DocLock (8602) - 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 (3827) - 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 you’re going to drink it all by that evening (Otto’s will tell you the same thing, since it’s 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 it’s clean and well done.
3fourths (8642) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - MAR 20, 2007
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: SEP 26, 2012 2008 version
* June 2008, cask @ brewery. Hazy rich and dark amber copper color. Intense nose of fresh, sugary hops and Belgian candy sugar and sticky, rich, sweet licorice malt. Flavor is intense, sticky candy sugar (but not overly sweet) and sharp, dry, grassy hops. Thick and vinous, incredibly fresh and vibrant on the palate. Very good. Probably in the 3.9-4.2 range.
* March 2007, cask at the brewery. Murky brown and red colored body. Nose of spoiled apples (in a good way), doughy and sour brown sugar, Belgian sugar, sticky plums and bread. Flavor is amazing, rich, delicate, smooth, thick, lightly sweet red apples, bitter in the back only. Resiny and delicious, closer to an old ale than an American barley wine.
* July 2007 update
So this has been on cask for a few months now, and it’s changed quite a bit. The body is lacking - read illinismitty’s comments about it having "wet grains". That’s exactly what I found in the cask pint I had on July 29, 2007. It was no longer smooth and creamy like back in March and April, rather it was wet, undercarbonated and "soggy". Still, though, it was very tasty, don’t get me wrong. Just not the same. Their high gravity cask ales usually only are available for 3-5 weeks, not 4 Months like Old Fugget this year.
jehoey (765) - Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 29, 2006
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
pretty good barly wine. Taste like bourbon cut with cream. nose is dominated by bourbon, malt and alcohol. Rasins are also present. copper brown color. creamy probably from nitrogen flavors reflect the nose lots of bourbon from the aging barrels, bit malt character, with rasins. the finish is still of bourbon, malt, and alcohol. definate warmer. very nice mouthfeel. almost silky
jason (1737) - Easton, Pennsylvania, USA - MAR 14, 2006
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: MAY 13, 2007 Great Big Barley wine! Almost orgasmic aroma. Great appereance, nice simple head. Long lasting palate and taste that made me sad when I finished my drink. I highly recommend this for any one who is a barley wine lover.
kramer (5395) - Sunbury, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 16, 2006
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
On handpump at brewpub. Pours a dark caramel color with thin wisps of head and a thin ring clinging to the edge of my snifter. Nice aroma of caramel, toffee, alcohol, and Fuggles hops. Very deep aroma without the overpowering alcohol fumes I expected from a 12% beer. Flavor is aggressively bitter with lots of sweet toffee and caramel malts trying to peek thru. Finish is a balance between dark fruits, alcohol warmth, and a lingering bitterness. Mouthfeel was smooth and creamy due to the handpump, with minimal carbonation. Finish was slightly sticky. Overall, a very good Barley Wine. The alcohol on this, while very warming, did not negatively affect the flavor. I could have sat there all day and drank these if I didn’t have to drive home.