asheft (2372) - Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA - DEC 15, 2011
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
[bottle - vertical tasting: í08, í09, í10, í11; rating for best = í08]
Almost vinous creamy malt aroma with some pumpernickel but not tons. Almost clear yellow-orange under a wispy, off white cover. Very sweet, nice cereal grain flavour with some pleasant citrus hops. Full body, moderate carbonation, moderately bitter finish. Very solid barley wine.
DeanF (1621) - Nunavut, CANADA - DEC 10, 2011
2.6 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 10/20
2011 bottle, 11.5% alcohol volume. Poured & sampled at 11.7 celsius. Very small head, bright brown body with visible and moderate carbonation. Very soft sugar aroma, light barley hints. Flavour is a lot of malt and sweetness, cloying mouthfeel. Generic barley wine, hard to pick out of a crowd.
rwgould (323) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - DEC 4, 2011
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
0.5l ceramic swingtop. Appearance: Cloudy brown, tiny head that dissipated quickly. Fair amount of carbonation. Aroma: Incredibly sweet. Notes of honey, chives, vanilla, and butterscotch. Palate: Thick, but not as thick as most other barley wines Iíve had. Slightly dry finish. Taste: Very sweet, but kind of simple. Itís not bad, but definitely far from the best barley wine iíve had.
bortology (35) - Ontario, CANADA - NOV 17, 2011
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Caramel flavors from the malts. Lightly hopped. High alcohol flavor is masked.
No carbonation, makes for a good Barley Wine.
Craft Beer at its finest.
TheJester (1656) - Peterborough, Ontario, CANADA - NOV 3, 2011
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
500 mL ceramic bottle. (2011 - painted black this year 11.5%). Translucent rusty red with a thick film of head. Aroma is sweet-tart fruit, alcohol, and brown sugar. Doesnít smell "big" though. Flavour is pretty boozy, with lots of brown sugar. The booze isnít overwhelming, though it pretty much dominates the finish. Not very complex. Donít know how Iíve never rated this one - have tried every vintage, and even aged some a year or two. Even aged, this one smooths out, but never gets beyond "good."
mcberko (4844) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - OCT 30, 2011
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
2010 Bottle. Pours a hazy orangey amber with a small off-white head. Aroma of toffee, dark fruits and candied sugar. Flavour of sweet caramel malts, maple, candied sugar and some citrus hops. Medium complexity with prominent (but not cloying) sweetness.
7 4 8 4 15 (3.8 / 5)
2009 Bottle. Compared to 2010, doesnít give as much maple flavour, overall complexity is lowered and flavour profile slightly more muted.
7 4 7 3 15 (3.6 / 5)
2005 Bottle. Past its prime, with muted flavours and only some of the complexities remaining. Still decent.
6 4 6 3 13 (3.2 / 5)
2010 is definitely the best, though my rating is the half-way point between í09 and í10.
FlashParker (85) - Ontario, CANADA - APR 6, 2011
2.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 8/20
Ceramic Bottle. Innisfil, Ontario, Canada.
Whoa. Not really a fan of Barley Wine, to be honest, but I gave this a whirl. Let me say that yes, itís amazing for what it is, but no, this is not my style. This isnít for a lot of people. This is a true beer geek beer. Big time. Great pour, small head. Ruby colour. Nose has a bit of candy in it. Pretty simple. The taste is like sugar mixed into three types of spirits. Far too much alcohol for me. This is fruit in booze, to be honest. Far too much sugar. Yes, itís a great barley wine. No, I donít want this again. Even if I did buy a bottle to store on the shelf...
Glouglouburp (5883) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - MAR 30, 2011
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
In short: Sweet sugary caramel candy and refreshing tropical fruits flavour. A decent brew.
How: Ceramic bottle 500ml. 2009 vintage. Consumed when probably 1.5 year of age.
The look: Partly cloudy dark orange topped by an off-white bubbly ring of foam
In long: Nose is simple caramel and fruity notes. Taste is sweet caramel and candies but the potential cloying sweetness is partly offset by refreshing fruits flavors like oranges, apricots and pineapples. Basically this tastes like fresh tropical fruits swimming in caramel. Also notes of soft candies similar to jelly beans. Alcohol was apparent but not bothersome. Carbonation is relaxed and mouthfeel is a bit sticky. All in all it was a bit too sugary, not enough hopped and lack complexity. Yet, I drank my bottle not problem because its simplistic flavor spectrum was still relatively pleasant. Much better than I feared. This is far from a bad beer. And even farther from a polar bear, among other things.
Hammy78 (660) - Dundas, Ontario, CANADA - JAN 24, 2011
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
500ml bottle sample purchased at the LCBO. This is the first barley wine Iíve ever had so I didnít know what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised by this sweet nectar. Pours a reddish brown, no head to speak of. Aroma was hard for me to pinpoint. The taste is super sweet and of alcohol. Not bad, I would definitely have this again.
czar (3288) - Quťbec, Quebec, CANADA - JAN 21, 2011
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: JAN 21, 2013 re-rate: bourbon barrel-aged. some cloying caramel residual sugars, mouthfeel is ok.
pours hazy brown-reddish with a decent off-white head from a very nice porcelain swing-top bottle - probably represents 1/4 of their high price. anyhow, a lot of fruits in there, complex, cotton candy, candied fruits, caramel and roasted malts, toffee. overall very sweet but there is a big hoppy entry and finish - grassy all the way from start to finish. a good brew.