Beerlando (3342) - Orlando, Florida, USA - JAN 12, 2011
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
12 oz. bottle, fresh Winter Solstice 2010 version, 15.1% ABV. I wanted badly to age this beer, but years of built up anticipation and worries over Kuhnhennís well documented bottling issues forced my hand. Pouring clear, the body is a deep crimson color, sporting a small, fading head of smooth, fine-bubbled khaki foam. Some rounded, diagonal flares of lacing jut out from the body, clinging to the glass with moderate intensity. The nose is deep and complex, layered with seemingly infinite waves of malty intricacies. Chocolate roast hits first, surprisingly, lending a toasty background to an otherwise sweet blend of varied caramels, toffees, and crystallized fruits. Baking bread and cake are evident, as are plums, raisins, dates, and toasted, maple sugar glazed nuts. Bourbon and oaky, rich vanilla run rampant, tempered only by the enormity of the malt base. Despite all the malty sugars, the nose still manages to come across as boozy, almost hot. This must have been some potent barrel! Flavors follow suit, lush and rich, malty for days and days. Toasty toffee, burnt caramel sugars, and cocoa roast are all turned to eleven, slathered with decadent Kentucky bourbon that seems to have been reduced and just baked into the inner soul of this beer. Raisin stew, dates, figs, and nuts are all overflowing. Bourbon is as potent as Iíve seen in any beer, yet despite its potency, it actually works in light of the massive malt bill. Thereís just enough roast in this beer to legitimize it in my book. The palate is big and sugary, drinking downright heavy and slow, almost sludge like. Light carbonation is appropriate. Heavy booze dries things out a bit, but some residual stickiness remains. Damn, this is a polarizing beer. I hate its heft, and it goes against everything that Iíve stood for over the last year, but it is well done and tasty as hell in small doses. The best way to describe it is as a poor manís Wooden Hell. Very similar profile, overall. Good brew.
bierkoning (12265) - La Tropica, NETHERLANDS - JUN 24, 2011
3.9 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
2010 bottle from Jrallen, thanks! Dark brown color. Grapes, grassy hops, porto and bourbon in the aroma. Sugary sweet, alcoholic flavor with lots of bourbon and oak. Well hopped. Citrus notes. Good complexity, enough to compensate the sweetness and even the massive amounts of alcohol.
Christian (12663) - Odense, DENMARK - NOV 13, 2011
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
2010 bottle. Red copper with a small off-white head. Big aroma of malt, caramel, dried fruit, vineous alcohol and vanilla. Sweet malty flavour, notable (but integrated) bourbon, some caramel and fruit, warming alcohol, almost a bit too boozy.
TheAlum (6908) - Aurora, Illinois, USA - NOV 24, 2011
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
12 oz bottle courtesy of deyholla. Thanks, Derek! A cap on the Thanksgiving rates. Pours a luscious glowing brownish hue, amber glowing edges, a healthy haze and touches of murkiness with sunset edges and bottom. Small frothy tannish head dies to tiny ring, laces minimal. Aromas are rich toffee and caramel, touches of toast and vanilla, a rich dose of barrel and spirit, Bourbon, vanilla, oak, and more sweetness. Touches of dark fruit, nuts, and raisins. Touches of gentle sherry like oxidation, rich sweetness meshes with mellow barrel. Initial is fuller bodied, offering healthy sweetness, toffee and caramel mesh with touches of brown sugar, hazelnuts, toast and biscuits. Barrel and vanilla, decent kicks of spirit come into play. Middle shows sticky sweetness, gentle oxidation, and more barrel. Sticky sweet, touches of heat, and some dried fruit and more toffee. Finish is sweet and fuller, thinned out a perfect amount with dancing Bourbon heat and healthy vanilla, oak, and sticky sweet toffee and caramel, biscuits, toast, and some gentle fruit. Sweet barrel, vanilla, and nothing offensive, kisses of heat and spirit, firm and unyielding. Mellow surprisingly for the recorded ABV, a good body for itís age, sufficient barrel. Itís fairly complex, but not into 4D territory. Overall, solid, a bit sweet slanted. Itís done very well, but for my own tastes could be a touch thinner with just a bit more barrel pushing in. Very nice though and top tier overall and I appreciate what it is, just a bit mellow for my personal top shelf examples while it does pick up the pace a bit more further in.
hamilton23 (619) - Alpine, California, USA - JAN 11, 2012
3.9 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 1/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Poured from 12 oz bottle. Pours dark like cola with just a big of carbonation, but not much. Aroma is caramel, toffee, prunes, vanilla, bourbon and dried fruits. Taste is slightly sweet, like caramel. Taste is pretty similar to the nose. I would have expected a bit more sweetness. This is one of my favorite styles...but it is just not as good as some other BA Barleywines I have had recently.
kappldav123 (5847) - GERMANY - FEB 12, 2012
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Thanks to madmitch for that one. The small bottle looks really good. The beer in the glass dark brown, small head. Starts very strong, modest alcoholic, intense malty. Interesting notes of caramel and cacao. Finish more dominated by woody-earthy notes. So it could be a bit more balanced, but still a great beer!
booyaatribe (450) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - AUG 23, 2003
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Mmmm. Quite nice. I had this at the Great Taste of the Midwest. Buttery, scotchy, and generally overpowering.
JCapriotti (1379) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - AUG 16, 2004
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
2004 Great Taste of the Midwest. Dark brown/amber body. Orange and licorice with some spicy vinous qualities. Pretty good.
11026 (1772) - Alabama, USA - JAN 27, 2005
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Tap. Deep brown color. Thin head fades quickly and leaves no lacing. Rich malty and fruity aroma. Bourbon notes a abundant. Raisiny flavors. Very nice.
vyvvy (5610) - Florissant, Missouri, USA - MAR 27, 2007
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Huge thanks to Hopscotch for sending this rare gem my way. Pours dark bronze with no head. The aroma has lots of dark caramel, vanilla, alcohol, light wood and sweet chocolate. Medium / thick body that is very slick and cloying with no carbonation. The flavor starts with sweet malty caramel, alcohol and dark berries. The finish has even more berry character with a good amount of toffee. There is also some wood and vanilla. Very well done beer.