Keil (171) - Denver, Colorado, USA - AUG 15, 2011
2.8 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 11/20
Smells like apple cider. Faint ethanol hit in the background. Pours a murky brown, no head. Taste is super malty and sweet with a strong boozy finish. Pretty dry in the finish, very, very sweet. Taste is similar...very cidery. Pretty full-bodied and chewy. As it warms up I’m getting more caramel malty flavors and expected barleywine sweetness. Not sure about this one.
dEnk (3774) - Den Haag, NETHERLANDS - AUG 12, 2011
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Aroma is comparable with prima luna, only more smooth and balanced with the wine barrels. Flavour is lot’s better than PL, more smooth, not as sweet, way better balance. This I like.
NoiZe (2324) - Amersfoort, NETHERLANDS - AUG 4, 2011
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Had this one at the ACBF 2011. Amber, copper colored brew. Dark fruits in the aroma, some vinous aroma. Flavor is vinous, dark fruits, vanilla, booze.
aasher (112) - Fishers, Indiana, USA - AUG 2, 2011
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 18/20
This beer pours a full bodied and murky, cloudy dark copper/muddied amber in color with only the slightest of lacings around the glass. Carbonation appears to be minimal for this 9 month Calvados aged barleywine. The aromas are of straight Granny Smith caramel apples with light cocoa. It’s quite possibility one of the most appealing noses I’ve ever experienced in a beer. The aromas resonate to the flavor. The flavors consist of oak, toffee, Granny Smith apples, caramel, and light booze. It’s very well blended and ultimately complex. This beer is phenomenal. It drinks light for the style and is on a different level for a barleywine. It’s light for the style but suits this beer perfectly. The barrel aging added something special to this beer. The apple and candied aspects are phenomenal, absolutely phenomenal. This may very well be the second best barrel aged barleywine I’ve ever experienced, behind the Mother of All Storms. Overall this is a must try beer and surprisingly worth the $18 or so per bottle. You’ll enjoy it.
Fred82 (2114) - Québec City, Quebec, CANADA - JUL 26, 2011
2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 1/5 OVERALL 8/20
375ml bottle from IPB. Opens without a sound.
Appearance : Deep amber no head at all. Few bubbles but that’s it,
Aroma : Rich fruits with caramel and hops. Light wood and light oxidation. Not bad !
Taste : Humm not good. Light soy sauce, oxidation, weird fruity notes. Finish alcoholic and woody. Lots of tannins. Nah not good.
Overall : Nose started pretty good but taste is quite bad. Then nose started to show notes of soy sauce and stuff. Dead flat carbonation probably doesn’t help but even with proper carbonation it would still taste pretty bad. I’m not sure it’s bad bottle seeing many people report bad bottles. Disappointing because this was a rather pricey bottle. Drain pour.
Labove (427) - Rome, ITALY - JUL 10, 2011
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Molto meglio della Prima Luna, a dispetto del rating medio. Grande competenza nell’affinamento in botte. Gran birra, complimenti ancora!
Christian (11052) - Odense, DENMARK - JUL 8, 2011
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: OCT 21, 2012 Cloudy brown with a small off-white head. Strong aroma dominated by oak with cognac notes, and rich malt. Sweetish vineous and caramel-ly flavour with complex vanilla, oak, raisin and walnut notes.
MXD (303) - Gatineau/St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, CANADA - JUN 26, 2011
2.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 9/20
Bottle, from L’Autre Oeil.
Extremely opaque chestnut barley-wine. Doesn’t seem to be any kind of carbonation. Seems thicker than your average beer, or your average barley wine for that matter. This is not pretty. (2+)
Aroma is... Well, Here, you either like or utterly dislike. It has extremely strong notes of whiskey and alcohol, but the leading feature here is... well, dates. And Mud. So it basically smells like putting its nose where somebody dropped a 40oz. of Jack Daniels in a marsh, which is aboslutely awesome if you’re into that kind of stuff (8-).
Taste is... well, first of all, it’s completely flat. Not cask flat... Just plain old flat. It was terrible at first, but the beer was served a little too chilly. 45 minutes later, it was certainly better, but it still looked like an experiment that got wrong. Grapes and cherry notes, some hints at licorice as well... Alcohol-burn galore. Not great (5)
One thing it got right : the finale. Terrific maple kick on the finale. Heavier-than-heavy bodied. Sticky like there’s no tomorrow. (4+)
This is technically a barley wine. I don’t know if there such a thing like a Date Wine, but it exists, it probably tastes a lot like the Ultima Luna. And I wouldn’t try it. Happy to have tried it (and would have been kicking myself if I never did), but... drink at your own risk. The worst offering I ever had from Birrificio del Ducato. (10-)
MartinT (7779) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - JUN 9, 2011
2.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 9/20
My Bottom Line:
Banana purée, vanilla, and metallic oxidation aromas collide in this flat Barrel-Aged Barley Wine.
Further Personal Perceptions:
-There is no head of foam to top the murky reddish brown.
-The mouthfeel is quite heavy and limp with the lack of carbonation and potent residual sugars.
-Alcohol burns the palate.
-Caramel and black grapes recall the great Barley Wine this once was, before the barrel-aging process.
-This is truly sad since the Prima Luna is one very fine Barley Wine. This Barrel-Aged version was truly problematic. If I rely on other ratings, it seems the batch we got was a quirk in production. Then again, it’s an intense brew, it’s rare and this is Ratebeer...
ben4321 (3848) - Hoboken, New Jersey, USA - MAY 11, 2011
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Location: Bottle graciously shared with me at La Trappe Cafe & Trappist Lounge, 5/12/11
Aroma: The nose has a lot going on including oak/wood, vanilla, booze, malts, and caramel
Appearance: The pour is a dark reddish-brown color with a small bubbly beige head
Flavor: The taste has a good sweetness, rich and malty with some funk and acidic flavors as well
Palate: Really smooth, slight burn, low carbonation, big body, and way too drinkable for a 13% beer
This was one was really interesting, thanks a bunch for sharing this awesome beer! A very well-made Barley Wine with an interesting complexity that is somewhat boozy but still dangerously drinkable considering the ABV. Anyway, I enjoyed sampling this one.