Treebs (872) - , Illinois, USA - OCT 5, 2012
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Split this with my Dad at the family Labor Day party. It was the first cold day after Summer and just screamed to be opened. Bottled 2/18/2011. Bomber poured in a cervoise goblet.
A: Pours a dark mahogany with the slightest light tan head popping up in the pour. That quickly leaves to a ruby hued bubbling mass.
S: There are so many great smells wafting out of my glass right now. Great dark fruits, some raisins, figs, and dates, with the nice woodiness of the barrel shining through. There is a slight vanilla sweetness and a little boozy back.
T: The taste is like the nose, but much better. The barrel comes through much more with a great oakiness and sweet vanilla combination. The dark fruits I smelled are present here as well, but take a back seat to everything else going on. There is heat present from the alcohol, but it is wonderfully integrated and not overpowing in the least bit. It finishes with a light, semi-sweet chocolate.
M: Medium to heavy bodied. This is very smooth and has a great coating quality that leaving you wanting more. There is little carbonation, but itís a perfect amount. Very warming on the way down.
O: This lived up to my expectations indeed. Iíve read the threads about this fading and I just laughed as I was drinking this. To me it was great and the combination of flavors, especially the barrel qualities, really did this for me. Iím glad Iíve got some more in the cellar.
Serving type: bottle
Reviewed on: 09-07-2011
robforbes (2188) - Bremerton, Washington, USA - SEP 22, 2012
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
what a nice brew for my 1500th rating!
pours a dark brown with a ruby tint, a small beige head that dissipates, and a slight lacing that hangs out for a while.
smell is of wood, bourbon, caramel, barley, a little sweetness, belgian chocolate, and some brown sugar.
taste is a little sweet, caramel, a little chocolate, oak, coffee, grain, molasses, and dark fruit. ends sticky. overall very well done.
madmitch76 (22400) - , Essex, ENGLAND - SEP 22, 2012
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
31st August 2012
THE Barleywine tasting. Cheers Bruce! Dark amber brown beer, little tan head.Light palate, a little dry. Mild minerals and aniseed alcohol. Nice toffee with a little malt cream. Bitterish bourbon underneath. Crisp and fairly bitter finish. Nice beer but harsher than I was expecting from the normally super smooth Firestone Walker.
Prufrockstar (1995) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - SEP 20, 2012
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
(2012 bottle) Currently my favorite beer to sip slowly with friends. Marvelous deep ruby red appearance, feels almost more like a rich supple red wine than beer. Taste is layered, includes at times everything listed in the commercial description, but combines to be more than almost any description could capture. FW has created a masterpiece.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
Heathen (1500) - Wilmington, Delaware, USA - SEP 16, 2012
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
THOUGHTS: Delicious. Definitely a sipper. Very woody. It would probably age incredibly well. Hid alcohol content very well for the high ABV. It was like a more easily accessible Sam Adams Utopias. This was one bad-a$$ barley wine. It went nice with Reeses Peanut Butter Eggs. Bonus point for being better than the sum of itís parts.
TECHNICAL: Bottle. Poured a dark, brownish red that was nearly dark brown in the glass witha small, beige head that fully diminished. The aroma had heavy molasses and caramel; hints of chocolate; lighter coffee; light citrus; wood; toffee; brown sugar; vanilla; hints of licorice; bourbon; coconut; pineapple; and when warmer, light grain and cereal. The intial flavor was moderately sweet and slightly bitter; while the finish was heavily sweet, slightly acidic and light to moderately bitter with an average to long duration. There was wood, vanilla, bourbon, alcohol, coconut, caramel, a little chocolate syrup, hints of coffee, brown sugar, light citrus hops, cocoa, maple syrupy, molasses, hints of tropical fruit, even slight toffee, black cherry, and slight grain and cereal when warmer. The medium to full body was sort of silky but also syrupy and a little sticky on the lips with soft carbonation and a lightly dry and light to moderately alcoholic finish.
jonno (2524) - JAPAN - SEP 15, 2012
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
A huge beer, but not as complex as i was hoping for. Lots of sweet sticky bourbon, some red berries, molasses, some vanilla and spicy wood, a hint of chocolate and other ripe fruits. I picked these flavours out, but they didnít make themselves readily available, I really looked hard for them. Very much compacted in terms of flavours- like a jam or consume stock. Very sweet and to be honest, a bit too full on. This had a year on it, but probably needs at least a year or two more. FW donít make bad (or even average) beers, but for a style which includes beers like JW Less Harvest and Old Ruffian, this is a second tier beer. Still, second tier is pretty decent in todayís overpopulated market...
meerbier (1474) - Pijnacker, NETHERLANDS - SEP 14, 2012
4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle@Home. Very boozy aroma, raisin, caramel aroma. Deep red, small beige head, no lace. Sweet, hint of fruity sourness, bitterness?, caramel,. toffee, raisin, complex. Full, sticky. Wonderful.
jackl (7069) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - SEP 12, 2012
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle @ THE Barley Wine Tasting. Cheers deeblo. The pourís deep brown with a medium white head. The nose is sweet bourbon, some tangy mandarin orange, cocoa-covered cherry. The taste is quite sweet - plenty of chocolate cake, frosting, plenty of vanilla-spiked wood and toasted shredded coconut. Heavy, sweet but soft body. Thick. Overall, this incorporated some more exotic flavors than some of the other barley wines at the tasting (orange peel etc). I liked this very much.
Scopey (12711) - 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 (836) - 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.