chibuck (3504) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAR 28, 2011
4.7 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 20/20
Thanks to Russ for sharing this with us at our Chicago tasting...The pour is not much to look at, a slightly watery brown without much carbonation at all...The aroma and taste are both awesome and dominated by a super smooth and not at all coy or irritataing vanilla. I just keep coming back to smooth, so easy velvety and easy to drink and just the right amount of vanilla with a backbone of oak and a touch of hopoy wood on the back end. I literally just kept sniffing this for like 15 minutes because the aroma was that good...The feel is super nice, very easy to drink, not alcohol at all...The vanilla makes it a tad of a sipper but I really had to contain myself to not drink this in one gulp.
The best barleywine around, awesome all around.
brokensail (15270) - San Leandro, California, USA - FEB 2, 2011
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
A: The pour is a dark amber, almost chestnut, color with a thin tan head.
S: Pretty much what I was expecting/hoping for in the nose. Lots of vanilla and bourbon along with brown sugar and dark fruits. A slight oak not, but thereís some nice chocolate oxidation taking place.
T: Quite sweet with lots of caramel, brown sugar, and toffee. Plenty of bourbon and vanilla are present as well. I get some wood and dark fruit here, along with a bit of warming alcohol.
M: The body is medium with a low to medium carbonation that is quite smooth on the tongue.
D: This was surprisingly easy to drink, but I guess thatís part of what makes it so good. You can pick up the oxidation, but itís not to the point of detriment at this point.
jtclockwork (13248) - , New Jersey, USA - JAN 23, 2011
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Bottle shared by me at Alanís epic tasting. Pours dark mahogany toffee. Nose and taste of intense raisins, plums, wood barrel, dark caramel, butterscotch toffee and light vanilla. Extremely well crafted and delightfully complex.
cpetrone84 (1810) - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 6, 2010
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Huge thanks to Jeremy for sharing this gem!
A-pours a transparent deep ruby red with a nice tan colored head.
S-the nose has very little barrel, hints of woood and faint bourbon, strong malt body, chocolate and dark raisins, hints of sweeter toffee, vibrant fruits of sour apple and ripe plums.
T-this is quite good, light notes of bourbon with hints of dry wood, chocolate malts, dark raisins, toffee. it transitions into some sweeter fruits, dark ripe plums with notes of sour apples.
M-very full body, extremely smooth and creamy on the palate, strong carbonation with a crisp clean wet finish.
D-this is extremely tasty, well integrated flavors and very complex malt body. the barrel accentuates the malt complexity and adds to it rather than overshadowing it. the body is huge and still so drinkable. fantastic stuff!
MrChopin (3999) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - DEC 5, 2010
4.7 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Dark red-brown, frothy white head with considerable lacing. Sweet nose of apple, plum, cookie dough and spice, very light heat. Incredibly light and fruity, but huge malt presence within the huge body. Lots of malt up front, light wood and apple, way more heat, then a light honey-pear through finish. Stunning complexity, and then even more: bubble gum, fruit lightness despite huge body. Thick body, sticky, but still ultra-drinkable. Drank next to 6-8 other barrel-aged barley wines, smashed them all. There is a nagging that itís all bourbon, but as is itís fantatic.
5000 (6599) - Hardened Liver, Washington, USA - NOV 21, 2010
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle:   Fiery amber, copper hued, thin sudsy off-white head, sparse lacing.   Seems aged.   Huge bourbony aroma, otherwise caramel malt character.   Slight vanilla and graham cracker.   Similar tongue, a little heat but not hot.   Caramel, vanilla, graham cracker, bourbon... certainly tasty but seems a little one dimensional.   Very smooth, warming but not hot.   Moderate to full body and mouthfeel.   Smooth caramel malt finish, bourbon and vanilla.   Pretty simple, but well balanced and very tasty.   Thanks Trevor for sharing this rare gem!
dreddy (17) - Austin, Texas, USA - OCT 11, 2010
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 20/20
Wooden Hell pours an attractive chestnut-amber body with a nice depth to the hazy hue. The manila head vanishes quickly, leaving a thin wisp of foam on top. Rich nutty caramel and toffee sweetness greets the nose, followed by earthy hops and dried fruit notes of fig and prune. A flash of boozy bourbon, but more subtle than most. No real signs of oxidation--I think itís safe to say this beer is holding up well.
The flavor is something to fawn over. Gooey caramel candies coat the palate; beneath that are layers of butterscotch and dusty chocolate crumbles. Booze tastes sharp and still quite green despite Wooden Hellís age. Whisky wood and vanilla linger on the finish, but the heat is nicely restrained. Carbonation is tight, making for a creamy mouthfeel that keeps the thick body in check. Both spritzy and vinous on the finish with a flash of alcohol. No overpowering heat, cloying sweetness, or laboriously thick body. Everything is in perfect balance in this beer. Amazing stuff, worth the hype. Thanks again Chuck (thickfreakness)!
Suttree (5879) - Knoxville, Tennessee, USA - SEP 26, 2010
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
For starters, my notes contain the wrod "lovely", and I never use the word lovely. So, yíknow, it already has that in itís corner. Anyway, it actually looks more like a whiskey than a beer - clear, golden brown, no head. Itís basically a mix bourbon, cherry, smoke, vanilla - each sip seemed to revel a new aroma or flavor. Really nice stuff.
zdk (1852) - New York, New York, USA - SEP 21, 2010
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
sampled at RBSG grand tasting - oaky and woody earthen. Caramel and sweet toffee, roasted molasses and prunes. delicious... bourbon and vanilla finish.
maniac (3800) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - SEP 17, 2010
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle courtesy of brewengineer on 04/17/2010 at the 11th Richmond RateBeer Gathering. Clear ruby amber body with a medium creamy off-white head. Sweet vanilla, oak, caramel, light yeast and molasses aroma. Sweet caramel, vanilla, light oak and yeast flavor. Medium full body with moderately low carbonation.