Oakes (12809) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - AUG 5, 2006
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Dark brown with burgundy highlights. Intense whiskey, tamari, burnt plum, and alcohol in the aroma...now thatís attention-grabbing. Thick, oily, but lively, in that Galeís POA sort of way. Flavour brings toffee, Highland malt, more tamari, dark fruits, chocolate chip cookies. Smooth, sweet, gorgeous. As giant beers, not only does this measure up in terms of complexity but also in terms of balance and drinkability. Hot damn.
bu11zeye (11973) - Frisco (Dallas), Texas, USA - JUL 21, 2010
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
(355ml bottle, courtesy of ĺ) Pours a brown body with excellent legs. Aroma of soy sauce (quite salty), brown sugar, caramel, raisins, molasses, and alcohol. Flavor of alcohol, toffee, caramel, raisins, and soy.
argo0 (11712) - Washington DC, USA - MAY 14, 2003
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Black body, no head. Aroma is moderately sweet, anise, slightly smoky. Taste is much the same, but also with alcohol bitterness and finishing with an alcohol burn. While definitely noticeable, the alcohol is neither overwhelming nor unpleasant. A big, beautiful beer.
kp (10884) - Woodstock, Georgia, USA - JUN 7, 2008
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Appearance: clear dark brown, headless, thick viscous legs,
Aroma: rich rum soaked dark fruit aroma, alcohol shows as it breaths a while and then starts to disapate again, brown sugar sweetness,
Body: body appears big at first but the alcohol thins it out,
Flavor: hot caramel and brown sugar flavor, plenty of residual woody earthyness adds the balancing bitterness, lingering alcohol finish, touch of chocolate backed by a dark caramel character that offers a hint of sweetness, touch of licorice adds to the sweet backend,
Aroma: 9/10; Appearance: 8/10; Flavor: 8/10; Palate: 8/10; Overall: 17/20
daknole (9609) - Scottsdale, Arizona, USA - JUN 30, 2010
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
Wow the holy grail of beer. A lot of work went into getting this beer, but a special thanks to Diego for the harpoon that brought THE beer to what was the best tasting I may ever attend. Rich brownish red pour. No head to speak of. Aroma of raisins, sherry, some light smoke, vanilla and rich toffee. Flavor is so bold. The vanilla and port jump out and grab you while wisps of raisins, molasses, caramel, sherry wine, brown sugar and plums dance around your taste buds. Just to try this I am humbled. It was awesome. Simply amazing. Thank you Diego.
JoeMcPhee (8746) - Toronto, ON, Ontario, CANADA - DEC 31, 2008
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
I really can’t believe that I got a chance to try this. Many, many thanks to fredandboboflo. Deep amber brown beer with no head at all. Aroma is very rich and sweet. There is a lot going on in here... cocoa, tobacco, wood and bourbon. Cherry, molasses and a lot of sweet dried fruit. Pomegranate and date molasses wrapped around sweet honey hazelnuts and almonds. Finishes quite sweet and cocoaish with lingering date and a savoury licorice/soy character. Fairly boozy retronasally, but this isn’t really noticible in the mouth. Sort of like a rich mix of tawny port, bourbon, and barleywine. It’s hard to believe that this works nearly as well as it does. Again, many thanks for sharing such a gem of a beer.
3fourths (8291) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - JUL 23, 2004
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: SEP 26, 2012 Sampled @ the brewery during RBSG 2004. Dark brown, light brown head. Very vinous, with sweet molasses, candy-like flavors... slightly bubbly, roasted wood everywhere. Does not resemble 29% at ALL. A bite of sweet cherries and plums with some brown sugar, warming the mouth and throat as you swallow. Really remarkable that this experience is sweet chocolate and brown sugar in the middle, and itís not as thick as 29% would suggest. Really excellent.
Ughsmash (7203) - Pewaukee, Wisconsin, USA - JUL 13, 2008
4.6 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Worcestershire sauce bottle, 375ml. Poured deep, murkier brown with no head but some mighty fine legs! The aroma picked up deep, dark caramel, chocolate, and toffee with tar and maple rising greatly with warmth.. some spicy alcohol was evident, but nowhere near the level you’d expect.. amped-up port wine and more maple singe the nose hairs right at the back. The flavor had deep port-laden maple syrup and charred, well-aged caramel at the core.. salty soy and dark chocolatey notes come through in a second wave.. some older oaky notes at the back with warming maple and soy again.. warmed up the belly, but the booze factor was somehow held in check.. wow! Full bodied, thick, and syrupy on the palate.. heat fell into the stomach.. great balance. Phenominal!
CaptainCougar (7132) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - JUN 16, 2008
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
2oz sample from a 375ml clear bottle: Pours a still, viscous, transparent dark copper amber mahogany with nice legs. Rich aroma of caramel, toffee, brown sugar, maple syrup and raisins along with a touch of toasted malt and slightly warming alcohol. Body starts very rich, full and dense with good caramel sweetness and complex peanut brittle flavors. Flavor has hints of tobacco and honey before a semi-dry slightly toasty finish with noticable, but not overpowering warmth and a touch of mint. I sampled this alongside a 2007 Sam Adams Utopias and this was earthier and much drier with some woody notes, but hid the alcohol much better than the Utopias. Overall, a very unique and complex beer that I was glad to have the chance to try. I hope Alan gets a chance to recreate this on a larger, less expensive scale.
Ernest (6418) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - AUG 27, 2004
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Head is initially small, frothy, light brown, fully diminishing. Body is medium/dark brown. Aroma is moderately malty (caramel, molasses), with notes of sherry, dates, brown sugar, wood, and alcohol. Flavor is heavily sweet, lightly acidic. Finish is moderately sweet, lightly acidic, lightly bitter. Full body, syrupy texture, soft carbonation, moderately alcoholic. Although it was enjoyable, especially considering the weight, I may be the only person on the planet that wasnít blown away by this. Perhaps partly because of the oxidation in the nose (makes me cringe every time), partly because itís too sweet for me to drink more than a few sips of. And the aromatic components, ignoring the oxidation, werenít terribly intriguing or enticing for me. Bottom line, there are other barleywines (and eisbocks in the lager world) that I enjoy more. Amazingly unguessable alcohol though...itís certainly in the nose and burns the throat a bit, but it sure as heck doesnít seem like itís over 15%, much less 25%. Fun beer to try, but not something Iíd purchase. Now Fred of the Wood, thatís a different story!