Cornfield (5521) - Oak Forest, Illinois, USA - SEP 22, 2011
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Served in a snifter (or two) at the brewpub. It poured a deep copper/brown body with a small, dense head that vanished before the beer warmed to a drinkable temperature. The aroma had a booziness covering sweet malt, green raisins, dark fruit, brown sugar, and a touch of vanilla. The brewerdsidn’t consider this to be a barley wine, but it sure went down like one. The flavor had Bourbon and alcohol, to be sure, but it was more about a biting sweet maltiness exhibited as caramel and toffee blended with stone fruits. Another very nice sipper from Mr. Wilson.
TheAlum (5833) - Aurora, Illinois, USA - AUG 24, 2011
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
4 oz draft from the brewpub (Orland Park, IL). A little intimidated by this one. Pours a glowing copper brown hue, more copper glowing edges. Pretty murky with a small offwhite head that dies to a tiny ring, next to no lacing. Aromas are rich barrel and caramel malts. Faded hops, cardboard and vanilla. Touches of biscuits and toffee, toast, more vanilla, rich oak, some spirit and heat. Some dark fruit A bit old, smells like a well aged BA barleywine. Initial is sweet and vinous up front, winey with big oak, vanilla, caramel and toffee. Moving into butterscotch, a lot of vinous notes. More vanilla, rich bourbon and oaky vanilla spirit. Sweet, oxidized malts, some cardboard. into the middle it gets a bit buttery, with oak and vanilla setting the pace. I’m surprised by how vinous this ends up. Sweeter, the heat doesn’t get to me as much as I expected. Backend is sweeter, winey, and oaky. Some rich bourbon, vanilla, and diacetyl. Oxidation kinda takes over. I’m truly surprised by the vinous sherry like quality that takes over. Really, a lot of buttery oak, vanillin, and sherry. Interesting, enjoyable in small doses. But overdone is a definite here.. Not just a lingering question. It’s a truly appreciated experiment.. As it’s fun to see what such an old aged beer offers.. And makes a bit more sense why that vinous quality showed up in Rare.. More time in the barrel picks up more vinous and oxidized qualities. Interesting, a fireside warm weather sipper. But not a great barrel example as far as stellar works.