craftbeerdesign (2215) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - JUN 24, 2008
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: JUN 4, 2011 2009/2010 Vertical on 6/4/11.
pours a brilliant deep red/orange with a slim off white head. incredible dark fruit nose with layers of vanilla, grapes, light citrus, sherry, and sugar. medium body - full of flavor with raisins, plums, dates, orange zest, light spices and vanilla mixing together. sweet, yet smooth. somewhat dry finish with some residual sugar, more dark fruits, caramel and a touch of alcohol.
pours a brighter orange, yet still deep with a slim off white head. this vintage has a brighter nose with lighter fruit notes and sweet malts. medium body with a subtle roast, dark fruits, caramel, light heat and grapes. semi-dry finish with residual sugar, sweet malts, banana, citrus and some spices.
2009 bottle on 6/11/10. pours a deep copper color with a slim off white head. sweet aroma filled with vanilla, caramel and dark fruits towards the back. full body with more sweet malts with candy coatings. Sugar coated dark fruit lingers throughout the mouth with some lingering nuts and oak notes. solid finish with a pleasant level of alcohol and sugar filled malt packets.
2006 bottle - thanks to TBC. 6/24/08 - my 1 yr RateBeer anniversary the bourbon barrel aging really comes through on the aroma... lots of bourbon and sweet sugary malts with some vanilla as well. pours a dirty brown with little to no head.... lots of floaties too. wonderful on the palate - very even and smooth... medium to full body. caramel, bourbon, vanilla and maple syrup dominate the mouth. excellent strong finish... the bourbon barrel aging is most noticeable on the finish and there is a bit of alcohol presence as well.... it goes down extremely smooth and lingers for a bit. very glad I got to have an í06 bottle and would love to compare it to a newer batch.
nimbleprop (5498) - SouthWest, Washington, Washington DC, USA - JUN 24, 2008
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Via trade with Scubarex. Many thanks. 12oz bottle pours a dense, translucent, amber brown with a thin beige head and slightly visible carbonation noticeable around the edge of the glass. Aroma is sweet and malty with strong vanilla, oak and whiskey smells. Flavor is similar with raisins, caramel chews, vanilla, oaky bourbon, wood, cherries, light tobacco, chocolate and quite earthy. Thick, chewy, sticky and creamy on the palate with some lasting bitterness and a touch of lasting sweetness like butterscotch. Got much better when it warmed up and was surprisingly drinkable for such a big beer.
Stine (1644) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - JUN 9, 2008
3.9 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Ruddy mahogany pour; mostly still body leaving no foam. Sweet, robust aroma; silky chocolate, raisins, dates, roasted peanuts. A burly, damp cavendish tobacco darkness and a spicy, velvety touch of nutty bourbon in a slow, heavy pressure of erudite sweetness; hints of toasted coconut and spirited heat in the back. Layered carefully and composed; delightful to inhale.
Flavor is full and simple; chocolate mousse, figs, and molasses; growing more complex and forceable as it dresses itself in a fanciful, rich spirit imitation. Earthy and rustic, while sophisticatedly clean. Syrupy, almost, in caramelly, nutty, dark bourbon impartation; the rich wooden character and anise-like darkness of the spirit flavor is extremely cordial and charming. What a nice surprise.
Palate is full and round; oily, barely carbonated; like velvet. Filtration seems to strip it down just a touch in a clean, roasty, sweet finish. Almost too polished at this point, where a lingering, dirty, earthy bittersweetness would seem most fitting. Excepting that complaint and the sometimes loud contribution of the bourbon barrel, pleasant as it is, the warm settled malt character of this one is striking enough to overcome. Thanks Chris!
flatmatt (1211) - Northville, Michigan, USA - JUN 8, 2008
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: SEP 24, 2011 Rerate 24-Sep-2011. 12 oz bottle. Pours a caramel amber with a thin white head. Great, strong aroma of bourbon, vanilla, caramel, oak, toast, a bit of sharp alcohol influence. Flavor has toasted bread, caramel, bits of bourbon, following up with overripe fruit and banana hints. Later I start to get notes of cocoa and vanilla. Iím shuffling the numbers around from my original, but the total remains the same.
