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Drakes Barley Wine Brandy Barrel

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on tap


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RATINGS: 180   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.95/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 441   ABV: 14.7%
Simply put this barley wine is the strongest beer we have ever brewed. At 14.70% alc/vol with a starting gravity of 26 plato Drakes barley wine has been big since birth. Crisp malts give this beer a burnt red color and deep rich sweetness. Placed in a brandy oak barrel since Dec. 2003 it has been aging and waiting for you to enjoy as you would any fine after dinner beverage. This is a very limited release and won't be repeated.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
ClarkVV (5858) - Boston, Massachusetts, USA - JAN 11, 2016
Nip bottle from Aspidites and KrausenJockey, drunk 1/10/16.
Another casualty of my "letís age everything!" phase...Canít believe I held on to this thing instead of just enjoying it after a year or two....but you live and learn.
Violet-crimson-mahogany body shows moderate to moderately-high clarity, being careful to leave as much sediment behind as possible. Zero head, barely even any bubbles atop, though there was a decent "PFFT" when I opened the cap. Still, this does not bode well....
To my surprise, the nose, while full of heavily vinous notes, has almost zero cardboard/sherry/madeira....Tons of interesting grape, brandy, wood and other barrel notes arise, with very little alcohol even. With continued warming and breathing, I even get some moderate chocolate character from the malt, seemingly as fresh as ever. Light spiciness, a dusting of cocoa and a touch of vanilla and caramel.
Flavor is even better! Wow. How this tiny bottle has survived in relatively great condition for ten years is beyond me. But thereís no denying it. Grapes, prunes, plums, figs and all such things are the extent of the aging. No cardboard or any such dull notes. Moderately sweet malt shows off caramel, chocolate, raisin and light vanilla, with very minimal wood character and no strong booziness. Near flat, but it doesnít seem watery or dead. Really f-in good, right up there with some of the better English barleywines Iíve ever had. Next up are the bourbon barrel version and the apple brandy olde ale. Hopefully those have fared as well!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
alexsdad06 (9110) - Ohio, USA - NOV 19, 2014
6 oz. nip bottle that I picked up in a trade many years ago (Idid not record from who in the notes) and consumed many years ago rating from notes. Pours a hazy ruby brown color with a thin off white film. The aroma and flavor have big caramel, dark fruits, raisins, dates, wood, brandy, sweet, alcohol is warming but surprisingly not in your face, some oxidation was present, but worked pretty well with the other flavors.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
djd07 (10500) - Houston, Texas, USA - SEP 29, 2014
Bottle thanks to Rick. Pours a clear amber with no head. The aroma is strong oak, prune, vanilla. Slick mouth with nice sherry and oak with lingering sweetness. Really enjoyed this.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
arminjewell (9262) - East Lansing, Michigan, USA - OCT 6, 2013
Pour out of 6 oz bottle, thick dark brown pour with thin tan head, aroma brought notes of big fig, sherry, candied red fruits, nice raisin, lots of sweet brandy, oak, touch of spice, hints of vanilla, honey in there as well. Taste is a sweet mix of dark fruits, slight cocoa, vanilla, coconut, nice oak, brandy notes mix finishing fairly sweet, slightly dry, with more brandy and dark fruits. Rich and decadent, aged well!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
Experiment_Ale (1096) - Dallas, Texas, USA - OCT 6, 2013
6oz bottle at Arminís. pours burgundy brown red. Aroma is huge fig awesome raisin greatness, big toffee, Brandy, barrel. Taste is exactly the same. Very nice and awesome! Savory and lingering fig.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Steve_0 (3745) - Denver, Colorado, USA - OCT 5, 2013
Bottle at Arminís with friends, courtesy of Armin. Big thanks for this one man!! Pour is murky brown with a small tan head. Big raisins, bourbon, figgy, caramelly, roasty, bready, and sherry. Taste is bourbon, caramel, cherries, bourbon, fruity, sweet sherry, caramel, figs, and toffee. Slick mouthfeel with soft carbonation. Such a rich, sweet, and decadent Barleywine. Nice!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 17/20
madmitch76 (22309) - , Essex, ENGLAND - SEP 14, 2013
26th January 2013
Almost opaque dark brown beer. A few tan bubbles for a head. Rich barrelly nose with a touch of honey. Zero carbonation in the otherwise neutral palate. Slightly sour wet wood leads to mild brandy. Mild pruney dark fruits. Tangy finish. Hangs together pretty well flavour wise, shame about the flat palate. Rich and tasty.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
sunevdj (3963) - Copenhagen OE, DENMARK - JUN 8, 2013
Bottle at home. This one has been sitting in the fridge since trading it (in person) with ratman in July ī09 - thanks buddy! Pours an opaque dark brown with no head. Smells of cask wood and licorice all-sorts. Sweet with a slight berrylike sourness Lots of aromas of dried fruits - mostly raisins and abricots. Also some aromas of licorice and old ale. Hints of earth and tobacco. Full bodied. No carbonation. Dry finish with more dried fruits.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
SudsMcDuff (8108) - .....Manchester United.........., Texas, USA - MAR 21, 2013
huge thanks to Bleeng (Rick) .. been wanting to try this for ages!! .. . deep brown .. mild foam .. . intense sherry, burnt molasses, grape, and tar- very complex .. . aged slick mouth .. . very tasty, quite an entertaining beer! .. . . saucers? you mean the kind from up there?

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
_angst_ (4553) - GŲteborg, SWEDEN - NOV 5, 2012
Bottle courtesy of Marsiblursi. Pours hazy very dark reddish brown with a very small bubbly brownish golden head that quickly dissipates without leaving any trace worth mentioning. Smell is sweet and malty with sweet dark bread, prunes, raisins, alcohol, dry wood, leather, dates, brandy, caramel, toffee, figs, anise seed, port wine, vanilla fudge, roasted nuts and dark grapes.†Taste is sweet, tiny bitter, slightly salty, tiny sour and bitter with sweet dark bread, wood, brandy, caramel, leather, hay, prunes, raisins, dates, alcohol, vanilla fudge, lemon zest, star anise, red wine, toffee, roasted almonds and hints of figs and burnt cookies.†Mouthfeel is soft, round, boozy and full bodied. Finish is sweet and fruity with caramel, prunes, raisins, brandy, wood, leather, sweet dark bread, toffee and hints of vanilla and cookies. I feel this is probably past itís prime but itís still a very nice aged massive barley wine. Happy to have had the chance to try this.

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