KickInChalice (860) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - NOV 7, 2012
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a tulip.
Barrel aged Church on a Hill pours a nice, deep walnut brown color with a slight ruby tint to the edges. A tan cap recedes to a ring around the edge of the glass after a minute or two.
The cognac treatment really ties the aroma together. Toffee, caramel, fig, raisins, and a strong, tight cognac note all come through nicely. Having had a few different bourbon barrel barleywines, the cognac makes a noticeable difference in the nose.
Each sip is wonderfully complex. While toffee, caramel, figs, and raisins vie for control with a sweet, boozy, and intense cognac flavor. The progression is such that the sweetness from the base beer comes through first, the cognac comes in second, and the fruit and mild complexities differentiate themselves over the second half of the sip. Each quaff pulls back a little more of the complexity, revealing some vanilla notes, spicy cognac flavor, and a mild nuttiness. The beer finishes smooth.
Cognac Church on a Hill has a rich, full, and decadent mouthfeel, with the cognac providing a slightly lighter boozy character than bourbon or whiskey. As I would expect for the style and ABV, the carbonation is creamy and almost crushed under the body of the beer. There is an unavoidable stickiness that comes from a beer of this size and style, but it is not over the top.
It is clear that Cigar City knows what they are doing with their barrel aging program. They have created some great beers in the past, and this is an example of them using a more obscure barrel that compliments the base beer well to create wonderful results.
PriorL (1759) - Gent, BELGIUM - AUG 20, 2014
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
75cl bottle thx to Mathieu87.
APPEARANCE: clouded brown beer, no head.
NOSE: chocolate, alcohol, some bourbon, wood.
TASTE: chocolate, alcohol burn, quite fruity, decent but a little too heavy for me.
alexsdad06 (5370) - Ohio, USA - JUN 10, 2014
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
750 ml bottle shared with the group in 2012 from notes. Pours a hazy darker brown color with dark reddish highlights and a small, disappearing beige head. The aroma and flavor have ample dark fruit, figs, raisins, prunes, caramel, vanilla, cognac, hints of wood, toffee with a smooth mouthfeel. This was pretty sweet, but very enjoyable and actually hid the abv nicely.
Advocate_Ames (427) - Pennsylvania, USA - JUN 2, 2014
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
2yr aged bottle. Pours a dark brown with a soft off white bubbling foam head. The aroma is full of honey and carmel like booze, oak, buttery toffee scented malts, and brown sugar. In tasting the church on a hill I picked up on a moderate to high level of booze, very honey like cognac flavor, wood aging notes, molasses, defined carmel malts, and a weak vanilla taste. The finish is boozy, very sweet, and has a quickly fading bitterness. Overall this was a very interesting brew.
DTM (798) - Winters, California, USA - MAR 16, 2014
4.6 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Shared bottle with Timfoolery. Pours an opaque brown and smells of toffee and bourbon. Just the right amount of SMG. Tastes of toffee and an assortment of dark fruits. A top level beer.
knickskicks (705) - - FEB 21, 2014
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Dark brown pour, off white head. Nose is toffee, figs, caramel, a touch of prunes. Taste is toffee, caramel, prunes, figs, cognac. Full silky mouthfeel.
jackl (4576) - Charlottesville, Virginia, USA - FEB 13, 2014
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle @ The HUGE Tasting. Cheers to Paulo for pulling yet another rabbit out of his hat. The pour’s deep brown with a small tan head. Burnt chocolate brownies and brown sugar. Some hot boozy wood. Dense raisin bread flavors. Rocky road fudge. Rum raisin ice cream. Some red apples. Hot finish. Full body, rich and oily. Really nice, a great BA barley wine.
hopdog (8867) - Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 21, 2014
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
750ml bottle. BBT3 tasting. Poured a brown color with a very small sized off white head. Dark fruits, wood, vanilla, oak, whiskey, caramel, and brown sugary sweetness. Alcohol overall well hidden.
Theydon_Bois (8381) - The ’Sham, Surrey, ENGLAND - JAN 9, 2014
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle shared at HUGE Friday, big thanks to Paulo for this treat, 03/01/14.
Murky mahogony brown with a moderate light beige covering that this to edgework and a pond.
Nose is dark toffee fudge, dark malt, fruit loaf, sweet brown bread, dark fruits.
Taste comprises toffee fudge, brown sugars, boozey tones, sweet, candied sugars, dark fruits.
Full bodied, fine carbonation, light boozey twang in the finish.
Solid barley wine, a little sweet at times but generally a good all round balance.
madmitch76 (14834) - , Essex, ENGLAND - JAN 8, 2014
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
3rd January 2014
Mega Tasting at Bruce’s pad. Thanks to Paul for this treat. Light haze on this dark brown beer. Small pale cream coloured head. Palate is softish and slightly dry. Sweetish malts carry mild chocolate. Smooth barrel induced vanilla with mellow sweetish cognac. Dried fruits before a little spice. Pretty approachable for such a big beer.
Scopey (6726) - Croydon, Greater London, ENGLAND - JAN 6, 2014
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle via trade, shared at that massive Friday tasting. It pours deep brown with a small light tn head. The nose is rich, toffee, toasty brown sugar, candy, wood, cognac, jammy berry and dried fruits. The taste is bitter-sweet, wood, toast, earth, cognac, toffee, brown sugar, vanilla, fruit cake and dried fruits. Full body, moderate carbonation and oily mouth-feel. Perhaps a touch sweet, but nice depth to it. Very nice.