robbeebobby (55) - newark, Arkansas, USA - JAN 14, 2014
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
2013 bottle. Pours a dark amber with a small off white head. Aromas of fruit and vanilla are faint but nice. This is warming as it goes down and has a nice amount of carbonation. The taste of booze, vanilla, malts, and some hops all add up very well to make this a great beer.
ironprog (43) - - JAN 10, 2014
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
12 oz. bottle. 2012 edition. Pours a cloudy, deep amber, with an off-white, tight head that dissipates moderately. Aromas of milk-chocolate, caramel, fruit (maybe fig?), and vanilla. Taste is sweet with flavors of caramel, vanilla, and just a hint of black-cherry. Full-bodied with a thick, creamy texture. Carbonation is average. Finish is smooth and sweet. Overall, I really like this beer. Although, as it warms up it gets sweeter. By the time it reaches room temperature it is almost cloyingly sweet. However, straight out of the fridge is a little too cold and you donít get all the subtleties. So i suggest letting it warm up for 5 minutes before indulging.
Sevenlee (1194) - Central Coast, NSW, AUSTRALIA - JAN 10, 2014
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottled 2012 edition. Pours a dark cloudy brown with beige head. Aroma is malt, caramel, chocolate, dried fruits, vanilla with some woody notes. Taste is medium sweet leading to a hefty sweet fruity finish with some slight alcohol burn on the way down. Awesome stuff.
monk191 (722) - California, USA - JAN 4, 2014
3.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
A bit too boozy for its own good. Pours a cloudy red. Smells like malt liquor and a bit of figs. Taste is mostly booze. Had in the bottle.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
Iphonephan (2657) - McLean, Virginia, USA - JAN 3, 2014
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
From a 75 cl bottle shared at home. Pours a clear amber with an thick ecru head. Caramel nose. Flavors of plum, caramel and raisins. Medium heavy bodied, light carbonation,, smooth slightly boozy finIsh.
lspagnola (16) - - DEC 30, 2013
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle at Vitoís. This made me rethink my stance on barley wines. Very complex. Opened up nicely after warming in the glass. I hope the 2013 is as good.
harrymel (1448) - Spokane, Washington, USA - DEC 16, 2013
2.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
Vintage 2012, reviewed 07MAR12
Pours a ruby ale with a nice dome of cream foam. Smells of alcohol, grain, some caramel, nothing special. Flavor is alcoholic, bitter, some sweetness, some bitterness. Really poorly defined. I donít recall having had this so fresh, but I donít recommend. Medium on viscous body with moderate carb and a semi dry finish. Iím not impressed fresh. Maybe one should simply buy and age as the beer is better with just a year on it.
Note to NC: release beer when ready, no sooner.
Vintage 2010, Reviewed 22MAR11
A: Pours a beautiful mahogany ale with hues of cherry red. Single finger head of roasted peanut dissipates in a couple minutes and leaves a thin sheet of the same. Spotty lacing. Brilliant clarity.
S: Initially, alcohol comes out punching! Then I get the tones of vanilla, malt, cherries (maraschino), light soapy smell (not bad, but different). Good nose, will be better with age I bet.
T: Mmmm. Toffee, light noble hops, cascade resin and citrus are subdued, yet present. Alcohol is slightly sweet, but not in any way offensive. Hint of cornbread. Again, maraschino cherries. Nice. The toffee keeps teasing me, more time = more toffee = more happy!
M: Full bodied and medium carbonation. Dries the mouth and forces my tongue to push for resonating flavors. Nice.
O: Excellent crafsmanship. Good old ale. The profile compels me to keep a dozen in the cellar for a year or two. Should become more tawny in character. Pretty stoked about the potential here. 4/4/4/4/4-4
Serving type: bottle
Erasmus_ro (1188) - Alabama, USA - DEC 7, 2013
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle, 2012 vintage. Pours an auburn brown with a small, yellowish-brown head. Aroma is caramel, a bit boozy. Toffee, light breadiness. Taste is a lot of caramel as well. Some syrupiness, dried dark fruit. A bit boozy as it warms up. Full and carbonated. Not too complex, but a nice sipper.
teorn88 (1915) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - DEC 7, 2013
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle from Akkurat. Thanks to a bloke in the pub. It pours a brown colour with a small off white head. Aroma is bready, caramel, dark fruit, alcohol, touch of spice and vanilla. Taste is similar with caramel up front, alcohol and dark fruit, then finishes with some bitterness and dry. Relatively smooth and medium bodied. Very good indeed.
ineedbeer (544) - Oakland, California, USA - DEC 6, 2013
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
2010 and 2011 12oz bottles side by side.
Aroma on both have a similar malt character with toasted bread, caramel, and toffee. Some fig and raisin notes. The 2010 has almost not hop character and shows a bit of oxidation with some honey and wet paper. The 2011 is definitely brighter with some citrus and resin hop notes and doesnít seem to have much oxidation. 2011 wins on aroma.
They both pour a slightly murky copper amber with a tan head. The 2011 had more head and it was thicker. Both receded quickly to the edges. Light lacing and faint legs. 2011 wins on appearance.
The flavor is a bit different between the two. The 2010 has a much smoother flavor with well integrated malt and fruit components. Lots of toasted bread, caramel and toffee with raisin and fig notes. Light prune notes as well but not much hop character. Medium bitterness and light alcohol note in the finish. The 2011 flavor is a bit rougher on the edges but is also brighter and fresher. Caramel, toasted bread and toffee again dominate. Lesser, but similar in character, fruit notes than the 2010. More hop bitterness and a bit of hop flavor still intact. More alcohol spice in the finish. 2010 wins for flavor.
2011 is medium full bodied with medium carbonation. Low astringency and medium low alcohol warmth. 2010 is similar but with medium low to low carbonation. I think I like the lower carbonation as it had less carbonic bite. 2010 wins on mouthfeel.
Overall they are fairly similar but the difference of a year is noticeable. The year really hurt the aroma of the 2010, but I think it did a lot to smooth out the flavor. I actually donít like the contribution of the hops to the flavor, but found it helped with the aroma.