Ofortuna (322) - Grafton, Wisconsin, USA - SEP 12, 2008
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
12 oz bottle from Discount Liquor. 2008 vintage.
Pour of nice murkey reddish-brown hue with a beautifully perfect two-finger head. Huge aroma’s of kettle caramelization, oak, and a bit of vanilla/bourbon. Flavours bring forth a deep wash of toffee and vanilla. Almost a bit of creme brulee with the crispy sugary shell. Another layer of complexity is added with just the perfect amount of oak and bourbon. Very creamy and smooth mouthfeel adds to the rich character. On the backend, just a hint of fusel and a bit more of the bourbon creep in. This is to be expected considering this is the 2008 vintage. For so young, I’m really pleasantly surprised how drinkable this already is.
I went into this not expecting much, but was really wow’d. This is one of those beers that somehow managed to fly under the mainstream’s radar. I really agree with some of the descriptions below that compare this to Hair of the Dog in terms of massive kettle caramelization and overt malt notes. I need some more of this!
BeerBelcher (972) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - SEP 11, 2008
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
A very interesting barley-wine. It pours a murky reddish-brown with not much head. Aroma is intensely malty with some cereal-ness, which is not unexpected from the style, but didn’t get me very excited (I am not a big fan of cereal-y or grainy dominated flavors). Aroma is something different altogether. Generally I find barley-wines fall into two categories - a very hoppy beer that could be called a DIPA, or a malt-monster. This was something different altogether. While this beer is more malt-monster than DIPA, it offers two other characteristics. It is both intensely fruity (much like a wine made from grapes might be) and a bit bourbon-y (no doubt due to the aging). It is really a good tasting and unique barley-wine.
I would recommend this beer. I found it different than other barley-wines and really good-tasting. I bought this 12oz bottle at Discount Liquor in Milwaukee.
That1Guy (1945) - Greeley, Colorado, USA - SEP 11, 2008
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Took my time with this one. Got another aging in the basement. Smells like an awesome barley wine that’s been bourbon barrel aged. Nice. Tastes the same, but the finish mellows into just a badass barley wine. Awesome brew.
inkubus27 (269) - highland, Indiana, USA - SEP 10, 2008
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
For my 100th rating I cracked this bottle that I brought home from Wisconsin last weekend. Needless to say this is some pretty good stuff. Pours a light mahogany color with the smallest head. Aroma is of bourbon, though not too heavy, dark fruits and a bit of caramel. Flavor is nice and the bourbon isn’t overdone on this. It has a nice thicker mouthfeel, and the alcohol is hidden extremely well. I didn’t have the highest expectations for this but I’m wishing I would have bought more.
Shag (2623) - Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA - SEP 7, 2008
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
This poured an amber color with a white head. The aroma contains alcohol, caramel, burbon, brown sugar, and a hint of citrus. The flavor contains oddly some sweet potatoes, citrus, burbon, and caramel. This one was rather hot and could use some aging but still a very good beer.
jake65 (2709) - Boise, Idaho, USA - SEP 1, 2008
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle: Deep amber pour with a thick & creamy beige head. Rich bourbon aroma, almost a bit overbearing. Some faint malt. Tastes is sweet and malty, caramel, bourbon, a bit of dark fruit. Smooth. Still a bit much on the ba notes. Probably will age well if the bourbon fades. Different flavor from the standard y2k, but equally enjoyable. Sidenote - as it warmed the ba subdues a bit and the flavors blend together better.
kmweaver (3207) - Petaluma, California, USA - AUG 22, 2008
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
12oz bottle, courtesy of a trade from a while ago. Thanks! Pours a deep, clear ruby-brown color; thin, light-tan head with solid, fine-bubbled lacing. Lots of dried oranges, dried red fruits, and toasted malts in the aroma; some alcohol showing, with some tannins and warmth overall; slightly astringent, generous nose. Medium-to-full mouthfeel: this beer, at first, reminded me quite a bit of the HOTD FFtW, though the orange notes and creaminess is a bit lessened here; lots of toasted malts, dried red fruits, and warming alcohol upfront; overall, though, the orange and fruit presence is subdued compared to FFtW, and there are some astringent tea notes and a fair bit more alcohol; still, a very generous, solid barley wine; the bourbon presence appears mostly as sharp liqueur-like notes and alcohol at the edges; not exceedingly soft, but also not terribly rough; a reasonable barrel-aged rendition, if a bit difficult to drink a lot of this. Lengthy finish: toasty malts, dried red fruits, and candy sugar; some alcohol appearing throughout.
Sammy (8849) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - AUG 20, 2008
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
Great barleywine, courtesy of Derek. Alias the Y2K barrel-aged. The bourbon aroma is mellow and pleasing The ruby colour and white bubbly head. Beatiful lace. Rich taste, the bourbon is intrinsic and its mellowed somewhat.
cbkschubert (2900) - BFE, Arizona, USA - AUG 19, 2008
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
2008 12 oz. bottle via trade with KingpinIPA - Pours a reddish-brown color with a 3/4 finger thick light tan head. Very light spotty lacing. Aroma is fruity esters, sweet doughy malt and a touch of oak/bourbon. Quite nice. The barrel aging is a bit more noticeable in the flavor. The flavor also has a good bit of esters and some malt sweetness. The alcohol is quite noticeable in the finish. Medium to full body. A nice sipper. Thanks Mike.
SpringsLicker (3163) - Tennessee, USA - AUG 19, 2008
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Thanks to decaturstevo for this one.
Reddish amber with a small off-white head.
Malty bourbon aroma.
Fruity cherry flavor loads of sweet malt.
Tasty English style BW.