Guerde (1113) - St. Paul, Minnesota, USA - FEB 20, 2009
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: FEB 23, 2009 (bottle) Pours a dark chestnut brown with a small white head that eventually fades away completely. The aroma is filled with raisin, caramel, dark chocolate, brown sugar, prune, sherry, and alcohol as well. Little toasted nut is thrown into the mix. The taste is really sweet, and opens with sweet cherry, and then moves on to more of the raisin, prune, caramel, and brown sugar flavors, that finishes out on a rather boozy note and a faint bitterness. Mouthfeel is fairly thick and chewy. This is pretty good right now, but it’s a bit hot, I can only see age mellowing it out which would be a good improvement. This is definitely a sipper.
JohnC (3000) - Mission Viejo, California, USA - FEB 20, 2009
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
A huge thanks to moelikebeer for this gem, it’s another winner from New Glarus.
It pours a clear dark brown with reddish highlights and a thin tan head. Thick and creamy on the palate, it finishes very nicely. The flavors are complex: malty, some dark fruit,
WisconsinBeer (695) - St. Paul, Minnesota, USA - FEB 20, 2009
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle. Pours a deep brown color with minimal head. Aroma is deep ripe fruits and some sherry or brandy notes. Flavor is raisins, caramel malt, brandy, toffee, and a hint of alcohol. The flavors are deep and complex, and keep coming one after another. Palate is thick as hell, big and chewy. But it also releases just a tang of carbonation in the middle to lighten it up. Noticeable alcohol burn in the finish. This is a solid as hell barley wine.
GAManiac (1944) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - FEB 19, 2009
3.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
12oz bottle courtesy of abents poured into a snifter.
Pours a deep, clear copper with a smallish tan head that recedes to a ring with a swirl of tiny bubbles in the middle. Lacing is minimal.
The aroma takes some warming to open up. After the initial pour, the aroma was extremely subdued, but the warming produced a big caramel malt and molasses presence with lots of dark fruits thrown in, raisins and figs especially. The alcohol burn the nose ever so slightly.
The taste is much more potent with some intense fruit notes - both light and dark - apples, pears, raisins, figs, etc. The taste definitely has characteristics like a sherry and the booze presence is more than evident, especially in the finish. The backbone of caramel and toffee malts is present underneath all of the other flavors. Complex stuff.
The mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, slick and sweet with plenty of booze leading to comparisons with an after-dinner drink.
This is quite a brew from New Glarus and very much a sipper. The booze is present but not overpowering, making this surprisingly drinkable for 13+%.
pepsican (1396) - @ $13.99, Iowa, USA - FEB 18, 2009
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Dark ruby pour with a nice sized tan head. Aroma is toffee, chocolate, alcohol, fig, and prune. flavor is very muted with plum,. fig, citrus, apples, and caramel. Finishes lightly boozy, a good bit of carbonation for the style, but not nearly over carbonated. I don’t know quite what to think of this one currently. It’s really lacking some flavors I expected and I don’t think aging is really going to bring out the stuff that isn’t...
awaisanen (1304) - Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, USA - FEB 18, 2009
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
From a 12oz Bottle. Mostly transparent, ruddy brown color with a thin layer of quickly dissipating ivory head. Aromas of heavy pine hops and some sticky cherry and plum fruits. Alcoholic, with a distinctive gin-like note when the alcohol combines with the high alpha hops. Full bodied, lightly carbonated mouthfeel with a soft texture. Not overly sweet, but sticky nonetheless. Lots of red fruits and caramel up front on the palate, but the level of hop bitterness overwhelms the malt complexity. Lots of pithy pine sap flavors with a glimpse of Chirstmas fruitcake. I wait for the iced intensity of the malt to emerge on the palate, but am left with only a glimpse as the scorching alcohol and pithy hops overwhelm the entire drinking experience. If the hops weren’t such a dominant flavor now, I would be more hopeful about this improving dramatically with age.
Juelze (1129) - Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA - FEB 13, 2009
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Thanks bro for picking this up for me. Pours a dark ruby color with thin off white head. Aroma is of intense dark fruit, licorice, anise, clove and other spices. Taste is spiced caramel, alcohol, fruit, and brown sugar. Moderate carbonation and solid alcohol feeling, this is a substantial barleywine that will benefit from some age.
alassio (67) - USA - FEB 12, 2009
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
The secret to this beer is to drink it as it is getting close to room temperature. As JPDIPSO pointed out below it might mellow with aging intriguingly too. When semi-warm, it is a big blast of complex sweet/autumnal murkiness with sub-sub-basements of herb and spice (although it is hard to be objective after having just had one at its 13.5%). The bigger beers in the New Glarus Unplugged series represent the most rarified creativity and incendiary price/quality value.
ucusty (2691) - raleigh, North Carolina, USA - FEB 11, 2009
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Dark clear copper pour with thin tan head and drippy lace. Caramel, dark fruit, toffee and alcohol on the nose. Flavor follows suite, however the alcohol is far from in your face.
noncaloric (684) - Madison, Wisconsin, USA - FEB 11, 2009
3.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
UPDATED: MAR 8, 2009 Pours a murky red-orange with a finger of beige head, quickly dissipating to a spotty lace. Aroma harmonizes vinous, yeasty, and alcohol notes and does not fade. Flavor is based on yeast and brown sugar with many fruity undertones, pineapple, licorice. Ends on an off rubbery bitterness. Full-bodied, lots of alcohol warming on the palate with an overall smoothness.