KyotoLefty (7989) - Kyoto, JAPAN - JUL 18, 2010
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Draught at the brewpub. This was listed as 14%. Orange-copper color with no head or bubbles. Sweet, oxidized huge honey and caramel aroma with port and grape notes like a sweet Sauternes. Big alcohol. Syrupy and sour flavor with big grapes and honey, burning alcohol and oak. Doesn’t really do it for me.
nickd717 (3730) - San Francisco, California, USA - OCT 6, 2009
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Hit up the Cambridge table big-time at GABF 2009. This was a very interesting and somewhat impressive -bal aged barleywine. Pours a hazy orange-copper color with a medium off-white head. Aroma is sweet malt, milldly tart white grape, oak, spices, orange and apricot. Flavor is great and complex, both sweet and tart, with bready malt, dry white wine, spices, honey, oak, orange, peach, and even mild roast. Palate medium-light and smooth with soft carbonation. Overall very good.
elihapa (1533) - Honolulu, Hawaii, USA - OCT 1, 2009
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 14/20
9/28/09 notes: 2009 GABF, Friday. What a fascinating beer. Pours murky brown-orange, but quickly becomes more interesting. Aroma is orange peel, rich caramel and kitchen spices. Flavors dance on the tongue nicely, hard to pinpoint. In a pinch, all one can say is that the flavor is unique. I think I got spicy, cinnamon notes blended with strawberry sweetness. Very well balanced. I enjoyed every sip of this, even though it is a tough beer to understand stylistically.
DaSilky1 (2606) - San Diego, California, USA - SEP 27, 2009
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
GABF 2009: Settles in the glass like strange, green, muddy pond-water..or maybe dirty dish water. Little to no lasting head. Acidic white wine notes dominate the nose with some funky solvent underlinings tending to be sweet at times. Flavors bombard you with solvent, oak, and white wine with a steady sweetness underneath. I liked this to a point, but think its overly solventy and an ugly looking beer.
Quevillon (2704) - Boisbriand, Quebec, CANADA - JUL 17, 2009
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bu sur place et fut (9 oz), le 10 juillet 2009. Rousse caramel, pas de collet. arome d’orge malté, fruit sûrettes muries, un peu de réglisse. Goût de fruits sûrette intense, beaucoup de grenolats, loin d’être réchauffante. Une bonne bière forte avec beaucoup de saveur, faite pour l’été, ma meilleur bière local du voyage!
Sammy (9826) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - JUL 15, 2009
3.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
Apricot colour, average mouthfeel. Brett in the aroma. Looks and tastes white grapey. Apricot summer fruit in there, you can taste it too. Can the Chardonnay be transfered for the wood, or was it used. Very fruity, sweetish.
Enjoyed on tap at the brewpub, I am still revelling in it 2.5 days later.
MartinT (8661) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - JUL 8, 2009
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
My Bottom Line:
White grapes and honeyed cereals benefit from this idiosyncratic Barley Wine’s malolactic finish to sculpt a wonderfully complex and personable flavor profile rounded out by sporadic alcohol splashes.
Further Personal Perceptions:
-A thin ring of foam circles the cloudy honeyed amber.
-Carbonation is low, making the link with wine even more obvious.
-The wild (bretty?) and acidic finish manages to be refreshing despite the sweet flavors found upfront.
-The fruitiness is pleasant, but could have been more defined for this to be world-class.
On tap at the brewpub.
Glouglouburp (6103) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - MAR 16, 2009
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Note on this rating/batch: This rating is for the version served at Boston Extreme Beer Fest 2009 described as “brewed w/ local Cambridge honey, Gewürztraminer and Voignier grapes, barrel fermented and aged in French oak chardonnay barrels” . Probably different from the regular version.
In short: Flavour wise: a cross between a beer and sweet-wine. Nice sweet fruity sipper. But a Barley Wine?
How: Tap at Boston Extreme Beer Fest 2009
The look: Cloudy golden body topped by a medium off-white head
In long: The last of too many ratings from EBF, my messy notes say that the two dominant flavours were a pastry-like sugary sweet honeyed malt backbone and a whole lot of grape flavours (red and white). A strong barrel presence. Hard-candy sensation. Somewhat of a sweet wine character. A very nice strong and sweet fruity sipper. Maybe the aged in chardonnay barrels batch was served at EBF was different. I found it to be a very good but I wouldn’t call it a barley wine. This beer is to Barley Wine what Rolls Royce is to laptop computers.
hophead75 (2012) - Largo, Florida, USA - MAR 16, 2009
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
EBF Session 1. Interesting beer- aroma of chardonnay, molasses/caramel, some toasted malts, white wine grapes, some mild citrus hops. Taste of molasses, oak, light white wine tannins, a touch of peach, bread, and citrus. Overall pretty smooth with some light alcohol and mild hop bitterness in the finish. Definitely unique, didn’t think I was going to enjoy this one but I was proven wrong.
Zinister (1423) - Houston, Texas, USA - MAR 15, 2009
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Tasted at GABF 2008. Nose of sweet dark fruits. Flavor has wood, raisin and nice alcohol.