bjt512 (292) - Athens, Georgia, USA - DEC 6, 2011
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
I poured a 12 oz bottle into a snifter after a year of aging, and I think that the year did this some good. Any rough edges - and surely there were some, given the volatile elements Founders has brought together - have mellowed, and the result is at once complex and robust. This gives off that distinctively woody, cellar-ish barleywine aroma, and it has the lighter body (relative to a big stout) that I associate with that style. Yet the "black" part of the label also makes itself felt, with bold coffee notes that fade to fennel, caramel, and molasses around the edges (much as the seemingly black beer starts to look deep russet near the bottom of the glass). The age naturally smoothed the body; subtle and pleasant carbonation remained, but the one-pinky off white had quickly faded to a thin ring, and lacing was minimal. A delicious beer, but certainly a strange one, which is exactly what you expect from Founders. Those guys are among the best.
ryanfolty (1836) - Bourbon County, Minnesota, USA - MAY 19, 2014
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
May 19, 2014 - bottle via trade. Dark brown pour with limited bubbly head and some lacing. Aroma was roasted malt, caramel and some hops. Taste was as advertised - roasty, little bit sweet and a citrus bitter finish. Smooth and easy to drink with a medium to full body.
Lothore (548) - California, USA - MAR 29, 2014
3.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
A- Pours a deep, murky, dark black with little to no head.
S- Light maltiness, toasted bread, huge citrus and hop notes.
T- Light fruits, citrus up front, large wave of hops followed by a coffee like burnt malt flavor.
M- Thick with low carbonation.
D- This is definitely more of a big stout than a barleywine. There was a strange aftertaste that didn’t sit quite right with me. Definitely not as drinkable as it could have been.
alobar (2753) - Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 28, 2014
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours a dark brown color with no head. Aroma of vanilla, toffee, oak, and dark fruit. Vanilla, toffee flavors with raisin, oak, and toasted malt. Four year old bottle and no hint of alcohol. Impressive.
jgb9348 (4689) - Arlington (Pentagon City), Virginia, USA - FEB 23, 2014
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Ridiculously deep dark brown body with a non-existent tan and oily head. Aroma of strong alcohol, nuts, earth, pit fruit, oak, vanilla and quite a bit of toffee - deep and very strong. Full-bodied; Pungent and showing a ton of alcohol and warmth with the roasted malt, chocolate, pit fruits and especially oak flavours really coming out. Aftertaste shows a nice earthiness with a super complex finish having the roasted malt, chocolate, alcohol, pit fruits, oak, toffee and nuts all a part of the mix. Overall, a super pungent and complex beer with a great flavour profile and even better richness throughout. I sampled this twelve ounce bottle purchased from Norm’s in Vienna, Virginia on 05-March-2011 sampled at home in Washington on the day of the closing ceremonies for the Olympics to celebrate Team USA in Sochi during the past four years.
2010 Vintage // Purchased in 2011 // Drank in 2014
jbruner (2280) - Athens, Georgia, USA - FEB 11, 2014
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle shared at RBWG! Pours a thick blackish brown with minimal head or lacing. Aroma is big barrel aged ridiculousness. Taste follows, big and sweet, a little nuts, woah, too much for me.
Hamjn01l (4) - Asheville, North Carolina, USA - FEB 8, 2014 does not count
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
This is a terrific American barley wine. It is a little sweet but top notch taste, aroma, mouth feel and texture. Enjoyed from a glass at the Raye beer festival in Asheville.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
tectactoe (1645) - Michigan, USA - FEB 7, 2014
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: FEB 8, 2014 [Bottle / 3+ years old] Thanks, Jeff! Burnt mahogany body with a slight, java-cream head that forms on top & fades quickly. Aroma has big notes of toasted caramel candies, toffee, faint licorice, ripe plums, prunes, & lots of sweetness, almost in the form of residual, Candi sugar. Notes of molasses & very mild roastiness in the back. Taste includes lots of burnt brown sugar up front, molasses covered raisins, prunes, sticky toffee candy, & an undercurrent of booze that shines through & warms the throat. Kind of nutty in the finish, definitely malty sweet with some finishing notes of dates & plums. Big, sticky, coating mouth feel... Very nice beer, much better than Nemesis 2009 (at this point, at least).
wnoble (1251) - Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA - JAN 28, 2014
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours basically black with some light tan head that fades to a large bubble head on the rim of the glass. Nose is nutty, caramels, toffee, sweet malts, light chocolates. Flavor is chocolates, nutts, caramels, roasted toffee, darker cooked caramels. has quite the astringent flavor or all the sweetness in there. Pretty good but didn’t hold up anywhere close to the 2009 we just had.
_angst_ (2685) - Göteborg, SWEDEN - JAN 22, 2014
4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle received in trade. Thank you pushkinwow (iirc)! Pours murky dark reddish brown with a thin beige head that quickly dissipates without leaving much trace on the glass. Smell is sweet and malty with caramel, sweet dark bread, alcohol, resinous wood, dried orange peal, biscuits, toffee, pine needles, burnt sugar and molasses. Taste is sweet, heavy bitter and malty with biscuits, roasted malts, caramel, resinous wood, sesame seed cookies, moist soil, cocoa powder, mixed dried citrus peal, moist grass, pine needles, alcohol, dark bread, moist tobacco, raisins, molasses and liquorice root. Mouthfeel is round, soft, oily bitter and near full bodied. Finish is sweet, bitter and malty with biscuits, caramel, toffee, resinous wood, pine needles, moist soil, alcohol, toffee, tobacco, raisins and subtle hints of iron. Heavy heavy bitter but pretty close to balanced with the thick malt profile. Tasty if close to too extreme. An American barley wine indeed...
Mittenator (1276) - Michigan, USA - JAN 4, 2014
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle. Garnet with minimal head. Fruit and candi sugar. Dark fruit, tannins and very malty at the end.