CheersMate (1340) - Portland (Sellhood), Oregon, USA - AUG 15, 2009
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
22 oz. Picked up at Johnís Marketplace in Portland, Oregon. Nice dark orange with a dark brown hue to it. Thin head that sticks around for quite some time. Very good looking beer. Big malty aroma. This is a very pungent beer. Sweet caramel malt. The beer doesnít really stray away from a big caramel malt aroma. Not many hops to speak of. The aroma is nice and pungent, just not very nuanced. The flavor is a bit different. The beer is a bit fruity/matly. Fairly sweet for a barley wine. I didnít expect it to become this sweet/fruity. You really have to focus on the wood to taste it, but once you do you are good to go. Nice wood/malt flavor. The beer is somewhat sweet. Smooth beer. Overall, nice fruity/malty/woody beer.
JoeTheYounger (1182) - Lake Arrowhead, California, USA - AUG 14, 2009
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Sweet fruits and caramel. Oak, hops, sweet sugar in the aroma. Poured a amber color with tiny head. Medium balanced carbonation. Overall really smooth and enjoyable.
drfabulous (6432) - Lexington, Kentucky, USA - AUG 10, 2009
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Very relaxed and mellow barley wine. Malts are present but this beer is highly drinkable. Not intense. Some solid fruit flavors - yet mellow ones. One of the best barley wines Iíve had.
timfoolery (1126) - California, USA - AUG 6, 2009
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle from Davis COOP in Davis, CA. Iím constantly impressed by the reserve products from Deschutes. This one with itís blend of aged barleywine and pale was a winner on the palate. Nice body on this brew with a nice balance of smooth hops and malt.
GMCC2181 (1588) - Newark, Delaware, USA - AUG 3, 2009
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle shared by wolfman at SL... From hophead22. Thanks guys.. Nice orange color. Sweet aroma of malts and grain. Taste is sweet as well, which I usually dont like but this was nice... Light oak and vanilla...lots of malt backbone. Easy drinking.. I am glad I have one to age.. Thanks wolf, HH22 and sparky...
nqualls (1452) - Nashville, Tennessee, USA - JUL 31, 2009
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Source:22 oz bottle from Blake.
Glass:Gulden Draak Ballon.
Appearance:Hazy orange/amber pour with a one finger beige head.
Aroma:Nose has caramel, toffee, brown sugar, molasses, dark fruits, alcohol and a hint of citrus.
Flavor:Caramel, toffee a hint of chocolate, vanilla, dark fruits and warming alcohol. Citrusy bitter finish.
Palate:Full body with mild carbonation. Very creamy mouthfeel.
Overall:I havenít had many better. Top tier. The sweet malts blend well together, and the mouthfeel sets the beer apart from most. Donít get much barrel aging here, but that is the intent Iím sure by only using 35% aged beer. Excellent.
BarrelRoller (15) - USA - JUL 27, 2009
4.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Here in SoCal there is an opinion that Deschutes is good beer but not adventurous enough....Not with this one. I wish Deschutes could make/distribute more of this one because it is what Barrel-aged barley-wine is all about. Dark amber, explosive malts, right amount of wood, and well balanced hop character. Thanks Deschutes!
Lagunitasfan (1323) - San Diego, California, USA - JUL 21, 2009
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Dark orange with off-while head, lace, and ring. Nose is sweet with dark fruit. Warming. Taste is really big and sweet. Hoppy then grapes. Candy and vanilla. Sticky bitterness in the back. Sweet alcohol. Definitely still hot.
flutetokill (523) - Fresno, California, USA - JUL 19, 2009
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Reddish orange color with a small off-white head. Sweet apricot and bread aroma. Nice citrus hops, apricot, plum and cherry flavors with a slightly salty dry finish. Very nice.
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 werenít as aggressive as some other "American" barleywines Iíve had recently....and thatís 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.