, but not too much.

S – Aroma was full of alcohol, and almost came off to me as mead like. It had the very sweet honey like smell stuck on top of a really nice grain like base. A good amount of caramel present as well, as it warmed it started to give off some more hop like tones and become a tad bit thicker in smell also.

T – The flavor was ok, not bad at all, but I have to be honest and stick with just ok. There was no real profound flavor explosion like I was hoping for, and the hops were too muted. Now it is usually a good thing when they are muted in aged barley wines, but I would not expect it to be this sugary after not too much time. Very interesting flavor though, with hints of caramel and apricot hidden inside.

M – Very much syrup like. The carbonation seemed to all but disappear as you began to sip it. A thick syrup like consistency and a bit of a dull feel. There was some redeeming qualities though as the finish were very nice and the overall was not half bad.

D – Well it went down a lot easier then the 10%abv would have led one to believe. A very nice blend, especially once it warmed ensure that regular sips were common place. This was by no means a guzzler, but was a fine sipper nonetheless.

Overall this was not bad at all. I was actually impressed with how mellow it became after a few minutes and some warming. I have had much better barley wines, but this was far from bad. I would have like to have tried it fresh to compare, but this is still holing up very well.

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Photo of CHADMC3
4.07/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Harpoon Barleywine Style Ale (100 Barrel Series – Encore)

·Appearance: Golden to orange in color, lively carbonation, and quickly subsiding head with a lasting very thin layer.

·Aroma: Fruity/Sugary and hoppy aroma. Extremely aromatic.

·Taste: Delicious sugary sweet taste, definitely fruity, but tough to identify exactly what, perhaps plum, or some other dark fruit. Significant hop bitterness on the back of the tongue, and into the aftertaste.

·Mouthfeel: Medium body and more significant carbonation. Definite hop presence. Perhaps a bit light for the style.

·Drinkability: Very drinkable beer, the sweet fruit taste and hops blend nicely. It’s smooth mouthfeel and clear aromatic attraction make you want another taste.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.23/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sample was from the encore series, not the original 100 BBL series. Used a white wine glass to preserve the carbonation, which effervesced nicely during the pour. Had a dark honey color with very little head; slight lacing remained during tasting. Nice mouthfeel with a mild taste of bitter peaches; somewhat acidic. Very mild smell, slightly floral. Not at all what I expected as it was very thin feeling in the mouth; not watery per se, but not much substance for a barleywine (I'm not an expert, but I've sampled a few). Enjoyable, but definitely a different take on the brew from my experience. Drinkable, but not in great volume, and almost seemed to have mead-like characteristics. Didn't at all seem like a 10.3% abv.

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Photo of ccrida
4.1/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

In honor of Michael Jackson, I pour the Harpoon Barleywine into my Beer Hunter snifter.
I am brewing a batch of barleywine right now and thought this would be appropriate.
My 12 oz bottle (thx yobdoog!) is not the orginal #4 series, rather a "100 BBL Series - Encore. Bottled in 2006", the same 10.3% ABV as the #4.
The color is a clear, brilliant amber, with a 1 finger off-white head, that fades to light skim and leaves decent lace.

The aroma is pretty rich, slightly sweet malt, like grapenuts cereal, with sherry, vanilla, some butterscotch diactyl and a bit of spice.

The taste not quite as rich or sweet as it looks, but still assertive, nicely balanced, finishing strong and somewhat dry, with slight solvent fusels. The pucker on the back of the tongue lets you know there's plenty of IBUs, in spite of all the sugars.

The body is on the lighter side of the style, but a bit syrupy, with a slick mouthfeel.

This one is pretty boozy, but clean. Maybe just a tad to dry and thin, but still a fine, complex sipper. While not exactly what I'm going for in my barelywine batch, I'm happy to enjoy it. Which I hope is a bit more robust and chewy, and not as sugary.

Cheers to Mr. Jackson, thank you for the inspiration!

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Photo of mcallister
3.8/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very light colored for a barley wine. Honeyed amber pour with a fluffy white head. Thin lacing left behind into a light layer above the carbonated liquid.

Floral and pine hopped aromatics with toffee and biscuit. Assorted nuts, hnits of butterscotch, with a vanilla date ester. A little diacetyl in the aroma maybe? Smells like it appears light and feminine. A very elegant barley wine so far.

An odd take on a barley wine but a fine beer nevertheless. Again very thin for the style. Molten toffee, vanilla, sugar cane, fig, date, with a citrus kick. Floral on the late mid palate and finish. Nice bitterness. Again very feminine and laid back. Alcohol is well hidden. Carbonation is hight but fits the light body well. Overall a solid brew.

