Serve in Snifter


on tap


Add Distribution Data
RATINGS: 254   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.95/5   SEASONAL: Winter   IBU: 55   EST. CALORIES: 315   ABV: 10.5%
Like great friendships, barleywine is meant to evolve over time. From the first brash encounters, to the mellow complexity that age will bring, this is a beer to be savored early and then revisited with the passage of time. Share our tribute to friendships new and old.
The aroma starts with some malty, caramel notes like a sprinkling of brown sugar. Fruity overtones from the fermentation build on the inviting sweetness and add to the complexity. A bright hint of lemon from the hops tops it off. Malty sweetness creates the first layer of flavor and on that foundation, fruity flavors of plums, pears and a touch of apple pie develop. The hops again serve to brighten the finish and add a balance to the malty sweetness . Over time these flavors and aromas will deepen and continue to develop. Undertones of raisons, figs and prunes will add maturity and the hops will continue to soften until they become but a faint background for the sweet, fruitiness of the malts. Of course, that means you have to save some to find out! Just as you might gently warm a winter brandy, let your barleywine come up to around 50-55° to allow for the best appreciation of its flavors and aromas.
Old Backus gains complexity from a blend of American and English Pale Malts as well English Crystal Malt and Amber Malt. Generosity is the name of the game with just over 1/3 of a pound of malt in every pint
Where complexity serves in the malt bill, focus and simplicity is the key to our hops. Domestic Nugget and Crystal hops add some balancing bitterness and a hint of citrus to the aroma O.G. 24˚P/1.100 IBU - 50

2016 vintage 10% abv

A tick is a star rating
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

  • Rate This
  • Statistics
  • Locate Sellers

ihrabe (11) - Kansas, USA - JAN 2, 2018
UPDATED: JAN 2, 2018 Fully depends on the year. Last one I had was from 2016 (I think) and it was undrinkably sweet. Prior years had been awesome, though.

dnstone (4084) - Kansas City, Missouri, USA - DEC 18, 2017
Pours a dark copper with off white head. Malty forward aroma, sweet. Flavor is malt forward as well, but roasty and not overly sweet, well balanced. A nice barleywine. Note: Westport Strong Ale Fest '17

Jrwhitney6 (525) - - JUN 2, 2017
Pours a dark brown with minimal head. Nose is funky - some malt and chocolate, but a bit of an odd smell, too. Taste is awesome, though - some bourbon, black licorice, coffee. Chewy mouthfeel - almost like food. Good stuff. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

iampaw (1) - - MAY 27, 2017 does not count
I didn't get the burbon taste at all. Strong toffee taste. Just a little bit of a head. Tried this because i was told it was a very popular beer. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

MetalNHopHead (2332) - Lincoln, Nebraska, USA - APR 16, 2017
Free State’s Old Backus is a malt bomb with lots of class. It pours brown. It has a nose that leans heavily toward toasted malt sugar - brown sugar, caramel, and cooked fruit. Caramel, molasses, butterscotch, vanilla, chocolate, stone fruits, and dark fruits make up the flavor profile. While this definitely leans more toward the English malt-forward style, you still get some zesty hops toward the finish. Gorgeous stuff.

bartzluke (598) - Oklahoma, USA - JUL 8, 2016
6 oz pour from chilled bottle into sniffer. Deep burnt orange, opaque, weak off-white head. Nose of plum, stone fruit, raisin, a little apricot, caramelization. Body is syrupy, thick, a little carbonation on the finish. Taste is sweet, molasses, malty, raisin a little lingering boozy-burn on the finish.

thomashall (1611) - New Hope, Minnesota, USA - MAY 27, 2016
12oz bottle shared. Nice caramel color. Nice hoppy caramel toffee aroma. Taste pretty much follows, bitter up front, sweet in the middle, dry finish. Pretty solid!

ozzy70 (1409) - Omaha, Nebraska, USA - MAR 16, 2016
12 oz. bottle. Poured murky brown, thin tan head. Aroma was fruity, plum and malty. Taste was bitter, peppery.

HuskerTan (2528) - Ravenna, Nebraska, USA - FEB 28, 2016
Draft/Fest. A- Oak, stone fruits. A- Mahogany color, cloudy liquid, off white head. T- Woody, rotten fruit, pear, peach. P- Full body, average texture, average carbonation, bland finish. O- I’d say this one is a bit overrated, but it’s not entirely bad by any means. Just not the complexity I think it should have to make me say wow.

BigBeer45 (1599) - Michigan, USA - FEB 12, 2016
Sampled from a bottle, this ale had a hazy medium brown-rust red pour and gave almost a one finger cover of pale yellow bubbles that receded to a small ring and scattering of small islands, it left some spots of lacing on the glass, it had malty aromas with caramel, some bread, faint chocolate and raisin like fruit, faint citrus notes in the background with malt and light brown sugar sweetness, the flavors were big malt, caramel, some chocolate, a little raisin dark fruit, some light brown sugar sweetness and very faint peach fruit notes with a little imperial red notes in the background that I found to be a little odd, the finish had a small alcohol / citrus bitterness and trailed on the tongue for a bit, malty notes followed and clung to the mouth to give a back and forth of malt and bitterness with a tip to the malt and sweetness, the mouth feel was medium full, it was a little creamy and had soft to average carbonation, this beer was pretty mellow and easy to drink, a nice sipper of a drink.

We Want To Hear From You

Join us! RateBeer is made by beer enthusiasts for the craft beer community. Your basic membership is free and allows you to read all beer ratings. Click here to create your account... and give your opinion!

Join Us »

Page    1  2 3 4 » 26

A tick is a star rating
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5