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!
Ughsmash (6911) - 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 (9108) - Orange County, 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 (1501) - 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.
olio (4815) - Tampere, FINLAND - FEB 13, 2012
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
30 cl bottle, thanks Antti L. 2010 vintage (9,5%), BBE 18.11.2015.
Pours hazy amber color with small head. Aroma of hoppy ripe fruits, especially pear, caramel notes, grass and goose berries. Flavor of pear, mild caramel and toffee, grass, goose berries and mild nettle. A quite weird mesh of different tastes and aromas on first sip, same thing on palate and aftertaste. Extremely complex brew but seems that the target has been a bit lost. Very interesting brew to say the least.
laiti (4539) - Helsinki, FINLAND - FEB 13, 2012
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: FEB 14, 2012
30 cl cone bottle vintage 2010 (9,5%), BBE 18.11.2015
Aroma has some hops with rather nice fruits, but then again there are some berries too. Feels like something between american DIPA and strong ale. Flavour is rather strong and slightly tart with grassy hops, some gooseberry bush and nettles. Also some sweetish malt and pear. Every sip is an adventure with completely different feelings. One weird barley wine from a weird bottle – but not in a bad way. Hard to say if I like this or not, but at least the strong grassy hops do not fit here completely.
douglas88 (5115) - Portland, Oregon, USA - JUL 8, 2011
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Very cool bottle bright purple and a thin triangle. Says best by 2015/11/18, 2010 edition. I bought this bottle over a year ago from goodbeer.jp and it finally came in a box from my Mother in-law today. It even survived her putting beer on the customs slip. Anyway, pours out a huge foamy white head (could be from all the transit) and a cloudy orange hue. The aroma is sweet oranges, candy, wheat and some barnyard funk. The flavor is mostly a sweet caramel and brown sugary English Barley Wine, dry, but some funky straw in there too almost a bit of Saison (not sour at all). Very nice. Warm for sure. There is a bit of citrus bitterness here from the Nugget, Cascade and Chinook hops. Very damn good.
thebeertourist (4520) - Oslo, NORWAY - APR 21, 2009
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
2008 bottle from Wachi, Kyoto. Pours cloudy copper with a good head for a barley wine. Spicy and fruity aroma that reminds me of a glühkriek, definitely with sour notes. Sour berries, chocolate, some roast and sweetness, but at the same time very dry and bitter. Very Belgian in character and quite unique, actually. Grows with every sip.
TheJollyOne (230) - Sydney, AUSTRALIA - FEB 6, 2009
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Deep orange to brown with nonexistant head. Lovely smell of sweet fruits, strawberry, plum. Sweet caramel malt. Sweet start to the taste, very strong in grassy hops. Bold flavored. A heck of a bitter hop finish. Palate is a bit oily and has very little carbon. A smooth, biting barley wine. Nice.
KyotoLefty (5542) - Kyoto, JAPAN - DEC 10, 2008
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Subtle yet deep aroma of alcohol, fruit, orange, hops, cascade, caramel. Dark amber with orange color. Absolutely no head. Strong, bold but austere flavor. Tons of hops, alcohol, with some dark fruit. Malty but not super sweet. Shockingly bitter hop finish. Tons of hops. Doesn’t really have the maltose to back it up. Burning hop and alcohol finish. Tastes very young. Should be better with aging and hop mellowing.