peteinSD (957) - San Diego, California, USA - AUG 11, 2012
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle. Clear, caramel and bronze in color with a nice froth of light tan foam. Aroma is bourbon (vanilla, slightly sharp booze), toasted malt, oak chips, and rich caramel and toffee with lingering alcohol. Taste is bourbon up front followed by semi-hot, spicy alcohol intermixed with oak, caramel, and slight raisin, barley wine notes. Smooth and coasting mouthfeel. The alcohol is pretty hot and gives the beer a rough edge but it’s still quite nice.
ngeunit1 (1536) - San Francisco, California, USA - AUG 11, 2012
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
A - Pours a cloudy copper-brown color with a finger of khaki colored head. The head fades fairly quickly leaving behind a bit of lace.
S - Aroma is a mix of sweet caramel malts, dark fruits, oak, vanilla, toasted coconut, brown sugar, and a bit of booze.
T - Starts off with sweet caramel malts with some raisin and other dark fruits and vanilla. Through the middle, some toasted coconut, oak, and Bourbon comes through with a some brown sugar. The finish is a mix of sweet caramel malts, brown sugar, dark fruits, fruity English yeast character, oak, vanilla, and some booze.
M - Medium full bodied with light carbonation. Feels smooth with a sweet and warming finish.
D - Very drinkable. Very nicely balanced. The sweet malty profile is nicely balanced by the Bourbon barrel character.
chanokokoro (138) - Illinois, USA - AUG 10, 2012
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Fairly aggressively poured from a 22 oz. bottle into Firestone Walker Proprietors Reserve Series snifters.
Pours a maple syrup-colored amber with a light beige one and a half finger head. Oak and bourbon and perhaps a hint of toffee on the nose. Smooth oaky bourbon, semi-sweet caramel and vanilla, joined by a touch of fig and dates, and some biscuit notes. Finishes smooth with some alcohol warmth. Full bodied, lower carbonation, with light syrupy accents. A perfect beer to sip and savor. Resembles a barrel-aged English barleywine in certain aspects, however doesn’t have the same level of sweetness. A perfect Double version of DBA which displays many of the same characteristic with some added complexity.
beerbastard (499) - Mesa, Arizona, USA - AUG 10, 2012
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
This one surprised me. Wonderful bouquet of aromas of malts with lots of vanilla and alcohol. Big flavors of candy like sweetness mixed with rasins, lots of vanilla, some burbon in the back, accompanied with a burn of alcohol. The sweetness is well countered by its bitterness and alcohol burn. Nothing seems to overshadow this collection of flavors. Love it! Another Special beer from FW.
MadDogMD (213) - Phoenix, Arizona, USA - AUG 9, 2012
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bomber. Poured a dark amber w/ some faint of red. Big nose of light caramel, vanilla & sweet malts. Sweeter than I expected, but still very nice. Flavors follow the nose, w/ more sweetness & caramel upfront, slowly giving way to a slight bitterness for balance. Just enough alcohol burn towards the end, esp. as it warmed up a bit. Alot of barleywine characteristics. Great beer- another winner from FW!
HonkeyBra (2483) - Lemont, Illinois, USA - AUG 9, 2012
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
22 oz. bottle. Pours a nice copper red color with a medium off white head. Aroma of red fruits, caramel, and butterscotch. Some toffee, as well as toasted oak and vanilla. This is a nice smelling barley wine. Flavor is rich and strong. Lots of caramel and toffee. The barrel imparts a lot of vanilla and oak notes to the flavor. The hops are present, bitter, albeit a bit subdued. Full, somewhat creamy bodied, medium carbonation. Touch of boozy hotness towards the finish. Pretty impressive beer.
drjay44 (2127) - Salida, Colorado, USA - AUG 9, 2012
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
650 ml. bottle. Vintage 2012. Pours a medium, well retained head, with heavy lacing, over a clear, copper brown (SRM 25) body........nose is treacle, with light honey, vanilla......taste is heavy toffee/caramel, (almost butterscotch, but NOT diacetyl), vanilla, and sherry vinous hints, dried fruits including, raisin, fig, finishing sweet, with a light hop bitterness, ........mouth feel thick, sticky, lightly chewy, alcohol burn present, carbonation low. The brewery calls this an Imperial Special Bitter. However about the only place to put it is into the Barley Wine category. This is sweet, has reasonable malt complexity and minimal hop presence. As such it tends towards an English rather than American Barley Wine. This needs more time to age. It is too young, and all of these heavy forces will round out nicely. BJCP 8/3/14/5/7
HighWine (836) - Whalesbro, Illinois, USA - AUG 8, 2012
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle to sniffer. Copper color with a beige head. Aroma of bourbon soaked oak and vanilla. Taste I far better than expected. I was prepared for a really hot beer that begged for age. Instead I found this to be quite drinkable now. Big flavors of bourbon, vanilla, and caramel. Good mouthfeel. I’m glad I bought another one to take home. Normally I’d age it, but I’ll be looking for someone to drink this with soon!
talon1117 (1152) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - AUG 7, 2012
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
The pour is a deep, reddish-amber with a moderate, beige, pillowy head which is somewhat diminishing and leaves scattered lace. The nose is full of rich toffee, lots of oak shavings, toasted caramels, toasted almonds, tinge of sweet bourbon, and vanilla. The flavor is very rich with lots of rich buttery toffee, vanilla bean, toasted caramel and almonds, light molasses, and a slight orange zest. The palate is very full, coating, almost oily, soft to lively, and not warming for a 12% beer. The finish is toasty, caramelly, buttery, toffee, and vanilla. Not complex by any means but so rich and barrel dominant. I loved the malt complexity but could age.
Cooperii (61) - California, USA - AUG 7, 2012
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Poured a deep clear amber color with a quickly receding tan head of fine bubbles and very mild lacing. Aromas are of wood, vanilla, toffee with subtle alcohol. Flavors of caramel, vanilla followed by bitter malts and woody notes and Plenty of heat from the alcohol. Finish; smells wonderful, flavors are great at the front, I feel the middle is lacking but I think that is inherent for this style of beer and the back end has a strong dry alcohol finish with the lingering bitterness. I’m not a DBA fan, if you are...your in for a treat with the Double DBA!