Barrel House Belgian Winter Ale



on tap


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RATINGS: 48   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.33/5   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 248   ABV: 8.25%
A special, dark brew with the legendary Belgian spicy character.

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illinismitty (2377) - Nashville, Tennessee, USA - MAR 4, 2010
Bottle from Phalesu. Thanks! Pours a deep walnut brown with a dissipating beige head. Aroma of fruity esters and dark Belgian malts. Medium bodied with somewhat soft carbonation, but a little thin in the middle. Flavor of mild chocolate, unripe berries, spice, and plums. Just a hint of acidity. Some phenols on the finish along with some yeast. Has somewhat of a homebrew quality to it.

phaleslu (10899) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - NOV 20, 2009
Bottle sample at a Barrel House dinner at Teller’s of Hyde Park. Pours a dark, almost opaque ruby-brown color with a medium tan head. Aroma of berries, dried fruits, caramel, molasses, sweet grains, sweet malts, and biscuit. The flavor is sweet and tart, with notes of berries, caramel, molasses, sweet roasted malts, figs, biscuit, winter spices, and bread. Medium bodied, with a syrupy, oily, and chewy mouthfee. The tartness is not overpowering, and adds an unexpected element for the style. Some of the spices and milder flavors are overshadowed on the nose by the berries and sweeter elements, but these all come out more clearly on the palate. Alcohol becomes just a bit apparent as it warms. Really nice winter beer.

yobdoog (1888) - Kingston, New York, USA - SEP 23, 2009
Draft. Brown color with a frothy head. Aroma has some spice and grain and some faint fruit. Flavor has plums, spice and yeast with some sweet and tart taste.

mabel (10004) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - AUG 20, 2009
[2364-20090801] Bottle. Old chlorine characteristics hidden in the aroma. Dark brown body with a quick bubbly light tan head. Sweet tough malt flavour has a heavy ’tart’ finish and mild notes of fruit throughout. Full body. Drinkable, good.
(w/ others @ BCTC; Cooperstown, NY)

jercraigs (11087) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - AUG 5, 2009
2009-08-01. Dark brown body with a good foamy beige head that fades. (3+) Mild aroma, light fruit and malt. (6+) Flavour is similar, tart fruit over malt, touch old? Sharp tart fruit in the finish. (6+) Average palate is lightly carbonated. Bottle at BCTC 2009, shared by DuctTape

heemer77 (5361) - Urbandale, Iowa, USA - MAR 21, 2009
Dark brown body with mahogany edges with some light and a light yellowish khaki head. The aroma has some perfume with sweet notes of pear and Belgian funk. There is also bubblegum and a little hint of melted plastic. The taste has some old leather and tart apples. There is also some paper and plastic hints. A heavy body, but smooth feeling. There is definitely something wrong here with the tart character. Too salty.

SledgeJr (3577) - Omaha, Nebraska, USA - JAN 14, 2009
In the bomber bottle from Beertopia. At $3.49 a bottle, how can you go wrong for a 8.5% beer? The beer pours black with a purple highlight. The head, if agitated to do so, can produce a fine dark beige thick topping of limited durability. The initial aroma is a bit raisin-like, slightly vinous, but not large. The flavor occurs quick with roasted and raisin abbey ale features, but the beer then quickly release an unbalanced alcohol burn. <ild chalky finish that does not leave anything lingering but a slight tobacco essence. Again, good for the price, bad for the style.

sersdf (1020) - chicago, Illinois, USA - DEC 25, 2008
i had a winter ale last night that was rated a 2.8. it was a thousand times better than this piece of shit. pours deep burgundy with some yeast opacity. 1/4 inch of mustard brown head. smells of alcohol and rotten apples. malty but unappealing. the flavor is thin and watery but pretty close to a shitty bock. slightly malty, slightly nutty, mostly shitty. nothing interesting about this bomb.

joshwilfong (1200) - Cleveland, Ohio, USA - NOV 20, 2008
Dark brown with a quickly disappating head. Moderate carbonation. Malty nose with some raisons. Flavor is unique. Crystal and special b malt initially, possibly some candi sugar, a tart almost acidic flavor as well. A dry finish. Unique brew, kind of like a lesser version of rodenbach grand cru. Not too bad

FlacoAlto (4234) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - MAY 21, 2008
This is well carbonated as a reasonably soft pour easily produces almost a four-finger thick, amber tinged, tan colored head in my 25cl tulip glass. The beer is an opaque, concentrated red-amber color as it sits on the table, but shows a clear, cranberry-red color when held up to the light. The aroma is sweet and fruity up front with a kick of toasty malt towards the finish. Aromatic notes evocative of caramelized fruit (prunes, raisins and even a touch of tart tamarind), toffee, a touch of rum-like character (light molasses perhaps) are found up front but seem to not have much staying power. When digging around for a bit some dry, malt driven character is noticeable with touches of toasted crackers, biscuit malt, and a crushed grain character are noticeable. The aroma is fairly appetizing, but somehow does note have a lot of presence after the initial surge of sweet grain / fermentation aromatics.

Lightly sweet and definitely a bit tart in the finish; it is not so tart that this is necessarily attributable to an infection, instead it is quite light and certainly pleasant. Fairly light bodied & along with the light body is a bit nicer than suggested by the somewhat sweet aromatic intimations. A toasty malt backbone gets a hint of roastiness to it at times, but mostly reminds me of lightly toasted whole grain bread, and whole grain crackers. Since the sweetness is soft here the fruit flavors are not quite as prominent as suggested in the aroma; this causes the tamarind notes to play a slightly bigger role, but the raisin notes are still pretty noticeable. A nice prickly carbonation couples quite well with the soft mouthfeel & residual body to make this a chewy, yet easy drinking beer; the mix is just about perfect for a Belgian-Dubbel inspired beer.

A pretty good beer, the flavor and aroma are nice, but the texture is just about perfect for a beer of this inclination. I do like the dimension that the light tartness adds to this brew, it adds a much needed complexity as I think this beer would be much to shallow without it.

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