ClarkVV (3900) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - APR 19, 2007
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
UPDATED: APR 20, 2007 Draught pint at PP Carlsbad on 3/25/07
Lucid, slightly-bronzed pineapple colored body has a small, dense white head atop it and shows medium-high clarity, with moderate haziness and strong carbonation. Sticky lace is left behind as the beer recedes.
A big WHAP of hops hits the nose, somewhat juicy and with tropical fruit essences, but just intensely dry, piney and citric behind that. Itís fresh, very bold and sniffable, but the sweet caramel is held in check by the rye notes, which add some breadiness, light spice and pepper notes and the overall effect that the malt isnt really as balancing as it turns out to be in the flavor. Replete with yellow fruits (peach, nectarine, apricot, pineapple, mango), which forcefully come out upon warming, it tends to sweeten with warming as more of the base malt gradually oozes out. Light acidity/breadiness on the end, with strong grapefruit punchiness lingering, though some of the lively fruitiness lingers as well. Love the freshness and vibrancy of the hops in all of Pizza Portís beers, but sometimes itís just way too much, as I thought here. Alcohol is noticeable on the finish, lightly.
Before the palate can really take in any malt notes, itís confronted by strong pine-wintergreen and fruity (but very bitter) grapefruit. Pale and light medium malt sweetness seems to flare up for a second, adding a barage of sugars that further disorients the palate, but the rye dryness (almost a vague nuttiness) calms things down a bit and provides a fairly chewy texture for some of the bitterness/sweetness to sink in to. But the hop power is never really controlled and a burning acidity, matched with some alcohol dryness/heat makes it quite punishing on the end, as you get in to the glass. Warming/breathing dosent seem to do anything for it, as the alcohol just emerges more sharply on the end, and the malt sugars get slightly syrupy. Just too raw and over-the-top, I thought, despite the fact that the individual flavors were pretty enjoyable. I actually preferred this quite chilled, and while the carbonation was still quite tight at the start of the glass. Difficult to drink much of it.
drewbeerme (3885) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - APR 7, 2007
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
sampled on tap at the 5th Boulder Strong Ale Fest. iím surprised this is listed as a BW after tasting it. I think itís more of an american strong ale but whatever. nose has PNW hops, caramel. flavor is a little to hoppy with nice rye and caramel notes. a tasty beer indeed.
Aubrey (3479) - Bellingham, Washington, USA - APR 11, 2006
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
2006 Boulder Strong Ale Fest: Deep red-brown; huge, frothy head. Weighty, smooth and rich on the tongue. Wonderful malts, with notes of sweet cereal, nutty grains, and aromatic rye. Doughy yeast hints. Hops just explode with pine and grapefruit, followed by a blast of citrus. Rather hot in the back of the throat, but I didnít really mind. What a super tasty hop monster!
1FastSTi (3341) - Glendale, Wisconsin, USA - MAR 12, 2006
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Tap at Solana Beach PP. The beer pours to a reddish brown body with a white head and nice lacing. The aroma is citrusy. Deliciously juicy hops. The flavor is very citrusy. Malty. Delicious rye and malt. Nice barleywine characteristics. The palate is medium-full bodied, creamy, delicious.
DarkElf (3038) - La Jolla, California, USA - FEB 20, 2006
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
(Draft: Pizza Port in Carlsbad, CA) Barley Wine? Double IPA? Imperial Red? Hard to tell these days, and this one is on the border (if there really is a border). Jeff is calling this a barley wine, and that was probably the intended style, but the end result doesnít fit neatly into that category either. Whatever style it is, itís minimally sweet, dry, and lightly roasty, with strong bitter hoppiness of pine and some citrus. I find the concoction to be reminiscent of unsweetened tea. Dark grain flavor in the finish, presumably the rye, but not really showing much spiciness either. The initial aroma is of light grapefruit and strong pine, but after 15-20 minutes, the grapefruit fades away and itís now more vegetal smelling. Medium-full body doesnít thin out in the finish, maintaining a substantial mouthfeel for the entire session. The crisp, dry hoppiness and moderate carbonation keep the palate lively. Dark ruddy amber color is fairly clear. The half-inch off-white head settles to a filmy layer, leaving a dense, moth-eaten curtain on the glass. Whatever style this is, Iíve had it twice now, so itís a pretty good beer but not so good that Iíd go out of my way to stop in for a pint of it.
jazz88 (2576) - San Francisco, California, USA - MAR 4, 2006
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Tap @ Toronado Barley Wine Festival. A dark reddish brown color. Clearly has a dry rye flavor, bitter but with a touch of sweetneess and a hint of dark fruit and a strong pine finish.
MIBRomeo (2568) - Wisconsin, USA - MAR 12, 2006
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Copper body w/ a full offwhite head well laced. Aroma is fresh pine hop some roasty notes of grains and hints of a sweet chunk as well. Full palate creamy well coated and full. Fresh grass & citrus hop flavor w/ a full carmel malt back and a lingering dry bitter tongue. Very good stuff.
Vac (2445) - San Diego, California, USA - FEB 15, 2006
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours with a deep red body topped by a medium thick head with a good amount of lacing. Itís sweet and malty yet perfectly balanced with piney, grapefruity hops. A nice caramel note shows through as well. Full bodied, smooth and a touch dry.
BeerLimey (2154) - California, USA - FEB 14, 2006
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Clear reddish amber appearance, good head formation. Intense hoppy aroma, spicy grapefruit. Spicy grapefruit, intense hoppiness immediately hits the palate and dominates through to a biting bitter finish, accompanied by licorice and chocolate undertones. Blind tasted this at first and thought it was a double IPA, intensely hoppy for the style. But I do have a hard time complaining about that.
Murphy (1759) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - APR 15, 2006
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Big west coast hop aroma, lost of citrus and sweetness. Rye there for sure. Monster head, body is clear brown, slow bubbles. Taste is strong bitter hops, dry rye. A little hop, but not bad. Very typical west coast hop bomb, but the rye ads another diminsion.