tool2scream (188) - San Diego, California, USA - MAR 25, 2012
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
WOW. This is an incredible brew, simply put. Pours dark, dark brown with a ta head. Aroma of toasted marshmallows, booze, caramel, and chocolate. Essentially, big, boozy s’mores on the nose, I guess. The palate is great as it mixes light carbonation and silky viscous alcohol. The flavors are nice and you can tell that this was aged in multiple barrels as you get some really nice complexities from the different barrels. This beer is very well-made, but at the end of it one thing remains true - BA Barleywines are just hard to make in a way that excels over the top. The Barleywine style just poses such a lack of complexity in the brew itself that it is entirely dependent upon the barrels. This was very well-done, and my hat off to Firestone. I would love to see a stout done like this.
crossovert (9206) - Illinois, USA - MAR 25, 2012
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: JUN 13, 2013 650ml bottle 2012 vintage.
It pours a dark reddish brown with a fizzy but foamy tan head that actually sticks for a little bit and then recedes with no lacing.
The smell is great. Boozy and boubony, I am beginning to like hotter beers with more of a bourbon kick. This one has an ample malt and barelywine backing though, a ton of dark fruit, rich malt flavors, and a bit of hops shine through. The yeast character is indeed English giving it a profile that isn’t often had in big BA barleywines, usually they are more american yeast tinged.
This one is really thick, wow. It has a good vanilla, coconut, and oak vibe that is the main hit I am getting. Instead of boozy this one is as velvety smooth as it gets at first sip. The sweetness is never too cloying but it creeps up with the alcohol as you go. Nice hop, tobacco, and dark fruit flavors as well as a great malt bill. The bourbon itself is readily noticeable lending a spirit-like vibe.
This is an exhibition of how to make a bourbon aged beer.
scrubfish (46) - Illinois, USA - MAR 24, 2012
4 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Bomber in the dark, sweetness, chocolate caramel toffee molasses sugar cane , first a boozy sweetness, then the above mentioned .
HomeBrewHawk (464) - De Soto, Kansas, USA - MAR 24, 2012
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
2012 Scuba Steve edition. 22oz bottle served in a snifter. Poured a clear reddish brown with a quickly dissipating head. Lots of chocolate and vanilla in the aroma along with a bit of alcohol and some hops. Really complex flavor with more chocolate and a bit of bourbon from the barrels. Not as boozy as the nose might suggest. Medium bodied without much carbonation. Really long finish of chocolate. Way to easy drinking for 12.5 ABV! Fantastic.
twindog (267) - Hampstead, Maryland, USA - MAR 23, 2012
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Pours a murky dark brown body with a small beige head. Aroma of roasted malt, caramel, toffee, oak, chocolate, and vanilla. Flavor of vanilla, maple, caramel, toffee, bourbon, and chocolate with some oak in the finish. This is Heavenly!
drunkenpolack (319) - Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA - MAR 22, 2012
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Sucaba pours a dark brown with a small tan head. No lacing and basically no retention.
When I poured this bottle I was instantly hit with greatness. This smelled totally different than the first bottle I had. Wasn’t even the same beer. You’re hit with bourbon, oak, caramel, toffee, and vanilla. It’s rich, deep, and complex. I could sit here and just take it in all night.
The taste is just as amazing. Sweet caramel and bourbon sit on the lips and coat the mouth. Slightly roasted malt and vanilla dance on the tongue. Vanilla and charred wood hit the palette mid way. A slight bitterness hits on the end and aftertaste. Just fantastic. A different beast than the first time I had it and I can definitely say, have this as fresh as you can.
Mouthfeel is just as amazing as the taste. On the thicker side, very sticky, coats the mouth and just sits there.
talon1117 (1152) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - MAR 20, 2012
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
The beer pours a translucent, deep, dark ruby color with an average, khaki, pillowy head which settles to a fully lasting, firm, frothy layer and leaves some similar lace. The nose is very nice, very smooth for a 13% beer; plenty of coconut, bourbon oak all over, Belgian chocolate, light peppery spice, faint cherry, toasty vanilla, and some tobacco. The flavor is drastically different with a prominent spicy bourbon role that lingers all the way to your belly; tobacco, vanilla bean, toasted oak, molasses, light Belgian chocolate, some coconut, and a slight raisin note. The palate is full, silky, creamy, warming, round, and soft to lively. The finish is long, warming, oaky, filled with spicy bourbon, some coconut, and toasty notes lingering. Where to begin... Just a very well built, blended, bourbon-aged, strong, BW with unique character, unique complexity, and a prominent bourbon strength that only accentuates the uniqueness of the beer. It was amazing how the nose was rich and smooth yet the flavor carried so much of the spicy bourbon notes and warmth. This one was so smooth in the nose and bold in the flavor, it makes me curious how it will age. But even with the high pricetag, I do want to try one in some years to see if I find it as entertaining as this version is. Only time will tell. Great work from Firestone.
xmarcnolanx (929) - Kirkwood, Missouri, USA - MAR 20, 2012
4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Aroma is bright caramel apple, vanilla, oak. Woah. This is beautiful!
Taste is caramel, vanilla, strong, woodsy oak chips, booze, and faded piny hops.
Finish is sweet, slightly bitter hops, vanilla astringency, caramel, and some burnt sugar.
GranvilleTim (1778) - Granville, Illinois, USA - MAR 20, 2012
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Reddish-brown pour with a tan head. Aroma was sweet molasses, oak and fruity. Taste was so awesome. Fruity, woody, a little dry, sweet molasses. I drank this at cellar temp/55. The aroma and taste made you want to drink it slow so it wouldn’t end. The foam clung to the side of the glass.
BigSound (196) - New York, USA - MAR 19, 2012
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Poured to a snifter, deep brownish red almost a plumb color it held a half finger light tan head for about a minute that dissolved thin film and then to nothing.
Very rich aroma. Very sweet, dark fruits, burnt sugar and carmal. Just a little bit of alcohol.
First sip is I get a lot of sweet flavors blended together. Lots of sweet malt, tart strawberry, tiny bit of bitterness there is defiantly some alcohol in the finish which is paired with oak flavors.