Nephilium (1250) - Ohio, USA - MAY 17, 2011
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
(Batch 6; Bottled in March 2010) This starts with a boozy nose, a touch of oak, and some fruit in the aroma. It pours a clear ruby red, with a full off-white head. The flavor is intense, a strong blast of oak and vanilla, with a sweet finish. This is a hot beer, and the alcohol is noticeable in the warming sensation as you swallow. A nice sipping beer on a chilly, wet spring day. Next time I’m out of state, I’ll be picking up some more of this.
UDBeernut (1422) - Near Buffalo, New York, USA - FEB 18, 2014
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
2013 Vintage. pours tan, slight haze, small cream colored head. lots of booze in the nose, toffee, slight vegetable. tasting is sweet, caramel, toffee. booze is hot.
crossovert (6134) - Illinois, USA - FEB 11, 2014
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
2009 vintage. Like its counterpart the beast the adjunctiness nad booze harsh in this one reign.
superspak (2127) - Michigan, USA - JAN 24, 2014
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
12 ounce bottle into tulip glass; batch 1, bottled in 2005. Pours moderately hazy/cloudy dark ruby red color with a minimal wisp of a head that reduces to nothing. Aromas of big raisin, prune, fig, plum, apple, pear, molasses, toffee, caramel, toast, brown bread, oak, light chocolate, vanilla, light clove, and yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with big complexity and great balance of malt, oak, and yeast ester notes; with big strength. Taste of huge raisin, fig, plum, prune, apple, pear, molasses, brown sugar, brown bread, caramel, toffee, vanilla, oak, light clove, toast, chocolate, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Lingering notes of raisin, prune, plum, fig, pear, apple, molasses, brown sugar, brown bread, caramel, toffee, chocolate, toast, oak, vanilla, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic complexity and balance of big dense malt, fruity yeast, and oak flavors; with zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Light carbonation and very full bodied; with a very creamy, slick, and moderately syrupy mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is an awesome English barleywine. Big complexity and great balance of malt, yeast ester, and oak flavors; and quite smooth sip on slowly with no booziness. A highly enjoyable offering.
JPDurden24 (1460) - Chandler, Arizona, USA - JAN 19, 2014
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
On tap, hazy orange/brown pour with off white head. Aroma is caramel, toffee, brown sugar and some alcohol. Not overly sweet in the flavor with some oak. Pretty damn tasty.
Fritz123 (718) - Boca Raton, Florida, USA - JAN 1, 2014
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle from Denver, CO. 12oz pour into my snifter at home. Head was gone in 20 seconds. Deep amber to cloudy brown pour. Aroma is overwhelmingly oak, caramel, booze and yeasts. The taste is kind of in that same order...the oak notes are off the charts and then you get the nearly cloying sweetness of the caramel malts. You get the booze on the finish with a kind of dry, sweet, tongue-numbness. Also buttery texture. I like the oak and the caramel, although a higher rating would have been given if it wasn’t so sweet.
DCLawyer (1299) - Falls Church, Virginia, USA - DEC 30, 2013
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle->snifter. Dark gold with dare offwhite head. Dark fruit, wood, toast, booze. Sweet and hot. Too much so.
subsonic (82) - Pataskala, Ohio, USA - DEC 27, 2013
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
"Dark golden yellow, amber with small off white foam, sticking to glass. Smells sweet also malty. Very rich explosion of flavors. There is sugar, but also wood and earth. Somewhat bitter aftertaste. Oh oh the alcohol.
OldMrCrow (1701) - Seattle, Washington, USA - DEC 22, 2013
3 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 13/20
2006 bottle Dercember 2013.
The great cellar purge continues. This is one I bought back in 2006 when everyone on the site was talking it up (I suppose because oak chips were still a novelty back then). People complained that it was too hot, so I set aside for a while, and before I got around to drinking it I got so tired of bad, boozy Avery ales that I shoved it into the back corner and tried to forget about it. So needless to say I came to this with relatively low expectations. (Enormous surprise to me: ratings of this one have increased monotonically over the years: http://www.ratebeer.com/beer/statistics/48268/ . I would have predicted exactly the opposite. A growing tolerance for ultra high-boost ales?)
On to the beer. Pours a nearly flat (as expected) cranberry juice red into a tulip. Massive nose of lighter fluid poured over oak chips; I gag a bit after inhaling too vigorously. Candied pineapple. Raisins. Rubbing alcohol on q-tips jabbed into the nasal passages. The flavor, while a huge diabeetus bomb, is actually much better than expected given the offensive aroma. Swedish glögg, raisin, sugar cubes dipped in brandy, fake maple syrup, alcohol. Aged hops are quite far in the background though they do contribute some orange citrus. Mouthfeel is tongue-scorching hot even at 7 years of age, thick, heavy, a desert wine. This beer dreams about being Firestone Walker Anniversary Ale when it grows up, but that ain’t ever gonna happen. I note that, to my great credit, I did actually empty this bottle without help from the drain in my kitchen sink.
From the red foil cap to the the silver on black label, from the dark angel copy to the the overwhelming sugar, from the blast of oak to the burning oily stickiness on the tongue to the 14.5 ABV (as listed on the bottle) this beer is a pure attention whore.
harrymel (1439) - Spokane, Washington, USA - DEC 17, 2013
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Batch 7, 740 cases.
Pours a nice spiced rum color with a fleeting finger of light caramel foam. Has good color. Nose is warm (alcohol warm) and mixes with caramel, some vanilla, alcohol and bits of nougat. The combination is oddly reminiscent of a dubbel for me (but on ’roids)
The flavor is robustly alcoholic up front and sweet on the finish. I much like this. I would guess with a few years, this beer would be outstanding. There is a certain sharpness to it at this time that is a bit detrimental. A good, solid sweet caramel and woody flavor. I don’t think this is particularly oxidized, but it tastes slightly so (in a good way). The body is medium with low, smooth carb and a slick finish. the mouthfeel is really spot on for me.
Serving type: bottle
queenholly (2569) - South Whitley, Indiana, USA - DEC 3, 2013
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle. Oaky brandy, vanilla, dark fruit, and black bread aroma. Hazy chestnut with a minimal head. Sticky sweet cherry, black bread, oak, and boozy flavor. Full sticky body, soft- almost flat carbonation.