Ibrew2or3 (6436) - Tempe, Arizona, USA - FEB 23, 2009
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Sampled at Toronado 2009 Barleywine Festival.
Pours clear amber with gold edges and thin off white head. The aroma is mild with hints of molasses, dark fruitiness and a background of malts. The taste is rich and delicious with a pulse of both deep dried dark fruitiness and sweet smooth molasses. It remains that way into the finish allowing for independent cherry, plum and sugar stewed raisins to be identified. It approaches being peppery but never actually gets there. Maybe a year or so will improve it from very nice to stellar.
DarkElf (3013) - La Jolla, California, USA - AUG 6, 2008
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
24-Jan-08 (Draft and growler: Kassik’s Kenai Brew Stop in Nikiski, AK) Somehow I missed this at the Great Alaskan Beer and Barley Wine Festival, and that’s too bad, because it would have put most of the other barley wines to shame. This is incredibly delicious stuff, and that it didn’t take a medal is disappointing. Exceptionally rich, fruity and malty, it’s intensely caramely, very toasty, and very sweet with some vanilla too, but all this is subtly balanced by moderately bitter hops in the finish. The hops seem to be somewhat piney and the bitterness certainly picks up steam in the finish and stays with you for a long time. This works very well because you’re hit with the delicous malts early, but the hoppy flavor and bitterness slide in and keep the beer from becoming cloying on the palate. Full-bodied, smooth, and fairly syrupy with light, soft carbonation. Rich, sweet-smelling, earthy, and caramely malts in the nose, along with prominent fruitiness and some coconut. Medium-dark ruddy-brown in color and clear enough that I can actually see through the beer and see the logo on the other side of the glass. Tall, foamy, off-white head gradually settles to a filmy layer and wide ring. Just a fantastic barley wine. It is so good, I only gave my buddy one pint and I’m finishing the rest of the growler myself!
jsquire (3297) - St. Marys, Ohio, USA - FEB 15, 2008
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
At the ’08 GABBF. Dense brown orange color with a foamy beige head. Not much in the nose but a light caramel sweetness. Lots of melted caramel sweetness in this beer with hoppy pine resin and noticable alcohol. It tastes every bit of the claimed 10.2% ABV. Big hoppy barley wine.