RyanMM (416) - Ferndale, Michigan, USA - JAN 14, 2011
3.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
2009 Vintage. Pours deep, dark, almost opaque but with deep ruby coming through when held up to the light. Incredibly active carbonation, thereís an incessant stream of bubbles coming off my glassí laser etchings at a high rate of speed. The aroma is bourbon, tons and tons of bourbon. Itís hard to get much beyond that. All the rich complexity of Old Stock doesnít stand up to the bourbon bomb that this puppy is. Huge warming burn on the finish, lingering astringency, incredibly sweet and syrupy, extremely zippy from the high carbonation. As it opens up, which you should give it time to, it does begin to lose some its unruliness. Caramel, burnt marshmallow, toffee flavors are there, hiding behind the bourbon. Itís good, itís just not remotely $22 good. Itís not even $10 good. Itís a huge let down for a beer at this price. Dinging this one points on the overall due both to the messy nature of the tastes and palate and the price point this oneís at. For $22 for 500ml, this better be the best bourbon strong ale Iíve ever tasted. Itís not.
punkrkr27 (903) - Berkley, Michigan, USA - JAN 11, 2011
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
2009 bottle. Beautiful ruby-copper pour with a small, loose, short-lived, off-white head. Rich, sugary sweet caramel and dark fruit aroma with plenty of alcohol, some anise and tobacco, sligthly smoky bourbon, mellow vanilla, and oak. The flavor is big and rich with lots of caramelized fig, raisins, cognac, and molasses. The bourbon comes across the finish very smoothly with lots of creamy vanilla, long oak notes, and a touch of smokiness on the finish. Sticky, medium body with moderate carbonation.
wnoble (1251) - Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA - JAN 7, 2011
4.4 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle shared with Frostyone. Pours garnet with a non dense large bubble head with zero lace. Aroma is complex with large notes of bourbon, sherry, wood, red wine, plums, raisins, dried cherries, wood, earthy hops, whiskey, and pure kentucky bourbon. Taste is sweet malts, bourbon, charred oak, soy sauce, vanilla, some ginger finishes sweet. Warm alcohol finishes off. slick on the palate with enough carbonation to make it lively. Warms the stomach. Very wonderful barley wine. extremely complex and the bourbon really sets it off. I will savor.
CheersMate (1340) - Portland (Sellhood), Oregon, USA - JAN 5, 2011
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JAN 6, 2011 í09 bottle. It has a ceramic brownish green cover. Purchased at The Beer Junction for $30, after taxes. I donít know if any beer warrants a charge of that nature, but I took the plunge and you know what, Iím glad that I did. Itís very effervescent. There was a slight presence of head, but it fizzed away. This has a nice rich, brown color. Itís transparent. Itís a decent looking brew. Lots of dimensions make up the aroma. It has a nice vanilla, whiskey, and sweet malt aroma. The beer is subtly pungent, but in a big way. The aforementioned statement seems a bit paradoxical, but itís true. Bits of a raisin aroma hit my nose, as well. The sweet aroma coming from the malt balance perfectly with the whiskey aroma. Wow, it seems like itís going to be a little too hot. No, wait, wow, that son-of-a-bitch is steaming all the way down. It has a nice sweet vanilla, whiskey, oak, raisin, and malt flavor. Damn, despite the burn, this beer is really good. Itís a little too boozy. I wonder if time would fix the aforementioned issue. This is a fairly good barley wine, that in my opinion, given the carbonation and the booze, needs time.
jeremytoni (3029) - Swedesboro, New Jersey, USA - JAN 5, 2011
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
From a bottle poured a brown color with a good amount of head. Nice strong sweet malty flavor with a lasting finish.
boFNjackson (4200) - Portland, Oregon, USA - JAN 5, 2011
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle shared at Baileyís Taproom [2009 Batch]... Poured a clear, burnt orange with no head into the snifter. Big boozy, bourbon, vanilla, malty aroma. Lower carbonation, sticky mouthfeel. This had noticeably large amount of fruit flavors. Apples, apricots, dates, and so on. Lots of malt sweetness, whiskey alcohol kick, vanilla, turbinado sugar, toasted almonds, and a pastry-like malt sweetness.
LtDan (1806) - Los Angeles County, California, USA - JAN 4, 2011
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
2009 Bottle from Certified Market Monrovia, CA
Appearance: Pours a dark mahogany with a dancing seltzer like head that quickly dissapears to nothing. You can see little bubbles rising to the top well after the pour, this thing looks pretty carbonated. It gave a nice pop when I opened it. The bear doesnít anything on the sides of the glass either.
Aroma: Smokey woody bourbon, apple pie, pipe tobacco, sugar cookies.
Taste: Milk chocolate covered caramel squares,decent straight bourbon,burnt dark sugar,green apple. Finishes with alcohol spice and warmth.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with some alcohol sting and lively carbonation.
Overall: An amazing beer. I love Old Stock as it is, but this is the equivalent of bacon wrapped fillet. If this was a regular release, I would never drop this much on a beer, but because itís something I wonít get to try for another year or two, I can deal with it.
fbm115 (187) - New Jersey, USA - JAN 4, 2011
3.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
2009 bottle. Pours a fizzy head that holds for a bit but dissipates quickly. brownish red color that is dark. clear up to the light. really rich malt marshmallow alcohol cardboard smell. unfortunately the taste isnít as good as the smell. aftertaste is straight cardboard. hot alcohol and prickly carbonation. full bodied and a bit syrupy. not something i will buy again.
juiceisloose (1318) - Windermere, Florida, USA - JAN 2, 2011
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
2009 ceramic looking corked and caged bottle, courtesy cmillward. Pours a mostly cloudy, dark reddish brown color and topped by a small, smooth head of tan colored foam that settles to a thin film leaving some drippy legging around the glass. The aroma is really nice and rich showing notes of dark fruits, nougat, sweet caramel,and oak laden vanilla. The bourbon influence is subtle and adds smoothness and added depth. The flavor follows suit with the dark fruits, rich caramel, and toasted oak. The bourbon adds its signature vanilla influence to smooth things out and tie everything together. The bourbon is just right in this brew as it doesnít over power any one thing and adds complexity. The mouthfeel is full bodied, smooth, and very easy to drink with subtle carbonation leading to a sweet, slightly warming finish. Despite the high abv the alcohol is hidden nicely, which makes this a smooth drinker. The bourbon barrel takes a good base beer and makes it even better. Great beer.
paiste2002 (186) - Saugus, California, USA - JAN 1, 2011
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Bottle at Najaís Place. Pours clear amber with a medium size white head. Aroma is in your face bourbon, caramel, vanilla and more bourbon. Flavor is malty sweet, bourbon, oak, caramel and the finish is vanilla, toffee and warming bourbon. Incredible beer.