ryan (3186) - Beltsville, Maryland, USA - MAY 31, 2008
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Courtesy of Mr. Kotter himself, Stine. Dark brown/black body with medium sized tan head. There’s a lot of nutty bourbon in the nose, but it’s very soft and not the least bit aggressive. Along with the bourbon is some nice dark fruit and toffee character as well as light molasses and a touch of alcohol. Flavor is sweet, but not overbearing, lots of prunes and toffee, some bourbon and caramelized raisins. Very port-like. Full bodied, extremely soft texture with light carbonation. Long, sugary finish with a touch of bitterness. I usually don’t go for sweet beers, but this one works. Thanks Eben.
emacgee (4585) - Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA - MAY 28, 2008
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Huge thanks to oldgrowth for sharing this at the Carolina Gathering. Pours a dark brown with a thin brown head, looks great. The nose is sweet, earthy, caramel, citrusy, very nice nose, not too much alcohol. The flavor is very nice, sweet, molasses and some brown sugar, plum, fruity, nice malt, soothing warmth. Nice full mouthfeel with a slight warmth finishes sweet and earhty.
TURDFERGUSON (4043) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - MAY 26, 2008
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Holy shit. I can’t believe Tom brought this to the gathering. Pours dark brown with a small bubbled head. Nose is rich with brown sugar, caramel, belgian yeast, spices, toffee. Its sweet, without being the least bit cloying. Its rich, oaky and vinous, without being too tannic. Mouthfeel is full, silky and smooth. This is easily the most drinkable barleywines I have ever had. And one of the best beers too. Chewy and smooth. Now I know why so many people want this beer. Thanks so much for sharing Tom!!
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 Turd’s place. Now three years old, this is probably at it’s peak and it rockets right to my top spot overall. I just can’t 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 (5500) - 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 J’s 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 (996) - Carlsbad, 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. It’s fuc*in’ 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 (2110) - 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.