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Free State Old Backus Barleywine

Serve in Snifter


on tap

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RATINGS: 228   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.94   SEASONAL: Winter   IBU: 50   EST. CALORIES: 315   ABV: 10.5%
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Like great friendships, barleywine is meant to evolve over time. From the first brash encounters, to the mellow complexity that age will bring, this is a beer to be savored early and then revisited with the passage of time. Share our tribute to friendships new and old.
The aroma starts with some malty, caramel notes like a sprinkling of brown sugar. Fruity overtones from the fermentation build on the inviting sweetness and add to the complexity. A bright hint of lemon from the hops tops it off. Malty sweetness creates the first layer of flavor and on that foundation, fruity flavors of plums, pears and a touch of apple pie develop. The hops again serve to brighten the finish and add a balance to the malty sweetness . Over time these flavors and aromas will deepen and continue to develop. Undertones of raisons, figs and prunes will add maturity and the hops will continue to soften until they become but a faint background for the sweet, fruitiness of the malts. Of course, that means you have to save some to find out! Just as you might gently warm a winter brandy, let your barleywine come up to around 50-55° to allow for the best appreciation of its flavors and aromas.
Old Backus gains complexity from a blend of American and English Pale Malts as well English Crystal Malt and Amber Malt. Generosity is the name of the game with just over 1/3 of a pound of malt in every pint
Where complexity serves in the malt bill, focus and simplicity is the key to our hops. Domestic Nugget and Crystal hops add some balancing bitterness and a hint of citrus to the aroma O.G. 24˚P/1.100 IBU - 50

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Bacterial (1721) - Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA - DEC 20, 2014
Deep amber pour from a 12 oz bottle. Nice off-white head and some lacing. Nose is vanilla, caramel and malty, with just a tinge of citrus. The taste is quite nice - strong malt backbone with a nice dose of hops - though a bit harsh and boozy on the finish.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
rader58 (791) - Leawood, Kansas, USA - DEC 19, 2014
12 oz bottle. Pours dark amber with heavy red hues. Aroma of molasses, dried dark cherries, caramel, vanilla. Flavor of molasses, wood, raisin, cherry juice, brown sugar, lemon. A nice mix of sweetness, but with a stiff bitterness. Slightly dry in the finish.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 18/20
TheEpeeist (3400) - Media, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 15, 2014
12 oz bottle. Clear purple orange with light froth. Nose is banana, caramel and rum raisin. Slick and sticky with airy carb finishing a touch resiny. Taste is citrus honey, grass, watermelon and dried fig. Fruity with a hint of hops. Nice stuff.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
wlajwl (4053) - Quad Cities, Iowa, USA - DEC 10, 2014
Aroma is fruit, floral, malts and a hint of alcohol. The flavor is fruit, citrus, malts, slick texture and a mix of sour and lingering alcohol in the finish.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
BoBoChamp (5759) - Gent, BELGIUM - NOV 30, 2014
36cl, Vintage 2014, at 10%Vol, exclusive American brew, thx alot to Dirk for sharing!, complex brew, malty/fruity/sweet and slightly spicy/bitter, yet not too heavy, very balanced, hazy, nearly no head, very good brew

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
jcwattsrugger (11217) - Florida and, New Jersey, USA - NOV 12, 2014
On tap. Tan-dark copper. A-raisen/dates/brown sugar-medium malt, some citrus. Taste follows.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
M82 (319) - Kansas, USA - NOV 8, 2014
Thin amber highlights stream through crimson midtones over mahogany beneath a light khaki, creamy smooth, half inch head which slowly falls to a thin, solid ring, and eventually completely dissipates

Layers of gradiating citrus and vanilla frame flowing complexities of cherry, dark fruit, coffee cake, and nuts merging to create lightly spiced fruit cake and apple pie on a smooth, creamy, medium plus body with medium tact offering a tight, candied after of the fore mentioned components conjuring cinnamon and red licorice bittered by medium roast coffee and spicy alcohol accents finishing out a controlled, lasting residual

Displaying impressive finesse for such a young barley wine, approachable and complex with brightness and richness

12 oz bottle of fresh 2014 served into 16 oz Spiegelau Soiree brandy snifter, review #300

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
dmschefke (570) - Macomb, Michigan, USA - OCT 20, 2014
Wow, this is one hell of a beer. This is such a well rounded barleywine that it just totally made my dinner that much better. Perfect balance of malt, slight sweetness, just enough citrus and floral hops, and tons of dried fruits to make for one hell of a drink. Best beer I have had at Free State.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
EtTuCthulhu (1130) - Columbia, Missouri, USA - AUG 12, 2014
The color of this beer is a brownish ruby with a large off-white head. The aroma blends toasted and biscuit malts, molasses, earthy hops, and vanilla, and the taste is mildly bitter from the malts, mildly umami, a touch sweet, and a touch sour. The mouthfeel fuses an oily texture, medium body, soft carbonation, and a long, malty finish.

   AROMA 3/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
toyota22r (2) - - APR 11, 2014 does not count
Fresh serving from grand opening of Old Chicago in Garden City, KS: super rich malting as fades into raisin. Hops bitterness present but not overwhelming. Very drinkable barley wine at such a young age.

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