overall
93
75
style
Serve in Snifter

bottled
available

on tap
unknown

Broad Distribution

Add Distribution Data
RATINGS: 101   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.61/5   SEASONAL: Special   IBU: 117   EST. CALORIES: 327   ABV: 10.9%
COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
R&D Series. In the Ninkasi tradition, this barley wine is hopped to high heaven –using more than 16 pounds per barrel! Critical Hit’s rich, malty expression is balanced by 16 varieties of hops that linger on the palate. Its high gravity nature warms the cheeks and soul. Critical Hit does maximum damage, so you might have to roll to save if you take this ale for granted!

Massive citrus, earthy, resinous, and grassy hop flavor is balanced with the melanoidin complexity of port and sherry notes, creating a powerful and warming taste experience. Big citrus, earthy, grassy, and pine hop aroma with port and sherry notes mingle in this beer conditioned for over a year. Aggressive bitterness dominates up front with a large array of hop flavor spanning citrus, earthy, resinous, grassy and dank. Subtle caramel and melanoidin compounds oxidize (in a good way) to create the port and sherry notes that are a trademark to these extremely strong beers called barley wine. The bitterness of the beer helps round out the intensity of alcohol and the malt complexity to make a non-cloying and very, very tasty beer. This may be the one beer that you still need to sip rather than quaff but it is deceptive for the style.

Hops: Columbus, Millenium, Northern Brewer, Simcoe, Falconers Flight, Galena, Peerle, Santiam, Ahtanum, Fuggle, Glacier, Hersbrucker, Liberty, Spalt, Hallertau

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3.5
JohnGalt1 (1721) - Boise, Idaho, USA - DEC 7, 2015
decent off white head... nice lacing and cap atop a clear light copper brew. Nose is very hoppy... a nice balance of toasty maltiness... Pretty good PNW nose... Much better integrated than my last review. Flavor is very well meshed between the toasty/light caramel malts and the hoppy bitterness and hoppy flavors... Hops show as more pithy citrus notes but a subtle piney hoppiness also raises its head. Body is a solid medium with a light/medium carbonation... mouthfeel is definitely PNW with a residual hoppy oiliness..

3
BOLTZ7555 (3027) - Phoenix, Arizona, USA - SEP 23, 2015
Rose gold hue with a small wisp and a ring. Nose is a bit off with loads of alcohol, dark fruit, and some pine. Flavor has a decent amount of berry, caramel, and coffee. This one was a critical miss.

3.9
beertholomeus (1813) - California, USA - SEP 5, 2015
Pours a light burnt amber color with a white head. Caramel, toffee, resinous hop, toast, alcohol, wood and vanilla aroma. Caramel, toffee, resinous hop, toast, vanilla, oak, pine and alcohol flavors. Full body and moderate carbonation. Caramel, resin, hop and alcohol finish. Very hoppy for the style.

3.7
commonmac (1245) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - AUG 29, 2015
Bomber sized bottle purchased in Portland and brought back to Mpls for consumption. 2013 Reserve. Belgian snifter glass. Aroma has a bit of soapy action with plenty of hops and alcohol. Probably more of a hop factor than other barleywines. Light cherry wood in color. Head is nothing significant but a crisp white color. Taste is definitely complex. It seems to hit all the senses of the tongue leading with some bitterness, giving way to sweet sugary notes, strong alcohol burn, and ending with a hoppy bitterness. Caramel and malt are factors too. Definitely feels boozy. A cloying tendency present. It delivers a definite hit of the critical variety to the palate.

3.8
commonshawn (1256) - Minnesota, USA - AUG 29, 2015
Bomber from Portland with commonmac on his bday kinda. Light amber mahogany with small white head. Very strong alcohol nose you can smell from feet away. Smell a bit soapy. Some candy sweetness. Sweet and approachably complex. Solid alcohol and tartness burn. Drying at the finish with long lasting taste. Smooth but This beer packs a punch . Finish him!

4.1
DuchessOfIowa (161) - Iowa, USA - JUL 4, 2015
Bottle 2013 reserve. Dark amber and slight haze with nice white/ vanilla colored head. Caramel sweetness and rich. Pine and fruity notes. Aggressive alcohol flash on the back and dryness to contrast sweet malt.

3.6
Arayaga2 (2197) - portland, Oregon, USA - JUN 25, 2015
Clear Amber with white head. Taste and aroma are American barley wine, with high bitterness, and sprucey /piney notes. High residual sweetness ending with lots of over extracted tea. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

4.1
onceblind (9629) - Denver, Colorado, USA - JUN 14, 2015
On nitro, which was a pleasant surprise. Deep dark amber/copper, foamy tight off white head. Lovely nose of candy sugar and earthy Belgian fruitiness. Perhaps a little bourbony booze on the nose as well. Big full flavor with some bourbon notes of oak and booze esters, some earthy caramalt and cherry and other stone fruits, and a bit of earthy booze and bourbon oak to finish. Brash but tasty.

3.4
Koskela (505) - Marysville, California, USA - MAY 23, 2015
I get very malty aroma with a fruity undernote in this thick not very carbonated cloudy brown brew. Sweet full bodied up front with a molasses and earthy mid taste finishing with a nice bitter and earthy aftertaste and a hint of warning from the 10.4%

4.2
PartyFowle (954) - - APR 14, 2015
Draft. 2009 vintage. Burgundy hue, very hazy. Deep color. The head appears almost nitrogenated -- very thick and dense and tan. Gorgeous. Caramelized sugar leads and rules the nose, followed by toffee, a touch of toasted bread, some sticky alcohol and mild, minty hops. A smooth blend of aromas. More toasty malt appears in the flavor, caramel on toasted bread. Lots of toffee, mostly sweet, plus an earthy hop flavor. Saccharine complexity. Creamy medium body wtih mild, tingly carbonation. No noticeable alcohol save some heat in the nose and tongue numbness. Outrageous.


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Tick this beer for your profile
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