Sparky (2243) - Phoenix, Arizona, USA - MAY 8, 2009
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
2009 bomber. Pours clear amber with a 2 finger beige head that results in really nice lacing. The nose is citrus hops, caramel and booze. The taste is vanilla, ripe citrus, toffee and more booze with some resin in the finish. Oily mouthfeel. Good stuff Ė Iím not supposed to drink this until 2010 according to Deschutes, so Iíll drink my next one in a year to compare, but itís pretty nice now Ė lots of hops.
ditmier (1508) - Boise, Idaho, USA - MAY 7, 2009
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
2009 Bottle - What a bitch to open with all of that wax...Pours amber almost garnet with a small, creme coloured head, just beautiful to look at...aroma is massive in every way, vanilla, grape, barrel, dark fruit, hop flowers, tons more that I canít describe...flavour is thick and sweet, not much bitterness to speak of, vinous with little carbonation, floral hops and grape soda...alcohol is present and a bit strong, but not to the point that it is ever unpleasant, and promises a treat in the future...overall decent now but will be incredible with some age...
trevor211 (1305) - Seattle, Washington, USA - MAY 7, 2009
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
2009 vintage - finally get to try this one! Mirror Pond was one of my very first favorite brews, so this is a treat. Pours a very pretty ruby-brown, with a dense, creamy, tan head. The aroma is extremely pungent, and very malt-forward. The oak from those barrels comes through, as well as dusty red wine - notes of a good cab. The bitterness from the hops is muted to the point itís almost a bit tart instead of bitter, and the huge malt bill dominates - like caramel-covered black cherries. Damn this is a big brew. Huge mouthfeel - this is as viscous as any stout - with a perfect barley wine balance of hops and malts in the flavor. Somewhat of a blend of Samichlaus and Double Bastard. For such an elegant label, I didnít expect this aggressive of a brew - itís a kick in the face. Sticky sweet with a burn. This one could be cloying after more than a small glass, but itís definitely damn good.
brianprentiss (675) - Portland, Oregon, USA - MAY 7, 2009
3.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
very very good way to end the day. had on tap at Deschutes Portland while waiting on my family for dinner. It helped to prepare for dinner with 4 kids!
josephselander (42) - Salem, Oregon, USA - MAY 6, 2009
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
2009 Bottling, about damn time...
Appearance - The color is a dark amber coming out of the bottle, but once you are done pouring this beauty it turns into a light red beauty. This reminds me of Consecration a lot, just a tad bit lighter. When this is held up to the light it becomes darker and even redder, magnificent! A 1 finger creamy off white head sticks around for a little while and subsides to a ring around the glass.
Smell - Very oaky, with strong hints of red wine. A balanced mix of bitter, sweet, and tart mingle in that glass like a swingers club. Dark fruits and a massive amount of malt round it all off with some caramel in the background.
Taste - Wow, that was a lot gentler than I expected. Very fruity and oaky. The red wine is very subtle, but it is definitely there. Has the tiniest alcohol kick to the finish, but it is more of a love tap really. I still canít believe how smooth this is already, even when Deschutes says it will be best to drink after April of 2010. A little bit of caramel appears in the middle as well.
Mouthfeel - Awesome, very full beer. It coats my tongue for ages, and slowly drips down the walls of my mouth. This is perfectly thick, just how a barleywine should be.
Drinkability - The high alcohol content is going to hurt it here, but damn, this beer drinks amazing. It is extremely well balanced, and the oak aging gives it a massive uplift in smoothness. This is the best barleywine I have ever had. Deschutes, how do you do it?
nickd717 (3483) - San Francisco, California, USA - MAY 4, 2009
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
On tap at City Beer Store in SF. Great stuff, even if a little over-hyped. Ruddy brown color with a one-finger off-white head. Aroma is caramel, slight roast, dark fruits, and alcohol. Flavor is incredible and sweet with loads of caramel malt, some roasted malt, dark fruits, spices, oak, and some citrusy hops. Smooth and full palate. An excellent barleywine.
Naven (1000) - Poway, California, USA - MAY 3, 2009
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
22 oz bottle from Bev4less. Bottle reads, 11%,"Do not open until 4/20/10. F**k it, I canít wait that long. Pretty typical dark rich amber color. Very sweet, yet smooth and somewhat creamy. Very very faint oak flavor. Surprisingly less boozy than I expected. I understand the benefits of aging this, but in reality, itís a perfectly good barleywine to drink now.
DYCSoccer17 (3320) - Woodland, California, USA - MAY 2, 2009
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
22oz bottle from the Davis Food Co-Op. Aroma is vinous and pretty fruity with just a little bit of caramel sweetness. Lightly ethanolic. Not overly quaffable. Transparent amber body with a smallish, quickly dissipating off-yellowish head. Sweet, malty start that is pretty darn sticky. There is some floral flavor and some berry sweetness in the middle. Becomes a bit roasty before it becomes boozy, harsh, and ethanolic. This has a warming finish. Thankfully, this has a very oily body, which helps make the ethanol more palatable. I do not detect any of the oak that is supposed to be in this. It appears as though this was aged in the same imaginary oak barrels that the 07 Abyss was aged in.
pantanap (3357) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - APR 11, 2009
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
22oz bottle (2005 vintage). thanks to andrew for the share......pours a dark amber caramel brown with a thin off-white head..... aroma of somewhat papery oxidized malt and dark fruit....flavors of sweet caramel and dark fruit, light toffee. moderate carbonation and average mouthfeel. canít detect too much oak. slightly bitter in the finish.
hayduke (3366) - Eureka, California, USA - MAR 28, 2009
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: MAY 24, 2009 I got this on draft at a beer festival in Arcata, CA. It was so good I made three trips back to this one. It poured a cloudy red color with an off-white head with pink tinges. Nose is very much of ripe fruit with floral and citrus hops. Very rich, smooth, and creamy mouthfeel. Flavor is of caramel malts, and lot of ripe fruit and the barrel aging is detectable and adds to an ambiance. The finish is lightly bitter and overall this was remarkable easy drinking for a barley wine. I would like to find this in bottles but donít have much hope. I feel lucky to have had a chance at this.
This showed up in bottles. Got a couple. Just as good as I remembered it.