ThisWangsChung (747) - 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.
Gvaughn (3) - Texas, USA - MAR 15, 2014 does not count
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Malty aroma with smoke flavors present. Taste is fairly sweet toffee and raisins with the smoke accent being apparent. Taste improves markedly with some warmth and the warmth also allows the alcohol to fade. Nice amber color, good head and lace, sediment present. Finish is somewhat bitter.
high_on_hops (532) - Burlingame, California, USA - MAR 6, 2014
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours a hazy, dark amber with a short tan head and lacing. It has a rich aroma of malt, resin, and some smoke and dark fruit. The flavor is chewy malt throughout with resin hops and a smoky background followed by a syrupy finish.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
mabel (5364) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - MAR 2, 2014
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
[5217-20130412] 1pt6fL bottle. Oaky wood plastic aroma. Clear, golden amber body with a medium-lasting foamy off-white head. Smoky sweet wood malt flavour has a long bitter aftertaste. Medium-full body. Harsh, bitter, likeable. (7/4/6+/3/13) 3.3
Overheard: "It’s the Friday after Turkey Day..." "Yeah, I’m already bored."
pdx77 (945) - Oregon, USA - MAR 1, 2014
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
On draught at Lucky Labrador for the 17th Annual Barleywine and Big Beer Festival. 2013 vintage. Dark amber color. Sweet oak barbeque, citrus hop, and caramel. Taste is campfire smoke, sweet BBQ, tart citrus hop, sweet malt. Finishes with a sweet campfire finish.
mikeyo1 (82) - Linköping, SWEDEN - FEB 28, 2014
3.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle @ home. Pours clear amber, two finger white head with small bubbles. Sweet aroma of caramel, toffee, somewhat vinous raisins and a subtle and well balanced oak smoke note. Flavor is sweet of caramel, some toffee and quite a lot of smoke. Some vanilla. Aftertaste is drier of oak, dry figs, raisins, some ash, some higher alcohols and a diminishing caramel/toffee body. It is a bit edgy and will probably taste even better as it ages . It finishes with a long lasting big bitterness that has citrus, nut and wood character.
Big mouth feel initially with low soft carbonation.
CardsFan25 (51) - - FEB 17, 2014
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Smoke and carmelized brown sugar on the nose. Amber pour with an inch of light tan head. Light smoke up front, carmel, and malt. Mild smoke finish that hangs around without destroying your palate for the rest of the night.
reberiii (243) - Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 17, 2014
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Slightly clouded orange pour from bomber (’13). I tasted just the foam first, and it had a tremendous amount of smoke. However, as I actually drank the brew, the smoke was not obnoxious, and the barleywine was not too sweet. Maybe not as complex as other barleywines, it still speaks of quality and easy drinking. Flavor notes of dark sugar and bitter smoke. As it warms, it smells more of sweet than smoke.
panacea (22) - Mölndal, SWEDEN - FEB 15, 2014
3.9 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: FEB 16, 2014 Pours bright with white head. Aroma is raisins and british hops. Taste is sweet, dried fruit and hops. Decent body. Very nice beer but not my favorite kind of barley wine, need more sweetness.
rougeau13 (1840) - Texas, USA - FEB 9, 2014
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Lightly hazy copper with a beige head. Aroma of caramel, smoke, wood, raisins, and pine. The taste is sweet, woody and smokey with moderate bitterness. Pretty full bodied with low carbonation and some dryness. Lovely.
Blairgus (2363) - California, USA - FEB 7, 2014
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Amber, clear, some sediment. Nose is cereal malt and some raisins. Moderate alcohol, nutty, cereal malt. Decent.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone