ryecatcher (1273) - Bridgeport, Chicago, Illinois, USA - APR 4, 2012
4.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
An excellent example of what a very good barley wine can be. Dark, brown with very thin head. Lots of toffee, butterscotch, chocolate and bourbon, sweetness, but not overdone. Itís like a dessert beer if there were such a thing. So good, itíll be a long wait til next yearís batch.
thome50 (1278) - Morro Bay via Orange County, California, USA - APR 3, 2012
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
This is for Sucaba. Was lazy and never rated Abacus from bottle or tap. On tap at the brew house. Pours a black to deep brown with next to no head. Toffee, dark chocolate, bourbon and coconut in the nose. Taste is coconut, dark chocolate, some cherry and a light earthy note that I canít place and donít remember from the past batch. Overall, bourbon forward barleywine that I wish had more hop profile being as "young" as you can really get.
timfoolery (1126) - California, USA - APR 1, 2012
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle from good ol' Nugget. Aroma is of Sam Adams Utopia...brandy/bourbon-alcohol soaked barleywine notes. Flavor has coconut, cherry and pipe-tobacco notes. This one was definitely hot on first pour. As it warmed, it was muy enjoyabley...actually, still muy enjoyabley! This is 12.5% Utopia btw...Damn good beer!
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
waf07 (7) - USA - MAR 31, 2012 does not count
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Best barley wine Iíve had. Dark dark brown color, sweet aroma. Strong Bourbon taste when itís cold but the flavors really show themselves after it sits for a few minutes. Wonderful sipping beer.
GuilTTy (728) - Cherry Hill, New Jersey, USA - MAR 31, 2012
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle from Beer Heaven in Philly. Pours a ribbon of silky onyx with chestnut highlights under a rich dark tan head. Aroma of molasses, butterscotch and lightly roasted coffee. Big, sweet, rich butterscotch flavor right up front that blends with toffee, milk chocolate, plums and other dark fruits all atop a hearty malty center. Creamy mouthfeel and a long, sweet, pleasing finish. Wonderfully complex but deceptively drinkable, especially with such a high ABV.
beersearcher (2382) - Glendale, California, USA - MAR 27, 2012
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Poured in the appropriate small snifter at Surly Goat. Very dark brown in color. Big vanilla taste. Extremely smooth. The alcohol is not in your face. I get some chocolate at the back. Overall, a smooth sipper.
VikingHammer (506) - Lynnfield, Massachusetts, USA - MAR 26, 2012
4.2 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours a dark red with a small ring of bubbles. Aromas of oak, caramel, raisins. chocolate, tobacco and rum soaked cherries. Silky smooth, full bodied with some average carbonation. Overall a wonderful beer.
Swillbur (62) - Arizona, USA - MAR 26, 2012
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours a nice murky brown color. Aromas of booze, oak, vanilla and caramel. Flavors of caramel, vanilla, chocolate with a nice oak finish. Very nice beer and easy drinking for 13%, very tastey and smooth as silk!
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 símores 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 (10770) - 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 isnít 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.