BückDich (5467) - McCall, Idaho, USA - DEC 7, 2005
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Vertical Tasting 2000-2005 @ Oakes’ ’05 Xmas Party
Throughout this vertical, it instantly became apparent how consistent the brewer is on this recipe. Typically when verticals arise, more so this point the smaller the brewer, the difference from batch to batch is more in the brew process than from aging. I started with the fresh (2005), moved straight to the oldest (200) (to make the obvious contrasts), then trickled back up the ranks to the more recent editions. The appearance is different, but not much. With aging it clouds a bit more or perhaps it was more yeast that was being stirred up during the tasting, who knows. The hops fade, as expected with time, and reveal a chewy granola maltiness and a sweet molasses combination that is only highlighted by the moderate body that rolls across the palate. The newer ones have more hop homage but you can still taste all the locked away malt complexity that’s just waiting to be awakened. In the finish more of the fruity sides of the beer come out, I found, regardless of age. Complex and tasty. This is definitely one that benefits from putting away. I’d like a fresh start with an older one in a more personal environment but for now, I have plenty of respect for this mammoth barleywine (pun intended).
JoeMcPhee (7622) - Toronto, ON, Ontario, CANADA - DEC 4, 2005
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
2003 - Sampled at Oakes Xmas Party 2005. Cloudy deep amber beer, sweet malty aroma, chewy body, plummy fruitiness. Peppery ethanolic aroma as it warms. Great beer.
2005 - sampled at the brewery. Nice cloudy deep orange beer with a thin off-white head. Sweet malt, quite vineous, brown sugar, nice fruity sweet aroma. Flavour is also very sweet, fruity citrus/cherry, a bit woody with nice light spice over brown sugar. Lingering white grape/raisin sweetness. Tasty barleywine.
willblake (2624) - Bel Air, Maryland, USA - FEB 26, 2005
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
02.20.05 Tap at Toronado BWF This was #57, I think it was only added for Sunday. Lacey, red, and pale. Malty and sweet. Cotton candy, vinous. Holy cow this smells great! Fruit salad juice. Sweet tea. Super balance. Very pleasing and for some reason, though it seems only a step above regular, I really, really like it. One of few beers at Toronado I went back for more of.
Suttree (4452) - Knoxville, Tennessee, USA - MAY 9, 2004
4.5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
#700! WoooHooo! 2003 vintage. Cloudy Orange, small off-white head. Strong aroma of toffee and caramel, with notes of butterscotch, cognac and vanilla. Caramel, winey and an herbal, grassy finish, plus some alcohol - though not enough to be obtrusive. As it warms, a piney hop flavor begins to assert itself, as well as some fruit flavors - plum, raisin, and cherry. The mouthfeel is initially viscous, smooth and very easy to drink. Finally, there is an aggresive and lingering aftertaste. Great Barleywine, and deserves to considered one the world’s best.
BillKismet (3000) - Seattle, Washington, USA - DEC 8, 2002
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Christmas maroon cloor with a ring of large bubbles. It took awhile for me to tease out the aroma--which was reluctant but nicely crafted with candy malt and cherries and possibly a note of vanilla. The flavor was sweet candy--bordering barley wine/english strong ale. Not cloying, but sweeter than I would prefer--could use better balance.
Volgon (2761) - Manchester, New Hampshire, USA - OCT 13, 2002
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
On tap GABF 02: Dark murky orange with a large head, sweet malt aroma, syrupy feel. Starts off sweet, ends really sweet. Fair amount of hops keeps it balanced.
HoppedHead (106) - seattle, Washington, USA - MAY 17, 2002
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
This beer has an almopst cultish following, since it only found at the pub. It’s release gets me ready for holidays, big flavorful brew, big malt flavor and dark amber hue, hops balance the attack, nice bitter bite with lasting flavor, if in seattle for the holidays stop by and try this one!
Oakes (10941) - Savusavu, FIJI ISLANDS - NOV 21, 2000
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: DEC 4, 2005 Vibrant ruddy brown colour. Hazy. No head. Soft and sweet body, with back notes of toffee and top notes of cherries. Light leafy hops and gorgeous malts...very simple but very effective. Gets rich late. A quiet barley wine.