wchesser (1374) - Denver, Colorado, USA - DEC 10, 2012
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: MAR 9, 2013 ’12 version on draft at brewery’s release party. BIg caramel toffee nose with all the extra Stranahan’s barrel notes: bourbon, vanilla, and toasted coconut. Slightly cloudy, dark cocoa colored brown with minimal head. Full bodied and not watered down by the barrel at all. Boozy, but in balance. Flavors follow the nose. This is not your huge hopped American barleywine, but more of an BA version of an English style. I think it will age nicely.
Living in Denver, I’ve gotten to try a lot of Stranahan’s BA beers from local breweries (even though they can’t call it that since Stranahans sold out). In the best versions (BTW, the ’official’ Stranahan’s blessed stuff from Breckenridge is NOT in this category though ostensibly they forbid others from using the name to protect the brand, I think it has more to do with Breckenridge’s deeper pockets than many other local breweries) it becomes just another dimension to the beer adding complexity and everything it brings but plays second fiddle to the beer (see Great Divide’s barrel aged releases, esp. Yeti). In the worst it blows out the beer, and in the fair to above average (of which Bligh’s is one), the beer holds it’s own but really just provides the structure to hang the Stranahan’s bunting off of. All said though, that is some fiiiine bunting and the Bligh base beer is well up to the task.
This is a rich, tasty treat for sharing on a winter’s eve with some sticky toffee pudding and friends.
Huhzubendah (2820) - Washington DC, USA - DEC 6, 2012
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle shared by Thorpe429. Thanks Mike.
The beer is dark brown with a small tan head. Aroma of toffee, bourbon, oak, malt, caramels. Nice flavor. Well balanced and flavorful, but not in the upper tier for the style. Lots of toffee and caramels. Bourbon component is well integrated. A solid beer. Recommended.
Serving type: bottle
Reviewed on: 12-18-2011
SudsMcDuff (6634) - .....Manchester United.........., Texas, USA - NOV 23, 2012
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
bottle from a blind barleywine tasting .. . tastes like its between 3-5 years old .. . deep molasses and brandy .. . lots of maple too .. . quite a nice brew, could have been a bit thicker .. . .
So who won? The losers?
No, they lost.
Ha, ha. Losers.
arrogantb (1402) - Denver, Colorado, USA - NOV 17, 2012
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
i wasn’t going to buy this beer but when people started claiming it was as good as Abacus I had to see for myself. Personally I didn’t think it was as good as Abacus but it is a good barrel-aged barleywine. Dark caramel color, decent head. The smell is really great, coconut, vanilla, caramel, hints of alcohol, whiskey. The taste is good but is a bit of a letdown after the smell. Caramel, toffee but very little barrel or whiskey influence. This is a good barleywine but I won’t be buying another given the price.
Serving type: bottle
Reviewed on: 11-05-2011 02:11:10
thirdeye11 (5734) - Dallas, Texas, USA - NOV 13, 2012
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
(22oz bomber) clear medium amber, lasting fine tan bubbles. Nose of vanilla, dark fruit, caramel, slight rich barrel influence, sweet, complex, awesome. Taste of vanilla, dark fruit, sweet malt, caramel, creamy, delicious rich and complex barley wine. Touches of light brown sugar too.
Steasy66 (1053) - Minnesota, USA - NOV 4, 2012
4.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Deep garnet, little head. The nose is mostly booze, bit of toffee and dark fruit. Really sweet flavor, dark fruit, really amazing. One of the best barleywines I have ever had.
Treebs (872) - , Illinois, USA - OCT 20, 2012
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
22 oz. bottle served in a Deschute tulip. Big Thanks to Andrew (nasty31) for the share.
A: Pours a dark and cloudy rub color with a tan ring forming on the pour. Splotches of lace are left down the glass.
S: Spicy rye whiskey is up front. Dark fruits, mostly raisins, with a subtle roasted malt undertone. The majority of the nose is dominated by the whiskey. It even drowns out the rest of the barrel.
T: Some fruity esters and spice from the whiskey. Raisiny dark fruit flavors with some sweet candied sugar. The whiskey isn’t harsh, but it is overbearing at times.
M: Medium bodied, a tad thin for my liking, with a medium to low carbonation.
O: While I certainly like this I had this side by side with King Henry and had Hi-Fi Rye a little afterwards. This just didn’t hold up to the big guys IMO.
Serving type: bottle
Reviewed on: 08-15-2012
gnoff (8203) - Mölndal, SWEDEN - OCT 11, 2012
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
UPDATED: APR 14, 2014 First rating
Sampled at Rackhouse Pub, Denver CO, on October 10, 2012, during the event Colorado Rare Beer Tasting
Clear dark copper color, very small head. Sweet, raisin, cinnamon scent. Raisin, sweet, alcohol taste. Vanilla aftertaste. Smooth mouthfeel, low bitterness. Warming alcohol.
Draught at the Rackhouse Pub in Denver, on April 3, 2014.
Clear dark copper red to brown color, smallish brown head. Sweet, clean, malty, alcohol scent. Raisin, ash, malty, sweet, a bit cloying taste. Fizzy mouthfeel, low bitterness.
fonefan (38083) - VestJylland, DENMARK - SEP 18, 2012
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Hazy matt medium to dark red brown colour with a small, frothy - fizzy, fair lacing, mostly diminishing, off-white head. Aroma is moderate to heavy malty, caramel, chocolate, wood, bourbon, laber larver (candy), moderate hoppy, light alcohol. Flavour is Â´heavy sweet and moderate to heavy bitter with a long duration, sweet caramel, bourbon, laber larber, coconut. Body is medium to full, texture is oily, carbonation is soft to flat, finish feel is moderate alcoholic. 
illidurit (2227) - San Francisco, California, USA - AUG 25, 2012
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle shared at Woodshop 7. Pours a dark burnt caramel color, which is coincidentally a large part of the flavor profile, along with plenty of bourbon, tending toward too hot, some wood, and toffee.