Crosling (1863) - Loveland, Colorado, USA - JAN 7, 2006
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Muddy orange color, with a wispy white head. Coconut, vanilla, frosted fruits, chocolate, caramel, cocoa, brown sugar and cake batter in the luscious and intoxicating aroma. Big gulps reveal an enormous chewy character, with a medium body. Flavor is malt accented, yet reveals interwoven flavors of toasted oak, vanilla and coconut. Hints of banana and fig on the mid-palate, which leads to a mildly vinous, nougat and caramel like finish. I find it delicious, but in a more subtle, gentler way. Not what you would expect from such a montrous beer.
argo0 (10365) - Washington DC, USA - DEC 20, 2005
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
(750ml bottle, No. 0478, 2005(?)) Small beige head atop a murky copper body. Aroma is moderately sweet, caramel, spruce, buttery, tobacco, herbal, wood, some bourbon. Taste is moderately sweet, caramel, butterscotch, spruce, herbal, wood, some bourbon. Medium-full body -- only the warming gives indication of the strength of this beer. Delicious.
Lou18 (1353) - West Paterson, New Jersey, USA - NOV 26, 2005
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Rich, sweet chewy character huh? Well this bottle poured hazy brown with tan head. Nose was fruity and hoppy and malty, lots of yeast too. Tons of earthy and wood taste. Port or bourbon linger after taste. Nice really.
Pailhead (3859) - Plymouth, Michigan, USA - NOV 7, 2005
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle: Courtesy of Styles. Aroma reminds me of a Belgian Strong Ale. Creamy fruit and yeasty aroma. Pours a cloudy brown with a small off-white head. Very fruity up front with hints of tartness and lighter chocolate. Real big alcohol and bourbon finish. I canít believe this isnít a bourbon barrel aged beer, because I get a lot of bourbon. Light vanilla hides behind the alcohol warmth in the finish. Really doesnít come across like a Barley Wine. Resembles a barrel aged Belgian Strong to me. I really enjoyed it.
notalush (4173) - Denver, Colorado, USA - NOV 5, 2005
3.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle 1854 - cloudy copper/brown color with minimal head, leaving a tiny ring of white lace - musty, tart, earthy aroma, with traces of wood, vanilla, bourbon - kind of thin mouthfeel/body for the style, but there is some trace oiliness that tries to make up for this - flavors of leather, wood and earth sit side by side quite well with chocolate, caramel, bourbon and traces of fruity esters - finish is mostly chocolate, but is quite thin - the alcohol isnít that evident - with more body and a heartier mouthfeel, this would be great.
YogiBeera (2435) - Hamburg, GERMANY - OCT 8, 2005
3.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Yeah man! Great intense cherry, bark, peat and chocolate nose - love this earthy notes! Soft carbonation. Mahagony color with a nice orange touch and a small layer of head on top which leaves doily laces on the glass. Tabbacco, chocolate and black berries taste - goes by fast though. Nice hoppy finish with lotís of cloves. Actually the nose promises more and there is some body missing.
pivo (2540) - GERMANY - SEP 25, 2005
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Brady and toffe nose, powerful and complex from the get-go. Lush auburn color, creamy sticky head. Chocolate notes amidst a fairly full roasted malt profile. Some cherry too. Cinnamon zing of a hops at the end. Nutmeg too. Big broad warming effect from the alcohol - almost too much so. Big beer, but body was thinner than I wanted and the alcohol overpowering.
Dorwart (2266) - Robbinsville, New Jersey, USA - AUG 23, 2005
2.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 9/20
Small sudsy soap bubble head Reduces quickly to basically nothing. No carbonation to speak of. And this is all I got froma pretty vigorous pour. Not starting off well. Big roasted grain aroma with soy sauce, prunes and a slight hint of sour grapes. Color is a vary dark brown with a hint of red along the edges. Dark roasted grain in the flavor with a bit off coffee and more sourness. I am tending to think that this one my be infected. Very little alcohol presence and warming. Certainly not 12%! Finish is slightly sour and bitter coffee. Not a good barleywine by any stretch. Will have to look and see if others are reporting the same thing. Damn I wish this was not a 750!
lamas (1201) - Washington DC, USA - AUG 2, 2005
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: AUG 3, 2005 750mL bottle courtesy of my SecretSanta. Bottle #0425. A very muddy, cloudy diarrhea-water brown appearance with a very thin light-tan head. Subtle hints of caramel, nuts, spices and alcohol dominate the aroma. Pretty smooth going down. Not much carbonation. Tastes pretty much like it smells. Quite sweet with lots of brown sugar and malts. The consistency is up to par with many other barleywines but it tastes as if the flavors have been watered down a bit, especially in the bland finish. At least this isnít infected like the last beer I had from Cisco.
willblake (2624) - Bel Air, Maryland, USA - AUG 1, 2005
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
07.31.05 750ml bottle on which the label touts "Limited Release" but then doesnít list date or bottle number. How special. Mudded, nearly opaque rust-orange pour with little to no head, a surprise given Ciscoís track record of gushing bottles, etc. Aroma is pretty straight forward barleywine stuff: brown sugar, light spice, apricot jam, sugar cookie. Flavor follows suit and masks the 12% devastatingly well. Bit bland in end and to finish. Lingers with a sweet syrupy malt. Thick bodied but not sticky or slick.