FestDecBeet (412) - - NOV 23, 2014
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Look: pours an amber color. Off white head. Slight cloudiness.
Smell: alcohol. Toffee sweetness. Vanilla.
Taste: heavy alcohol burn. Dark Fruity sweetness. Apples. Bread. Not overly hop flavored.
Feel: very thick mouth feel. Medium carbonation. Slight dryness makes you want another sip.
Overall: great beer. Would love to see what a year or more does to it.
First drank: home 11/23/14, 2014 vintage
slowrunner77 (6925) - Reno, Nevada, USA - OCT 18, 2014
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
"VERY smooth. you can taste the dates and figs in the malty sweetness. almost no hops to speak of, and therefore not a very well balanced beer. More for the english style fans than west coast. strong, but smooth, as the 15% abv warms your belly. 11/11-pretty hot eight out of the gate, but nice already and ages very very well. 2013 even hotter. Their really good big bears seem to be going downhill."
JCollinsJr (2) - - OCT 10, 2014 does not count
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours a light honey brown, in keeping with one of the predominant flavors of this excellent beer. Fig and candied fruit (apricot in particular) are at the fore, along with the malt and aforementioned honey. I detect just enough hops to cut the sweetness. There is a thin white head, with almost no retention. I had this on tap in a stemmed glass in Kentucky. Would love to find a bottle to cellar for a year or so. Send some south, DFH!
Darkmagus82 (1979) - - AUG 29, 2014
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Transfer from BA review on 3-3-13-
Poured from bottle into a snifter glass
Appearance – Pours a hazy copper orange with a tiny off white head. The head fades very fast leaving only a scant amount of foam on the top of the brew.
Smell –The aroma is of biscuit and malt mixed with lots of fruit aromas of darker fruits . Mixed with these aromas are a almost light astringent turpentine aroma as well as aromas of some herbal and earthy hops. While the turpentine aroma exists it actually is rather appropriate and matching to the other sweeter, maltier and boozy aromas of the beer.
Taste – The taste s very malty and sweet upfront with big bready flavors and a strong fruit flavor of a mainly of a fig and raisin nature mixed with a strong caramel and brown sugar taste. These flavors create a base for the brew and are joined by many other tastes throughout. A light alcohol flavor comes to the tongue more toward the middle of the taste and persists to the end, but for a 15 % abv brew, it is actually very mild. Other fruit flavors of apple and tangerine come to the tongue as well with an augmentation of the dark fruit flavor. More toward the end of the taste there is a very light lemon flavor as well as a slight citrus hop taste that mixes with the rest to overall leave a rather sweet, malty, and just ever so lightly boozy and hopped flavors.
Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is thick and syrupy side with a very low carbonation. Both are very appropriate for the style as well as allow all the wonderful fruit and bready flavors as well as complement the boozy and lightly hoped flavors quite well.
Overall – This is a very tasty and sweet with a very well hidden alcohol taste (at least for a 15 % abv brew). A very nice and quite easy drinking for a barley wine. Delicious.
superspak (3331) - Michigan, USA - AUG 24, 2014
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
12 ounce bottle into signature tulip glass, bottled in 2010A. Pours hazy reddish copper color with a 1 finger dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big raisin, plum, cherry, fig, date, pear, apple, caramel, brown sugar, toast, toffee, brown bread, light herbal, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good complexity and balance of big fruitiness and dark/bready malt sweetness; with great strength. Taste of big raisin, plum, cherry, fig, date, pear, apple, caramel, brown sugar, toast, toffee, brown bread, herbal, light pepper, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Slight earthy/peppery bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of raisin, plum, cherry, fig, date, pear, apple, caramel, brown sugar, toast, toffee, brown bread, and yeast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice complexity and balance of fruitiness and dark/bready malt sweetness; with zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a smooth, fairly crisp, and lightly slick mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent barleywine style! All around great complexity and balance of fruitiness and dark/bready malt sweetness; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A very enjoyable offering.
pinkzambia (1653) - Boise, Idaho, USA - AUG 22, 2014
4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle - Monde Market (philly): murky reddish brown with a small tan head. Great aroma of leathery hops, sweet alcohol. Flavors that linger with figs and dates. Great idea! It has hints of pipe tobacco. Extremely tasty!
sitzds (318) - - AUG 3, 2014
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
On tap at Fairfax alehouse poured into snifter. Copper body with thin bone head that quickly collapses to nothing. Aroma is butter, alcohol, candied fruit especially orange, and toffee. Flavor is apples and pears, dried dark fruit, orange, buttery, spicy alcohol note on the swallow. Full body, thick viscous texture, light carbonation, boozy finish.
AmykalH04 (35) - - JUL 14, 2014
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
A- Pours a burnt orange with a nice light tan head. Head retention doesnt hold for very long.
S- I get dark fruit which obviously comes from the figs and dates. if it wasnt for the label i might say currants.
T- Seriously smooth for 15% with a great dark fruit finish. Sweetness from the caramel malts but a good sweetness.
M- Medium bodied with a great coat.
O- Awesome what they did with this beer. so strong but yet so well balanced.
Weezel (238) - Florida, USA - JUL 6, 2014
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
2012 bottle. Spicy rye on the nose. Taste is mellow figs, raisins, burnt sugar, toffee with a grape finish. Super chilled out after a little rest and the alcohol is very well hidden.
orangesol (968) - Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 6, 2014
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Three year vertical, ’11-13. I decided the 2012 was my favorite so I will write my review for that one.
A - Pours murky brown with a decent one finger tall khaki colored head, quickly dissipating down to a very light film, leaving little to no lace on the sides of the glass.
S - Smells of caramel, toffee, brown sugar, dash of earthy hops, bit of dried fruit and plenty of mildly toasted malt. Definitely sweet, booze starts to creep in once it warms up a bit.
T - Starts off with the strong sugary sweetness; mainly made up of the aforementioned toffee, caramel and brown sugar; slowly being joined by the dried fruit, toasted malts and the ever present booze. Finish is plenty sweet with a mild booze burn, lingering long after the finish.
M - Medium-Heavy body with moderate carbonation. Smooth, sweet feel with a bit of booze burn at the end of each sip.
O - This was easily the best of the three. The ’11 was a malt bomb and nothing else and the ’13 was still a little raw. If you are going to age these I would say two years is the perfect amount.