overall
93
75
style
Serve in Snifter

bottled
available

on tap
unknown

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 100   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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3.7
after4ever (8025) - Mukilteo, Washington, USA - JAN 8, 2012
22, capped and waxed. Pours a murky dark amber with a dense and creamy tan head that falls quickly away to a loose rim, leaving dense sheets of sticky lace coming down the sides of the glass. Big sharp grapefruit nose, very pithy, almost to a shampoo level. Sticky thick body; not the stickiest but definitely qualifies. Caramel and grapefruit mid palate, at least while still cool. Seems to be picking up some nuts and a bit of toffee as it warms. Bracingly bitter grapefruit finish that gets firmly into shampoo territory.

3.6
Sledutah (7795) - Utah, USA - JAN 27, 2013
GABBF 2013
Appearance: Cloudy golden with a big off-white head and some lacing
Aroma and flavors of toasted malts, caramel and pine
Decent.

3.5
Strykzone (7586) - Wood River, Illinois, USA - APR 11, 2012
Sampled at an esbls tasting. At 4 Hands. Orange brown with a big bubbled head. A nicely hopped nose. Big biting hops are tasted but it is also smooth. Huge malt profile. Fruit is big but cannot quite compete with the hops. Very good but just a bit over done.

3.2
AmEricanbrew (6878) - Same Trailer, Different Park, Louisiana, USA - JAN 28, 2010
@GABBF2010. Clear amber color/ thin tan head. Spicy caramel, sharp pit fruit aromas. medium body. Flavor follows the smell with spicy caramel, sweet tart pit fruits, and a slight metallic off flavor...

3.4
5000 (6862) - Hardened Liver, Washington, USA - NOV 19, 2011
Draught @ Brouwer’s Café:   Reddish side of amber, moderate finely bubbled head, nice lacing.   Malty nose, a little caramel and citrusy hops.   A little caustic up front, raw and green.   Seems to have a lot of citric rind bitterness and a bit of astringency.   Its not too strong, but this one says young.   Could stand to be a bit heavier on the tongue.   Wished that it was a bit sweeter too.   Lots of raw rind bitterness on the exit.   This one needs to be a bit maltier to age.   Tiz okay, but it’s a bit brash.


4.5
dwyerpg (6378) - Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - APR 3, 2016
The aroma doesn’t have that delicious molasses, but other than that, this was stellar. A great Barley wine molasses flavor that isn’t too sweet or heavy. Went down quick.

3.9
reebtogi (6350) - Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA - JUL 14, 2016
650ml bomber pours amber in color with a 2 finger white head that leaves some decent lacing on the glass. Aroma is citrus and caramel with some earthy and grainy notes. Taste is a citrus and earthy hop bitterness with a fruit and caramel malty sweetness with a light alcohol burn in the finish. Medium to full bodied with good carbonation for the style. Overall, a very nicely done barley wine that is hoppier than most beers of this style, but still balanced and not too over the top. Highly recommended.

3.6
hayduke (5619) - Eureka, California, USA - JAN 9, 2016
Sampled at GABF 2015. In the tasting glass red brown with a beige form cap. Nose of fruit, and some citrus. Goodness knows what else but there are other aromas. there. Very full body. Flavor is malts, raisins maybe, and citrus for sure. Finish is fruity and somewhat bitter. Almost overwhelming in the complexity of flavors but there is almost too much going on. A bit rough overall, but still OK.

3.6
stevoj (5440) - Boise, Idaho, USA - DEC 12, 2015
Bottle from Brewers Haven, 2013 vintage. Big malt bomb. Hazy dark copper body with small creamy, soapy head. Aroma : malt; taste : malt. Big hop finish coupled with slow building warmth. Medium weight, silky feel, bitterness lingers, coupled with pleasing simmering heat. Nice warmer.

3.5
KansaiBeerLvrs (5305) - Kyoto, JAPAN - JUN 30, 2017
Tap at Imazato. A purplish accented mahogany brown with a hoppy sweet but piney malt aroma. Many were saying Triple IPA. Pretty good but didn’t stand out to me after Pohjala OO Cassis and Eclipse Buffalo Trace.


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