KickInChalice (860) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAR 15, 2012
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
From notes. First reviewed 12/18/2011. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a pint glass at Monkís Pub. 2011 bottle.
A relatively small tan froth is touched with a few large rocky bubbles. The beer itself has a full brown color with some ruby edges. Mostly opaque with just a few transparent edges, this looks like a good barleywine.
The aroma is full of vanilla, oak, caramel, brown sugar, milk chocolate, figs, dates, and a large dose of bourbon for good measure.
There is a great bit of vanilla in the flavor. Vanilla sticks to the gooey caramel malt and brown sugar, coats the figs and dates, and leaves a good bit of residual flavor. Some cocoa adds a bit of further sweetness with a toasted bready malt before a strong bourbon and oak presence almost overwhelms my palate. I enjoy this flavor, but I was not quite as excited about it as the other two I shared the bottle with.
There is a fairly strong sweetness up front that rests on the tongue and adds a sticky feel, but this sensation is more than balanced out by the dry bourbon and oak toward the end. The carbonation is about 75% smooth and creamy and 25% adding a bit of bubbly crispness.
This beer has quickly gained a name for itself, from festivals last year and FOBAB this year. The bottles drink very well, and I imagine this will get even better as some of the flavors blend together over time.
Ughsmash (7507) - Pewaukee, Wisconsin, USA - MAR 10, 2012
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bomber. Poured very deep garnet with a short-lived khaki head. The aroma picked up rich vanilla, bourbon, and molasses with some oak too.. deep, dark, and welcoming.. large and in charge. The flavor found molasses, aged caramel, figs, and bourbon-laced raisins at the core.. tangy bourbon and oak plus peppery spices around.. more fruits, vanilla, barrel, and warmth on the long finish. Heavy-bodied with low carbonation on the palate.. lots of deep, resonating warmth.. came together really well.
drabmuh (194) - Maryland, USA - MAR 7, 2012
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
I figured Iíd write a few reviews tonight so I thought Iíd start with this. At the time of this review, this is the #1 American Barleywine on the "Top Beers - American Barleywine" -- serve in a Stone IRS snifter because it was handy.
Beer is dark brown, mostly clear, lazy thin head, no real lacing, low carbonation, low everything.
Aroma is sweet, nice, overall, a good liquor level, mildly oaky, sweet mostly.
Beer is fucking amazing, seriously so. Smooth as anything Iíve ever drank, at first bright sweetness, strong palate, i was worried for about a second, then boom, liquor, oak, malt sweetness, nice yeast presence, strong, great finish perhaps a little dryer than i like it but this beer? Seriously? wow. Just wow.
djd07 (8832) - Houston, Texas, USA - MAR 5, 2012
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle as shown shared at RBWG 2012. Pours a dark brown with light beige head leaving sticky lacing. The aroma is roasted malt and chocolate. Thin mouthfeel with light roast oak and vanilla. Hides the alcohol well with a nice smooth finish. Wow really enjoyed this one, a very impressive barley wine from Goose Island.
Maltajo (329) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - MAR 3, 2012
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
750 mil bottle from Fastpass! Big thick pour with a light brown head. Heavy bourbon front end that transforms to cherry chocholet spice.
A very nice beer!
slimchill (1044) - Austin, Texas, USA - MAR 2, 2012
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle. Maple syrup and vanilla notes nose. Deep brown. Wow. Just, wow. this is one of the most interesting things Iíve ever tasted. The first sensation is pure maple syrup but without the sweetness. Chocolate, toffee, and caramel comes next. Silky and sticky and smooth. Possibly one of the best beers Iíve ever had.
Errl (2440) - Plano, Texas, USA - FEB 29, 2012
4.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle shared at RBWG- Nose is vanilla,chocolate, dark candy...Taste is wood, vanilla, chocolate, light alcohol and malts..Palate is thick and bold..Damn i love this beer
Smeade (80) - Illinois, USA - FEB 28, 2012
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
S: slightly opaque, garnet, rusty
A: strong boozy nose, rich sweet vanilla, maybe even a little tart cherry
T: solid oak, bourbon, mellow vanilla, sweet & sour, as beer warms, less sweet & more tart
O: a fantastic brew, one of the best from GI, this beer rocks
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
McGrupp612 (139) - Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 26, 2012
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Bottle into a snifter. Iím glad I didnt share this one. brown with little head. Aroma is vanilla, dried dark fruits, coconut, brown sugar, and bourbon. Flavor is sweet ( but not cloying) with brown sugar, vanilla, coconut, bourbon, dates, figs and a little bit of chocolate. Very little carbonation and full body. This is so smooth. If you like heavy, sweet and indulgent barleywines, it does not get much better than this. Very impressive.
Fratto (2845) - Arlington, Texas, USA - FEB 26, 2012
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle shared at the RBWG in Austin. Deep brown pour with a small head. Aroma is chocolate, wood spice, alcohol, and bread. Taste is Chocolate, alcohol, and Christmas cookies.