Nena (963) - Seattle, Washington, USA - MAR 20, 2010
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Draft, Hard Liver, í07 vintage. Dark brown pour, white head. Aroma is sweet and caramelly, with vanilla notes. This has a huge, yet subtle flavor. Has the characteristic barley wine sweet caramel and toffee, with sticky raisin notes and vanilla. Overall this is one the sweet side, but is balanced out by light earthy and grassy hop bitterness and pronounced oakiness. This is very drinkable with no noticable alcohol harshness. Very nice, and certainly the most balanced barley wine I had today.
BeerBunker (831) - Burbank, Illinois, USA - NOV 8, 2009
2.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
FOBAB 09. Pours ruby with a small off-white head. Aroma is strongly of Jim Beam, wood, sugar, malt, and caramel. Taste starts off with a huge Jim Beam character that never subsides and dominates the entire beer. There are some characters of wood and caramel, but they are extremely muted. There is also an undelying earthiness that doesnít quite work. Has a base of dry malt that is dominated by the bourbon flavor. Lingering taste of more Jim Beam. The alcohol is well masked behind the flavor, but it does have a nice warming effect. If you donít like Jim Beam, you wonít like this beer. Itís all bourbon, with very little of the actual beer still there. Not impressed, at all.
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.
deaconmike (418) - Roswell, Georgia, USA - JUN 5, 2013
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Sample at the Brewpub. Poured dark caramel. Malty sweetness in the nose, oak, and some vanilla. Taste is almost like a port - lots of dark fruit, raisin. Oak and caramel present as well. Full bodied. Sweetness was high, but not overbearing. Only had a sample, so not sure how is like that for a full pint. This was the 2011 version.
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.
jethrodium (366) - Berkeley, California, USA - NOV 16, 2011
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
On tap at the Bistro Barrel Aged Beer Fest. Pours a clear copper with a small tan head that has good retention and leaves some light lacing on the glass. Aroma is vanilla, caramel, a bit of oak, some bourbon, a bit of light alcohol, and a little bit of cherry. The initial taste is sweet vanilla, followed by some oak, caramel, a little bit of nuttiness, and some bourbon. The finish is warm with alcohol. Medium bodied. Low carbonation. Enjoyable barley wine. Perhaps a tad too sweet, but very good.
mwsf (360) - San Francisco, California, USA - FEB 16, 2003
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
On tap at the 2003 Toronado Barleywine Festival: Nice vanilla flavor. Good malt aroma and flavor. Nice bitterness.
furthur (352) - Eagle River, Alaska, USA - DEC 14, 2014
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
Sampler 2012 aged in American oak barrels at 12 days of barley wine. Deep cloudy Amber, ring of foam. Aroma is raisins and plums and cherries. taste is plum and cherries, faint spice and salt. Fairly sweet, with fine carbonation. Finish is sweet.
waltersrj (280) - Washington, USA - MAR 22, 2010
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Draft at Brouwerís Hard Liver 8 (2010). This was a 2007 vintage. The pour was a deep reddish brown with a small dissipating white head. The nose was amazing; toffee, sweet caramel malt, oak, vanilla, and bourbon? The taste was a generous portion of sweet caramel malt and toffee transitioning into oak and vanilla before giving off an earthy, grassy hop aftertaste. This was my favorite at the festival as well, glad it won.
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.