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Photo of edchicma
3.97/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark honey color, topped by a minimal head. head. Smell was yeasty, fruity with hop undertones. Flavor is very malty with definite alcohol notes, a definite sipper.. Mouthfeel is definitely full-bodied, rich. Drinkability is good for the styles and high abv.

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Photo of Zorro
4.08/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Quite a light colored Barley Wine, in the glass this is an orange gold colored beer with a remarkable clarity for the style. Large off white to light tan colored head.

The smell is sweet and fruity with quite a lot of citrus hop aroma. The scent is a bit spicy like FFF Dreadnaught but not quite that complex. There is a little pine and a little tropical fruit in the scent but it is quite subtle.

The flavor begins sweet and a little papaya and tea flavors. A little fruity and a little hoppy, there is a thin edge of citrus to this one. On the very knife-edge between flavorful and mild this needs a little more hops to be truly great, as it is it is on the mild side. Light hop flavor of pine, grapefruit and pineapple emerge on the edges, but they are just a little too subtle here.

The mouthfeel is quite light for the style.

Where this beer really shines is in the easy to drink department. As Barley Wines go this is dangerously easy to drink for its alcohol content. Well worth trying but not the pick of the litter.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.37/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Also from the Encore series, appears a bright clear copper large cream head leaves even bands of thin lacing with each sip lighter in color than most barleywines I come across interesting already. Aroma, such an interesting hop presence here with 80 IBUs it's not filled with the typical pine and flowers but earthy and herbal very rich honey, caramel, nutty with spicy sweetness alcohol and ripe fruit like apricots glazed in a high gravity brandy some vinous notes as well what a complex smell especially as it warms. Flavor wow alcohol burn that 10.3 abv isn't hidden so well but as the ripened fruit notes, alcohol, and hop edge collide something happens other than catching a buzz the fruit undertones bring syrupy sugar notes with the herbal spicy hops and mild dirt components a nice barleywine is formed the light alcohol burn on the palate is worth it after the flavors start to intermingle. Mouthfeel is syrupy with medium to fuller body the texture remains on the palate with an alcohol burn forming in the back of the throat that travels to the nares very interesting barleywine first high abv brew from Harpoon I've come across. Drinkability as the hop burps form and vision blurs, I kid but honestly their 10.3% seems concentrated definitely a very nice brew here though not as balanced as some but the aggressive qualities differ from other big ol' nasty b wines that tend to smack you in the face this is more like the white glove fisticuff smack but I'm still into that.

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Photo of adowney523
3.43/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz brown bottle encore edition.

Pours a golden-amber with a thin white head.

Smells of citrus fruit particularly pineapple, grain, and alcohol.

Taste is of citrus fruits upfront with piney hops in the finish.

I thought this was drinkable, but a bit simple for a barleywine.

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Photo of beals
2.46/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Found this in a 6-pack. Not sure if this is from the original 100-barrel run or if they've released a second run and put it 12oz'ers rather than bombers.

A: Small (1/4") creamy-white head, fades to a ring of bubbles. Surprisingly good lacing, however. Pale, a light yellow/orange color. This seems a little lighter than I like my barleywines to be.

S: I could smell this one on the pour, from a reasonable distance. Perhaps it needs to mellow out more with age (this is the first of the 6 bottles). Aroma is strong citrus, notes of pineapple. There is also a pungent quality vaguely reminiscent of a strong cheese. Odd... I hope that doesn't carry through in the flavor.

T: The strong aromas translate directly into taste. I'm still getting that vague pungent overtone, but it fades quickly, transitioning into citrusy bitterness, and finishing with a malty, boozy kicker. Honestly, that first bite is still hurting me.

M: For the lack of carbonation that appeared in the head after what was a reasonably vigorous pour, there's a surprising amount of residual carbonation for a barleywine. It's not overwhelming, but it's noticeable.

D: I love me the barleywine style, but this is one that will have to age out longer to prove itself to me. Maybe there's something wrong with this one bottle, or maybe it's just still young and brash. But until it mellows out, this isn't terribly drinkable.

