corby112 (2804) - philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 12, 2015
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours a dark chestnut brown color that appears pitch black and opaque in the glass with a two finger beige head that quickly settles into a thin, lasting ring. Decent retention considering the style and high ABV with sporadic spotty lacing left behind.
Complex, yet very inviting nose with a strong barrel presence that seems nicely integrated into the characteristics of the individual base beers of the blend. There’s a nice toasted oak presence giving off hints of damp wood, vanilla, marshmallow and toasted coconut. This is accompanied by various spirits but bourbon seems to dominate. Sweet and spicy with some rye whiskey and brandy. Tequila barrels were used in the PNC portion of the blend but I can’t really pick any of that up in the nose. Five of the eight beers in the blend were aged in bourbon barrels so that naturally dominates yet I can still pick out brandy and other spirit notes.
Although the barrel presence is strong it doesn’t dominate the aroma allowing elements of the various stouts, barleywines and strong ales to stand out. There’s a nice balance of sweet, earthy and roasted malt notes along with spicy rye and a complex hop profile. There’s a decent leathery malt presence that’s complimented by resinous, earthy hops that give off hints of grass and pine needle. I’m also picking up a faint citrus hop presence after the beer warms up a bit. Roasted coffee bean, burnt toast and oatmeal are countered by a silky dark chocolate presence as well as some caramel, toffee and fudge/chocolate cake.
Fuller bodied than expected with a surprising amount of carbonation. Viscous and chewy with a ton of intense barrel flavor which lingers over the various malt and hop flavors into a sweet, slightly hot finish. There is a strong bourbon barrel component but it isn’t as dominant as it is in the nose. Lots of dry, toasted oak as well as some vanilla, coconut, subtle vinous fruit and a touch of ash. The bourbon presence is sweet and spicy without being overly boozy or abrasive. The brandy, spicy rye whiskey and other spirit flavors come through but I’m still not picking up much tequila. I would have never guessed that those barrels were used if I didn’t read it in the deScription. Underneath the barrel flavors, there is a complex malt bill and a balanced hop profile that surprisingly stands out in the finish. I wasn’t expecting as much barleywine character but it really stands out with leathery malt, bitter, earthy hops and vinous dark fruit flavor. These flavors are complimented by an assortment of sweet and roasted malt notes from the brown ale, black IPA and various stouts used in the blend. Sweet, silky chocolate/dessert like notes along with caramel, toffee and vinous fruit balanced by burnt malt, oatmeal, roasted espresso bean and toast. There is so much going on here and even though the Wookey Jack is only a very small portion of the blend(4.5%), the spicy rye, roasted malt and complex hop profile of that beer really stand out, especially in the finish with dry bitterness, earthy pine and subtle citrus.
Overall, this beer is pretty exceptional and drinks way too smoothly for something of it’s complexity and strength. There are a lot of bold flavors bouncing off of one another but nothing seems to dominate. Something new is found in each sip and everything seems to go together perfectly. Finally, it’s hard to fathom that this beer is 13%. Drinkability is a term that gets loosely thrown around but this beer is truly dangerous. I don’t know how they did it but the blend they came up with expertly masks the high alcohol content. Sure, there is lots of alcohol flavor/sweetness but there’s hardly and heat with just a bit of warmth in the finish. I usually enjoy the FW anniversary beers over the course of an hour but I had to slow myself down with this one. Another exemplary barrel aged/blended beer from the crew at Firestone Walker.
GenDV138 (6106) - Falls Church, Virginia, USA - OCT 31, 2015
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
3 oz bottle pour at ChurchKey. Dark brownish black with light tan head. Aromas of bourbon, dark fruit, dark chocolate. Tastes of coffee, bourbon, dark chocolate, caramel, subtle dark fruit. Medium-full body with a dry finish.
Boutip (5955) - Gatineau, Quebec, CANADA - OCT 26, 2015
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle: Poured a dark cloudy brown color ale with a medium size foamy head with OK retention and minimal lacing. Aroma of bourbon, vanilla, caramelized malt and toffee is pretty singular and quite enticing. Taste is a super complex mix of an English barleywine with caramelized and toffee malt with light chocolate notes with some strong whiskey with woody and vanilla notes also noticeable. Body is full with medium carbonation and some warming alcohol notes. Quite an enjoyable treat to finish the night.
Dr_Fellini (1020) - Norfolk, Virginia, USA - OCT 3, 2015
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle to glass. Pours a medium to deep brown color with a creamy light tan head. Aroma is bourbon, toffee, candied sugar, booze. Flavor is creamy bourbon toffee. Chewy, boozy. Very tasty.
tcon25 (664) - Duvall, Washington, USA - AUG 2, 2015
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Draft pour at Brouwer’s Firestone anniversary vertical, dark brown almost black pour, a lot of these are going to sound the same will try a and keep it different as best as I can(other then this part) this one is the most the most similar to the rest of the vertical, you do start tasting at ABV In this one, and a little deeper pour color.
rouhlas (2844) - GREECE - AUG 2, 2015
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
650ml bottle. Almost clear brown with red notes and beige head. Malty aroma, caramel, chocolate, dark dried fruits, vanilla, wood, bourbon-like alcohol. Sweet and light bitter taste like aroma. Medium oily body with soft carbonation.
csaso (2120) - Missouri, USA - JUN 20, 2015
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle - small khaki color head, almost black color with a little Amber showing around the edges, strong alcohol, woody, bourbony aroma and flavor with some complexity, sweet malt backbone, fairly smooth finish, excellent overall
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
Vestergaard (1766) - Aarhus C, DENMARK - MAY 13, 2015
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Rating number 700 thanks to Valgreen! Shared threeways in a train. Pours a dark, semi-clear, reddish brown with a medium sized, yellowish head. Aroma has english barley wine caramel malts, vanilla, chocolate, bourbon, oak, nice booze, coffee, slight roast, coco nut, filled chocolates. Taste is sweet with hints of roasty and hoppy bitterness, vanilla and a nice alcoholic finish. Full body and low carbonation.
Lukasmh (780) - Aarhus, DENMARK - MAY 6, 2015
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle, bottleshare aka traintrip to cbc15. Pours clear very dark ruby-brown with one finger beige head, some sediment. Aroma is vanilla, fudge, malty, light roast, chocolate, raisins, caramel, bourbon, toffee, more dried fruits, nice minty booziness to cut through all the sweet things going on. Brown sugar, some coco, candy, almost as After8. Taste is heavy sweet, dark malts, caramel, toffee, bourbon, minty booze, vanilla, After8 chocolate, slight tequila, honey. Surprisingly light body for ABV, low carbonation, bourbon and dry wood finish. Slight hops and toasty malts keeps in mouth for a long time.
Valgreen (768) - DENMARK - APR 29, 2015
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle @ toget til cbc 2015, with Niels and Lukas. Dark brown, medium off white head, nice lacing. Aroma, caramel malty, bread, grain, bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, coffee, bread, toasted notes, little alcohol, . Taste, malty, bourbon, vanilla, oak, caramel, toffee, chocolate, . Hoppy and roasted dryness. Medium carbonation. Dry mouth feel.