BBB63 (6567) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - APR 21, 2013
Barleywine throwdown, all served in Duval snifters: Pipeworks Murderous (PWM) a more English styled vs Widmer Brothers Old Embalmer (WBOE) a more American style with Bravo hops vs Stone Old Guardian Oak-Smoked (SOGOS): Each of these represent different takes on the same style of beer! Pailhead (6543) - Rochester Hills, Michigan, USA - JAN 8, 2006
Appearance: The PWM is a tad murky light brown with a mostly lasting off white head and spotty lace.(3) The WBOE is a honeyed hued amber with a more fading head and very minimal lace. (3) The SOGOS is a beautiful coppery hue with crimson highlights topp by a lush initial head and very good lace. (5)
Aroma: The PWM has notes of caramel, toffee, roast, dark bread, hint of smoke, floral and resiny hops with a slight citrus and herbal vapour. Some booze but not demanding. (9). The WBOE has light crystal, biscuit, apples, tangerine, some resin and a touch of spent grains. Weaker nose than the other two. (7) The SOGOS has a forceful meaty smoke along with plenty of oak, caramel and toffee too. Very light piney and earthy notes along with a fair amount of booze. (9)
Taste and Palate: The PWM is moderate lush of sweet malt but has a nice twang fruity component and just enough hop bitterness. The alcohol while noticed is not forceful. The finish is slightly minerally and earthy. The mouth feel is lightly sticky, some dry finish and warming (8/4) The WBOE is less malty which allows it to be perceived as more hoppy and citric. A nice earthy midsection before a minerally and herbal finish. The mouth feel is less dense and more lively than the other two but also shows a lack of depth. (7/3) The SOGOS taste is just what you expected, heavy smoke, meaty notes, and oak that is ashy and very earthy. Does make is harder to find the base beer underneath. When you do get to experience the Old Guardian base you find some caramel, bready and prune like undertones. The mouth feel is much more aggressive, ashy from the oak and quite warming. (7/4).
Overall views: The PWM seems to be old school but gives a nod to a touch of new school hops. Sadly however I do not feel this will be one for long term aging in fear of a developing sourness. But for now it delivers and met expectations. (15) The WBOE had lower expectations and met them. This beer does display the Bravo hop nicely but does fall short on the malt front, lesser depth of palate. This could be aged for a year or so but methinks the hops fade without the malt will make this taste very oxidized quickly. (13) The SOGOS is vastly different with the smoke overtones that did disappoint me slightly since it seemed to cover up the base beer too much. That said this is the one I feel is best for long term cellaring. I expect the smoke to subdue allowing better balance. (14)
Bottle: Courtesy of JCW. Aroma of sweet citrus, toffee, light honey, and slight hints of banana bread. Pours a transparent amber with a small white ring for a head. Caramel and toffee up front. Slight hints of banana bread, honey, and candi sugar. A light bitterness is added in the finish. Sticky and syruppy mouthfeel. jgb9348 (6478) - Arlington (Pentagon City), Virginia, USA - JAN 6, 2016
Wax-Capped 65 cL bottle
Clear amber and copper coloured body with a thinnish tan head, only about a centimetre tall. Aroma of pit fruits, caramel, toffee, earth, plums, figs and a good bit of hops still noticeable. Medium-bodied; Strong toffee and figs up front that fade fast and don’t show much at all, especially malt. Aftertaste is showing barely anything - very interesting, just some water, light malt, toffee and figs with some light pit fruits and the smallest amount possible of alcohol. Overall, a very mild barley wine - perhaps its possible that I aged it too much and lost all it’s flavour. Not really worth buying nor aging, when after popping the wax there isn’t much to it, which is usually a decent thing for a barley wine, but not when it loses absolutely everything. I sampled this 65 cL wax-topped bottle purchased from Whole Foods in Washington (P Street, Logan Circle), DC on 05-January-2015 for US$7,99 sampled at home in Washington exactly a year later on 05-January-2016.
Vintage: 2013 // Purchased: January 2015 // Sampled: January 2016 Holmen1 (6471) - Stavanger, NORWAY - OCT 14, 2014
Fra flaske på Mandag i annen, Cardinal okt-14: kveldens siste, og en solid avslutning. Humlen som er brukt skal visstnok hete X-431. (?) Mørk gylden med storboblet kortvarig skum. Appelsin, rosin, alkohol og litt humle gjør (sammen med en lett syrlighet) Old Embalmer til en lett konsumerbar barley wine. Good beer in good company. dwyerpg (6410) - Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - SEP 24, 2012
Not all that much in the aroma for a barley wine. Maybe some honey, but not really molasses. I really love this style but as usual I just don’t think these guys make beer that’s all that great. This a low barley wine score for me.
reebtogi (6378) - Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA - DEC 21, 2014
650ml bottle pours a lighter amber color with a finger of white head that leaves only a few spots of lacing behind. Aroma is dark fruits and caramel with some toasted grain notes and hops. Taste is a citrus hop bitterness with a dark fruity and grainy caramel malty sweetness. Medium to full bodied with generous carbonation for the style. A pretty well done barley wine, being aged for 2 years now probably helps smooth the rough edges I find on a lot of fresher barley wines. Good stuff! joeneugs (6372) - Livermore, California, USA - APR 16, 2015
On tap at the First St. Alehouse. It pours a dark reddish orange color with an off white head. The aroma is sweet with mixed berries, caramel and a little brown sugar. The flavor is the same with lots of fruity berries, a little mango, papaya, brown sugar and caramel. Sweet and fruity. Pretty thick on the palate as well. Kinda simple, but not bad. thedm (6319) - Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA - JUL 17, 2015
This bottled brew from a bottle shop poured a head of foamy finely sized tan colored bubbles that were mostly diminishing and left behind a softly carbonated transparent light brown orange colored body and a fair lacing. The mild aroma was musty. The mildly vinous mouth feel was tingly at the start and at the finish with a lingering mild vinous hop aftertaste. The nice flavor contained notes of mildly vinous dough hops and malt. Delicious and one I would certainly buy again. JK (6289) - St. Louis Park, Minnesota, USA - NOV 14, 2015
Light copper color. Lightly hopped and malt is a little light. O e of the thinest, lightest barleywines i have had. Light palate. thornecb (6058) - Marblehead, Massachusetts, USA - MAR 30, 2014
Pours deep amber into a snifter. Tan medium length head recedes to hug rim. Dark caramel aromas. Sweet caramel upfront turning to mild earth in the still sweet finish.