Skyview (5154) - Papoose Jct, Minnesota, USA - FEB 9, 2009
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
On draught during Winterfest 2009 in St Paul, MN. Pours a hazy dark copper brew with a thick off-white head that quickly dissipates to a film top. Aroma of caramel malt, raisins, some brown sugar, a touch of toffee and some prunes. Taste is medium bodied, flavors of toffee, brown sugar a hint of raisin, and some vanilla. Finish is semi-sweet with a distinct alcohol metallic bite in the end. Strong overall and would like to try this with a few years of aging.
badbeer (434) - Iowa, USA - DEC 23, 2007
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Murky brown color with a cream colored head leaving no lacing in the glass. Caramel, plum, and other dark fruits make up the aroma, I also smell brown sugar and molasses. The hops are present but definately playing second fiddle. Plum and raison flavors at the forefront with brown sugar in there as well. Same case here in the taste, as expected, malt over hops, only a small amount of pine like flavors perceived which helps to balance it out. Full bodied, thick and heavy, and small amount of carbonation, pretty nice mouthfeel. Pretty good on occasion but I probably wouldn’t have it very often.
Erdinger2003 (127) - West Union, Iowa, USA - DEC 23, 2007
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
The head is fine, but falsl into a thin head. Dark brown in color. Lacing is present the more I drink.
Smell is very mellow hops with sweet fruity, but mellow flavors that have a slight licorice smell at first.
Taste is very hoppy and very sweet, not fruity, ubt very sweet. Dark fruit undertones with slight coffee aftertaste.
Mouthfeel is excellent, notcreamy smooth, but very nice on the palate.
Drinkablility is wonderfull, but I drank too much and lost my taste after a while, but it was very nice.
detroiter (958) - Euphoria, Minnesota, USA - FEB 16, 2007
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Pours a deep clear copper, topped by under half an inch of tan suds. This dies back in short order. Good lacing. Thick sweet malty aroma.
Very sweet flavor, tons of thick caramel, toffee, and brown sugar. Hops? I can’t taste ’em. But there is a suggestion of balance somewhere. I think. Alcohol and leather in the finish. Full body, light carbonation. A great big boozer.
incutrav (577) - Woodbury, Minnesota, USA - JAN 22, 2007
3.1 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Not a big barley wine fan in general, but this was quite drinkable for me. As expected, quite sweet, but not overally so, as that is what usally sours me away from these. Not bad.
muzzlehatch (4424) - Burlington, Vermont, USA - OCT 25, 2006
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Sampled draught (barrel-aged version)at the Autumn Brew Review in Minneapolis, October 7 2006. Just a bit of retained head floating atop the dirty dark caramel body, nice lacing.....very sweet aroma of brown sugar, caramel and vanilla, plummy notes and pungent herbs show up with some warmth, alcohol moderately evident....on the tongue, hugely sweet, smooth and very bourbon-like in texture though not so much in flavor, which is dominated by a lovely creme brulee character with French vanilla touches....earthy, dry Englishy hops much in evidence though well muted throughout, the mouthfeel is soft and vapory and a touch of anise at the absolute finish makes up for a light wateriness that starts to show up....absolutely delightful.
JK (4377) - St. Louis Park, Minnesota, USA - OCT 8, 2006
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
My last of the night at the 2006 ABR. This is very good. Not heavily hopped but on the sweet side. Honey, fermending fruit, and oak are in the flavor. Heavy on the palate. Low carbonation; actually almost still. This is a complex beer and its qualities hide any alcohol aroma or flavor. One of Town Hall’s best.
badgerben (4386) - Blaine, Minnesota, USA - FEB 7, 2006
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Cask. Sure am glad I was keeping tabs on my local raters to notice that this was on tap. Not only tap, but on cask! Dark ruby color with a thin head. Very sweet barley aroma with some maple. Holy smack of barley, Batman! Lots o’ barley up front and center on this one. I’m glad the description confirms the smoke I was tasting. It’s not too heavy, just enough to say hello. Maple too. A bit earthy on the finish and just a little earthy hop finish. Light body, but feels like creamy velvet. Definitely an English style and not a hop monster from the States. Delicious and one of my absolute favorites from Town Hall.
beermatrix (1497) - Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA - FEB 5, 2006
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
On-cask at the brewpub: Chestnut brown with ruby glowing highlights. An everlasting smooth topping of light sandy browned foam sits with substantial staying power. In fact, it never left. It stayed about a pinky high the entire glass down; all the the way down to the bottom so instead of seeing a completely empty glass you see a glass decorated in foamed lace and a surf of foam at the bottom. F*ckin’ awesome appearance to this twisted reality of beerdom.
Aroma is quite nice, full and prevalent with malts, robustly set with apple/dark cherry/yellow raisin fruit cake covered in lovely caramel sauce. Hints to cinnamon, brown sugar, and a light leafy hoppiness adding a soft little hint to pine and dark citrus. Quite a complexing aroma.
Taste follows right along with what the smell states. Malts, cookie sugars, caramel, fruits, and a soft, tender blanket of warming smoothness the whole way through. Again, complex and flowing with a big caramel malt depth decorated with maple and all kinds of fresh, chewy, dried fruits of apple, raisin, dark cherry, and orange. Soft bitterness in the hops help add to the warmth with a leafy soft pine resin and some floral spices.
Feel is spectacularly set in a full cask laden velvetyness. Warm, like a blanket of caramel malts rolling around in a bowl of fruits and cookie dough sugars. There really is a whole lot going on in this reality of a brew that its nearly impossible to keep track of it all. Malty with caramel and dark, chewy fruits; spiced with cookie sugars, cinnamon, and vanilla; hopped with floral hints, soft pine wood, dark citrus, and a leafy resin. All wrapped delicately and warmly in a great texture of all things soft, smooth, and warmth without ever being brash, over done, or anything...its perfect for a barleywine on the cask.
A superb barleywine! Everything about it speaks to the craftwork of the style. Nicely done!
Pigfoot (2268) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - FEB 2, 2006
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Went into Town Hall merely to grab a couple growlers, and noticed the regulars drinking out of snifters a beer that wasn’t entirely black...so, it’s not the Imperial Stout, what is it? The Twisted Reality barleywine that they debuted at Winterfest, which I missed, on cask! I had to have one...
Beautiful magenta hue, deeper in the top 2/3 of the glass, a clearer crimson at the bottom, under an attractive, lasting creamy head. Nice!
Aroma is lush and fruity, while never too sweet, brimming with flavor, enticing one to drink!
In the taste, a cornucopia of the usual barleywinish flavors, cherries and cognac, leather and burgundy wine...the cask-conditioning keeps it mellow, and the various characteristics roll around the mouth with careless abandon, yet somehow perfect balance. Plumb malt, and tasteful hops. Lush and luscious, a deep, dreamy ale on can savor at length. Gorgeous texture, keep the mind active and the palate abuzz.
I wish I could compare this against the tap offering, which I never had, but on cask this is about near perfection. Plenty strong, though, but a delightful nightcap. I will have to go back for more before this disappears.