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. Iím really impressed by the headís 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, theyíre 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, thereís 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 yearís 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 donít like it" to "hey itís pretty okay" to "welp, Iím 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.
tectactoe (2944) - Michigan, USA - MAR 17, 2015
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottle: Burnt caramel color with some tawny & orange highlights. Creamy beige foam settles firmly on top. Aroma includes earthy toffee, sticky caramel with a little staleness, herbal hop notes, licorice, & a very light meaty smoke on the back-end. Flavor is more herbal, ashy, & up front with lots of leafy, herbal hops. Faint perfume. Underbody of caramel malts, sweet toffee, toast, mild raisin, & a touch of liforice. Sticky body. Donít get much smoke or oak in the flavor.. Maybe a very small touch.
Bebum (429) - - APR 1, 2015
3.1 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 16/20
Dark copper, lacy.
Medium body, highly flavored, flat and lean mouthfeel, no heat or carbonation to speak of, long but non-generous palate.
Bitter, dry, lacks acidity.
Roast and smoky flavors,
The concept is more successful than the the product.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
daleharshman (965) - San Diego, California, USA - DEC 12, 2014
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bomber purchased at the brewery upon release some 22 months ago ($6.00). Pours a hazy muddy red-brown hue with one finger of beige foam. AROMA of smoky malts, morning bacon, dark toffee, mild hops, and slow burning oak logs in the campfire. FLAVOR of beef jerky, spiced bacon (like in a breakfast burrito), sweet caramel, still notable pine-y hops, molasses, and just a hint of booze. Finishes with some lingering ash and some hop bitterness. The big ABV is well concealed under the campfire and meat flavors, going down surprisingly easy. This differs a whole lot from the base beer -- the hops are much more mellow (the almost two years of aging assist the mellowing) and I am surprised at just how forward all the rauch elements are here. Overall, an interesting variation on the bast beer. (403, 932)
bytemesis (4096) - Sunnyvale, California, USA - NOV 11, 2014
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle. Pours hazy reddish hazel, large creamy beige head, dissipates slowly, nice lacing. ARoma is light overall, some dark sugars but nothing special. Flavor is light sweet, medium bitter, smoky but not overpowering. Toffee, some pine. Medium body, high carbonation, some acidity from the smoke or oak, not sure. Decent.
subin (3) - Oakland, California, USA - FEB 14, 2015 does not count
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Sweet, liquor flavors, smoke not strong, moderate bitterness, balanced. Overall a compelling barleywine.
bth122 (1323) - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 19, 2015
3.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Big Bottle Poured a cloudy amber brown with little head. Malt and hops galore on the nose. Smoked aroma too. Heavy bodied. Medium heavy bitterness. Wow this is huge beer, everything about it is huge and heavy. Again this is malt sryup and hops galore with a middle ending of smokiness. Interesting to drink one. Prob wouldnt go out of my way to find another.
ROGUE (2145) - Newark, Delaware, USA - NOV 13, 2014
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
22oz bottle. Pours a dark amber orange color with a half inch whitish head, and big sheets of lacing. Smells like oak, caramel, smoke, tobacco, pine, and citrus hops. Taste is piney and citrusy hops with an underlying smokiness and caramel sweetness, fairly resinous. Finish is smoke, oily piney hops and caramel sweetness. Fairly heavy on the palate with soft carbonation and a drying finish
bookman10 (714) - Osseo, Minnesota, USA - JAN 24, 2015
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours a rather murky reddish-copper, with mid-sized, lasting head. Aroma is largely dominated by the smoke, but some sweet malt notes also detectable. Flavor has the smoke in front, with some sweetness, fruit, caramel, toffee underneath. A very smooth-drinking beer, in which the high alcohol content is well-hidden by the smoke layered on top. Barley wines arenít my favorite, but this is one of the best Iíve come across.
kbudd19 (819) - Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA - NOV 20, 2014
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle. Amber red pour with nice white head. Aroma, burnt sugar, sweet malts, and light smoke. Taste is sweet up front, the middle is rich with bitter hops and smoke, finish is bitter with some booze from the heat. Aftertaste is bitter with some lingering heat, very sold.
JStax (3424) - Devola/Marietta, Ohio, USA - NOV 15, 2014
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
22 ounce bottle poured into a teku. Pours a clear amber with a beige head of foam. The aroma is bitter smoke, honey, wood. The taste is sweet honey and oak, then finishes a touch bitter. Big body. Medium carbonation.