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.
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!
badgerben (4502) - 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.
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.
MBrausen (69) - Minnesota, USA - JAN 24, 2012
4.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Poured on-tap at Town Hall into a 10oz TH snifter.
A. Pours a deep hazy red, a nice 1 finger head that resides at a nice ring with amazingly thick lacing, really beautiful.
S. Smells of sweet grapes, wheat, mild hops with a roasted barley finish.
T. Tastes of nice heavy wheat, heavy grain, sweet grapes and some strong rye.
M. Medium thick body, very chewy and thick, medium-high carbonation.
O. A very good beer. Super easy to drink and very smooth. Hides it’s 10.4% very well under an amazingly well rounded taste. It really does change as it sits on your tongue.
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.
DalzAle (1999) - Eden Prairie, Minnesota, USA - MAR 3, 2009
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Pint poured from a growler I picked up earlier tonight. Pours hazy orange/brown with minimal carbonation. Aroma was mellow malt, some brown sugar sweetness. Flavor was very malty, velvety rich and sweet maple that warmed nicely on the palate. A big fan of this one, wish this was a regular offering.
thirdeye11 (5634) - Dallas, Texas, USA - MAR 27, 2011
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
(Draught at GABF) clearish amber with creamy lasting tan head. Nose of honey, caramel, maple, and creme brulee. Taste of big honey, earthy, tobacco, maple, pine, and toasty caramel. Creamy, ridiculous perfect linger and body. One of the best barleywines I’d had in a long time.
arminjewell (6417) - Lansing, Michigan, USA - MAR 26, 2012
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Glad I finally got to try the base, and I can see why I like the barrel aged version so much. Dark reddish ruby pour with nice creamy tan head on tap at the brewery, aroma brought big deep notes of dark fruits, lots of sweet maple, caramel and toffee notes, some bittering earthy and smoky notes as well, really nice and complex. Taste has a bit of heat but nothing overwhelming, a slight grassy note comes into sweet toffee, caramel, maple notes with a nice cocoa, earth and smoke notes. Very, very nicely done.
MatSciGuy (907) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - MAR 4, 2009
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
[Tap] at the brewpub. Pours a hazy coppery red hue with a finger of beige head. Aroma is really powerful with caramel malts, some floral and noble hops, a touch of brown sugar, and a slightly metallic yeast note. It smelled a lot like old horizontal, but a lot more well rounded. Flavor matched the aroma well, with a medium mouthfeel and very smooth on the finish. Really a great barleywine.