Category Archives: Barleywine – American

Mikkeller Big Worster

Brewery: Mikkeller ApS
Country: Denmark
ABV: 15.7%
Style: Barleywine – American
Other Notes: Brewed by Mikkeller at De Proef Brouwerij, Belgium

Brewer Description: (from bottle) American-style Barley Wine ale.

My rating: 3
My rating: 3.77
My rating: 3.5

Intro: A 375ml capped and foiled bottle, with a best before date of 1st July 2025. Poured into a snifter glass.
Appearance: A cloudy dark orangey brown colour with a very thin beige head that dissipated almost immediately while leaving only sparse lacing.
Aroma: Sweet, caramel, toffee, dark fruit, plum, prunes, and fig.
Taste: Sweet, dark fruit, dried fruit, plum, prunes, dates, fig, with notes of caramel, toffee, and booze.
Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with soft to no carbonation.
Overall: A little sweeter than I prefer, but still a decent sipper.


Põhjala Cellar Series Odravein Bourbon BA

Brewery: Põhjala
Country: Estonia
ABV: 14%
Style: American Barleywine
Other Notes: Bourbon barrel aged Barleywine. 65 IBUs. Malts – Pale, Melanoid, Cara Pale, Cara 150 and Cara 300. Hops – Magnum, Cascade and Goldings

Brewer Description: (from bottle) Our anniversary barley wine, aged in bourbon barrels.

My rating: 4
My rating: 4.37
My rating: 4.3

Intro: A 330ml dark blue waxed bottle with a best before date of 23rd September 2022. Poured into a snifter glass.
Appearance: It was a slightly rusty orange brown colour with a half finger beige head that dissipated fairly quickly while leaving only sparse spotty lacing.
Aroma: Sweet, fruit cake, raisin, plum, fig, bourbon, caramel, toffee, and lemon cream.
Taste: Bourbon, wood, caramel, toffee, dark fruit, raisin, fig, cherry, dried fruit, with notes of sherry and piney hops.
Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with soft carbonation.
Overall: Going on the aroma, I was worried this was going to be too sweet, but I was pleasantly surprised as the flavour was well balanced and the sweetness subdued. This is a really good and enjoyable sipper.

8 Wired Lord Of The Atlas

Brewery: 8 Wired Brewing Co.
Country: New Zealand
ABV: 12%
Style: American Barleywine
Other Notes: 2016 vintage. Oak aged barley wine ale

Brewer Description: (from bottle) American style barley wine, brewed with New Zealand malt, Australian hops, English yeast and aged on French oak. A true globetrotter, a mighty Lord of the Atlas.

My rating: 4
My rating: 4.31
My rating: 4.2

Intro: A 500ml bottle, 2016 vintage, with a best before date of 14th December 2019, however I believe it’s still good. Poured into a snifter glass.
Appearance: A dark orange brown colour with a thin half finger beige head that had decent retention but left only sparse spotty lacing.
Aroma: Hoppy, herbal, sweet dried fruit, caramel malt, raisin, coconut and oak.
Taste: Sweet, herbal, medicinal, pine hoppy, dried stone fruit, dried coconut, oak, caramel malt, with a bittersweet finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with soft carbonation.
Overall: An enjoyable sipping barleywine with nice aroma and flavours.

Stone Old Guardian Dry-Hopped with Pekko Hops

Brewery: Stone Brewing Co.
Country: USA
ABV: 11%
Style: American Barleywine
Other Notes: 75 IBUs. Hops – Warrior, Cascade, Chinook and Pekko

