TheAlum (5909) - Aurora, Illinois, USA - DEC 2, 2014
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
12 oz bottle courtesy of an extra via trade on BA. Thanks. Pours a deeper brooding brownish ruby hue, healthy reddish deep glow and a clear body make this a show stopper. Frothy tannish head atop stays as a decent layer, good frothy cap with nice lacing overall. Aromas are firm brandy, that stick and oak, wet wood and vanillin meet spirit, warmth and dried apple. Touches of toast, toffee and gentle dark fruit meet more vanilla, carmelized malts and earthiness. A bit sticky, sweet, that brandy barrel offers some firm flavors and depth. Initial is still firmer body, some sticky depth is caramel, gentle oak and toffee. Toast, biscuits, a faint touch of leather and firm dried dark fruit skin meet a bit of butterscotch, spirit and warmth. Still that firmer malt base beneath. Some prickly tannic warmth creeps in, Brandy spirit and flavors, wet wood and vanillin. Some touches of cola, carmelized malts, gentle sugary residue. Backend is still a bit sticky but not overwhelming. Some vinous character creeps in, more butterscotch and caramel hang on. Touches of oak, earth, gentle warmth as we taper out. Overall, the beer itself has held up well. Still a firm body, not hot or brooding. However that butterscotch slickness does hang on and get a bit weird at times. But waves of toast and cocoa really pound hard and make this enjoyable at others. Solid stuff, the ABV tag on this boy doesn’t quite show up. A nice, well rounded warmer that shows a more potent nose than the beer itself lets up. Just a lushious deep pour that is quite alluring.
djd07 (3879) - Houston, Texas, USA - OCT 1, 2014
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle thanks to Tom. Pours a cloudy dark brown with thick creamy tan head that lasts. The aroma is strong brown sugar, figs, dark fruit. Thick mouthfeel with nice roast, caramel, figs, sweet finish. Very nice.
slowrunner77 (6084) - Reno, Nevada, USA - SEP 12, 2014
4.6 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
"Holy hell!! This year’s comes in at a whopping 12.8% and somehow manages to be smoother and to show less alcohol than the 10.1% Silva Stout (also a great beer). This beer is a near prefect marriage of brandy and barleywine. Aroma is as good as it gets...toffee, slight earthy hops, hefty dose of brandy, caramel. Taste is similar but I kept going back to stick my nose in the glass. Probably the 3rd best BW (and best brandy) I’ve ever had, behind only King Henry and Abacus. Amazingly smooth and deeeelicious."
GarrettB (1092) - San Diego, California, USA - MAY 29, 2014
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
September 8th, 2012 - My day out at Green Flash - celebrating with that inopportunely named corn hole game and oversized Jenga - came to a close with the heaviest weight fighter there: Sleepin’ with Shaggy. I STILL don’t know why it’s called that (and I’d love to know) but it’s a powerful brew. Even after a full day of broiling in the sun and tasting a whole slew of brews, I get all the regular mainstays of barley wines, including heavy notes of dark fruits like figs, as well as brown sugar, molasses and booze. More curiously, I pick up scents of the sea, sautéed scallops, spinach and sherry. Maybe my nose is friend, but whatever I am or am not smelling, I kind of like it. The taste is sweet at first, and then a little savory. Cinnamon, alcohol and honey splash on the tongue first, followed by the distinctive, deep honey taste of bourbon. After so many beers it’s a good thing this one has a little sinew behind it, as it makes a fine cap to a good festival’s day of drinking.
PotjeBier (1771) - Amsterdam, NETHERLANDS - APR 20, 2014
3.9 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
12 oz bottle from a trade with richiesd, big thanks! Bottled 12/18/12. 12.8%. Dark brown color with a reddish hue, somewhat cloudy. Light beige head. Aroma’s of (apple-)brandy, cognac, raisin, toffee, a bit umami. Retronasal there’s alcohol, apple brandy, caramel. Flavor is moderate to full sweet, fruity, alcohol, toffee. Rather strong alcohol feel. Medium bodied. Finishes with some toasted wood, fruity, light bitter. Not overdone, rather good!
hopscotch (9517) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - APR 20, 2014
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle... Lightly hazed, dark copper ale with a mid-sized, creamy, off-white head. The aroma is of caramel with a light splash of brandy. Full-bodied with a velvety mouthfeel and tingly carbonation. The flavor supplies the caramel and brandy promised by the bouquet. Not exceedingly sweet or boozy. Well-blended and very enjoyable. Thanks to richiesd for supplying the bottle!
cpetrone84 (1533) - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 28, 2014
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pour is dark brown with red edges and bubbly beige head. Nose is strong whiskey and wood, light sweet berry malt. Taste is heavy wood, light vanilla and whiskey. A bit of malt balance but the malt profile takes a back seat. Chocolate, a hint chalky, faint malt sweetness. Body is thick, strong carbonation to balance a big body.
BuckeyeBoy (2865) - Boise, Idaho, USA - DEC 2, 2013
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
500ml bottle thanks to Darrell. Pours out a ruby amber topped with a sand head. Nose is caramel sweetness pit fruit wood and some hop notes. Taste is as the nose sweet caramel nice rich malts and a good bitterness on the end a very tasty one.
arminjewell (6417) - Lansing, Michigan, USA - NOV 13, 2013
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pour on tap at GABF, dark brownish red pour with off white head, aroma brought big bourbon, oak, vanilla, into slight earth, spice notes, nice thick caramel, toffee and dark sugary malts, hints of dark fruit in there as well. Taste is a mix of bourbon, oak, slight spice into sweet toffee, dark fruits, slight vanilla, finishing with a hint of grass and spice, though still sweet.
GT2 (8741) - San Diego County, California, USA - NOV 4, 2013
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
500mL at SDBW kickoff. Pours a clear, deep red. Excellent foam. Nose is mild savory meat, heavy vanilla, spicy tamarind, hoppy/india red ale or Sierra Nevada style barleywine. Taste is spicy imperial red ale style, dense cake, big vanilla. Sharp, hoppy, balanced palate. Well done.