pintsize (1042) - Austin, Texas, USA - JUL 13, 2008
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
6-18-08 bottle shared with lb4lb thanks to masonjer and d0b
Hefty amber brown thick pour with a thin creamy beige head. Smellis nice light malt. Flavor is hot and thick almost syrupy alcohol. Medium body and syrupy finish.
madvike (2666) - Middleton, Wisconsin, USA - SEP 18, 2010
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle from Silphium...thanks Brad! - Pours ruby amber, clear with an thin off-white head. Nose still with some a lot of heat, but I guess not bad for 15%. Raisins, a bit of caramel, candi sugar, but the smell is kind of vaguely sweet under the booziness. Taste is caramel and butterscotch, with some dark chocolate, booze, and bitter roast. Pretty watery, though slick and smooth. Expected way more out of this. Maybe I should have put it in the cellar longer.
FlacoAlto (3759) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - DEC 28, 2007
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
2005 release, Sampled December 2007
A somewhat vigorous pour only produces a scant, quarter-finger thick, tan colored head. The beer is a brilliantly clear, cherry red color when held up to the light, but otherwise is a very red tinged, deep amber color. Aromas of aged hops and aged malts produces aromatic components of berries, caramelized citrus notes, light sherry, concentrated, caramelized malt and a super malt character that is almost umami like in its richness. Heady alcohol aromatics provide similarities to Brandy and even Scotch aromas.
Sweet, thick and extremely chewy, there is a ton of residual malt sugar left in this brew. The mix is rich enough that the sweetness is not cloying, but man is this a viscous brew. Toasted malt flavors, richly caramelized sugars, richly nutty dark malts and a warming alcohol note in the finish. This is a huge beer, it even tastes a bit like not quite diluted malt extract. I am glad this is only a 12oz bottle, but I could easily see this being one of the few beers deserving of a nip bottle sized serving. Fruit flavors of raisins and prunes combine with the alcohol to give this beer a sort of brandy-like finish. But I keep coming back to how thick and viscous this brew is; it sits on my tongue like it weighs a ton, and it almost seems like I have to work to cram, even a small sip down my throat. Underneath all of this malt, the beer is actually quite hoppy too; it plays a secondary role here and can sometimes get lost in the malt, but I do taste a herbal, sweet citrus character that is clearly hop derived.
While this beer is tasty and complex, it is just a bit too much. The amount of residual, unfermented sugars left in this beer is crazy; it is just so thick and so viscous that it makes it hard to even swallow. This beer is not bad, but it just ends up being too much. Perhaps another ten or twenty years of age would make this more drinkable.
Adverse2Bitter (35) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - AUG 10, 2008
3.2 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
As a self confessed Barely Wine freak and life long Milwaukee resident, I was pleased to pick up the 12once bottle. The title and the wax seals conjurers up images of a killer long lived work of brewing art. The reality is not to fare off.
Not as complex or as thick as some others. Brown sugar and baking spices come over the glass, but the beer is not very aromatic. Sweet! with low carbonation. Almost no hops. The alcohol is well hidden. A well balanced (boring) barley wine.
If you are looking for something’s really off the hock try the lighter but more hopy Pilgrims Dole from new Belgium or thicker almost Cognac like Dogfish head’s Olde School. Both have quality’s this one lacks.
Nice try Dark Horse
grimreeser (797) - Minnesota, USA - FEB 13, 2009
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Pours a reddish amber with a smallish head. Aroma of caramel, raisins, some dark fruits. Sweet with a big alcohol bite.
_angst_ (2588) - Göteborg, SWEDEN - AUG 18, 2012
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 14/20
355 ml bottle courtesy of Marsiblursi. Pours hazy deep reddish amber with a small offwhite head that quickly dissipates without leaving any trace on the glass. Smell is very sweet, fruity and malty with caramel, cherries, lemon zest, leather, dry soil, prunes, figs, raisins in rum, hay, roasted cereal, moist wood, dark grapes and liquorice hard candy. Taste is sweet, tiny bitter and tiny sour with caramel, cereal, leather, raisins, prunes, moist soil, moist wood, hay, overripe lemons, alcohol and hints of sweet dark bread and liquorice root. Mouthfeel is round, tiny tart, boozy and medium to full bodied. Finish is sweet, tiny bitter and slightly sour with prunes, raisins, figs, leather, liquorice root, alcohol and old bread.
cb (810) - Roeland Park, Kansas, USA - NOV 19, 2003
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Extremely evident alcohol which made drinking this at room temperatures challenging. I realize that Michigan winters can be severe, but these guys need to learn balance or restraint or something. I think beer geek/hard liquor fans would enjoy this more than I did. Very warming, vineous and malty. Saliva-inducing for some reason.
Oakes (12234) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - JUL 28, 2003
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Dark., muddy brown. Big malt aroma – caramel & Tootsie Rolls. Strong alcohol presence. This is a mean mother – though it’s strange that while the caramel doesn’t balance out the alcohol at all, it does meld with it to create a unique effect on the palate. Slightly salty. Still, something to temper the heat would have been better – it hit my stomach like St. Ides.
TAR (2441) - Lafayette, Colorado, USA - NOV 19, 2003
3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Slightly hazy plum. Dying light tan head. Round, candyish wafts of black cherry, dried plum, and grainy Crystal sweetness. Faint notes of acidity, wax, cedar and dry chocolate. Very alcoholic. Fuzzy carbonation. Soft body. Quick rush of Crystal malts and subtle metallic tendencies. Brief earthy hops are muffled by the residual sweetness and spicy alcohol. At first glance it’s tolerably malty, but quickly becomes overly sweet and one dimensional. Finishes cloyingly medicinal, leathery, and sharply alcoholic as the sweet malts struggle to find their way through the jumbled alcoholic mess. The aroma’s decent, but the lack of balancing hop character combined with copious levels of alcohol and unfermented sugars beckons it to be served ice cold. Otherwise, good luck conquering even half the bomber.
Hildigöltur (5104) - København, DENMARK - AUG 29, 2006
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottled. Clear amber coloured. Toffee and malts in the aroma. Very sweet and toffeeish flavour. Some bitterness in the finish.