FlacoAlto (3800) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - OCT 29, 2012
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
A vigorous pour into my Bruery tulip produces a three finger thick, pale amber tinged, tan colored head. The beer is a concentrated amber color that shows a brilliantly clear, deep cranberry stained, dark gold color when held up to the light. Aromas of vanillin, candied fruit, butterscotch, a firm woody toasted character, lighter notes of candied, caramelized character, toasted brown sugar coated grain, a touch of herbal hop character. The oak character is certainly the dominant character here, but it is quite smooth and really accentuates the dark fruit notes and candied malt character here.
The beer has a rich sweetness to it up front, but this is fairly well balanced by the spicy, slightly astringent oak, and toasted malt character. Soft vanillin notes, perhaps a hint of butterscotch, a definite firm woodiness, and a malt accentuateing toasted oak character. Surprisingly light bodied, but somehow fairly viscous and rich at the same time; the oak helps to thin the body out. As the beer warms up the oak provides a touch of vegetal character that seems to also be brought out by the residual hop character that isn’t really noticeable in and of itself. The fruit notes leans towards caramelized dark fruit, plus some bright melon accentuations from the oak.
As the beer warms up the alcohol becomes quite a bit more apparent, but this still is quite a smooth sipping brew all things considered. In the end the oak is a little too pronounced for me, I wish that it was a bit more subtle so that more of the base beer could come through; even a touch more hop character would have been nice, hell even a more of an aggressive hop character would have worked well here.
nimbleprop (4815) - SouthWest, Washington, Washington DC, USA - OCT 29, 2012
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Sampled at GABF. Pours a cloudy amber with some creamy beige head. Nice, vanilla nose, coconut, burnt sugar. Sweet, caramel flavor, vanilla, malt, coconut. Great woodiness to it too. Full bodied, lightly sticky finish. Very well blended, very smooth.
hapjydeuce (932) - San Diego, California, USA - OCT 27, 2012
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottled; proprietor’s reserve series 2012. Purchased from the Paso Robles brewery tasting room. Pours ruby brown with a slight haze and a thin ring of tan head. Complex aroma of black cherry licorice, slight hint of anise, with bourbon oak and cinnamon spice. Flavor is very sweet with notes of caramel, nutmeg and liquor. Ends with a warming alcohol finish and dry bitterness. Would probably improve with a few years on it. Very enjoyable, in small quantity.
buttslamify (52) - - OCT 26, 2012
4.2 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Aroma: Wow, that is an intense aroma, sweetness from cherries, grapes, caramel, butterscotch, vanilla, and some others, amazing aroma, you can almost taste the beer. Appearance: Very nice, lacing is excellent, about a finger worth of strong head that dissipates quickly. Nice light brown color that is opaque. Taste: Again, wow, intense flavor that lasts in your mouth for a while. Every bit of the aroma comes out, with just a touch of bitterness at the end. Palate: Nice but definitely the weakest part of the beer, the flavor comes out swinging in the beginning of the sip, but actually with a few more sips you notice a bit of lack towards the end. Bitterness and carbonation is nice. Overall: Excellent beer, alcohol taste is strong at the end (which it should be for a barley wine), overall I’ve never been disappointed with a firestone signature series.
Slipstream (2012) - USA - OCT 26, 2012
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
A smooth, bourbon flavored barley wine. There is a lot of caramel flavor and maple syrup sweetness. It doesn’t look like there is any maple syrup or bourbon barrel aging going on here tho. Snappy hop finish. On draft at The Pony Bar.
drpimento (2221) - La Crosse, Wisconsin, USA - OCT 23, 2012
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Geez, don’t know what happened with this bottle compared to what others seem to have tried. Poured at a cool temperature with a smallish, fizzy, tan head that quicly settled to a couple of dinky islands and no lace. Color is a clear amber orange cherry. Aroma is malt, caramel, hop, solvents, dark ripe fruit. Flavor’s similar to nose, sweet and carbonic tang in front, followed by a little bitter and the solvent. Body and carbonation are good. Finish is like flavor, slow taper to a lingering cheap brandy aftertaste accented by the alcohol.
kmweaver (3207) - Petaluma, California, USA - OCT 22, 2012
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
650mL bottle, purchased at BeerCraft in Rohnert Park. Pours a bright, honey-amber color; fine-bubbled light tan head with solid lacing; lightly viscous. Plenty of ethanol warmth in the aroma, showing dried dark fruits, honey, brown sugar, and sticky caramel; layered, but alcohol-forward. Full mouthfeel with a modest, spritzy carbonation that, along with the lean alcohol warmth, makes for a damn fine mouthfeel overall; unlike the aroma, the alcohol melds more carefully and is lost behind the caramel and brown sugar in the mouth; toasty, vanilla and lightly buttery oak; layers of toffee and candied sweetness; a generous, really solid barleywine that, despite the heavy alcohol notes, is exceptionally expressive and enjoyable. Solid. Lasting finish of toasty oak, buttery vanilla, and caramel.
BMMillsy (1326) - Florida, USA - OCT 22, 2012
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: FEB 21, 2013 Pours amber with very little head. Aromas of bread, heavy sugar and hard candy. Vanilla toffee maybe with some oaky scotch. Slight hops in the smell. I can tell this will be intense. Flavor is very sweet to start, but seems to mellow out to keep it from being too, too cloying. Still a bit overly sweet for my liking. Flavor of brown sugar candy, toffee and vanilla. Ever so slight bitter on the finish, with strong booze lingering a bit. Very much highlights the english malt here. The barrel aging definitely comes out in this one. Heavy slick mouthfeel. Very interesting. Glad I tried it but won’t likely seek it out again. That’s not to say I wouldn’t have it again.
ekstedt (5406) - Göteborg, SWEDEN - OCT 21, 2012
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle (bomber), courtesy of _angst_. Clear copper, medium off-white head. Fruity and caramelly, with coconut and vanilla, dill, chives, and some alcohol. Medium bodied, soft carbonation. Semi sweet, medium bitterness.
marcus (6438) - Sacramento, California, USA - OCT 20, 2012
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle from Belmont Station. Pours amber with a thick beige head and a fruity aroma. There is a treacle and dark malt flavor with a nice alcohol trail. Very tasty with a real oaky feel.