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Black Raven Old Birdbrain Barleywine
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overall
94
73
style
Serve in Snifter

bottling
unknown

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RATINGS: 29   MEAN: 3.72/5.0   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.55   SEASONAL: Winter   IBU: 85   EST. CALORIES: 366   ABV: 12.2%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
This robust strong ale features pale malts and generous hop additions. After primary fermentation, several American rye whiskey barrels are filled and cellared to age. The remaining beer is then cellared in a stainless steel tank. After many months of aging, the barrels are then blended into the remaining batch aged in the stainless steel tank. Rare bird, released annually in winter and in limited quantity throughout the year.

2009 Old Birdbrain – First place Great Alaskan Beer & Barleywine Festival 2010
2010 Old Birdbrain - First place Great Alaskan Beer & Barleywine Festival 2011
2010 Old Birdbrain - Third place Great Alaskan Beer & Barleywine Festival 2012

Malts 2-Row Barley, Rye, Crystal
Hops Nugget, Palisade, Mt Hood


4.4
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
neepsntatties (1222) - Portland, Oregon, USA - MAR 28, 2011
On tap at Hard Liver Fest (2011). Colour... deep, golden-orange with no head. Nose... like fresh hops crushed with nuggets of turbinado! Palate... wow! Hop shot!! Tart mouth feel yet thick and cloying with lychee, sugar sirop, quince, Anjou pear, and dried peach, date extract and a bitter-dry finish. What a treat!

4.3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
jsquire (3509) - St. Marys, Ohio, USA - JAN 29, 2012
Sampled at the ’12 GABBF. This beer has won best barley wine for two years in a row now. They were serving a keg of the 2010 vintage. Murky copper color with a thin yellowish head. Rich buttery sweet nose. Great mouthfeel with a warming alcohol sensation. Subtle whiskey barrel notes with some oak and rich dark caramel sweetness. Hop burn on the tongue. Really well balanced. Well deserving. I missed trying this beer last year and I made sure to be towards the front of the line this year.

4.3
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Smurf2055 (1399) - Seattle, Washington, USA - MAR 4, 2012
Hard Liver Pours dark amber with little head. Candy and licorice, vanilla and caramel, maybe a bit of toffee. Very sweet smell. Taste is like the smell; lots of vanilla up front, malt, oak, and almost marshmallow comes up after. Bit of booze on the end. Good carbonation, medium to full bodied. Damned good barley wine.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Aml42000 (622) - Washington, USA - FEB 25, 2012
Good Barleywine. 2010 vintage. Light rust/amber color. The nose is filled with allspice and cinnamon. Full bodied with brandy/cognac flavors. This needs more time to come together.

4.1
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Treebs (872) - , Illinois, USA - MAR 18, 2013
12 oz. bottle served in a Black Raven curved pint glass. Thanks to OakedCanuck for the bottle. Thanks Colin! A: Pours a clear amber color with some dark brown highlights. A light brown head forms on the pour and recedes very slowly to a thin film. Nice retention. The head leaves some sticky sheets of lace down the glass. S: Lots of caramel sweetness up front. Some mild dark fruit, mostly raisin, with a little bready malt as well. Slightly boozy as well. Light rye whiskey, but it’s hard to pull out. T: Sticky caramel sweetness. Underlying hops. A little citric in nature, sorta like candied grapefruit. A little booze with some oxidation that has brought out a sherry like character. A little booze with some dark cherry. Some light herbal spice, maybe the rye whiskey barrel. M: Medium bodied, a little sticky, but surprisingly drinkable. Smooth and sweet finish with a medium low carbonation level. O: A very nice barleywine that has aged gracefully. I’m glad I have a second bottle to sit on for a while as I think it’s going to develop a lot more and become more complex. Serving type: bottle

4.1
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
flannelnomad (57) - portland, Oregon, USA - FEB 13, 2014
Poured into my Ale Apothecary snifter from a 12ozer. What a beautiful beer! Glowing deep amber. Crystal clear. Off white head that fades away. Smells like candied caramel corn, booze, sugar and vanilla. Has a toasted sugar quality to it. Like kettle corn and marshmallows. Vanilla, burnt caramel, for all the cellaring at the brewery that this beer goes through it is still pretty hot. Lots of hops with all the malt and high abv give it a stingy, medicinal, numbing quality, which I love. I really really like this barley wine, it’s such a melding of english and american style and I am very intrigued to see what it’s like after a year or two, I think it will be kicked up a couple notches with some cellaring.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
OldMrCrow (1877) - Seattle, Washington, USA - JAN 8, 2014
One year old bottle at Prufock’s place -- thanks to J. from untappd

I was quite happy to have the chance to try this one. Light orange pour into a stemmed HOTD glass, limited head. Nice full aroma: vanilla bourbon dominated by apple jolly rancher, hints of muscat grape and something close to cotton candy. Bourbon provides only a hint of vanilla. The taste is a close match to the aroma. Modestly sweet, light caramel --- in fact, caramel apple. Not such a hop blast as in many relatively fresh American barleywines. Definite aspects of English-style barleywines here. Quite nice in its subtleties but a tad hot -- give it two years of age and it could be really special.

3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
trevor211 (1305) - Seattle, Washington, USA - MAR 24, 2013
On tap at Brouwer’s Hard Liver 2013. Cloudy orange pour, with boozy fruit and butterscotch on the nose. The flavor has *way* more depth than the aroma, adding an earthy rye note that ups the complexity, and some nuance to the caramel/fruit. Quite good -- it develops really nicely in the mouth.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
jake65 (2690) - Boise, Idaho, USA - JAN 2, 2014
Bottle, 2011 vintage courtesy of 5000 – thanks. Glowing amber color with a thin ring of beige head. Classic aroma of a lightly aged barley wine; subdued floral hops, sherry, caramel, and toffee. Good weight, a slightly heavy body. Still a little life left in the floral hops, more sherry, and caramel. Finishes a little dry, but still a fine sipper.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
mcberko (6737) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - MAR 4, 2012
On tap for Hard Liver ’12, pours a cloudy orange amber with a small head. Aroma of toffee, liqueur-covered fruits, candied sugar and booze. Flavour of booze, brandy-like liqueur, caramel malts and toffee. Full-bodied, complex and well-balanced. Very solid.


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