Crit (3318) - Surrey, British Columbia, CANADA - DEC 22, 2013
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Cloudy amber,small beige head.Nose of brown sugar & light alcohol.Woody palate of alcohol,malt, with a slightly dry hop finish
Ferris (3052) - Burnaby, British Columbia, CANADA - JUN 5, 2013
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
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
DarkElf (3033) - La Jolla, California, USA - JAN 25, 2014
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
22-Jan-14 (22-oz wax-dipped bottle: Purchased 13-Jan-12 for $14.75 at northwestliquidgold.com)
2010 Release, Bottle # 3261 of 5000.
This beer pours a very hazy, amber body that’s translucent at the edges. The light-tan head rises to half an inch before settling to a bubbly ring and thin, unbroken sheet, and it leaves a wide ring of lacing at the top of the glass. The nose is earthy, woodsy, caramely, and fruity, with dried apricot and ripe apples, but also some dried grass from the hops. On the palate, though, the hops come though more. The beer still tastes very malty, earthy, and fruity, but the hops give the beer a grassy, slightly piney flavor. But what’s most noticeable is the aged, malty aspects of the beer such as decayed forest-wood earthiness; sweet, caramely , and slightly chocolatey malt; and dried apricot, orange marmalade, peach, and fleshy, tropical fruits. It’s full bodied and medium-sweet on the palate, but not heavy or cloying because of the balance from mild, hop bitterness and gentle, earthy acidity and dryness. Carbonation is medium-light, and the mouthfeel is soft and easy. Overall, this Barley Wine has aged superbly, and could be at its peak for my tastes. The hops are still present, the aged-related aspects contribute complexity without excessive oxidation, and it’s a great beer to sip for an hour or two. Very, very enjoyable.
jake65 (2594) - Williston, North Dakota, USA - JAN 6, 2014
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
2011 Bottle, #4272/6200. Dark amber pour with a creamy finger of beige head. Intense nose of faded citrus, floral, caramel, and hints of the 11.7% ABV. Age has smoothed out any bite this may have had; it sure is smooth. Caramel and toffee flavor, along with the faded citrus and florals. Finish is soft and leaves a lingering bit of toffee behind. Reminds me of Old Boardhead. Probably not much value in aging this any longer… good stuff, but I’d like another to try fresh. A good experience and seemingly a bit dangerous at this point; I feel like I could throw this back like a session ale on a hot day!
jazz88 (2544) - San Francisco, California, USA - MAY 22, 2013
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle of the 2011 Reserve (2760/6200) with 11.7% abv. A dark reddish brown color with a foamy tan head. A sweet caramel, raisin and fruity aroma, with a nice rich body. A full and lush barley wine.
SamGamgee (2452) - down the whirlpool, California, USA - FEB 17, 2010
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Draught at the Toronado Barley Wine Festival 2010. Herbal and earthy hop aroma with a touch of maltiness. Very bitter flavor with almost no malt character in comparison. Hard to drink, as the hops just take it and run all over the place with bitter. Honestly, not that bad, but really not a barley wine I want to drink.
Beerona97 (2397) - Washington, USA - APR 4, 2012
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Lightly hazed orange, beige head. Aroma of citrus and malt, some dark fruit. Taste is mostly sweet, some vegetal hops. Okay beer.
Gription79 (2236) - Bountiful, Utah, USA - SEP 8, 2013
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Poured from a 22 ounce bomber, thanks to Mike. A big malt bomb, raisin, plum, prune, resin, a bit astringent, alcohol notes. Not bad, would be very good without the astringency.
illidurit (2121) - Petaluma, California, USA - JUL 2, 2013
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Tangy red maltiness, slight soy, unripe grapefruits, citrus rind, caramel and toffee, pretty middling.
Angeloregon (2055) - Portland, Oregon, USA - MAR 9, 2010
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Save for Astoria Brewing’s Bitter Bitch Triple IPA, Ninkasi Critical Hit, from what we gathered, was one of the hoppiest brews at the Lucky Lab Barleywine and Big Beer Fest, and likely the hoppiest barleywine. Lots of toffee and piny tropical fruit notes came from this deep tawny beer. This beer could have almost passed for an triple IPA, but there was some noticeable caramel maltiness present. Very bitter on the tongue, but overall, this is the kind of barleywine many Pacific Northwestern beer lovers like, and Ninkasi ain’t no dummy.