soulgrowl (52) - Kitakyushu-shi, - MAY 8, 2008
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
This one boasts a big, eggy white head composed of soapy, fragile bubbles. Retention is fair, no doubt undermined by the 10% ABV. The body itself is a mellow peachy brown, hazy but still quite translucent. The nose is surprisingly meek, offering up some leafy/herbal hops, a bit of Dunkel Weizen-esque banana and clove, warm, Vodka-like alcohol, and lovely caramel/toffee malts - but not much depth and not much oomph. The actual taste has far more impact: big, bad, spicy hops dominate, made more spicy by the volatile alcohol. The hops’ flavor is like a brushfire: hot as hell, wide, and woody - reminiscent of cedar à la Hitachino Nest, in fact. It also carries a nice herbal shadow, something like Campari mixed with root beer, but without so much sugar. And that brings me to the beer’s major flaw: incredibly underdeveloped malts. There is a somewhat sugary backdrop to this beer, but the actual flavor of the malts, that nice caramel aroma, is almost completely dissolved and washed away by the massive hop bomb. There is some nice fruitiness, especially in the finish - grapes and berries come to mind - but I want more from the malts. I also want more from the mouthfeel; this seems thin and far too airy, although I must say the sugary quality may be too much were this any heavier. Overall it lives up to its name - it is an incendiary, devilish brew - but not among my favorite barleywines. Possibly among my favorite DIPAs, though!
biirusaikou (1928) - - JUN 29, 2015
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Draught at Watering Hole. 2013 version. Almost looks and tastes like an Irish coffee with brown sugar, cream, mint and whiskey,alcohol is quite present and warming. Definitely better aged but the crazy SG bitterness trademark is a bit too much for a wine imho.
willisread (1580) - Tokyo, JAPAN - FEB 25, 2015
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
On tap at craft beer market Toranomon. Served in a snifter. Copper rust colored with a thin white head that dissipated fairly quickly. Strong aromas of fig and prune with traces of nutmeg, vanilla, caramel and alcohol. Smooth slightly creamy mouthfeel. Vanilla and cinnamon present. Big bitterness on the palate. Like a nice smooth bourbon on the finish. Dangerously smooth.
GenkiGonzo (820) - Kyoto, JAPAN - NOV 19, 2014
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Draught at Bungalow. Ruby, rusty colour. Very little head. Aroma has dark fruit, some hops. Crazy smooth, and easy drinking. Big bitter hop finish. I love this barley wine because the hop profile is the star.
KansaiBeerLvrs (3798) - Kyoto, JAPAN - AUG 24, 2014
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: NOV 21, 2014 Bottle 2013 at a tasting about 8-10 months after the release. A lovely deep reddish amber. Musty tart citrus zest plum and rich malts. The taste is nutty, earthy then big zesty citrus hoppiness. It is quite smooth for 10% On tap at Bungalow 2014 release after 1 day so ultra-fresh. On tap at Bungalow, El diablo 2014 700 yen for 10oz. A n opaque Amber mahogany brown. Sweet citrusy caramel aroma. 91 IBU 10% medium-full bodied this is full of piney green hoppiness, mild cocoa & caramel from the malts. Good but I find it a bit young with the hops giving it a sharp green bitter hop character to it. Good but hang onto your bottle and open it in 6-12 months. Fresh 3.6-7 while with a bit of age on it 3.9
jinroh (942) - ESTONIA - MAR 16, 2014
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
300 ml bottle. Pours darker amber, almost copper. Sall head that is gone fast. Aroma is quite fruity, some hops and some spikily sharp alcohol, making my nose twist. Taste is softer at first, more fruity with some dried plums. Then some serious bitterness comes to the forefront. Alcohol content is much better hidden though than was suggested by the aroma. Good beer, I wonder what the taste would be like after it ages for a couple of more years.
dfearnley (1487) - Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA - DEC 7, 2013
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Draft to plastic cup at Hop Revolution 2 Tokyo
Cherry a little grapefruit, a hint of chocolate
Deep amber, almost red with a thin bubbly head
Cherry, but not sweet, lots of bitterness,
I’m not sold on this...maybe it was too cold, but the aromatics on this were too subtle
Ferris (9777) - Burnaby, British Columbia, CANADA - DEC 7, 2013
2.4 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 9/20
Draft - Sweet dark fruits and a hint of milk chocolate. Cloudy brown orange with no head. Dark fruit, red grape and that chocolate is coming back. Out of place bitterness without balance which just ruins this for me.
Ughsmash (7465) - Pewaukee, Wisconsin, USA - JUL 12, 2013
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
2011 bottle, and a really cool looking one! Poured clear sunset orange with an easily-resuscitated toasted khaki head. The aroma picked up bitter blood orange peel, peppery notes, and oxidation.. sweeter caramel backed it up.. didn’t come across all that pleasant. The flavor found more tasty bitter orange, black pepper, and pine plus a little oxidation over pale and some caramel malts.. finished bitter and spicy, but not overly boozy.. this grew on me. Medium-bodied and very bitter on the palate.. too sharp at times.. not my favorite, but there was some interesting stuff going on.
brokensail (14558) - San Leandro, California, USA - APR 23, 2013
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Hazed copper pour with a white head. Fruity aroma of dates, raisins, and orange. Some brown sugar, caramel, pine, alcohol, and a touch of grass. Sweet flavor of caramel and brown sugar. Date and raisin fruitiness. Hints of orange and pine with a mild bitterness and alcoholic finish.
shoulderbroken (3222) - Tokyo, JAPAN - NOV 16, 2012
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Tap at the Watering Hole. Rich red colour, no head. Aroma is booze, wood, steeped fruit, slight funk, alcohol. Taste is not bad. Lots of rich fruit, plums, cherry, bit of orange. Bitterness leaves a prickle on the tongue. Not the sweetness I would expect. Nice sharpness to it. Body is quite full on. Thick but not oily. Maybe might be nicer after a bit if ageing, but nice enough as it is.