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Category Archives: Barleywine

Widmer Brothers Reserve Galaxy Hopped Barleywine Ale



Pours a very dark amber, almost a deep purple color to it. The smell is almost off-putting-ly sweet at first, than mellows into a hoppiness.  Very sweet, almost maple at first, with a nice hop aftertaste, not as strong as you would expect for Galaxy Hopped title, but still there.

Impression: The first thing you will notice with this is the sweetness on the nose. Barleywines can be pretty sweet and get away with it, but at first smell this doesn’t seem like it will. If you have ever had the misfortune of trying maple whisky you will feel right at home with the nose on this one. At first sip it is nowhere near as bad as the nose suggests when it comes to the sweetness goes. Don’t get me wrong this is still a very sweet brew, but it is not sickly sweet like it smells at first. The real kicker for me is the bite of the hops that comes just after the taste. The immediate aftertaste still leaves a bit of the sweetness, but as you let it fade it turns into a nice florally hop flavor. Much like a slightly sweeter version of the aftertaste of a Longtrail IPA, though the hop lingers a bit longer here. I usually do not like sweet beer, and as much as I wanted to like this beer, once I smelled it I figured it would never happen. A funny thing happens with this though, if you give it the respect it deserves as a 9.5% brew, it will grow on you quickly. Before you know it you will feel that nice blend as the initial taste fades into the aftertaste growing on you, and the brew as a whole will.

Grade: B+