bhensonb (12460) - Woodland, California, USA - JAN 30, 2010
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bomber from the Co-Op in Davis, CA. Pours opaque brown with ruby notes, and a two finger beige head thatís pretty foamy. A bit clingy. Lots of darker fruits over roasted caramel, with some brown sugar, for aroma. Full bodied with very frothy carbonation. Flavor is treacle, plums and dates, and more treacle. Itís like dessert. No sign of heat. The finish is sweet, but not overwhelmingly so. This barleywine seems to have perfected balance. Extremely dangerously tasty.
Gypsy19 (726) - California, USA - JAN 24, 2010
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bomber. Pours a deep, deep red with a small yellowish head. The color is almost black until you put some light through it, revealing the most stunning shade of dark ruby red. Aroma is dusty with a mild malty backdrop, some cinnamon in there too. Flavor comes with the cinnamon too, general sweet malts, slightly nutty. Alcohol is present but doesnít overwhelm. Good flavor, though not as complex as I expected. Oily mouthfeel, low carbonation. Very tasty brew overall, just average in the realm of barleywines. Overall, good to very good.
AgentSteve (1647) - SF Bay Area, California, USA - OCT 14, 2009
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: APR 5, 2010 Pours dark and moderately cloudy caramel with a thin medium tan head that leaves nice lacing. Nose is a bit sweet and a hint of wood, even though not barrel aged. Toffee, caramel, dried fruit, and bready malts in the flavor, a bit more full than the nose. Smooth mouthfeel with a touch of heat in the finish. Excellent stuff.
IrishBoy (3958) - Bakersfield, California, USA - NOV 15, 2009
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Draft at GABF. Nose of berries, toffee, and a brown sugary sweetness. Clear light brown with a small beige head. Flavor is prunes and toffee. Nice BW!
dtborelli (322) - Sacramento, California, USA - FEB 3, 2010
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Old Inventory Barley Wine 22oz.
Pours brown with reddish hues. Looks like a fountain coke in the glass. Very little head, with oil on the glass. Aroma of raisins and caramel malt with slight alcohol. As it warms the aroma thickens to a boozy fruit smell. Flavor is good with caramel and some bitterness similar to coffee. Long warm finish. Good beer and available at the restaurant for $5/22oz.
kmweaver (3207) - Petaluma, California, USA - JAN 31, 2010
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
22oz bottle, purchased at City Beer Store. Pours a dark, cola-brown color; significant, creamy light-tan head with good retention and lacing. Lots of cola, brown sugar, raisins and dates in the aroma; malty and generous but without stickiness; biscuity malts and lots of toffee character; some solid balancing earthy and floral hop bitterness; just a lovely English-style Barley Wine aroma. Medium-to-full body: significant amounts of caramel, toffee, and brown sugar present; earthy and floral hop character plays second fiddle; average levels of carbonation, with a pleasant creaminess; rich toffee- and caramel-centric malt profile, lots of biscuity notes - a very pleasant, clear rendition of the style. I canít see this aging for significant amounts of time: at least, this drinks beautifully right now, with perfect balance, and the nuttiness and the soft caramel notes would only become further mellowed and dampened with further oxidation or sherry character; so drink up (at least in my mind), kiddies. Lasting finish of caramel, nuttiness, and soft brown sugar; balanced ending.
DYCSoccer17 (3490) - Woodland, California, USA - JAN 27, 2010
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
22 ounce bottle purchased at the Davis Food Co-Op. Aroma is bursting with pitted fruits, plums, raisins, and brown sugar. A little leathery tobacco is also apparent. Very attractive, mostly transparent cola-colored body with a medium off-white head that is fairly long-lasting. Nice legging and lacing. Starts with some mildly sweet plums and raisins, before this becomes pretty leathery and roasted in the middle. Lingering roastiness and bitterness. This is pretty brash, and the ethanol is too apparent. Perhaps some age would mellow it a bit?
bb (7510) - Alamo, California, USA - JAN 19, 2010
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Draft. Dark caramel brown beer with a light tan head. Caramel/toffee and light plum fruity aroma. Toffee flavor with rich malt, plum/dates, and some light darker malts coming through. Medium-plus bodied. Some bitterness. Toff and dark fruits linger. A bit too sweet.
fidel (1302) - Livermore, California, USA - DEC 11, 2009
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: MAR 19, 2010 Poured hazy amber brown, caramel, dark fruits, litttle bready, little brown sugar, little alcohol.
popery (1669) - San Francisco, California, USA - JAN 21, 2010
4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Tap at City Beer Store. Very good, big barleywine. Iíve tried a barrel-aged version in the past and probably liked that a bit better, but this is still quite good. There are lots of rich fruit notes, pears, prunes, blackberries, in the aroma. The malt is all brown sugar and caramel toffee. Itís fairly sweet but well within the realm of good English-style barleywines. Iím not surprised that it won at GABF with such a big blend of fruit and caramel flavors. Itís a nice change from normal big, hoppy American-style barleywines. Itís also dangerously easy to drink. The sweetness definitely does not get in the way of the flavor. The mouthfeel is smooth and soft. Very good stuff.