IMtheOptimator (1164) - Bethel, Connecticut, USA - SEP 13, 2008
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Poured a deep mahogany with a very small off-white head. Somewhat faint aroma of oak, chocolate, and some acidic grape fruitiness. Flavor follows and is surprisingly tart with some notes of oak and current, with a touch of cherry and grape. Lightly carbonated body. Unusual, though I expected as much from the Italians, and though wasn’t bad, I’m not dissuaded from enjoying more traditional barley wines more.
frylock (1135) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - APR 4, 2009
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Shared with rudy and IPFreely. Dark chestnut brown color topped by a tiny white head. Oak vanilla and red grape aromas. Nice dry oak flavors accompanied by grape skins, and a hint of balsamic vinegar. This was really a very enjoyable beer, almost like a great Flemish Red minus the puckering sourness. Not really a barley wine in my book, but an interesting and enjoyable experience.
BlackDonald (1126) - Gulf Shores, Alabama, USA - JUL 16, 2008
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Thanks Beerlando! This is a truly lovely drinking experience. Pours a somewhat oily but decadent deep brown in color with absolutely no head at all. Vinous fruits and caramelized brown sugar. Its amazing to me how you can take a miniscule beer and barrel age it and it come alive, completely transformed. Front of the palate is slightly vinous and fruity, then a flavor explosion happens, sweet vanilla and oak notes, some dry red wine like tannins. This is really different and delicious.
afterglow (1047) - Florida, USA - DEC 31, 2008
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle courtesy of Ibrew2or3. Pours a hazy amber with no head. Aroma is vinous with notes of oak and a hint of vinegar. Taste is coffee, chocolate, oak, and a slight nuttiness in the finish. Medium thin mouthfeel with a mild amount of bitterness and smooth alcohol. Very good.
fiver29 (1036) - Cleveland, Ohio, USA - OCT 2, 2010
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle shared by Alan. Thanks! Pours black with tan head. It whisps away quickly. Aroma really picks up the components of the wine well this beer was aged in. I almost thought I was smelling wine, not beer. Interesting. Plum and blackberry comes through. Medium mouthfeel. Flavors are like what I would expect. It really tastes more like a red wine. Without the strong tannins associated with one. But its still got a touch of tannic feel. Very interesting brew.
MatSciGuy (907) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - FEB 8, 2010
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
[Bottle] shared by guerde. Pours a clear, burnt caramel with almost no head. Aroma has lots of red wine barrel character, which I am really thrilled about, plenty of tannin, caramel, cherry, and alcohol. The barrel doesn’t completely cover up the base beer, which is nice. Flavor is a bit thin and nearly flat, there is a nice sharp tartness in there, caramel, and cherry.
bp (865) - New York, New York, USA - OCT 11, 2008
3.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottle: pours a deep dark red - reminds a bit of red wine but cloudy, I can smell the red wine aroma from a few feet away, also a sweet aroma hidden under the wine aroma, taste is sour, the wine from the barrel aging is quite present as well in fact it mostly overpowers anything else this beer has to offer. Very interesting stuff, certainly drinkable...I wonder what a wine lover would think of this one?
bdigital (658) - Ft Wayne, Indiana, USA - AUG 7, 2008
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle: Courtesy of pepsican...thanks Andy. I don’t think I’ve ever had anything quite like this...the pour looked like some of the finest balsamic vinegar ever and the aroma was sic. Big vinous notes with some dark malts, raisins, black cherries. There seems to be a very subtle vanilla and oak tone going on but the wine-like qualities pretty much overpower them. Lightly carbonated...dry, medium body. Starts slightly sweet and wine-like and then morphs into a dark, malty, fruity finish that has notes of chocolate and oak showing through. Fine brew.
CheesedMan (555) - Saint Cloud, Florida, USA - APR 27, 2008
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Courtesy Beerlando. Pours a cola brown, with a small head. Aroma is interesting, with notes of wine, grapes, oak, coccoa, milk sugars and some earth. Flavor is vinous, with a touch of sourness. Very nice.
Floback (550) - Indianapolis, Indiana, USA - AUG 21, 2008
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Bottle from Knightly Spirits. Pours a dark brown/black coffee color with no head. This has an incredibly effervescent aroma of fruits, caramel, and old room. Flavors are sour and chocolatey, yet robust with caramel and oak wood. Very wine-like with notes of pinot noir, cranberry, blueberry, and pomegranate. Medium/low carbonation and full body. Very complex and nicely balanced carbonation with the body. Alcohol content is hidden well. An excellent brew.