BEENJAMIN (287) - Portland, Oregon, USA - FEB 7, 2014
4.4 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
2014 vintage 22oz bottle - Pours a gorgeous deep mahogany with a creamed coffee head. Melted butter mixed into brown sugar, cremť brulee, subtle cocoa, oak, and boozy rum for aroma. Flavors are bourbon oakiness, slight coffee and earthy hops. Drinks very smooth for being current vintage, one of the best Barleywines.
birdmachine (163) - San Jose / San Luis Obispo, California, USA - FEB 7, 2014
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
2014 Vintage, draft at the brewery. Aroma is dominated by oak, bourbon, caramelized brown sugar, toffee, caramel, amaretto, light booze on the exhale. Very complex, sweet and inviting. The beer has a slight reddish brown color with minimal head and big legs. Taste follows aroma fairly closely but with more raisin-y, coconut barrel character. Excellent waves of malt, caramel, amaretto and maple on the tongue toward the finish. Body is a bit syrupy with medium to medium-high carbonation. There is a slight burn on the finish, but it works really well with the sweetness to cut it down a bit. Definitely my favorite vintage.
rader58 (763) - Leawood, Kansas, USA - FEB 5, 2014
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
22oz bottle. Pours cloudy mahogany. Aroma of wood, tobacco, brown sugar, wine, vanilla, dried cherry, booze. Flavor of molasses, vanilla, wood, cherry, hints of tobacco and brown sugar. A very nice sipping barley wine with great vanilla and brown sugar sweetness standing out.
cpetrone84 (1202) - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 2, 2014
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Pour is dark cola brown with a dark tan head. Nose is wood, light bourbon, cooked brown sugar, lightly roasted malt and a touch of ash. Taste is strong barrel and bourbon, chocolate and brown sugar, slightly burnt. A bit of green hops in back. A hint too much sugar. Full bodied, thins in finish, strong carb, a hint slick.
hapjydeuce (922) - San Diego, California, USA - FEB 1, 2014
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Somehow my initial rating of this beer... "ABACUS" was not carried over a few years ago when the beer was renamed. Iíve had this on tap at past Strong Ale Festivals in Carlsbad, as well as previous bottled versions. A damn good BA barely wine overall. Bottle version has a deep, clear amber color with light carbonation resulting in some lacing. Aroma is coconut, rum cake, bourbon, smoke and wood. Flavor leans sweet with notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, caramelized brown sugar and bourbon. Transitions to medium bitterness with smoke, tobacco and oak barrel. Smooth, warming alcohol finish. Wonderful palate with the right balance of carbonation sting and oily high gravity coating. A great sipping beer and it ages really well.
Chad484 (11) - Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 27, 2014
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle (2013). Aroma of bourbon. Pours dark brown with significant carbonation and an off-white head that recedes fairly quick. Bourbon on the front with a malt backbone. A little too much carbonation.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
superspak (2203) - Michigan, USA - JAN 23, 2014
4.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
2000th review! Got in a trade with cyde. 22 ounce bottle into snifter; 2013 vintage, bottled on 1/9/2013. Pours lightly cloudy dark ruby brown color with a small dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin lace cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with some light streaming carbonation. Aromas of big vanilla, molasses, toffee, caramel, raisin, toast, chocolate, coconut, oak, bourbon, tobacco, clove, and toast/oak earthiness. Incredible aromas with fantastic complexity and balance of malt and barrel notes; with great strength. Taste of huge molasses, vanilla, raisin, caramel, toffee, toast, coconut, chocolate, oak, bourbon, tobacco, light clove, and toast/oak earthiness. No bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of molasses, vanilla, raisin, toast, caramel, toffee, coconut, chocolate, oak, bourbon, tobacco, and toast/oak earthiness on the finish for a while. Insane complexity of malt and bourbon barrel flavors; with a perfect malt/barrel flavor balance and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and full bodied; with an very creamy, slick, and slightly syrupy mouthfeel that is amazing. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is an absolutely insane BA English Barelywine style. All around insane complexity and balance of malt and bourbon barrel flavors; and extremely smooth to sip on for the high ABV. Absolutely unbelievable stuff, Wow.
maddmatt639 (165) - Belmont, California, USA - JAN 21, 2014
4.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
No retention and no lacing. Smells of chocolate, cherry and coconut. Tastes of chocolate and coconut with a hint of vanilla. Very boozy. Great beer.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
OKplus (787) - Oklahoma, USA - JAN 18, 2014
4.7 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 20/20
Served in a snifter
A - Pours a dark brown/mahogany color with red highlights. 1 finger of off-white head forms a thin collection of wispy patterned bubbles below a solid collar.
S - Sweet whiskey, vanilla, buttery cotton candy, toasted coconut, caramel and toffee, sugar coated nuts roasted, amaretto, scorched oak wood and cherries, strawberry and rhubarb preserve.
T - A swirl of roasted wood, sweet vanilla, dense toffee, sticky caramel, toasted fruit bread, leather, spicy hops, whiskey swirls around notes of chocolate cherry cordial, amaretto, and rum. The whiskey components grow stronger as it warms, making the finish drier and drier. Some spiciness shows up toward the warming finish.
M - Starts out firm and full but turns medium and softens out, low and fine carbonation.
One of the best aromas Iíve ever smelled from a beer. Complexity is an over-used word but this is complex. The transitions of aroma, taste, and feel over the course of the bottle are incredible. Full barrel flavors the meld beautifully. Donít know how this could get any better with age.
Serving type: bottle
Darwenus (487) - Virginia, USA - JAN 12, 2014
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
the best barley wine Iíve ever had. Itís just a joy for the senses. It pours with a lot of color and body, holding the glass to the light reveals deep, warm blood-red and cherry, with plum and bronze when the light hits the edges of the glass just right. Thereís no real head, and at almost 13.5% alcohol, I didnít expect a lot of suds. The aroma is nose music. Cherries and figs, ginger, chocolate, and something in there reminds me of grannyís cornbread (maybe the highest compliment Iíve ever given a beer). And what this beer does for the mouth is even better than the smell. Iím not a wine guy, but this brew reminds me of the few red wines Iíve enjoyed. Itís rich, smokey, very, very full and warm. I picked up on strong chocolate, anise, espresso English walnuts, and a little burnt popcorn thing, too. Thereís something that reminds me of Nutella in the close, after the swallow and exhale. Itís so complex, but all of it blending and harmonizing perfectly. Barley wine can be sticky, viscous, and thatís the quality about the style that I enjoy least. Sucaba has a big mouthfeel, but it slides away smoothly and leaves you to ponder the last sip and crave the next, in much the same way that my favorite Belgian quads finish. This is the best beer I have had in more than a year.