Serve in Snifter


on tap

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RATINGS: 80   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.63/5   SEASONAL: Special   IBU: 103   EST. CALORIES: 327   ABV: 10.9%
R&D Series. In the Ninkasi tradition, this barley wine is hopped to high heaven –using more than 16 pounds per barrel! Critical Hit’s rich, malty expression is balanced by 16 varieties of hops that linger on the palate. Its high gravity nature warms the cheeks and soul. Critical Hit does maximum damage, so you might have to roll to save if you take this ale for granted!

Massive citrus, earthy, resinous, and grassy hop flavor is balanced with the melanoidin complexity of port and sherry notes, creating a powerful and warming taste experience. Big citrus, earthy, grassy, and pine hop aroma with port and sherry notes mingle in this beer conditioned for over a year. Aggressive bitterness dominates up front with a large array of hop flavor spanning citrus, earthy, resinous, grassy and dank. Subtle caramel and melanoidin compounds oxidize (in a good way) to create the port and sherry notes that are a trademark to these extremely strong beers called barley wine. The bitterness of the beer helps round out the intensity of alcohol and the malt complexity to make a non-cloying and very, very tasty beer. This may be the one beer that you still need to sip rather than quaff but it is deceptive for the style.

Hops: Columbus, Millenium, Northern Brewer, Simcoe, Falconers Flight, Galena, Peerle, Santiam, Ahtanum, Fuggle, Glacier, Hersbrucker, Liberty, Spalt, Hallertau

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
yespr (37063) - Copenhagen O, DENMARK - FEB 17, 2010
From tap at Toronado, Barley Wine Fest 2010. Pours dark golden amber with a small white head. Aroma is light fruity and caramelish. Caramelish and overripe fruity initial flavoured. Distinct hoppy and bitter dry finish. Surprisingly hoppy.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
fiulijn (16931) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - MAY 2, 2014
UPDATED: APR 2, 2015
2015-03-31, draught at Alibi Room, Vancouver, 600th Menu Party, 8-4-8-5-15=40
Dark amber color, with creamy beige head. It has a good flavor of dark malts (a good job there), and an impressive hopping, with all in it (bitterness crazy level, resins, some fruits), lightly dusty. Also, light cheese aroma.
Huge, ungraceful, but satisfying.
Reminds me of classic American Barley Wines, like Sierra Nevada Bigfoot, Great Divide Old Ruffian...

2014-05-02, bottle from Whole Foods Westlake, Seattle; vintage 2012, bottle 03368/12000, 8-5-8-5-17=43
Brown color with dark amber hue, small head. The aroma of dark caramel and components of hop sweat and hop resins immediately brings back to older times (Old Foghorn).
Full bodied but not heavy, with round mouthfeel, and moderate sweetness; the dark caramel flavor dominates the opening, with accents of biscuits and dark bread; then the bitterness appears, with its load of dark hop resins, and reminiscent of Italian digestive liquors (Cynar, Rabarbaro Zucca). The stickiness on the lips, in the end, is also a good sign.
Old (American) school; I will get back to this one again.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
bhensonb (12970) - Woodland, California, USA - MAR 30, 2013
Bomber from Total Wine in Sacramento, CA. 2011 bottle # 2211/6200. Pours very deeply ruddy with a slight beige head. Aroma is malty with medium dark fruit. Full bodied. Flavor is heavy malt, fig/raisin/plum with some arguably citrus hop. There’s a hop bite. Know that. Heat is enjoyable. With strength at 18 and charm at 16 how can one not like this character. It finishes malty, plummy and bitter. At least that’s my take. Just tasty.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
mcberko (10584) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - MAR 13, 2011
3 oz. sample on tap at Brouwer’s Café for Hard Liver, pours murky dark orange. Aroma of toffee, toasted malt, nuts and dark dried fruits. Flavour of caramel malts, balanced sort of with hops but with a cloying sweetness. Decent.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Dogbrick (10034) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - MAR 22, 2013
Sample from 2011 bottle #4547/6000 at the Blarney Wine tasting on 03/16/2013: The beer pours a hazy orange-amber color with a medium thin and foamy light beige head that diminishes slowly to a film. Partial rings of lacing. Aroma of hops, malt and citrus. Full-bodied with flavors of hops, grapefruit and grainy malt. The finish is resiny hops and malt. Couldn’t pass up the impulse buy for the label alone, but it turned out to be pretty good overall.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
DSG (9343) - Tel Aviv, - MAR 21, 2014
Bottle sample at a tasting at Neiman’s place. Thanks Neiman. Lovely clear reddish amber with a beige head. Aroma of malt, piney and resinous hops (slightly stale), caramel and cookies. Flavor has some sweet malt, caramelly and cookie-ish, some fruitiness and quite a bit of bitter piney hops. Medium to full-bodied. Nice.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Ferris (8967) - Burnaby, British Columbia, CANADA - JUN 5, 2013
UPDATED: JUN 10, 2013 Draft - Vintage 2010 - Sweet fruit, strawberry and hoppy floral notes. Cloudy orange with a thin head. Sweet pine and some of those sweet fruit. Booze on the finish, but overall pretty drinkable for a barley wine. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
arminjewell (8857) - East Lansing, Michigan, USA - FEB 18, 2014
Pour out of 22 oz bottle,slightly off white head, aroma brought notes of nice caramel, toffee, dark sugars into a bit of vanilla, oaky like notes, slight fruit in there, touch of spice, yeasty notes, hints of grass as well from residual hops. Taste is a mix of caramel, toffee, vanilla, hints of dark fruit, red fruit, slight grass, finishing sweet. Tasty with the age on it for sure.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
DuffMan (8324) - the land of bitumen, beef & beer, Alberta, CANADA - SEP 25, 2014
Bottle #4086 out of 6200, 2011 Vintage, shared at game night with TvM and heavyleavy. I hope this was worth 3 years of cellaring...Pours a deep amber-orange, very hazy, with a soft golden head. Beautiful chewy toffee malts with a marmalade sweetness and a warm, mildly bitter finish. Tawny port traits in here, sticky big body, velvety mouthfeel. Loved it, definitely worth the wait!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
marcus (8010) - Sacramento, California, USA - FEB 25, 2012
On tap at Toronado SF. Pours reddish copper with a peretty beige head nad a fruity aroma. There is a tangy caramel malt and chocolate flavor with a bitter finish. Well-aged.

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