DarkElf (3050) - La Jolla, California, USA - JAN 31, 2011
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
22-Jan-11 (750-ml bottle: Purchased 13-May-09 for $10.99 at Holiday Wine Cellar in Escondido, CA) Shared at a friend’s birthday party, this beer was one of the big hits. It pours a clear, amber-brown color with an inch of bubbly, beige head that settles to a wide, creamy ring and a dusting. The malty aroma is nicely balanced between toast and caramel, with a developed bouquet of caramel candy, buttered toast, cocoa, earth, and mushrooms. On the palate, the beer is sweet, caramely and candy-like, but not sugary in any way. Cocoa and milk chocolate are balanced by a touch of tart, dried fruits like apricots and prunes. The beer is fairly earthy and woodsy from cellaring, and overall, the sweetness is nicely balanced with earth and light tartness. Medium-full in weight, and though sweet in flavor, it’s still dry and gently acidic for superb balance and drinkability for a barley wine. Light-medium carbonation on the palate, but a crucial touch of light acidity makes up for it, giving the beer a nice refreshing quality. A ring of lacing rests above several patches of foam. Overall, this is a superb English-style barley wine, and it has cellared wonderfully. It was such a terrific beer, I’m really happy I was able to share it with such a beer-smart crowd, which included brewers, bar managers, beer retailers, and craft beer aficionados.
hellbilly (3249) - scottsdale über alles, Arizona, USA - DEC 23, 2008
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
served on cask at papago...
clear burgundy brown with a soft toasted almond colored head and random spots of lace.
very comforting aroma... chocolate, toasted nuttiness, roasted grains, muted orange, faint pine, nearly burnt caramel/brown sugar and lots of perfumey flowers.
surprisingly, the palate is not sweet... or harsh... or alcoholic... i*m confused. it*s lightly astringent from the roast but it is so well proportioned and smooth... seemingly like it*s already aged! flavors of orange, raisins, caramel-y butterscotch without the sweet, chocolate covered toasted nuts, faint pine, a light spiciness (cinnamon, maybe pepper), grassy herbal hops and a dry floral finish. buttery texture from the cask. medium to full bodied without any stickiness.
low residual sugar makes it crazy easy to drink... even without carbonation or bitterness.
it does lack a bit of complexity but this is the beez neez...
Ibrew2or3 (7511) - Tempe, Arizona, USA - APR 29, 2010
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Courtesy of jarspag. Thanks Jared. Pours amber with ruby edges and tan head. The aroma is sweet English style barleywine with caramel covered red apples, prunes and dates as well as some yummy molasses. The taste is smooth and sweet with malts, caramel and some muted yet bitter pine hops. It seems to smell like an English style but tastes like the hoppy American style barleywine. Very nice stuff either way in my book.
Hophead22 (2879) - Redlands, by way of Wisconsin,, California, USA - NOV 7, 2010
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
750ml bottle. Rating #112. Dark red with a nice glow too it and a thin light tan head. Very rich sweet caramel aroma, really very nice, just how I expect a barleywine to smell. Nice bitterness too it, more sweet caramel with a nice little booze kick in the finish, a very enjoyable beer. (1422)
Hopper (827) - San Antonio, Texas, USA - JAN 17, 2011
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
750 ml green bottle from Jimbowood. Pours a thick auburn brown with a decent looking head. The aroma has molasses, figs, plums, dark fruit skins, and a dash of chocolate. Full carbonation. The taste has a very tea like quality. In fact it smells like tea after I got that aspect from the taste. I have to admit this is probably the smoothest 10% ABV barleywine I have had. Just so smooth and easy drinking. I was a little impressed.
JohnC (3004) - Mission Viejo, California, USA - APR 7, 2007
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
On draft at the Stone Bistro.
Mahogany color, off white head, a good looking pour with a nice, light malty aroma. The flavor is a balance between malt and dried fruits. Dangeriously quaffable, this one is.
wetherel (1836) - Encinitas, California, USA - MAY 14, 2007
4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
$5 pintat Pizza Port Carlsbad. Green Day (I love that band) playing in the background. Mild fruity aroma. Little head (carbonation setup). Nice lacing, but dies too quickly. Nice deep red amber color. Sweet, sweet with medium alchohol nose and sting. Great beer. Greater with cheese, or with aging to remove the bite.
beerpadawan (4) - Venusville, California, USA - MAY 29, 2007 does not count
4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: MAY 30, 2007 The first thing that will grab you is the nose. It has a bright toffee/caramel aroma. A friend described it as "almost like a Heath bar." There is a good, off-white head on the first pour of the pitcher, which settled to an even coating. However, the next pour settled quicklly with no coating.
It is a sweet beer that went reminded me of an old ale such as Thomas Hardy’s, only with a lighter mouthfeel.
It went extremely well with Pizza Port’s Coffee/Chocoloate Chip Ice cream.
DYCSoccer17 (3499) - Woodland, California, USA - JAN 2, 2011
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Blind rating at New Year’s Eve Blind Barleywine tasting. 5 ounce sample. Bottle purchased at the Davis Food Co-Op. The bottle was about a year old. Vinous, slightly metallic, and a little fruity in the nose. Some citrus and scant booze is also present. Transparent amber body with a decent tan head and really nice lacing. Light astringent tartness to start, but it then becomes chewy, sweet, and caramelly in the middle. Finishes with a nice sweetness. I am really digging the chewy, caramel notes in the body of this. The ethanol is well-hidden. Unfortunately, the astringency to start is a little wack. Otherwise, this is a really solid beer.
doublebock (528) - California, USA - APR 9, 2011
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Cloudy orange brown color with little to no head. Big malty aroma with some oak, caramel and port. Rich and sweet malty flavor with toffee, molasses and dark fruits. Could have used some more carbonation. Felicidades to this Mexican brewery for creating a bar that’s up there with its neighbor’s in terms of a tasty and solid barleywine.