Original rating: 12 oz bottle. Pours dark red amber with a small, quickly-dissipating off-white head and lots of sediment. Aroma is muted, all I can detect is a bit of Bourbon or Scotch aroma. Flavor is sweet with flavors of Bourbon, honey, fresh bread, and a fair bit of alcohol. Finish is slightly bitter with some alcohol. I really enjoyed this one. 7/3/9/5/18/4.2
BOLTZ7555 (2935) - Phoenix, Arizona, USA - JUN 7, 2008
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Dirty river water and an attempt at a foam head that never came to fruition. Aroma is dark fruit, honey, brown sugar and vanilla. Flavor is also sweet with distinguishable notes of raisin, cherry skin, and vanilla. The lack of carbonation had a negative impact on this beer. Still glad I had a chance to try it.
mattmc1973 (478) - Sterling Heights, Michigan, USA - JUN 4, 2008
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: JAN 19, 2009 12oz bottle, pours a clear brown/amber with a small head that dissipates fully. Great aroma of sweet malt, figs, caramel, brown sugar, alcohol, and bourbon. Donít think this is the bourbon barrel version, but still smells of bourbon nonetheless. Taste of caramel, sugar, dark fruit, bourbon, and oak. Alcohol is not overpowering for nearly 10%. Nice barley wine type flavor, but is even better than most barley wines Iíve had. Smooth mouthfeel with light carbonation. Overall a great beer!
hopslovin (194) - Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA - MAY 30, 2008
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
2006 Bottle. Dark brown pour. Thin off-white head quickly diminishes into a halo of lace. Oak, toffee, vanilla, and bourbon on the nose. Very smooth on the palate. Malt, vanilla, and bourbon flavors. Nicely complex, very drinkable at 9.3%. Medium-full mouthfeel. Slightly astringent finish with some alcohol presence. Iíve often overlooked this beer in the past. Try it, youíll love it.
HopBackDoc (474) - Hatboro, Pennsylvania, USA - MAY 28, 2008
4.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Pours a dark brown with small tan head. Aroma of malts, vanilla, and dried fruit. Flavor was malt driven with a smooth sweetness that was countered by a nice dry hop finish. A complex blend of flavor ranges from vanilla, plum, toffee and a slight alcohol warming that come together beautifully to make a fine brew. Very drinkable and very enjoyable. If you like barleywines, you have to have this ale.
Indra (2689) - Overland Park, Kansas, USA - MAY 26, 2008
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: MAY 27, 2008 12oz. bottle, 2006 bourbon barrel-aged version. Richly malty and sweet aroma, complex and enticing, plenty of bourbon character to be found here alongside notes of toffee, vanilla, cherry, oak, dark brown sugar, raisin, fig, dried flowers and slight medicinal alcohol, even some very faint smoke detected. Deep, dark copper color, somewhat hazy, with a fully subsiding head. Flavor is utterly dominated by the powerful malt presence from beginning to end, with more sweet toffee, cherry, vanilla and dried, dark fruits, shot through with oaked bourbon and finishing with a gentle, earthy bitterness and lingering alcoholic warmth. Palate is smooth, sticky and nearly still, with a body thatís full as can be. This is excellent. Seemingly very complimented by the barrel aging process, and one Iíd had on my wishlist for some time. Thanks a lot to boboski for the opportunity.
bp (819) - Queens, New York, USA - MAY 26, 2008
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle: pours a dark brown with a thick white head, aroma is strong on the alcohol maybe there is some caramel under that but it is pretty overpowering, taste is malty, burnt toffee, slightly sweet and no signs of the alcohol other then a little bit of a warm feeling in the back of the throat, fairly full moutfeel as well. Good stuff.