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RATINGS: 93   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.61/5   SEASONAL: Special   IBU: 103   EST. CALORIES: 327   ABV: 10.9%
COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
R&D Series. In the Ninkasi tradition, this barley wine is hopped to high heaven Ėusing more than 16 pounds per barrel! Critical Hitís 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


3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
stevoj (3608) - Boise, Idaho, USA - DEC 12, 2015
Bottle from Brewers Haven, 2013 vintage. Big malt bomb. Hazy dark copper body with small creamy, soapy head. Aroma : malt; taste : malt. Big hop finish coupled with slow building warmth. Medium weight, silky feel, bitterness lingers, coupled with pleasing simmering heat. Nice warmer.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Aubrey (3508) - Bellingham, Washington, USA - JAN 16, 2012
22-ounce bottle. Impressive-looking beer: Murky brown with a thick head and lingering, foamy lace. Full bodied with a lively carbonation. Boldly flavored with very rich elements of toffee, toasted bread, chocolate and nuts. Also has nips of burnt bread crust. Hops are just as strong, fortunately, with assertive notes of pine, citrus and grass. Bitterness has grapefruit flavors and flower aromas. Throat-warming alcohol is fitting. Curiously dry finish, probably from the snappy bitterness and the scrubbing carbonation. Some acidity is noticeable here and there. Overall, itís a solid barley wine with plenty heft.

3.3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
50belair (3253) - Florida, USA - AUG 15, 2014
On tap at the Blind Tiger. Clear amber pour with an off white head. Shit, JAHABW (just another hoppy ass barley wine). Piney hop bouquet. Piney hop notes dominate the show with muted caramel malt undercurrents. Below average mouthfeel. Average body.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
jake65 (3244) - Meridian, Idaho, USA - JAN 6, 2014
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 longerÖ good stuff, but Iíd 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!

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
DarkElf (3050) - La Jolla, California, USA - JAN 25, 2014
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 thatís 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 whatís 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. Itís 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 itís a great beer to sip for an hour or two. Very, very enjoyable.

3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
BOLTZ7555 (3014) - Phoenix, Arizona, USA - SEP 23, 2015
Rose gold hue with a small wisp and a ring. Nose is a bit off with loads of alcohol, dark fruit, and some pine. Flavor has a decent amount of berry, caramel, and coffee. This one was a critical miss.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Gerbeer (2930) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - FEB 16, 2016
650 ml bottle. Pours a dark copper with moderate head. Aromas of brown sugar toffee and fruity/rubbery hops. Flavors of same with additional elements of grass, copper, and bitter citrus peels. Really nice and should cellar well.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Gription79 (2783) - Bountiful, Utah, USA - SEP 8, 2013
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.

3.7
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
baraciisch (2729) - California, USA - OCT 2, 2013
Brownish with reddish tint... Sticky caramel aroma... Flavor is caramel, toffee, hints of hops, alcohol burn... Nice ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

3.9
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
ansalon (2665) - Stockholm, SWEDEN, SWEDEN - MAR 16, 2013
Quite the understated Barley Wine that is not the extreme sweetness found in most American Barley Wines. Roasted almonds, dark sugars, figs, caramel. Very good! ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone


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