Beer Profile: Vermillion Barleywine

Courtesy MyBeerCollectibles

Reviewed by Ken Carman

I love a good barleywine. Unfortunately this isn’t one.

The alcohol is harsh. I understand the abv can be quite high, but the first trick is always not harsh. The second is of minor concern: not too dark. This is probably “OK,” though perhaps a tad too. The carbonation is light: expected and not a problem. It finishes neither sweet nor dry. A firm bitter but that is minor in the balance.

The aroma is caramel, mostly. No hops. The mouthfeel is a tad slick; again not a big problem.

The head is quick and fades fast: mostly pillow. The color is light brown.

Overall I would say not that drinkable due to harshness, even somewhat hotness, of alcohol. This dominates even above obvious crystal-like caramel. It is also a tad one dimensional, but with less hotness this might be better. Fixing that would go a long way to making this a great barleywine. One expects high abv. But not harshness that dominates. Yes: barreled. But the barrel dominates so much it hurts the barleywine.

3.99 at BA.
3.9 at untapped.
94/81 at RB

Sorry. I disagree. I have to give it a 3.0, one of the lowest ratings I’ve ever given here at the Professor.


Welcome to the PGA beer rating system: one beer “Don’t bother.” Two: Eh, if someone gives it to you, drink. Three: very good, go ahead and seek it out, but be aware there is at least one problem. Four: seek it out. Five: pretty much “perfecto.”


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