JDBaker11058 (1471) - Maryland, USA - DEC 22, 2013
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Appearance: amber, with some floaties and a tiny white head. Aroma: caramel, vanilla, maple syrup, raisins, cherries, a bit of smoke. Taste: massive malt bomb of sweet caramel, toffee, brown sugar, vanilla pudding, figs, plums, chambord, brandy, and toast. Finish: slowly building warmth and lingering, cloying sweetness. Notes: A huge, sweet beer. The alcohol is reasonably well hidden given the strength, but definitely a one-dimensional beer. Bottled in 2011, opened in December 2013.
akoeninger (527) - Wisconsin, USA - DEC 22, 2013
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Peat-smoke and rich caramel aroma deep mahogany color. Taste is rich toasted malt, bourbon, boozy. Full bodied and tasty. Very strong
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
Dan269605 (235) - Rocky Hill, Connecticut, USA - DEC 20, 2013
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Cloudy, light mahogany with a thin beige head. Decent carbonation. Huge aromas of honey, maple syrup, caramel, fig, dates, rum soaked raisins. The taste is very malty and sweet, much like the nose. Slight bitterness in the middle of the mouth. I donít taste much alcohol, but there is a slight warming. Overall, this is a nice interpretation of a English style Barleywine. Its just a big malt bomb with big dark fruit and maple, honey sweetness.
harrymel (1550) - Spokane, Washington, USA - DEC 16, 2013
2.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 10/20
Total score averaged as the beers were tasted in tandem.
Bottled 2009, Reviewed 15FEB12
It is evident from the crack of the crown that this beer is sooo much better with age on it. It pours a darker brown with a little rim of cream foam. Murky. Smells of vanilla, caramel, nougat, some powdered sugar; comes together and reminds me of flan, well done flan - really a great nose here. Sweet and oxidized with cardboard, oak, toffee, prune and raisin; some tawny notes. Decent flavor, nothing extraordinary. Thin with low carb and a semi dry finish. This beer is completely different with a couple years on it, I must say, beyond an IPA, Iíve yet to experience such a profound development in a beer. Just incredible, the transitions. 2.5/4.5/3/2/3 - 2.63
Bottled late 2011
pours amber with little head formation. A small rim of cream foam. Smells of vanilla, peat, apples, and some oak. The peat is surprisingly intense and reminds me of some scotchs Iíve tasted. tastes like oak and peat. Not getting much else. some alcohol and oxidized malts. Thin and low carb on this one with a semi dry finish. The more I drink of this one, the more of a vinyl flavor I get. Not very happy with this one. Although I do recall having had this in the past, and enjoying it very much. I have an í09 in the fridge I will have to bust out for comparison. 2/2.5/1.5/2/2 - 1.88
Serving type: bottle
scotchzombie (411) - Raleigh, North Carolina, USA - DEC 16, 2013
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours honey brown with a slowish forming beige head that fades quickly to a reasonable rim and light coating. Aroma is dark fruits, molasses, spices and booze. Though following the lead of the nose, the taste is even more complex and dynamic. This is a strong beer and one with moderate carbonation - it dances on the palate. There are some notes of vanilla and a deeply smoky-malty maple syrup sweetness. The backbone is boozy hot toddy. Finishes dry with warming alcohol giving way to maple syrup in the aftertaste. Quite enjoyable on a cold night.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
jeremugohio (94) - springboro, Ohio, USA - DEC 15, 2013
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Really enjoying this one. Smooth ale tatse with notes of vanilla and maple. Oak finish is subtle, but very nice.
Darwenus (618) - Virginia, USA - DEC 14, 2013
3.4 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
This stuff is a bright copper color with a filmy head that leaves no real lace. I wasnít in love with the aroma but liked the taste much more, and itís a little bit unusual for me with barley wine to find much distinction between the smell and the flavor. Thereís a muted, kinda plastic quality about the aroma that I found a little off-putting. It was like I was smelling the beer through a plastic mesh. The flavor is strong. Big malt, some smoke, some of that juniper and vanilla coming through, too. This beer is actually less sticky than many (maybe most) barley wines; Iíd expected that maple syrup mentioned on the label to show up in the finish, but I never really detected it. Not the best thing Iíve had from DFH, but pretty good. I didnít taste the 11% ABV, but I felt it, I felt it early, and I felt it hard.
PGHbeer77 (571) - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 5, 2013
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
12/05/13 Sharp woody fronted scent with a calming maple, sweet base. Mahogany pour; decent head. Smooth, silky medium feel. Sweet vanilla an maple up front to a sharp oak, woody finish. Excellent balance.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
Scrapersnbeer (1504) - Boston, Massachusetts, USA - DEC 4, 2013
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Smells like a fresh leathery coat: earthy smoke, hints vanilla fruity musk. Usual reddish brown, and less usual for this style, very bubbly. Strong smokey sweet flavor which rides roughshod over the other flavors. Vanilla is obvious, otherwise tastes like a sugar bomb, like someone smoked a tripel. Nonetheless a powerful beer. Thick and cloying. Every true íexpertí armchair brewer will tell you how much better Weyerbacher is to the overrated Dogfish, which has a reputation as such, but I found this better than the comparable Insanity barleywine, and by a good margin.
sfontain (834) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - NOV 30, 2013
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
11 oz bottle, Andersons, $13.99/4. I bought 8, and Iím rating the second; the first one was apparently infected, with a strong flavor note of Band-Aid. I donít know if my second was from the same pack as the infected one because I removed them all from it, I certainly hope that entire 4-pack isnít infected. Dark ruby pour, viscous, with a smaller white head. Aroma is unfortunately dominated by the peat smoke, even though itís not all that strong. Flavor is heavy and sweet, with more of the peat smoke; caramel. To their credit, the 11% is completely imperceptible; some 6% beers have more alcohol presence than this one. Medium body with copious frothy carbonation; sticky. This is one of the more annoying things to me about what Dogfish Head insists on doing so often--adding all these fancy upscale descriptors and flavors in their descriptions and then only adding a barely-to-non-perceptible quantity of them. Vanilla? Maple syrup? OAK?! Where?? RB currently has this at 95th percentile in barley wines, which is pretty wacky; Iíve had a lot of much better BWís than this one, and I think that if people didnít kiss DFHís ass so much this would be rated significantly lower. I usually love big, heavy, complex beers, but this is pretty sad and one-dimensional for such a highly rated brew.