Acetobacter (816) - Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 6, 2011
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Enjoyed from a 12oz bottle in a chalice. The beer pours a medium to slightly dark amber color, with a moderate white head that lessens, but still remains for essentially the duration of the sample’s consumption. The nose shows strong English medium-high and high crystal malt; brown sugar, raison, and candied prune. As the sample appears to have some age on it, hop notes have fallen away. The palate is full, in-your-face, and unmistakably that of a Barley Wine-style ale. Raison, slight sherry notes, caramel, molasses, and a slight tinge of character-adding alcohol come through. Residual sweetness levels are high, coming quite close to being cloying. Carbonation is nicely calibrated. Mouthfeel is full, without being inappropriately filling. The general flavor profile of the sample is not unlike a tawny port. The finish is long, sweet, and full of English crystal malt character. Overall, an example of the style that is pleasant, but highly aggressive, and close to being unbalanced. Enjoyable.
superspak (2115) - Michigan, USA - MAR 6, 2014
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
12 ounce bottle into snifter, 2012 vintage bottling. Big crack upon opening, very highly carbonated. Pours lightly hazy/cloudy ruby red color with a 2-3 finger foamy light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty foamy lacing clings around the glass, with a large amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of big tangerine, grapefruit, citrus rind, pine, pepper, floral, grass, caramel, toast, brown sugar, raisin, honey, herbal, and floral earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of hop and malt notes; with great strength. Taste of big grapefruit, orange zest, citrus rind, caramel, toast, toffee, brown sugar, raisin, honey, floral, grass, pine, herbal, and floral/toasted earthiness. Fair amount of earthy floral/pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, orange zest/rind, pine, caramel, toast, toffee, brown sugar, raisin, honey, floral, herbal, and floral/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice balance and complexity of citrus/pine hops with dark malt/honey flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a moderately slick and fairly sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent barleywine. All around great balance and complexity of malt and hop flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.
Tonkun (583) - New Jersey, USA - MAR 6, 2014
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Tap at brewery. Copper pour with a white head. Raisin, floral, meaty, oak, pine. Medium body with a slightly bitter finish
radarsock (753) - Vermont, USA - MAR 4, 2014
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
11% abv, listed on bottom of label. $6.99 for the 12 ounce bottle purchased from El Cerrito earlier today. To pint, it pours a smoggy, hazy varnish dark brown; no head visible, only bubbles, but they had dispersed rather quickly. Aromas of wet tobacco, graham crackers, honey, duct tape, licorice, burnt rubber, elderberries, pilsner malt, sour grass, carrots, sweet onions, grapes, cedar, and caramel. Tastes the same with the addition of topsoil, walnuts, booze, cotton, white chocolate, English yeast, duck fat, and sage. Hibiscus, feta, cinnamon, and hops by swallow. Packs a wallop! Dangerously drinkable. Alcohol crept progressively, but wasn’t hidden. Had a slight underlying acidic note hinting at orange peels and limes. Good grief, is there a lot in this little bottle.
Paincane (43) - Georgia, USA - MAR 3, 2014
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Opaque copper colored brew w/ creamy tan head. Aromas of bread, toffee & brown sugar. Biscuity malt flavors with honey. Full flavored & boozy.
gendv138 (232) - Falls Church, Virginia, USA - MAR 2, 2014
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: MAR 3, 2014 Bottle (2013, 11% ABV) poured into a Belgian snifter. Pours a murky/cloudy dark caramel brown with no head, good bit of yeast and sediment towards the end of the pour. Aromas of dark fruit, caramel, molasses, toffee, light piney hops. Tasting notes of dark fruit, piney hops, caramel, toffee, big sweetness, a bit of citrus and toast. Very smooth for 11%. Medium body with a semi-dry and slightly hoppy finish, mouthfeel is slightly sticky with low carbonation. This may be the smoothest barleywine I’ve had so far, finishes just a hint warm if at all.
rxeight (975) - Illinois, USA - MAR 2, 2014
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Dark brown with dark red very murky. Aroma and taste is dominated by dark fruit. Plums raisins. Some underlying booze is in there. This is on the darker end for a barleywine. I respect what they are doing here and see why people like it but not feeling this one today.
DedicatedToFun (1811) - Santa Monica, California, USA - FEB 14, 2014
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
The perfect barley wine. On tap at hair of the dog. Amazing dark pour and strong and delicious.
dalekliz (823) - San Diego, California, USA - FEB 13, 2014
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
2008 bottle, decided it was high time I opened this one. Pours a dark brown-amber with a white ring. Rich aroma, sweet and boozy, of dark fruits, wood, citrus, malt, brown sugar, brandy. Taste starts crisp, with citrus, malt, booze, wood, then picks up a big rich sweetness, of dates, figs, brown sugar. Lingering sweet wood and brandy that ends soft. Six years old and still going strong.
conway (1047) - - FEB 12, 2014
3.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 1/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle. Dark ruby with no head. Aroma is caramel and toffee with some pineapple and citrus. Taste is caramel, toffee, orange juice, other citrus. Light pine notes on the finish. Unfortunately the beer is totally flat and syrupy. Reminds me a bit of Hawaiian Punch. I actually bought this beer twice thinking the first bottle was messed up, but alas it appears this is a feature not a bug. It's really a shame. Just a little carb would make this a home run.
Johnsense (669) - - FEB 3, 2014
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: FEB 13, 2014 Murky brown pour. sweet aroma, caramel, bread. Lots of caramel, fruity, toffee, raisin, Booze is hidden well. My big issue with this beer is the mouthfeel - where’s the carbonation??