SanfordBrewer (1391) - Sanford, Florida, USA - JUL 8, 2012
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
lucent orange-hued gold with a thin creamy beige head. sticky full body with medium-high carbonation.
aroma: resinous pine and citrus hops, toffee sweet malt, and slight minerality.
taste: resinous hop bitterness, sweet toffee biscuity malt, piney and citrusy late-hops.
ridiculously smooth and easy to drink, goes down like a beer with half itís abv.
crossovert (7410) - Illinois, USA - JAN 23, 2012
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
12 oz bottle.
It pours a brilliant color, a perfectly clear honey-amber with a foamy white head that is a bit fizzy and doesnít leave much lacing. But the beer itself is beautiful.
The smell is huge, as soon as you pop the top a nice combo of zesty almost tropical citrusy hops and clean honeylike malt. It smells a bit like Hopslam or Double Jack. Not quite as hoppy but in that ballpark.
The flavor is great. It is definitely a hop-forward barleywine. It is crisp and dry rather than thick and chewy like normal beer of this gravity. There is a nice fruitiness to it, moreso light fruits than the typical rasiny flavor. The malts bring a big hit of sweetness but it is controlled. There is a light bit of perfumey alcohol presence but it is more flavor than heat. I have to stress it, for a 12% beer, yes it has alcohol prescence, all 12% beers do but this one is far and away the smoothest one I have ever had in this territory.
Barleywines arenít really my forte, I like them, but this one I loved. Non-traditional, but super delicious. And this is not an IPA at all, there is still a distinct malty alcoholic sweetness that would never be welcomed in a DIPA.
patrickfannon (1240) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - MAR 2, 2012
4.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Bottle. 12 oz. Split with and courtesy of Vinny. Pours a brilliant orange with near perfect clarity-which is quite stunning, for a barley wine-and a fluffy white head which recedes to leave a fuzzy, spotty lacing. Aroma of cotton candy, pink lemonade, grape Hi-Chew, strawberries, fresh hops, and some subtle cherry. Taste is is cherry, cranberry, honey and some ultra-smooth whiskey in the warm ass finish. What a fantastic barley wine.
jabo134 (12) - Illinois, USA - FEB 3, 2012
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
New Glarus is one of my favorite breweries. This beer did not disappoint. It was very good but I would never guess this was a barleywine. The American hops really came through.
emacgee (4026) - Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA - FEB 19, 2012
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Man this is interesting. Pours a sharp and clean rich gold with a thin off white head. Nose is rich and hoppy, very light and zesty with lots of rich resin and tangerine notes. Very strange, ephemeral and heavy at the same time. Lots of floral and candy-like characters with a very delicate sweetness, almost like cotton candy. Very citrusy and oily in the mouth, lots of ethereal hop flavors. Like candied flower petals. Very nice and resinous bitterness. The more I look at this the more I love the appearance. Brilliantly clean and sharp with a wonderful viscosity and weight. Man Iím lovin this.
JoePeesie (860) - Long Lake, Illinois, USA - JAN 17, 2012
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Another very solid offering from this series. Pours a clear orange with little head that leaves almost no lace. The nose is of citric sweet floral hops. An interesting choice that I feel is underused in American Barley Wines. The combination of sweet hops, light malts, and booze make this a sweetly bitter sipper. The commercial description mentions Graham crackers and I definately pick up on that. This sipper would go nicely in front of a fire place with some símores.
ElGaucho (2209) - Minnetonka, Minnesota, USA - JAN 22, 2012
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle. Aroma Iíd faint but rich , sweet malt evident. Crystal clear dark gold body. Thin off white head. Super strong alcohol profile. Nice hops. Really good beer but tastes like an IIPA with a ton of malt added instead of a true bwine. Almost more like an American Strong.
emeinz (220) - Minnesota, USA - FEB 2, 2012
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle to tulip. Aroma has some nice floral notes and some nice citrus as well. nice sweet malty nose with a little bit of biscuit. Nice amber gold pour with a moderate white head. Very bitter finish with not much booziness. This is an awesomely drinkable barley wine. This beer is super awesome. Ties with bigfoot as my favorite barley wine
jstraw (1922) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - FEB 9, 2012
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Clear, brilliant, orange with fair, creamy, white head / Sweet, bright, nose of spun sugar, pine, and citrus / Medium to full body, sweet, somewhat syrupy, and biting, with good balance and finish /Soapy flavors of candied cherries, apricots, and dates, plus pine, spun sugar, and resin / A very unique flavor profile, and quite excellent.
SnobbyBeer (1) - - FEB 21, 2012 does not count
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Served in a Belgian tulip. Enjoyed on 2-21-12.
This beer pours a slightly hazy orange-yellow-honey color. Itís fairly light compared to other barleywines Iíve had, and it looks very much like an IPA or double IPA. The head was massive, about 3 fingers, and just the slightest bit off-white. It leaves some nice lacing along the side of the glass, and after the initial pour there is almost no carbonation bubbles to speak of.
This is a citrus bomb! Tons and tons of fresh hoppy aroma come out, bringing grapefruit, tangerine, and fresh orange zest. Some slight alcohol follows. I tend to enjoy the hop/alcohol combination, so it definitely works. There is a slight malt smell after the hop barrage. Like the bottle says, there is a bit of graham cracker detectible. Overall, WOW this brew smells fantastic.
Could it be? Is that MALT I taste?! Indeed it is! And plenty of it - I was worried that this was going to be like an IPA in terms of bitterness, but to my surprise there is a lot of sweet malt in this bad boy. It brings notes of caramel-covered graham crackers and toffee. The hops bring a wonderful complexity, bringing some old familiar favorites: citrus, tangerine, tropical fruits, mango, and everyoneís favorite "cat piss". Yum. The booze is definitely evident. This beer drinks like a 12% ABV brew, which I think holds it back slightly. The flavor is wonderfully complex and intense, I very much dig.
For as big of a beer as this is, itís no struggle to drink. It drinks more like an imperial IPA than a barleywine, which can be a dangerous thing! Itís not as thick as one would imagine, and it has a (dare I say it?) DRY finish! What a mindf**k. Thereís a medium-low amount of carbonation - perfect for this particular beer.
I usually donít like hoppy, American barley wines, but New Glarus just canít seem to get a bad beer past me. I was worried about this beer being too bitter, but the bitterness and hop character are just about perfect. Iím glad to taste the sugary-sweet malt mess that I like in barley wines. Iím also glad they made a BIG barleywine, not a casual 8-9% ABV barleywine. I can only imagine what this beer tastes like after a year or two of age on it.
VERY special thanks to Duff27 for sending me a whole 4 pack of this delicious brew.