ThisWangsChung (836) - 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 isn’t 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 can’t really tell it’s 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, it’s 15%. Honestly, the presence of alcohol here doesn’t 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 it’s damn enjoyable, it’s 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, it’s 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 ’Merican one. Having said that, this is one of DFH’s 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.
MaltOne (315) - Wisconsin, USA - APR 3, 2016
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
This must be at least five years old. Pours clear Madeira color.. light red with golden brown hue.. no head. Beautiful, rich nose, like a vintage sherry, with dried golden figs. Flavor is concentrated fruit sweetness, figs and dried cherries with slightest dry edge. Palate is slightly syrupy, coating mouth and tongue, and lingering Overall, extraordinary. I keep coming back to quality vintage sherry as the closest comparison.
mfhennig (276) - McHenry County, Illinois, USA - FEB 12, 2016
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Great color, aroma and flavor. Smooth, easy to drink. Probably the best barley wine I’ve had. Dogfish brews some truly great beer.
olio (9211) - Tampere, FINLAND - FEB 6, 2016
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
355 ml bottle. Bottled 2012.
Pours clear dark mahogany color with a small head. Nice apricot and ripe plums, vanilla, wood and toffee. Flavor is raisins, plums, wood, caramel, toffee, mild alcohol notes, faint vanilla and subtle nougat. Very refined and enjoyable slow sipper. This has aged well (without knowing how a fresh one tastes).
tiong (6390) - Espoo, FINLAND - FEB 6, 2016
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottled in 2012B -
Pours reddish orange with a small white head. Aroma of caramel, toffee, syrup, ripe fruits, hints of jam, berries and dates. Taste is a bit boozy, woody and malty with loads of ripe fruits, syrup, toffee, caramel, dates and hints of berries. Finish is sweet, warming and heavy with some ripe fruits, caramel, toffee, berries, hints of syrup. Quite sweet and heavy slow sipper.
laiti (8035) - Helsinki, FINLAND - FEB 6, 2016
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
35,5 cl bottle @ home. Bottled 2012.
Aroma is sweet and complex with caramel, toffee, jam and raisins. Flavour has alcohol, woody tones, vanilla, and caramel. Okay, the alcohol is sharp here but it fits in and cuts the sweetness.
thepatrickman (781) - Durham, New Hampshire, USA - JAN 22, 2016
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle, about 18 months old. Phew, this is a beast hiding in a 12oz bottle! Big aroma of sweet malt and raisins with a bit of booze. The flavor is huge, combining barleywine sweetness with a bit of the fruit flavor from the dates. It finishes surprisingly dry -- almost astringent -- with the malts dropping away and a moderate hop bitterness lingering.
Koelschtrinker (16806) - Köln (Cologne), GERMANY - DEC 9, 2015
3.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Investiver, ziemlich süßer Antrunk. Leichte Oxidierung, geringe Schokoladigkeit. Alkoholische Noten, vollmundig. Die Süße wird zum Glück geringer, weich, minimale Herbe. Nett, etwas zu viel Alkohol. 8/11/12/10/13/11
yourilevesque (1287) - Montréal, Quebec, CANADA - DEC 7, 2015
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Dégustée en compagnie de Cédrick. La bière est orange et un important dépôt solide qui tombe lourdement et bruyamment au fond de mon verre. Le liquide présente des notes fruitées. La datte ayant sucré le liquide de son sucre plutôt sec, j’y détecte des notes de cassonade brûlée et macérée dans l’alcool car disons-le, cette bière cache très mal l’alcool qui la constitue! La figue de son côté apporte une rondeur agréable au liquide et un corps sans lequel la bière aurait été imbuvable. Légère amertume en fin de bouche laissée par un apport apprécié en houblons, cette bière se doit d’être partagée et dégustée lentement, très lentement.
djd07 (9748) - Houston, Texas, USA - DEC 2, 2015
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle. Pours a cloudy orange with medium off white head that lasts leaving sticky lacing. The aroma is strong booze and dark fruit. Thin mouth, sweet honey malt, strong booze, candy sugar, really nice.
valpoaj (729) - Valparaiso, Indiana, USA - NOV 28, 2015
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle aged for, well, quite a long time (> 5 years..possibly much longer). Enough noise when opening bottle to quell worries of it being massively oxidized. Pours black, minimal head, minimal carbonation, but not used motor oil. Aroma is, well, actually quite beautiful - tons of caramelized malt, toffee, booze, dark fruits...just very pleasant on the nose. Flavor is pretty impressive as well - similar to the aroma, the caramel flavor comes to the forefront with a ton of dark fruit flavor as well. The booze flavor is very evident, but it is incredibly smooth. Medium to heavy mouthfeel seems very appropriate. Ok, I admit, I should have tried this fresher, and now I want to see how it is fresh, because this was absolutely sublime with this much age on it (now I can admit it...this is probably from about 2007)