whaleman (2178) - North Wales, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 18, 2006
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
RBSG 2006 - Grand Tasting. Thanks to kp for making sure I got some of this. Pure amber hue and filmy white head. Fine aromas of cognac and champagne with strawberry esters. Flavor brings some fresh split oak and tons of Fredful complexity. Pleasant, sweet alcohol in the finish. Still seems young and needs more cellar time, but quite nice already. This is a highable cellarable gem in my view.
ThomasE (5176) - Copenhagen, DENMARK - JUL 18, 2006
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Cloudy orange beer with a small off white head. malty, caramel sweet aroma with oak wood notes, some fruit and a light alcohol sweetness. Malty caramel sweet flavor with notes of wood and vanilla. Thanx to sk8viking for sharing this one.
TAR (2495) - Lafayette, Colorado, USA - JUL 18, 2006
2.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
Honey apricot. Tightly-packed covering of sticky foam. Sappy and pungently oaky aromatics with brown sugar and muted phenols. Soft carbonation. Feisty phenols collide with very subtle sprucelike hops which are immediately overwhelmed by highly brash and unrefined hop flavors. Rather than the hops easing you in with soft nuances, they instead unleash a tongue lashing sting along with depthless leafy elements which only hinder the body. Brash citric-rind hop flavors generate more unyielding acidity while sassy oak and vanillin continue to exert their simplistic force, beneath. Plenty of gullet warmth from the alcohol. Ghostlike malts are overridden by a harsh phenolic dryness and thus fail to contribute and real texture. Combination of medicine and oak impart a cedary effect. Oak offers little else than a raw, one-dimensional pungency. No tannins and only the lightest skim of oaken dryness. Finishes soggy and heavily mucky, as medicine, peppery alcohol, and bitter grapefruit assault the palate. All the while, annoying oak pungency lingers for what seems like an eternity. Overall, the hops are extremely soggy, acidic, simplistic, terribly brash, and sorely lack definition and brightness. I should note that Iím not a huge fan of their yeast, so I made sure to let the yeast completely settle to the point of there being no haze whatsoever. Despite this, itís still responsible for a large portion of the astringency, and when coupling that with the abundance of medicine and hop brashness, this becomes fatiguing after only a few swallows. As is the case with so many other HotD ales, this is showing early signs of infection (bottle-conditioning yeast is likely the culprit). Therefore I predict this will do nothing but rapidly deteriorate as it ages. My humble advice to HotD would be to do what Southampton has done and find a different yeast for bottle conditioning. No doubt a commendable effort for a great cause.
kmweaver (3207) - Petaluma, California, USA - JUL 17, 2006
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: FEB 2, 2008 Rerate. 12oz bottle, batch 64, courtesy of glkaiser. Thanks a ton, Geoff! Damn, this is good. Pours a murky, orange brown color; fluffy, light tan head with fine-bubbled retention and lacing that coats the glass; a gorgeous pour. Lovely, toasted oak and dried caramel presence in the aroma; soft, perfectly integrated barrel aging; inky, dried red fruits; impressively dense malt core, with orange and mineral bitterness present. The hop character, which showed up as something of an afterthought in the aroma, is far more present in the mouth; full mouthfeel; dense, intense oranges coupled perfectly with toasted oakiness (vanilla, intricate wood presence); tons of fruitiness, with dried caramel (not really from oxidation; just solid malts); dense but well-attenuated, making for a very generous, drinkable beer; no alcohol to speak of. Iím going to be thoroughly disappointed when this bottle is empty. Lengthy finish, showing toasted wood, breadiness, oak and oranges; a beautifully constructed barrel-aged barleywine. Goddamn.
RBSG 06, from the RB special release batch (courtesy of a fine citizen). First pour from the bottle yields a gorgeous head with nice retention; oak, citrus on the nose. Grapefruit notes, with a sweet malt core - vanilla, syrupy finish. 220.127.116.11.16=4.2.
asteele8 (322) - Des Moines, Washington, USA - JUL 17, 2006
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle. Batch 64. Pours a cloudy amber-brown with a tan head. I am smelling vanilla and oak off the first smells. Spicy smells, and alcohol. Flavor is very oak infused. It causes a dryness. Tasting also spicyness, vanilla, caramel. A very nice hop finish to give a little bitterness. Very complex beer. Delightful to be able to add this to my cellar, will be a treat to age.
OhioDad (2493) - Hilliard, Ohio, USA - JUL 16, 2006
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
12oz bottle via trade with cbkschubert! - Thanks Craig! - Batch 64 - Pours cloudy amber with a short tan head that didnít stay long. Lots of oak in the nose, with some alcohol and tobacco as well as some spicy notes. Flavor contains in the fore rich toffee and caramel but there at the back of each sip I found much oak, some spice, a touch of tobacco, some orange, and lots of alcohol. There are also some grapefruit hops that can be found on the finish and really crash down on you at the back of the sip. Lightly carbonated and full bodied.. This is quite complex and a delight to drink
bu11zeye (11942) - Frisco (Dallas), Texas, USA - JUL 15, 2006
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
(Bottle, batch 64) Pours a cloudy burnt orange body with a small beige head. Aroma of bourbon, toasted malt, and spices. Flavor is dominated by woodiness and bourbon with some fruit and hops. Enjoyable barley wine!
RateandPillage (426) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - JUL 14, 2006
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours slightly hazy orange-brown with a thick light-beige head that diminishes pretty quickly. Aroma is complex with dark fruits, caramel, vanilla, oak, and maybe a little bit of cinnamon. Hop aroma is low. Flavor is much the same with maybe some candi sugar and apparent alcohol. Hops are medium bitterness at the beginning and increase in intensity at the finish. Oak is pretty subdued in flavor, but is apparent and does add some dryness. Well balanced between malt and hops. Pretty nice now, and should be even better in a year or two.
joergen (20807) - Frederiksberg, DENMARK - JUL 11, 2006
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: FEB 14, 2007 Bottle.
Cloudy golden coloured with an off white head.
Aroma of fruits, vanilla, oak and wood.
Flavour of fruits, caramel, oak, vanilla and hops.
Jokes (1453) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JUL 10, 2006
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Batch 64. Clear amber body with a thin, white head. A big nose of vanilla, alcohol, caramel, coconut, oak, light toast and grain, and some mellow piney hop character. Itís really pretty sweet with subtle barrel-aging characteristics before a mild waft of hop resin. The body is thick and smooth, with nice, tight carbonation on the tongue, making it a pleasure to imbibe. The sweet nose translates will to the tastebuds. The sweet caramel, vanilla, whole grains, coconut, light maple syrup and hint of toasted malt all add to an incredible malt complexity. The oaky elements helps smooth out the considerable alcohol and the bitter piney and citric hop finish add a crisp smack of the lips derived from pure enjoyment. My first impression of this was a touch disappointing. However, given some time to just sit and sip, this quickly became a new favorite. One of the better barrel-aged beers Iíve had. Iím glad we did this as the introduction to this new series of beers!