Rock Bottom Chicago Bourbon Barrel-Aged English-style Barleywine

Serve in Snifter


on tap


Add Distribution Data
RATINGS: 15   MEAN: 3.83/5.0   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.73/5   EST. CALORIES: 360   ABV: 12%
aged 4 months in oak bourbon barrels

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GeneralGao (3614) - Iowa City, Iowa, USA - JAN 3, 2009
FoBAB 2008. Poured a clear light orange color with an off white head that laced the glass. Smelled of cotton candy, caramel, and toffee with subdued barrel imparted notes of bourbon and vanilla. Full bodied and sweet with cotton candy, bourbon, vanilla, and dark fruit. A raw alcohol note detracted a bit, but this was a good beer.

dm9831 (1512) - Monee, Illinois, USA - DEC 17, 2008
slightly hazy gold orange, tiny bubbles rim glass. nose of sweet fruit, mild bourbon and caramel. bourbon is the first thing i notice in the flavor, followed by the dry fruitiness. smooth. much too smooth for the 12 percent abv. kinda oily mouth feel, bourbony finish. alcohol is too well hidden for me. on tap at rb chicago.

Cornfield (5569) - Oak Forest, Illinois, USA - DEC 10, 2008
At the brewpub: It poured a slightly hazed pale amber with a thick head and provided solid lacing. The aroma was boozey and had scents of toffee, red sweet cherries, vanilla, and a light hint of wood. Smooth and warming on the tongue. The flavor held more Bourbon and alcohol notes, but they blended well with the other sensations noted above. Very nice.

NobleSquirrel (3439) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - NOV 19, 2008
Fobab VI. as Clare’s Happy Ale. Okay, first of all, I generally am not a fan of the English style BW. Why did I like this one so much? Bourbon nose, candy, vanilla. Fair amount of English hops, though they jumpes out with some spice. Very smooth and Very nice.

jarspag (601) - San Francisco, California, USA - OCT 28, 2008
GABF ’08 - labeled Clare’s Happy Ale. Same beer, yes? I LOVED this little least 5 samples. I tend to enjoy the sweeter, rich vanilla/oaky barrel-ed beers. So it’s no surprise I prob enjoyed this more than most. Velvety smooth, soothing on the palate, liquid candy soaked w/ a delicious bourbon burn. Whatever I drank here was def better than Ugh’s 3.2!!!!

hapjydeuce (1007) - Carlsbad, California, USA - OCT 26, 2008
Sampled at the 2008 Great American Beer Festival. Listed on Rock Bottom Chicago’s booth as Clare’s Happy Ale. I assume this was the same beer based on rater descriptions and %alc. Hazy yellow color that pours still. Instant aroma of vanilla creme, oak wood and whiskey. Incredibly smooth flavors of melted caramel, potpourri, and more oak barrel. Smooth palate with a big warming alcohol finish. This was one of those hidden treasures at the festival, with no line for the booth, Jared & I had our fair share of this. Dank!

SQNfan (591) - Wheaton, Illinois, USA - SEP 7, 2008
On tap at the brewery: deep golden/orange/light brown in color with very little head and what it did have faded quickly. This was rich and concentrated with a wonderful oily and rich mouthfeel which led to a lingering finish. The oak was integrated beautifully adding to the complexity without poking out.

kp (10880) - Woodstock, Georgia, USA - AUG 18, 2008
Name: BA Barleywine
Brewery: Rock Bottom Brewery
Date: 08/09/2008
Mode: Draft
Source: Brewfest, Great Taste
Words: Chicago

Appearance: hazy gold, wispy beige head,
Aroma: sweet and fruity caramel malt aroma,
Flavor: rich and sweet malt flavor, lots of fruity character, light balancing bitterness,

Aroma: 7/10; Appearance: 6/10; Flavor: 8/10; Palate: 7/10; Overall: 15/20
Rating: 3.7/5.0
Drinkability: 7/10
Score: **4

pantanap (3367) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - AUG 15, 2008
tap at Rock Bottom Chicago...for the record this is not my 700th which was Stonewall Ale but i can’t find the damn rating....anyhow, pours a semi-transparent mostly cloudy orange brown with a soapy white head.... aroma of wood, caramel, toffee, and ripened fruit... flavors follow suit if only a little more sugary sweet, some bitterness on the backend with some mild carbonation to go along with it.

Philip (436) - Illinois, USA - AUG 14, 2008
Great Taste 2008. One of the better BA barleywines I had that day, although I still think Great Dane does a wonderful job with this style. Lots and lots of caramel and vanilla here along with brown sugar and fig. I would disagree with the last reviewer, in that I found this to be decidely sweet, sweeter than Subzero (as I recall it). The finish is very warm (the 12% doesn’t surprise me, although I would have guessed around 10%) and the bourbon hits one on the way down. I let this one warm up in my extra glass for about 20 minutes while I was drinking other things, and the bourbon and sweetness really do come out. I think I liked this better colder than warmer, rather than how I typically prefer my barleywines. Great stuff, and another Great Taste treat.

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