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Sprecher Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine

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45
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Serve in Snifter

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RATINGS: 44   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.39   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 330   ABV: 11%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
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.


3.6
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
hopscotch (9160) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - JUL 18, 2007
Bottle… RBSG 07… Hazy copper ale with a small, fizzy, off-white head. The aroma is a marriage of vinous port notes, creamy vanilla, bourbon, charred oak and English toffee. The flavor leans heavily on the malty side of balance with gobs of sweet caramel, toffee, fig, acidic bourbon and robust, but not overbearing, heat. Full-bodied with a 2%-milk mouthfeel and modest carbonation. Sweet caramel and warm bourbon finish.

3.5
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
hopdog (8933) - Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 18, 2007
1 Liter bottle acquired in trade with robertsreality (thanks!). Bottle labeled; Bottling Date Jan 01, Bottles of 185. Poured a medium to dark amberish color with a small sized off white head. Aromas of bourbon, lighter wood, citrus, caramel, fruits, and vanilla. Tastes of boubon, vanilla, citrus, caramel, and vanilla. Some alcohol in the finish, but overall well hidden.

3.1
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
egajdzis (5336) - Spring Mount, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 17, 2007
Poured a hazy red amber color with a small, off white head that left light lacing on the glass. Aroma of citrus fruits, toffee malts, vanilla, bourbon, light spice, and passion fruits. Taste of more citrus fruits, a bit of caramel, some tart grapiness, more dry bourbon, and alcohol in the finish.

3.3
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
TomDecapolis (4477) - Milton, Delaware, USA - JUL 17, 2007
Thanks to hopdog for sharing this one. Pours a hazy ruby amber with a smaller bubbly off white head. Aroma of dark fruits, vanilla, twizzlers, woody, some light alcohol, Flavor of caramel, some cardboard, some oxidation, toasty malts, malty sweetness and some light hop bitterness.

2.8
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
sliffy (2040) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - JUN 30, 2007
RBSG 2007: Bottle: Poured a cloudy brown color with a tan head. Aroma, stale, bourbon notes, some assy qualities. Flavor, caramel, fruits, a bad barley wine usually doesn’t do well in a barrel.

2.8
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 12/20
FlacoAlto (3800) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - JUN 25, 2007
January 2007 Bottle Date, Sampled June 2007
Pours with a frothy, three-finger thick, amber tinged, tan colored head that sits atop an absolutely brilliantly clear, fully reddish, amber colored brew. I immediately notice a pronounced, butter-oak aroma as I pour this brew, it is almost diacetyl like. The aroma is clearly dominated by bourbon barrel characteristics (notes of spicy oak, bourbon and butter), but there is a hint of malt underneath, but it leans towards a sticky, candy like aroma that I hop is not in the flavor. While the bourbon barrel certainly is dominant in the nose, it is not as big and powerful as some barrel aged beers, this is a good thing as it would be much too offensive if it was. In the end though the nose is a bit too one dimensional.

Quite sweet, with a simplistically candied malt flavor. In some ways it reminds me of cotton candy. It is fairly light bodied for a Barleywine, actually for a Barleywine it is quite light bodied. I do like that the bourbon barrel is not as prominent as it is in the nose, but unfortunately the complex marriage of malt and hops that one expects from a Barleywine is not here either. The bourbon barrel notes are here towards the late middle and finish of each sip. Buttery oak flavors are the most noticeable, but there are also touches of spicy oak, and a bit of warming bourbon flavors.

I never would have guessed that this was 11%, it hides the alcohol quite well and it is quite a bit more light bodied than I expected. My guess is that this was filtered way too tightly and it stripped a lot of malt complexity out of this brew. Thin, wan and a pale specter of what a Barleywine should be, though on the up side it does keep from being offensive.

2.8
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 12/20
badgerben (4400) - Blaine, Minnesota, USA - JUN 25, 2007
RBSG 2007. Copper color with no head. Aroma of… sour apples? More apple in the flavor and the malt is slightly sour. What in the world happened to this beer? This will likely be in need of a re-rate.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
JK (4433) - St. Louis Park, Minnesota, USA - JUN 22, 2007
A nice beer. The bourbon does not overwhelm the flavor but is certainly there. Low carbonation and on the sweet side. Hops are very light.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
BDR (2534) - Roseville, Minnesota, USA - JUN 14, 2007
Last bottle in the store (probably the state). Nice dark brown color with faint head. Sweet bourbon nose witha little raison. Some funk too, but that’s more from what happened to the bottle than the beer itself. Sweet bourbon flavor that’s a bit milder than the other BAs I’ve tried from Sprecher.

3.7
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
TheBeerLover (1025) - DC Metro Area, USA - JUN 4, 2007
1 liter swing top bottle, 2006 vintage. Pours to a murky, light caramel color, with a tight, soapy white head that fades to nothing, and a very soft carbonation. The nose on this beer is slightly sweet and malty with aromas of sweet malts, caramel, toffee, and light vanilla notes. Surprisingly little character is gained in the nose from the use of the bourbon barrel. I was expecting much more. The palate is soft and fat on the tongue, with lots of good sweet malt, toffee, and caramel flavors that are slick on the tongue. Hints of vanilla and light oak can be detected on the palate, but like with the nose, very slight. This beer finishes up sweet and malty up front, then ends with some light, warming alcohol that lingers. A nice, warming, deliciously malty beer. I enjoyed this one, but found it really did not gain much character from the bourbon barrel, and in that sense I found it to be a little dissapointing. Worth trying, but a bit pricey at $16 a liter.


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