gad905 (198) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - DEC 3, 2014
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
2012 vintage bottle shared at RichTheVillan’s, 27/11/13. Clear ruby amber brown, cream to tan head that dies. Massive toffee caramel bourbon nose, loads of figs and dates, plus some hot booze. Starts hugely sweet, layers of caramel and toffee and more rich fruit, then dries out a bit with oak, tobacco, spice, and some hop bitterness. Sticky and thick, soft carb. Very nice, though I think another year or 2 to dry it out and it would’ve been better.
csbosox (1228) - Prairie Village, Kansas, USA - NOV 30, 2014
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
2013 bottle, cellared for a year at ambient basement temps. Served chilled in a Spiegelau snifter. Dark reddish, nearly brown with a one fingered head that dissipates quickly. Aroma is dark caramel, toffee and booze. Taste is caramelized turbinado sugar, non-distinct booze, subtle prunes, maybe a touch of oak. There doesn’t seem to be an excess of bourbon notes, but a general booziness that could detract from the other flavors. A bit too sweet. Quite honestly, I could see this being a much more interesting beer after 5 years, the oxidation will hopefully add some depth to the flavor, tame the booziness (which is not over the top by any means) and unaccentuate the sweetness. Right now it is just not that interesting. I would like to try the un-BA version, Stormwatchers Winterfest.
SpringsLicker (3213) - Tennessee, USA - NOV 14, 2014
3.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
2012 bottle purchased from Let’s Pour.
Dark brown body with almost a head, but not quite.
Rich, complex aroma. Alcohol, cognac, maple sugar, raisins.
Very sweet and syrupy. Flavor otherwise matches the aroma. Gotta sip this one slow like an Avery.
ciocanelu (101) - Timisoara, ROMANIA - NOV 3, 2014
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Dark ruby color when looking into the light. Very nice aroma: toffee, caramel, dark malts, bourbon. Taste starts sweet with dark sugar and molasses and finishes more balanced with caramel and toffee. Mouthfeel is syrupy with just a bit of carbonation to make it easily drinkable. One of the best English style barleywines I had.
wilnatp (630) - Minnesota, USA - OCT 27, 2014
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 20/20
Bottle. Surly Darkness Eve 2014. Perfect balance of sweet and tart and booze and malt. So good!
Fritz123 (1227) - Boca Raton, Florida, USA - OCT 25, 2014
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle from Darrel in a trade. Thanks!! Shared with Peter and Gail. Snifter pour was deep dark cherry wood with a small mocha head. No real lacing. The aroma was divine with toffee, caramel, vanilla, oak barrel, bourbon, booze, and a hint of tobacco. The taste was just as pleasant with the caramel and toffee malts hitting first and then the barrel aged oak and bourbon at the end. Also it almost had a brandy flavor. Serious smoothness and delicate on the palate. Full body, full flavors. Damn fine beer.
jdb288 (584) - Robbinsville, New Jersey, USA - OCT 24, 2014
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
2009 bottle opened in 2014. Smells like the barrel it was housed in - smoky, woody, dark fruits. Taste is the same. Creamy and thick with a distinct alcohol "burn" and some good toffee notes. Strong and a real kick in the teeth. I think oxidation played more of a role here than I would have liked. Still decent.
slowrunner77 (6336) - Reno, Nevada, USA - SEP 25, 2014
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
"2011. Sweet fig and caramel beer, and a large dose of bourbony vanilla. The body is thinner than expected for such a strong beer, but it’s pretty smooth. A little alcohol showing, more so in the aroma, but that’s expected at 13%. Pretty nice."
DesertDevil (607) - Arizona, USA - AUG 11, 2014
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
2011 bottle. Beautiful aroma of decadent toffee, caramel, a touch of old cardboard, a hint of smoky oak and mild yet delightful bourbon. Pours murky dark mahogany with a tan head and crystal-like lacing. Nice, smooth taste of medium chocolate, almond butter, caramel fudge with very mild bourbon — there’s barely any hot booze — with notes of vanilla and subtle oak popping up late. Incredibly smooth texture with a medium body and light carbonation. A delicious beer, but I may have aged it a smidge too long, for it tasted better to me a few years back (except for the velvet palate).
markextrae (1492) - NETHERLANDS - JUL 5, 2014
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Shared vintage 2010 bottle with a friend. Poured a dark ruby colour with no head. What an awesome smell of Bourbon notes! Oak, malts, lot of vanilla, toffee, caramel, leather, marshmallows, Bourbon soaked raisins, Bourbon. Real smooth and full bodied mouthfeel. Boy this is tasty stuff! One hell of a barley wine!