Strykzone (6560) - Wood River, Illinois, USA - FEB 8, 2012
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Sampled at an esbls tadting. Dark cola colored with a tan head. The nose is fruity with rich malt. Like many barley wines. This tastes like one, too. Lots of fruit and raisin is big. Tons of malt. Chocolate. This is big and alcohol is barely tasted. This has so much flavor but is too big for me.
zdk (1859) - New York, New York, USA - FEB 8, 2012
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
bottle - pour is dark, creamy body. Sweet chocolately body, raisins, prunes. Some licorice notes, molasses and caramel sweetness. A bit cloying and finishes with some boozey heat.
raphael (1143) - Portland, Oregon, USA - FEB 6, 2012
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
black cherries, alcohol, resin, chocolate, the flavor is chocolate cherry sugar with the bite of alcohol and oisme piney hops. Surprising thickness in the mouth dark brown head lasts awhile over the clear, too dark to see through, brown. Syrupy finish that hides the alcohol well.
crosamich (433) - Twin Falls, Idaho, USA - FEB 5, 2012
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
This is a phenomenal beer, 15% abv? You would never know it. Very smooth, extremely drinkable brew. Pours dark with almost no head. I picked up just a single bottle of this and I will have to go back and gt some more of this beauty. Plus, they were discounted as a seasonal =bonus.
RumRunner101 (918) - Alberta, CANADA - FEB 5, 2012
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours black with no head. Sweet aroma of vanilla, berries and coffee. Rich, thick, full body. Body is sweet with flavours similar to the nose and other dark fruits - reminds me of a stout. Warming alcohol and bitter finish. Very well done, complex brew. Excellent.
DocLock (9709) - Lower Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 4, 2012
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bomber. Pours thick turbid and very black with 1-finger tan head that lingers a long time for a beer this big. Nose is great; scotch and vienna malts, cacao, fig, port, blackberry, walnut, soy sauce. Tastes thick, a bit cloying, with syrupy molasses, nuts, fig, blackperry, port, and hops. This one gets a bot hot late, but is complex and a nice big beer for the winter.
RSRIZZO (1940) - Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA - FEB 3, 2012
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
22oz bottle poured into a Snifter at 46°. Color is a deep near black brown with good carbonation and a small brown head. Aroma is big and rich with dried fruit and hints of coffee. It has a full body with a rich mouth feel. Flavor is huge, with molasses, dark fruits, mild coffee and roasted almonds, then the hops drift in with a faint citrus. As the after taste rolls in a very light bitterness shows with the flavors lingering and a nice vanilla showing. On the very end you get just a senses of the alcohol, but for being 15% this is nothing. Wow, this is a great brew. I can not believe how well done this is, its amazing that it has this high of an ABV and yet the flavor can cover it in such a nicely complex way.
rollinsr (553) - Atlanta, GEORGIA - FEB 3, 2012
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours a dark brown color with minimal head out of a cask. Strong prune and figgy aroma with some caramel malt as well. It is hard to describe the flavors that arise fro this beer because there are just so many and I could pick out something different with each sip. It is very complex dark and fruity, malty sweet, and hoppy at the same time. This is one that you just have to grab and try for yourself.
pintbypint (3326) - Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA - JAN 31, 2012
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
355ml brown bottle. Near black pour with a swirl of beige foam and the odd spot of lace. Nose has light roasted malts, chocolate, some fruitiness/berry notes and pleasant alcohol. Taste is initially sweet, fruity booze, assorted red berries, then some late roast and chocolate malt elements. Light bitter end with some alcohol. Full bodied, decent level of carbonation to keep it drinkable. Smooth for it’s strength. Pleasing as a fresh brew, but it would be interesting to se this beer evolve in a few years time. this would do well in wood too, just saying.
Heathen (1500) - Wilmington, Delaware, USA - JAN 31, 2012
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
THOUGHTS: All those ingredients and it’s still fairly smooth. Sort of like a stout and barley wine had a baby. I wonder ho long they can keep this up. Hid alcohol decently for the high ABV. There might be a lot of hops, but this was a malt showcase. It got more and more complex as it warmed. It’s always one of the best holiday ales.
TECHNICAL: Bottle. Poured a dark brown that was pretty much opaque black in the glass with reddish amber highlights at the edges and an average, light brown head that fully diminished and left virtually no lacing. The aroma had heavy nutty malt, dark chocolate, coffee and chocolate syrup; lighter grain; raisin; black cherry; tar, soy sauce; brown sugar; maple syrup; vanilla; licorice; and dark fruit. Kept getting fruitier as it warmed. The initial flavor was heavily sweet and light to moderately acidic; while the finish was heavily to nearly harshly sweet and light to mod bitter and lightly acidic with a long duration. There was chocolate syrup, caramel malt, that barley wine taste, roasted malt, something spicy like rye, alcohol, nutty malt, dark chocolate, toffee, molasses, maple syrup, brown sugar, dark Belgian candy sugar, dark fruits, raisin, prune, black cherry, soy sauce, a little coffee, vanilla, tobacco, licorice, and some sort of hop bitterness to balance things out. The full body was sticky on the lips, a little syrupy, ever so slightly creamy, then slightly dry, but also oily with soft carbonation and a lightly alcoholic and lightly metallic finish.