ThisWangsChung (494) - 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...
stoutnick (183) - Brisbane, AUSTRALIA - JUN 18, 2013
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Very dark. Aroma is light yeast and malt taste. Flavour is beautiful - richness like a dark belgian ale, booze, dark pudding. Palate is nice lingering malt and clannish finish. Overall, a malt goody with a lovely sweet finish.
Thewade (176) - USA - JUN 11, 2013
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Thin head. Caramel, malty, and boozy. Best drank only slightly chilled. Nice sipping beer.
radio_nowhere (440) - Maryland, USA - JUN 7, 2013
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle poured into goblet at restaurant. Dark copper brown color with very thin beige head. Aroma of heavy bready malt, dark fruit, caramel and booze. Taste is certainly high ABV, pretty boozy with the thick flavors of the aroma. Heavy body, low carbonation, rich, syrupy and complex with the lightest bit of bitter finish. Well executed, Iíd drink it again.
Manimilious (2) - Utah, USA - MAY 28, 2013 does not count
3.6 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Cloudy with a light silk head that seemed to "dance" the entire time. Bread like smell to and a very dry fruit taste to it. Overall taste is young but seems promising for perfection if aged
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
RobertDale (2001) - Lansing, Kansas, USA - MAY 22, 2013
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Sample at Hopfest 2013. Comes reddish brown with a small biege head. Aroma of fruit, malt, bread, and alcohol. Taste is dark fruit, malt, bread, alcohol, and a touch of hops. Nice Barley Wine.
rondphoto (1014) - Lakeside Park, Kentucky, USA - MAY 21, 2013
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Clear medium ruby amber with a soft ivory head and light swirls of lace. Taste begins with semi-sweet malt that grows through the palate as more tastes are added - first raisins and fruit cake candied fruit, then a heavy dose of caramel toffee, followed by an alcohol edge to bring things to a balance. Not for the faint of heart, big, hearty, filling, and impressive.
aenima (71) - Askim, SWEDEN - MAY 21, 2013
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
2012 release. Complex aroma and taste. A lot of caramel and raisins in the flavour. A little sweet. Some warming alcohol in the finish.
Atom (1007) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - MAY 20, 2013
2.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 11/20
12oz bottle 2009 vintage pours a murky brown with a small khaki head. Aroma of caramel, toffee, brown sugar, apples, and figs. Taste has similar favors as aroma with musty alcohol overtones. Booze dominates.
tedovertu (282) - Apple Valley, Minnesota, USA - MAY 17, 2013
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
This barley wine has some major kick to it. Very attractive dark copper color with next to no head. No lacing what so ever. Has alcohol burn with a general balance of flavor. Great beer if you need or want a very quick buzz.
kerenmk (1241) - Tel Aviv, ISRAEL - MAY 9, 2013
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle sample at a tasting at the Beer & Beyond shop. Thanks avrashi. 2012 vintage. Clear reddish brown with a beige ring. alcohol, honey, sweet and bitter aroma with some chocolate, tastes very sweet but also dry and slightly bitter. Medium-to-full body, syrupy, mildly carbonated with alcoholic finish. Nice.