orangesol (984) - Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 7, 2014
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Served on nitro-tap into a Bellís tulip at Alís of Hampden.
A - Pours nut brown with a very spotty tan head leaving no lacing down the glass.
S - Tons of rich caramel malt up front with a touch of booze. Some dark fruits like raisins and figs mix well with a bit of spice and strong brandy flavor from the booze. A very complex nose.
T - Lots of caramel sweetness up front from the malt giving way quickly to lots of dark fruit flavors similar to the nose, toffee, and vanilla. Finish is strong booze that lingers on the pallet for some time. I liked this one a lot but I donít think I could drink more than one at a time. It is a very heavy beer.
M - Heavy body and flavor with moderate carbonation. A good amount of booze burn lingers for some time. I think the nitro hurt this one a bit.
D - Not too bad. I like this one out of the bottle better. I think if it was on co2 it would have been a bit better. Still one of my favorites for the style.
tillmac62 (451) - Gaffney, South Carolina, USA - SEP 5, 2014
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
2014 vintage. Clear heavy amber pour with a huge dark ruby cast making it almost red. Good head, lacing and retention. The nose is dark fruits (plum, raisin and fig) over a faint caramel sweetness with moderate alcohol notes. Full bodied with a rich creamy texture. Average carbonation with a bit of effervescence on the finish. The flavor profile is loaded with complexity, yet well balanced. The 11.8% alcohol is very well hidden, but becomes more prevalent as it warms. It begins with a burst of caramel sweetness that flows into the dark fruit flavors, but the sweetness is never absent due to the heavy malt bill. Chocolate notes appear in the middle that relent to coffee/toffee notes. The finish is where the alcohol is most prevalent, leaving you with that nice alcohol burn at the back of the throat, but yet not overpowering. The finish is somewhat tannic with a touch of hops over a fading caramel sweetness. An outstanding Old Ale and a fine example of OCís brewing prowess.
tderoeck (6492) - Gent, BELGIUM - SEP 5, 2014
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
9/VIII/14 - 12Fl. Oz. bottle from a trade @ home - BB: n/a, 2013 vintage (2014-899)Thanks to hackobock for the trade!
Clear red to dark amber beer, creamy yellowish head, unstable, non adhesive. Aroma: lots of alcohol, caramel, bit metallic, banana peel. MF: soft carbon, full body. Taste: sweet, sugary, lots of alcohol, banana, sweet touch, vanilla, chocolate. Aftertaste: banana, bit sugary, milk chocolate, soft bitterness, sweet, something off, more milk chocolate. Good, but the B.A. stuff is much better. :-)
Westmeister (2095) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - SEP 1, 2014
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Drank a 2010 - 2014 vertical with my homie Asa. Rich complex caramel maltiness and deep ripe aged fruits. Booze was obvious in the newest version. Almost sherry like with bits of vanilla. It was a consensus that 2011 was the best, but this is certainly a beer that ages gracefully and works better with age than most beers Iíve. Easy, cheap way to have a fun vert tasting.
Unde (594) - Helsinki, FINLAND - AUG 30, 2014
2.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
Reddish brown colour with fluffy beige head on top. Aroma has spices, tannin, wooden notes and anise. Resembles a lot of sherry or cognac. Taste has tannin, wood, spices, berries and anise. But this is covered by a wave of alcohol washing through and making this beer a very hard to drink. Full body and medium-to-low carbonation canít save this one. A huge disappointment, not what I expected from Barley Wine at all.
Darkmagus82 (2034) - - AUG 29, 2014
4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 16/20
Transfer from BA review on 2-28-13-
Served on tap in a snifter glass
Appearance Ė Served a mahogany colored brew with a one finger cream colored head. The head faded rather fast giving way to a persistent foam and a great level of lace on the sides of the glass.
Smell Ė The aroma is sweet with a heavy toffee and caramel smell. Mixed with this aroma are smells of a dark fruit, roasted malt and a bit of nuttiness and vanilla. A bit of a boozy, rum like aroma accompanies all these creating a quite complex and warming smell.
Taste Ė The taste begins with sweet flavors o toffee and caramel mixed with some roasted malt flavors. A light dark fruit flavor of cherry then enters the taste as well as a little bit of vanilla. Soon after these tastes hit the taste buds so too dose a mild oaky and nutty like flavor. Toward the middle to the end the booziness that was hinted at in the nose becomes known. In the end the now nicely warming and boozy flavor of the brew, when mixed with the sweet and roasted flavors leaves a rather sweet and toasty flavor to linger on the tongue.
Mouthfell Ė The body of the beer is a little on the thinner side for a 11.9 % brew(but thick if comparing to an average brew) with a carbonation level that is on the medium to slightly higher side. A little less carbonation and more creaminess may have better suited the boozy and sweet flavors of the brew keeping it, as is more appropriate, as a sipping beer.
Overall- A rather tasty and slightly boozy brew. The only thing really holding it back from greatness is the weak body, but otherwise it is quite fantastic.
jsnicholas (400) - Woodinville, Washington, USA - AUG 25, 2014
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: FEB 5, 2015 Bottle (12 Oz): cloudy reddish brown. Smells a little boozy and sweet, but well balanced. This is not a very hoppy brew. Very tasty and a new regular for me.
Update: Was 4.1 now 3.9. Not enjoying it as much.
Alengrin (3401) - BELGIUM - AUG 25, 2014
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
The 2009 vintage, with East Kent Goldings and Fuggles hops. Thin, off-white head, colour deep bronze. Complex aroma, temptingly perfumed with raisins, candied dates, pear syrup, cranberries, madera, sherry, chocolate, vanilla, liquorice... Rich fruity taste on a deep sweet, honeyish and caramelly malt base, full and vinous, retronasal all the good things from the aroma come back and further decorate the palate, hop bitter finish with nice warming alcohol. Very well-balanced, rich and elegant provision ale.
zvsn (1114) - ISRAEL - AUG 23, 2014
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle sample at a tasting. Thanks Ariel. Clear amber with a nice head. Malty and alcoholic aroma. Sweet, malts, dried fruits and caramel, quite boozy. Medium-full bodied. Heavy but pleasant mouthfeel.
RyanK (259) - Rhode Island, USA - AUG 22, 2014
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
12oz bottle from 2013 drank aug 2014. Pours a murky, amber/brown with almost no head. Smells sweet,fruity, and fermented giving a sense of high alcohol. Heavy bodied with noticeable carbonation on the tongue. Bitterness from the malt nicely offsets the fruit flavors and alcohol taste. Well balanced and well done just like North coast. A little to fruity for me and Iím not particularly a fan of barley wines. Still I would like to revisit this down the road and stock some bottles in the cellar as it ages magnificently.