ThisWangsChung (826) - Leonardtown, Maryland, USA - APR 7, 2013
2.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 8/20
22 oz bottle poured into a cute little snifter.
A: Pours a beautiful looking rusty copper color. The head is a two finger light yellow shade. I’m really impressed by the head’s retention considering how big it is.
S: This is one that needs to open up. At first, the smell is almost too minute in most aspects. Soon afterwards, waves of light smoke, caramel malts, dark fruit sweetness, and resiny hops hit the nose. As likable as the aromatic qualities are, they’re still too weak for me.
T: There is a decent amount of stuff going on in this. For a brief second, the initial flavor consists of caramel, brown sugar, and fruity sweetness...then the one-two punch of hops and smoke take over, with an earthy/boozy aftertaste. Hoppiness in this one is moderately restrained - only problem is, it really clashes with the phenolic, smoky qualities to create an undesirable harshness. On the plus side, there’s some decent depth and reasonably concealed alcohol. Beyond the lack of balance, dare I say it comes across as mundane?
M: Relatively full bodied like I expected. A fairly dry and tannic barleywine, as well, with carbonation that stays out of the way. I find no real problems with the mouthfeel.
O: For the record, I enjoyed last year’s Old Guardian quite a bit - and I imagine this one would have been similarly enjoyable without the smoked influence. As I sip it, my enjoyment of this beer seems to be wavering up and down, from "no sir I don’t like it" to "hey it’s pretty okay" to "welp, I’m gonna cork this up and use the remainder in a pot of pulled chicken/pork", before fully settling at "meh, total cooking adjunct material." All in all, not really a poor beer, just a poor idea.
zoucrew102 (1201) - - MAY 4, 2016
3.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bomber, 2013 vintage. Rich, smokey aroma with a bit of oak as well as caramel, pine hops and a surprising amount of booze for a 3 year old beer. Pours deep amber colored with a thin off white head with ok retention and a little lacing. Starts with rich smokey flavor right off the bat with some caramel. Finishes very dry with smoke permeating through out as well as bitter pine resiny hops that dominate the palate before ending with a bit of boozy burn still. Pretty nice with my only complaint being the finish.
oldrtybastrd (4887) - Fort Walton Beach, Florida, USA - APR 19, 2016
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours a deep dark brown with a small reddish brown head. Aromas of liquid smoke, sardines, and firewood. Flavors of chocolate, espresso, and smoke. Nice dry crisp finish. Smokey aftertaste stays with you for awhile.
avantdagare (187) - Malmö, Sweden, SWEDEN - MAR 29, 2016
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
2 finger beige head, red-amber body. Nose: Wood-notes, smoked notes, caramel, dates and figs. Aroma: Smoked charcuterie, alcohol-sting, dates, figs, pine, resin, caramel, fudge, spruce, dark german bread, raisins, honey, blood-oranges, grapefruit and woody notes.
Long dry, bitter ending.
Viper666 (3271) - Richelieu, Quebec, CANADA - MAR 23, 2016
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Où, Quand, Comment :
Bouteille, dégustée le 8/5/2013.
Couleur : ambrée foncée.
Apparence : semi-voilée.
Caramel, malt fumé, légèrement fruité (fruits foncés), légèrement boisé et léger de houblon herbeux.
Entrée de bouche : Léger goût fruité (fruits foncés notes d’agrumes) avec un léger goût boisé.
Une dominante maltée sucrée (caramel sucré, malt fumé aux notes rôties) est présente avec une moyenne amertume de houblon herbeux et d’alcool doux.
En bouche :
Corps : moyen-ronde.
Effervescence : moyenne.
Texture : légèrement crémeuse.
Finale : moyenne-longue, composée d’une moyenne amertume de houblon et d’alcool avec un léger goût fruité, fumé, épicé et boisé.
cobaink2 (361) - seattle, Washington, USA - MAR 20, 2016
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours a Amber honey color. You can really smell the smoke on this one with a bit of char to boot. Three years have really mellowed the smoke element, however I can’t imagine what this would be like fresh. Really nice and rare. You do not see this everyday.
McNeillR (2142) - Edinburgh, SCOTLAND - MAR 6, 2016
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Thick auburn golden, decent flecks of sediment throughout and greasy lacing from a ringed head. Nose is rich sweetness, soft syruppy. Initial taste is rich cheap honey, greasy smoke and this leads to a heavy mouthfeel. Finishes strongly, ABV really noticeable and lingers fairly stringently sweet.
Bottle fae Stu666, Pig Out Tasting.
Stuu666 (9526) - Edinburgh, SCOTLAND - MAR 6, 2016
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle at craig’s. Pours deep amber, nose is smoky, oaky, caramel, taste is sweet, fruity, dry smoky finish, quite bitter, salty, little cheesy.
GlasgowTAD (1212) - Glasgow, SCOTLAND - MAR 6, 2016
3.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours bronze with a huge creamy offwhite head. Aroma is caramel, slight smoke, slight straw. Taste is earthy, slight caramel, grassy, smokey and slight oak.
cgarvieuk (20220) - Edinburgh, SCOTLAND - MAR 6, 2016
2.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Bottle at home.. Copper.. Thin tan lacing... Massive toffee crystal toffee malts nose... Sweet woody malts.. Soft toffee malts... Big sweet toffee... Crystal toffee malts nose
patrick767 (3918) - fort wayne, Indiana, USA - FEB 28, 2016
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
bottle - Pours dark amber with a small tan head. It has a very smoky aroma with malt and strong oak. It tastes of very smoky, sweet malt with heavy oak flavor and big hops bitterness. The flavor is aggressive in pretty much every way. Three years of aging doesn’t seem to have changed that aspect. The full bodied brew has a long, bitter, smoky finish.