bytemesis (3685) - Sunnyvale, California, USA - JUN 28, 2014
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: JUN 29, 2014 Tap at the Ale Arsenal 2nd Anniversary. Pours murky chestnut, minimal tan head, a bit of lacing at best. Aroma is vanilla, oak, rum raisin, cocoa, fig, molasses, lots of dark fruits and sugars, plus a boozy note. Flavor is all of that, fully sweet, light bitter, bourbon, cherry. Full body, a bit chalky, pretty flat. Not really digging the mouthfeel, and the flavor became cloying over time. I am not as much as a fan as many others seem to be, but I am glad I got a chance.
marcus (6860) - Sacramento, California, USA - JUN 16, 2014
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
On tap at Capitol Beer & Tap Room. Pours dark brown with a modest tan head and a magnificent bourbon and vanilla aroma. There is a full-bodied dark molasses and bourbon flavor with a vanilla chaser. Very tasty.
bhensonb (11673) - Woodland, California, USA - JUN 13, 2014
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Tap at Capitol Beer in Sacramento, CA. Pours dark brown with a slight tan head. Aroma suggests dark fruit, treacle, chocolate and maybe bourbon. Flavor is very chocolate with almonds, dark fruit and it seems a lot of bourbon. It’s not dry in the finish, but a little oak arrives to help.
Prufrockstar (1209) - Seattle, Washington, USA - MAY 17, 2014
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Draft at Beer Authority. Pours deep, dark brown, almost completely opaque, with a ring of tan head. Aroma: whoa, did I just mistakenly get a Deliverance? No? Awesome. Aroma is actually very similar to Deliverance, so it’s hard to differentiate meaningfully. Vanilla, brown sugar, oak, raisins. Thick, full, rich body. This is a really impressive brew. Glad to see it on draft, and glad my wife could watch the kid for a spell while I try this.
tiong (4078) - Espoo, FINLAND - MAY 9, 2014
4.4 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Draught @ Mikkeller Bar, San Francisco, CA
Pours dark brown, almost black with a smooth brown head. Lovely complex aroma of ripe fruits, wood, oak, vanilla, bourbon, raisins, roasty malts, licorice, brandy, apples and dark chocolate. Taste is heavy, sweet and malty with loads of different barrel notes, wood, vanilla, oak, apples, syrup and dark chocolate. Finish is sweet, sticky and complex with loads of ripe fruits, syrup, barrel notes, vanilla, brandy, oak, chocolate and licorice. Quite an extraordinary beer.
illidurit (2180) - Petaluma, California, USA - APR 26, 2014
4.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
On tap at Beercraft. Pours a deep muddy brown with a small tan head. Aroma doesn’t impress me much, raisins and wheat bread, slight cherry and prune, driven home by a boozy undercurrent. Flavor is baller though. Heavy butterscotch pudding with golden raisins and lingering burnt caramel. Finishes warm but not boozy. Whoa.
Bule (919) - California, USA - APR 13, 2014
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
On tap at Beercraft. Pours a dark brown color with a tinge of red. Not much head. Aroma of raisins and strong alcohol that blows off quickly. Nice raisin flavor and lots of maltiness. Some harsh alcohol t the beginning, but after a few minutes it eases into a great strong sweet brew.
Smurf2055 (1400) - Seattle, Washington, USA - APR 9, 2014
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours murky brown, minimal tan head
Smell sweet oak, vanilla, maple, brown sugar
Taste smooth coco, vanilla, caramel, fudge, heat, rich and complex
ClarkVV (3893) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - MAR 30, 2014
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Draught at EBF, 3/22/14
Favorite beer of the fest and definitely made me rethink my position on Angels Share. Previously, while I enjoyed the beer (we’re talkin batch 1, way back in 2006, I believe?), I was a little thrown off by the candied sweetness and slight alcohol heat. That was a young batch. I still gave it a 3.8. Now take that, and add to it all of the improvements that Tomme’s made over the years, add some age (and resulting dryness), pick the very best barrels, blend. Hard to imagine it could be anything less than amazing. And in my book, it certainly delivered on that.
Sweetness is immediately tempered by vinousness; prunes, raisins, black currant-like notes. Chewy, but not syrupy or worty. While some other thought it was overly bourbony, I am usually pretty sensitive to that and didnt get it at all. Certainly a sipper, and yes, there’s going to be some alcohol, but I thought it was pretty well-concealed. Brandy-like sweetness, wood tannins, raisin-like sweetness, and bourbon complexities all melded perfectly. Nice carbonation level, as well. Too many of these things have ultra low levels and suffer because of it. This still has an engaging carbonation that helps mask some of its burly size.
Really one of the best barleywines out there (not that that’s saying much). Very unique and as always, I feel very lucky to have tried it.
Lothore (557) - California, USA - MAR 29, 2014
4.4 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Got the last pour before the keg blew at Toronado BW festival. It was about half head but I got it for $1!
A- Pours a deep, dark brownish color with a huge, tan head.
S- Lots of brandy, raisin, oak.
T- Sweet raisin, bready, spices, brandy, slight alcohol burn.
M- Thick with medium carbonation.
D- Awesome beer, i’m glad I got the chance to taste it (barely!).