wunderbier (1434) - Tampere, FINLAND - JAN 5, 2008
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JUN 1, 2008 Thick, whipped head coats a hazy oxide-hued body. Waves of orange and pine churn up curry spices and caramelised sugars. A big malty sweetness is almost immediately shredded by raspy citric acidity and a fat, lingering bitterness. Solidly build and creamy in texture with scrubbing carbonation.
Terrifically bold and aggressive, but it would survive with far fewer malts to let the hops really shine.
50 cl bottle, best before 27/03/2013.
Though I could tell through the bottle glass that this was not your standard gold to orange hued DIPA, I was still somewhat surprised by the dark brown colour and iron oxide edges. The head, however, was your run-of-the-mill monstrous, clingy, crema-like affair that makes lesser beers hide in shame. Moving on to the aroma, what can I say besides dank, dank, dank hops? Well, plenty more, in fact. Not only is there an abundance of dark and resinous hops playing off of bright and citric hops, but some delicious sweets such as red velvet cake, cocoa powder and toffee float about in the not-too-distant background. With a little warmth a pleasant oceanic minerality finds its way into the mix alongside sweet, fruity, pineapple-y esters. The flavour is strikingly sweet initially -- with elements of toffee, pure malt and chocolate -- but nigh instantaneously a towering wave of bright, hoppy bitterness comes crashing down onto the palate. Washing through to the finish, the hop crunch grows into a mighty resinous bite. Wonderful citric retronasal, with a hint of chocolate, something like those chocolate orange wedges. Spicy acidity throughout fits like a glove. With more warmth star anise and some clove pop up. The aftertaste is continually building and refuses to dissipate. A light saltiness makes its way into the flavour and the aroma of old textbooks comes across softly. And...and...Jaffa, orange Jaffa. Striking full-ish body, complimented by a velvety texture and lively carbonation that feels rather fine and soft. A great deal of sweetness is lost as the beer approaches room temperature. Chocolate marshmallows and pine needles are the last new aromas I detect, plums and dark rum as the last new flavours. Not the hoppiest beer I’ve ever had, but it’s executed very well and seems far bigger than the stated 80 ibu’s, likely due to the enormous hop aroma. An interesting malt character as well, quite a beer all the way around. (8, 4, 8, 4, 18 = 4.2)
arjoseph (642) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JAN 4, 2008
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle into shaker. Malty dopplebock smells on the pour, which produces a large fluffy light brown head over an opaque ruby brown beer. More in-depth on the smell: the bready malts are sweet like cotton candy, and light and crisp (reminding me of St. Bernardus 12 or Westy 12, only maybe more crisply yeasty); also, some lemony acidity that reminds more of sanitizer than the fruit, and some light passion fruit. Head produces a large-pattern lace while it dissipates rockily. Medium body carries sudsy, grainy unfermented sugars in the middle, tasting like an underdeveloped porter in the brown sweetness and faint nuttiness. Only in the strongly hoppy finish did this approach the characteristics of an IIPA (it’s characterization on the site), although it’s not really like the barleywine that the label purports it is either. Finish is dry, almost chewy, with the malty bread fading slowly into a bitter, earthy, somewhat vegetable hops tingling the tongue all over and persisting for a full minute. Alcohol is belied by a slight astringency adding to the dryness and a warming in the chest. An incredibly unique IIPA. Since it doesn’t depend on fresh hop flavor, I think this one might age interestingly.
jimhilt (2516) - Bow, New Hampshire, USA - JAN 4, 2008
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours a five finger light tan head that fades slowly leaving a good lace. Totally black color. Medium carbonation and very heavy bodied. Sweet malty nose. Label lists this as barleywine but its more like an IPA Flavor is strong hops with caramel, smooth yet bitter almost cough syrup with lingering bitterness. High ABV completely hidden. Good but not what I was expecting. $7.95 for a 500ml bottle from John’s Marketplace Portland, OR.
hopson (635) - Williamsville, New York, USA - JAN 4, 2008
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Delicious. Great black appearance with a huge tannish head. chocolate sweetness throughout. Totally thought this was a barley wine, and am surprised to see it classified as a double ipa. Not hoppy enough if that is the classification. Anyway, its good. Would repurchase.
estoppel (1028) - Buffalo, New York, USA - JAN 4, 2008
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle. Dark garnet (almost black) body, big, dense light tan head. Sweet caramel nose with dark fruits and English yeast. Sweet body with lemony hops character and moderate finishing bitterness.
LinusStick (3074) - Moon Twp, suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 4, 2008
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
From a trade with Maria. I think the style of this needs changed to barley wine. No way is this an IIPA, Aroma of dark fruit and caramel malt with a bit of roastiness to it. Pour was a deep, murky unmoving brown with no head. Taste was very chewy and malty with notes of cough syrup and dark fruit in the front. As it warms caramel and brown sugar become more noticeable. A decent hop bite in the end but this was too cough syrupy/Vicks-y for me. Little to no carbonation.
5000 (6599) - Hardened Liver, Washington, USA - JAN 1, 2008
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle: Black in color, large pillowy beige head, sticky lacing.   Certainly very dark for a Barley Wine or an IIPA.   Big
piney nose but without the sharpness, sorta weird.   Hop stickiness, some malt, but mainly this weird strong pine that doesn’t burn.
A bit more hop presense on the tongue, certainly malty, perhaps more roasty than your average Barley Wine or Double IPA.
Certainly big, and wears the 10% ABV well as I cannot tell its that big.   Not as malty as one might expect for a Barley Wine, which
might explain why this one is listed as a Double IPA.   Body and mouthfeel are moderate to full.   Backside is a little sharp, a bit
more alcohol emerges here.   Funny, this to me is about as much of an IIPA as it is a Barley Wine, meaning it almost doesn’t fit either
category all that well.   Bitter, certainly malty, with an odd piney bitterness.   Not really heavy on either of those fronts.
Decent, finishes clean, perhaps a little bit of lingering pine like bitterness, but not what I was expecting at all.
Silphium (3191) - East Lansing, Michigan, USA - DEC 31, 2007
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle shared by artusory. Deep red-brown body with translucent edges, medium tan head. Clean, toasty aroma, leafy and bready with hints of chocolate. Piney hops body with light citrus, giving way to toast and brown sugar. The balance is still in favor of dry and bitter, but there is also a leafy, tannic quality. Interesting beer.
Pouler (10) - Århus V, DENMARK - DEC 31, 2007
4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Dark reddish brown. Nice head. The chinook aromas coming clearly through. Delicate and soft mouthfeel. Burnt malts and some sweetness within all the hop bitterness. You can feel the alcohol, but not the full 10%.
Very good and as other says; it is a beer to sip slowly.
Miksu (5033) - Jyväskylä, FINLAND - DEC 27, 2007
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
0.5 l bottle. Dark hazy reddish brown color with big beige head. Sweetish aroma loaded with floral and citrusy hops, lemon, grapefruit, black currant and pine. Bittersweet flavor with strong citrusy and piney hops, sharp alcohol bite and some caramel. Quite heavy sipping beer.