Ughsmash (7387) - 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 (1438) - austin, Tejas, Texas, 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 (6474) - 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 (2754) - Ocean County, 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....
KAggie97 (3529) - Ugly, Hot, and Humid Spring, Texas, USA - SEP 9, 2005
4.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: AUG 28, 2008 RE-RATE. What a difference a year makes. NOW this beer is as advertised: oak aged and full of sin. Nice notes of whiskey and bourbon in the nose and more on the tongue. The oak chips melt like chocolate on the taste buds. Full and coating mouthfeel. Much better the second go around.
í08: Who poured the Malibu in the vat??? This is danged sweet, with tons of coconut, brandy, and bourbon.
Bottle. Pours a bit thin, but thickens as it sits. Minimal head, but a nice stickiness in the lacing. Aroma is alcohol and raisin, with a bit of peach in the background. First taste: Whew! Flavor is a rush of alcohol, with a blast of sour grape and bitter peach. Iím not impressed thusfar, as it tastes like a bad batch of beer. Iím detecting a bit of spice (mostly winter) as it warms. A touch of bourbon emerges on the back of the tongue, and the sugar is becoming more and more prominent as it warms. Iím not sure about this one; itís a definite sipper, for sure, but I canít say itís a pleasant libation. Iíll buy another and age it and drink it my first winter living in Colorado. Perhaps the aging and change of scenery will bring out a better side of this beer, much like the right therapy and attention will bring out the best in an unruly child. Weíll see. Until then, Iíll call this beer an all-out assault on the palate and the stomach. Not sure about the other end of the digestive track yet.
DocLock (8593) - Lower Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 8, 2005
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle from State Line. Pours dark copper with small, off-white head that rapidly fades away. The aroma was complex and intense, with malt, dark fruit, bourbon, oak, watermelon. The flavor was very malty/sweet, with hints of dark fruit, cherries and berries, oak, and bourbon. The palate was dense, very sticky, and almost cloying as it warmed, which is why I didnít score this one even higher. As it warmed, it got even sweeter and hotter. A very unique style from Avery, which continues to innovate.
TheBeerGod (5595) - Newport News, Virginia, USA - SEP 6, 2005
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle - at CAH-Innsbrook. Pours a gorgeous ruby with zero head. Nose is HUGE! Raisins, alcohol, wood, sugary notes, white grapes, big caramel, rum cake, and lots of apple. Taste is alcohol, of course, vanilla, woody notes, grapes, raisins, caramel, sugary sweet malts and angel food cake. Very rich and big. Body is sugary and sticky sweet with lots of alcohol related warmth. Decently smooth, though. Finishes with more dark fruitiness, alcohol, wood, vanilla, white grapes and creamy, sweet malts. Nice sipper!