Serve in Snifter


on tap

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RATINGS: 1561   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.8   EST. CALORIES: 330   ABV: 11%
Vast in character, luscious & complex. Brewed with peat-smoked barley, this strong ale is brewed with organic juniper berries, vanilla & maple syrup. It’s aged on oak and fermented with a blend of English & Belgian yeasts.

DrnkMcDermott's rating

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
DrnkMcDermott (2920) - Downers Grove, Illinois, USA - NOV 11, 2003
UPDATED: NOV 29, 2007 I first rated this from a year-old bottle at my local homebrew club meeting in November. Unfortunately, the beer had somehow gotten contaminated (bacteria?). I rated it very low, but with the caveat that it had clearly gone bad outside of the brewer’s control. Within minutes of posting the review, DFH’s brewmaster messaged me, expressing his concern about the bad bottle. The fact that these guys are checking outside consumer feedback like this and want to learn the circumstances of a bad rating, even if it’s one out of 250 raves, speaks volumes about Dogfish Head. He notified me when the next batch had shipped so I could get a fresh bottle to re-rate. Here it is:

Bottled Dec 2003.This is definitely the kind of beer one would expect from DfH! The hop aroma of grapefruit and pineapple assaulted me as I opened the bottle. It poured a light brown, just slightly hazy, with a fizzy, short-lived head like any barley wine. The taste is, how to say it... just like a heavy Belgian except that it’s not a Belgian: "Thick," even "chewy" comes to mind. The maple is very apparent, with vanilla as kind of a backup. Only then did I notice the big toasted malt leaving its sticky mark on my lips. The fruity hop aroma doesn’t translate in tasting, instead it just shows as a tingle on the tongue. The alcohol gives it a brandy character, and starts to make me lightheaded in the first few sips (Have to remember that this is not the strongest beer in DfH’s arsenal, either). Exceptionally smooth. Then a slight taste of bubble gum toward the end.
And this is still a "raw" bottle. I got a second bottle, but may have to share it with the club so they can all get a better idea. Guess that means I should seek out more to cellar for myself.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
ajnepple (3748) - Conifer, Colorado, USA - JUL 29, 2015
Draft at Tap and Handle last week. Brown appearance with a white head. Smoky, peaty malt aroma with juniper berries, maple syrup and oak. The flavor adds mild bitterness and notes of tobacco and vanilla with a lingering finish. Medium body. Interesting barley wine, it’s different.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
chinchill (3215) - South Carolina, USA - JUL 5, 2015
12oz 2012 bottle. Complex beer with smoke, oak, toffee, dark fruits, and a hint of scotch. Sweet and tart in the nose. Thick, syrupy body

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
BiiruBierBeer (670) - Phoenix, Arizona, USA - JUN 2, 2015
Malty smell with a touch of alcohol. Taste is very malty, mild alcohol (hides the ABV fairly well), dark chocolate, toffee, vanilla, oak, and dark caramel. Full body with low to medium carbonation and very slight foam.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
sudomorph (944) - Barrie, Ontario, CANADA - APR 12, 2015
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.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Jabah (220) - Winter Park, Florida, USA - APR 10, 2015
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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
vodka4blood (120) - Milton, Vermont, Vermont, USA - FEB 24, 2015
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....

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
aumentm (452) - North Carolina, USA - FEB 22, 2015
A very full bodied and complex beer with a good mix of hops and malt. You can definitely taste vanilla and oak.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
mstrcrwly (724) - New York, USA - FEB 1, 2015
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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Joel (114) - Massachusetts, USA - JAN 3, 2015
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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Leafs93 (1915) - Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 28, 2014
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.

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