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Serve in Snifter

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RATINGS: 94   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.62/5   SEASONAL: Special   IBU: 117   EST. CALORIES: 327   ABV: 10.9%
COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
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


gnashville's rating

3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
gnashville (4) - Victoria, British Columbia, - MAR 23, 2014
2012 reserve, bottled late 2013 The hops in this are practically jumping out of the glass, and are very much the focal piece. Quite resinous, with a touch of oakiness as well. On the darker side of barley wine, but the body is only middling, which I find to be an asset with this much hop going on. One of the few barley wines I’ve had that I think might suffer somewhat from aging; the alcohol is already quite in check, and losing those hop notes would turn this into a fairly muddy beer. Overall, an excellent take on the style.


3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
reebtogi (5520) - Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA - JUL 14, 2016
650ml bomber pours amber in color with a 2 finger white head that leaves some decent lacing on the glass. Aroma is citrus and caramel with some earthy and grainy notes. Taste is a citrus and earthy hop bitterness with a fruit and caramel malty sweetness with a light alcohol burn in the finish. Medium to full bodied with good carbonation for the style. Overall, a very nicely done barley wine that is hoppier than most beers of this style, but still balanced and not too over the top. Highly recommended.

4
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
stantheman (871) - British Columbia, CANADA - MAY 7, 2016
On tap at Alibi Room in Vancouver. A very dark copper color beer with minimal beige head and tart vinous nose. A big load of bitter hops nicely balanced with sweet malts. Well done! 4

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
beerplace (542) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - MAY 3, 2016
On tap at Alibi Room. Vintage 2014. Pours a dark amber with a white head. Aroma is sweet, with caramel and dried fruits notes. Taste is complex with tropical fruits and piney bitterness, caramel, roasted malt. Hoppy bitterness aftertaste. Very good!

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Oakes (15276) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - APR 26, 2016
Brown amber, thin head. Lots of bitterness, hop earthy foresty notes. Sweeter caramelly malts. Has light fruits. Decent bw

2.8
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
djd07 (9520) - Houston, Texas, USA - APR 25, 2016
Bottle thanks to Derek. Pours a cloudy brown with medium white head that lasts. The aroma is earthy malt and citrus. Medium mouth, roast, earth, dark fruit, bitter finish, ok.

3.4
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
slowrunner77 (9616) - Reno, Nevada, USA - APR 14, 2016
Still don’t know quite what to think of this one, but bottom line was, I didn’t finish it. The nose is fantastic, classic malty barleywine with some age on it, leather, berries, bread. Hops as it opens. Flavor starts nice, then BAM - my tongue tries to recede into the roof of my mouth as the ridiculous amount of puckering bitterness hits me in the finish. As much as I tried to get past that, I could not. Such a shame, as after the first whiff, I was ready for a classic. But...too abrasive for it’s own good.

4.5
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
dwyerpg (5489) - Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - APR 3, 2016
The aroma doesn’t have that delicious molasses, but other than that, this was stellar. A great Barley wine molasses flavor that isn’t too sweet or heavy. Went down quick.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Gerbeer (3022) - 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.

1.7
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 2/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 2/20
furthur (846) - Eagle River, Alaska, USA - JAN 23, 2016
GABBF draft. Dark amber, cream skiff of foam. Aroma malt, dark fruit. Taste malt, spruce, rubber, not good. Palate ok.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
hayduke (4629) - Eureka, California, USA - JAN 9, 2016
Sampled at GABF 2015. In the tasting glass red brown with a beige form cap. Nose of fruit, and some citrus. Goodness knows what else but there are other aromas. there. Very full body. Flavor is malts, raisins maybe, and citrus for sure. Finish is fruity and somewhat bitter. Almost overwhelming in the complexity of flavors but there is almost too much going on. A bit rough overall, but still OK.


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