mnmike (978) - Minnesota, USA - MAR 23, 2013
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle pour. This one smells great - very goose island BCBS-like. Carbonation wasn’t perfect and the head bubbles were inconsistent.
BlackForestCO (975) - Aurora, Colorado, USA - FEB 28, 2009
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
UPDATED: MAR 12, 2009 On tap at BSAF. Poured a deep garnet color with ruby highlights and a thin off-white head that receded to a ring. Aroma of sweet caramel, some dark fruit (plum, grape, fig), a soft yeastiness, and some moderate spicy bourbon. Smooth, sweet entry with strong hints of caramel, a bit of toffee, and some spicy bourbon and undertones of plum and fig that finishes moderately dry with some vanilla, oak, and a bit of alcohol. Low carbonation and smooth on the palate, although a tad thin. Overall a pretty solid beer, but pretty straight forward and not a lot of nuance.
oRos (971) - sacramento, California, USA - FEB 28, 2013
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle from capitol beer. Pours ruby red. With white head. Aroma is sweet taste is sweet and lots of Brown sugar.
Nena (963) - Seattle, Washington, USA - MAR 20, 2010
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Draft, Hard Liver. Pours black with a ring of white bubbles. Aroma is pretty intense with lots of toffee, vanilla, caramel, dark fruits, brown sugar, bourbon. All those notes are layered together beautifully in the flavor, and there are some nice woody notes that add balance. Finishes a little hot, moderately rich body, pretty creamy feeling. I would consider this my favorite barley wine of the day.
RasmusOtt (949) - Aalborg, DENMARK - JAN 29, 2013
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle shared by Phreddyboi. Pours dark brown with a tiny brown head. Aroma of flavored chocolate, sweet toffee, sweet cherry, vanilla, dark sweet berries and a lot of barrel. Taste has a decent amount of warming alcohol, toffee, brown sugar, vanilla, chocolate, dark sweet berries and a big barrel quality.
pdx77 (945) - Oregon, USA - NOV 4, 2012
4.5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: JAN 25, 2014 On tap at Apex 11/4/12. Very sweet (in a good way) with bourbon overtones. Long pleasant aftertaste. On draught at 2014 CellarFest at Bailey’s Taproom 1/25/14. 2011 vintage of Abacus. Burnt caramel color. Aroma is sticky toffee, citrusy caramel, tropical hops, and dark malts. Taste is bourbon, apple, sticky toffee, and molasses. Smooth and syrupy, too easy-drinking for 13%.
MoDog (927) - Griffith, Indiana, USA - APR 26, 2009
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
On tap at DLD. Dark brown pour with some bright ruby highlights and a thin film of tan foam. The aroma had burnt caramel and chocolate with pitted fruits. The flavor was all over the place. Chocolate, dark fruits, caramel, vanilla and oak, maybe a bit of molasses. A bit boozy. The mouthfeel was full-bodied and had minimal carbonation. A cool experiment, but this beer seemed to have a hard time finding it’s identity.
xmarcnolanx (925) - 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.
hapjydeuce (921) - San Diego, California, USA - FEB 1, 2014
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Somehow my initial rating of this beer... "ABACUS" was not carried over a few years ago when the beer was renamed. I’ve had this on tap at past Strong Ale Festivals in Carlsbad, as well as previous bottled versions. A damn good BA barely wine overall. Bottle version has a deep, clear amber color with light carbonation resulting in some lacing. Aroma is coconut, rum cake, bourbon, smoke and wood. Flavor leans sweet with notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, caramelized brown sugar and bourbon. Transitions to medium bitterness with smoke, tobacco and oak barrel. Smooth, warming alcohol finish. Wonderful palate with the right balance of carbonation sting and oily high gravity coating. A great sipping beer and it ages really well.
jbeatty (914) - New York, USA - APR 16, 2012
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle, 04/16/2012. Pours ruby-tinged brown, short-lived beige head, thin lacing. Prominent wood and bourbon in the nose, caramel vanilla with coconut, wrapped around dark bread malts, touch of chocolate and dark fruits, subtle tartness. Taste is also barrel dominated, big coconut and molasses, dark grains and dried fruit, spicy character, bourbon vanilla booze to finish. Full palate, silky and bordering on creamy, long aftertaste, alcohol doesn’t detract. Pretty great barley wine here.