zizzybalubba (1254) - Elizabeth City, North Carolina, USA - MAY 17, 2009
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
12 oz. bottle from Grape & Gourmet (Batch 8211, bottled November 18, 2007). Dark orange pour with a thick and creamy off-white head. Aroma of citrus, cherry, soy sauce (there’s a surprise but it’s hard to miss), and some sweetness. Flavors of plum, raisin, orange, brown sugar, and chocolate. Very smooth, but very complex. Alcohol is not noticeable at first but more detectable as this one warms up. An excellent barley wine that exceeded my expectations.
SSSteve (3551) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - MAY 18, 2009
4.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
hazy dark amber under large creamy cream colored head. heavy bouquet aroma of caramel, dark fruit, cherry, molasses. flavors of sweet plums, cinnamon, cherry, molasses, cookies, caramel, christmas spices, floral. an easy drinker for 10.5%. smooth velvety palate. more english than american.
bytemesis (2141) - Sunnyvale, California, USA - SEP 5, 2012
4.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Tap. Pours deep brown with a medium tan head and nice lacing. Strong aroma of caramel, toffee, rye bread, notes of pine. Flavor is medium sweet caramel, toffee, prune, molasses with a medium bitter finish. Warming alcohol far finish. Rich and creamy in the mouth. Very nice enjoyable beer.
Gregis (1276) - Shawnee, Kansas, USA - JUN 10, 2007
4.5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: JUL 18, 2007 Review of rating: Sampled a 2 year old bottle (Batch 6522; June 2005), courtesy of csbosox. Overall rating is unchanged, but with age, I dropped the aroma by one point and bumped up the flavor by one. The older bottle lost a bit of its complexity on the nose but gained a smoothness to the flavor that made it very well balanced. After a couple years of cellaring the nose and flavor seem more in sync. Young or aged its an amazing beer. Thanks for sharing this one, Chris.//Batch 7695; October 2006. Pours an opaque molasses with a pitted, frothy, tan head which laces nicely. The aroma is amazing, one of the best I’ve ever sampled. Candied apple, pineapple, raisin, plum, and spicy hops with just a hint of alcohol in the background. The mouthfeel is full, creamy, sticky-sweet and soft on the tongue. The flavor is sweet dark fruits (plums/raisins/dates) with a smoky alcohol finish. This one is a bit "hot" on the finish, but still an excellent beer. I may need to cellar a few bottles for a year or two to see how it mellows.
leeburg (223) - Juneau, Alaska, USA - JUN 14, 2007
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: JUN 28, 2007 Dark murky amber pour with a light tan head. This beer smells amazing. Dark fruit, raisins, pineapple, spice, light hops, just very rich. Syrupy sweet and smooth mouthfeel with caramel, a lot of raisin and more dark fruit flavors, then a little hoppiness hinting at a barely burnt/smoke flavor before a nice alcohol finish. Fantastic beer from the brewery down the road. As Bells goes, this one puts up a fight with Expedition. Awesome.
bdigital (652) - Ft Wayne, Indiana, USA - JUL 19, 2007
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
06 bottle: Muddy brown swamp-water color with a thin cream head. The fruitiness of the aroma is huge. Some notes of cherries, blueberries, bananas and raisins are apparent with a cloying maltiness to it. Fair amount of lacing. The alcohol is apparent but doesn’t diminish the rest of the body. Smooth as butta’. Sweet, malt flavor with vague hints of the fruit complexities. Some bitter, caramelly facets are present that finish this beer off nicely. The alcohol is barely noticeable. Sick-ass brew.
biggenius29 (155) - Hamilton, Michigan, USA - NOV 26, 2007
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Batch 7800, bottled on 1-31-07. Tasted 11-22-07
Poured into a snifter. Pours mahogony with a small fizzy off-white head that diminishes quickly leaving fair lacing. The aroma is of bread and caramel malts with some nuttyness and brown sugar little to no hop aroma. Taking a drink, the first thing I taste is the caramel and nutty malts with a little alcohol burn. Very bitter, the finish is all bitterness that sticks with you for a while. No hop flavor. The body is full with a creamy texture and soft to lively carbonation. Overall I am very impressed, next up is a 2006 bottle to see how it held up.
Batch 7236, bottled 2-8-06, tasted on 11-22-07.
12 oz bottle poured into a snifter. Pours mahogony with a small off-white fizzy head that fades away rather quickly leaving fair lacing. The aroma is of moderate caramel malts, no hop aroma. Rather one dementional. Taking a drink, at first you get a very sweet caramel malt along with a little brown sugar, no hop flavor. In the finish there is a slight bitterness, along with a very faint metallic finish. The body is full with a creamy texture and soft carbonation. Overall, it changed quite a bit with a year in the celler. No alcohol taste, the bitterness mellowed out alot along with the malt complexety. It was still good, but not as complex.
awautlet (45) - Madison, Wisconsin, USA - JUL 8, 2008
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 20/20
Malty, almost sweet smelling nose. Crisp up front but then very malty. Notes of burnt sugar, caramel and a slight dark fruitness with hints of nuts. Nice hop to the finish to balance. Alcohol is apparent and gives a nice warming affect.
FunkyBrewster (1517) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - SEP 14, 2008
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: JUN 24, 2009 Thanks 17thfloor! Pours a very dark red almost brown color with a light off-white head. Aroma is very sweet malty and has a lot of fruitiness to it but not in a crappy sort of way. I get some nice pineapple and plum notes along with a spicy backbone. Flavor starts out with a bang with the spicy notes filling my mouth immediately. There is a very pleasant rich caramel and molasses sweetness in the middle and a great hop bitterness that appears in the finishes and lingers for quite some time. Really nice full body and low carbonation. Excellent example balance and a near perfect barley wine!
movezig (137) - Pensacola, Florida, USA - OCT 15, 2008
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
My favorite barley wine next to bigfoot. This stuff is amazing. Nose is hops, raisins, toffee, bread, and caramel. Flavors of Chocolate, hops, roasted malts. Very complex. Thick inviting palate. As it got warmer it got better. By favorite brew from bells.