DaSilky1 (2606) - San Diego, California, USA - JUL 30, 2006
4.4 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: AUG 5, 2008 my dear lord! This was like the Hitachino japanese classic but in Barley-Wine form and a hell of a lot more refined and sophisticated. I know it wasnít aged in Cedar, but the wood comes out so damn strong that it might as well been cedar...Super dry juicy apricot aromas and flavors are a result of the wood aging. This is da bomb!
PhillyBeer2112 (2544) - Oviedo, Florida, USA - JUL 28, 2006
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
Big woody aroma, smells of freshly cut lumber, either oak or pine. I think maybe some piney hops are contributing to that character. But thereís a nice malt presence here, full bodied, caramelized, bready and warming with a tingle of alcohol in the finish (but otherwise well balanced alcohol presence, esp for a 10% beer). Some resiny hop flavors float around the middle of this one, and a big hopping comes through in the bitter finish. Slightly astringent/husky. Otherwise a nice big barleywine that makes good use of oak aging. Very cloudy amber-brown with a medium foaming head that faded quickly, with minimal lacing.
Ty5592 (1018) - Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 28, 2006
2.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 11/20
There was something seriously wrong with this beer. It had a sour smell with an even worst vinegar taste. I could taste some wood, but the taste was mainly vinegar. I would surmise that yeast infection is the culprit. Like a real man I finished the whole bottle though.
gputty (456) - Virgina Beach, Virginia, USA - JUL 26, 2006
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Tasting at Immyís. From 12oz bottle. Pours a pale orange with minimal head. Nose is full of bourbon, oak, hints of citrus and vanilla. Flavor follows. Very nice stuff.
Pailhead (5073) - Brownstown, Michigan, USA - JUL 24, 2006
4.6 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: MAR 19, 2008 Bottle: Courtesy of Styles. Aroma is very vinous and has a big oak character. Behind all of the vinous oaky notes is some faint fruit and caramel. Hazy orangish-red with a small off-white head. Flavor starts with some sweet caramel, toffee, and fruit. Finish has a very strong oak presence that leaves a bitterness on the tongue for a while. Very tasty, but if some aging could tone down the oak a tad, it would be beneficial. (8-4-8-4-17)
Another bottle courtesy of Styles and a re-rate almost one year later. Absolutely love the aroma. The vinous notes are still there, but have become more muted. The caramel and fruit have increased significantly in the nose along with some notes of honey. The oak presence is about the same. Alcohol is there just enough to make itís presence felt. The appearance is about the same, but this one isnít quite as hazy. Flavor has lots of caramel, toffee, and faint honey up front. Very nice banana bread presence in the middle. The oak has definitely mellowed quite a bit, and thatís a plus for me as I found it a tad strong when sampled fresh. There are some very mild citrus hops that I didnít notice previously. Nice creamy mouthfeel with very soft carbonation. A great beer to begin with and itís really improved with age.
cbkschubert (2900) - BFE, Arizona, USA - JUL 23, 2006
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: JUL 6, 2007 12 oz. bottle batch 64 - Pours a hazy amber color with a faint off white head. Light spotty lacing. Very light, fine carbonation bubbles. Aroma is sweet and very oaky. Strong oak, vanilla, and mild fruit flavor. Very nice. The oak dominates the aftertaste. Actually, it dominates the beer from start to finish. It (alcohol) warms the stomach a little. This beer should be awesome a year from now. Looking forward to a re-rate.<P>Re-rate almost a year later (7/07). Batch 64. Aroma remains sweet and full of esters. The oak in the flavor has diminished some, but not alot. Some of the doughy malt flavor is starting to come through like it does in most HotD beers. The alcohol is still there, but doesnít seem to be as noticeable this time around. I bumped the OV score to 18 this time around. I think this beer can get better with another year. See ya next July.
Dorwart (2391) - Robbinsville, New Jersey, USA - JUL 22, 2006
4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: JUL 30, 2006 1 inch, very dense head of fine bubbles. Light beige in color. Head reduces slowly with light carbonation. Very fruity aroma and very complex. Fresh blossoms, wet oak, sweet tarts, potpurri, and some sweet candied fruit. YUMMY!!! Very floral but I canít place the type. Color is a hazy dark copper brown. Rich and alcoholic flavor. Very complex again. Caramel, light oak, vanilla, more flowers and sweet malts. Maybe a little honey. Unfortunately, alcohol dominates thus brew a little too much. Seems quite hot on the tongue. Sweet and oaky finish with a lot more flowers again. I am not sure if all of the floral notes are derived from hops or not. Almost like there is some jasmine in there. This is a very good brew. Hopefully the floral notes will subside with a little aging. Unfortunately, I am also in thinking with TAR that this brew may not age very well. It is lacking a little bit in the heavy malt department that it may not improve with age. Still a great drink.
LeopoldStoch (201) - Green, Ohio, USA - JUL 21, 2006
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle from the Ratebeer.com release. This is only the second venture into the HOTD brewing company for me, but once again I am very pleased with what Alan has been able to do with the beers they produce. The aroma is very sweet and definite strong oak presence in the nose of this beer. I think I started tasting this beer while it was alittle too cold and the oak was dominating the other flavors, but once it started to warm a little the other flavors of sweet malts, woodsy flavors, smoke and tobacco. The alcohol of 10% is hardly noticeable and this brew is dangerously drinkable. Overall a very good beer.
jkitchens3 (1) - Wilmette, Illinois, USA - JUL 21, 2006 does not count
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Aroma = good mix, but can smell the alcohol, which I have com eto find (in my limited experience with Barleywines) is not unusual. Still a good smell both in the bottle and in the glass.
App = Cloudy, orange/brown.
Flavor = Caramel, maple, wood. Bitter finish, with a strong hint of alcohol.
Palate = Good overall, but can use some aging I think.
Overall = Very good example of the style, which was expected. But, for me anyway, seems like it can use some age. Very happy that I have several more of these to let them age for a good long while.
TomDecapolis (4546) - Milton, Delaware, USA - JUL 21, 2006
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Thanks to Ty5592 for the trade. Batch #64. Pours a hazy pinkish orange brown amber with a nice foamy tan head that laced nicely and sustained. Great looking beer. Aroma of dark fruits, oak, vanilla, grapes, some alcohol, lots of wood and a great aroma mix. In the flavor Iím getting more of the vanilla and oak up front. Followed by various dark fruits, grapefruit, maple syrup, some hop bitterness sits on the tongue in the aftertaste. Great palate. I wish I had more of these to sit around and age in my cellar although I kind of enjoyed the fresh hops that I was still picking up, plus I was too anxious to hold out on trying the one bottle I could get my hands on. If you have multiple bottles I would say try at least one out now and let some sit.