b3shine (8054) - Indiana, USA - DEC 9, 2013
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Draft to taster. Looks solid; a transparent copperish orange with sticky off-white lacing. Smells sweet and malty with notes of juicy hops and caramel. Tastes like it smells with a nice mouthfeel thatís fairly smooth for the abv. Enjoyable.
Dan269605 (235) - Rocky Hill, Connecticut, USA - JAN 16, 2014
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Hmm, this is an interesting one. Dark amber, somewhat clear, a finger of beige head. Fruity nose, fruit cake like. The taste has a fairly harsh bitterness followed by an almost cloying fruit cake sweetness, a little weird. This is definitely more of an American style Barleywine, which isnít my favorite style. Itís alright, but no the best Victory offering by any means.
GSH1976 (307) - Delaware, USA - FEB 28, 2014
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Growler. Pours a clear orange/amber with a thin head and excellent lacing. Aroma is a candied sweetness, caramel, a hint of hops and booze. Taste is predominantly a candied sweetness and strong malt with some hops in the background but they are overpowered. Medium to full bodied with a somewhat dry finish. A decent barleywine but too sweet for my taste. Ironically this used to be one of my favorite beers which just goes to show how tastes can change over the years.
ThisWangsChung (836) - Leonardtown, Maryland, USA - MAR 2, 2014
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Iíve been looking forward to this for a while. 22 oz bottle into a pint glass.
A: Pours a clear dark amber color. The head is a two finger off-white shade. Its texture is excellent, and it has good retention as well. Lacing left behind is rather plentiful.
S: Itís actually not quite as sweet as I thought it would be. The hop notes here - as expected - are piny and resinous, balanced by its malt sweetness. In particular, it brings caramel, vanilla, and toffee. Itís definitely a quality aroma, if a bit more ístandardí than I was expecting.
T: The taste works better, I think. Piny hops hit the palate first - there isnít much harshness, and the pine flavor is incredibly vivid. It becomes sweeter after the midtaste and especially on the finish, while its hop flavor becomes almost ísaltyí to my twisted palate. The harsher elements of the alcohol are hidden very well. If I have to complain about something, itís that the sweetness here isnít well defined - sure it brings plenty of caramel, toffee, and earth, but not much in the way of dark fruits or candy. Thereís just the subtlest suggestion of the latter, unfortunately it isnít quite enough. Every once in a while, thereís a gentle wisp of chocolate that hits the palate.
M: This seems to be even softer than others in the style. Of course, being a barleywine, itís still sweet and heavy. The finish is, naturally, superbly long and mildly bitter. Itís more salty than anything. Nonetheless, Iím really impressed how well the booze is hidden.
O: Give this a year or two in the cellar and this would kick ass. Right now, though, itís still drinking pretty damn well. If the sweetness was more defined, then it would be killer immediately. As it stands, Iím really enjoying the hop profile but wished the malt component worked a little better.
McNeillR (2210) - Edinburgh, SCOTLAND - MAR 8, 2015
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Vibrant amber, light grease and eggshell ringed head. Minty white grapefruit and oaty hit booziness. Initial taste is brisk minty malt, unrisen sponge cake. Faded hoppy citrus and creamy mouthfeel. Finishes sweet burnt caramel and a lean cakey sweet linger. Not as hot as the nose suggested.
Bottle, Cheers BenH, TAD Tasting
kbudd19 (984) - Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA - AUG 3, 2015
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle, vintage 2011, thanks to Tim! Appearance is dark brown with light white head. Aroma is figs, brown sugar, and caramel. Taste is light bitterness, brown sugar, and butterscotch. Solid barley wine
Werckmeister (2078) - Vienna, AUSTRIA - OCT 29, 2015
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
0,66l bottle at home shared by Saeglopur, big thanks. Vintage 2013, no obvious BB date. copper hazy color, small off-white head. smells light veggies, spices, light wood, grass, tobacco, some pines. full body, soft carbonation, slick mouthfeel. tastes again light veggies, spices, grass, tobacco, oranges, pines, alcohol, herbs, marzipan, nuts, almonds, finishes with alcohol and oranges and some herbal bitter notes. decent, a bit underwhelming, has some veggie notes, not too distracting, but apparent. overall quite good beer but the other ratings would suggest better, a bit boozy.
AceOfHearts (1374) - Mountain View, California, USA - JUN 8, 2002
3.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Very clear amber and exceptionally weak head. Nice aroma, candylike with notes of caramel. The flavor was a bit too overpowering though, I didnít think that this was nearly as good as the other top 10ís.
ClarkVV (5706) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - JUL 9, 2002
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: AUG 10, 2007 2001 bottle. Consumed fresh. wow! what a beer. tastes like blueberry pie with alcohol in it. Great amounts of barley make this a rich meaty beer. What a great color, the color beats foghorn and bigfoot i think. Deep red/ almost magenta. taste stays with you, and is neither too cloying nor overpowering. yummmmmm. 9/4/10/5/19
2003 bottle. Fresh. Oh ya, been way too long. Amazingly rich flavor of sweet barley, rich fruity alcohol esters. Great english toffee flavor with tons of complexity. Lovely grain-like alcohol/cognac mouthfeel and flavor. I absolutely love this, but then English-style barleywines are my favorite. 9/4/9/5/17
Jan. 2004 bottle 14 months old. Slowly working on trying the different vintages. I look forward to trying this beer, as it has long been one of my favorites. However, the 2004 didnít really do it for me. Still a good pour, bottle conditioned, nice head and all. The flavor was way too forceful, it seems like they have amped up the hops bitterness in recent years, or perhaps this bottle is still far too young. Whatever the case, the flavors seemed blunt, and overbearing, lots of hops, sticky, strong caramel malt. Aroma of strong alcohol, yellow candied fruits, sweet toffee. Rather uninspiring, but hopefully just too young. Looking forward to the 2002 bottle I have in my cellar. 8/5/8/4/15
Dec 03 2004 bottle Consumed 8/3/2005. Incredible masking of alcohol, which is puzzling, as it seems rather filtered. NO sediment whatsoever left in the bottle, and only a slight haze to the body. Though it still looks a lovely auburn-magenta. Aroma, however, had soily, resinous hops, dry earthy malt, brown bread and light toffee. The aroma was not very intense after only 1 year. Flavor was a bit of a let down as well. Itís even and drinkable, with a good integration of malt and hops, but the malt gets rather boring, the finish is way to quick. Too much filtration on this beer now. Caramel and toffee, with some yellow fruits, bitter hops and low carbonation. It was good, though I think itís gone down hill lately. 7/4/8/4/15
Dec 2005 bottle consumed on 6/22/07
18 months old and not too bad, I gotta say. Pretty much the definition of the American barleywine and still with quite a bit of bitter, citric, leafy hoppiness. The nose seems rather crudely yeasty, with dirty notes and a dull, bland, vitamin-like note. But the malt is bready and caramel-like, with minimal roasty/toastiness. Fruity hops and caramel dominate the beer. Light alcohol, not too bad for its size.
A real hard, woody, bready feel to the flavor, with low carbonation, light chocolate and mostly tons of hard caramel. Bitter hoppiness, green and leafy tending mostly citric. Still that liquerish finish, not as smooth as it was, with too loose a carbonation and quite decadent. Respectable, and one of the first of its kind, but whatís with that dirty yeast nose?? I dont even know how Iíve calculated my overall score at this point.....
ToadMan (559) - Washington, Washington DC, USA - DEC 19, 2002
3.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Rich hoppy aroma, strong taste of barley, hops and lots of alcohol. Some vanilla and fruit undertones, but the alcohol was just too dominant.