mcbackus (758) - Merritt Island, Florida, USA - APR 2, 2008
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: FEB 14, 2009 bottle courtesy of mgumby: pours a good dark caramel brown with a decent creamy off white head. aroma is bourbon, slight fresh herbs or grass, some caramel, not as over powering as i would think. flaovur is exceptionally smooth, good dark caramel malts alittle roast, good oak and bourbon excellent.
hellomynameis (874) - Mayer, Minnesota, USA - APR 1, 2008
4.4 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
An explosive opening burst out the heavenly aroma. Lots of caramel and dark fruit with underpinnings of bourbon. The beer is a very dark and slightly murky mahogany colour with a thick fizzy brown head. Vanilla, caramel, bourbon, and alcohol are prominent in the flavour. There is a bit of oak and yeasty flavour n there as well. One of the more drinkable big barley wines out there though I think it’ll improve a bit with age.
FoolishMortal (986) - San Diego, California, USA - MAR 31, 2008
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
375mL bottle. Vanilla, char, chocolate, alcohol, dark alefruit in the aroma. Opaque brown-red, with a large rocky light brown head. Smokey vanilla and woody flavors, prominent spirit character. Dark alefruit, caramel, vineous notes. Some nuttiness and residual sweetness and whiskey in the finish. Mouthfeel is a medium heavy, somewhat hot.
AmEricanbrew (5512) - Same Trailer, Different Park, Louisiana, USA - MAR 31, 2008
3.9 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: SEP 4, 2008 Dark brown with a tan head that lingers. A sweet, delicate nose is charred wood, bourbon, vanilla ,with none overpowering the other; awesome . Mouthfeel is a little frothy and expanding. Flavors of dark caramel, smoky molasses, charred wood with a light bourbon booziness, again, no one flavor dominates.
Beerlando (3342) - Orlando, Florida, USA - MAR 31, 2008
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Courtesy mgumby10. Pours cloudy dark chestnut brown with golden edges. A small, swirly tan film sits at the head. Thick legging sticks to the glass, leaving just minimal spotting behind. The aroma shows huge caramel, brown sugar, toffee and vanilla notes, all accompanied by a smooth blast of intoxicating bourbon. The flavor is the same, with perhaps a bit of hazelnut that I didn’t detect in the brandy barrel version. Nearly full, smooth, sugary mouthfeel. Basically, exactly like the brandy barrel version in all aspects, except the bourbon permeates everything far more than the brandy does, which I love. Fantastic, delicious brew.
hopscotch (8458) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - MAR 31, 2008
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle… GIABMISGFAB… This beer rocks!… Dark prune-colored ale with a mid-sized, beige head. Terrific retention. The malty, earthy nose imparts a luxuriant mélange of caramel, buttery praline, bourbon and oak. Full-bodied with a creamy mouthfeel and lively carbonation. Leans heavily toward the sweet side of balance. Big notes of caramel and sourmash whiskey with an undertone of dried plum. Finishes sweet and fairly boozy. Mgumby10 donated this world class bottle of beer!
gunhaver (1030) - Tampa, Florida, USA - MAR 30, 2008
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: JUN 4, 2008 Merritt Island Throwdown ’08: Bottle, courtesy mMFgumby10. Pours a very dark brown, with a thick foamy cream-colored head. Nice wet lacing on the glass. Sweet aromas, candy corn, bourbon esters, molasses. Flavor is sublime: very sweet overall, with raisin and brown sugar being predominant flavors. Caramel is there too, but it’s intertwined with rich, alcoholic booziness. A nice vanilla aftertaste finishes each sip. Delightful. Medium-bodied, and very well balanced. Alcohol is present but it’s masked by the overall flavor and complexity of the beer.
elmatador00 (519) - Raleigh, North Carolina, USA - MAR 30, 2008
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Courtesy of Mgumby10. Pours a dark brown with some lacing. Aroma is mostly dirty wood. Tastes of bitter caramel with a huge boozy taste. Oak, molasses, and dark fruit dominate this brew. Palate is a little sweet, followed by a warming sensation.
BlackForestCO (975) - Aurora, Colorado, USA - MAR 30, 2008
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
UPDATED: AUG 31, 2008 08 bottle. Poured a deep, murky brown color with a thick beige head that diminished slowly and left some lacing. Aroma was mostly bourbon, with sme caramel, molasses, plum, and light alcohol coming out as it warmed. Flavor consists of caramel malts with hints of molasses and light chocolate, some dark fruit (namely plum) and a light oak, drying finish. Light alcohol present on the finish. Smooth on the palate with a decent drying character. Definitely a good beer, and perhaps it will mature with age, but as of now, no match for the brandy version.
drewbeerme (3836) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAR 29, 2008
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JUN 27, 2010 375ml bottle, 2008 vintage, first bottling. a big pop implies lots of carbonation in this. pours dark brown with tan head. a soft buttery bourbon, and woody vinous cherry notes. wonderful aroma. flavors are oaky, charred toffee malt notes, vanilla and buttery bourbon notes. finishes with a toasted and smoked nuttyness. everything in seemless balance and alcohol is contained. the bourbon fits AS about as well as the brandy. although, not quite as smooth around the edges as 06 brandy. this is similar to 07 brandy but the bourbon barrel makes this quite different than the brandy. a great barrel aged barleywine, was there any doubt? no, of course not, but i prefer brandy version. 3.8.
2006 vintage draft at Fobab 08 and 2009 vintage from 375ml were fantastic. 4.2.
6/27/10, Angels Share tasting (Brandy ’06, ’09, Bourbon ’08, ’09, ’10, and Grand Cru ’10).
Brandy ’06, pours dark brown with ruby tint, tan head. nose is papery sherry plums. pretty oxidized. Fl plums paper sherry vanilla. thin body past it’s prime but actually this is a good beer 7/4/7/4/15 = 3.7.
Brandy ’09. pours deep brown with red tints no head nose has big brandy oakm smoke caramel and a touch butterscotchy that actually works with it. Flavor brandy caramel smoke chocolate, nice. Nice and smooth. Feel med body really good. this was one of the top 2 in the tasting. 8/4/9/4/17 = 4.2.
Grand Cru ’10, pours dark brown with ruby tint and a fizzy off white head. nose has brandy caramel, oak, vanilla, flavor brandy, oxidation (similar to brandy ’06), oak, chocolate, plums. Alc heat, probably the booziest one of the bunch which is odd. boozy for sure. 9/4/8/4/17 = 4.2.
Bourbon ’08 pours dark brown red tints, nose papery oxidation bourbon
and toffee undertones. Flavor has toffee nuttiness dark fruit, and paper. past its peak but still drinkable. 7/4/7/4/14 = 3.6.
Bourbon ’09, pours dark ruby brown with no head. Nose alcohol toffee, raisin, bourbon, butterscotch. flavor bourbon char smoke alc booze and chocolatey finish. Very smooth and tasty. 8/4/9/4/17=4.2.
Bourbon ’10 pours dark brown with tan head. nose has toffee and bourbon. flavor bourbon chocolate smoke nuts alc, med body wow really tasty but a bit hot and rough. 9/4/8//4/16 = 4.1.