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RATINGS: 158   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.32/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 291   ABV: 9.71%
Barley Wine Ale is a legendary top-fermented brew with a deep amber/orange color, and intense fruit and malt nose that is laced with alcohol accented by the sweet aromas of Port. This "wine" made with barley is brewed with a French yeast culture, and possesses a complex flavor of rich malt, fruit esters, and sherry-like qualities that is delicately balanced with hops.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
TheBeerLover (1026) - DC Metro Area, USA - APR 11, 2007
16 oz bottle, 2006 vintage. Pours to a beautiful, bright, caramel color, with a creamy, off white head, and a moderate amount of carbonation. The nose on this beer is very pleasing, with aromas of sweet malt, caramel, toffee, fresh bread, esters of plum, and light peppery notes. The plate is slightly slick on the tongue, with lots of good sweet malt, toffee, and caramel flavor, paired with light hints of plummy/estery fruit. This beer finishes with more really wonderful sweet malt, toffee, and caramel up front, then ends with some light peppery, alcohol notes that round out the cloying flavors of this beer. A very delicious, very drinkable barley wine, with loads of malt character. This is a wonderful sipping brew, and an ideal barley wine to match with sharp and aged cheeses, or rich, creamy deserts. Another impressive beer from Sprecher.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
dwyerpg (5648) - Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - JUL 13, 2006
Smells very good; has that molasses. Really sweet, almost too much, but not to the extent of sweetness found in the Leeís. Would be one that would get better with age. I have to say that I canít understand the dis-satisfaction that so many people are expressing.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Slick (1969) - Thief River Falls, Minnesota, USA - APR 17, 2007
06í Amber/brown color..no head to speak of,the aroma was fruity and some what caramelish.Pretty smooth brew,Light carbonationfruity taste with a nice mildly malty side some hints at caramel and toffee and a smooth finish that ends with a light alcohol burn.Not exactly one of the hardcore brews in the style but it manages to be very plesant and easy drinking.Iím glad i have 4 more for later trials.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
Optigon (562) - Bloomington, Indiana, USA - FEB 17, 2008
Pours deep red with a fine, white head. Very alcoholic and fruity smelling. Yeah, port. Thicker, tingly mouth feel with nut, fruit, and some tobacco flavors in there. Warm after-feel. Great beer!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
pHunbalanced (7) - USA - MAR 1, 2007 does not count
UPDATED: MAR 21, 2007 This one comes on with a beautiful deep orange/amber color, but a rasther thin head. The flavor starts with a rich malty note but quickly moves to a sweeter candied place that would be nice as a side ote but seems a bit much for the main deal. By my reckoning itís a bit high on sugar and low on alcohol for a barleywine, but still quite tasty.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
wetherel (1863) - Cupertino, California, USA - NOV 27, 2007
$4.99 bottle from Hi Time on 7/11/07. I love the Sprecher bottles and name. They do a good job marketing. 16oz bottle with gold wax. Bottle code 21140FL, 062911128? Pours with a small head of medium bubbles fading very fast, but slowly replaced with a microbubble ring around the edge of the glass. Thick dark amber color with no sign of yeast sediment. Nice aroma of malty caramels and dark fruits. A pleasure to smell. Very nice flavor, as if it has mellowed. A mild zing on the tongue, which is probably alcohol, but my mind wants to say some tartness. Lots of sweetness, that I like. Oxidation is trying to show itself, but canít quite do it. Barleywines age well, and Iím thinking this one has done very well over time. I keep debating on whether this deserves a 4.2, which is so much higher than its average of 3.3. The lowest I would feel comfortable dropping it to would be 4.0, but Iím going to stick my original decision of 4.2. A very tasty brew.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Cornfield (5570) - Oak Forest, Illinois, USA - APR 14, 2006
Sprecher never replied to my e-mails concerning this interesting brew that I had at a beer fest, so Iím glad someone else got it into the database.

Vintage 1999 - Not much on looks, but the aroma captivates. Having an almost wild yeast sourness to the nose, itís supported by caramel/toffee accents with alcohol and a light fruitiness - cherries, plums, apples. It has one of those complex, sweet/sour tastes, malty and fruity and just a bit funky. The finish is a prolonged sourness. A very enticing twist on the barleywine style that makes me wish that more brewers would experiment with the yeasts that they use and not rely only on being malt heavy or hop heavy. And I agree with Joseph - aging seems the way to go with this ale. Iíd definitely be interested in stocking up on what was originally described to us as a "Beglian barley wine."

<font size=-4><a href=http://www.ratebeer.com/events-detail.asp?eve Beer Fest at Delilahís, Chicago, IL 02/25/2006<font size=-1>

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
frankenkitty (2006) - Oak Lawn, Illinois, USA - APR 14, 2006
1999 Vintage

Poured a dirty bronze with an ecru halo. Huge alcohol in the nose with very rich sweetness showcasing caramel and sweet fruits. Carl says, "Belgian yeast" and I nod in agreement. Flavor finds a sour start, a rich, malted center and a heady, sour finish. Aftertaste made me think I had eaten some cheese. Maybe a nice cheddar. A killer beer... very interesting. Iím glad it finally got entered into the RB database and must say by reading the other reviews that aging is the way to go with it.

<font size=-4>Sampled at <a href=http://www.ratebeer.com/Events-Detail.asp?Eve Vintage Beer Fest 2006<font size=-1>

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
twindadplus2 (673) - Wisconsin, USA - APR 26, 2006
Beautiful burgundy/orange color with a very thin head. Aroma is a port wine and brown sugar sweetness with a background of yeast and alcohol spiciness. Flavor is incredibly sweet up front with dark fruits and a thick honeyish mouthfeel. Fades into crisp, spicy yeast and a finish of sweet malt. Heady and sweet, even for a barley wine. Very different and very good.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
craftbeerdesign (2254) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - DEC 7, 2008
sample on Nov 6, 2008. pours amber/red color... some sweetness on the aroma... nice med and smooth body... sweet caramel malts over the palate... a decent english style barley wine.

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