TheAlum (4289) - Lisle, Illinois, USA - JAN 16, 2012
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
12 oz bottle from West Lakeview Liquors (Chicago, IL). A nice treat from the Reserve line that I haven’t had. Pours a rich deep copper brown hue, dark and well hazed, almost murky. A sizable frothy tannish head, almost light brown. Frothy cake dies to a small layer, laces ok overall. Deep ruby edges glow. Aromas are sticky sweet malts, toffee and caramel mix into biscuits, toast. Some vanilla, candied dark fruit, touches of marmalade, spice. A gentle floral hopping, faint waft of cocoa. A touch of creaminess, warming sweet malts. A solid striking Barleywine, sweeter side of the affair, but that gentle hopping, light yeastiness and spice that trail into the backend are pleasant. Initial is fuller bodied, offering a good deal of caramel, toffee, and gentle toast. Biscuits, light touches of vanilla, dark fruit. Gentle raisins, prune, and a pleasant oxidation that goes hand in hand with their cellar aging. A dry floral and earthy hopping grows, gentle ABV heat into the middle and spice. More earth, yeast, and spice. A distinct dryness grows into the back, dry floral and earthy hops, gentle spice. Sweeter up front and in the nose than the middle and finish let on. Sturdy body, a pleasant citrusy orange marmalade feel up front. More toast lingers in the finish, spice, earth. Quite pleasant, surprisingly coherent experience, as the nose made me think it just might be a sweet big beer. Quite a pleasant beer from Central Waters here.
nsquishee (508) - Richfield, Minnesota, USA - JAN 14, 2012
4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
This beast has a lot of potential! Intense dark fruit aroma presenting a strong tart sweetness (reminiscent of fig newtons). Strong hopping with heavy malting, producing flavors of apple, hop, bread, figs, and booze. I have tucked away 2 of these for later. I have a feeling I will be very happy with this decision (or mad I didn’t cellar more!).
Pawola22 (3091) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JAN 6, 2012
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
12oz bottle from December of 2011...very fresh picked up from Armanetti’s. Pours a cloudy, darker amber-orange colored body with a finger-width, creamy, tan head that dissipates slowly and leaves a nice lacing throughout. Aroma is really nice. Well hopped with lots of oranges, tangerines, and a mix of resiny pines and earthy hops all balanced well with a big caramel that is rich and sweet with some toasted nuts, raisin-bread, and some alcohol warmth. Flavor is well hopped throughout and up front, but it also starts with a nice caramel and bready sweetness. Some brown sugar, resiny oranges, a touch of toast, and a light dark fruitiness in the middle. Finishes quite dry with a fairly bitter earthiness and a light resiny pine, lots of bitter orange peel, and a nice, rich caramel sweetness with a touch of breadiness. Lengthy aftertaste following a medium-full body and a moderate carbonation. Overall, a very nice barley wine. Well hopped with a solid orange-peel, earthy and slightly piney, resiny bitterness balanced with a solid caramel, slightly bready, toasty maltiness. Pretty dry and very enjoyable.
bsp77 (724) - Minnesota, USA - JAN 4, 2012
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Snifter.
Appearance: Dark, murky orange with long-lasting head ans some nice lacing, especially for a Barleywine.
Aroma: Toffee and caramel, with layers of orange on top, and of course the requisite Barleywine booze.
Taste: Fabtastic malt complexity of toffee, caramel and a strong pungent fruitiness of plum and raisins. Citrusy hops provide a great counterbalance and leave light lasting impression of spiciest and bitterness.
Palate: full, chewy body with moderate carbonation, a drying finish, and a definite warming impression.
Overall: One of the best Barleywines I have had. Need to try the Bourbob barrel aged one.
sherm1016 (886) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - DEC 26, 2011
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
12oz bottle, 2011 vintage. Pours a cloudy, dark amber color with a thin, off white head. Aroma is fruit, raisin, plum. Medium to heavy on the palate with soft, creamy carbonation. Flavor is sweet, malty, bread, caramel, toffee, more dark fruit, tobacco, with a smooth, sweet caramel finish. The alcohol isn’t noticeable at all. A very smooth barleywine, although I like its bourbon barrel aged cousin better.
GhostFace (300) - Wisconsin, USA - DEC 26, 2011
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
12oz bottle. pours a murky brown/orange with a sudsy off white head. aroma of caramel, toffee, lots of sweet malt and boozy. sweet on the tongue with flavors of toffee and caramel dominating. med/full bodied with a nice mouth feel; great carbonation and creamy smooth. very faintly bitter on the finish with a lingering sweet flavor. little bit of a warm up from the abv 1/2 way through the glass. a very solid barley wine over all! wouldn’t mind seeing this more readily available..
Travlr (7975) - Washington, Washington DC, USA - DEC 25, 2011
4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle courtesy of nuplastikk, thank you! Pours muddy chestnut color, thick and creamy tan head, delicate lacing. Aroma of caramel and summer fruits. Taste is smooth, summer fruits, spiced butterscotch. One of the better barlywines that I’ve tried.
portableparty (1596) - Blaine, Minnesota, USA - DEC 23, 2011
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: JAN 14, 2012 Bottle to snifter. Pours hazy mahogany with a khaki tight soapy head that fades to a spotty film and collar. Aroma is sweet alcohol and toffee with caramel and sugar. Taste is roasty caramel and toffee and dark fruit with a warming spice and bitterness throughout. Palate is full and slick with a subtle fizzy carbonation and a sticky chalky warming finish. Solid, very nice!
crossovert (4548) - Wisconsin, USA - DEC 22, 2011
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
12 oz bottle.
It pours a hazy brownish red with a decently quickly dissipating head that leaves a bit of lacing.
The smell is good. A quintessential barleywine. Slight hops but mostly caramally malt and a nice fruitiness. Decently alcoholic on the nose.
The flavor is mostly sweet. It has a nice caramel earthiness with some bitterness. Enough hops for it to be nicely balanced. Not too boozy but it is there.
arkurzynski (1189) - West Bend, Wisconsin, USA - DEC 21, 2011
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
2011 bottle. Hazy red/brown with thin white head (large bubbles). Aroma of dark fruit punch, caramel, mild hops. Some initial malt sweetness/molasses followed by dark fruit, toasted malt, light roasted malt. Ends with a dry woodiness and moderate pine hops. Pretty dry. Average palate for a barley wine. Could have used more sticky malt. The rest of the bottles will cellar...After letting this warm a bit, some nice aspects come out more. In the aroma, a bit more on the hops end and a bit of wine, syrup, and smoke. In the flavor department, a bit more of the syrupy malt and moderately high hopping. +2