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RATINGS: 295   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.6   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 300   ABV: 10%
One of the challenges here at Smuttynose is that we don’t have a pilot system, so we sometimes have to adjust recipes over time. This year’s version really seems to have hit that sweet spot of what we were attempting. Unlike the first vintage, which had a porter/chocolate character, we wanted something between an old ale and a barleywine. To add another element of complexity, we aged this vintage for one month on medium toast oak chips. Enjoy!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
bbbeer (592) - Massachusetts, USA - APR 17, 2012
Red-brown with medium large light tan head. Nice aroma, malt, molasses, clove, other spices. Full body, creamy feel, small amount of alcohol. Flavor goes through a lot of phases, at first sweet and malty, then some roasty chocolate and nuts, then menthol or licorice, then finishing just off dry with hops. Excellent.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
Rando7 (776) - Iowa, USA - APR 12, 2012
Bottle pours cloudy light brown with thin brief off-white head. Aroma faint malts with a whiff of smokiness. Taste initially sweet caramel and toffee, gives way to oaky sawdust bitterness. Palate full, non-sticky, very slightly syrupy. Prolonged finish of better but not overbearing hops.

Just OK

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
BlackHaddock (4998) - Shropshire, ENGLAND - APR 11, 2012
Best before June 2011, opened July 2011. 12 Oz bottle poured into a ’Good People’ pint glass from Birmingham ALA (drank in the UK). The thin off-white head soon becomes a collar and wispy covering above the mid-amber body of beer. Looks like a UK Bitter to this Englishman. The smell however tells me it isn’t a UK Bitter, there are hints of chocolate and brown sugar in the aroma. Molasses take over the smells as the beer warms, sending the beer into an even sweeter area. The taste follows the smells, slight chocolate flavours appear, then dart away to leave a mini-bitterness that excites the tongue, along with the carbonisation, which is just a little too much for my palate. Very easy to drink, the alcohol only becoming evident as the mouth dries between sips/gulps.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
wlajwl (4696) - Quad Cities, Iowa, USA - APR 4, 2012
Aroma is a mixture of malts and fruit, almost like a extra strong ESB. The flavor is malty/fruity and very thick, similar to a barley wine in intensity mixed with an ESB/old ale’s balance. Great English style ale.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
GranvilleTim (1778) - Granville, Illinois, USA - MAR 25, 2012
Ligtht reddish-brown head with an off-white head. Aroma is sweet, light fruit and woody. taste is creamy, sweat, oak, light fruit, very tasty.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 10/20
Lithp (37) - Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 18, 2012
UPDATED: FEB 22, 2012 Poured a dark brown color with a small tan head. Scent of roasted nuts. Caramel and coffee flavor, little nutty. Pretty damn good.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
MrBunn (2588) - The Wet Side of a Dry Town, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 9, 2012
Bomber. Pours a murky medium brown with some head, but not much. Aromas are sweet... lots of brown sugar and figs here with just a hint of earthiness or something. Flavor is almost cloying at times, heavy with ABV, and loaded with brown sugar and figs. This is about what I look for in an Barley Wine (err... Old Ale... still not sure on the difference.)

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
johnnnniee (2986) - Bedford, New Hampshire, USA - JAN 8, 2012
2010 Batch Pours a dark reddish brown color with a fluffy tan head that displays moderate retention and lace. Smells of brown sugar and caramel up front, dark dried fruits and a touch of oak and ethanol round out the aroma nicely. Taste is bready, caramel, and brown sugar up front. A bit of raisins, hot alcohol, and a touch of oxidation follow. Long lingering sugary sweetness and alcohol burn in the finish. Medium body and carbonation level with a sweet sticky mouthfeel. This is a great brew that I’ve had many times in the past. If the alcohol were a bit less present this would be world class.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Marheb (3291) - San Diego, California, USA - JAN 6, 2012
UPDATED: FEB 19, 2013 *(Cuvée 2010, 10,9%): J’ai vraiment du mal à comprendre la si basse moyenne compilé jusqu’à maintenant. Ils ne boivent clairement pas la même bouteille que moi, peut-être est-ce la 2009 qui est moins spectaculaire? Peu importe, cette bière est un chef d’oeuvre indiscutable. Magnifique couleur rubis sombre avec un nez explosif qui mérite une pause, le temps qu’on réalise que si les sucres sont aussi goûteux qu’aromatique le malaise de n’avoir qu’une seule bouteille va se faire sentir. En bouche c’est brillant, une tonne de fruits trop mûrs ayant macérés dans l’alcool, des amandes brulés, du chocolat noir et une amertume boisé qui chevauche splendidement l’effort du malt. J’aimerais qu’on me dise comment faire pour enlever des points.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
bluejacket74 (1573) - Reynoldsburg, Ohio, USA - NOV 22, 2011
22 ounce bottle, 2010 vintage. Served in a nonic pint glass, the beer pours a reddish/mahogany color with an inch tan head. Head retention and lacing are both decent enough. Aroma is rich and malty, the brew smells like brown sugar, toffee, brandy, caramel and dark fruit. The taste is similar to the aroma, it tastes like toffee, caramel, dark fruit, vanilla and some booze. Mouthfeel/body is full, it’s rich and chewy with moderate carbonation. It’s also smooth and easy to drink. I think it’s a good overall beer, I’ll have to buy another bottle of this and age it for longer. Definitely worth trying.

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