Serve in Snifter


on tap

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RATINGS: 246   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.96/5   SEASONAL: Winter   IBU: 50   EST. CALORIES: 315   ABV: 10.5%
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

Ringo's rating

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Ringo (963) - Loveland, Colorado, USA - OCT 4, 2004
Another winner from Free State. This is the first barley wine that I have had in quite a while, after burning out on the style. And it is a good one. It is very British tasting, and reminded me of a stronger Old Nick. Good job of staying away from the "dump a bucket of hops in" trend.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
drpimento (2626) - La Crosse, Wisconsin, USA - OCT 30, 2015
Very good. When opened, I got a whiff of caramel and toffee right away, then with my schnoz in the glass I got raisins, apricots, yeast, hops, rye. Flavor has lots going on too - most pleasing to me was a note of roast which perfectly contrasts in a matching way the sweeter qualities. There is plenty of bitter in a balanced measure. Body however was odd in that it was good then it was a bit thin - kind of oscillated between the two states. Very drinkable for a strong brew.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
JoeLovesHops (12) - - AUG 4, 2015
12OZ bottle, 2014. Not much carbonation when opened; poured with a very light head, but I really like the color of the head: light caramel; beer somewhat cloudy at first, then cleared out to a very nice caramel color; strong aroma of bread; taste is heavy sweetness (But not cloying), medium bitterness, and some sourness; soft carbonation, sticky, medium body. Overall, I like it, but perhaps not as good as some other barley wines I have had? I look forward to seeing how this will age.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
DYCSoccer17 (3513) - Woodland, California, USA - JUL 12, 2015
2014 Bottle at Flying Saucer in Kansas City. Aroma has some cardboard and oxidation. Light sherry. Lightly sweet. Transparent orange body with a small, quickly dissipating off yellow head. Starts sweet and caramelly. Some toffee is also present as well. More oxidation late with some cardboard. Undercarbonated and alcohol is soft. This is good, but I’m not so sure why this is so highly rated. Perhaps this is too old?

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
arnold931 (1004) - Iowa, USA - JUL 1, 2015
Bottle. Pours clear caramel color with very little head. Big aroma and taste of caramel, toffee. Some dark fruit. Maybe a little citrus. Very sweet.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
BVery (8656) - Plymouth, Minnesota, USA - JUN 13, 2015
Bottle. Reddish somewhat purple pour with a small ring head. Looks kind of beastly, actually. Killer aroma of rich caramel and toffee with a hint of a welcome booze note. Slick smooth palate, sweet taste with a nice hop balance. Dark fruit notes. Damn, this is amazing.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Beaver (1507) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - JUN 10, 2015
12 oz bottle, dated 2014. Pours hazy reddish amber with a medium creamy off white head that retains well and leaves some lacing.

The aroma is sweet caramel and toffee malt with lots of figgy fruit and some cardboard notes.

The flavor is sweet caramel and toffee malts with lots of dark fruit and a little roast and a bit of sherry like alcohol and some harsh bitter alcohol. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with smooth carbonation.

Overall, there’s a lot going on, a bit too much. I bet this would improve with a bit of age to blend it all out better.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Cavie (4043) - Fort Worth, Texas, USA - MAY 5, 2015
Bottle. Clear Amber orange. Aroma is syrup, caramel, malt and sugar. Flavor is sweet, wood, sugar and syrup. Easy finish. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
thegreenrooster (3638) - St.louis, Missouri, USA - MAR 13, 2015
Pour is a murky brown with an average white head. Aroma is some sweet malt and brown sugar with maybe a bit of rye. Flavor is a nice dark fruit to start then come some brown sugar and the finish has a hop presence lingering there. Not overly heavy mouth feel but just enough to make this a bit chewy. This is a decent and flavorful barleywine with the alcohol masked by the sugar and caramel malt.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
djd07 (6612) - Houston, Texas, USA - MAR 9, 2015
Growler at RBWG. Pours a cloudy copper with small tan head that lasts. The aroma is caramel and vanilla. Medium mouth with strong vanilla, nutty malt, light booze, very good.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
50belair (3083) - Florida, USA - MAR 3, 2015
Clear amber pour with an off white head. Caramel malt aromas. Caramel malt and dark fruits dominate. Some bitterness from the hops. Average body and mouthfeel.

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