ThisWangsChung (747) - Leonardtown, Maryland, USA - MAR 1, 2014
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
12 oz bottle into a tasting snifter.
A: Pours a clear reddish copper color. While the off-white colored head isnít turribly impressive, it does have a bit of duration which almost belies its gravity. Not much lacing either. It does leave alcohol legs behind, though.
S: Dark. Fruit. Overload. Of course, being brewed with dark fruits helps - in this case, it already amplifies what the dominant note should be. While there are alcoholic traces for sure, especially once it warms up slightly, you canít really tell itís 15% at all. Also upon opening up, it develops a subtle yet prevalent bread aroma.
T: Immediately, sweetness hits the tongue. Dark fruits and caramel give way to a sour middle - not sour as in "wild ale", but sour as in "musty and leathery". And is it ever leathery. Boozy, but hey, itís 15%. Honestly, the presence of alcohol here doesnít bother me as much as it did in, say, Palo Santo Marron. Past its alcoholic finish lies strong tones of vanillin sweetness; had there been any sort of oaky presence, you could have almost fooled me into thinking this was barrel-aged. While itís damn enjoyable, itís a bit too reliant on brute force and heavy handed sweetness to be a world beater.
M: Super soft, super creamy, which is exactly what is demanded. I could use a touch more body to help conceal the alcohol better. The finish is super, ultra, mega, uber sticky, and this does create a slightly less harsh feel. In fact, itís actually un-impossible to drink given its sweet and boozy nature. Still, drinking a bottle of this solo would turn into a chore.
O: It has the general profile of an English-style barleywine...but the bigness and brute force of a íMerican one. Having said that, this is one of DFHís better offerings, and obviously a great aging candidate. Even fresh, the booze is hidden relatively well. Relatively. If I ever buy this again, down in the ground they go.
Gluepot (69) - Ontario, CANADA - FEB 24, 2014
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
The Nose is complex, as you would hope at the alcohol level -- apricots, prunes, brown sugar, a medicinal effect and dark fruit are featured. The body is rich, with taste highlights including alcohol warmth, dark fruit, prunes, dates and apricots, sweet bready malt and a Dogfish-head-traditional hint of vanilla. In the conversation for the best large beer I have ever sampled.
Mep3222 (581) - East Greenbush, New York, USA - FEB 17, 2014
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Sweet malty aroma almost candied sugar. Taste is very sweet candied sugar and maybe vanilla and oaky as well. Palate is too sticky and sweet. Solid beer and good flavors, but a bit too sweet and too sticky.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
Hartung32 (234) - Indiana, USA - FEB 3, 2014
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 12/20
I haven't had many Barley Wines, but I have had better. Too sweet for me; would like to see it with some age on it.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
AdamJackson (2885) - Enfield, New Hampshire, USA - JAN 30, 2014
3.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
2 year old bottle. Dark plum appearance. Wow the nose smells great! like a dark fruit salad, oak, caramel and rye. Threís a ton of fruit presence in this beer. dark fruits, molasses, maple syrup, candy corns and cotton candy. resinous pine from start to finish. Huge back bone but at 2 years old, the ABV is far less noticeable and thatís a good thing. I wouldí told this longer than a couple of years though.
jahshuwuh (431) - USA - JAN 24, 2014
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
A hazy ruby/brown color with a tiny bit of cream colored head. Smells of sweet alcohol, dark fruit, nutty, caramel, maple. Strong sweet burst of taste with alcohol fairly apparent. Mid palate you can taste the dark fruit and nuttiness and breadiness, alcohol sting. Leaves mouth a little numb with a tiny bit of hop bitter but the sweetness covers it pretty well. Some woody type notes as well. Honey biscuit mixed with some cough syrup and some nuts. It's with out a doubt a bold mofo. I do like the flavors though. The honey biscuit and nuttiness pop out the most for me. Very sweet overall which helps hide the alcohol but it's still there for sure. Nice one to sip on a cold day.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
bnoel09 (444) - Elk Grove, California, USA - JAN 19, 2014
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
2013 bottle poured into a snifter. Dark amber color with a cream colored head. Aroma is dark fruit. Flavor is toasted malt with a good dose of molasses and dark fruits. Alcohol does not seem nearly as evident to me as other reviews have indicated. Medium bodied with a slightly sticky mouthfeel. Overall not an overly complex barleywine, but one that is quite nice and very drinkable.
Bulk_Carrier (2277) - Juneau, Alaska, USA - JAN 18, 2014
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Rcvd in trade. She pours a gentle hazy orange/amber/brown color and leaves the same color body with a slim half finger white foamy head with some light lacing that tries to cling but slides for the most part. The smell has a light citrusy juicy hops along with some earthy honey, figs, and dates that manage to come across really well. The taste is sweet and sticky through a smooth flavored honeyed hops, sweet sticky aftertaste and finish. On the palate, this one wants to be a sipper, but comes across fairly sessionable, carbonation is slightly smooth and good for the style, perhaps maybe not as harsh as some American Barleywines, but hey good stuff. Overall, I say this is a wonderful American Barleywine that I would have again.
SamP01 (591) - New Jersey, USA - JAN 10, 2014
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Vintage 2012. A honey colored hue on the pour, no head. Aroma is of sweet caramel vanilla woodsy essence, very fruity and yeast, some sweet alcohol esters as well. Taste is sweet caramel, honey and vanilla undertones, fruity, yeast and mild spiced hops, some dark intermingled fruit figs and dates. Palate is full flavored, creamy, smooth and nicely balanced wit good carbonation. The finish is a cornucopia of the aforementioned flavors and aromas, leaves a slight tongue numbing feeling from the alcohol, although it is well behaved. Aging seems to have mellowed it out, which I find enjoyable. Leaves a nice satisfyingly warm feeling. Overall a very good smooth and enjoyable brew.
Salmoniform (1013) - Sweet Home, Oregon, USA - JAN 9, 2014
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Poured from bottle to glass. Amber hue with white head that lingered nicely. Aroma of sugar cookie, honey, malted barley, candi sugar, stone fruit. Mouthfeel is great with a full body and moderate carbonation. Taste is sweet throughout but not cloying. Slightly bitter following along with a nice CO2 sharpness. Nice ethanol in the finish. Overall, this is one of the best English style Barleywines that Iíve had.