DocLock (8054) - Lower Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 14, 2011
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
Beatiful boxed bomber from Caponeís. Pours into my Stone RIS snifter turbid mahogany/chestnut, with 1-finger clingy off-white head. Nose is heavy bourbon, oak, figgy fruit, cherry, blackberry, port. Gorgeous nose here. The flavor is on the sweet side initially, with a huge bourbon and oaky element, and tons of fruity notes of the blackberry and port wine variety, brown sugar, backup hops. as it warms, the sweetness goes away somewhat, and the oaky bourbon mixed with the port and blackberry emerges, plus backup hops and caramel notes, and some finishing rauchy and cognacy notes. Amazingly complex and with very well hidden alcohol, this is a beer for the ages, one of the finest beers I have ever quaffed, and a truly earth-shattering experience. As usual with these big beers, I need to remind lightweights and barleywine haters to leave this beer to those who can appreciate and understand it, while you go back to your parentís basement for a sixer of the new Miller Light with the corkscrew bottles..
dfox670 (75) - Pennsylvania, USA - APR 13, 2011
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
on tap at Caponeís served in a tulip pour was dark mahogany with one finger of tan head that dissipated rather quickly but did leave a nice ring of lacing around the glass. nose was bourbon,oak vanilla and malts. taste was bourbon,oak,chocolate,coconut,coffee,malts and a beautiful hint of cherries in the Finnish. wow what a brew definitely one of the better barley wines I have ever had. hats off to Firestone on this brew
hopdog (9189) - Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 13, 2011
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
On tap at Caponeís. Poured a dark brown color with a smaller sized off white head. Aromas of vanilla, bourbon, dark fruits, wood, and caramel. Tastes of bourbon, vanilla, dark fruits, wood, caramel, and some nuttiness.
corby112 (2214) - philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 13, 2011
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Draft at Monkís Cafe.
Pours a deep dark copper/chestnut color with dark ruby/mahogany edges and a one finger frothy off-white head that quickly settles into a thin lasting ring. Sporadic small spots of lacing left behind.
Amazing complex nose with a blend of earthy oak, luscious vanilla, sweet boozy bourbon, dark fruit and earthy/leathery malt. The barrel character is very prominent with lots of toasted oak without smelling burnt. Sweet bourbon and lots of vanilla and marshmallow mellowing things out. As it warms the malts become more prominent with hints of leather, toffee, hazelnut and caramel. Slightly vinous with hints of cherry, grape and plum. Smells amazing and the bourbon is well integrated in the nose without overpowering the other elements.
Medium bodied with the perfect balance of earthy barrel character, boozy bourbon, sweet malt and alcohol heat. Very similar to the aroma with a prominent barrel presence up front. Earthy oak that is slightly toasted with sweet bourbon flavor that is prominent but not overly hot. Although the bourbon flavor is strong, itís not overpowering and the other flavors are able to stand out. There are also notes of vanilla and toasted coconut from the barrel, mellowing things out. Slightly hot with some nice burning warmth in the finish but the ABV is pretty well masked at 13%. Underneath there is a nice blend of earthy/leathery and sweet malt flavor. Slightly earthy barleywine flavor with hints of sweet caramel toffee, rye and faint cocoa. Vinous with dark fruit flavor, especially dark cherry as well as some grape, plum, raisin and fig. More heat toward the end of the swallow but this beer is excellently balanced, delicious and dangerously drinkable. One of the best barrel aged beers Iíve ever had. Amazing!
jethrodium (366) - Berkeley, California, USA - APR 10, 2011
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
22 oz bottle. 2011 release. Pours a cola brown with a very small light tan head that leaves small spots of lacing around the glass. The aroma is wonderful. Caramel, toasted coconut, light oxidation, vanilla, brandy (not sure if any of this was brandy barrel aged, but I get it in the aroma), some light cherry notes, a decent amount of bourbon, some light alcohol, a light leather note, and a bit of oak. The barrels certainly come through in the aroma. The initial taste is sweet with caramel, brown sugar, coconut, and vanilla. Then a little brandy and a light oxidation comes through as well. Bourbon and a bit of leather on the finish with a light bitterness. A light alcohol heat, but much less than you would expect for a 13% beer. Medium-heavy body. Very smooth mouthfeel. Manages to be sweet without being syrupy. Low carbonation works very well for the beer. Overall, a great beer. Probably the best barley wine I have had so far. The barrels certainly dominate the nose and taste, which I quite enjoy. I found myself not wanting to finish my glass just so I could continue to enjoy the aroma for a few extra minutes.
egajdzis (5401) - Spring Mount, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 10, 2011
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Lightly hazy, brown burgundy color with a small, off white head that left nice lacing on the glass. Aroma of vanilla, wine, light bourbon, dark fruits, caramel, and light alcohol. Taste of dark fruits, caramel malts, nuts, vanilla, wood, smoke, wine, and light alcohol in the finish.
ajd6c8 (70) - USA - APR 10, 2011
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Hands down the best BW Iíve had. At least a dozen complex flavors and aromas going on here. Dominated by raisin, chocolate, vanilla and bourbon. Epic. Chewy thick.
TomDecapolis (4546) - Milton, Delaware, USA - APR 10, 2011
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Mini growler. Pours a deepbrown with amber notes. Aroma of tobacco, vanilla, oak, light hop notes, caramel and dark fruits. Flavor of bourbon, vanilla, oak, dark fruits, caramel and toffee.
mikalooch (224) - , New Jersey, USA - APR 9, 2011
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle. Pours a very deep dark reddish brown, with thin beige head. The aroma on this is amazing, oak, vanilla, cherry, and even a touch of caramel. Taste is extremely complex, very oaky start with tons of ripe dark fruits like raisins, figs, and plums, rounds out in the middle with a piney hops kick, finishes out long, with a fair amount of alcohol heat, even has a touch of sourness as is lingers. Very sticky and thick, almost chewy. this is absolutely fantastic, I bought 2 bottles planning on aging one but had to pop open the second. Hopefully my store has another!
beerbastard (727) - Mesa, Arizona, USA - APR 9, 2011
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: FEB 19, 2012 April 9th 2011. Had this on a cold night, perfect conditions. Wow! Burbon nose but not overpowering. Alcohol burn the whole time, (love it). Very chewy. Burbon vanilla and a hint of cherry. Well balanced and smooth. Just enough hops to support the malt so that it wasnít too sweet or cloying. A very well balanced beer. This makes me a barley wine fan again. Feb 19th 2012. Had to raise the rating a little. Still the best.