radiomgb (2686) - Peterborough, Ontario, CANADA - MAR 29, 2009
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Very dark brown - nearing black - in colour with a thin but lingering tan head, light lacing. The aroma has some oak, alcohol, lots of dark fruits - black cherries, plums, figs, white sugar. The flavour is very fruity, red grapes, woody, light alcohol, some earth, cherries. Dirty almost gritty mouthfeel, medium/light body, medium carbonation. Finishes long, fruity and sweet.
A very fruity Barley Wine as I didn’t get much hop bite from this. I’m sure the barrel had something to do with this. Pretty good.
375ml bottle obtained in a trade with TheCheeseMan, thanks Dan.
Opened on November 7, 2008.
Snojerk321 (2960) - San Diego, California, USA - MAR 23, 2009
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
12.7 oz bottle. Pours a deep brown almost black with a small beige ring. Nose of tart cherries, oak, vinegar, and some dark fruits. Brew was much more sour than anticipated, very tasty none the less. Finish was actually quite light and crisp for a Barley Wine, Sour Ale ......what ever you want to call it.
jgb9348 (5440) - Arlington (Pentagon City), Virginia, USA - MAR 19, 2009
2.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 11/20
Deep muddy brown coloured body with a slight ruby and purple coloured side and an almost non-existant light brown head - interesting! Aroma of sour grapes, cherries, oak, vanilla pods and deep raw sugar. Medium-bodied; Strong assertive taste that somehow fits right between sour wine/grapes and roasted malt - like a slightly sour (not as much as a flemish sour) brown ale. Aftertaste shows more malt, raisins, brown sugar, oak, vanilla and a light sour note, all with no character on the tongue, since there is no carbonation at all. Overall, a pretty below par beer with odd notes and an even odder cap (neat though). I don’t think this is a Barley Wine - more of an ’American Strong’ because of the generality of the category - but perhaps a flemish sour. I wouldn’t really recommend this at all, but if you want an Italian beer that isn’t absolutely horrible, this one isn’t too bad. I sampled this 37.5 cL (split) bottle purchased at Merchant’s in Dearborn, Michigan on 03-August-2008, sampled at home in Washington on 18-March-2009.
Boutip (5583) - Gatineau, Quebec, CANADA - FEB 19, 2009
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle: Poured a cloudy and opaque deep burgundy color ale with light bubbly head with minimal retention. Aroma of sour and oak notes are pretty intense with distinctive sweet barley notes also noticeable. Taste is a unique mix between some vinous tart notes with light cherry (which may originated from the oak) and some sweet barley notes. Carbonation is low with a full non-filtrated body and no alcohol was showing. Very particular, complex and challenging.
rudolf (2353) - Buffalo, New York, USA - FEB 9, 2009
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle, shared w. Tim & Jacob. Thanks Jacob! Very dark brown, almost purple head. Nose is balsamic, meaty malts, bright pit fruits. Flavor is oakey, rich malt, some acidity & wine-ness. Fruity twang towards the end w. earthy malt. Very nice!
That1Guy (2186) - Colorado, USA - JAN 19, 2009
2.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 10/20
Crushed with Jakebra. Nice nose, kinda. Smells like a stouty sour, not the other way around. Flavor leaves much to be desired. Very bready flavor, which is so far from a barley wine it’s not even funny. And the guy who rated before me sucks.
FlacoAlto (4125) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - JAN 18, 2009
4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
375ml bottle; Sampled January 2009
As I pour this I get a solid note of chewy, berry driven, tobacco edged red wine that is reasonably oaked. The beer pours into my large Tripel Karmeliet tulip with a frothy, large bubbled, initially half-finger thick, browned, tan colored head. The beer is a dark, well burnt amber color that shows an almost opaque hue to it when held up to the light, but if held just right flashes of deep ruby show through. This is incredibly wine like in the nose, there is also a soft backdrop of funky, ripe cheese and the oak provides a spiciness to this beer that accentuates the alcohol just a bit. Jam-like berry notes, full red currants and concentrated red wine notes are joined by a touch of buttery oak, some solid vanillin notes and a raw, freshly cut oak note. This has got to have been aged in Red Wine barrels of some sort. I am really digging the nose on this beer, it is incredibly complex, though I suppose much of the malt / hop character has been consumed by its stay in the barrel. I really like the touch of funkiness in the aroma that this has picked up.
Lightly carbonated the beer has a lightness to it that makes it seem a cross between a red wine and a strong Belgian Ale. It has a touch of viscous heft to it as well as a light sweetness that accentuates some dark fruit notes of black currants, tannic cherries, concentrated blackberries and perhaps a touch of raspberry. The beer finishes with a nice oak character that is in well balance with the other flavor components; some tannic, spicy oak, a solid woody bite and a bit of buttery oak character in the finish. This has a touch of tartness to it that is wrapped up in the wine-notes somehow. I have finally noticed a bit of beer character here as this beer has a toasted malt middle to it as well as a hint of caramel and toffee, these last mix in with the buttery oak character. There is a certain nuttiness here that seems to be a product of the malt and oak character (this last almost tastes of coconut at times). Perhaps a hint of cocoa is noticeable at times, but this is quite subtle.
This is one marriage of wine and beer that is more on the wine side of the aisle. Definitely surprising given that this is a malt / hop product, and while this is incredibly tasty, even fantastic, the weakness of this beer is that it does not taste enough like a beer. Still I will happily consume this any day.
kp (10884) - Woodstock, Georgia, USA - JAN 18, 2009
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Date: November 29, 2008
Source: Green’s, Atlanta
Appearance: opaque dark ruby red, wispy beige head, streaks of lace
Aroma: sweet dark fruit and chocolate aroma balanced by fruity tartness, initially strong oak quickly fades away
Flavor: rich malt flavor, lots of cherry tartness, sweet fruityness balances out the tartness, oak follows the tartness to add a bittering balance
Aroma: 7/10; Appearance: 6/10; Flavor: 7/10; Palate: 6/10; Overall: 13/20
ChainGangGuy (4692) - Woodstock, Georgia, USA - JAN 4, 2009
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Appearance: Pours a dark brown, near black body with a creamy, wispy, off-white head.
Smell: Dark, roasty malts smelling of dark chocolate, barley, and caramel transition into a more wine-like aroma of slightly tart, concentrated fruits and oak.
Taste: Dark maltiness with tastes of chocolate, roasted barley, sweet caramel, and half-n-half soaked licorice. Enter the creaking wood. Pinch of tobacco. Vinous, tart fruitiness with flavors of grapes and dried black cherries. Hint of vanilla. More oak showing through, becoming quite plentiful. Touch of lactic sourness on the otherwise fruity, oaken finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-low carbonation.
Drinkability: It’s interesting; some beers grow on you the more you drink, but with this brew, it’s just the opposite.
Ibrew2or3 (7935) - Tempe, Arizona, USA - JAN 2, 2009
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours deep dark brown with thin brown head. The aroma has a full wood note with a hint of booze and then some red wine like fruitiness creating a dry tannin sensation. Behind that are notes of dark fruity esters and a bit of malt roast. The taste feels thin to start bringing in dark fruits mixed with red wine and some wood. Nearing midway roasted malts mix with dry red wine tannins drying it out some into the finish. Very good stuff. A full flavored session barleywine.