ThisWangsChung (747) - Leonardtown, Maryland, USA - JAN 22, 2013
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Reviewed 12/29/2012.12 oz bottle into a pint glass.
A: Pours a very dark brown color with low clarity and even a bit of opacity. The head is impressive for damn near 12% - a one finger light mocha color with a pretty texture and excellent retention for the gravity. Good lacing, too.
S: Very forward in sweet caramel, brown sugar, chocolate, and molasses. The booze that comes through almost has a bourbon character to it which I find to be very pleasing.
T: Wow, this is sweet, just as I expected. The usual suspects - brown sugar, caramel, molasses, chocolate, and toffee - all appear vibrant on the initial taste. I can notice earthen malts/hops and a more expressive note of vinous sourness on the midtaste, which not only dries out the huge sweetness, but does a good job, too. Finish is a hybrid of dark fruits, vanilla, leather and bourbon-esque booziness, though every so often it will shift from being like bourbon to being port-like (less vanilla and more raisin and grape). With a bit more tannin presence, this could almost pass for a BA brew at times. Overall complexity is subtle instead of forceful; the latter could have just as easily killed this one, and Iím glad it didnít. Not super drinkable, but wonderful to savor.
M: I think the carbonation could be a little less forceful (not necessarily weaker, though) This is actually fairly clean and dry at first, but becomes a little more oily and lingering after a few sips. A bit airy and insubstantial; itís not as decadent as I would have liked, and doesnít quite do the flavor profile justice. Still, this is less harsh than it could have been - but I think a year in the cellar would do it wonders.
O: Better than I expected. Itís actually pretty damn drinkable right now! If the mouthfeel was beefed up some, this really could have been something unbelievable. As it stands, itís still an excellent old ale. Seemingly lacking in frills, it instead chooses to sneak up on the palate with a wonderful - if not readily apparent at first - depth of flavor and complexity. Wish I bought more than a single...
liquidhedonism (65) - Beaverton, Oregon, USA - SEP 16, 2014
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
12 oz bottle of 2014 vintage from Whole Foods in Hillsboro, OR. Aroma has brown sugar, tart cherries, leather, and NyQuil. Mouthfeel is thick and robust, with a bitter, boozy, and slightly astringent finish.
julesjis (55) - Oregon, USA - SEP 16, 2014
2.5 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 9/20
Poured from a 12oz. This is not my style of beer. Aroma was a boozy sawdust. Not super pleasant for me. Taste was like a grape must spritzer. This beer did have a very inviting color to it.
Ingevara (803) - SWEDEN - SEP 11, 2014
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Brown ale. Head gone after a few seconds only. Strong in alcohol. Flavor mainly sweet licorice, sweet wort and stale dry fruit.The aroma forces itself on me, syrupy, boozy, hoppy. Iíve had better beers.
RichardGretton (4247) - Leicestershire, ENGLAND - SEP 9, 2014
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle 2014 version. Reddish brown beer with a strong head. The aroma is rich with some roastedness, the flavour is very rich and malty with roastedness and a port like quality. Overall a reasonable strong ale.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
Zekada (137) - Helsingborg, SWEDEN - SEP 8, 2014
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottle from systembolaget. Smell of malts, bread, raisins and some berries. Pours dark amber with a small beige head. Deep taste, berries and some bread and raisins. Palate is full and round. Overall a really enjoyable beer.
orangesol (853) - 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 (193) - 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 (4696) - 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 (1751) - 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 (358) - 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.