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Serve in Snifter

bottled
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RATINGS: 96   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.61/5   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


3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
reebtogi (5686) - 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.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
Blairgus (4123) - California, USA - JUL 31, 2016
31 July 2016, tap. Pink/brown. Nose is booze, nail polish, dried grass hops. Med body and moderately fizzy. Bitter grass hops, some booze, bitter throughout, mildly sweet. Good.

3.8
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
neepsntatties (1763) - Portland, Oregon, USA - FEB 3, 2010
Had this on tap at the Great Alaskan Beer and Barley Wine Fest in Anchorage (Jan. 2010). Colour... cloudy-amber with a thick head. Nose... hoppy with some malt character. Palate... very hoppy and piney with a sugared grapefruit wedge flavour, bitter edging, and a lengthy, resinous, bitter finish.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
bb (8539) - Alamo, California, USA - MAR 2, 2010
Draft. Toffee colored beer with a dark cream colored head. Earthy and light pine aroma. Big caramel flavor with pine and earth. Fuller bodied. caramel and light toffee lingers with pine and light grapefruit.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
benjaminbier (45) - Oregon, USA - MAY 12, 2011
Tap at Sasquatch brew fest. Bright and clear, caramel amber color with no foam at all, difficult to smell the aromas in here, malt and hop very well balanced. going to have to try more of this tomorrow.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Zymurgeist2 (1854) - Redwood City, California, USA - FEB 17, 2013
On tap at Toronado for Barley Wine Fest. Pours and orange-amber of slight haze with off-white head. Aroma of hops and sweet grain. Lots of hops and bitterness on the palate leading to a fresh clean beer at this alcohol level.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Dogbrick (11513) - 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.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Ferris (12746) - 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

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
palner (26) - - JUN 28, 2013
2011 Reserve bottle 2847/6200. Amber red to caramel in color with nice airy foam. 11.7abv but quite drinkable. Can feel the alcohol after first glas. Taste is sweet but with a bitterness from hops. My first barley wine.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
jake65 (3444) - 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 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!


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