JCB (3999) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - MAY 25, 2008
4.6 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Huge, huge thanks to Oldgrowth for cracking open this amazing wonder of a beer at the Carolina crew gathering at Turdís place. Now three years old, this is probably at itís peak and it rockets right to my top spot overall. I just canít deny it its proper scores, and it was a pure delight to drink it. The aroma is just heavenly, wafting out from the dark, but evidently crisp body with heavy notes of malts and nuts initially and a slight fruit tang that promises complexity. But man, once it warmed up it went to another level. Vinous without being overpowering, and toffee notes that suggest an English barleywine or old ale but with a multi-leveled texture that comes courtesy of some bright fruits, hops, and the aforementioned wine qualities. Very full and silky mouthfeel, with tobacco and molasses emerging strongly, ending up like a top-notch port. So many different qualities in a beer that goes to so many different places, all while retaining a singular and unique identity of its own. Amazing. Thanks, Tom!!!
BrianK (200) - Livingston, New Jersey, USA - MAY 12, 2008
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Very sweet. Thick and chewy, pours a very dark color. Well masked abv. Nice flavors of oak, vanilla, caramel, and mild bourbon. Pretty nice.
Rciesla (5499) - Exit 15W, New Jersey, USA - MAY 6, 2008
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Thanks to BrianK for sharing this on the 3 year anniversary of its release, 5/5/08. Bottle. Pours dark ruby brown. Little to no head. Aromatic character is dark fruit plum, fig, chocolate, candy sugar. Mouthfeel is smooth and thick. sweet plumy, chocolate, and refreshing from etoh. Chewy, very chewy mouth coating leaves you wanting more quickly. Wow tobacco, bourbon in the finish, i want more again. WOW!
jarspag (601) - San Francisco, California, USA - APR 14, 2008
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
A long time coming for this guy. A highlight of the 4/12 tasting at Jís pad - go figure, our numbers line up. Big shout out to Tim - thanks man for making this happen.
Poured quite dark w/ minimal head dissipating into tiny bubbles. Nose was hovering around sweet malts, raisins, candi sugar, and deeply bourbon soaked wood. Subtle but arrogant. Flavor was damn sweet up front with a heavy dose or raisin, sugars, prunes, berries, toffee, wood, tobacco, brown sugar, smoky burnt malt behind the upfront sweetness - rounded by a port like elegance. The palate and body on this beer is a slice of heaven...rich, smooth, cocky, mellow, and pissed off all at once. It is evident the years of aging have melded, mellowed, and blended these flavors into a mouth coating blanket like palate - the body of this beer are in a dream like state. The belgian yeast strains also shine in the background - you can feel their influence in how the body and flavors differ from a cut throat, balls deep american style b-wine. The bourbon presence plays a mentor type role here - rather than a smothering and flavor raping son of a bitch - I dig that here. This is and was a work of art....I can only wonder how it will continue to develop - as for now, it sure is drinking greatly.
hapjydeuce (926) - San Diego, California, USA - APR 13, 2008
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: APR 18, 2008 A major thanks to jarspag for cracking open this huge rarity; I never thought we would ever get to try this when I first heard of it months and months ago. Very very dark for a barley wine, nearly black in the center with lighter maroon edges. Fading beige head and spotty lacing. Smells delicious! Sweet, caramelized Belgian candy sugar with raisin and plum, oak wood and loads of toffee. Some earthy leather tones and bourbon fruitcake underneath. Intriguing Belgian influence in the flavor, fruity and sweet. The candy sugar comes out more in the flavor with notes of port wine, black grape and raisin cinnamon bread. The +/-3 years of age show nicely, as the flavors are very mellowed and well-blended. A hint of stingy oxidation is noticeable. Extremely smooth palate with a lasting flavor of sugary bourbon and oak. Overall the bourbon barrel is more subtle than expected, and the Belgian yeast strains give it a unique and complex aspect. Excellent!
tyler_mn (1475) - SLP, Minnesota, USA - APR 7, 2008
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
22oz bottle poured into a sinfter shoved into my face by Kan less than a minute after I entered the door. "Here drink this. Itís fuc*iní sweet!" he says. OK... sure. Very malty aroma. Boatloads of vanilla, toffee, chocolate. Quite rich. Pours a near opaque brown with no sign of a head. The flavor is absolutely decadent. Thick chocolate, toffee, caramel, vanilla, brown sugar. Damn... Absolutely chewy body. Thick, viscous and creamy. Heavenly. Thanks a ton Kan!
holdenn (2078) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - APR 6, 2008
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Wow, I am forever grateful to pantanap for opening this gorgeous beer. Pours black with a tan head. Aroma is strong with toffee, caramel, red fruit and slight vegetal malts. With the oxidized vegetal notes this may be just past its peak, but not too far. Rich flavors of toffee, chocolate, raisins, and red fruit. As this warms the chocolate notes ebb while the dark fruits grow. Creamy smooth and so incredibly drinkable. I could sit with this one glass for hours. Delicious.
drewbeerme (3879) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - APR 6, 2008
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Rating #1400!! 22oz bottle. I canít thank pantanap enough for sharing this amazingly rare gem. wow Kan, wow. pours dark brown with creamy swirling tan head. looks fantastic. the aroma is slightly oxidized, sherry, nuts, very slightly vegetal. i was expecting more from the nose. flavors of sherry, sweet raisins, chewy caramel, and some chocolate. what amazed me about this beer was not the notes in the aroma or flavor but how smooth and easy drinking this was while maintaing a full mouth feel and intense profile. i couldnít take any alcohol at all, not even a warming alcohol. extremely smooth. I just kept thinking how every barleywine should be like this in a perfect world as it really is the best executed barleywine iíve ever had. this really lived up to the hope and hype I had for it. Awesome! Big thanks Kan!
pantanap (3351) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - APR 5, 2008
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: APR 15, 2008 bottle thanks to the man who shall not be named. huge huge huge thanks to that man.... pours a dark brown with a thin light tan head that diminished to a wispy resemblance of its former self.... nose was of rich dark fruit, caramel malt. not too amazing but it does hold its own..... flavor def. takes a turn for better. incredibly smooth on the dark fruit and sweet front. itís caramely and sugary but never becomes cloyingly so. creamy smooth mouthfeel and you canít notice the abv at all.....oh and this is my 500th rating and a well deserved one at that.
brewandbbq (269) - Manchester, New Hampshire, USA - JAN 7, 2008
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Pours dark brown and nearly opaque, with traces of ruby in the hips of the tulip glass.
A tan head of humble proportions struggled to reveal itself, with a stretch of a pour.
The quarter-inch of foam dissapated quickly, leaving a partial coverage at best.
Susequent swirls of the glass rose up continued frothing easily.
Remarkable in the nose. Heavily laced with thick malt, dried figs, charred oak, bourbon, and port.
Layers of richness continue with shades of leather, sherry, dark rum, toffee, and vanilla.
Mouthfeel is thick and chewy. Quite sticky and somewhat syrupy.
The pallet is rich and decadent.
Caramelized sugars, chewy malt, vineous port, and burnt chocolate bits.
Beneath the massive malt bill and unfermentables lies a cherry-like oxidation and bourbon.
Bitterness and any hopping is negligable, and the vineous nature leans the brew into an "Old ale" stance.
Finishes sweetish with lingering dark rum, port, smoked leather, and caramlized brown sugar.
A totally unique beer, with liquer overtones.