DarkElf (3035) - La Jolla, California, USA - AUG 7, 2008
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
18-Jan-08 (Draft: 2008 Great Alaskan Beer and Barley Wine Festival in Anchorage, AK) My friend Jim has been raving about Glacier Brewhouse’s Twelve Days of Barleywine for several years, gloating that he could try all the different versions and I couldn’t. Well, I missed it again this year, but thanks to this wonderful barley wine festival, I am finally able to try this renowned beer. The first sniff tells the story: heavy bourbon and moderate oak tend to overshadow the underlying aroma of sweet malts, and a hint of tartness adds a nice contrast. The beer follows through in the mouth; it’s fairly sweet and very malty, balanced by a hint of lemony tartness. Lots of Beam bourbon notes, but also plenty of oak which suggests a long time has been spent in well-used Beam barrels. It’s full-bodied and somewhat syrupy with medium carbonation and light tannins. Golden in color, so lighter than expected, and it shows good clarity. The small, off-white head fully dissipates within a few minutes. Overall, this is a solid, complex barley wine and the skill of the brewer and barrel master is clearly evident. If it were a bit less sweet, it would get a nomination for my personal Best of Show.
HumuloneRed (751) - Portland, Oregon, USA - MAY 29, 2006
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Iíd almost forgotten about this beer until I found my notes from this festival. Was only able to take notes on few beers before my palate was blown from all the wood tannins.On tap @ the Barrel Aged Beer Festival in Chicago Ď04. Pours a orange/red color with a thin head and little lacing. The nose is a complex mix of wood, nuts, dry wine, and malt. The flavor is just as complex with notes of nuts, wood, dried fruits, spicy bread dough and hints of pepper. Very nice body and texture. Very good beer.
mrnutsnbolts (204) - Berkeley, - FEB 18, 2006
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
On Tap @ Toronado Barlywine Festival in San Francisco. Very woody, smoke, tastes of bourbon, banana, and ripe fruit. Very lively carbonation (tingly on the palate). The wood and smoke are a bit overwhelming, but itís a nice brew.
OldGrowth (2757) - the Containment Area, North Carolina, USA - FEB 8, 2006
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
@ Great Alaskan Barleywine Festival í06. BIG oak, hints of dried fruits (fig&plum) whisky/bourbon. Oak. Clean yellowy brown color. Sweet oaky flavor. Whisky, bourbon, smoke, oak. Some of the fruits if you dig for it. Oak. Medium body, Lite creamy mothfeel, smoky bitter finish. Oak. Way too oaky for my personal preference. It overwhelmed the rest of the beer, IMO. Wish they had a non oaked bw available so I could know what it was like. Oak
aspidites (1272) - manteca, California, USA - MAR 4, 2005
4.9 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Holy shit this is awesome. big Bourbon nose with brandy and sherry pretentions.I would guess Woodfrords reserve bourbon Just amazing.Almonds and cashews with plums and apricots caramel and pralines. Truly amazing.
cquiroga (371) - Tujunga, California, USA - JUL 17, 2004
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: SEP 16, 2004 2/21/04. On draft at Toronado Barley Wine Festival í04 in San Francisco, CA 2/21/04. Dark amber in color with very little head and non-existing lacing. Quite a baadasssss looking body to it despite the absence of typical measures of beauty. Itís like the light of God just shines brightly on this beer as it sits in your glass. And it is good. But if Iím at a barley wine tasting and Iím measuring this one against all of the others Iíve tried that day, iím rating it a 3. It just doesn't look like a barley wine. Suffice it to say, I remember this beer much more fondly than the scores I gave it at the time would suggest. Aroma is excellent, incredibly complex with wood, walnut, sweet malt, and dry marsala wine. Flavor is richly nutty and spicy with a cakey, buttery flavor-- spiced rum cake. Very peppery. But in an awesome way. I canít believe the avalanche of wood character, but itís overwhelming in its depth. Body is medium-full. Finish is long and hot but very rich and wonderfully balanced. A very, very interesting, delicious beer. Truly a standout among a field of delicious, exceptional barley wines I tried that weekend. Scores above are my ratings from when I first had it, but if Iím trying to place it in the context of all of the beers Iíve had before and since (and adjusting my previous scores based on my memory of the beer), Iím remembering it more like itís a 9/4/10/4/19/4.6. But somehow I trust my notes from the day I tried it more than my memory of it since, so that's why I've kept my original scores intact. Anyway, I can't wait to try it again.
jsquire (3561) - St. Marys, Ohio, USA - JAN 24, 2004
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
On tap at the 2004 Great Alaska Beer and Barley Wine Festival. This beer won as the best barley wine at the show. They were saying this was double barrel aged, with time in the oak wine barrels AND Jim Beam barrels. Murky orange/brown color with a nose of carmel, butterscotch and bourbon. Very smooth mouthfeel with noticable liquer alcohol when you exhale. Butter, vanilla, oak, bourbon, wine tanins and other flavors combine for an intense pleasure. Too bad this festival beer isn't more widely available.
iwantalambic (1478) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - MAY 11, 2003
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Firey red/orange, minimal head. . . Sweet candied alcohol, strawberries, sweet white grapes. Dry and spicey on the tongue, very similar palate to a dry reisling or pinot griego. Finish is more like beer, slitly bitter, with some raisin malt and grapes, also a very pleasing strawberry flavour and a wonderful balance of malts.
Jokes (1453) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - APR 2, 2003
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Tap @ Chicago Barrel Aged Beer Festival. Aroma of pineapple, peaches, dry grain and alcohol. Very soft and slightly sweet flavor. Oak and winey grapes become apparent in the flavor. It's sort of odd to me, aging beer in Napa Valley wine barrels, but it was surprisingly good.
jazz88 (2564) - San Francisco, California, USA - FEB 27, 2003
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Tap @ Toronado Barley Wine Festival. Aged one year with comments of "oak wine" and "English malts" on the festival sheet. Mahogany color. Smoke, vanilla, and wood but the fruit is less intense.