ThisWangsChung (826) - Leonardtown, Maryland, USA - MAR 2, 2014
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
12 oz bottle into a pint glass.
A: Pours a dark brown color with decent (not spectacular) clarity. The head is about three fingers high, cream shaded. Its retention is really fantastic, and the texture isnít half bad either. It leaves behind some nice lacing on the glass, too.
S: PHE. NO. LIC. One can definitely tell that this is a peaty brew. Let it warm up a bit, though, and its sweet malt backbone develops nicely. In particular, it brings caramel, brown sugar, and maple sugar notes. Vanilla is slight but definitely evident. Iím having trouble picking up the oaky tones, though; that or its blending itself with the peat to create a ham-like smokiness. Nonetheless, this nose is telling me a lot - but thereís one thing it isnít telling me. Alcohol. This is a shockingly un-boozy nose.
T: Like expected, phenolic peat notes hit the palate immediately. This sensation tends to melt away around the mid-taste, being replaced by flavors of caramel and brown sugar. Thereís some slight vanilla in the finish; just like in the aroma, itís pretty subtle. Some faint tobacco qualities are peppered throughout. Once this warms up, its boozy qualities pretty much evaporate. My only real problem is this: take away the peaty notes, and this one is...kind of mundane. It only really develops complexity after many, many sips - and by that time, thereís practically none left in the glass.
M: Itís not exactly chewy, but it does have a decent body. While the sweetness has a negative effect on the general balance of the flavors, it does a great job of hiding the alcohol. There is absolutely nothing here to suggest itís 11%.
O: Okay, Iím really impressed with its lack of booze - and how the supposed peat isnít really that bothersome to my palate. This has some elements of a nice scotch whisky. Having said that, itís not quite as deep as I like my big, boozy monsters to be. Still, this has great aging potential, even with its currently well hidden alcohol.
sudomorph (852) - Barrie, Ontario, CANADA - APR 12, 2015
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
12 oz bottle bottled 2012B (Feb I think) pours a clear ruby/caramel with a thin head. Aroma has big notes of dark fruits, dark caramel, smoky wood, and a touch of maple. Taste is mildly sweet but not cloying. Caramel, subtle maple syrup, oak, and slight smoke at the end. Medium-full body with low carbonation. Creamy/syrupy mouth feel.
Jabah (180) - Winter Park, Florida, USA - APR 10, 2015
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Dont know how to categorize this beer. I found it to be more like a strong ale or porter rather than most barleywines that I tried. Dark brown with a thick head and heavy body. Tastes of malt, maple, vanilla, brown sugar which offsets the bitterness that comes with the strong alcohol content. I liked this flavor more than some of the other "$3-4 a beer" DFH brews. This was maybe the 5th or 6th one that I sampled from DFH that was 9% or over. I would definitely try again.
vodka4blood (110) - Milton, Vermont, Vermont, USA - FEB 24, 2015
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Wow. Very scotch-like, woody and full of vanilla. Mostly bourbon aroma. The CO2 escaping from re-capped bottle just played a little song for me at lip/cap interface, so it even sounds good, too : ). Bottle from 11/04/13 - try it aged if you can control yourself....
aumentm (400) - North Carolina, USA - FEB 22, 2015
3.9 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
A very full bodied and complex beer with a good mix of hops and malt. You can definitely taste vanilla and oak.
mstrcrwly (608) - New York, USA - FEB 1, 2015
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
12 oz bottle poured into a tulip glass..bronze color with thin white head..aroma of caramel,dark fruits,toffee,vanilla,oak..tastes like it smells..with decent alcohol burn..really good.
Joel (114) - Massachusetts, USA - JAN 3, 2015
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours dark brown with a thin tan head. Aroma of vanilla, brown sugar, caramel, and toffee. Tastes sweet initially with strong vanilla and oak notes. Complex, hiding the alcohol well. It has a slight bitterness in the aftertaste with a drying mouthfeel. It is pretty good and very easy to drink, but not sure I would seek this out again.
Leafs93 (1840) - Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 28, 2014
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours chestnut brown with a hint of red with an off white head. Aroma is caramel, vanilla, smoke and peat. Taste is sweet with mild bitters and a sweet finish. Medium bodied, soft carbonation and a smooth texture. Very nice.
dEnk (4181) - Den Haag, NETHERLANDS - DEC 24, 2014
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle @ home. Thanks vaiz. Aroma is huge caramel, sweet red fruits, malt, biscuit and more. Hefty. Flavour is big sweet caramel and red fruits, different spices, some oak. Nice one.
Vaiz (3744) - Den Haag, NETHERLANDS - DEC 24, 2014
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle at home. Hazy copper pour, thin off-white head. Aroma of herbs, spicy, juniper, caramel, sugary malts and some peat. Flavor is quite spicy, herbal, some alcohol and a huge body. Smooth and very well balanced. Great brew.
Westchesterco (1252) - mclean, Virginia, USA - NOV 19, 2014
3.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 10/20
Poured from a bottle it is a cloudy dark amber color with a slight head. The aroma is maple and vanilla and the taste is strong oaky malt enhanced flavor with vanilla notes