Scopey (7647) - Croydon, Greater London, ENGLAND - SEP 3, 2012
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: SEP 4, 2012 2012 bottle, thanks to Bruce at THE Barley Wine Tasting, August 2012. It pours deep brown, with a small beige head. The nose is bourbon, vanilla, light coconut, wood, earth and creamy milk chocolate. The taste is raisin, currant, cherry, toast, big oak aspect, charred wood, coffee, bourbon, alcohol warmth, toffee, milk chocolate, cream and brown sugar, with a bitter-sweet finish. Full body, fine carbonation and slightly oily mouth-feel. A well made and flavoursome barrel-aged barley wine.
ThisWangsChung (826) - Leonardtown, Maryland, USA - AUG 25, 2012
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
22 oz bottle poured into a snifter. Time to see how this one stacks up to Parabola...itís a cool, pleasant day for July standards, so why not?
A: Pours a dark ruby color with some hints of sediment hiding in the dark body. The head starts off as a one finger heavy cream color, before fading into an extremely thin ring in no time flat. Not the prettiest beer by any stretch, but it works well enough.
S: Nicely complex - darker fruits, some orange flesh, chocolate, vanilla, coconut, sherry (I saw a little rust on the cap, might be a sign of oxidation), and booze. I have to give points for its interesting aromatic qualities, even if all the notes arenít quite my cup of tea.
T: Strong dark chocolate, coconut, and vanilla notes comprise the flavor on its initial sips. The bourbon barrel qualities are the best part of the experience - which is good, because the barrel infuence kind of overpowers the barleywine itself. Caramel, toffee, tobacco, and dark fruit intermingle with the barrel flavors, with different sips accentuating the barleywine and barrel at different intervals. Itís balanced nicely. The finish lacks staying power; a little more in the way of lingering residual sugar would be welcomed here, though some caramel notes can be found on the aftertaste. Overall, itís enjoyable and decently complex - but also pretty damn disappointing.
M: It suffers the same problem as Parabola, itís too thin and overcarbonated. This one seems to warm the orifices with booze a little more than its sister, and the feel lacks the richness and decadence I wanted it to feature. On the plus side, itís easy to drink/sip this one. This one improves as it warms up (both in flavor and mouthfeel), though it becomes boozier, as well. Best course of action? Serve it from the fridge, and let it warm up a bit before drinking, so the oaky tannins help provide a decent lingering dryness before the booze becomes too evidently expressive.
O: Did someone say hype? The barrel flavors imparted into this are fantastic, but the beer itself fell WAY short in comparison. Altogether, it makes this one good, but it sure as hell isnít the end all be all. Iíd still bite the $17 bullet again, if only because I want to see how future batches compare.
Comparing Sucaba to Parabola, the latter wins handily, though that might be due to my bias towards imperial stouts talking. Note to self: find out what brand of bourbon barrels FW use, because Iím really liking the general bourbon flavors the two beers impart, more than the base beers, in fact. I still finished the whole bottle in a sitting - that must mean Sucaba did something right for my tastebuds.
lusikka (6609) - Tampere, FINLAND - AUG 24, 2012
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
650 ml bottle @ vPBF 2012.
Pours a dark amber colour with a small head on the edges. Aroma of dark chocolate, vanilla and some wood. Flavour of strong malts, caramel, dark chocolate, vanilla, wood and floral hops. Full bodied, oily mouthfeel and a long, warming, malty and dry woody finish. Really pleasant and quite a sipper.
oh6gdx (21155) - Vasa, FINLAND - AUG 24, 2012
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottled@vPBF2012. Deep ambery colour, close to black, small beige head. Aroma is alcohol, some sweet malts, mild toffee and some slight chocolaty notes. Flavour is sweet malts,raisins, toffee and some mild alcohol.
TBone (13123) - Pori, FINLAND - AUG 24, 2012
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottled 650ml (vPBF, alc. 12.5%, vintage 2012)
Deep ruby color, small beige head. Strong vanilla aroma with raisiny fruity notes. Full-bodied. Vanilla, alcohol, rye bread, raising. Too much alcohol right now, otherwise quite good.
laiti (6153) - Helsinki, FINLAND - AUG 24, 2012
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: NOV 22, 2014
65 cl bottle vintage 2012 (12,5%) @ vPBF
Aroma is sweetish with raisins, some caramel and vanilla. Flavour is sweet with lots of raisins, caramel, vanilla and harsh malt. Some warming alcohol in the finish. Very good, could even improve with some time.
65 cl bottle vintage 2014 (13,5%) @ VastActiv. Btotle #501287 Thanks tiong!
Aroma has sweet fruits and vanilla. Feels heavy. Flavour has alcohol, vanilla, woody tones, ripe fruits and some raisins. Not as hoppy as I remembered, but a complex & massive slow sipper. Also, no harsh malt this time. Alcohol is a bit too present here still though.
olio (6702) - Tampere, FINLAND - AUG 24, 2012
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
65 cl bottle @ vPBF.
Pours deep dark ruby red color with small head on the sides. Aroma of ripe fruits, caramel, mild vanilla, bourbon notes, raisins, plums and some toffee. Flavor of ripe fruits, caramel, toffee, mild bourbon and vanilla flavors and some alcohol burn on the finish. Could have aged nicely and maybe should have been aged a bit more before tasting. Still quite excellent.
tiong (4086) - Espoo, FINLAND - AUG 24, 2012
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: NOV 22, 2014 660ml bottle @ vPBF
Pours dark reddish brown with a small head.
Aroma of raisins, strong malty notes, vanilla, oak, hints of sherry and spices.
Taste is sweet syrup, raisin, malts, vanilla, tobacco, ash, oak, wooden notes,
Strong malty and sweetish finish with notes of vanilla, fruits, oak, vanilla and spices. Quite complex and tasty barley wine. Not overly sweet, but well balanced and tasty. 4.1
Re-rated on 22.11. 2014 vintage. Smooth and exquisite barley wine. This is probably slightly fresher than the last bottle. Really really good.
jredmond (5738) - Manhattan, New York, USA - AUG 24, 2012
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle shared at Kramerís Campground Brewdown 2012. Pours a deep ruby red body with thin white lacing. Aroma is caramel, wood, light bourbon and alcohol. Mouthfeel is medium with notes of sweet caramel, bourbon, wood, vanilla, and some dry bitter hops in the finish.
fletchfighters (1158) - AUSTRALIA - AUG 21, 2012
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
A-- Poured and settled a dark cola color. Shows lots of carbonation and a quick sprouting and fading light brown head, otherwise a light brown ring around the sides. Lots of ruby showing when held to the light. Not a lot of head retention to this at all.
S-- Carmel, lots of carmel. Undertones of bourbon, vanilla, and coconut. had a bottle in May and the vanilla and coconut nose was much bigger and the Carmel was a bit softer. Still a good nose though. Alcohol is quite well hidden.
T-- Syrupy butterscotch, bourbon, touches of oak, vanilla and noticeable alcohol. Gums got numb on first few sips of the beer.
M-- Thick, syrupy and slightly jam like. Get some notes of strawberry jam in the mouth. Bourbon and the barrel are really apparent in the mouth as well. Bourbon alcohol finish to this with touches of jam like qualities. I think starting to turn into a malt bomb. Medium full body and slightly more carbonation than it needed. A bit prickly at times.
O-- Thought much better fresher when I first had it. The barrel notes far more obvious in the nose then. Just starting to develop the jam like qualities that barlewines have. Careful cellaring might be really good for the beer, though I preferred the fresher version much more. Odd balance of strawberry and bourbon now than not sure I really like.