Gypsy19 (726) - California, USA - MAR 7, 2010
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
500ml. 2006 vintage. 13%. Pours a darker orange which can look more amber or ruby in different lighting. Flat of course; I wasn’t expecting any carbonation after having the Silver and Copper labels recently. I like the aroma on this one the best; when I pulled the cork out, a pleasant banana aroma filled the immediate vicinity. Now in the snifter I’m getting some nice caramel/toffee, molasses, honey, sweet malt, a little alcohol but not "boozy" per se. Yum, the flavor in this one is easily the best of the series: Quite fruity with again the sweet glaze/syrupy flavors. Kind of like a brandy, kind of like a port. Definitely a fermented winegrape element is present in the flavor. It’s very sweet, but manages to stay just under the cloying threshold. Mouthfeel is oily, medium viscosity, sticky finish; again, just like a port. I definitely like this one the best out of the series. I think this is mostly because this one helped me understand and appreciate what this series is supposed to be (and be about). I mean this is literally a "barley wine". That is, this is wine, not beer. Wine that happens to be fermented from grain instead of grapes. When I look at it in the context of wine, and through a filter of Italiana, I can really start appreciating this and liking it a lot. But yes, in that context; not in the traditional beer context would I easily understand this opus. Overall, very good to excellent.
NBird (579) - Perth, West Australia, AUSTRALIA - OCT 17, 2015
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Looks.. Mahogany red, Brown amber tinge, no head.
Smells..sweet barley wine caramel and malts and loads of sweet dark plums and prunes..some oak too.
Tastes.. Like a fortified wine x barley wine, sweet boozy red fruits and dry fruit sweetness, a thick cough medicinal mouth feel, some hints of that 14.5% that warm the belly. This could be shared in port glasses of consumed in gluttony. It’s like no other beer style I’ve tried before.. Very fortified wine-esque.
fombe89 (1108) - Asturias, SPAIN - SEP 25, 2015
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Botella, @Bir&Fud, Roma. 22/09/2015 Botella 2012. L:252/130
Color caoba claro, aroma malta, sabor pasas dulce, cuerpo denso.
bytemesis (5185) - Sunnyvale, California, USA - SEP 17, 2015
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle pour, 2011. Pours murky hazel, no head or lacing. Aroma is full of figs, prunes, rich and malty, bourbon and vanilla notes, dried cherries, raisin, brown sugar. Flavor is sweet, rich, malty, hints of Graham cracker, boatloads of dried fruit, marshmallow. Very reminiscent of hair of the dog. Full creamy mouthfeel. Some heat.
Brandman (2516) - Helsinki, FINLAND - SEP 9, 2015
3.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Dirty brown, no head. Aroma has raisins, chocolate and alcohol. Flavour has chocolate and lots of dried fruits. Very rich and smooth.
rosenbergh (9159) - Tampere, FINLAND - SEP 6, 2015
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
500 ml bottle. Courtesy of Brandman. HHOK17.
Ugly brown color with no head.
Boozy, raisiny and malty aroma (when cold). Not that great. But it gets much better when it warms. Red wine and Madeira gets through. The flavor is super enjoyable. Like a good dessert wine. Dried fruits, Madeira and sweetness. Very enjoyable indeed.
ABT_S54 (305) - West Midlands, ENGLAND - SEP 6, 2015
3.9 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: OCT 24, 2015 50cl bottle served in a snifter. Pours a rich, oily dark amber to garnet colour with no carbonation. Aroma is powerful vanilla, dried fruits, honeyed fruits and sweetness with a clearly high alcohol content. Taste is upfront toffee, with roasted almonds, a fleeting hint of coffee, chocolate, caramelized cashew nuts and very rich Christmas cake. Almost tastes bourbon barrel aged with the level of buttery vanilla richness evident in both the aroma and taste. The only slight criticism (other than the expected lack of carbonation) is the level of sweetness - It needs an extra profile to detract from the sweetness which I think that the barrel aged versions (tobacco?) would achieve with the addition of an earthy or peatiness which I would expect to achieve a more harmonious balance. The closest competitor to this I have tried is Samichlaus which is a simple malt bomb in comparison and a 1986 Thomas Hardy which was too oxidised and a little to heavy on the Madeira as a result. All in all this is a fantastic experience beer and I will look to seek out the other versions.
RickFifty (799) - Fredrikstad, NORWAY - JUL 26, 2015
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Draught at Open Baladin Rome. Vintage 2012. Golden brown color, no head. Caramel nose, raisins, anise, hint of alcohol and wood. Caramel taste, heavy sweet, wood, rich malty, dried fruit. Full body, flat carbonation, oily texture.
Zoret (153) - Badalona, SPAIN - JUL 5, 2015
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Espectacular cervesa envellida fins la perfecció. Aromes bonissims molt llaminers i còrpora increible, sembla cognac però sense notar tant l’alcohol que està molt ben integrat. Brutal!
Stuu666 (7820) - Edinburgh, SCOTLAND - JUN 19, 2015
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle at Craig’s. Pours deep brown, quite like sherry, fruity nose ,fruity, sweet cake taste.
Ragnampiza (751) - Rome / Lecce, ITALY - JUN 16, 2015
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
100 ml from bottle at Baladin Bologna. Dark copper, quite clear, no head at all. Lots of alchool legs, though. Boozy and slightly harsh nose, but I’m not a huge fan of certain aromas. Dark fruits, burnt caramel, molasses and some baked apples reminiscence. Completely different, in a great way, taste wise. Thick and sirupy without being cloying at all. Rich and addicting malt sweetness, lovely fruity edge, ridicolous drinkability considering the ABV. Flat carbonation, medium to full body, oily texture. Probably a 4.5+ beer if I were a fan of boozy beers. Still superb!