BOLTZ7555 (2780) - Phoenix, Arizona, USA - FEB 15, 2009
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Sparkling garnet pour with ample carbonation spawns a mountainous latte colored head and spotty lacing. Aroma is maple, molasses, and oak. Flavor is sticky, goey, chewy caramel, brown sugar, dark ripe raisins, and bourbon. Syrupy and delicious.
Crosling (1863) - Loveland, Colorado, USA - FEB 12, 2009
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
The appearance on this naturally carbonated beauty is great. Large, frothy long lasting head that forms fun shapes. Deep amber color. Nose is light, but shows trace amounts of whiskey, wood and malt. Flavor is heavily sweet, rich, deeply malty, with notes of caramel and toffee. A touch of vanilla and graham from the wood. A lot to like here. Could have more depth and concentration, but is nicely balanced for the style, rich and even has a nice finish. The bottle conditioning makes the difference.
ditmier (1508) - Boise, Idaho, USA - JAN 29, 2009
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 16/20
2008 Bottle - Pours a beautiful dark transparent amber with a massive cream colored head...aroma is brown sugar, barrel, ripe malt...flavour is similar, a bit of tropical fruit, vanila oak...I don’t like how you only taste it in the back of your mouth...no front end presence...a bit sticky but still a fun barrel aged barleywine...yep...
MartinT (7797) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - DEC 11, 2008
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: JAN 18, 2009 My Bottom Line :
This broad-shouldered Barley Wine joins maple syrup-like sweetness to hop resins, until strawberry jam leaves a trail of fruity sugar leading to warm alcohol vapors and spicy, coniferous hop bitterness.
Further Personal Perceptions :
-A big-bubbled ring of foam settles on the cloudy red.
-The mouthfeel is quite healthy, with its quiet carbonation enabling the taste buds to witness all there is to discover in the flavour profile.
-Although there are many things happening in this beer, it remains somewhat simple in its structure.
-Were the maple syrup/caramel maltiness emboldened in the second half of the sip, I would probably have enjoyed this sipper a tad more.
skoisirius (1634) - Earth, Washington, USA - AUG 19, 2008
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Regular and Bourbon Barrel Aged have been sampled. Rating the BA version. BA version sampled out of a 750ml bottle at Hard Liver 2007. Big aroma of sweet oaky wood, vanilla, and bourbon. Huge heavy flavors beginning with sweet vanillay oaked malt that moves into a bourbon thick drenched barleywine, lots of dark fruits, mainly apples and pears, that are really overtaken by loads of hops and bourbon! Good stuuf! The BA version is definitely my preferred method, somehow it beefs the beer up a bit, and I’m down.
DarkElf (3033) - La Jolla, California, USA - AUG 8, 2008
3.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
18-Jan-08 (Draft: 2008 Great Alaskan Beer and Barley Wine Festival in Anchorage, AK) My final barley wine of the evening at this festival, and I’m going out on a high note. Very malty, medium sweet and fruity (plums), balanced beautifully by moderate use of oak. A light sour character is a great contrast to the sweet, fruity, malty flavors. The sweet, malty nose is actually quite oaky, but not bourbony. Medium tartness gives almost a soured fruit note to the nose. Full-bodied on the palate, but it’s very light in carbonation, and in fact, almost flat. Lively zestiness, though, adds some much needed zing and helps to offset the lack of carbonation. Dark-ruddy amber in color and fairly hazy, but no surprise that there is no head when poured. If this beer had better carbonation, it would be a candidate for best barley wine this evening.
BlackDonald (1126) - Boise, Idaho, USA - APR 20, 2008
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Draft @ Hard Liver - This is simply a beautiful barleywine. this gets extra points just for the label artwork. Wonderfully sticky mouthfeel, maple, dates and a bit of woody rum notes, lots of caramel, with some piney citrus fruits for bittering. Very well balanced, nice texture. I would love to have more of this.
craftbeerdesign (2175) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - APR 16, 2008
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: APR 4, 2011 750ml 2010 bourbon barrel bottle. pours a deep mahogany red with a 1 finger white head. sweet bourbon nose with oak, vanilla and light fruits - including apple, green grapes and light orange. medium body with sweet dark fruits over the mouth and light oak. mixture of bourbon, vanilla, oak, dark fruits, caramel malts, citrus bitterness and alcohol on the finish. excellent barley wine.
Shared growler from the brewery on 4/12/08 - 2006 Vintage... excellent Barley Wine! Big Sky puts out some solid beers and this is by far their best that I’ve had.... pours a deep red with a nice creamy head. I don’t think the ABV is 10.5% - the brewery had it at around 8.5 - 9%. Great hoppy character from the nose to the palate... citrus, piney, caramel and nice and sticky. Looking forward to my ’07 bottle. Great American BW!
BillKismet (3335) - Seattle, Washington, USA - MAR 29, 2008
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Ruby amber with a decent topping. Moderately hoppy and fruity aoma. Moderate fruit and hoppiness characterize the falvor. Medium-bodied with the palpable presence fo alcohol. Cherry wood on the finish.
Oakes (12398) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - MAR 21, 2008
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Hard Liver ’08
Golden amber colour. Huge bourbon-mint character. Some malty tang, full big malt and lots of earth. Caramel and boozy bourbon nuances.