Silphium (3158) - East Lansing, Michigan, USA - NOV 19, 2007
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
On tap at Graydonís Crossing, Grand Rapids. Murky orange-brown body, thin, tight cream head. Heavy oak dominates the aroma, which warms to sweet breads, musty caramels, and alcohol. Big oak body, the oak tending to dominate the flavor profile. Sweet, musty caramels kick in over time, in addition to oxidized hops. Dusty. A thin red wine or brandy character also becomes apparent after the palate is coated. And, a touch of plum pudding and bubblegum. But, the predominant characteristic is oak beginning to finish. Just a touch of prickly alcohol reminds the drinker of its potency. Very good.
CaptainCougar (7129) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - NOV 18, 2007
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
On tap at Maduro prior to the 2007 GTMW: Pours a barely transparent dark mahogany with a thin, frothy coating of light tan head. Sweet caramely malty bourbon oaky vanilla nose smells like a dessert. Rich complex body starts with full sweet caramely malt and a nice balance of oaky bourbon and smooth bittersweetness with lots of molasses and a hint of warmth toward the finish. They left this in the barrel the perfect amount of time. Great balance and complexity. A sipping dessert beer.
Mangino (1027) - Mississippi, USA - SEP 26, 2007
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Maduro Pre GTMW- Dark brown, off white head. Nose is dark fruit and bourbon. The balance in this beer is like nothing else Iíve ever had. It was incredible with a perfect mix of the barrel and the beer itself. Makes the beer better.
brewblackhole (1588) - Muskego, Wisconsin, USA - AUG 14, 2007
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
This brew had everybody whooping and hollerin at Great Taste, the bourbon here really did knock your socks off. Once that intial surprise of the X-heavy whiskey was overcome,you could start to detect the candy sweetness and dark fruit ,caramel malt aromas, taste was same, we knew we were in for a great festival and trying this,so interesting,Iím not sure the bourbon works as good in the fruity barley wine,as it does the more chocolaty malts,but damn ,iím glad I tried this
Philip (436) - Illinois, USA - AUG 13, 2007
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
On tap at Maduro. Enjoyed this side by side with BA 7000 -- not bad double-fisting. This was surprisingly sweet -- bitter hops were muted in favor of cane syrup, brown sugar, and stone fruit flavors. The bourbon again dominated (similar to 7K) with strong vanilla and hazelnuts components to the beer. Finish was boozy. Solid, but there are better barrel aged interpretations of the style out there. Nonetheless, an experiment worthy of Bells.
tjthresh (1865) - Greenfield, Indiana, USA - AUG 13, 2007
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
On tap at Maduro for the GTMW pre party
Dark red to brownish colore with no head. Basic bourbon, oak, vanilla aromas of virtually every bourbon barrel aged beer. The flavor still has some malt character, but is mostly over run by booze. I went back and checked my regular Third Coast rating. I didnít get any of the character I did then. Bummer. I love the regular stuff. This was just too hot for me. I think I still gave it a good number.
Ughsmash (7005) - Pewaukee, Wisconsin, USA - AUG 13, 2007
4.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
On tap at Maduro Ė GTMW pre-party. Rating #1800! This was my winner from a hotly-contested weekend of drinking bliss! Poured a deep, murky, and seductive brown with a short but well-retained cap of milky-beige head. The aroma picked up dry, smoky, and nutty notes for an intriguing first impression.. the barrel-aging slowly creeps in with toasted oak and vanilla beans.. soft and enticing.. hints of cherry, toffee, and aged caramel show up after that.
This just blew me away in the flavor department!! light vanilla, bourbon, and dry brandy sugars flow seamlessly over the buttered toffee, aged caramel, and nutty notes at the core of this beast.. picked up more of the barrel as it warmed, but remained perfectly-integrated.. just Brilliant! Heavy-bodied on the palate and toasty with expert precision on the great build of power from the first impression through the finish. All I can ask of Larry now is that he bottle some!
joshwilfong (1200) - Cleveland, Ohio, USA - AUG 13, 2007
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
nice dark reddish brown appearance. flavor is sweet with a slight oak flavor. the alcohol is not overwelming. vry nice
KingpinIPA (841) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - AUG 12, 2007
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
On Tap at The Great Taste. Dark color. Smell of Whiskey, caramel, alcohol, malt, nuts, wine and oak. Taste of overpowering whiskey/bourbon, oak, caramel/toffee, nuts, hops, oak, some bread, alcohol and dark fruit. This was very stong and I had two samples and the whiskey was so strong I had to just try to taste everything that was in there. Still a nice BB barleywine.
Brigadier (2830) - Clevelandish, Ohio, USA - AUG 12, 2007
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
On tap at Maduroís
This free sample was the second best beer of the night. If I wasnít attempting to save myself for Saturdayís festival I would have gotten a pint but the pours that night were ridiculous ($4 for sixteen ounces of amazing beer? If you canít make the Great Taste then come for the Friday night events). It took a while to work my way through it by which time I wa beginning to wish I had more.
Aroma / Appearance - Caramel, oak and vanilla play the old ale aspect of the beer against the bourbon barrel. It is very mellow and as Blake said would go perfectly with a cigar. The body was the color of dark stained wood with no head.
Flavor / Palate - The mouthfeel is thick and suffocating. Oak forms a base against which the vinous and bourbony flavors can unfold. Creamy caramel and yeast are evident. I found it a bit strong but still extremely solid in most aspects. While it is not quite on par with some of the regular Old Ales it is no slouch. If you happen across this at a festival or tap room do not hesitate to order a pint.