JohnQPublic (387) - Brooklyn, New York, USA - MAR 15, 2009
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle into red wine glass, 2008 vintage. Thanks to ppoitras for this one.
Pours a very hazy, almost murky red-brown, with an off white head that starts off small and disappears quickly.
Nose starts off sweet and fruity, apples come through along with a bit of caramel, and quite a bit of rye. Even more rye as the beer warms. Some ripe red berry as well, underneath.
The taste, however, makes up for it. Dominated by sweet, rich, spicy rye with some sweet caramel and nicely prickly hops, which grab onto a fruity sweetness that hints at apples and maramalade. Hops seem to be integrated in - the whole flavor is rather seamless, hops and malt and rye and sweet and bitter all kind of melding together. Leads to a couple of things: one, this isn’t what I’d call a complex beer. There seems to be one rather integrated flavor rather than multiple flavor profiles hitting separately, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Two, coupled with nary a hint of alcohol, you get an insane smoothness that makes the beer stupidly drinkable. Drinks like a 6.5% abv beer. Finish is lightly bitter, a bit warming.
Mouthfeel is thick, a bit syrupy, with a fluffy, prickly carbonation that just matches perfectly with the prickly hops and the spicy rye.
bob_w (373) - new york, New York, USA - FEB 20, 2015
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
2014 version, bottled. Murky brown color. Caramel, butterscotch, a hint of cocoa in the aroma, some mild spice. Mellow flavor, not aggressively boozy. Lots of malt character. Hints of caramel, toffee, a touch of chocolate/cocoa, a little bit of butter/butterscotch. Smooth body. The alcohol is well hidden by the layers of malt oriented flavors. Quite good. I’ll definitely pick this up again if i have the opportunity.
Giochaurand (233) - FINLAND - DEC 24, 2014
4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle from Boston. Pours dark hazel with low creamy head. Aroma is dark chocolate, roasted coffee beans and malts. Taste is bitter chocolate, spices, malts and a hint of hops.
wiosna (517) - - DEC 24, 2014
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
0,65 pullo from Boston. Samea, öljyinenkin kauniin kastanjanruskea. Tuoksussa paahteista mallasta, mausteita, tummaa suklaata, alkoholia. Maussa tummaa paahteista mallasta, humalaa, hitunen kahvia.
Kavu (3298) - Helsinki, FINLAND - DEC 1, 2014
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
12 fl. oz. from cask @ Russell House Tavern. Pours murky dark brown with a medium creamy off-white head. Aroma is roasted malts with hints of chocolate and some spices. Flavor is roasted malts, chocolate, dark fruits, alcohol and hops. Silky smooth palate. Excellent.
jmagnus87 (2912) - Rockford, Illinois, USA - MAY 11, 2014
4.3 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle sampled at a friends house. From notes. Caramel and toffee with loads of sweet and dark fruits. Very good.
Scrapersnbeer (1531) - Boston, Massachusetts, USA - MAR 2, 2014
2.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Aroma of sweetbread and butterscoth. Dark brown, looks like a dubbel more than porter or schwarz. Really spicy, featuring baking spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Thick and heavy, though not obviously boozey. Like a winter warmer imperialized. This is hard to put away, and I don’t say that easily.
blklab2007 (2108) - Connecticut, USA - FEB 15, 2014
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle 2013 on the front of the label. Pour has a dark brown color with a coating of dark tan head. Aroma has roasted malt, chocolate, grains, a bit of spice, and some hops. Mouth feel is medium light and the carbonation good. Flavor has an interesting malt combo, mild roast, chocolate, some bitterness, and complementing spices. Flavors are well integrated and this does not come off hot at all.
radarsock (1141) - Massachusetts, USA - JAN 1, 2014
2.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 1/5 OVERALL 13/20
UPDATED: JAN 2, 2014 Poured a murky, gloomy brown with which sustained a thin-ringed beige head barely a fingernail in length resting atop the terrible-looking stuff below. Seized nougat, Camellia sinensis leaves, malt, powdered sugar, and candy canes by mid-palate. Holiday spices and butterscotch by swallow. Weak shit. I know that I’m never going to have this again. What were Berkshire attempting to achieve here? Over-sweet and over-complicated clutter? Probably not, but that’s the way it came out.
puboflyons (2709) - Allenstown, New Hampshire, USA - DEC 24, 2013
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
From the 650ml. bottle. 2013 batch. Cloudy dark brown pour with a long lasting tan head that leaves a good supply of lacing and never really goes away. The aroma has so much character it is hard to define it precisely. I’d say I picked up barley malts, cocoa, coffee, plum, fig, and a vague earthy hop note. For a 9% ABV there is no alcohol which one often gets with a Barleywine. The body is smooth and falls into the medium to bold range. I am drinking this fresh in 2013 but it feels as if it has been properly cellared for a year or more. The malts, coffee, cinnamon, spice, and the earthy hops blend together well and are not overpowering likle it can be for a fresh Barleywine. And the booze is impossible to pick up. Really well balance and one of the better Barleywines I have had fresh ever. Thus my high rating.
AirForceHops (4995) - Epping, New Hampshire, USA - FEB 1, 2013
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
22 oz bottle. From Ryan and Casey’s, Greenfield, MA. 2011 vintage. The first glass had real nice clarity. Slow steady carbonation producing a thin layer of white head that had decent lace. Smell is light hops, light fruit and toffee. A bit thin in body almost watery. Flavor mirrors the nose. Overall I sit here and sip this and my overall thought are… this brew is very under-whelming. At least the ABV is masked after a year of sitting.