TheAlum (4971) - Lisle, Illinois, USA - NOV 10, 2010
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Sampled at FoBAB 2010 (Chicago, IL). Pours a murky amber brown hue, glowing, small tannish head dies to a thicker rim, laces small. Aromas are rich rye, caraway, toffee, caramel, vanilla, bourbon, wet oak vanilla tannins. Initial is warming, rich heavier end of medium with boozy spirit, wet spice, sweet toffee, bready rye and caraway arenít covered up by the barrel. Bigger bodied, thicker and full, supporting a rich barrel influence, spirit and wet oaky vanilla Finish is sticky, sweet, bourbon and light spice. Mellows but beneath, this beer holds itís own, flavorfuk yet still offering some good complexity, richness of flavors and a good barreling without thinning it out too much.
tectactoe (676) - Michigan, USA - DEC 1, 2013
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle: thanks to both Ed & Mike for each of the two bottles Iíve enjoyed.
Bottle 1 [2/20/2013]: super deep amber/copper body with dark ruby hints & a lazy head on top. Huge aroma with tons of bourbon & oak, remaining very smooth. Roasted cocoa, caramel, sweet molasses, plums, vanilla, mild maple syrup, & faint toasted bread (rye?). Taste is similar with notes of molasses, dark fruits, caramel, cocoa powder, coconut, light vanilla, & lots of smooth whiskey drenched oak. Mouth feel is insanely creamy & smooth. At this time, one of the best barrel aged barley wines Iíve had. [original rating: 9-3-9-5-18, overall: 4.4]
Bottle 2 [11/30/2013]: second bottle of this was a little less impressive; looked the same, more or less, with the same fleeting head. Aroma was still huge with notes of sticky caramel, toffee, booze oak, figs, plums, cocoa, & light barrel-y vanilla. Mouth feel was surprisingly not nearly as creamy & thick this time around. Light oxidation, but luckily mostly in the form of sherry & vinous notes. Cocoa, toffee, butter, vanilla, the rye really comes through a bit more in a somewhat dry finish. Still a fantastic barley wine, but it may be starting to head downhill a bit. [updated rating: 8-3-8-5-16, overall: 4.0]
Smurf2055 (1064) - Seattle, Washington, USA - NOV 30, 2013
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours deep red, minimal head, good lacing
Smell big toffee, light vanilla
Taste sweet oaky whisky, bit of a bitterness, bit of heat, caramel, rye sweetness and a bit of candy on finish
Medium to full body
markwise (4093) - North of Tampa, Florida, USA - NOV 10, 2013
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
This one has held up nicely. This was at least a 2011 bottle. Pours a deep amber with an off-white head. Nose is caramel, some vanilla, some slight oxidation, but the barrel wipes out a lot of that, then the fruit, wood, and some nice bourbon character. Flavor is similar- lots of bourbon, sherry, some oxidation, and some polite booze. Medium in body and nice overall.
jcartamdg (1441) - Spring Hill, Florida, USA - OCT 29, 2013
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours a dark brown with no head. Aroma of malt, vanilla and oak. Taste is caramel, bourbon and vanilla. Very nice. Solid beer.
Ed5388 (1238) - Forked River, New Jersey, USA - OCT 15, 2013
3.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
750ml waxed bottle shared by dmac! Pours an ugly thin murky light brown color with almost no head. Aroma of bourbon, oak, caramel, vanilla, and lots of booze. Taste is boozy, slightly oxidized, sweet raisin, caramel, barrel, and a hint of bourbon.
dmac (3525) - Toms River, New Jersey, USA - OCT 12, 2013
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Wax bottle from a trade a long time ago, possibly TheAlum but canít remember for sure. Poured a rather ugly mud brown(seemed to be the theme of the night, ugly mud water beers) with a small pond scum off white head. Aroma was loads of bourbon, oak, alcohol and a touch of vanilla and spice. Big full syrupy body with lighter carbonation and a lasting syrupy aftertaste. Flavor is just way to sweet, sugar some caramel, dark corn syrup, light alcohol, oak. Meh this was the big dissapointment of the night for me.
adnielsen (7576) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - JUN 22, 2013
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle in Chicago with TheAlum. Thanks Adam! Pours a murky orangish brown appearance with a thin off white head. Moderate bourbon, toffee, light molasses, mild vanilla, a bit woody aroma. Thick sweet bourbon, big toffee, fairly sweet, vanilla, a touch fruity, lightly spicy rye flavor. Tasty beer! Thanks Adam!
mikem409 (1445) - bloomfield, Michigan, USA - MAY 17, 2013
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle. Pours light brown with minimal head. Aroma of boozy and brown sugar. Taste is sweet vanilla and dill oak
48FanInCali (614) - California, USA - MAY 13, 2013
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bomber. No doubting the rye in this bad boy. Caramel color pour with thin head on the rim. Nose of sweet malt, caramel, booze. Taste of caramel, booze, rye, toffee, and a hint of vanilla. Faint hops in the distance. Very enjoyable.
Glouglouburp (5867) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - MAY 6, 2013
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
In short: A complex and surprisingly smooth barley wine with great bourbon barrel integration. Too easy to drink. Excellent.
How: Bottle 22oz, silver wax-top, batch 1, consumed when approximately 1.5 year of age. Bottle sent to me by FullObs, thanks a lot Brett.
The look: Cloudy burgundy boy topped by a medium beige head that slowly dimishes to a ring of foam leaving a moderate amount of lacings on the glass.
In long: Nose has moderate barrel presence, mild bourbon notes, vanilla. Taste is crŤme caramel, sweet vanilla, cranberry juice, toffee, oily pecan halves, raisins, very nice bourbon barrel integration. Full voluptuous body with a precisely fine-tuned smooth carbonation. Sweet and juicy on the attack turning into a woody astringency in the finish Alcohol extremely well hidden. A beer that offers a good complexity and also a surprisingly high drinkability. Not only is everything well balanced in this beer but most impressive is how smooth it is, this is an 11% beer and I drank my bomber very quickly with too much ease. I probably had some great beers 15 years ago, some of them probably very rare, but with no social websites and beer websites to tell strangers about it, what a waste.