Sarlacc83 (1116) - Portland, Oregon, USA - JAN 20, 2013
4.4 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
22oz bottle. 2011 vintage.
A: Red raspberry with brown hints. Very thin lacing. Grips the glass.
N: Tons of caramel and oak. Lots of toffee. Smoothly sweet like caramel being layered in a commercial. Smells like a fresh coffee cake with specks of brown sugar.
T: Very well blended. Has a distinct oakiness that lends peppercorn and vanilla. Caramel and toffee flavors are subtle. Raisins and licorice bitterness. There’s a pronounced hop presence/some pineapple. Could use a little more sweetness, IMO, but I can’t really knock the execution, either.
M: thinner than I might like, but it keeps the beer from being a choking hazard. Alcohol is really well hidden.
O: One of the best barleywines out there. Strong execution all around, and highly recommended. So smooth and complex.
JHeath99 (1258) - Warner Robins, Georgia, USA - MAR 30, 2015
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle. Pours a brownish amber with minimal beige head. Aroma of booze and oak up front, some caramel too. Taste of caramel, oak, with some booze on the back end.
sonnycheeba (4046) - Federal Hill, Baltimore, Maryland, USA - MAR 30, 2015
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle shared by jheath99. Pours murky brown with beige head. Aroma is caramel, bready and cookie malts, leather, oak, vanilla, and faint dates. Flavor is sweet nd chewy malt profile with a decent amount of hop bitterness to keep things from being cloying along with some nice barrel character that doesn’t bring along too much hard alcohol, but it does have a sweet, boozy finish. Medium/full body.
andrewje41 (992) - Kenmore, Washington, USA - MAR 18, 2015
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Draft pour at the Brouwers hard liver festival. 2013 edition. From notes. Pours a reddish brown color with a swirling foam head. Wet, sweet malt aroma. Sweet and spicy flavor with some cinnamon. A little dry on the finish. Overall very tasty. Enjoyed this.
hackobock (1979) - Stockholm, SWEDEN - MAR 17, 2015
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
March 17, 2015. Bottle at home, vintage 2013. Received in a trade with Countbeer, thanks Kamiel!
Hazy reddish brown with a minimal white head. Aroma is figs, raisins, dark sugars, bourbon, caramel. Taste is sweet with dried fruits, dark sugars, bourbon, vanilla, alcohol. Finish is very light bitter and dominated by sweet dried fruits, vanilla, bourbon, oak and caramel. Medium to full bodied, soft carbonation.
DSG (7488) - Tel Aviv, - MAR 16, 2015
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
[2/15/15] Draught at Toronado in San Francisco. Reddish brown with a beige head. Nice aroma of malt, dark fruits, caramel, hops, a bit of cookies and a bit of alcohol. Sweet flavor with malt, caramel, some cookies, fruitiness, a chocolate note, some hops and a mild to moderate boozy finish. Full-bodied. A good one.
cmonster (997) - Portland, Oregon, USA - MAR 13, 2015
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle served in a snifter. 2013 vintage. 13.4%, 20 IBUs. Pours dark brown with a short tan head that settles to a light film. Nose is sweet and malty with vanilla, nut, toffee, and melted caramel accents. Not overpowering considering the ABV. Medium-plus sweet attack followed by a snappy bitterness. Full body, ultra-creamy texture, minimal carbonation, and a long, bitter, warming finish. Seems to have more in the neighborhood of 50 IBU’s.
Theydon_Bois (11145) - Tourist Town (West), Berkshire, ENGLAND - MAR 5, 2015
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle shared at the Commons, big thanks to Jason IIRC, 09/11/14.
Chestnut brown with a beige covering.
Nose is dark fruit peel, toffee, spice, woody notes.
Taste comprises rich dark fruits, cake mix, spice, brown sugar, sweet licks, sticky toffee pudding, subtle bourbon notes.
Full bodied, fine carbonation, lightly warming alcohol.
Decent barley wine, perhaps a notch or two less than expected for me, but solid sipping juice and drinks below the ABV.
superspak (3079) - Michigan, USA - MAR 1, 2015
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: MAR 7, 2015 3000th review! 22 ounce bottle into snifter; 2014 vintage, bottled in late 2013. Pours hazy dark ruby red color with a 1 finger fairly dense khaki head with solid retention, that reduces to a small spotty lace cap that lingers. Slight spotty lacing on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big raisin, plum, fig, caramel, toffee, toast, brown sugar, coconut, vanilla, bourbon, oak, leather, light chocolate, and oak/toasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/toasted malt, fruity yeast, and bourbon barrel notes; with good strength. Light-moderate booziness as it warms, but not too bad. Taste of big raisin, plum, fig, caramel, toffee, butterscotch, toast, coconut, brown sugar, molasses, brown bread, bourbon, oak, vanilla, leather, light chocolate, and oak/toasted earthiness. Light oaky bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of raisin, plum, fig, caramel, butterscotch, molasses, toffee, toast, coconut, vanilla, brown sugar, bourbon, oak, leather, light chocolate, and oak/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity and robustness of dark/bready malt, fruity yeast, and bourbon barrel flavors; with an awesome malt/yeast/barrel balance and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Light carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a very creamy, fairly slick, and slightly syrupy/sticky mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is well hidden with only a light-moderate warming lingering after the finish. Overall this is a fantastic barrel aged English barelywine style. All around awesome complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malt, fruity yeast, and bourbon barrel flavors; and smooth to sip on for the huge ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.
mikem409 (1756) - bloomfield, Michigan, USA - FEB 26, 2015
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle. Brown color with solid white head. Thick toasted toffee and woody aroma. Taste boozy lots of caramel with a slight bitter hop.
tectactoe (2882) - Michigan, USA - FEB 26, 2015
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle: 2007 vintage. Thanks, Ed. Was a little over 5 years old at the time of opening. Dark mahogany color with a brash haziness. A thin, light-tan layer of foam evades the top & quickly forms a tiny ring. Good to see any sign of carbonation at all, really. Aroma loaded with oak, bourbon, sweet plums, black cherries, light maple syrup, brown sugar, & molasses. Very sweet, very complex. Malty dimepiece. No signs of oxidation in the aroma OR in the flavor. Thick, muddled, heavy body. Very strong sweetness, albeit controlled & refined. Dark brown sugar, molasses, maple, anise, plums, dates, red grapes, black cherries, buttery toffee, light vanilla, &a robust helping of alcohol. Finished & lingers with candied dark fruits, sticky caramel, & oak. Warming, but not hot. Sweet, but not cloying. Delicious & woody. Great barley wine.
Bottle: 2011 vintage thanks to Mike. A little over 3 years old. A lovely barley wine all around, as expected. A little more carbonation & actually a slightly thinner mouth feel than I remember. Heavier bourbon flavor, lots of anise & bourbon with a large oak & toffee presence. Heavy dark fruits, as usual, too. Prefer the older vintage but this was still great.
Bottle: 2013 vintage, thanks to Steve. Somewhere between 1 to 2 years old. Much smoother than expected. Boozy, sure, but not abrasive at all. Super sticky sweet, probably the heaviest with butter toffee, caramel, & brown sugar. Lovely oak finish. Once again, great stuff.