ThisWangsChung (826) - Leonardtown, Maryland, USA - MAR 2, 2014
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
12 oz bottle into a tulip.
A: Pours a murky dark brown color. Practically no head is formed - there isnít even much of a collar. The íheadí is off-white color, I guess. It doesnít look like much at all, but given what this beer is, itís a moot point.
S: And right before, sweet bourbon character hits the nostrils immediately. Vanilla, coconut, oak; you name it, itís here. Here, itís backed by a wonderful dark fruit aroma and (slightly) lesser chocolate notes. This smells like it will be one of the best dessert beers ever.
T: Holy frig. The opening flavors are heavy in vanilla, coconut, and bourbon. But that finish...dear lord, dat finish - what a vibrant explosion of dark fruit goodness. The finish becomes more caramel-forward as it gradually opens up. Thereís a slight booze note post-swallow and itís hardly a distraction. Some slight barrel comes through here, too. This brew has a lot to offer in terms of complexity and flavor, with everything easily distinct yet harmonious and well balanced (if rather sweet - hey, itís a barleywine). In many ways, itís even better than regular BCBS.
M: The secret here is how much smoother it is than most in the style. Even with a faint alcoholic bite, itís wonderfully soft yet with a cake-like density. It goes down as easily as a 12% barrel-aged monster can go down.
O: Iíve had a few barrel-aged barleywines before (Sucaba and Insanity spring to mind), but this is so far above those two itís not even funny. Everything here is brilliantly defined without being moronic. Best barleywine Iíve ever had? More like one of the best beers Iíve ever had.
Curse you, InBev.
rouhlas (784) - GREECE - MAY 28, 2015
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
355ml bottle at the Hoppy Pub, Thessaloniki, courtesy of skullgeorge. Dark copper brown color with beige light brown head. Malty aroma, caramel, dark dried fruits, wood, vanilla, bourbon. Sweet and light bitter taste, like aroma with chocolate addition. Medium to full oily body with soft carbonation and warming alcoholic finish.
Underdogs88 (259) - New Jersey, USA - MAY 22, 2015
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Rich malt aroma with fruity esters. Appearance is a cloudy brown with a small tan head. Flavor has intense malt flavors with strong notes of bourbon. Esters are high. Oak is present and at the right level. Mouthfeel is full-bodied with medium low carbonation. Overall, it's a good tasting beer. The bourbon character is little strong though.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
kkleu357 (541) - Madison, Wisconsin, USA - MAY 11, 2015
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
On tap at Coopers Tavern during Madison Beer Week. Dark brown body with a small head. Big sweet aroma. Very sweet tasting. Hints of dark fruits, oak, some vanilla. Mild bourbon bite. Had this right after Vanilla Rye so itís tough to appreciate, but still very good.
Couch0508 (75) - Flat rock, Michigan, USA - MAY 10, 2015
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
The absolute best barleywine that you can get your hands on. I prefer stouts but this has helped me start to open the door to barleywines.
JMerritt (1871) - Macomb, Illinois, USA - MAY 10, 2015
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottled. Pours a very dark cocoa brown with a small, thin light-brown head. A few small particulates floating throughout. Rich, malty aroma: raisins, overripe plums, sugared dates, molasses, bakers chocolate and burnt oak. Alcohol is very subdued in the nose. Super smooth maltiness to the flavor, slightly syrupy with a mild carbonation. Flavor is a bit earthier than the aroma, with some mild spruce atop big caramel malts, candied plums, a metric ton of brown sugar and molasses, and a touch of charred wood and bourbon in the finish. Super smooth and rich - very nice, but glad I split the 12 ounce bottle with my wife.
argo0 (11962) - Washington DC, USA - MAY 3, 2015
3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
12oz bottle. Small tan head atop black body with brown edge. Aroma is moderately sweet, Bourbon, some chocolate, caramel, raisin. Taste is sweet, chocolate, Bourbon, plum/raisin, some alcohol burn. Sticky medium-full body, minimal carbonation.
thirdeye11 (5739) - Dallas, Texas, USA - APR 20, 2015
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
(12oz bottle) deep and rich mahogany body, fast-fading offwhite bubbles. Nose of vanilla bean, rich caramel bourbon, sticky brown sugar, touch of alcohol. Taste of vanilla bean, rich caramel, tobacco, alcohol, bourbon, some barrel wood thatís lightly charred. The bourbon is less than that found in bourbon county, but that makes sense given these are second use barrels. A delicious barleywine. To be honest, one of the best out there.
JefVerstraete (1968) - Ghent, BELGIUM - APR 14, 2015
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle from a trade. Many thanks! Dark brown colour, beige foam. Medium carbonation. Sweet aroma with notes of caramel, bourbon, vanilla and honey. Very sweet but balanced. Good.
pepsican (1496) - @ $13.99, Iowa, USA - APR 11, 2015
3.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 12/20
Cola with an off white head. Rich vanilla, banana, raisin, alcohol, macedamia nutes. Sweet. Very sweet. Brown sugar. Has oxidized sherry notes. Chewy. Ok dessert bier I guess but eh.
gunnar (6199) - Sandnes, NORWAY - APR 11, 2015
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle from my secret santa. Bottled 24.9.13. Pours almost clear deep dark brown with a small creamy tanned head.Aroma of sweet caramel malts, loaded with toffee as well. Smooth mouthfeel.Taste is sweet caramel and vanilla with weak burning bourbon on top, pleasant one to enjoy in small amounts, even better with a full bottle mind.