Heathen (1444) - Wilmington, Delaware, USA - FEB 4, 2012
3.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
THOUGHTS: In that rare type of barley wine like Sam Adams Triple Bock or North Coast Old Stock where there is a good amount of chocolate and soy flavors and aroma. Only slightly wine-like notes in the flavor, but the wine did seem to have made the beer more complex. A little too sweet. It became slightly cloying after a while.
TECHNICAL: Bottle. Poured a very dark red that was nearly black in the glass with a small, off-white head that mostly diminished and left fair lacing. The aroma had heavy molasses, caramel, chocolate and chocolate syrup; cherry; sort of red wine; wood; soy sauce; toffee; brown sugar; maple syrup; vanilla; light alcohol; dark fruit; and that barley wine smell. The initial flavor was mod to heavily sweet and lightly acidic; while the finish was heavily sweet, slightly bitter and lightly acidic with a fairly long duration. There was chocolate, soy sauce, caramel, that barley wine taste, toffee, maple syrup, cola, chocolate syrup, cherry, dark fruit, some red wine, wood, molasses, hints of smoke, tar, alcohol, maybe a little vanilla and maybe some brown sugar. The medium to full body was slightly syrupy, oily, then a little dry with fizzy carbonation and a light to moderate alcoholic finish.
ljay6880 (475) - , Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 31, 2012
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
22 oz bottle served in a tulip. Pour is ruddy brown with two fingers of quickly dissipating kaki head that left very modest lacing. Nose is a beautiful swirl of ultra creamy vanilla, velvety caramel, dark molasses, wood, and I donít know how, but something very similar to cherry. Taste is verbatim to the nose, and delivered in the utmost decadent of dessert fashion. I enjoy Below Decks, but this CAB barrel takes it to a different world! Get this if the opportunity presents itself, as long as you can indulge a hell of a sweet tooth!
ChainGangGuy (4281) - Marietta, Georgia, USA - JAN 26, 2012
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
22 ounce bottle - $6.99 at Olde Crabapple Bottle Shoppe in Alpharetta, Georgia. 2011 bottling.
Appearance: Pours out a dark brown body with a short-lived, light ecru head.
Smell: Tannic-scented, oak barrel-laden, sweet-scented, vinously fruity Cabernet nose over the charred bread and lightly toffee-edged malts.
Taste: Tart, tannic, fruity, and reasonably sweet with the Cabernet fully taking the lead ahead of the basic breadiness, lowly roasty from the malts. Modest inclusion of hops and bitterness. Small spiciness from the overall alcohol. Just vinous and sweet (but not quite too sweet) throughout and into the smooth finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation. Slightly sticky mouthfeel.
Overall: While not a grand slam home run cue-the-fireworks beer, it is a marked, appreciated improvement on the dreary base barleywine I had over five years ago. Sometimes, barrel aging actually brings down the initial beer, sometimes itís a toss-up, sometimes it can make a good beer even better, and, sometimes, it can even revive a real dud. Consider this dud revived, friends!
Beerdedone (2494) - Croydon, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 25, 2012
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle. Pours a hazy dark amber with ruby highlights and has a creamy off-white head that left nice lacing. Sweet aroma of caramel, oak, toffee, fruit and had notes of red wine. Smooth & silky flavor of sweet caramel, dark fruit, toffee, red wine, wood/oak and a touch of vanilla.
tmongoose (1094) - Louisville, Kentucky, USA - JAN 20, 2012
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
on draft. the dark ruby red color almost brown with no head to speak of the aroma of cabernet, caramel, sweet malt fills the senses. the flavor \right off was caramel and the cabernet aging. the body is medium light. sweet and syrupy. decent enough dont know if i could drink more than one of these. but quite different
sonnycheeba (3049) - Federal Hill, Baltimore, Maryland, USA - JAN 16, 2012
3.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle. Pours deep, nutty brown with thin, frothy beige head; decent retention and minimal lacing. Aroma is cabernet and other dark fruit notes, alcohol, caramel malt, and light oak. Flavor is sweet malt, alcohol, yeast, dark fruit, oak and light earthy hops; dry finish. Full body, medium carbonation, and high warmth.
BeerandBlues2 (9104) - Hanover, Maryland, USA - JAN 16, 2012
3.9 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle. Pours dark brown with a small, fizzy light tan head, short retention with light lacing. Aroma is Cabernet, oak, heavy caramel and cookie malt, light alcohol, figs, dates, grapes, and vinous notes with spicy hops. Flavor is malt dominant, vinous, oak, Cabernet, light chocolate notes, dark fruits and a sweet finish. Full body, high warmth and medium carbonation.
radagast83 (4134) - Fairfax, Virginia, USA - JAN 15, 2012
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
22oz bottle. Pours a clear dark brown color, very small head. Nice, mellow Cabernet flavors. Woah. I think a wine lover would probably really enjoy this particular brew. Alcohol is a lot more mellow than I was expecting for 10% and the price point for this one makes it almost a steal to get.
Butters (3686) - Richmond, Virginia, USA - JAN 11, 2012
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Wow. Sampled this on a bottle thatís about a year old. Developing very nicely. Has lost a good deal of the alcohol heat and now this is quite a smooth drinking brew with a pleasant warming sensation. Pours a murky brown with small ring of khaki head. Aroma is only slightly better than the flavor and has notes of caramel, fig newton, toffee, raisin, biscuit. The red wine vinous woodiness is only semi spicy and melds oh so nicely with the base beer. Great example of how to properly barrel age a beer. Great beer.
Brigadier (2830) - Clevelandish, Ohio, USA - DEC 31, 2011
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
650 ml bottle
A well refined barleywine this inspires me to put the other bourbon barrel aged version on deck. After a year the 2010 edition is holding up quite well. I wouldnít sit on it too much longer but right now it is as good as almost any other BA barleywine I can think of.
Aroma / Appearance - Deep amber with a radiant red base the body is warm like dying embers. Stiff dense head is so thick it looks like someone poured custard over the top. Red wine, licorice, and malt are a bit heavy. Even so the balance is well done including the velvert chocolate undertones.
Flavor / Palate - Full bodied and vinous the mouthfeel is rich from start to finish. A lingering oakiness bites as it makes the trip down the throat. The wet finish is also cool and soft for a 10% bottle. I expected more bitterness but age has mellowed it out somewhat. This is a steal as long as it remains below $6.99 a bomber.