unixweb (237) - Sherman, Texas, USA - SEP 26, 2005
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 14/20
What IS this exactly?? Itís a barley wine without the barley...maybe? It smells sweet, much like sugar or caramel, with some woody notes hidden in there. The color and head are pretty normal, the former a coppery amber and the latter small and rapidily-disappearing. Then we come to the taste...oh my. Itís a little buttery, syrupy, and ungodly (no pun intended) sweet! No hoppy bite to counteract anything, itís just syrupy-sweet! Itís good, really good...but who could drink more than a little of this? The body is thick, chewy, and adds to the character of this brew. It also reminds me of cough syrup...the high-alcohol kind...but thatís beside the point. I like it...I like it quite a bit. But a sip or two after dinner is about all I can stand. Maybe in the heart of winter (wait...winter in Texas??) or at least cooler weather...but not now.
omhper (19309) - TyresŲ, SWEDEN - SEP 24, 2005
3.9 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottled. Clear reddish amber. Rich port-like oak character. Sweet, thick, vinous and extremely malty. Despite exessive sweetness and syrupy mouthfeel I thoroughly enjoy the rich port character. Nowhere near balanced, but the flavours are impossible to resist. By far the best new Avery beer Iíve had in years.
DavidP (1747) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - SEP 21, 2005
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Clear amber body under a white head. Laced well. Gin and clean caramel malt in the aroma. The flavor has a lot more going for it than gin. You can taste the alcohol but itís a clean alcochol and it complements the rest of the flavor. It starts with bready, yeasty carmel malt and then hits you with some booze and orangey spice. In the finish the caramel is complimented by vanilla and a touch of hazelnut. Thereís some woodiness in the finish but itís overwhelmed by the beerís sweetness. A lip-licking mouthfeel on this one, rich and sticky. Overall this is a good beer, itís full-flavored and challenging but I wish the malts theyíre featuring were more complex - some sort of smoked malt would be a good fit.
Ughsmash (7122) - Pewaukee, Wisconsin, USA - SEP 20, 2005
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Crystal clear medium-copper pour with a very light ring of creamy beige head. Some scattered lacing as this huge brew went down. Aroma is very powerful and in-your face... with sweet caramel, bourbon, bourbon, vanilla, dark berries, and bourbon. I think I may have burned off some nose hair when I stuck my face in the snifter :) Certainly a lot going on in the palate and flavor too. Slick across the front of the palate, leading to a sweet almost-cloying vanilla and bourbon explosion at the top of the throat. Lots of flavors... thick and coating caramel, vanilla primarily toward the back, oak, and did I mention that there is some powerful bourbonage going on in this brew? This was intriguing and powerful, and I would recommend checking one out.. maybe with a friend.
fly (1417) - austin, Tejas, Alabama, USA - SEP 20, 2005
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
A real head scratcher, tongue puzzler and beer to ponder. Yes, sweet, but not quite cloying. Complex, but not overly so. And alcohol present, but at the degree to which it exists, hidden somewhat. And as much as I want to sample it, I might have to brew a pot of coffee as it kicks this old mans ass. (okay, I did want to drink more beer, so it didnít REALLY kick my ass, just made me groggy and a nap like a nice luxury)
fluids (364) - Massachusetts, USA - SEP 20, 2005
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Reddish Brown Oak finish with a small head that dissipates quickly. Strong Cherry smell. Sweet Malty Caramel Plu Raisin taste with a dry alcohol finish. Got a bottle at Knightly Spirits in Orlando.
SpecialSauce (47) - Madison, Wisconsin, USA - SEP 20, 2005
2.4 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
Wow, this beer kind of smells like rubber cement. Could it really be all those oak esters? Wow, this is syrupy. Kind of like ass syrup. Now, Iím not one to shy away from barley-wines, but finishing half of this beer was a challenge. Perhaps this beer has itís place somewhere, but definitely not anywhere near me.
Gurst (338) - Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA - SEP 17, 2005
2.7 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
UPDATED: APR 11, 2008 Aroma is...scary? Extreme lemon pinesol with a dash of Krazy Glue. The smell singes. The first hesitant sip: like eating a bowl of sugar, with a few drops of everclear. Second sip: maple syrup and rum? Third sip: My nose hurts. Conclusion: Huh. Ouch.
BBB63 (6011) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - SEP 16, 2005
3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
12 oz bottle served in my Duval snifter at near cellar temps:
The color is beautiful crimson and copper has the light shifts with a small frothy ring and surprisingly, I get a fair amount of lace from this beer. The aroma is a huge in-your-face phenolic, sweet fruit, and malt rush. Lots of overripened apricot and plum with a big sherry, oak and vanilla character. The alcohol vapors are detectable over two feet away! It indeed does smell like a young english barley wine. The taste starts with an equally huge amount of sugary overtones, from the vanilla from the oak aging to the massive caramelized malt to the unfermentables left behind. The sharp fruit taste and even some bitters try to show but are beaten down with no mercy. This is just too much at this point. The question I think everybody wants to know is "will this beer age and smooth into a fine english big barleywine?". I am not to sure because of all that sweetness is not going anywhere! Sticky and warming are understatements when describing the mouthfeel and palate sensory. This is one attempt I will not give Avery good marks for effort and promise (like Kaiser, The Beast or Twelve).
This does make me sad ícause I really wanted the have another fine English Strong/Barleywine to cellar like my JW Lees, this is not a Lees however, not even fricking close. Sniff...
Time to remove this from my wish list...FOREVER!
pineypower (2504) - Pine Barrens, New Jersey, USA - SEP 13, 2005
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
12oz bottle. Oak aged, so it has to be decent, right. I went into this with high expetations. Aside from the nice little buzz after having the glass in a short time there was not much positive about this brew. Poured out a thick golden color with aromas of sweet malt. The taste was sweet malt, malt and maybe some more malt thrown in there, and some alcohol with a few notes that youíd expect from an oak aged ale. Didnít do anything for me, maybe needs aged a bit more. Good to chug if you want to get drunk fast, thats about it, much rather have an OH....o man imgaine if they oak aged that....