czar (7886) - Québec, Quebec, CANADA - MAR 12, 2013
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
(abacus version) bottle shared by tom10101, thanks! pours hazy brown with a small light beige head, little retention. big bourbon and chocolate notes, spices, toasted and almost burnt coconut. average to soft carbonation, medium to full body - syrupy, cloying lightly resinous finish. indeed complex and a nice sipper!
vvesside (256) - California, USA - MAR 11, 2013
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
This is a killer beer! Tons of complexity with cherry, oak, and chocolate flavors.
tom10101 (5388) - Quebec, CANADA - MAR 10, 2013
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: MAY 12, 2013 Bottle (22 oz) Abacus version. Traded by pushkinwow, thanks! Amber brown with a small tan head. Aroma of bourbon, vanilla, malt, caramel and slight fruity notes. Taste is moderately sweet with caramel, bourbon, vanilla, wood, chocolate and slight fruits. Alcohol is well hidden. Heavy body, but not too heavy for a 13% abv Barley Wine. Good complexity and nice balance. Very good Barley Wine, enjoyable. I would be curious to taste a fresh bottle of this.
Edited with 2013 bottle (tasted in 05-2013). Bourbon is way more present and the beer is more complex. I recommend drinking this one as fresh as possible.
trumpetskid (106) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAR 10, 2013
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours a dark mahogany with an off-white head. Aroma-burned caramel, oak, dark fruit, semi-sweet chocolate alcohol. Taste, burned caramel, vanilla, dark fruit, oak and alcohol. This beer is a bit too hot for my taste. Without the alcohol astringency, this beer would have been kicked up a few more notches for me. This is still a very tasty beer, and worth picking up.
ajnepple (5216) - Denver, Colorado, USA - MAR 7, 2013
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: APR 22, 2015 On tap at Choice City. Lighter brown appearance with a light tan head. The aroma is chocolate, vanilla, sweet malts, dark fruit, wood and alcohol. Pretty full body, almost chewy with a silky smooth feel. A complex blend of sweet malt flavors hides the alcohol well. Finishes sweet. A fantastic sipper and a must try. Update: Ho Lee Fuk, this is good! On tap at Freshcraft.
Ferris (12904) - Burnaby, British Columbia, CANADA - MAR 7, 2013
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JAN 1, 2014 Draft - 2012 Dark fruit, molasses. Mahogany almost opaque with a thin white head. Dark fruits, oaky vanilla sweetness some alcohol burn but fairly light in body. Quite complex. Bottle 2011 Big caramel notes, dark fruit and booze. Clear dark mahogany with a thin white head. Chocolate and caramel, candy like sweetness with some vanilla. Great brew.
jcweaver (768) - VA Beach, Virginia, USA - MAR 7, 2013
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Bottle. Pours dark brown with a small, tan head. Great aroma of coconut, caramel, charred wood, dark fruit and light whiskey. Flavors of coconut, dark fruit, wood, char, caramel, whiskey and light tobacco. Thick and a little sweet but tempered by a light bitterness. Similar finish with stronger wood and booze notes. Awesome barley wine.
eddy5335 (45) - Colorado, USA - MAR 6, 2013
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
2013 Bottle. Aroma: Vanilla, caramel, toffee, bourbon, oak, coconut, and dark fruits. Taste: Just awesome! Pretty much follows the nose really well. Right up from vanilla, bourbon, toffee, and caramel. The malts round it off very nicely. Overall: Superb barrel aged barley wine, like all Firestone Walker barrel aged beers, just awesome! The 12.5%abv is masked so well, there is a little heat, but not nearly as much as I thought there would be.
rickyleepotts (100) - Scottsdale, Arizona, USA - MAR 5, 2013
3 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
I am new to this offering, and was excited to try it. I found it at Whole Foods in Scottsdale on tap. I asked for a sample, and was VERY disappointed. Then I grabbed two bottles at Whole Foods, and waited a few days to try it. It is much better in the bottle, but still nothing to write home about. I am picky when it comes to barleywines... and this one just didn’t impress me. I will hold to the second bottle for a few years and see if that helps. But I won’t be buying this offering again.
stumpyiliz (217) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - MAR 4, 2013
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Deep garnet red brown pour with a fast disipating light tan head. Nose is big on the wood notes; vanilla, toffee, bourbon. Taste is malty into sweet lingering caramel with light vanilla notes on the sides of the tongue with a long finish. Solid, but I seem to get a green pepper taste from this.