Thorpe429 (4944) - , Illinois, USA - DEC 1, 2010
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Thanks to psiweaver and hopsbreath for getting me out bottles of this.
A: Pours a moderate mahogany with a nice tan head and very minimal lacing.
S: Not too much going on here considering how much really should be going on here. A bit of the Brett comes through along with a bit of malt, but not much bourbon.
T: Brett comes in a bit, as does the malt. Again, not too much--if any--bourbon character. Not sure if this just isnít well balanced in general, or if itís at that point of limbo where the Brett is starting but hasnít brought through enough character to really carry the beer.
M: A bit dry and a bit hot. Fairly thick.
D: Fairly low. I just canít figure out where this one is going. Luckily Iíve got more to cellar, so Iím thinking (or maybe hoping) that Iím just getting to this one at the wrong time in itís development. Looking forward to revisiting this.
Serving type: bottle
Reviewed on: 09-05-2010
TomDecapolis (4337) - Lawrence, Kansas, USA - JUL 9, 2010
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Thanks to Josh for sharing. Pours a deep reddish brown with a small head. Aroma of tart cherries, brett, dark fruits and toffee. Flavor of toasted malt, dark fruits, oak, earthy, brett and tart cherries.
nimbleprop (3875) - SouthWest, Washington, Washington DC, USA - JAN 18, 2012
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
22oz bottle pours a hazy, caramel brown with some cloudy off white head. Nose has caramel, red wine vinegar, sour cherries, ketchup, light wood, some vanilla. Sweet caramel flavor, cereal, vanilla, cherries, coconut, some strawberry, cake icing, brown sugar, wood pulp, toasted oak, some rum. Medium bodied, smooth, sweet, tart finish. Really good.
IrishBoy (3688) - Bakersfield, California, USA - JUN 16, 2012
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bomber from iowaherkeye. Nose is berries, bretty funk, toffee, and bourbon. Clear very dark brown with a medium tan head. Flavor is toffee, fruity, light sweetness, only a slight bit of brett, and candisugar.
FlacoAlto (3676) - 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.
GeneralGao (3614) - Iowa City, Iowa, USA - NOV 26, 2011
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle shared by iowaherkeye. Thanks. Poured a clear dark orange-brown color with an off white head. Smelled of raisin, toffee, and booze with a fruity Brett note. Medium bodied and slightly sweet. Bourbon, vanilla, caramel, and subdued lemon Pez flavors.
jrallen34 (3475) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAR 30, 2011
3.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottle provided by Agentzero, drank from a perfect pint glass...Medium to dark brown pour, lots of amber though. The head is ok, not much to talk about...The nose is caramel, brown sugar, oak and brett. The brett doesnít add anything to this, seems too forced...The taste is not that good, molasses, burnt sugar and brett. Alex kept saying Dr. Pepper, I get that in terms of the sweet notes. Reminds me of Jackie Oís captain barley heart, this is just not as successfully done. Leave the brett out of barleywines, at this one, because it doesnít enhance the experience. Skip.
nickd717 (3400) - San Francisco, California, USA - JUL 16, 2010
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bomber from City Beer in SF. Hmm so this beer was "intentionally" infected, was it? Interesting...
A fairly nice pour, this beer has. The color is a deep translucent reddish-amber-brown, and a light beige head sticks around atop the beer for some time.
Aroma is interesting. Your usual notes of caramel malt, toffee, bourbon, -bal, and vanilla are all there. Some hops as well. Then you get a slight bretty aspect that really isnít too disconcerting at all. Iíll be damned.
Flavor is mostly sweet, but there is just the slightest hint of cherry-like tartness. Huge caramel malts and toffee, smooth bourbon, oak, and vanilla. Very slight funk from the ímyces.
Surprisingly smooth and slick on the ífeel given the brett presence. Feels for the most part like the usual version. Medium-full body with good carbonation level for the style.
Fairly drinkable. Iím surprised to have really enjoyed this beer after expecting it to be a train wreck.
Beerlando (3342) - Orlando, Florida, USA - JUL 3, 2010
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Brick red dipped bomber, marked 2009. Pours a deep, hazy, cola brown color. A small, smooth head of beige foam settles to a swirly film with a pronounced, small-bubbled edge. Thin, tall, diagonal flares of lacing jut out from the body, clinging hard to the glass. The nose is enticing, showing a brown sugar, toffee, and molasses malt base, with a bit of cocoa richness and a beautiful, oaky bourbon kiss. Brett imparts itís signature earthy, wild dryness, but it remains expertly controlled. The wood is clearly well seasoned, as hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice provide interesting depth. Peanut skins are an interesting and welcomed twist. Flavors are right on par, deliciously rich with caramel and toasted toffee, with a bit of cocoa roast, and a hint of earthy smokiness from the molasses. The barrel imparts vanilla and toasty spices, while sassafras root lends a root beer-esque quality. Thereís a sour mash twang to the bourbon that is really enjoyable. Bretty dryness is present, but delicate, bringing with it a subdued, dusty earthiness that effectively cuts down the sweetness of the malt. Concurrently, the barrel and Brett have thinned the palate a bit, but not entirely, creating an excellent balance between drinkability and satisfying substance. Itís one of the more drinkable elite barleywines Iíve ever had, yet it doesnít feel thin. Carbonation is soft but active, and the finish brings both sweetness and dryness. Excellent beer. I tend to agree with BBB63 that this brew is great now, and is probably not likely to improve. Still, I might get some more to try to prove myself wrong.
pantanap (3323) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAY 29, 2010
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: MAY 30, 2010 22oz bottle from Joey... Pours a dark muddy caramel brown with lighter brown edges and a thin light beige head... Nice bretty aroma right off the bat with tart pineapply Brett with an underlying sweet bourbon barrel Qnd vanilla component. Really nice aroma... Flavors are predominantly sweet with the underlying barleywine with bourbon barrel notes and some less subtle hints of fruity pineapply Brett character. A little boozy but still quite nice overall. As others said or at least my immediate party, well balanced between Brett, bourbon, and the base beer.