GAManiac (1944) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - JUL 19, 2009
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
22oz bomber, 2009 vintage, poured into a tulip.
Pours a deep, clear amber, bordering on copper, with a hefty off-white head that shows excellent retention. The lacing is minimal but it does leaves some legs after each sip.
The aroma is big and sweet, dominated by caramel malts, toffee and dark fruits, figs and raisins especially. I noticed some juicy citrus hops as well but they weren’t as aggressive as some other "American" barleywines I’ve had recently....and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
The taste is more of the same with the sweetness dominating. After a cursory bit of grapefruit up front, the caramel malts and toffee take over along with some booze-soaked fruits. The finish actually has a bit of astringency from the hops, coupled with an alcohol presence that is understated for an 11% ABV beer.
The mouthfeel is silky smooth with a good soft carbonation which all adds up to a sticky palate full of sugary sweetness and a hint of hop bitterness.
I really enjoyed this beer as, even relatively fresh, had a solid but not overpowering hop presence that deferred to the big sweet malt and fruit backbone. Very drinkable for the ABV.
kenb (1102) - Oregon, USA - JUL 19, 2009
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
22 oz 2009 bottle via HAgen. Chilled for about 1 hour..temp is approx 58f...Pours a dark clear copper with a large beige head. Nose is mostly orange, pineapple, grapefruit and toffee. Tastes like it smells with a bit of oak, some grapefruit and some spiciness, almost corriander but not quite, and some molasses. Body is medium/full. Carbonation is just right. Quite tasty and just a little hot although for 11%, the alc is well hidden....drinks as easy as many 8-9% beers i have had...., am guessing this would be perfect in about 1 year..
thooper41 (556) - BELGIUM - JUL 16, 2009
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
22oz bottle: appearance is a dark amber brown with white head, aroma is of pale malt and notes of various fruits and hops, flavor is bland for a barley wine, good amount of malt nice hops to back it up hints of oak but just nothing stand out. Decent beer but not worth the price tag.
Bockyhorsey (2626) - Mesa, Arizona, USA - JUL 14, 2009
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Mix of aromas with the oak barrel wood the stongest. Also some sweet yeast and grain. Red amber body with beige head and some mild lace. Sweet candy flavor along with some beats and barley grain. A sticky candy flavor lings on the palate. Good brew.
hallinghansen (2650) - Odense SV, DENMARK - JUL 13, 2009
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle with black wax. Clear amber body, with a small long lasting offwhite head. Aroma is hops, dark fruit, alcohol, berries and oak. Flavor is hops, prunes, dark fruit and oak. Complex and lovoly brew.
daknole (10801) - Scottsdale, Arizona, USA - JUL 13, 2009
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle. Reddish brown pour. Aroma is loaded with caramel, honey, vanilla and brown sugar. Flavor, although a bit hot, is very nice and smooth. sweet with lots dried fruit, honey, vanilla and loads of caramel. very nice.
IndianaRed (3483) - Boise, Idaho, USA - JUL 13, 2009
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle pours a clear deep mahogany with a small fleeting tan head and coarse sheets of lacing. Aroma is quite fumey of alcohol and with lots of warm spicy notes of caramel, and dark fruits. Flavor is a slightly sweet woodiness vanilla and brown sugar. Substantial burn on the ABV as it goes down. I let this warm up a bit first with high hopes. It didn’t quite meet them.
Still, a nice sipper.
notalush (5638) - Denver, Colorado, USA - JUL 12, 2009
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
I was really not expecting this beer to be as restrained as it is - but this is a good thing, since so many american barleywines are just booze bombs - pours a lightly hazy red, with a soapy, lasting lace - the aroma starts things off on a less than promising note, with some solvent-like alcohol burning the nose, but once you "sniff through" that, there are some estery notes, toffee, light oak and vanilla that try hard to salvage it - very low carbonation, with a lightly creamy mouthfeel - quite bright and fruity up front, with notes of dried cherries and figs - this is followed by some toffee and treacle-like sweetness, but it never becomes all that sticky - some oak arrives late, as well as light bitterness and spicy character - a little alcohol heat on the back reminds you that this should be a sipper - nothing outstanding, especially for the price, but it’s decent.
Taverner (1100) - San Ramon, California, USA - JUL 12, 2009
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pretty damn good! Pours a hard copper color, with solid caramel notes in it. Sweet with notes of tanin and oak, as well as leather. Dried apricot also makes an appearance.
gracefullypunk (667) - Portland, Oregon, USA - JUL 11, 2009
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Taster at Seattle International Beer Festival. Best barleywine I’ve had to date. Amber color with no head. Smells of malts, caramel, slight pepperiness. Tastes more of the same, finishing with a pleasant caramel taste.