puzzl (3259) - New York, New York, USA - FEB 15, 2008
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Tap at Blind Tiger. I didnít even really want to drink this, but I felt I must, it being so close to the top 50 and all. It didnít disappoint, but it sure as hell was unexpected. Iím not sure if one would call this a unique take on a barleywine or just a barleywine gone wrong, but the intensely fruity nature of this beer was totally out of left field. Fruit sweetness was not cloying but still very sticky on the lips. Plum, cherry, molasses, with no bourbon or oak to be found. Throw some pineapple and candy apple in there and youíve got this beer. Surprisingly drinkable.
MaxxDaddy (415) - Hoboken, New Jersey, USA - FEB 12, 2008
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
On tap @ Spuyten Duyvil. Pours ruby with no head whatsoever. Very sweet and fruity aroma, though thereís no bourbon. Can pick up a bit of that 14.5% ABV in the smell. As far as taste goes, another winner from these folks. Very malt-dominated, with dark fruits coming out en masse along with a touch of tartness. Somewhat sticky palate with a lingering slightly bittersweet finish.
mkobes (2142) - paramus, New Jersey, USA - FEB 11, 2008
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
On tap at Spuyten. Deep copper in color with no head. Malty caramel and vanilla aroma. Sweet malty caramel flavor. Oak cherry notes. Sweet tasting. Finish is hoppy. Medium bodied. Nice beer.
dmac (5635) - Toms River, New Jersey, USA - FEB 10, 2008
4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
On tap at Spuyten Duyvil. Poures a murky brown with no head what so ever. Fantastic aroma, tons of sweetness, caramel, toffee and a touch of vanilla. Flavor is very sweet but right before the after taste kicks in there is a bit of a wierd plastic chemical taste that quickly fades. Other then that weird split second flavor this is one kick ass beer.
JoeMcPhee (9325) - Toronto, ON, Ontario, CANADA - FEB 10, 2008
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Tap at Spuyten Duyvil. Deep ruby tinted beer with a thin white head. Great aroma, rich sweet fruity aroma with lots of cherry, raspberry and blackberry. Very soft oakiness with a hint of vanilla that is quite subtle and well integrated with the stewed fruits and rich sweet malts. Lingering fruity hoppiness on the back. A little bit vineous with some soft sherry character bringing everything together. Nice.
Nephilium (1702) - Cleveland, Ohio, USA - JAN 15, 2008
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
(Unknown vintage, 12 oz. bottle) The aroma is a strong smack of dark fruits, oak, a touch of vanilla, and something lurking in the back I canít place. Pours a very dark red, with just a ring and dusting of tan head. Slick oily mouthfeel, alcohol warming in the back of the throat. Not anywhere as sweet as the aroma hints at. Touches of dark fruit linger for quite a while, with hints of spice. Very drinkable for 14.5%...
3fourths (9149) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - JAN 4, 2008
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: JUN 6, 2013 Draft special at the solstice party. Someone said this was the bourbon barrel and then the brandy barrel. Iím not sure. It could have been both because Iíd seen old ales and barley wines on bourbon come off a little fruity/sweet like this. This one smells downright amazing, with a huge red grape and plum and wine-stained oak note along with some bread and peat notes in the nose. Lots of wood tannins at play, and slightly oxidized. Very low carbonation, sweet, spicy, velvety, very amazing. Reminds me of sherry, sour brown ales, red wine, and potpourri.
BBB63 (6557) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - DEC 24, 2007
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: FEB 22, 2008 2006 Barley Wine in bottle. Clean mahogany hue with a small foamy ring and spotty lace. The aroma has notes of plum, mango and starfruit esters, sweet honey, bready and caramel malts, herbal and resiny hops. Was this dry-hopped or something prior to re-release for it is shockingly hoppier than any of us expected. Besides the hop forward taste I also got tropical fruit, sweet caramel, toffee, mint leaves and a hint of clove on the finish. Warming and biting with a sticky mouth feel, astringent finish. This is really nice and I still wanted to know what is up with the bitterness. Glad I got one bottle for later.
Bourbon barrel: Tasted at the Kuhnhenn Winter Solstice: Deep murky brown with a minimal amount of bubbles but oily upon the glass. The aroma has a big woody and bourbon character with some wet grains, molasses, caramel, and herbal hop vapours. The taste has an oxidized and cardboard tone up front with notes of prune, chocolate, caramel, anise, clove, and plenty of bourbon barrel. The mouth feel is sharp and biting, lush and dry. Seems a bit too long in the barrel IMO.
Ibrew2or3 (8207) - Tempe, Arizona, USA - DEC 12, 2007
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: MAR 25, 2009 Rating #1100
Purchased at the brewery a few months back. Iíve been looking forward to trying this. The aroma can be detected from across the room. There is a great play between dark fruity goodness, sweet caramel, hints of alcohol and woody bourbon-ness. The flavor is a sweet kiss on the lips with figs, dates, minced raisins soaking in molasses and an absolutely delicious river of caramel candy. A pleasant warming sensation does show up around the finish. Competing with the barleywine flavors but a couple notches below in strength is a bourbon and wood sensation. Very nice compliment creating an enjoyable experience. The after taste is a mix of dark fruit, caramel and hints of wood. The only knock I could find would be the body. Itís a bit too thin. Sure hope they plan on making more this next winter.
BrianK (200) - Livingston, New Jersey, USA - OCT 22, 2007
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: MAY 13, 2008 Sampled at Kuhnhenn. We told them we were from NJ and they pulled this out for us. Bourbon flavor was present but not overpowering and balanced out very well with the base brew. Have to get this one again. Rerate: didnít enjoy this beer anywhere near as much.