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.
arone12 (924) - Maryland, USA - MAR 19, 2012
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Mmmmm this one is amazing. Pours a mahogany color with a thin head. Heavy smell of bourbon, sugar and hops. Taste is very delicious. Molasses and brown sugar with some hops. Lots of bourbon. Such a great taste. Loviní it.
StefanSD (2218) - Lakeside, California, USA - MAR 18, 2012
4.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
650 ml botte;. Pours a dark reddish-brown color with a small beige head that quickly diminishes to a fine ring. The aroma is strong with whiskey, vanilla and dark fruits. The taste is complex with bourbon, vanilla, sherry, leather, raisins, dates and brown sugar. The palate is full and smooth with soft carbonation. Finishes incredibly long with lingering tobacco and bourbon aftertaste. Overall: A nice little sipper, I wish I could get more.
thehoplocal (10) - Sykesville, Maryland, USA - MAR 16, 2012
4.9 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Room was a little dark when poured so color was tough to judge. But there was very little head, and what was there disapated quickly. The nose is incredible, I could live in there. At first itís overwhelming, but you can quickly go through the layers of complexity. Taste is similar, complex, wonderful. Like drinking a bourbon, wine, and beer all at the same time. The finish lasts for what felt like hours. The only negative is accessibility.
Reynolds314 (2760) - Connecticut, USA - MAR 15, 2012
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle Courtesy of Wavers1, Thanks Baker! A fantastic bourbon aged barleywine that has more flavor components then I could even pick out. Vanilla, Leather, dark fruit, and a nice nuttyness. Really good stuff here.
KickInChalice (860) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAR 15, 2012
4.3 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
From notes. First reviewed 12/26/2011. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a snifter.
The appearance of this beer is more similar to an old ale than a barleywine. A dark chocolate brown is a bit transparent in the thinner parts of the glass. A small off-white head struggles to form originally and fades to nothing fairly quickly.
The aroma simply bursts out of the glass. Tons of vanilla, caramel, bourbon, oak, and a bit of spice.
The flavor starts out with a very nice and complex gooey caramel that never gets too intense or cloying. A bit of roasted malt, some spice, and then a smooth bourbon, vanilla, and oak presence that carries through the finish. Incredibly smooth and balanced.
Although the alcohol is well-hidden in the flavor, the alcohol creates a tingling sensation on my tongue and warms the back of my throat and stomach. The carbonation is pretty much perfect; creamy and moderate. Definitely on the full side of the body spectrum. Slightly sticky.
This is not one of those beers that has nearly infinite separate components; it is a relatively simple beer that is made impressively well. The bourbon really accentuates the wonderful flavors and adds some complexity itself.
Ernesto987 (4451) - Arizona, USA - MAR 14, 2012
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Fuxk this is impressive. Same barrel aging as firestone parabola. Big sweet barley wine and one if my favorite barrel aging treatments
nyindiansfan (463) - rochester, New York, USA - MAR 12, 2012
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle from 2011 pours a dark red brown with a small white head that goes away rather fast not much lacing. Smells and tastes of caramel, alcohol, soy sauce, bourbon,resin, medium sweetness, medium bitterness, medium body, sticky, average carbonation. Really nice smell and flavor on this. Has the nice caramel start with the bourbon in the middle finished with a slight resin hop bit to finish. Warms as it goes down to stomach. I wish I had more.
obguthr (4432) - Staunton, Virginia, USA - MAR 11, 2012
2.7 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 11/20
Bourbon dominated nose with vanilla, oak, and a strange fishy smell underneath. I swear this is a clean glass. Clear garnet, thin tan head. Flavor is less dominated by bourbon, but it is certainly present. Oak and maraschino cherry notes are more to the forefront. Plum also present. Boozy and full bodied. carbonation is easy. Abrupt, yet brief grassy finish. Very complex as is the norm with Firestone Walker. Quite sweet. Iíd prefer it to be less boozy, drier, and hoppier.
Ernest (6598) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - MAR 11, 2012
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Head is initially small, frothy, light brown, mostly diminishing.
Body is dark brown.
Aroma is moderately malty (caramel, molasses), with notes of sherry, maple syrup, brown sugar, bourbon, alcohol, wood, vanilla, tobacco.
Flavor is heavily sweet, lightly acidic, lightly bitter.
Finish is moderately sweet, lightly acidic, lightly to moderately bitter.
Medium to full body, syrupy/watery texture, lively carbonation, moderately to heavily alcoholic.
Well...it has the expected traits that score big points among most beer geeks...lots of alcohol, lots of sugar, and bourbon. If our subculture can be pegged for anything, itís for liking "big". And this is certainly that. It does have at least some depth and elegance underneath the primary sugary notes, though, so itís not just a dumb sugar-bomb. It attempts to balance the syrupy sweetness with booze more so than bitterness, but even so itís still not all the way to being cloying...fatiguing, yes, but not Bruery kind of icky. So, itís a mixed bag...not my kind of barleywine, but in this vein you can certainly do a lot worse.