zach8270 (3779) - Henrietta, New York, USA - MAY 28, 2010
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
(bottle - 22 oz) Clear copper pour with a thick white head. Thick and heavy bourbon and oak aroma with a lot of caramel malt sweetness. A lot of vanilla as well. Flavor starts out with a sweet bourbon taste. The bourbon is definitely potent and noticeable, but at the same time it’s not the only thing you taste. You get the sweetness from the malts and the vanilla and wood hints as well. Finishes smooth with a nice and warming bourbon aftertaste.
SlovakSniper (3660) - Candiac, Quebec, CANADA - APR 10, 2013
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Vintage 2012. Sa robe est plutôt rougeâtre et la longévité de son petit col mousseux m’étonne. Ses parfums de bourbon se font bien sentir. Ils demeurent toutefois bien enrobés par de riches malts caramélisés. Son nez est tout en simplicité et reste bien agréable tout au long de la dégustation. Ses saveurs de toffee et de caramel tapissent rapidement ma langue. La présence du bourbon n’est pas négligeable non plus. Il arrive bien chaud avec ses saveurs boisées et poivrées. Quelques notes de noix de coco et de vanille finissent par se signaler. Il y a peut-être derrière tout ce bruit la naissance de quelques notes fruitées. Sa bouche témoigne quelque peu d’un traitement subi par la barrique. J’aurais aimé davantage une texture plus forte. Sa finale est assez puissante et intense : le bourbon s’accapare de ma bouche mais refuse d’écraser les sucres maltés. Intéressante dégustation chez Ben. Merci pour ce digestif d’après-midi!
tom10101 (3615) - Quebec, CANADA - JUL 15, 2012
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle (650 ml). Thanks to biere_froide for this one! Dark amber beer with a small white head and fair lacing. Aroma of bourbon (not overwhelming), plum, fig, dark fruits and malt. Taste of bourbon, dark fruits, malt and caramel. Slight bitterness at the end. Mouthfeel is oily. Medium to full body. Warming alcohol. Good bourbon barrel barley wine but not outstanding.
jrallen34 (3488) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAR 30, 2011
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bomber into my Narke glass...Murky dark brown, lots of amber in the light. The head is light tan, but doesn’t show much of head. There is a thick ring around the rim, ok lacing...The aroma is too light and almost exclusively just shows off the bourbon barrels. Light toffee and vanilla too, can’t tell its a barleywine. Like most in this series, the bw is too light and dominated by the barrel...The taste is all bourbon, light bourbon, at that. A hint of vanilla, tastes good, like a watered down bourbon, no hint of barleywine or beer though...The feel is light on the palate, no burn or aftertaste...Easy to drink.
Another decent bw, but again a Heavy Seas light bw that couldn’t hold up and took on all the character of the barrel. If you like bourbon its worth drinking, otherwise skip it.
TheEpeeist (3474) - Media, Pennsylvania, USA - OCT 23, 2010
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
22 oz bottle. Dark brown with a thin splotchy head.. Nose is bourbon and caramel with a hint of grass. Medium body but feeling a bit thin. Taste is caramel and bourbon with some hops in the finish. A touch metallic and woody.
Beerlando (3342) - Orlando, Florida, USA - JUN 14, 2010
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bomber. Pours clear, with a dark, reddish-brown tint and a small, smooth head of beige colored foam. Tiny spots and skinny arches of lacing stick to the glass loosely. The nose is sweet and buttery, loaded with toasted toffee, dark caramel, brown sugar, and vanilla. Bourbon lends additional sweetness, though it isn’t as prominent as I thought it would be. Flavors show cola malts, cocoa, dry caramel, and buttery toffee, with hardly a hop to be found. The bourbon isn’t overly boozy, though it is excessively sweet and loaded with vanilla. On the palate, a medium-full body gets its heft from sticky, plodding sugars, while light carbonation contributes to an overall syrupy feel. As barrel aged barleywines go, this is decent at best, and that’s probably got more to do with the mediocre base beer than the barrel aging process itself.
Elwood (3336) - Leesburg, Virginia, USA - OCT 30, 2010
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Serving: 750 ml. bottle from State Line Liquors.
Aroma: The nose is musty with notes of oak, paper, earth, and a slight bourbon note as the beer warms.
Appearance: It pours a very cloudy amber brown with a very frothy, light tan head. Great head retention given the alcohol content.
Taste: The flavor is sweet malt upfront with some malt, chocolate, bourbon, oak, and vanilla notes. Think waffles with syrup and walnuts while drinking this one. Really tasty stuff.
Palate: Medium to rich in body with lower carbonation leading to a medium to long sweet finish.
Overall: I really enjoyed this brew and it is my favorite of the two.
smith4498 (3215) - Miami, Florida, USA - JUL 1, 2011
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Had this side by side with the regular version. Pours cloudy caramel color with thin tan head, Aromas of bourbon, dark fruits and vanilla. Similar flavors with the bourbon dominating. Medium to full body with minimal carboantion. This was much better than the original version.
kmweaver (3207) - Petaluma, California, USA - JAN 21, 2011
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
22oz bottle, courtesy of beachbum25. Thanks, Jim! Normally tossing a less-than-hefty barley wine into a bourbon barrel ends up in the latent realization that that was a godawful, foolish, crazy-talk sort of idea... But this one’s pretty damn good. Pours a dark, cola-brown color; thin, mixed-bubbled off-white head with light retention and lacing. Solid amounts of caramel, brown sugar, and cola in the aroma, supported reasonably well by the barrel character: some light, prickly warmth and a suggestion of red wine-like tannins, but the spirit character itself is rather subdued and soft; nicely handled for this size barley wine. Medium-full body; relaxed to light carbonation; some alcoholic warmth, but nothing rough, pleasantly warming. At the forefront of things, there’s some really beautifully rounded and toasty vanilla notes, plenty of caramel and cola, and supporting notes of bright oak woodiness, a modest (whisperingly tannic) red wine presence, and soft, rounded bourbon / spirit notes; this is surprisingly very drinkable, not at all harsh, and really enjoyable. I’m impressed, and, to be honest, amazed that this beer handled its barrel time so well! Long finish of darker fruits, caramel, and toasty woodiness; never cloying, but always enjoyably sweet and generous.
Brigadier (3195) - Clevelandish, Ohio, USA - OCT 4, 2013
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
650 ml bottle
This was a fine barrel aged release and worth trying once. This particular bottle had about two years on it and has held up reasonably well. The next time I buy one though I may just drink it fresh. If you are a fan of the style pick up an affordable and relatively accessible bottle.
Aroma / Appearance - The bottle poured with lots of sediment. A thin short lived head collapsed downwards. Thick caramel, vanilla, and chocolate are like a sundae in a glass. Dense and chewy the ABV is hardly subtle.
Flavor / Palate - The taste of warm maple syrup matches the thick chewy mouthfeel. Warm hits of midrange bourbon sweep across the palate before the oaky finish. This is heavy - one or two pours was enough for me. That said it was also a great deal at about $7.99 and something worth trying again.