ClarkVV (3892) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - JAN 18, 2007
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Original vintage bomber shared by SuIIy on 1/6/06. Didnít write down the bottle number.
A dirty beige head, flecked with dark ivory, rises up to two fingers in height. Medium-mahogany to chestnut brown body still shows plentiful carbonation and dull chartreuse tints. The head shows moderate retention and produces very sticky lacing all about the glass. Medium clarity.
Rich brown bread-like maltiness is immediately matched with light prune and date-like notes. Strong base malt sugars add a creamy sweetness in the background, as well. A bit of alcohol warmth emerges in the middle, beginning to dry the aroma out, while dry chocolate and crunchy, coffeeish roast continues the trend. The finish is dotted with more of the prune and date notes, perhaps adding a bit juicier raisin-like note as well as some buttertoffee. No trace of hop aromatics due in part to the age, but it dosent seem like this was ever overly aromatic (but thereís plenty of pine and citrus bitterness). Curiously, with warming, a very distinct yeast note emerges on the finish. Not sure what it is, but Iíve smelled it before. Itís plasticy/rubbery and dry, but dosent seem unpleasant. Rather it mixes with the malts to give almost a cola-like note. Perhaps itís autolysis, but itís rather clean and well behaved, if so. Aroma strength is medium to medium-high, though the complexities/subtleties far outmatch the sheer strength.
Sweet at first, with caramel and base malts mixing with the darker roasted malts to produce sweet chocolate and toffee notes. Light hints of alcohol produce a Spanish coffee-like note that balances the sweetness and adds some life to this vintage sipper. Plenty of raisins, prunes and dates, with strong vanilla-like sweetness continue the English feel to it. It dries out heavily on the finish, however, with crusty, bare, dark malts and a hard brown breadiness that dulls the previous fruitiness. Bit of alcohol heat comes on with warming, and the malts get a little edgier.
Great presentation of flavors, but unfortunately, the body suffers from a noticeable amount of thinness. Not caused by age or carbonation, but just seemingly not enough unfermentables to really give the richness and bravado of some of the better English barleywines. The carbonation is appropriate (medium-light, not sharp) and the texture is reasonable (smooth and oily), but the thinness is at odds with the nature of this beer. While it allows for more drinkability, barleywines are by no means intended to be a quick quaffer, nor do the flavors here allow it to be.
bb (6784) - Alamo, California, USA - JAN 17, 2007
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle. Rich dark caramel color with a tan head. Grapefruit hop aroma with caramel. Big grapefruit flavor with caramel, some fruitiness and alcohol. Some roastiness underneath. Lingering grapefruit and pine. Lots of hops - only difference between this and standard IIPA is that the aroma isnít as strong here.
illinismitty (2270) - Nashville, Tennessee, USA - JAN 15, 2007
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle from Shawan Liquors in Cockeysville, MD. Shared at the Nashville Tasting. Pours deep amber with a tan head. Fruity and hoppy aroma, not much maltiness in the nose. Medium light texture as far as barley wines go. Flavor is fairly hoppy and fruit with a caramel maltiness taking a back seat. Not overly complex but decent. This reminds me of a fruitier Bigfoot.
cbkschubert (2900) - BFE, Arizona, USA - JAN 14, 2007
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
22 oz. bottle from Plaza Liquor - Pours a deep mahogany color with a two finger thick light tan head which slowly fades. Nice layered lacing left behind as the head settles. Big floral, pine, rersin and light citrus hop aroma. Has a sweet residual malt flavor with a nice hop presences and some light esters. Thick palate and full body. This is the way I like my BWís. Look out Bigfoot.
GreatLibations (1854) - Last Supper, Arizona, USA - JAN 13, 2007
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
Pours the color of leathered blood orange w/ a full semi creamy, spattered froth that recedes slowly. Aroma of huge piney hops and sweet caramel. Full nectar w/ mellow residual effers. This is a hopped up version of the style. When youíre sick of barley wine, drink this one. A generous use of hops hides the sweet caramel all the way to the end leaving bitter scar tissue. I find myself feeling for sloughed off inner mouth tissue. Nuances [is all they could be called after that assault] of cramel, slight cherry, and leather. This is the arena where IIPA meets Barley Wine. A nice change of pace. Finish is blistering w/ the hops really digging in. I highly recommend this brew.
FrancoisMtl (63) - Boisbriand, Quebec, CANADA - JAN 9, 2007
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
This BW has a great floral aroma with nice caramel and toffey flavors. It is also well balanced. This is one of the great american Barley Wine I have tasted. Thanks to Fordest for this one.
TheBeerLover (1025) - DC Metro Area, USA - JAN 6, 2007
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: JAN 7, 2007 22 oz bomber. If you like Sierra Nevada Big Foot Ale, you will enjoy Green Flash Barleywine. This beer pours to a bright, deep caramel color, with a thick, creamy, tan head that slowly fades, and a moderate carbonation. The nose on this beer just bursts with big aromas of pine, and resin. The palate is slightly slick, and full on the tongue, with lots of good caramel malt sweetness, and a nice resiny/piney hop flavor. This beer finishes with more good caramel malt and piney hop flavor up front, then ends with a big, piney/resiny hop bite that lingers with some warming alcohol heat. This beer is a Big Foot clone, and a great example of a West Coast barleywine that packs a big blast of hop, along with malt and alcohol. I enjoy drinking West Coast barleywines young, to really enjoy the intense hop character. You could cellar this one, but like with Big Foot, the hop character will fade over the years.
Numenor (871) - Richmond, Virginia, USA - JAN 6, 2007
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Ruby body with a light orange tint. Thin head. Aroma of pine from the hops. Taste is very hoppy with some light spices. Ending is sweet and light hops again. Basically a beer on the dividing line between IIPAs and Barleywines.
jimmack (1222) - Nutley, New Jersey, USA - JAN 4, 2007
2.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
22oz. bomber. Clear copper color with a medium sized beige head. Aroma was all citrus hops, with very little malt detected. Never would have guessed this was a BW by the aroma. Very bitter hop flavor. Lots of grapefruit pith, a bit of pine, and again hardly any malt to round this beer out. If this was a IIPA, I would say it was too one dimensional. But being a barleywine, it is even more so. It should have a much bigger malt profile. I couldnít finish more than 8oz. before my taste buds started to melt.
Bockyhorsey (2609) - Mesa, Arizona, USA - DEC 27, 2006
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
22 oz. Bomber; Aroma had a malty sweetness and some alcohol. Amber body with a tan head. Full body brew with a syrupy medium sweet fruity flavor. Despite the alcohol presence this was an enjoyable sipping brew as I watch the Packers beat the Vikings.