Brewer Description: (from bottle) 16 November. That’s how they write it here. It was just shy of an hour bike ride from (the future) @StoneBerlin to central Berlin for a special beer dinner tonight. Berlin is a total melting pot. Illustrated by the fact that I was invited by my Aussie friend Adie, who owns Monterey Bar, to a beer dinner featuring Scottish brewers at Salt n Bone – my favorite Berlin gastropub, owned by Becky & Andy, an Irish couple. A Punk IPA is in my glass. Andrei, my Russian friend who lives between Cali, Belize and Berlin (and owner of Belyzium, a phenomenal chocolate producer in Berlin), just joined us. The Chef is announcing the first course, paired with Hello My Name Is Holy Moose, a beer made specifically for the Scandinavian market. “Can I ask you a question when you have a moment?” asks Adie as I was typing just now. “Sure,” I reply. “The Arrogant Bastard…the text on the back of the bottle…were you the guy that wrote that?” “Yeah,” I reply. “Why do you ask?” “When I got my first bottle of Arrogant Bastard about five years ago, I thought, ‘What the F!?’ and I loved it. Never figured I’d meet the guy that wrote it, let alone know him.” I laugh. The room is starting to get a lot louder. Not surprising, since we’re now on the second beer. // Too funny. Ben Lee at Stone just sent me a perfectly timed email. I screencapped it. Ben’s role is to make sure beer gets done. All facets. All the way down to making sure I get the label written. Julie, who’s studying abroad from San Diego, is a couple of seats over. She has no idea who I am (which is fine considering that more than 7 billion people don’t either). // “So you finally stopped writing?” asks Larissa, another American. She works for BrewDog, but I first met her years ago in Munich shortly after she’d graduated from brewing school. “When is Sara coming?” That’s my beautiful spouse. “I want to take you guys to the Christmas Markt and drink glϋhwein.” Drink wha? It’s this odd German tradition around the holidays to take mediocre red wine, heat it up and Christmas-spice the bejeebus out of it, and serve it for tourist prices in outdoor clapboard markets. Xocoveza is more my speed honestly, but as a once-a-year thing standing in the snow in the middle of a German city in a large platz surrounded by well-dressed Europeans and fake old-timey booths hawking every kind of gift trinket (from cheap imported stuff to authentic-ish handmade stuff), it’s kinda fun, I s’pose…if you know you eventually get to retire to a great pub with awesome beer. // Now an hour later. It’s dessert time. A pumpkin tart. Perfect time to bring out the 2015 Old Guardian to share around the table. #Brilliantpairing. Things are changing here in Berlin. Exciting to be a part of it. Artisans, chefs, artists, chocolate makers, artisanal sausage makers and craft brewers are plying their trades. Moving from the commodified world back to a new version of old world. “This is quite lovely, thank you,” says Adie about the OG…the scruffy, 6” goateed, gold-chain-wearing Aussie owner of a heavy metal-themed bar in Prenzlauer Berg (on Danziger Strasse, no less) in the Dio T-shirt. Lovely indeed. No better times than great beer w/ good friends. Glad the bike ride back to my flat is a relatively short one.

My rating: 3
My rating: 3.79
My rating: 3.7

Intro: A 22 fl. oz. bomber, 2016 release, bottled on 4th February 2016. Poured into a snifter glass.
Appearance: A hazy rusty orange brown colour with a nice one finger orangey beige head that had pretty good retention while leaving lots of nice lacing.
Aroma: Caramel, toffee, citrus zest, orange, pineapple, bread, maltiness, booze.
Taste: Sweet, caramel, toffee, butterscotch, citrus zest, pineapple, grape, plum, herbal and boozy.
Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation.
Overall: The combination of sweet, citrus and boozy generally doesn’t work well for me, and it could be because of a terrible experience with mandarin vodka way back during my university years, but I can’t change that, and in this case, probably affected my view on this beer. The slight dark fruit notes probably saved it a bit for me, but in the end, not one of my favourite barleywines.

De Molen x Hair of the Dog Binkie Claws BA Almond

Brewery: Brouwerij De Molen x Hair of the Dog Brewing Company
Country: Netherlands
ABV: 11.2%
Style: American Barleywine
Other Notes: Malts – Pils, Crystal and Caramel. Hops – Simcoe and Colombus. Adjuncts – Honey and Almond Extract

Brewer Description: (from bottle) Doggie Claws Almond Bourbon Barrel Aged. BA Barley Wine-ish.

My rating: 3
My rating: 3.88
My rating: 3.6

Intro: A 330ml waxed bottle, bottled on 6th March 2018, and with a best before date of 6th March 2023. Poured into a snifter glass.
Appearance: A deep dark copper amber colour with a thin beige head that sticks around while leaving fine spotty lacing.
Aroma: Marzipan, almond flakes, caramel and alcohol.
Taste: Sweet, marzipan, cherry, almond, caramel, brown sugar, syrupy and boozy.
Mouthfeel: Chewy, full bodied with soft carbonation.
Overall: I don’t know, I’m a bit unsure about this one. I’d enjoy one sip and the next sip would be just ok, and I’d keep flipping between the two throughout the whole drink. A strange one for me. After finishing, and much thinking throughout the sipping, I think that the almond was maybe too overpowering, and that it made it taste too pastry like for me.