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Photo of ericj551
4.07/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Harpoon Barleywine pours a clear gold with little head, lighter than I would expect. Aroma is sweet, pale malt and ripe fruit. Taste is more malty sweetness with semi-citrusy fruity flavors, more towards oranges than anything else. The finish is crisp and introduces some hops, not overly bitter for an American barleywine, just enough to balence the intense maltiness of a 10% beer. I'm surprised at the 80 IBU claim on the bottle. I'm glad they decided to bring this beer back for the encore series since I didn't have the chance to try it the first time around.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.38/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a three finger off-white head that fades quickly to a ring leaving some lace. Crystal clear amber color. Light carbonation and medium bodied. Piney citric nose. Flavor is grapefruit and some malt, high ABV is not noticeable. Bitter after taste. $2.00 for a 12oz bottle from Capital Convenience Concord, NH.

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Photo of BuckSpin
4.07/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 11oz 11/06 Encore version bottled in a classic conical pint.

Here's a great beer story. While this Encore warms up, let me tell you.

Its March 2007. I was in a independent food/beer store and asked if they had any micros. The guy went back, checked and mentioned he had "yada yada yada Harpoon 100 Barrel yada yada yada...". My ears perked up. "Which one?" I asked. He goes back and brings out an UNOPENED case of Harpoon Encore #4 back from November of 06' !! I drew a deep breath. "How much?" I asked. When he basically offered the case at its individual bottle price, with my best poker face, paused a second and said "I'll take it." Then he asked "Would you like the other one?"

Other one?

Turns out he had TWO of these!!! So, I now have 47 bottles cellaring, one to enjoy and a great beer story to share as I enjoy.

Wonderfully deep, fruited nose. Peach, apricot, some cherry, even a little apple for sweetness. Echoes of honey, a lite spiciness, some esters, very pleasing. With some bloom grapefruit and oily pine rise. The spiciness grows and malts are more noticable as it warms. Surprisingly there is no obvious alcohol scent. Head was a 1/4" of mixed off-white foam that faded rather quickly to a see through film, but given the high ABV I'm not surprised nor going to hold it against it.

Its a vibrant, very clear, warm honey amber hue, barely brassy, a nice & slow cascade of carbonation twisting up from the depths.

Oh, this is light on the tongue...very surprising. I've never had a barleywine whisper so on the initial taste. Its semi-syrupy sweet up front, like dark honey. This is going down WAY too easy...gotta slow down! There's a lite malted presence, maybe some smoke, fruit like apricot or fresh peach that hasn't quite ripened yet. The hops rise on the palate as a bittersweet, oily grapefruit quality becomes noticable. I'm still drinking this too fast...this could be a dangerous beer. Some scotch-like qualities of soft orange and even a echo of milk chocolate sweetness remain on the throat as you swallow, and the alcohol, almost in a "Gotcha!" like reminder, rises up and is noticed finally, leaving a bittersweet, somewhat chewy, coating aftertaste reminiscent of a single malt.

This is an interesting interpretation of the genre and by far the easiest drinking barleywine I've ever tasted. Its surprisingly lite and dangerously easy to drink, with a nice scotch-like quality on the finish. Not the best barleywine I've had, but a interestingly good one. Not often you find one that you know you could drink in mid summer. In that I could have one of these a month for the next 4 years I'll find out! It will be interesting to see how this develops & grows.

Check it out if you can find some.

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Photo of edmedina
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had an opportunity to make my way to Harpoon Brewery for a tasting. They had on tap 6 beers but no Barleywine. The style on tap right now from the 100 Barrel series is the Farmhouse Ale. However, they had some bottle Barleywine for sale. When I got home to try one I first noted the color. It was a clear solid brown. I did not notice any "items" in the beer like yeast. The smell was light and hoppy, unlike some barleywines I've had in the past. It had a good head when poured and settled just nicely. The taste wasn't too malty and had the right amount of texture. The after taste was pleasant. This is definitely a good sitting beer.

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Photo of SkinnyElvis
3.7/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased at Bauer's in Boston. Pours with a very thin head and fairly clear right from my cellar at a temp of 48 degrees. Bit of a boozy/malt smell. The alcohol is noticable in the taste but not overwhelming. Fairly sweet for a barleywine which is not my preference. It does have a bit of an alcohol burn going down. I got a six pack so I think I will lay a few bottles down to see if this mellows.


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Photo of auxiliary
4.08/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This was part of the encore series.

Appearance - Nice medium copper color with a small head at first, some lacing stuck to the glass.

Smell - Sweet smell, some alcohol, some hops.

Taste - sweet syrup at first and then goes down with a hit of alcohol.

Mouthfeel: light body

Drinkability: Not bad, first barelywine style and I liked it. It is a sipper, something to drink slow.
I am enjoying this series from Harpoon.

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Harpoon 100 Barrel Series #04 - Barleywine from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
3.76 out of 5 based on 80 ratings.
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