hopscotch (8545) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - JUL 24, 2006
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 13/20
UPDATED: MAR 4, 2008 Bottle... Clear ruby ale with a small, creamy, khaki head. Good retention. Fruity, malty nose. Well-balanced, malty flavor. Medium sweetness... toffee and caramel. Medium bitterness... pink grapefruit. Mildly tangy. Not overly boozy. Medium-bodied and lightly oily with soft carbonation. Lengthy, moderately bitter finish. Thanks to scraff for sharing!
jercraigs (7348) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - OCT 19, 2006
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle. 12th Anniversary. Dark brown body, good fingers worth of luscious creamy beige head. Hoppy, tangy malt aroma is moderate. Booze emerges as the glass warms. Flavour is dominated by green vine like, not quite leafy, full hops bitterness that is not always pleasant as it lacks sufficient hop flavour to balance it. Needs more hop in the flavour or less bitterness to let the muted caramel malt shine through - needs to pick a direction. Average to medium palate. (3+) Big rough around the edges.
detroiter (958) - Euphoria, Minnesota, USA - FEB 25, 2007
3.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Twelfth Anniversary (XII) bottled 2005. Deep brown with reddish hues. An inch of rocky light tan foam. Good head retention and lacing. Sweet caramel malt and a hint of pine in the aroma. Sweet caramel malt and piney hop flavors are blended with a drier, earthy, woody, and even leathery, presence. Fullish body, moderate carbonation. Dry bitter leathery aftertaste lingers. Normally I like this, but with this beer find it oddly unpleasant. My initial reaction is that this is a little brother to Bigfoot with a long way to go to grow up. There are better barleywines.
AlabastorJones (800) - San Francisco, California, USA - MAR 27, 2007
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
bottle from utah liqour store haahahaha this state is stupid... (XIII) Thin yellow head, brown mirky golden body with a sweet syrupy alc nose, strong dry finish, woody and warming, sweet and tangy, standard barley wine, but exta-ordinary for being from utah i suppose
beerbill (3274) - Laurel, New York, USA - FEB 17, 2008
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 13/20
XIV Edition. 12 oz. bottle courtesy of a trade with douglas88. Pours a dark rust with a moderate off-white head that lasted until the bottom of the glass and left partial lacing. Pleasant aroma of caramel and citrus. The flavor is caramel up front followed by grapefruit and alcohol. The grapefruit turns into a strongly bitter finish that lingers well beyond the swallow and really is disruptive for a barley wine. While the flavor is ok, this beer lacks the smoothness and richness I associate with the style.
BlackForestCO (975) - Aurora, Colorado, USA - MAY 31, 2008
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
UPDATED: NOV 30, 2008 Bottle shared by Crosling, thanks Nick. Poured a deep ruby-brown color with a thin beige head that faded to a layer. Aroma of light caramel, some earthy minerals, and light citrus. Light, sharp malt entry with some metallic mineral taste and caramel leads into a lightly bitter hop presence with some undertones of citrus. Moderate fullness on the palate, nice bite. Decent brew, but doesn’t really seem like a traditional barley wine.
FlacoAlto (3737) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - JUL 8, 2008
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
14th Anniversary Release, Bottled December 2007; Sampled July 2008
A vigorous pour into my New Belgium globe glass produces an almost three-finger thick, amber tinged, lightly browned, dark tan colored head. The beer is a very dark amber / brown color that shows a brilliantly clear, striking cranberry color when held up to the light. The aroma is sticky with hop notes of candied citrus, lychee, candied pine needles, some harder pine sap notes and a solid herbal backdrop. The dominant hop aromatics are supported by a sticky malt base that is quite caramelized, has some rich toasty notes and ample biscuit aromatics. The aroma is quite nice and I am definitely enjoying the sticky hop notes. While hop focused, this is not nearly as hop dominated as a Bigfoot of this age is, there is quite a bit more malt character here.
Spicy hop flavors mix with ample toasty malt notes. Seems a touch more malt focused than the aroma, but it is still leans more to the hop side of the spectrum at this point; this should get quite malty as it ages out. Lots of bitterness from the get go, towards the finish this even gets a little astringent in its bitterness with green, almost tannic, hop influences. Not quite as rich as one would expect from a beer of 10% abv; it has a medium thickness to it with a soft creamy viscousness; actually the sharp hop bitterness really cuts through the body quite a bit. In the end, somehow, this manages to seem a bit thin. This does have a nice malt character to it though; lots of toasty, almost brown malt flavors, dark bread notes and some caramelized berry flavors.
I really like the aroma of this beer and I think that it will age quite gracefully, but it is just too harshly bitter to be really enjoyable right now. Give this at least two years and this should be tasting quite nice (thankfully I was sent two bottles of this). This is definitely a beer to lay down, in fact I would guess the Brewer brewed this with that intent; so hold on to those Fourteens for a bit.
michael-pollack (4960) - King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 10, 2008
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
12oz. Bottle (XV): Sweet aroma. Smells of hops, caramel, pine, toffee, and biscuit. Poured dark red/magenta in color with a small beige head that disappeared quickly. Clear. Slightly sparkling. Flavor is lightly sweet and lightly bitter. Tastes of bitter hops, ripe dark fruits, pine, alcohol, chocolate, wood, and malts. Medium body. Slightly sticky, coating texture. Soft carbonation. Bitter, dry, alcohol-burn finish.
eaglefan538 (2828) - Wilmington, Delaware, USA - AUG 24, 2008
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Pour from bottle, full brownish-red color with a good initial off-white-ish head, retention only ok, but not terrible, lacing ok, not a standout after the first minutes. The aroma was caramel, brown sugar, molasses, fruits, faint pine. The flavor followed the aroma, a little too sticky for me, although there was a slight hop balance under it all. Not very alcoholic, but it was somewhat metallic/astringent in the aftertaste.
Goodgrief (1744) - Middletown, Delaware, USA - SEP 23, 2008
3.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 13/20
Ruby red pour, no head and just some bubbles for lacing. Nice malty aroma with some dark fruit and raisin. The flavor is a huge malt bomb without being cloying. Caramel, toffee, molasses and some hop tartness at the end. My complaint is that this beer is really undercarbonated and it greatly reminded me of a soda gone flat. Unfortunate.