Silphium (3167) - East Lansing, Michigan, USA - FEB 18, 2013
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle. Fiery, hazy orange-red body, medium to thin cream head. Pungent nose with notes of pineapple and grapefruit, huge, sticky, sweet brown sugar and caramel, candies, and alcohol. Big caramely body, round, rich, and candy-like, with slick, bitter tropical fruit hops. Hints of tootsie roll or chocolate-covered candied orange peel. A big beer, and a very good one.
vt3stick (103) - Chicago, USA - FEB 14, 2013
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
22 oz bomber. Pours orange and amber. Aroma is sweet of plums and raisins. Taste is boozy but the maple syrup definitely stands out. Definitely on the sweet side as expected with the style. Agree that itís a little high on the price point but nicely done for a barleywine.
boFNjackson (4133) - Portland, Oregon, USA - FEB 14, 2013
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle @ a recent bottle share... Poured reddish/amber/golden with a thin head. Always a pleasure to have a beer that has spend some time in maple bourbon barrels. Even though partially in maple bourbon barrels, it was still slightly detected. Toasted grains, sugars, and nuts. Dark fruits with caramel, toffee, and vanilla. Bourbon, oak, and charred malt.
dogfishho (588) - Bloomfield, New Jersey, USA - FEB 14, 2013
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours a dark orange color with a quickly disipating white head. The aroma is filled with syrupy sweet caramel, virtually no wood, and some piney hops. On the palate, its more of the same. Interestingly, on draft I found this to be much better balanced than out of the bottle. The bottle sample was way, way, way overly sweet and messy. Not very complex... somewhat dissapointing.
Mittenator (1304) - Michigan, USA - FEB 13, 2013
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
This is a decent barleywine but way too expensive for what you get. There are some sweet candy flavors that are overpowered by hot booziness (apparent both from the bottle and on draft). I now have two extra bottles I am hoping will be better in a few years. I bought into the hype because it's made by one of my favorite breweries and one of my favorite styles but this really underwhelmed me.
mcox90 (1545) - Wilton, New Hampshire, USA - FEB 11, 2013
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Bottle. Pours a clear, bright red/copper color with just a wisp of an off white ring for a head. Wonderful sweet aroma with notes of caramel, toffee, brown sugar, maple and a hint of fruity hops. Didnít get any bourbon in the aroma. Bourbon is more evident in the flavor and it compliments all the sweetness. Smooth, heavy gut warming palate with almost zero carbonation. With a couple years on it, this will be outstanding.
eachnotesecure (66) - Kentucky, USA - FEB 10, 2013
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
750ml bottle poured into Cigar City snifter. Served a little bit cold, pours a golden color and the initial aroma is still of hops. As it warms however, the barrel really shows up nicely and you get some maple syrup, butterscotch and just a little bit of hoppiness. Again, Founders has knocked it out of the park. I canít wait to open my other bottle in about a year.
ineedbeer (736) - Oakland, California, USA - FEB 7, 2013
4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Aroma is dominated by caramel malt notes with complimenting vanilla and raisin. As it warms the bourbon and hops become more noticeable. The alcohol also becomes more noticeable as it warms but never reaches a hot level. Esters also become more pronounced.
Pours a fairly clear burnt amber with a light tan head that quickly recedes leaving a film in the center and edges. Faint lacing with long legs.
Flavor starts with some sweet caramel notes - caramel, burnt sugar, raisins and plums. Mid palate the barrel quality appears, bourbon and vanilla. The finish has some slightly astringent hop bitterness and light hop flavor. The finish has quite a bit of alcohol heat along with some residual sweetness and lingering bitterness. The finish is where this beer currently falls apart.
Mouthfeel is full bodied with low carbonation. The astringency is moderate and fairly unpleasant. The alcohol heat is moderately high but fairly clean.
For all the complaints this beer gets it is surprisingly good. As it ages the alcohol heat and the astringency should mellow out. The finish is a bit slick as well which will hopefully get a bit better.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
VALIS (228) - Nashua, New Hampshire, USA - FEB 6, 2013
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
UPDATED: FEB 7, 2013 Deep amber color, almost cherry, moist lacing. Sweet brown sugar aroma, also hints of wood and grass. Very sweet taste as well, alcohol warmth on the roof of the mouth, boozy finish, slightly oakey. A well-made beer but not so much in my style. I have another bottle Iíll age for a year or more, hopefully mellow out the sweetness a little?
**Update: I slowly sipped at it over the course of the night, unwilling to pour its $23 contents down the drain, and as it warmed towards room temperature it became even sweeter and stickier on the palate, unfortunately. A chore to finish.
ryecatcher (789) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - FEB 6, 2013
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
750mL bottle (purchased on Black Friday 2012, drinking on the occasion of National Letter of Intent Day 2013... Go Buckeyes!)
Into the snifter we go! Pours a thick and hazy amber-orange with a slight head that dissipated quickly, no lacing to speak of. Nose is heavy on the caramel, some candied orange, hints of vanilla and maple (i.e. smells sweet). Mouth is full-bodied (thick is a good adjective here), with a lot of syrupy sweetness up front mingled with a hoppy bitterness (meaning Iím going to have a headache after finishing this off in the next hour). Getting some peaches, orange, caramel, grass and some maple notes at the very tail end. Finish is still sweet but with a long, lingering bitterness. Iíve grown to appreciate barley wines, butgiven my druthers I still prefer the American variety (drier, hoppier) over the English-styled version (sweeter) which this one is. Still, was worth the wait on that cold-ass Friday morning waiting in line outside South Loop Binnyís... and THE Ohio State Buckeyes had one hell of a recruiting class sign today, so this was a good one to celebrate with! ;-)