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RATINGS: 234   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.6   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 300   ABV: 10%
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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 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
jgb9348 (4859) - Arlington (Pentagon City), Virginia, USA - JAN 24, 2014
Nice crisp clear brown coloured body with a ruby-tinted body and a slightly muddied glow with a thin oily tan head. Aroma of alcohol, peat, chocolate, pit fruits, malt, ttoffee, earth, peanuts and a touch of light spices - very nice and fragrant. Full-bodied; Super rich chocolatey and malty flavours at first with a good raisin, fig and brown sugar flavour that really persists. Aftertaste shows a mellow and refined yeast bite with a good light fruit note, some mild oak and vanilla tastes and the underlying alcohol warmth. Overall, a very nice beer with the flavours hinging on an American Strong, but with enough complexity and depth to make it feel like a Barley Wine. Definitely worth trying if you can find this one, and even more so if you like Old Ales...or if you like Barley Wines, since this is closest to that! I sampled this 65 cL bottle purchased from Liqour Outlet in Boonton, New Jersey on 06-July-2013 for US$5.66 sampled at home in Washington on 24-January-2014.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
Beerathon (1291) - Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 14, 2014
A truly unique beer. Characteristics of a barleywine, but with a completely different malt sweetness and hop profile. I appreciate this brew for pushing my taste buds.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
jandd1983 (2761) - Florissant, Missouri, USA - DEC 4, 2013
Sampled at an ESBLS tasting. It poured a caramel brown color with a light tan head. The aroma was of raisins and prunes with some spruced hops. The taste was malty, with caramel and hint of salt. It had a smooth finish and was an easy drinking for a big beer.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
gschrade (778) - Collinsville, USA - DEC 3, 2013
I had this at Global Brew. Pours brown with a tan head. Taste alcohol/boozy, chocolate, fruity. I thought this was so so. I would skip drinking this again. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Beergeek23322 (2493) - Chesapeake, Virginia, USA - NOV 29, 2013
5/2/2012. From bottle. Pours light brown with a tan head. Caramel aromas with malt, spices and light oak. Sweet caramel flavors with a bit of hops. Even though the alcohol content is high, it’s never overwhelming. Very good.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
MarkSachon (636) - Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 24, 2013
12 oz bottle. Wish I had a case of this delicious brew. Nearly perfect --- I wouldn’t change a thing with this recipe.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Strykzone (5077) - Wood River, Illinois, USA - NOV 23, 2013
Sampled at ESBLS. A little haze in a mid brown beer. A beige ring. This reminds me of a Holiday Ale even though I don’t think it intends to. Cinnamon with nice fruit. Earth. Maybe some wood.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
ClassyBeagle (319) - USA - NOV 20, 2013
FROM NOTES: August 12, ’12. From a 22 ounce bottle into a Smuttynose pint glass. Thanks JT! A: Sweet, dark caramel notes with some dark fruit including light fig and cherries and a slight alcohol note. A: Pours a dark brown color with a light tan head. T: Initially, the brown sugar really dominates but slowly, dark chocolate, toffee, and vanilla star to sneak through making this beer almost desert like. Very malt-forward and complex. P: Full-bodied and creamy with minimum carbonation. O: This brewery’s Big Beer series is fantastic. The strong alcohol beer keeps this from being world-class like the Baltic Porter, but it’s a great beer, nonetheless.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Jamesthebrit (299) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - NOV 5, 2013
A; A very sweet aroma. Maybe a little hint of malt. A: Head is very nice. Beer color is reddish brown. Looks maybe a little thin. T: Has an alcohol sweetness. huge alcohol sweetness. Maybe a little almond. Nah it’s there. Just wrote that because my wife was scolding me about my maybes up above. P: Very boozy and aggressive on the palate. Dull on the fade. Overall maybe they got what they were going for; a mix between an old ale and a barleywine, but the synergy just isn’t there. The sweetness of the alcohol really dominates and the old ale brings a bit of nuttiness that doesn’t really cut through enough. Sort of makes it taste like dirt or something.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
illiniphil (133) - Nashotah, Illinois, USA - OCT 27, 2013
Bomber. Poured a copper brown with a slight tan head. Flavor is sweeter of raisins, malt and hops. More barleywine than ale. Good but not a showstopper. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

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