zizzybalubba (1645) - Raleigh, North Carolina, USA - SEP 17, 2011
4.7 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
22 oz. bottle from Grape & Gourmet (purchased in April 2011). Pours a cola-like brown with a thin layer of quickly fading bubbles. Incredible aroma of bourbon, vanilla, oak, dark chocolate, coconut cake, dark fruit, and probably some other aromas I have missed. Incredibly smooth flavor showcasing the bourbon, vanilla, and coconut and with layers of chocolate and smoke underneath. Every bit of the 13% alcohol is felt in the warmth yet this is a surprisingly thinner offering than you would expect from a beer with this complexity and depth. As it warms the background flavors find their way to the front just a bit more. This is an outstanding offering from an outstanding brewery.
Beerathon (1635) - Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 2, 2014
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Wow. Smells of bourbon, warming alcohol finish, dark fruit flavors, some oak notes, chocolate, slightly bitter. A lot going on here.
keanex (1629) - Atco, New Jersey, USA - MAR 13, 2013
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: FEB 19, 2014 Three Part Cellar Review
Sucaba bottle, bottled January 3, 2013.
Appearance: The body is clear with a great ruby to mahogany hue. The head is thin with poor retention that settles into a thin ring.
Aroma: On the pour the nose is nicely balanced with coconut, oak and bourbon coming through. After itís sat for a moment the coconut is dominate with dark fruits and toffee backing it.
Taste: Sweet malts on the intro with a strong mid-taste of bourbon, oak, coconut and brown sugar. This is a bit hot at the moment, but very drinkable.
Palate: Thick with a syrupy texture and moderate carbonation.
Overall: This is great, thereís no doubting that, but after my vertical it seems that Sucaba is best with a few years on it. This is very drinkable fresh, but it certainly benefits from a year or more on it.
Sucaba bottle, bottled January 5, 2012. ~1 year old.
Appearance: The body is clear and a deep mahogany with garnet hues, a beautiful color. A thin tan head foams up briefly, but settles quickly into a thin foamy coating.
Aroma: The aroma is strong on the oak at first with a touch of bourbon on the first smell. Upon swirling I smell some booze, vanilla, and faint coconut coming off a bit musky.
Taste: This is very sweet and syrupy right away with a strong toffee flavor intertwining with dark fruits. The oak and bourbon are very light, only appearing on the finish that lingers a bit after the sip coming off a bit hot.
Palate: Thick and syrupy with slightly sharp carbonation.
Overall: This comes off a bit too oaky and unbalanced on the nose than the 2 year old one and a bit unrefined in the flavor. Itís great, but it isnít as good as the 2 year old one.
Rating: 7, 5, 7, 5, 15
Abacus bottle, bottled February 18, 2011. ~2 years old.
Appearance: The body has good clarity and a beautiful garnet/mahogany hue. Little lights comes through the body, itís very dark. A short tan head escapes the body but quickly settles into a foamy ring.
Aroma:The aroma is sweet, a touch musky even. Brown sugar and toffee dominate the nose with dark fruits. The barrel notes are subdued providing a light vanilla and a touch of oak, very little bourbon is noted.
Taste: Very sweet, this drinks like a cognac. Lots of caramel and brown sugar with medicinal dark fruits overlying the sweet syrupy thickness. The finish has a bit of alcohol, hinting at the bourbon, but very mellow with a lingering syrupy fruit finish with a strong coconut presence.
Palate: Thick and syrupy, light carbonation.
Overall: I had this fresh once and from memory I think fresh is better. This is excellent though and has certainly aged very nicely. I think of this as sipping on a nice cognac rather than a beer. Well done.
Rating: 8, 4, 8, 5, 16
DavoleBomb (1614) - Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 9, 2011
3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Poured into a snifter. 2011 vintage. Thanks to psiweaver for this.
3.5 A: Clear (I think) deep brown, nearly black color. One finger of fizzy head falls quickly and leaves no lacing.
4.5 S: This nose has it all and by that I mean it has a big hit of bourbon AND a very respectable beer underneath. The bourbon is lightly leathery with perhaps a touch of peat. Also included is a moderate fruitiness that borders on the floral, good bit of vanilla, and nearly as much oak. Lots of caramel and toffee with plum, prune, date, and fig fruitiness. Brown sugar and a very reasonable booze level for the ABV. Really complex and pleasant. Borderline 5.0.
3.0 T: I canít believe what Iím tasting. This beer has such a nice nose, but the taste is straight up boring. Boozy bourbon with a light charred, peaty flavor. Still a decent amount of vanilla and oak. The beer itself is the problem with the taste. The taste follows the nose for the most part, but all the dials are turned down to a three from what were eights. All subtlety is lost behind the booze. Really disappointing and certainly not better than average.
3.5 M: The mouthfeel is indicative of what is problematic with this brew. A 13% barleywine had me thinking thick, velvety, and rich. Having had Parabola a few times, I figured that was the route this would go as well. Instead, this has a medium body and a moderate creaminess. Seems like the potential malt flavor went away with the potential heavy body. Not bad, but not what I was expecting.
3.5 D: Totally disappointed. I loved the hell out of Parabola and thought this would be the barleywine version of that. It isnít. Not quite sure how this is getting the scores it does. Maybe bottle variation. Who knows? Not confident this will age well, but I have another bottle and Iím going to give it a go.
Serving type: bottle
Reviewed on: 07-12-2011 01:48:32
Mittenator (1609) - Michigan, USA - MAY 15, 2015
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Draft at tap n handle. Garnet with a small head. Deep toffee and vanilla. Candi and sticky. Delicious.
SuzyGreenberg (1603) - Seattle, Washington, USA - APR 9, 2009
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
draft @ hard liver í09 - dark brown with spotty white head; thick, woody aromas of sugar, molasses, vanilla; thin, strong and silky smooth; not as full bodied as i like, but overall a pretty dope BW that lived up to my excitement when this was spotted on the menu
bleeng (1591) - Houston nowhere near Beersel, Texas, USA - JUN 3, 2011
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle shared at the May 2011 Houston RB tasting-thanks to me. Dark brown but clear. Nose is chocolate with hints of barrel and alcohol upfront. Taste is chewy, fluffy, chocolate, barrel, vanilla with alcohol almost too hot. This one was difficult to get my hands around-I could not figure out this beer but I really enjoyed this as a scotch/brandy type sipper. Seems a bit young. Iíll let the other bottle age for a year or so and then return to it.
Prufrockstar (1584) - Seattle, Washington, USA - SEP 20, 2012
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
(2012 bottle) Currently my favorite beer to sip slowly with friends. Marvelous deep ruby red appearance, feels almost more like a rich supple red wine than beer. Taste is layered, includes at times everything listed in the commercial deScription, but combines to be more than almost any deScription could capture. FW has created a masterpiece.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
BRW (1581) - Barcelona, SPAIN - MAY 9, 2013
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle at CBC. Dark reddish colour with small white head. Sweet, oak aromas, also malts and vanilla. Sweet and vanilla taste, with some malt and acidic aftertaste.
gramity (1581) - Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA - JAN 1, 2014
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Dark reddish brown in color with a bubbly tan head. Sweet marzipan, lots of dark bready notes. Taste has similar notes, bready sweetyness, some vinous notes as well. Smooth and rich tasting as well throughout the whole time.