fidelis83 (2136) - Clinton, Iowa, USA - MAR 8, 2014
3.9 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Murky, ruddy brown pour with a 1 finger, beige head that has good retention and initially leaves some oily lacing, that eventually goes away. Aroma is huge on toasty toffee and vanilla right away, then some caramel, hazelnut heavy nutty notes and dark fruits come in, mellow, but fairly strong oaky bourbon as well. Flavor is dark caramel, toffee, nutty notes and cooked tree fruit up front, then sweet bread spicy notes, dark rum, dark fruit, pumpkin bread crust, a little ginger-like spiciness and boozy, but pleasant oaky and vanilla laden bourbon. Heavy body, creamy to chewy feel throughout, with a light, but slightly too sharp carbonation. Damn good overall.
bierenjoyer1 (77) - Illinois, USA - MAY 21, 2015
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Malt with some bourbon scents, pours coppery red and clean with a thin tan foam that stays throughout. The taste is very nice with malt, bourbon, vanilla, with a alcohol burn at the end of the bourbon like palette. This is really good beer that purchased about 6 months ago and I will buy it again in next year’s vintage.
daleharshman (970) - San Diego, California, USA - APR 29, 2015
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
12-ounce bottle (2015 vintage marked) purchased at Bread & Honey in Manhattan while on a NYC business trip. Pours into shallow hotel glass a muddy dark amber / brown hue with a half finger of tan foam. AROMA of vanilla, toffee, bourbon, marshmallow, brown sugar, and candied dark fruit. FLAVOR of sticky caramel, smoky vanilla, oaky bourbon, pip tobacco, and some light chocolate. Fairly sweet, but not cloying. The really big ABV is very well concealed here. Not quite as nuanced (or outright bourbon-y as I prefer) as others in the BA Barleywine style, but this is still readily drinkable and enjoyable. (491, 968)
bigtaster (777) - Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA - APR 24, 2015
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
From bottle into snifter. Brown opaque body with some yeast floating around, medium sized tan head reduces to nothing fairly quickly.Very nice caramel roasted malts on the nose, intense cereal, hints of bourbon, vanilla, some raisin, dried dates. Smooth medium to full bodied, soft carbonation, sweet body through to the finish, some bitterness on the finish. More dried fruit on the finish with lots of caramel, some burnt brown sugar. Slightly warning. Smooth beer, a bit too sweet for me, maybe some more time in the cellar, still pretty good.
c1raider (67) - New York, USA - APR 16, 2015
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: APR 24, 2015 Complex, toasted coconut, malt, barely. Excellent! The heat shows more than is desirable. Would buy again
ineedbeer (1080) - Oakland, California, USA - APR 12, 2015
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Poured from a 12 oz 2015 bottle.
Aroma has a lot of dark caramel and toffee notes with some burnt toast and a light chocolate note. Moderate raisin, fig and prune. Medium light oak and bourbon.
Pours a murky brown with a bit of a copper hue and a small, fairly thick, tan head that exhibits decent retention as it recedes to the edges where it lingers. Medium lacing and legs.
Flavor is moderately sweet with quite a bit of caramel and toffee. Some toasted bread and nuts with a hint of chocolate. Lighter fruit than the aroma, but still quite a bit of raisin and fig with lesser plum and prune. Some moderate oak with medium light bourbon. Medium high bitterness and a touch of alcohol.
Mouthfeel is medium full bodied with medium carbonation. Low astringency and medium low alcohol warmth.
Overall, a nice beer with a great aroma, but the flavor finishes a bit rough with too much bitterness and oak tannins. Nice malt presence, but could use a touch more bourbon as well.
bytemesis (4245) - Sunnyvale, California, USA - MAR 30, 2015
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle, 2012. Pours hazy reddish hazel, medium creamy tan head, that dissipates slowly leaving nice residual and decent lacing. Aroma is bourbon, vanilla, oak, dark sugars. Flavor follows, medium sweet, and light plus bitter, lots of dark sugars and bourbon vanilla flavors, a bit of oxidation. Fullish body, creamy mouthfeel.
tmoreau (2823) - Lombard, Illinois, USA - MAR 20, 2015
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Shared 12 oz. bottle poured to snifters, displaying a fairly clear, copper color, with bubbly, off white head foam, and spots of lacing. The aroma & flavor shared notes of maltiness, caramel sweetness, dried fruit, and barrel induced hints of vanilla & coconut. Earthy bitterness and slightly hot, bourbony alcohol lingered together into the finish, in a rather full body. Cellaring would’ve definitely mellowed the alcohol, but anticipation won out.
GTAEgeek (1401) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - MAR 19, 2015
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle from West at Ale Alpharetta. Clear brown, with a thin, beige head. Caramel, lots of vanilla, oak, butterscotch, and light piney hops. Very sweet, with a light hop bitterness. Heavy body, creamy, and a little warming. Overall, this is a nice, bourbon forward beer.
jmohno (1207) - Iowa, USA - MAR 19, 2015
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Murky dark amber, brownish dark red with some orange hue. Light head, spotty lace. Fresh candy malt aroma vanilla oak bourbon toast, fruit-mainly cherry like. Same in taste, bourbon hits more on finish yet well from start to finish. Creamy chewy malt full body, some heat and dryness more in finish. Fruit candy. Grassy grapefruit pine bitter. Bourbon barrel thorought. Big sipper. This would age nice. 2015 bottle. Good young probably great aged.
Cybercat (3863) - Georgia, USA - MAR 19, 2015
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Pours slightly hazy caramel with a nice fine-bubbled buff head. Fresh wood and bourbon dominate the aroma but let hints of caramel and malt peek through. Flavor has bourbon, oaken, caramel and sweet malt notes, tasty and pleasing. Finish has an alcohol nip, more playful poodle than angry Rottweiler. Texture is fairly fizzy and fairly firm. Reserve one today.