IrishBoy (3688) - Bakersfield, California, USA - NOV 19, 2008
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Draft at the Bistro’s BA Fest; Nose of oaky vanilla, bourbon, and light tartness; orange-amber with a small offwhite head; flavor is bourbon, light tartness with contrasting fruity sweetness, and woody oak.
GeneralGao (3614) - Iowa City, Iowa, USA - JAN 3, 2009
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
FoBAB 2008. Poured a slightly hazy medium orange color with an off white head. Distinct oak and wine in the nose accompanied by cotton candy and caramel notes. Medium bodied and delicately sweet with mild bitterness. Distinct oaky red wine, caramel, and toasted bread flavors. Warming alcohol effect. Not bad.
jrallen34 (3475) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - NOV 13, 2011
4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
draft... my favorite barley wine at fobab... this should be the standard bearer for a barleywine that’s hoppy still but accented perfectly by barrels, try this
nickd717 (3400) - San Francisco, California, USA - FEB 17, 2009
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: NOV 20, 2009 On tap at Toronado for Barleywine fest ’09, then again at the Bistro in Hayward for Barrel Aged Fest ’09. This is another amazing barleywine from Alaska. Big Woody, huhhuh huhhuh (Butthead voice). Clear dark orangish-brown color with a nice beige head. Aroma is sweet malt, caramel, port, bourbon, vanilla, and oak. Sweet and malty flavor with toffee, vanilla, bourbon, spiced cider, wood (huhhuh) and some hop bitterness. Really long finish. Medium-full body with a very smooth yet lively mouthfeel, really nails it on the palate. Alcohol present but not too dominant. I would like to encounter Big Woody again in the future - the beer I mean, definitely not the other kind.
SHIG (3280) - Wasilla, Alaska, USA - DEC 30, 2012
3.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Draft: Poured a chocolate brown with a thin off white head. Aroma is chocolate, caramel malts, and bourbon. Taste is similar with lots of chocolate (which worries me about a BW), caramel sugary malt, and vanilla bourbon burn.
jsquire (3230) - 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.
kmweaver (3200) - Petaluma, California, USA - NOV 27, 2008
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Draft @ Bistro BA Fest. Pours a bright, clear, viscous honey-amber-brown color; mixed-bubbled lacing with good retention and gorgeous, fine-bubbled lacing; great pour. Solid amounts of dried fruits, white pepper, brown sugar in the aroma; dry and basic barrel character. Medium-to-full mouthfeel: loads of toasty, charred oak, dried oranges and dried dark fruits, caramel and creamy malt goodness; nicely blended and toasty barleywine with just a touch of warming, soft alcohol; nice beer. Lengthy finish: bitter earthiness, chewy dried fruits and caramel; nicely balanced, limited sweetness.
DarkElf (2988) - 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.
beerinmarch (2830) - Washington, USA - MAR 29, 2009
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Brouwers Hard Liver Fest 2009. One of my favorites of the fest. Big sweetness up front, but enough bitterness to keep it from being cloying. Chewy body, lots of caramel and cherry notes. Bourbon is on the softer side, not the big vanilla that some of them had, siding more with the oak flavors, more mellowed. Hops had died in floralness, but provided enough bitterness to counter some of the sweetness.
DaSilky1 (2606) - San Diego, California, USA - NOV 12, 2011
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Draft bistro barrel aged fest. Amber color, orangish tan ring for head. Caramilized sugar nose akin to most barleywines and not much of any bourbon character. Flavors however bring out some of the bourbon along with the normal sugary, sticky barleywine flavors. Body consumes the mouth fairly well..nice, smooth, and soothing...but nothing spectacular is jumping out and the caramelized sugar profile overshadows whatever the bourbon is trying to showcase.