cheap (3751) - Beaver County, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 19, 2007
1.5 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 4/20
UPDATED: JUN 25, 2011 First off let me say that if you enjoy barley wine, ignore my numbers, just read the text. I simply give this above a 2 out of respect for my local brewer. I am not a barley wine liker. It is not my style. This is overall a good example of barleywine. However, it is probably one of the better barleywines Iíve enjoyed, most of them are overpowering with alky with no interesting substance. This brew however is very complex, it has other attributes that can be enjoyed. Mild sweet aroma, very good smelling. Dark reddish orange appearance. The palate is absolutely flat. Taste impact is fruity and floral, and this is welcomed. These qualities are lacking in most barely wines. Nice and complex. Has a feel of some fine wines or liquors. Warm mouth coating feel. Again, this is a little more fruity and much more enjoyable than most BWs. Very refined and thought out, I can tell lots of effort was put into this to make it stand above other BWs. The only other BW Iíve enjoyed was Rock Art Ridge Runner Ale. This old fugget is certainly on par with that. Alky impact is present but not over powering as with most BW. Much better than Weyerbacher Blithering Idiot, Lagunitas Brown Shugga, Sierra Nevada Bigfoot and even Victoryís Old Horizontal. I give this a 2.3 only out of respect for mj and Nate. They have a hankering for this brewpub. Otherwise it would get a 1.8
lilannie (384) - Adamstown, Maryland, USA - JUN 18, 2007
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Aroma: oak, alcohol, tropical fruits, carmel malts, mustiness, and honey
Appearance: reddish brown, off-white head, lacing
Flavor: oak, mustiness, coconut, tropical fruits, some light sourness, light alcohol, and caramel
Palate: smooth, creamy, bubbly, oak and alcohol aftertaste, and some burnt malts
kmweaver (3204) - Petaluma, California, USA - JUN 7, 2007
4.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
8oz pour, cask. Pours a hazy, orange-amber appearance; fluffy, off-white head with beautiful retention and creamy lacing. Pleasant, maple syrup and dried dark fruits in the aroma; hints of a vanilla / marshmallow note. Light carbonation from cask. Impressively dense, viscous mouthfeel: tons of maple syrup and candy sugar; dried dark fruits (plums and raisins), with a light citrus hop presence balancing things out; velvety, mouthcoating barley wine; wonderfully drinkable from cask, no harshness. Lengthy, dried dark fruit and maple syrup finish.
auerbrau (3117) - Peace Dale, Rhode Island, USA - MAY 29, 2007
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: JUN 18, 2008 On Cask (my first barleywine in such format, as I can remember), originally reviewed 5/29/2007. Warm raisins, cream and brandy aroma. Pours a nicely cleared amber gold, with a rim of white. Flavor glides through glassine sugars of plum, currant and malt sugars. A touch hot and nicely caramelized with faint grain esters. Smacks out on Goldings and some weak spice. Faintly nuanced. Some fairly nice sugar play in the middle, but nothing overly complex. A bit of pineapple juice through the back. A well built version.
Further Ruminations: Iíve actually thought about this particular beer a bit since I had it. I struggle with it, because really there isnít anything particularly memorable about it, other than its graceful balance and delicate nature. I think the cask presentation through me off and it had such stellar drinkability, from a style for which I look for nice sipability. This lands it in with Surly Darkness or Oskar Blues Ten FIDY, for that character. But, most of all, I akin it to Town Hall Scotch Ale, for having superb quality across the board, but staying restrained and generalize in muted nuance. I like some aspect of my beer to speak boldly of itself and this one whispers softly all of its facets. Thus, Iíll re-rate it a 4.0. For it lands in a field that I just canít put my finger on.
On Cask at the brewpub 06.18.2008. Noses in a softer caramel, toasted walnut and brandied plums. Soft and spicy, but inviting in an alcoholic sense. The pour is insanely beautiful. This slowly sounding rise of carbonation crests the surface with the softest, softest white head. The color beneath is an inexplanable birch heartwood tinted with squirrel blood. Itís woodsy and real. Probably one of the most beautiful pours Iíve ever seen. Flavor is much more subtle this year, backing off of the caramels, rum, raisins and spice and carrying more of a perfumed pale syrup character. Still totally delicately flavored and the alcohol well inegrated. A good wallop of hop brings the backend up delightfully. This is balanced, complex, and delicious. Itís hard to describe all the subtle flavoring in the intricate mid-palate of this beer, but itís beautiful whatever it is. Iím bumping it up a tenth for the beautiful pour.
FROTHINGSLOSH (4472) - GREENSBURG, Pennsylvania, USA - MAY 13, 2007
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: SEP 5, 2012 Sampled on draft at the brewery this beer poured a caramel-chestnut color with a small tan head. The aroma was ripe fruits and molasses. The flavor was sweet, tangy, fruity and bitter with hints of caramel and pear. There was a long sweet, fruity and tangy finish.
agl108 (719) - Upper St. Clair, Pennsylvania, USA - MAY 7, 2007
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
On cask at Ottos, Penn State. Poured dark caramel with creamish head. Lots of malty character in this one with a bourbon-esque finish. Alcohol shockingly never apparent.
CaptainCougar (7129) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - MAY 5, 2007
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
On tap at the brewpub on 4/9/07: Pours a dark copper mahogany with a thin ring of white head. Sweet, complex fruity caramely malty aroma has a touch of butterscotch. Body starts thick, viscous and sweet with a touch of aged dark and light fruity complexity toward a slightly warming finish. A very nice barleywine.
adrian910ss (2275) - philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 12, 2007
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
On tap at the brewery. Pours an amber reddish color with a medium brown head. Aroma of dark fruit, caramel malt, figs and brown sugar. Taste is pleasantly sweet with dark fruit being prominent and hints of caramel, brown sugar and bread. Excellent !! Alcohol was never noticeable in the taste.
DocLock (7445) - Lower Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 11, 2007
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Firkin at the brewery. Pours muddy medium brown color, with minimal head. The nose is great, a lot of caramel malt, figgy fruit, pear, apple, peach, plus solid hops, brown sugar, and slight cheddar cheese. Fairly dense palate, and very complex, with flavor notes of bready caramel malt, pear, apple, figs, hops, and some slight rauchy earthy notes. Some minor astringency and heat show up at the last dregs, but that just adds to this ones allure, in my opinion.
Nate (3531) - Indiana, Pennsylvania, USA - MAR 31, 2007
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
From growler, only a few hours after filling. I would not recommend getting a growler unless youíre going to drink it all by that evening (Ottoís will tell you the same thing, since itís from cask). Mild oak aroma, dark brown sugar, alcohol vapors, macerated raisin. Vinuous and fruity. Hazy brown amber, great luster, with very thin wispy head. Heavy watery body with silky smooth carbonation, just perfect. Starts with rich malty sweetness. Mild molasses, macerated raisin, and a bit of oak. Heavy alcohol warming. A mild nutty dryness before a bit of fruity esters. Nice hoppiness at the finish, a little bit of bitterness to cut on the brown sugar sweetness. Sweet coating in the after, with a little bit of acidic tang and nutty bitterness. This one is not overly complex, but itís clean and well done.