Serve in Snifter


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RATINGS: 96   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.61/5   SEASONAL: Special   IBU: 117   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 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
commonmac (1061) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - AUG 29, 2015
Bomber sized bottle purchased in Portland and brought back to Mpls for consumption. 2013 Reserve. Belgian snifter glass. Aroma has a bit of soapy action with plenty of hops and alcohol. Probably more of a hop factor than other barleywines. Light cherry wood in color. Head is nothing significant but a crisp white color. Taste is definitely complex. It seems to hit all the senses of the tongue leading with some bitterness, giving way to sweet sugary notes, strong alcohol burn, and ending with a hoppy bitterness. Caramel and malt are factors too. Definitely feels boozy. A cloying tendency present. It delivers a definite hit of the critical variety to the palate.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Sledutah (7064) - Utah, USA - JAN 27, 2013
GABBF 2013
Appearance: Cloudy golden with a big off-white head and some lacing
Aroma and flavors of toasted malts, caramel and pine

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
ineedbeer (1858) - Oakland, California, USA - MAY 15, 2013
2010 Reserve, Bottle #1062 Aroma is heavily tilted towards malt, but there is still a surprisingly hoppy note. The hops give it a hint of citrus, but also a pine and earthy note. Lots of sweet caramel malt of varying degrees of darkness along with some notes of toffee. Some raisin and fig notes along with burnt sugar. Pours a murky copper to light brown with a hint of ruby. Small, but thick light tab head that recedes fairly quickly to the edges. No lacing with medium sized legs. Flavor starts with darker caramel along with faint roast and chocolate. You then get a sweeter caramel note with some fruit - raisin, fig and plum. Moderate bitterness with only faint pine and citrus notes. Some alcohol spice in the finish with lingering burnt sugar and bitterness. Some balanced malt character in the finish. Bitterness and alcohol are both a bit on the harsh side. Mouthfeel is medium to medium full bodied with medium carbonation. Astringency is medium low with moderate alcohol warmth. Overall this is not a bad beer, but its not amazing either. The bitterness is a touch harsh and lingers unpleasantly which drowns out a lot of the malt character. I wonder if this would get better with even more time. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
jazz88 (2669) - San Francisco, California, USA - MAY 22, 2013
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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Gription79 (2838) - 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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
MikeJslc (778) - USA - NOV 28, 2013
Deep copper, clear, off-white head. Aroma of toffee, burnt sugar, raisins, resiny hops, some leather. Flavor: more toffee, bready malt, raisins, dark fruit, some piney hops, a little grainy astringency in the finish, light oxidative notes.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
presario (4903) - Stampede City, Alberta, CANADA - NOV 20, 2014
Dark plum amber. Ghostly head. Moderate alcohol and hop spice nose. Dry body. Some alcohol. Nice but a bit tame. A nice fruitiness. You could wake up in March without knowing what happened. Sneaky.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Arayaga2 (2130) - portland, Oregon, USA - JUN 25, 2015
Clear Amber with white head. Taste and aroma are American barley wine, with high bitterness, and sprucey /piney notes. High residual sweetness ending with lots of over extracted tea. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
stevoj (4018) - 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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
hayduke (4947) - 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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