michael-pollack (4959) - King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 12, 2009
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
750ml Bottle (#3376 of 4777): Complex aroma of dark ripe fruits, candi sugar, dark malts, spicy oak, slight wood, slight alcohol, light roasting, prunes, brown sugar, light raisins, and hints of vanilla and bourbon. Poured dark brown in color with a tiny, whispy, brown head that lasted around the edges. Opaque. Does not appear to be sparkling. Very complex flavor is medium sweet. Tastes of dark ripe fruits, slight bourbon, slight alcohol, light caramel, tobacco, oak, raisins, slight vanilla, and a hint of sugar. Full body. Smooth, viscous texture. Soft texture. Sweet, oak, dark ripe fruit, and tobacco finish is lightly dry. 14.5%ABV is well hidden.
scrizzz (2223) - Bothell, Washington, USA - AUG 11, 2009
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Thanks bvc! No pff upon opening, very still in the glass. Caramel smoked goodness on the nose. Hot with alcohol, sticky sweet like a fresh barleywine.
dmac (5083) - Toms River, New Jersey, USA - AUG 9, 2009
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
750 ml cork and caged bottle from Oak Tree. Pours an unimpressive muddy brown with a small ugly looking bubbly beige head. Aroma is a welcome change to the doggy appearance and has lots of complexity, notes of grape juice, vanilla, bourbon, toffee, vinous qualities, wood barrel. Body is thin to slightly thinner then average, the alcohol is beyond well hidden...no Fn way does drink like a 14.5% monster but more like a 8-9% slightly stronger then average beer. Flavor is fruity and grapey, oak, bourbon, slight vanilla, toffee, some alcohol. Wish I had a second bottle to age for several years but sadly I only bought one.
j12601 (8700) - Poughkeepsie, New York, USA - AUG 9, 2009
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle at BCTC, though I still have one sitting around here from BMan which I think Iíll be looking to let age for a bit now. Pours an oily black to brown with a thin white head. Really nice aromas on here with caramel, wood, vanilla, and coffee, and just the faintest hint of bourbon. Medium bodied and sweet with a nice candy and coffee component. Finishes almost hot and boozy, but just barely, more of a suggestion of alcohol than anything big and glaring, and just a touch of burnt sugar. Really well done.
pineypower (2896) - Ocean County, New Jersey, USA - AUG 9, 2009
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle thanks to Dmac for sharing this one. Pours out a cloudy ruby hued brown color with light carbonation and a small lacing off white head. Aroma is of earthy nut notes, caramel, vanilla, oak, a slightly vinous note and a slight indication of booze. Taste is complex with notes of oak, vanilla, molasses some lingering earthy notes, and a slightly boozy finish creeps through, but not nearly as boozy as one would expect from a 14.5% brew.
juiceisloose (1255) - Windermere, Florida, USA - AUG 8, 2009
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
750ml bottle. Pours a dark mahogany brown color with little carbonation and just a thin bubbly film stis on top. The body is thick and leaves a nice coating down the glass. The aroma is really nice and very complex showing notes of rich caramel, brown sugar, figs and raisins. Further inhalation reveals burnt toffee, old wood, and bourbon. The flavor follows and it is just as intense with tons of the caramel and burnt toffee malts to go with the dark fruits and chocolate. The barrels impart the usual oaky vanilla and notes of old wood and leather. Full bodied on the mouthfeel with subtle carbonation and a slick mouthfeel and nice warming finish from the alcohol. Iíd love to see how this does in a year or so, but right now itís a really nice old ale.
jercraigs (9154) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - AUG 8, 2009
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
2009-08-01. Very hazy dark brown body with a modest beige head. (3+) Alcoholic aroma, malts, something I canít put my finger on, caramel, bourbon like vanilla. Alcohol shows up in the flavour as well, though not as much as you might expect for 14.5%. Malt is a bit odd, dry touches, alcohol really dominates which quashes some of the finer points. Touch woody in the background. Bit rough overall. Average plus palate. Bottle at BCTC 2009
punkrkr27 (903) - Berkley, Michigan, USA - AUG 7, 2009
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle thanks to DuffManSW. Opaque mahogany pour with almost no head. Rich over-ripe dark fruit aroma with heavily charred oak. The flavor has lots of charred oak, vanilla, very ripe dark fruit, smoke and is quite boozy. The body is very oily with low carbonation. The heaviness and lack of carbonation just made this beer seem very unbalanced.
notalush (5560) - Denver, Colorado, USA - AUG 6, 2009
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
This beer marks a special occasion for me - this is officially my last rating as a New York ratebeerian - I guess itís good to go out with something big - what can I say, New York? - youíve been good to me - Iíve met some great people, and had some great beers - kind of like this one - well...I wouldnít really call this great, but it is interesting, and quite approachable for itís size - kind of like you, New York - youíre big, perhaps a little too big for your own good, and a little too crowded, but I guess thatís what makes you fun - kind of like this beer - itís so much that you need to take it in small doses, or risk overexerting yourself - itís also got that prematurely old vibe - kind of like you, New York - yes, I suppose I will miss you, but not enough to want to revisit you that often - kind of like this beer...etc. etc. (I suppose I should actually say something about the beer before I sign off here - I will echo Eugene in saying that this reminds me of a British barleywine that is at least 6 years old - how they pulled that off in a beer that is no more than 1 year old is in itself astonishing - however, that doesnít make it great - a lot of raisin and fig, molasses, chocolate - some vinous, oaky notes - some oxidation - ends with drier, sherry-like notes - quite good, but as I said, not great).
beastiefan2k (3044) - Emerald City (formely NYC & KS), Washington, USA - AUG 5, 2009
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
There is like a double layer of wax on this bottle, man that is a huge pain in the ass. Barely a pop on the bottle and then a flat pour. Where is Tomme Arthur when you need him? The color is watered down day old coffee, which means dark oily brown. The beer is exactly what one should expect; its light cardboard (aged), with burnt raisin, and definite oxidation, which must be the quarter barrel (more so on the nose than the palate). Its strong, old [ale], with present alcohol. The alcohol isnít bad, feel it in the back of the throat as it goes down. The mouthfeel is obviously still and not heavy. This already reminds me of some British barleywines that are 5+ years old. Its doable stuff as long as you know what you are getting into.
750mL, black wax bottle in a Melbourne Bros. glass.