sfontain (845) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - APR 16, 2014
3.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
12 oz bottle. Nice looking orange-red-amber pour; almost-fizzy eggshell head becomes a sparse covering; no lacing. Aroma oak, caramel, malt sugar, alcohol--not bad. Rather falls apart in the flavor; sharp, uncharacteristic bitterness, cheap bourbon flavor; finish is excessively astringent, and there are plenty of quality 10% brews that hide it much better than this. Medium-thin, almost frothy body. Not as bad as the first 20 raters suggest, but thereís much better out there.
crossovert (9527) - Illinois, USA - JUL 22, 2015
2.5 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 9/20
355ml bottle. This tastes like a bunch of highly rated oxidized barleywines so the ilk that enjoys that stuff might dig this. It is musty, sweet and white raisin/carmally, some barrel funk, oxidization, typical of the style.
tsd08460 (256) - Marshall, Virginia, USA - JUN 27, 2015
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
Aroma: caramel, bourbon, oak, vanilla
Appearance: clear amber, tan head
Taste: bourbon, oak, vanilla, medium sweetness, lightly bitter, lightly bitter,
Palate: medium body, creamy texture, soft carbonation, long finish,
Maverick34 (2619) - New York, USA - JUN 21, 2015
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottled. Poured red brown. Not much head. Wood, vanilla, yeast. OK but something was off here.
jimhilt (2473) - Bow, New Hampshire, USA - APR 1, 2015
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours a three finger cream head that fades slowly leaving some lace. Crystal clear amber color. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Oak and bourbon nose and flavor is citrusy oak and hints of caramel. High ABV is hidden. $4.20 for a 12oz bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, MA.
dfinney23 (2277) - Houston, Texas, USA - MAR 23, 2015
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Good bourbon notes but the base barley wine isnít really up to the task, lacking complexity and substance.
Emeister84 (1609) - Charlottesville, Virginia, USA - MAR 16, 2015
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Aromas of caramel, toffee, and booze, subtle vanilla, subtle bourbon. Dark red-brown with a somewhat lasting off-white head. Mostly dry with some sticky sweetness, warming. Medium-full bodied.
Derek881 (1119) - Riga, LATVIA - FEB 10, 2015
3.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass to drink. The beer had a mostly-clear deep ruby color with a hint of bronze and an average-sized, foamy, off-white head with shorter retention along with mild cling and decent lacing. Its aroma had a pronounced bourbon barrel scent with tones of floral and grainy hops, along with some caramel and toffee malt, and bits of straw, with a slight roasty scent. The taste was somewhat sweet and malty with notes of toffee and a touch of sweet dense fruit, that gave way to a sour and bitter bourbon component. The beer was fairly wet and watery, with an average thickness in the mouth, low-to-average carbonation, and a fairly strong presence of alcohol. Thanks to Siobhan for the Christmas present.
williamstome (1388) - Somerville, Massachusetts, USA - JAN 16, 2015
3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Amber pour, small off-white head. Aroma is bourbon, oak, dried fruits, candied sugar. Flavor is quite sweet, with notes of bourbon, vanilla, with a slightly bitter finish with cherry notes. Not great, and hard to drink after a bit.
patrick767 (3728) - fort wayne, Indiana, USA - JAN 11, 2015
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
bottle - Pours dark amber and has a nice bourbon aroma with vanilla notes. The flavor is led by the bourbon too with an understated sweet malt body. Thereís an oak character in there. While the bourbon is good, the base barley wine really isnít substantial enough. Overall that makes for little more than an average brew and for the price Iím expecting more.
jgb9348 (5118) - Arlington (Pentagon City), Virginia, USA - DEC 16, 2014
2.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 1/5 OVERALL 11/20
Clear amber coloured body with hints of ruby and bronze and a nice, two centimetre tall thick tan head - not too shabby. Aroma of alcohol, bourbon, vanilla, oak, pit fruits, raisins and a bit of light hops - once again, not a bad nose, and surely not as pungent as others nor complex, but not bad at all. Full-bodied; Strong effervescence at first with a big grain of malt and alcohol noticeable and a ridiculous alcohol burn and no real flavours after that - some bourbon and wood, but no sweetness, no spice, no caramel, no malt and definitely no complexity. Aftertaste shows just about the same - alcohol and the faintest hit of bourbon. Overall, a good enough smelling and looking beer, but this is almost a feat in itself to make a beer with this much alcohol and theoretically (who really knows) aged in bourbon barrels and still get absolutely NO flavour out of the beer, or leave anything on the palate except for a warmed stomach. Seriously, this isnít a horrible beer of course, but a lesson in barley wines to show how they can exist without good or bad flavours, but no flavour at all - because before this, I didnít think this could happen with a beer having so much alcohol and theoretically a large malt bill. I sampled this twelve ounce bottle purchased from Whole Foods in Alexandria (Old Town), Virginia on 28-November-2014 for US$3,49 sampled at home in Washington on 16-December-2014.