Brewed at Hepworth

Style: Barley Wine
Reading, England
Serve in Snifter


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 395   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.11   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 315   ABV: 10.5%
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"It turned out to be a case of mistaken identity, of course - wrong place at the wrong time...but Claus was soon back on the street with the polite apologies of the authorities - no questions asked. Allís well that ends well, surely, but still, the reporters wanted to know...it takes its toll, doesntít it? "Indeed" sighed Claus, "my elf is going crazy, and I fear I shall soon go crazy as well" And with that he hoisted a great flagon of his favorite barleywine-style ale, silently contemplating the future and straining to remember why he got into this particular line of work in the first place. Peter Scholey, Brewer.

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 3/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 7/20
DocLock (7860) - Lower Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania, USA - MAR 6, 2007
Medium copper pour with 1-finger off-white head. Aroma of caramel malt, tannins, slight fruit. Tastes caramel malty, with some tannic fruits, and heavy heat as it warms. In fact, the heat and lack of balance in this caused me to drain pour the last few ounces. The first 6-8 ounces werenít horrible, maybe a 2.7 or so, but the last dregs were impossible to finish. I dare say this is by far the worst barleywine I have ever had.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 11/20
Ughsmash (7135) - Pewaukee, Wisconsin, USA - FEB 19, 2007
50cl bottle. Poured a clear translucent medium orange with a dusting and a very loose ring of white bubbles. The aroma picked up an interesting assortment of lighter fruits (pears, sliced pineapple, and starfruit come to mind) along with peppery alcohol and some grassy notes. The flavor department was criminally sweet, with a mess of toffee, caramel, the aforementioned fruits, and plenty of alcoholly sugars... metallic and medicinal notes stuck to the underside of the edges of the tongue... the fruits return for some decent flavor at the finish... moderate grassy bitterness. Sharp, too sweet, and unbalanced on the palate.. medium-bodied with a watery intro. This wasnít a criminally bad beer, but it was nowhere near a good one.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
cathcacr (634) - Oregon, USA - FEB 18, 2007
Screw the 3.12 RB average, this is delish, almost criminally good, though not quite there. It is an English-style BW, which puts this at the level of an American ESB. Very sweet, much more sweet than possibly bitter. It does resemble liquid sugar, dunnit. Makes it dangerously drinkable at 10% ABV. The explanation for the criiminally low 3.12 RB average is that itís too sweet for a typical beer, and doesnít exactly present as a Barley Wine in the usual sense. Body is too thin by that standard, and itís not especially balanced. But this rater found it criminally drinkable in light of its near-average beer qualities..

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 8/20
ClarkVV (3892) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - FEB 15, 2007
2006 bottle consumed (partially) on 2/3/07.
Initially small, off-white head recedes quickly to nothing. Liquid looks still, slightly glassy and quite viscous. A soft amber-auburn color with strawberry highlights and some darker, light-browns. No lacing, nothing (and the bottle is fresh too...)
Phew, they (the Shelton Bros.) certainly missed the boat on this one. Fiery fusels and sharp esters strike at the nose, as a heavy apple and caramel/toffee note seem to make up the backend of the aroma. DMS too? Perhaps. A very slight roasted/smoked edge almost, though more likely itís just medicinal phenolics. Sweet vanilla and cherry emerge with warming, but the alcohol persists. Cough medicine, anyone?
Undercarbonated, filtered (regardless of the bottle conditioning) body never stood a chance against the sickly sweet adjunct-like sugars, impossibly disruptive alcohol, corn and vanilla notes (probably DMS too) and medicinal, spicy phenols. Tastes like phenolic cough syrup with some alcohol spiciness. Light cocoa, buttercream, toffee and sweet cherry notes cloy in the end. And where is all this obnoxious acidity coming from??? Seems like they were almost trying to make a bad beer.....Couldnt do much more than a few sips.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
robertsreality (2460) - Minnesota, USA - FEB 10, 2007
Light Amber Coloring with White Ring. Sweet, Lightly Fruity and Herbal/Grassy on the Nose. Mildly Syrapy...Initial and Most Dominant Hit of Astringent Alcohol...After You Think You Can No Longer Keep it in Your Mouth, It Departs...Ending with Something Much Nicer and Wished for in the Overall Experience...Rich Maltiness..Light Burnt Notes, Caramel, Dark Fruits, Orange, Just a Pinch of Rye..and a Much More Sutble Warming. To Each His/Her Own.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
IMtheOptimator (1161) - Bethel, Connecticut, USA - FEB 3, 2007
So this is the new "baddest" elf. I thought "Seriously Bad Elf" was somewhat underrated, so I had a few fleeting hopes for this particular entry. Poured a clear amber with a small semi-creamy white head. Nice aroma of alcohol, strawberries, honey, and wheat. Flavor is very dry with notes of dishwater, grassy hops, some indistinguishable fruits, and of course, alcohol, leading to a long and dry bitter, yeasty finish. Body is average for the style. Overall, definitely on the same continuum of the Bad Elf series, but for me the series has come full circle from novelty to something decent to back to novelty again. Whatís next? "Heaven Doesnít Want Him and Hell Is Afraid Heíll Take Over Elf"? With 15% alcohol ABV and flavor that tastes like an astringent metallic alcoholic mess? You know what the real crime is in all of this? Iíd probably end up buying that.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Beerdedone (2618) - Croydon, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 30, 2007
pours a caramel color with a small white head aroma of malt & english hops taste of raisins and winter spices finishes reasonably clean

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
VikingHammer (506) - Lynnfield, Massachusetts, USA - JAN 28, 2007
Pours a dark orange with a small white head . Aroma of fruits and vanilla. Alchohol very apparent. A decent barley wine.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
igneous1 (1496) - Davenport, Iowa, USA - JAN 28, 2007
bronze color, clear, thin beige head. nose if of brown sugar and citrus. flavor is tongue-numbing with a little alcohol burn. Of these elves, I think the original bad elf might be my favorite.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
goldtwins (4320) - Nesconset, New York, USA - JAN 20, 2007
Blind tasting of 19 BWs. Poured a clear dark orange-amber color with a small off-white head. The aroma was fairly sweet and fruity with a candy like aroma. Notes of peaches, apples and a touch of vanilla. Some earthy English hops were found in the mix. The malty flavor had a light fruitiness. The flavor though was short just leaving you with a dry fairly bitter finish.

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