Serve in Snifter


on tap

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RATINGS: 80   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.63/5   SEASONAL: Special   IBU: 103   EST. CALORIES: 327   ABV: 10.9%
R&D Series. In the Ninkasi tradition, this barley wine is hopped to high heaven –using more than 16 pounds per barrel! Critical Hit’s rich, malty expression is balanced by 16 varieties of hops that linger on the palate. Its high gravity nature warms the cheeks and soul. Critical Hit does maximum damage, so you might have to roll to save if you take this ale for granted!

Massive citrus, earthy, resinous, and grassy hop flavor is balanced with the melanoidin complexity of port and sherry notes, creating a powerful and warming taste experience. Big citrus, earthy, grassy, and pine hop aroma with port and sherry notes mingle in this beer conditioned for over a year. Aggressive bitterness dominates up front with a large array of hop flavor spanning citrus, earthy, resinous, grassy and dank. Subtle caramel and melanoidin compounds oxidize (in a good way) to create the port and sherry notes that are a trademark to these extremely strong beers called barley wine. The bitterness of the beer helps round out the intensity of alcohol and the malt complexity to make a non-cloying and very, very tasty beer. This may be the one beer that you still need to sip rather than quaff but it is deceptive for the style.

Hops: Columbus, Millenium, Northern Brewer, Simcoe, Falconers Flight, Galena, Peerle, Santiam, Ahtanum, Fuggle, Glacier, Hersbrucker, Liberty, Spalt, Hallertau

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
zoucrew102 (1012) - - JAN 25, 2015
Bomber, brought back from Oregon, 2012 reserve #4545/12000. Pine resinous hop aroma with subtle notes of caramel and dark fruit. Pours dark caramel brown with a thin off white head and not much lacing to speak of. Starts pretty well with light caramel and dark fruit sweetness. Finishes, not as well to my liking, dry with pine resin hop bitterness that lingers on the palate. Good to start, but the finish was a bit bitter for my palate.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
HIGHB4LL (837) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - APR 9, 2015
Bomber on game night, oh ya! (From Wilbur’s). Appearance: half finger white head, dark amber color, clear, light oily lacing. Aroma: caramel, resin, light prune, earthy, faint hints of alcohol, exhale is full of pine and resin with alcohol. Palate: medium body, softer carbonation, thin texture with alcohol thinness and warming finish, bitter finish. Taste: sweet caramel with very light fruit notes before alcohol and resinous hops take over and destroy your palate! Pretty interesting, but balance is definitely skewed and off. I enjoy it, but it is not a well balanced beer.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
boFNjackson (4192) - Portland, Oregon, USA - MAR 5, 2011
Tap @ Barleywine & Big Beer Fest... [2009 vintage] Poured dark amber with an pff-white head. Still fairly hoppy with two years on it. But the hops played off like they were stale -- old hop flavor. Toasted almonds, little bit of buttery lettuce and cabbage. Mild carbonation and a little boozy. Some yeast notes towards the end. It was alright, but I don’t think this is true to Barleywine style. Perhaps American Strong.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
5000 (6600) - Hardened Liver, Washington, USA - NOV 19, 2011
Draught @ Brouwer’s Café:   Reddish side of amber, moderate finely bubbled head, nice lacing.   Malty nose, a little caramel and citrusy hops.   A little caustic up front, raw and green.   Seems to have a lot of citric rind bitterness and a bit of astringency.   Its not too strong, but this one says young.   Could stand to be a bit heavier on the tongue.   Wished that it was a bit sweeter too.   Lots of raw rind bitterness on the exit.   This one needs to be a bit maltier to age.   Tiz okay, but it’s a bit brash.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
davey101 (747) - Connecticut, USA - APR 19, 2013
2010 Reserve, Bottle #2503/5000, 22 oz bomber into a Bolt Cutter glass. A - Has that perfect barleywine look to it. A nice burnt amber body that is slightly hazy and three fingers of dense, slick light khaki foam with large bubbles that just coats the sides with killer lacing when swirled. S - Very boozy with dark fruits, some faded piney hops, and lasting toffee and caramel. Pretty rich and bold, but not in a great way. Really just too much alcohol presence. T - A muted combination of toffee and faded piney hops. Slick and oily which is great given the style but everything is just so boring here. Finishes with a high level of bitterness and an unpleasant booziness. Mouth feel is nice and creamy though. O - This left a lot to be desired. Not sure if its the age on it, but its just not a very interesting barleywine. A bit too boozy and the hops flavors are mostly faded but the bitterness is still kicking around. Meh...

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Crit (3638) - Surrey, British Columbia, CANADA - DEC 22, 2013
Cloudy amber,small beige head.Nose of brown sugar & light alcohol.Woody palate of alcohol,malt, with a slightly dry hop finish

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 14/20
Koskela (409) - Marysville, California, USA - MAY 23, 2015
I get very malty aroma with a fruity undernote in this thick not very carbonated cloudy brown brew. Sweet full bodied up front with a molasses and earthy mid taste finishing with a nice bitter and earthy aftertaste and a hint of warning from the 10.4%

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
mcberko (10569) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - MAR 13, 2011
3 oz. sample on tap at Brouwer’s Café for Hard Liver, pours murky dark orange. Aroma of toffee, toasted malt, nuts and dark dried fruits. Flavour of caramel malts, balanced sort of with hops but with a cloying sweetness. Decent.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
50belair (3083) - Florida, USA - AUG 15, 2014
On tap at the Blind Tiger. Clear amber pour with an off white head. Shit, JAHABW (just another hoppy ass barley wine). Piney hop bouquet. Piney hop notes dominate the show with muted caramel malt undercurrents. Below average mouthfeel. Average body.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 13/20
carruthm (1401) - Seattle, Washington, USA - MAR 21, 2010
on tap at brouwer’s for hard liver 2010. highly bitter, surprising for the style, but not for ninkasi.

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