Juancho (239) - Georgia, USA - MAR 23, 2009
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
ON Tap @ Popeye’s in Ryogoku. An extreme barley wine. Brown, thick, opaque a very thin brownish head. Very malty, but with vinous touches... maybe like some port or shery had made it’s way to the batch. Slightly hot from the alcohol. Very interesting stuff...
KyotoLefty (6635) - Kyoto, JAPAN - JAN 28, 2009
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: JAN 24, 2012 2007 version at Popeye. THis beer rocks. One of my absolute favorites, I am realizing more and more. Huge fruity flavor, vinous and wonderful.
Sour nose, almost resembling a Flemish Red, with fruit and sherry. Very sweet and alcoholic flavor, with sour fruits, berries, spices and vinous notes. Very nice, mature, aged flavor. Like a fine port.
motelpogo (6854) - Plzen, CZECH REPUBLIC - DEC 28, 2008
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
on tap at popeyes, 03 vintage. dark brown with no semblance of head, caramel and honey aroma, somehow not too sticky though, plenty of dried stonefruits, prune and sultana, hints of sherry, delicious stuff
wetherel (1836) - Encinitas, California, USA - JUL 6, 2008
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
2003 vintage on tap at Popeye’s in Tokyo. 150mL(6oz) sampler. This was almost too much. Brown color. Alchohol apparent in the aroma Mild in flavor. Sweet, but not as much as I expected out of 15%. A little past it’s prime washing the flavors a little too much, but still pretty good.
after4ever (6231) - Brier, Washington, USA - JUN 19, 2008
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Draft. 2003 keg tapped June 08. Glorious little barleywine. Well, ok, not little, but a barleywine, and glorious. Pours eggplanty purple, almost black, with a dense but rather thin tannish head that falls away fairly quickly. Vinous, fruity nose--red wine, wine grapes, sherry, some sour cherry, dates, figs, the ever-popular "dark pitted tree fruit, comma, other" also makes an appearance. Dense, creamy, almost oily body. Very little carb. Just a soft note to let you know it’s there. The tight swirl of vinous and fruity notes is fairly monolithic on the mid-palate. This is a tricky one to pry apart. It doesn’t offer, really, a huge amount of complexity. It’s certainly not simple, or lacking. But it strikes only one chord--it just voices it so richly that it transforms the claim it stakes on the flavor spectrum into its own little world. It actually vanishes quickly from the back of the tongue, it just goes. But while it’s there it’s this intense little fruity, vinous tyrant.
thebeertourist (4893) - Oslo, NORWAY - APR 5, 2008
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
2003 vintage on draught at Popeye, Tokyo. dark brown colour with a small head. Vinous aroma with chocolate notes. Sour fruits flavours blending with chocolate, especially towards the finish. A joy to the taste buds.
BückDich (5464) - McCall, Idaho, USA - OCT 7, 2007
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: OCT 8, 2007 Tap @ Popeye’s: Dark brown, no head or lacing. Nose of light maple, very light alcohol for this size and a full fruit note. Light impact, sweet and fruity. Nose isn’t quite as explosive as the flavor. The finish is smooth, very smooth, but not that strong. A honey bomb.
MartinT (8024) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - JUL 26, 2007
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
My Bottom Line:
This Mead-come-Barley Wine successfully melds honey to caramelized port wine, finishing into a sweet prune fruitiness. Yet another wildly unique and reverend still sipper from Hakusekikan.
Further Personal Perceptions:
-This is another headless, fizzless Hakusekikan sipper when on tap, yet the generous sample received from the lagering tank at the brewery was filled with creamy carbonation.
-Its ruby brown dress and long legs along the wine glass herald some exotic sweet liqueur.
-The brewer uses a wild yeast he extracts from Kyushu honey for this one. This honeyed yeast is obvious, even in the nose.
-Alcohol definitely warms the back of the throat, but doesn’t bother the flavor profile.
-The complex fruitiness spans from grapes to dates to prunes to figs.
-Caramel flows by smoothly.
-After having this one twice on tap with little to no carbonation, and once from the lagering tank with creamy carbonation, I must say I largely preferred the carbonated version. The score atop reflects the tap version (available commercially), but had they been naturally carbonated like the one from the lagering tank, I would have given it at least 4.3.
2003 vintage on tap at Popeye’s and later at Ushitora, and 2005 vintage from the lagering tank at the brewery.
Capa (2031) - Manama, BAHRAIN - APR 28, 2007
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Draught at Popeyes. Pours a light golden brown with a thin head. Aroma was sweet alcohol, sherry, dark fruits, and malt. Full, syrupy body. Flavor was similar to the aroma. Dark fermented fruit, sweet malt, molasses, and some wine or sherry tones. Finishes warm and sweet. Very big, very delicious.
bitter (1136) - Henderson, Nevada, USA - SEP 18, 2006
3.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
this may have been the last beer or second to last beer of the night in tokyo. so please bare with me if my rate seems a bit ascue. brown clear liquid with no head. sweet rock candy alcohol laden nose. dark fruits and tobacco pierce your tongue and then are covered with a big alcohol taste. a bourbon laden beer with the same alcohol feel. BIG! would love to try this sober to give it a fair shake. makes since its 15%. damn i gotta wake up at 5am to go to the fish market!