superspak (2712) - Michigan, USA - MAR 31, 2014
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
750 ml bottle into snifter, bottled in July 2012. Pours slightly hazy deep orange copper color with a 1-2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with some light streaming carbonation. Aromas of big caramel, toast, toffee, biscuit, brown sugar, molasses, raisin, plum, fig, orange peel, light pine, clove, oak, light bourbon, light vanilla, floral, grass, herbal, and oak/yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of deep malt, fruity yeast ester, and moderate oak barrel presence; with great strength. Taste of big caramel, toast, toffee, maple, brown sugar, biscuit, molasses, raisin, plum, fig, orange peel, light pine, oak, clove, light vanilla, light bourbon, herbal, floral, grass, and oak/yeast earthiness. Some minimal earthy floral/pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toast, toffee, maple, brown sugar, biscuit, molasses, raisin, plum, fig, orange peel, light pine, oak, clove, light vanilla, light bourbon, herbal, floral, grass, and oak/yeast earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of deep malt, fruity yeast ester, and moderate oak barrel flavors; with zero cloying sweetness or booziness on the finish. Light-medium carbonation and very full bodied; with a very creamy, slick, and lightly syrupy mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a light-moderate warming present after the finish. Overall this is an awesome barelywine. All around great balance and complexity of deep malt, fruity yeast ester, and moderate oak barrel flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.
MadIndian (2416) - Levittown, Pennsylvania, USA - MAR 17, 2014
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle from Sj. Really good barley wine. Nice strong notes of dark fruit, mostly raisin...some fig, with bold wood, earth, and bourbon under tones, nice vanilla and spice finish. Well done.
sunevdj (3209) - Copenhagen OE, DENMARK - MAR 15, 2014
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
At M&F - thx Leigh. Pours clear amber with a small off-white head. Super bitter and quite sweet with aromas of sprucy hops. Aromas of alcohol and some caramel mixed with sprucy hops. Also aromas of rugbrød. Medium to light bodied. Soft carbonation. Long bitter and alcohol finish.
jake65 (2690) - Boise, Idaho, USA - MAR 9, 2014
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle, enjoyed right about one year post-release. Never had it fresh, but postings at the time indicated a little age would behoove this ale... is suspect this is true, based on my taste preferences. The pour is gorgeous; a reddish shade of amber, very bright. A sizeable tan head at first, but it dies back rather soon. Very sweet, smooth, and seamless… as close to cloying as you can get without being cloying. What strikes me most is the desire not to pick out layers or elements of flavor. Maple, bourbon barrel, and vanilla are nicely intertwined, but I just want to sit back and enjoy… compare with what I can remember of ’09 Nemesis. It’s good, but not great. Still a bit on the hot side, but with one bottle I would hesitate to cellar any longer. A fine experience as is; regrettable that I polished off the entire bottle solo.
peteinSD (1384) - San Diego, California, USA - MAR 7, 2014
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle. Deep, amber colored pour with a scattering of off-white foam. Aroma is hit you over the head dense and sweet barley wine malt with raisin, date, layered sugars, and trailing alcohol vapors. Taste is chewy raisin, dense toffee, light hints of oxidization, and alcohol bitterness. Blended with barrel aged beer? Didn’t get any of that. [edit - there’s a smidge of bourbon as it hits room temp.] Coating mouthfeel. Good, heavy duty barley wine.
Ron (2609) - Rochester, New York, USA - MAR 2, 2014
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
On tap at MacGregor’s.($9 for a 5.5 oz glass) Hazy amber/orange color. Medium slightly creamy body. Aroma of toasted sweet malt, caramel/toffee, fruit, & some vanilla. Flavor of sweet malt, caramel/toffee, molasses, spicy hops, fruit, and some bourbon, Warm finish. The alcohol is noticeable. Nicely balanced. This is the night Shelia could not make it to the RPO to listen to some lady sing Barbra Streisand tunes. So I had to go in her place. We only lasted to 1st intermission. Then off to the bars.
KingCecil (2057) - DENMARK - MAR 2, 2014
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Tap @ CBC 2013 ….. It pours clear amber with a medium off-white head… Toasted malt, caramel, dried fruit, alcohol, toffee…. nice!
tectactoe (2063) - Michigan, USA - FEB 10, 2014
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle: Amber tinted, mostly copper body, dingy & hazed out with a gray-tinted head that settles quickly after even the hardest of pours. Aroma has notes of sweet toffee, burnt sugar, rosy fruits, plums, figs, juicy dates soaked in booze, light vanilla, & a touch of wood. Lots of sweet & burnt brown sugar notes in the flavors; boozy raisins & figs, wood, & vanilla. With the oaky vanillin & brown sugar-y notes mixing, the flavor is reminiscent of crème brûlée at times. Butterscotch-y, a little. Pretty large hop presence, mostly in the afterbirth with notes of ashy leaves, & floral perfume. Low-key notes of whiskey in the aftertaste with a mellow, finishing sweetness. I don’t know why people love to hate this beer... Yes, it is definitely overpriced. However, still quite tasty in my opinion, & a very enjoyable sipper.
Tortman18 (188) - Batavia, Illinois, USA - FEB 3, 2014
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours a very opaque, ruby/amber with a half finger of creamy mocha head that dissipates quickly to a cap. Small amount of lacing. Nose is intimidating. A ton of dates, plum, cherry, vanilla, bourbon, a little bit of candy sweetness and a little bit of roasted malts. Mouth is awesome. Very earthy. The dark fruits are present again. A lot of plum and cherry. Some vanilla, caramel, pancakes and bourbon. It’s pretty hot but subtle. Leaves a slight bitter taste and finishes dry.
Steasy66 (897) - Minnesota, USA - JAN 26, 2014
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Amber with 1 finger white head. Aroma has a malty toffee background with a good amount of fruity hops, bit of banana in there as well. Opens extremely sweet, middle has some dark fruit and bananas, and the finish is fairly bitter with a bit of fruit. This isn’t bad, but its far from good.