Damico (2952) - Royersford, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 7, 2014
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours murky caramel with a tan head. Aroma and flavor bring sweet malts and honey, not overbearing at all. Alcohol is so tame for the high ABV, so smooth.
arminjewell (8679) - East Lansing, Michigan, USA - JAN 3, 2014
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pour out of 750 mL bottle, 2012 bottle #2316. On the bottle says 12%. Dark reddish brown pour with foamy but lasting off white head, aroma brought notes of caramel, toffee, dark fruit, honey, hints of oak, bourbon, and vanilla, slight honey in there, touch of more dark fruit with caramelized raisin in there. Taste is a mix of apricot, peach, candied raisin, some candied white fruit into caramel, toffee, oak, some vanilla and honey come through, hints of bourbon, caramel, toffee, come through in the end, finishing bitter, slightly sweet. Very nicely done, and very unique.
tmoreau (3001) - Lombard, Illinois, USA - DEC 31, 2013
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Shared 750 ml. bottle poured to snifters displaying a dark but murky, brownish color, with a modest layer of quickly diminishing, off white/light tan head foam, and light lacing. The nose was more of a coconut scent than vanilla, with a hint of lemon zest perkiness, caramelly sweetness, and some alcohol at the ready. The taste was sweet, pit fruit esters, warming, bourbony alcohol, and that persistent "coconut" note. A subtle creaminess was a welcoming part of the mouthfeel. A hefty, sipable brew.
JustDrinkIt (261) - Arizona, USA - DEC 26, 2013
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Dark brown pour, light beige head. Aroma of some sweet malt, oak, yeast. Flavor is more of the same, candied dates, figs.
SpongeRuiner (948) - Michigan, USA - DEC 16, 2013
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
A lot of caramel flavors. Nice alcohol feel. Not too much. A good one in cold weather.
tectactoe (3125) - Michigan, USA - DEC 16, 2013
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
UPDATED: AUG 20, 2014 Bottle: 2010, 3-years old. Thanks, Ryan. Caramel colored, opaque body with a lazy, dark beige head that quickly solidifies as nothing more than a big-bubbled collar. Aroma is pretty standard barley wine, with notes of caramel, toffee, light boozy oak, some dense dark fruits, & a little bit of honey sweetness. Taste is a pretty hefty mix of sticky caramel & tangy grapes & prunes. Quite heavy on the dark fruit; sweet & even with a spike of mild tartness in there. Some cocoa powder, oak, & whiskey in the finish. Sticky, sweet, & lightly boozy, this is a pretty easy drinking barley wine. Not the best or most complex, but still pretty nice.
harrymel (1551) - Spokane, Washington, USA - DEC 4, 2013
3.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Vintage 2010 (rev 28DEC12)
Nice dark cherry color with a solid thick sheet of light caramel foam. Smells of toffee, caramel, nougat, vanilla, oak, some hints of alcohol and a touch of graham. Nice nose. Tastes of sweet malts, toffee, a bit of toasted sugar, some grassy hops(?), a little bit of alcohol. Medium on thin actually with low carb and a semi dry finish. A decent beer, not $15 decent, but worth a taste in the right situation.
Original review (Jan, 2011): 4/3.5/3.5/4.5/3.5 - 3.63
A: Ale pours a beautiful deep cinnamon building a two fingers maple creamy head. This dissipates over the next few minutes to thick blanket of the same. The beer is like maple syrup, with caramel hues, this is a looker. Laces stick to the sides with little effort.
S: I poured this several times, and each time, the nose is dominated by green apple skins. After several minutes, the beer really opens up and toffee, caramel, malts come through beautifully. Slight tea aromas come through and balance out the sweetness. Vanilla oak low to slight in the nose.
T: A bit warm. No, quite warm. The ABV is not well concealed here. The malts come through and dance among the oak notes which stand out much further than in the nose. Lower bittering on this one, canít say I like this, but not very disappointed either. Can see this one really shining through in another year.
M: Sticky, thick, viscous beer. Wow, super sticky. Heavy with medium carbonation. Iím impressed with the velvety feel with which this presents.
D: I think the beer is good, but not quite as good as maybe say Mirror Mirror or some others. More malt forward than many popular Barley wines, which I like. This is a good beer, but not a great one. Worth a try, but I would split the cost if I could.
koleminer20 (1081) - Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA - NOV 25, 2013
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
750 mL bottle. 2012 vintage. Part of a tasting 11/24/2013 at Fraserís Pub in Ann Arbor. The pour is a little more of a reddish brown than Iíd expected, but very incredible. There is minimal head, and no lace. The aroma is booing with the bourbon notes. There are strong signs of vanilla, but there isnít much left to think about what this baby is. The taste is also quite heavy on the bourbon and vanilla, with the great complexity that youíd expect in a good barleywine. There is some caramel, and some fruity tones. I love the mouth feel. There is a great thickness and the finish is a little dry, but just enough to let you know that the booziness is there to back in the 12% punch. Great beer.
hayduke (3779) - Eureka, California, USA - NOV 21, 2013
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
This corked and caged bottle was shared with Strykzone on Facebook Chat. Mine started out at 60 degrees. His was much colder. It poured a cola color with a nice beige head and almost no lacing. This was bottle 705 or 3240. of 2012. The nose started out a pure oak aged whiskey and alcohol. But as it warmed the aromas and flavors emerged. The nose stared to show caramel malts, some apple and pear, citrus like orange, some tangerine, vanilla and oak along with the ever present whisky/. Medium body, Alcoholic mouth feel. Flavor is like the aroma except you get some cloves and floral hops. Best at about 67 degrees. This is good, but there is too much whiskey and alcohol to be really really good.
Strykzone (5627) - Wood River, Illinois, USA - NOV 21, 2013
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Corked and caged 750 from Hayduke. We had it together via facebook chat. Mine was bottle #710. Darker brown and opaque with a big beige head. Lots of whiskey in the nose with some chocolate. That is tasted, too. And alcohol. The whiskey is over powering. Hopefully the beer will warm and more flavors will emerge. I managed to wait long enough to get some raisins and spices. Not a lot, though. Some more complex fruit but mostly alcohol. I really think that if I could have allowed this to warm enough there would have been more flavors that emerged.