Great Dane Belgian Barleywine
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RATINGS: 4   MEAN: 3.8/5.0   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.16/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 420   ABV: 14%
This beer is a barleywine, collaboration between Great Dane and Capital Brewery. Instead of the usual English or American yeast strains, we in fact, used three different yeast strains noted for their ability to ferment to high alcohol levels. One of these is indeed Belgian yeast strain, and there fore imparts a character is truly Belgian flavor, full of spicy aromas. At 14% ABV, this is the strongest beer weve ever offered at the Great Dane. To make a beer this strong requires a lot of malt. No, I mean A LOT. Using so much malt leads to a very full bodied, sweet beer just packed with flavor. Think of our regular barleywine, but even fuller and stronger. Other brewers have made beers higher than 14% alcohol but add sugars or freeze it to increase alcohol without adding extra flavor or character. The Great Danes Belgian Barleywine may be the strongest beer out there made only with malt and no additional sugars.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
nuplastikk (5797) - Madison, Wisconsin, USA - OCT 25, 2010
Draft at Great Dane. Opaque red. Aroma wreaks of sugar. Thick and sticky, this one seems to have reached its big ABV with malt extract. Belgian? No way. Sugary and over the top, syrupy. Not unlike the Duclaw big beers, but lacking any semblance of subtlety. Touch of amber malt? Sugar bomb.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
NobleSquirrel (3438) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JUN 10, 2010
Draft at Great Dane Downtown. First off, I hardly think this one is 14%, regardless of what they have to say. With that being said, pours a deep and rich caramel with next to no head. Nose is phenolic with clove and apple notes, alcohol and raisins. The apple is out of place. On taste, round and full body, lightly warming. In no way is this 14%. Peppery notes from the phenols as well as some dark fruits. Not particularly complex and there is just too much yeast character. Meh.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
brewblackhole (1588) - Muskego, Wisconsin, USA - MAR 9, 2010
Aroma of mainly escaping alcohol with pleasant bursts of tart apple and pear,very little hop,surprising for a barleywine brewed stateside. Taaste was an array of alcohol soaked fruit,caramel apple, pear ,mango,reminded me of a Whop a-tooee mix you get at picnics.Very full flavored and a pleasant apple liquer flavor lingers on the tongue afterwards,again little hopping evident although the brewer insisted there was a ton of hopping in there. Didnt quite get the warming I expected, nor the buzz from two 4oz glasses,so I question that 14% rating Extremely enjoyable however,should age nicely

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
Skyview (5696) - Papoose Jct, Minnesota, USA - FEB 28, 2010
This is the Great Dane / Capital Brewery collaboration barleywine that has been aging for about a year. On draught only at the Great Dane downtown brewpub via snifter and received only 4-oz pour. Appearance is a hazy caramel colored barleywine that has a creamy beige head that slowly dissipates and leaves behind some spotty lacing. Aroma is quite complex. Lots of fruits such as raisin, apricots, apples and plenty of Belgian yeast with banana esters. Taste is the fullest bodied barleywine I have ever encountered. Compared to most other barleywines this one is so strong I could swear it was barleywine concentrate. Flavors is apricot syrup, mangos, raisin, honey and banana esters. Finish is thick and smooth, very sweet, with a profile character close to one of Germanys best Beerenauslese with a Belgian yeast and banana aftertaste. The flavor is so sweet that any alcohol burn was non-existent. I was honored to visit Great Dane in Madison to try this rare treat.

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