blklab2007 (1860) - Connecticut, USA - OCT 5, 2010
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
2009 red wax bottle poured a dark brown in color with a small light tan head that took some coaxing out. aroma has vanilla from the barrels, wet oak, light sweet bourbon, damp brett, and a light funk. mouth feel is thick and coating and has a low carbonation. flavor starts with sweet bourbon, thick malt, vanilla, wet wood, approaches dark fruit, and has some mild spiciness. the brett is subdued and although it has plenty of sweet bourbon there is little burn.
badnewsbeers (2316) - Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA - SEP 30, 2010
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
2009. Brett. From Wavers1. Thanks! Ruddy, reddish brown. Dark, cloudy and beautiful. Aroma of sour funk (brett), tart cherry, charred caramel, and cola. Big oaky flavor. Massive wood, raisin, fig and bread. The big brett captured in nose is more subtle, as the flavor is more heavily dominated by the ten month bourbon aging. A simply beautiful version of a barley wine style I donít enjoy as much as many do.
deyholla (5849) - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA - SEP 12, 2010
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle shared by John, thanks! Poured a cloudy reddish brown with a brown head that dissipated to the edges. Aroma was full of sweet grain, caramel, light fruit and bourbon. Flavor had growing sweet grain and caramel with a bit of light fruit and bourbon. Didnít really notice any brett characteristics, but still enjoyed the beer.
Ratman197 (8856) - Arvada, Colorado, USA - SEP 11, 2010
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle poured a clear dark reddish brown with a lasting tan head. Aromas of bourbon, oak, carmel, fruittiness, light barnyard and light vanilla. Palate was medium bodied and smooth with a dry finish. Flavors of bourbon, oak, vanilla, fruittiness, barnyard and light leather with a smooth dry lingering bourbon finish.
fiver29 (1025) - Cleveland, Ohio, USA - SEP 11, 2010
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle shared by Baker. Thanks! Pours murky amber color with off white head. Aroma is dark caramel, sweet sugar, bourbon, vanilla, and a touch of brett is noticeable in the nose. Medium mouthfeel. Flavor is more barleywine. Sweet caramel, a great bourbon and vanilla mix, and finishes with a touch of brett. It adds an interesting dimension to an already outstanding beer. Great stuff.
FlacoAlto (3737) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - AUG 27, 2010
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
A solid pour into my 25cl tulip glass produces a two-finger thick, nicely amber tinged, dark tan colored head. The beer is a dark, concentrated amber color that shows brighter red with flashes of ruby when held up to the light (it also seems to have a touch of haze to it too). Buttery oak aromas mix with mellow funkiness to produce a note reminiscent of overly ripe cheese. Aromas of up front vanillin meld into notes of tart fruit towards the finish; reminds me somewhat of plums and red grapes, or really more of a current like note; if you really dig for it a sort of overly ripe fruit character is noticeable at times, at others I get hints of star-fruit. Big rich aromas of toasted coconut add a sort of candy / dessert like quality to the middle and mixes in seamlessly with the vanillin notes. It is interesting how the varies between smelling of light tart fruit and like very well integrated Bourbon character. The base beer really plays a secondary role in the nose; really only the malt is subtly noticeable with a rich caramel character and some accentuating toasted malt character.
My first sip is sweetish tasting, but quite a bit lighter bodied and drying than the base beer is. The Bourbon barrel at first provides flavors of toasted coconut and vanilling, but finishes with a woody spiciness as well as some oak character that accentuates a warming in the finish. Other flavors of brown sugar baked nuts. Hmm, the finish just had a very strong, really funky Brettanomyces induced flavor that reminded me of a cross between rotting fruit and cheese that is way past its prime; this really dirty foot like note sort of snuck up on me and, completely unprepared for it, it actually had me shudder in revulsion a bit (mostly because it was so out of place with the Bourbon and Barleywine flavors). Fruit flavors of not quite raisins, perhaps some rustic fig notes, tart reduced plum compote and perhaps even some notes similar to quince paste are each subtly noticeable underneath the more dominant Barrel character. The beer has a herbaceous bitterness to it in the finish that was not at first noticed as it was hiding underneath the spicy oak and alcohol notes. Perhaps a touch of cocoa character is contributed by the malt as well as some concentrated brown sugar crustiness and dark, whole grain, molasses influenced bread character.
This is definitely an interesting and complex beer. It is not as Brettanomyces influenced as I was expecting, and even the tartness is a by-product of the Bourbon barrel more than it is from a wild influence. To be honest there isnít enough different from a beer that just didnít age all that well during its time in the barrel; the Brett character really needs to be a lot more distinct and interesting before I would consider this a unique experience. Not bad, but just doesnít resonate; the flavors are actually fairly nice, it just seems to lack a bit in the richness department that it needs to stand up to the barrel influence.
arminjewell (5587) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - AUG 23, 2010
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours deep reddish brown with white head, aroma is bourbon, vanilla, oak, molasses, and brett funk. Taste is smooth aged hops, leading into molasses, vanilla, bourbon, and brett funk. Good, nothing else like it.
kbutler1 (1345) - Minnesota, USA - AUG 22, 2010
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle. Dark brown reddish color with a tan head. Smells more like a wild than a barleywine. Reminiscent of Odell Saboteur in some aspects but much better. Oaky notes ever so slightly. A very wild and different taste. Brett wild start, sweet raisins, dark fruit with very little hop characteristics. Smooth. Slight alcohol taste. Medium mouthfeel.
SphinxTX (2876) - Mata Gorda, Texas, USA - JUL 31, 2010
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle thanks to BMan1113VR. Pours a dark brown with orange hues and a tan head. Aroma of dark toast, dark fruit, leather, brown sugar, brett an toasted oak. Flavor is very much the same and is sweet. Mouth feel is heavy body with low carbonation. Very nice!
crusianbeer (116) - Texas, USA - JUL 24, 2010
3.4 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle from the jug in san fran...
Pours a nice rich dark brown with less than one finger of tan head.
Smells like it is infected, or a sour, whichever is your poison. Hope i am not disappointed in this. Not a huge fan of sours, and this smells like that. Distinct sour cherries.
Taste is considerably different from the nose, significantly different. Slight bourbon, nice oak, nice barleywine...just the tiniest hint of sour...just enough to make it interesting. Barely present.
Oddly enough, as it sits here, the nose has pulled chameleon on me, canít say I have had a beer like this...as the head goes down, the sour nose is completely gone... Now the nose is bourbon and oak...quick swirl, and sour dominates again.
Transformer beers are awesome! Lol.