FlacoAlto (3810) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - AUG 8, 2007
3.3 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
2006 Bottle Vintage, sampled August 2007
Iíll admit to the fact that I have been sort of avoiding this beer for quite some time; I havenít heard too many great things about it, but there is only one way to really know.
Topped by a frothy, initially three finger thick, tan colored head in my 25cl tulip glass. The beer is a lightly hazed, reddish amber colored brew. Up front the aroma is a concentrated mix of hop and malt character. Almost immediately though it starts to pick up a note reminiscent of rancid cheddar cheese, fungal focused mushrooms, and dirty old socks; somehow these lost, out of place aromatic notes bring a smile to my face as they make me think how much I would like to be smelling a funky Lambic beer right now. Alas this is no lambic, and the funk just gets in the way of the concentrated malt and hop character that should be the sole focus of this beer. The malt and hop aromatics are noticeable, in fact they are bigger than the funk (which is just so out of place that it is quite noticeable); notes of caramel, toasted grain, sweet citrus and a herbal, almost menthol-like hop character. Interestingly enough the super funky aromatics seem to dissipate, for the most part, after a short bit of time leaving nothing but a tainted memory for the nose to live through.
The flavor is lightly sweet for a beer of this stature; the malt sweetness is well balanced by a herbal hop character and bitterness. Candied grapefruit peel, a zesty carbonation, notes of pine and a touch of minty basil help to balance and even at times show up the malt character of this beer. The malt character focuses on crystal malt like notes of caramel, toasted grain, sweet raisins, brown sugar coated biscuits, and even some hints of roasted malt character in the finish (perhaps reminiscent of almost black toast, or even lightly roasted, spent coffee grounds. The beer has a solid bitterness, though it is certainly not on the high end for an American-styled Barleywine.
The aroma of this beer started out down-right wrong, but seemed to correct itself after being allowed to breath for a bit. Luckily by the time I got to the taste, the really weird funky notes had almost all but disappeared, if they were ever noticeable. In the end this beer is quite a bit more enjoyable that I had feared; part of this may have been my initial low expectations and the fact that the aroma started out so poorly; the beer recovered though and has become quite a tasty tipple. The lesson, definitely let this beer sit for a while after you pour it to give it a chance to breath and open up.
jgentgesdo (674) - Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA - JUL 8, 2007
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Pours ruby with a tan head that is kinda fizzy but laces well. Nose is creamy malt and molasses. Initial bitter notes in the flavor are quickly overwhelmed by sweet maltiness, plums, and the finishing alcohol bite. Medium body, oily or creamy mouthfeel. Pretty good stuff.
scottmc (167) - Lakewood, Colorado, USA - JUL 6, 2007
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
This is the best Barley Wine I have ever had. A great start with a heavy almost purple/dark red body and heavy tinted head. Finishes with a great after taste and not too dry. The extra malts give it a heavy flavorful taste that is to die for. A great Beer.
DragonStout (1408) - Pickerington, Ohio, USA - JUL 5, 2007
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Pours a nice dark amber color with a small thinning head.aroma is sweet.Flavors of cereal,syrup and fruit.The alcohol crept up on you but not overdone.Has a slight bitter finish
stegosaurus (1882) - Levittown, Pennsylvania, USA - JUN 7, 2007
3.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle sampled. Pours copper with a small off-white head. Aroma of caramel malts, fruit, and alcohol. The flavor is sweet caramel, alcohol is present, slight dark fruits, and mildly bitter. Body is thin, just ok.
Lumpy (1802) - Carrollton, Texas, USA - JUN 3, 2007
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Nose-cherry, stale hops, unsweet malt. Body-iced tea with a thin ring of bubbles. Taste-cereal, dried cherries, medium-high CO2, low straw, very English, alcohol comes out in the end.
bu11zeye (11971) - Frisco (Dallas), Texas, USA - MAY 27, 2007
3.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
(Bottle) Pours a clear amber body with a small beige head. Aroma of fruit bread, caramel, hazelnut, and vanilla. Flavor of nut bread, fruit, maple syrup, and alcohol. Bit thin; not malty enough for a barleywine.
chef201atc (261) - Fort Worth, Texas, USA - MAY 17, 2007
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Caramel colored pour with a scant off-white head. Nose dominated by malty sweetness, some caramel and toffee. Mouthfeel is a bit thinner than it looks, moderate carbonation. Flavor starts sweet and finishes dry with some candied fruit in the middle.
hopscotch (9519) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - MAY 8, 2007
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle... Clear copper ale with a small, creamy, off-white head. Good retention. Vinous, dark fruit nose with a chocolate and caramel undertone. Rich, malty flavor with a sturdy, caramel backbone. Perfect bitterness to balance things out. Full-bodied and a touch syrupy with moderate carbonation. Dry, lightly bitter, grassy finish. Kudos to boboski for giving me the bomber!
patrick767 (3590) - fort wayne, Indiana, USA - MAY 2, 2007
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
bottle - Pours coppery with a thin head. It smells very malty with a little alcohol. Caramel sweetness and some moderate hops balance okay in the flavor thatís joined by a touch of dark fruit. Overall it seems to lack depth. Itís definitely a barley wine and tastes pretty good, but itís just not very interesting.