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 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
bpreo (2187) - Eugene, Oregon, USA - SEP 24, 2014
I’ve been waiting 3 years to finally try this beer. It has a perfect Barley Wine taste, high alcohol content, and almost black color.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Sheldonious (1) - - MAY 7, 2011 does not count
A surprisingly drinkable Barley Wine. No bitter after taste. Very smooth and enjoyable.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
Ibrew2or3 (7661) - Tempe, Arizona, USA - MAR 19, 2014
22oz bomber share courtesy of dcschiller. It pours with a murky amber body that has some golden hues and supports a tan head of foam. The aroma offers up big musty malt sticky pine hops, a sliver of grapefruit and then some molasses. The taste has a nice mix of resiny pine hop heavy bitterness and then streams of molasses to midway. Malts bubble forward for a moment before the resiny pine hop bitterness and a sliver of sweetened citrus hops take over and bring this to a rich rewarding finish. Solid bold American style Barleywine.

   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 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
ngeunit1 (1555) - San Francisco, California, USA - OCT 16, 2012
A - Pours a cloudy amber-orange color with a finger of frothy off-white head. The head fades down at a normal pace leaving behind some nice lacing. S - Aroma is a mix of sweet caramel malts with some brown sugar, grapefruit and pine hops, and some booze. T - Starts off with some sweet caramel malts and caramelized sugars with some brown sugar, a touch of dark fruit, and some grapefruit and citrus hops and bitterness. Through the middle, some pine hops come through with some more resiny bitterness with some more caramelized malts. The finish is a mix of sweet caramel malts, caramelized sugars, grapefruit and pine hops, some bitterness, and some booze. M - Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a sweet, bitter, and warming finish. D - Very drinkable. Nice big bold barleywine with a surprisingly high level of smoothness and drinkability.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Lectvay (191) - Boise, Idaho, USA - JUN 24, 2014
Bottle number 986, 2011 reserve. Dark opaque amber, fairly carbonated. Smells like burnt caramel. Tastes great. Sweet, a little creamy feeling, smooth, more caramel. A spot on barley wine, if you ask me.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
PartyFowle (734) - - APR 14, 2015
Draft. 2009 vintage. Burgundy hue, very hazy. Deep color. The head appears almost nitrogenated -- very thick and dense and tan. Gorgeous. Caramelized sugar leads and rules the nose, followed by toffee, a touch of toasted bread, some sticky alcohol and mild, minty hops. A smooth blend of aromas. More toasty malt appears in the flavor, caramel on toasted bread. Lots of toffee, mostly sweet, plus an earthy hop flavor. Saccharine complexity. Creamy medium body wtih mild, tingly carbonation. No noticeable alcohol save some heat in the nose and tongue numbness. Outrageous.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Nikiel (879) - Portland, Oregon, USA - JAN 8, 2012
Bottle #2883/5000 with Carla. Pours a hazy grapefruit red/brown with bleach white foam. Smells quintessentially like a barley wine with lots of sweetness, hints of bitterness mingling with a touch of alcohol. Tastes of caramel, grapefruit, pine and ends with a bit of tart pineapple.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
DuffMan (8321) - 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 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
onceblind (6172) - Denver, Colorado, USA - JUN 14, 2015
On nitro, which was a pleasant surprise. Deep dark amber/copper, foamy tight off white head. Lovely nose of candy sugar and earthy Belgian fruitiness. Perhaps a little bourbony booze on the nose as well. Big full flavor with some bourbon notes of oak and booze esters, some earthy caramalt and cherry and other stone fruits, and a bit of earthy booze and bourbon oak to finish. Brash but tasty.

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