seymour (1413) - Maplewood, Missouri, USA - JUL 18, 2012
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Shared at the Royale gathering last night, thanks Peter! Poured from small, thick-walled, corked bottle into snifter. It was an interesting opaque, dark reddish brown color with thin beige film of spritzy bubbles. Aromas of blended booze, toasted hard wood, nutty tannins, rich caramelized sugars, oxidized malts, vanilla. Fairly true-to-style barleywine flavors, but again, enhanced, nay TRANSFORMED by the lengthy aging inside bourbon and brandy barrels. Some may say the whole "BA" thing is a fad, but here’s a brewery which definitely knows how to do it right. An interesting, almost overwhelming taste experience. Unique and delicious. Sip slowly.
phaleslu (6397) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - JUL 18, 2012
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
375 ml bottle from moejuck- thanks a ton, Joe! Pours a dark, hazy cola brown with almost no head- settles flat. Aroma of brown sugar, caramel malts, raisins, figs, dates, toffee candy, cola, oak, and a brandy-like boozy note. Flavor of tons of grapes, plums, brown sugar, caramel, oak, and a rich wine character, kind of like a Port or Bordeaux. More tartness in the flavor than the nose, while the nose has a ton of sweetness; both do, really. Medium-bodied, with low carbonation. Maybe a little too tart- I liked that dimension but it dominates the palate after the initial awesome complexity. Really hard beer to describe. Fun to drink.
RoyalFlushing (322) - Mamaroneck, New York, USA - JUL 14, 2012
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle poured a dark brown with ruby hues, a tiny tan head, and notable lacing. Aroma includes bourbon, roastiness, vanilla, honey, cherries, plum, and slight booze. Taste is dark fruit, caramel, brown sugar, and a hint of sour cherries. Thick syrupy body produces a velvety mouthfeel and smooth finish with alcohol warming.
Jlo7399 (217) - Florida, USA - JUL 8, 2012
4.6 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
One of the best beers I have ever had. Pours brown and had a thin head. Aroma was brandy, bourbon, chocolate, cola, dark fruits. Flavor is deep. Dates, raisins, bourbon, brandy, cola, etc...as it warms it gets more intense. I got something new every sip. Warming on the back end. Thanks to Juice for this gem.
Huhzubendah (2496) - Washington DC, USA - JUN 29, 2012
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Thanks to ahalloin for sharing this gem.
A: Dark brown with decent sized head and lacing.
S: Roasted malt, bourbon, brandy, alcohol, raisins and/or dark fruits. There’s a whole lot going on here. Amazingly complex. If there wasn’t such a prominent alcohol aroma, it would have achieved the highest score.
T: Bourbon and brandy are each distinguishable and separate - very well done. Again, this beer is insanely complex but it’s also pretty hot. Also, dark fruits and a big, malty sweetness. I really think this one could benefit from a few years in the cellar.
M: Good carbonation level, warm alcohol finish.
D: A tasty brew. Good for splitting a few ways.
madmitch76 (14744) - , Essex, ENGLAND - JUN 20, 2012
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
26th June 2010
Opaque black beer. Bubbly biscuit coloured head. Oaky vanilla chocolate malt nose. Soft smooth palate., a little dry. Very moderate carbonation. Oaky dark chocolate, rich. Subtle vanilla and spicy Port Wine. Equally subtle blackcurrant, red berry fruits and brandy. Minerals and a little coffee. The only thing I can’t taste is the grapes! Warming finish. Very good stuff!
KickInChalice (860) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAR 1, 2012
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
From notes. First reviewed 2/23/2011. Poured from a 300 mL bottle into a pint glass.
The pour is molasses brown, with a small cocoa colored head. With the ABV what it is, I am not surprised at the quick disappearance of the head or lack of lace.
The aroma has some tart cherry notes. Molasses, caramel, and brown sugar all provide a sweet aspect to the aroma, and some roasted malt, vanilla, oak, and dark fruits add some serious depth.
Even knowing how sweet this is going to be, I am still turned off by how overwhelming the sweetness actually is. Brown sugar and molasses really overpower the medium roasted malt. Some plums, brandy, vanilla and oak add complexity, but unfortunately add to the sweetness as well. A bit of oak later on helps a bit toward the end. This is clearly a dessert beer.
This full bodied strong ale starts off sweet and chewy and finishes a little bit dry from the oak. Light to medium carbonation. A bit of heat is apparent in a warming sensation that hits my stomach.
I enjoyed the small glass I had and thought it was very well-crafted, but I would not really be able to handle much more of this outside of a dessert setting.
skoisirius (1632) - Earth, Washington, USA - JAN 2, 2012
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Sampled at a tasting last year sometime. Dark murky brown pour, little head. Lots of dark candy malt and bourbon on the nose. Big beer here, lots of bourbon, yeasty bread, oak, and mild caramel all over, given to you in a sticky palate coating that rocks. Big bourbony blended finish that lingers. Dank.
RCL (2030) - Waltham, Massachusetts, USA - DEC 31, 2011
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Big bourbon and wine aroma. Quite vinous, vanilla accented flavor. More complex than the brandy barrel, but not quite as hedonisticly pleasurable as the bourbon barrel.
wedgie9 (1884) - Nashville, Tennessee, USA - DEC 2, 2011
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Tasted on 12/2/11 from a corked and caged 375mL bottle purchased online from Beverages4Less. Pours an extremely thick dark brown, almost looks like molasses, with a thin tan head that slowly recedes to a thin collar of lace. The nose is super intense sweet raisin with tons of brown sugar, slightly oxidized port wine, actually quite vinous and fruity, balsamic, and some underlying tartness that becomes more apparent as the beer warms. The sourness is much more present on the flavor, showing with tart lemon and balsamic vinegar, but all of the raisin vinous fruit, brown sugar, caramel, and toffee flavors are in the background, along with the distinct note of black peppercorn. The body is very thick and somewhat syrupy with a good amount of tannin, light, but fizzy carbonation, and a very long finish that starts off with the sour notes and moves through the gamut of vinous and malty caramel flavors as well. I am not sure that this was intended, but this is an excellent beer, almost completely masking the high alcohol content.