Brewed by Birrificio Montegioco
Style: Barley Wine
Montegioco, Italy
Serve in Snifter


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 121   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.6   EST. CALORIES: 255   ABV: 8.5%
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   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
JoeMcPhee (8788) - Toronto, ON, Ontario, CANADA - JUL 19, 2008
Thanks to haukur for sharing this bottle. Deep brown beer with a light creamy tan head. Aroma is quite lovely, deep rich plummy aroma over sweet toasted malts, chewy molasses, plums/dates and even some sweet dried cherries. Soft tartness on the middle of the palate which helps with the inherent sweetness of this brew. Quite silky mouthfeel. The finish is lightly tannic and full of fruit skin character. Light toasted raisins with a lingering vineousness. Complex and quite tasty. Comes across more like a Belgian strong ale than barley wine, but whatever you call it, it is quite good.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
DenverLogan (848) - MileHi, Colorado, USA - JUL 11, 2008
Dark brown, small head. Burnt malt aroma. Flavors of molassas, minerals, tropical fruit, slight spice, cola, raisin and bittersweet chocolate.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
gnoff (8119) - Mölndal, SWEDEN - JUL 6, 2008
(Bottle at a beer tasting at rickgordon in Göteborg)
On July 5, 2008
Very dark red to black color, light brown head. Sweet, applesauce, rosted malt scent. Sweet, malty, scent taste. Medium mouthfeel, medium high bitterness.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
bu11zeye (12072) - Frisco (Dallas), Texas, USA - JUL 2, 2008
(750ml bottle) Pours a black body with a small beige head. Aroma of anise, roasted malt, caramel, raisins, chocolate, and light smoke. Flavor of roasted malt, burnt, raisins, brown sugar, and spices. Interesting beer.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
Drake (9967) - Free Union, Virginia, USA - JUN 23, 2008
From my recent review at cvillebeergeek.blogspot.com.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy dark brown with a reddish tint to it. So cloudy and dark, in fact, that to get an accurate read on the color I had to shine a flashlight through the beer. A medium head disappears quickly and leaves an ever-present thin film on the surface of the beer, just like your finer Trappist ales. 3.5/5.0

Aroma: Quite different from the Reserva, this has a very malty aroma, with notes of toffee, brown sugar, banana and tropical fruits. They say this is a barleywine, but so far it seems like a Belgian dubbel to me. In any case, a very smooth and pleasant aroma. 4.0/5.0

Taste: Not what I expected given the aroma. The banana and tropical fruits are still there but the taste is much less sweet than the aroma, accompanied instead by a strong roasted malt character that lends coffee and smoky notes to the beer. If you know my drinking preferences, you know that I abhor smoked beers, but this level of smokiness is just enough to add complexity without being offensive to me. There is also a spicy, peppery bit that is showing up as I continue to drink this. 4.5/5.0

Mouthfeel: Very smooth texture. I can’t really detect any bitterness, but nevertheless this beer is very well balanced. 4.5/5.0

Drinkability: The Montegioco web site claims this beer is 10% abv, though other sources claim 8.5%. Either way, this is a sipping beer, and a damn pleasant one. Definitely a beer to sit back and enjoy the nuances. It just dawned on me that I rate a lot of "sipping beers." Especially since summer is upon us, I’ll try to turn my attention soon to something that is a bit less of an undertaking. Whatever the alcohol content is, it is hidden absurdly well. 4.5/5.0

Overall: A smooth, complex and luxurious beer from a region known for, well, not beer. If your wallet can absorb the cost (mine can’t, but I bought it anyway), this is well worth it. Savor it now or save it for a special occasion. Either way it will not disapppoint. 4.35/5.0

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
bhensonb (11918) - Woodland, California, USA - JUN 22, 2008
750 ml. bottle from Hi-Time. Very brown/black color with ruby notes. Decent tan head, but it left rapidly. Aromas of dark roasted malt, coffee and darker stone fruits. Medium body with frothy carbonation. Starts with dark roasted malt, moves to coffee, moves to dark fruit, moves back to coffe, and finishes with coffee over dark roasted malt. Finishes rather dry with near burnt bitter. Dangdest barley wine I’ve ever had. Really good taste and mouthfeel.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
SphinxTX (2876) - Mata Gorda, Texas, USA - JUN 17, 2008
Bottle, thanks to Bu11zeye. Pours a very dark brown, almost black with tan head. Aroma is of coffe and alcohol. Flavor is sweet, dark fruit and dark roast. Mouthfeel is full body with low-med. carbonation. Very nice.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
KimJohansen (10347) - Frederiksberg C, DENMARK - JUN 16, 2008
[Italian Blind tasting @ yespr, Bottle 10#] Black with medium off white head. Sweet aroma with roasted malt, coffee and liquerice notes. Sweet flavor with roasted malt, caramel and coffee notes. Ends sweet.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
dyetube (1245) - McKinney, Texas, USA - JUN 15, 2008
This beer pours black with no head. The aromas are roasted chocolate and light coffee as is the flavor. Cheers!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Maria (10187) - Thisted, DENMARK - JUN 9, 2008
Blind tasting @ Yespr. Dark brown with a red hue and a creamy head. The aroma is slightly vinous with notes of caramel and licorice. The flavour has notes of roasted malt, hints of smoke, a light sweetness, licorice and chocolate and some dark fruits. The finish is slightly dry.

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