Apr 26, 2012

Mikkeller Big Worse

Mikkeller Big Worse photo

I’m not entirely sure when this bottle of Mikkeller Big Worse was actually brewed — there was no bottling or vintage stamp to be seen — but it drinks like it’s already been cellared for a good while. The beer has an aged character to it’s flavor profile. There isn’t a cardboard flavor or anything else off putting about about the brew. It just has that matured presence about it, and that’s a good thing.

At 12% ABV, this American-style barleywine, is just begging to be set aside in the basement for a little while longer, but with the way the beer tastes, is it already at its peak? It’s hard to tell without truly knowing when it was produced. What I do know, however, is that right now, this brew tastes wonderful.


Big Worse pours crystal clear with an orange tint to its amber depths. An off-white cap of foam settles slowly into a thin collar around the surface.


For the most part, the brew has a relatively subdued nose. I do pick up subtle dark fruits, spicy/peppery hops, light toffee and a little booze. The aroma certainly gives the impression that the beer may be older than it truly is.


Delicate and almost as subtle as the aroma, the flavor profile on this beer is excellent. Herbal, spicy hops join an earthy malt backbone for a well balanced brew. Hints of dark fruits, toffee and caramel are carried across the tongue with a lingering sweetness and boozy warmth. Again, the beer tastes like I’ve already had it in the basement for a couple of years, despite the fact that it was purchased just a couple of weeks ago. There is no off-putting wet cardboard or oxidation going on within the depths, despite its aged character.


This bottle of Big Worse was truly a delight to sip on after a long day. It very well could be hitting it’s peak right now, but I’m going to keep my remaining bottle aside for a bit just to see what happens. I certainly can’t imagine it hurting the beer all that much.


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