Walt (2449) - Austin, Texas, USA - JUL 13, 2005
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Pour is black with a thin tan head...smell is sweet caramel and nuts (and doughnuts)...taste is sweet and malty with cookies and bread throughout...finish is a little smokey and went great with the sweetness...another surprising treat...
CaptainCougar (7107) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - JUL 12, 2005
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JUN 24, 2006 Bottle aged about a year: Pours a nearly opaque dark brown with a thin, wispy tan head. Aroma of sweet complex dark caramel malts and lots of raisins. Body starts with a full, sweet, complex viscous maltiness. Nicely balanced, with good aged complexity. A very nice barleywine. I sure wish this was easier to find.
Sampled at the RBSG Ď05 bottle tasting courtesy of mjames: Very viscous, nearly opaque dark brown pour with a thin tan head. Rich, sweet, caramely and dark chocolatey with some candy-like sugar throughout the aroma. Body is filled with chocolate chip cookie dough sweetness with good sticky maltiness and a hint of bready Belgian yeast. This reminds me a lot of Pannepot and should age gracefully. Another great Midnight Sun beer.
jsquire (3011) - St. Marys, Ohio, USA - JUL 12, 2005
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
RBSG 2005 -- Black beer with beige bubbles fighting to make their presence known on the top of this beer. Dark fruit sweetness in the nose with molasses and some bourbon. Deep, dark sweetness with lots of raisen, molasses, vanilla, and a candi sugar note, all rounded by the wood/bourbon presence. Very nice beer.
MrRomero (1966) - Nolanville, Texas, USA - JUL 12, 2005
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: JUL 15, 2005 RBSG 2005: Poured dark brown with a small brown head. Chocolatey and roasted malt aroma. Very sweet flavor with light chocolate notes. Too sweet for me.
argo0 (10425) - Washington DC, USA - JUL 12, 2005
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
(22oz bottle, RBSG05) Black body topped by a tan head. Aroma is medium sweet, some smoke, chocolate, light coffee. Taste is sweet, chocolate, caramel, cherry. Full body with light syrup. Good but a bit too sweet.
egajdzis (4949) - Spring Mount, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 10, 2005
4.5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JUL 11, 2005 RBSG 2005... Poured a chestnut brown color with a small, light tan head that left spotty lacing on the glass. Aroma of vanilla, caramel malts, cherries, and oak. Taste of caramel malt, vanilla, dried fruits, hops, and light alcohol.
lilannie (384) - Adamstown, Maryland, USA - JUN 20, 2005
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Aroma: carmel, sweet malt, cream, Beligum yeast, rose bouquet, light hops, slight fruitiness
Appearance: very dark brown, nearly black, small tan head, lacing
Flavor: sweet dark fruits, some semi-sweet chocolate, cream and sugar, slight roasted flavor, light soy sauce, oak, molasses, light vanilla
Palate: very sweet and creamy, fills the mouth with flavor and coats the tongue with sweetness; aftertaste of semi-sweet chocolate, roasted coffee beans, and cream--definite "port-like" finish
Overall: a very well balanced barleywine--yummy!
3fourths (7064) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - JUN 20, 2005
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: MAR 31, 2009 Body is deep brown, very close to pitch black but also with some walnut color near the top. The head is regular sized with brown sugar colored bubbles. First scent of the nose is vanilla beans, brown sugar, perhaps some strange (canít put a finger on it) meaty/soy sauce/worcestershire sauce. Sweet bourbon dates, definitely a strong raisin presence, and a chemical-alcohol tinge of black, thick (dare I say triple bock?) steak marinade. 10 minutes later when this sucker has warmed the bourbon just opens up so well... resiny, sour, woody and everything else. Really wonderful aroma developed at a warmer temperature for this one. The oak is bolder as well, with that definitive oak wood scent that you can smell through the bourbon, much like you can smell through any other fluid that may have sat in an oak barrel before it being used for brewing. First up front on the lips itís tingly and sweet, the Belgian yeast is noted easily, and thereís a pleasant buzz or numbing on the tongue from the bourbon and slightly peppy bite of wood. Seems the bourbon and wood are light flavors overall, which is really appreciated. The finish is magnificent... deep, roasty raisins, plums, some chocolate and a strong molasses presence. Ultimately a bit thinner than expected, but when youíre comparing something that uses candi sugar to up the gravity without weighting down the palate to American style barley wines, that should be expected. The port resemblance is there... seems like a definite winter warmer drink, though it was released in May. I can see how some people might not like this one, thereís a lot of activity... it takes some getting used to. The bourbon compliments the maple and brown sugar flavors well, and the soy sauce likeness is just below a level at which it would being to annoy. For what seems like a kitchen-sink brew, itís quite tasty, and certainly unique. UPDATE: A day later I realized that it had a flavor that was similar to NyQuil, that hars