ElGaucho (2371) - Minnetonka, Minnesota, USA - DEC 20, 2005
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
2005. Draught from one of only 2 kegs available in the Twin Cities area (the other one, at the Happy Gnome, had recently run dry). Had this at Barley Johnís. Fruity, somewhat sweet aroma with some hops. Dark, ruby red in color with a small, off-whie head. Nice lace. Caramel flavor with a high alcohol profile. Sweet. Very nice. Improved as it warmed. Initially I wasnít liking it as much as the Fred, which I was the beer I had previously had that evening. Therefore, at first I was hoping for a little more. As it warmed it improved. Very smooth for a barley wine; I didnít know it was a barley wine until just now.
IPFreely (1470) - Sanborn, New York, USA - DEC 20, 2005
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
2004 magnum from wohlfs (thanks Steve!). Mahogany colored beer with a firm beige head on top, a bit murky. What an aroma, complex and balanced, full on fig and date with bigger spicy hops, dark fruit, caramel, and some light yeast character. Full body delivers a rush of dark fruit, followed by caramel, spice, and finally a punch of spicy hops. The alcohol is only an afterthought and it is welcome as it mingles throughout. Long lasting finish. Wow this was friggin good.
Radek Kliber (6900) - Toronto (Can) Krotoszyn (Pol), POLAND - DEC 16, 2005
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Ruby amber brew, rocky crown on top. From the start you are welcomed with this lovely refreshing hop character. Light citric/malty danced wrapped by alcohol. With time nose uncovers more of peach flowery aromas. At first sip you will realize how complex this ale is. Complex set of aromatic, high alpha hops, juicy malts pale and dark. All this very well done, in good balance. Highly recommended.
mds (2250) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - DEC 13, 2005
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
magnum bottle. 2004. thanks a lot to wohlfs for contributing this to the party. murky brown-mahogany body with a small off-white head. aroma is beautiful - caramel, woody oak character, butterscotch, chewy pine hops, and yeast. the body is immensely complex! very sweet malty flavours with fruit and warm bread notes. superb balance. finishes with a sticky residue on the lips. tasty!
Gorbalev (3000) - Ontario, CANADA - DEC 11, 2005
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
2004 magnum, Dougís, Christmas 05. Dark brown with orange hues, small off white head, very bubbly. Lots of hops in aroma, tons of sweet malt, some yeast - wow, nice and formidable. Really nice balanced malt and hop taste - there is tons of both here and they are balanced perfectly. A really nice fruitiness is there in the background as well. What a wonderful barleywine - my best of show.
blankboy (7058) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - DEC 11, 2005
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Magnum at íDecember at DougShoemakerís 2005í -- courtesy of ?. Vintage 2004. Pours a murky reddish-brown with a small fizzy off-white head. Wonderful aroma of big fresh citrus hops followed by sweet malt, alcohol and dark fruit. I love the smell! The flavour (one word: DELICIOUS!) also starts big with the hops then a sweet fruity taste follows and finally some malt, sugar, spices and smoke. The alcohol is warming and just right for a 10.5% beer. This beer is so complex and definitely one of the best Barley Wines Iíve ever had the pleasure of having. At a tasting where I rated 32 beers this was the beer of the night. Fantastic!
Schroppfy (2360) - Łůdż, Warsaw, Poland; Michigan, Ohio, USA - DEC 10, 2005
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
What is there to say about this classic? Definitely piney, but bitter in other ways (bitter vegetable greens in the best way!). Sweet bready malt. Hefty, especially with the yeast pour, but remarkable in itís solidity given that it is 11.5%. Andre sent this and I say Yeah!
Crockett (1066) - Southampton,Ontario, Ontario, CANADA - DEC 5, 2005
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Magnum sample (bottom end). Pours murky brown with lots of sediment. Thin tan head. Piney nose with brown sugar, burnt butter, booze and wood. Sweet and laced thoughout with chocolate, berry tart, butter, raisins, cake and wood. Sour milk. Big and bold. Unfortunately I had the bottom of the bottle which had some rather large tobacco sized sediment. None the less the flavours of whiskey and toasted barley prevailed. Quite delicious and I wait for a sample, somewhere near the middle.
auerbrau (3203) - Ithaca, New York, USA - DEC 4, 2005
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: APR 28, 2009 2004 On tap at Barley Johns. Extremely soup murky red, like a glowing early morn Northern California fog. Wow, wicked aroma. Incredible bright fruit wicks, with mellow west coast-esque hops jumping with lime zest, fresh orange and a touch of lemongrass. This all mingles with some rounded fruit notes, including fruitcake and mellow brandy and figs. The aroma is wholly unrestrained. Flavor is equally astounding, with a symphonic three phase series. It starts with a shallow resiny grass hop a la IPA, but then gracefully morphs into a rich, sweet candied fruit movement with pears, apples and a touch of hazlenut. Finally, it crescendos into a credibly creamy run, with figments of vanilla and creme fraiche. Palate lingers of resin, pine and floral, all fresh off the tree. Completing this symphony full circle. This has got to be one of the most amazingly rounded barleywines Iíve ever savored. Whole, deep, complex, exhilirating and inspiring. Iím holding back from a 5, only because the hops come on a little strong in the palate and it could use some more spice and heavy malt sweetness.
badgerben (4768) - Blaine, Minnesota, USA - NOV 30, 2005
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Tap at Barley Johnís; 2004 Vintage. Mud red color with no head. Aroma of caramel and toffee. The taste keeps those two followed up with a strong hop bitterness (Cascade?). Kind of a syrupy finish.