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Bethlehem Brew Works Bourbon Barleywine

Bethlehem Brew Works Bourbon Barleywine
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RATINGS: 16   MEAN: 3.92/5.0   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.58/5   EST. CALORIES: 285   ABV: 9.5%
American Barleywines are known for their intense flavors and strong hoppy bite. Ours is no exception, but we wanted to make Fegley’s Barleywine stand out. That’s why we lightly dry hopped our brew with citra hops which add a distinctive fruitiness in both taste and aroma. In order to maintain the spirit of Barleywines, we accentuated the fruitiness with hints of toffee and caramel. This all comes together to form a very smooth pour and a fantastic overall maltiness. While Barleywines can be overly strong, the complexity of our brew with its sweet notes and smooth feel help assuage the bitterness and strength. Barrel aged.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
BBB63 (6557) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - NOV 21, 2009
Handbottle shared by Shawn: Crimson brown hued with a small lasting frothy head and spotty lace. The aroma has notes of faded caramel and bready malts, some vanilla and wood, hints of plum and pepper. The taste is much better than the nose with a nice fruity and malt tone countered by a snappy booze and spicy profile. It does however get a bit cardboardy and even catty as it warmed. The mouth feel is lively and aggressive, chewy and chalky finish. Honestly there was not much about this that would want me to have more, missing the richness and nose I expected from this.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
boamr (310) - Allentown, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 14, 2009
At the Allentown location. Pours a murky brown color with a tan head. Has a great smell of bourbon, wood, and caramel. Has a bourbon, caramel, and a little vanilla in the taste. Also a pretty sweet but not the point where it was to much.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
dmschefke (576) - Macomb, Michigan, USA - OCT 26, 2009
Handbottle thanks to Hopdog, thanks man! Pours an almost syrupy thick murky mahogany with slight amber tone, very small thin light tan head that disappears quickly, but can’t be sure that it isn’t due to having this in my fridge for over a month. Aroma obvious of bourbon, caramel, dried dark fruits, vanilla, alcohol and a nice toasted malt. First taste was overwhelming with an array of flavors, but does eventually settle down. Bourbon and wood dominate after, but it never becomes one dimensional. Has a nice sweetness to boot, but man is this a surprisingly thick brew. Very heavy and warming. Great for a nice cold winter day.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Ughsmash (7508) - Pewaukee, Wisconsin, USA - OCT 15, 2009
Thanks to Steve for the handbottle! Poured murky medium amber with a short-lived cap of dark beige head. The aroma picked up sweet, thick, syrupy bourbon first and foremost over aged caramel and some darker fruits.. peppery, warm, and enticing. The flavor opened with tangy bourbon and oak notes, with thicker malts rolling in behind (caramel, molasses, and lesser dark fruit).. vanilla, oak, and a faint touch of smoke eminate outward.. finished with a lovely balance between the sweet bourbonny barrel and the barley wine (skewed slightly toward the barrel). Medium-plus bodied, warm, and tangy on the palate.. balance was entirely solid.. I’d love to get my hands on more of this!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
douglas88 (8412) - Portland, Oregon, USA - OCT 3, 2009
12 ounce handbottle thanks to hopdod, thanks Steve! Pours out a deep burgundy color with a medium beige head and lots of bubbles, a surprisingly good head from a handbottle. The aroma is heavenly; one of the best noses ever; sweet fruity notes, akin to a aged Thomas Hardy, a light woody note, some vanilla. The flavor is just great; sweet, fruity, dark fruits and strawberry, a tannic-woody bourbon note, vanilla, sweet but not overly so. Lets be clear, this is one hot mother, lots of alcohol warmth. The bourbon meshes so well with the rich fruity sweet malt, it is not overpowering but complementary. Very nice. It’s aggressive for sure, but well-made.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
richlikebeer (838) - Easton, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 30, 2009
Tan head, bronze, lots of caramel in the nose, very sweet, lots of bourbon and vailla in the tail, lots of caramel and grass in the body, a little warming, could stand some time out of the barrel to age

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
goryshkewych (11) - broadview heights, Ohio, USA - SEP 21, 2009
Wow! Thanks again to hopdog. Yet another gem! Beautiful copper color. Bourbony dried fruit compote on the nose. Similar flavors on the palate: figs, dates..with a warming bourbony finish. Kinda low carbonation (then again, this was a handbottle), but a great beer all in all.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
daknole (10872) - Scottsdale, Arizona, USA - SEP 19, 2009
handbottle from hopdog, thank steve! Pours red with a nice beige head. Sweet and malty aroma with some bourbon...a bit peppery too. Flavor is sweet, very sweet. Dates, raisins, bourbon and vanilla. YUM.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
Cletus (6355) - Connecticut, USA - SEP 19, 2009
Courtesy of hopdog. Pours brown with a tan head. Smells of chocolate, vanilla, spice, cocoa, oak, nutty. Tastes of bourbon, resiny, dark fruit, layered chocolate, pepper, earthy, toffee, caramel, boozy, dry, oaky. Velvety mouthfeel. Excellent!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
tyler_mn (1475) - SLP, Minnesota, USA - SEP 19, 2009
UPDATED: SEP 22, 2009 12oz hand bottle. Cap pops off nicely, and a vigorous pour yields a thick, dark brown beer with a very frothy brown/white head. Glowing dark ruby highlights when held up to the light. The nose is fairly straightforward (but quite pleasant) for a BA BW. Plenty of toffee, vanilla, alcohol soaked wood, a faint bit of resinous hops. I get just the smallest bit of fusel alcohol, but the other aromas keep it fairly contained. Flavor is loaded with wood tannin. This is a very dry barley wine. A good dose of vanilla, toffee, caramel malt and bourbon, but, wow... lots and lots of wood. Minimal hop presence. Mild alcohol notes. Bourbon does not dominate the malt flavors, but there is a big tannic wood presence throughout. I kinda like it though. Lush and creamy texture with a slightly oily finish. I really like this one... you can tell that this is a bourbon beer, but the bourbon doesn’t overpower anything. Rather, the wood imparts supple tannic notes that actually enhance the base beer (I’m guessing, as I’ve never had the base beer). Thanks for the opportunity for this one Steve!

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