ALLOVATE (2538) - Perth, AUSTRALIA - SEP 14, 2014
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Old bottle, well cellared but completely unsure of age. At cellar temperature and into a shallow chalice. Turbid, yeasty with a bad case of floaties, but oddly not off-putting is the thick of it. It swirls around with a vinous viscosity and the head that does form is short-lived to bare just a ring on the meniscus. The body a luscious, cherry ruby, I suppose. Sickly but sultry nose. Deep, engrossing plum pudding doused in VSOP with a lot of dried, savoury fruit to give it that wholesome Christmas vibe. Salty, mineral-like, soy sauce and meaty also to make it quite a perplexing nose. Mmmmmm, juicy, plummy, heated, divine. Quite a lot here and very English with its sticky malt profile. This is oily but smooth. Big bodied yet seamless. The alcohol adds depth like a good barley wine. Brimming with dark stone-fruit, as well as prunes, dates, muscatels and all manner of dried fruits. Vinous and mellow, chewy, sweet, plump. The length is more fruit but has a woody, nutty element. The front is toffee, sticky malts. Carbonation is a mere spritz that tickles just the tip of the tongue otherwise this is still. Really unsure of age but I’d say only 3 or 4 years. Really sticks around. Well rounded with plenty of depth. I liked it, turbidity or no this was a classy, artisinal Barley wine. Sticky sweet fun!! (12fl.Oz, no date stamp, Cellarbrations Como)
czar (5207) - Québec, Quebec, CANADA - SEP 8, 2014
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
pours unclear copper-orange with a decent off-white head showing some retention and lacing. sweet caramel and brown sugar - cloying if not overly sweet (!), phenols, booze, spicy yeast, pepper, grass and bitter herbs. light carbonation, medium body - oily and thick, sweet, short boozy and spicy-peppery finish. linear. meh.
Kauge (562) - Tallinn, ESTONIA - AUG 23, 2014
3.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle from Õllepood nr 1 Gambrinus in Tartu (€ 5,90), August 2014. Pours
a dark, murky copperish brown with an active off-white head that dissapears immediately; no lacing. I see lots of bits floating. Nose is a fantastic mix of warming, even Christmasy spices with cinnamon most apparent; it’s sweet, there’s autumny near-putrid berries, apples and pears and caramel and plums, but it’s also got a considerable alcoholic zing (I kind of expected that looking at the devilish-clowny design) that balances out the deep, sweet aspects. It gets very-very plummy as it’s warmed some more. The nose is so multilayered and complex that I’m afraid I’m just gonna leave my nose in the glass for the rest of the day. But ok, let’s give it a taste. It is sweet and rich: I get very ripe Northern fruits (plums and the softer, less juicy sorts of pears and apples), hints of caramel there too, and a fair deal of dark alcoholic flavours, especially near the end - brandy, cognac, plum or pear liqueur... Full body; medium carbonation (or a bit too high even). Palate is sticky; finish malty and alcoholic - and long! Very good for a cold, rainy day... Ooh, I know, I’d like to sip this while having a very slow, unpurposeful walk, barefooted, in an Estonian pine forest right after a massive rain, feeling the fallen leaves and cold, wet moss under my feet... Overall it’s got an archaic and homey feel to it (perhaps the label is trying to refer to some historical county fairs - if so, that is spot on). Most of my points are for the luscious and multiplex aroma.
oliodnb (456) - ITALY - AUG 16, 2014
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
355ml bottle, probably past expiring date. Pours hazy reddish with two fingers of creamy textured beige head. Some yeast floating. Aroma is sweet malts and alcohol with fruity notes. Lots of malts and alcohol. Taste is strong sweet malts, caramel and sweet fruits (figs, raisins. dates, plums). Warm alcoholic aftertaste. Strong and sweet but very well balanced.
VamboladeTolly (508) - Tartu, ESTONIA - AUG 16, 2014
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: JAN 17, 2015 Bottle.Hazy copper color. Aroma: brown sugar, plum, alcohol (like home made wine). Taste of caramel, plum and a little nuts and a little alcohol. Nice warmness goes down the throat. This is mine first barley wine. I expected more. But not bad.
Darkmagus82 (1939) - - AUG 13, 2014
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Transfer from BA review on 11-11-12-
Poured from bottle into snifter
Appearance – Pours a hazy copper color with some red highlights. Upon pouring there is a small off white head that fades very fast to leave almost no lacing and just a tiny little patch of bubbles floating on the surface of the brew.
Smell - The aroma is sweet of dark cherry and raisin and a caramel taste. Mixed with these are notes of some lighter fruits of apple and pear. These sweet aromas are the majority of the nose, but with them are some bready and alcohol aromas as well.
Taste – The taste starts out quite bready with a lighter caramel sweetness. As the taste advances it dries out more but does get some flavors of dark fruits. As the taste goes on, a rum like alcohol flavors get quite pronounced and at the end where it mixes with some earthy and herbal flavors, they leave a warm boozy and somewhat bitter hop flavor on the tongue.
Mouthfeel – For an 11.1% brew the body is actually kind of thin with a carbonation level that is slightly high (again for the 11.1% abv). Not really the most appealing for the boozy and bready flavors with a creamier body and lesser level of carbonation likely being more appropriate.
Overall - Well not really one I enjoyed as much as I was hoping. A little too much rum booze and a somewhat off bitter finish which prevented me from finding it anything I would want to go back to again.
gripweed57 (886) - Hamilton Square, New Jersey, USA - AUG 12, 2014
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
12 ounce bottle. Pours a hazy light brown color with a brief creamy beige head. Dark toffee malt nose with boozy overtones. Bittersweet toasted malt flavor has obvious toffee and dried fruit notes. Big warming alcohol throughout. Sticky and chewy mouthfeel. Complex fruity finish.
Shot (202) - Westerville, Ohio, USA - AUG 10, 2014
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Pours hazy copper with a thin beige head that dissipates rather quickly to a thin lace. Aromas of plum, cinnamon, brown sugar, leather. Flavors are brown sugar, spice, nuttiness and bready tones. Noticeable alcohol warmth. Sweet, sticky mouthfeel. Not a load of flavor. Rather unimpressive for a barley wine.
DarkSideOfBeer (47) - Padova, ITALY - AUG 6, 2014
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Barley wine prepotente che nasconde benissimo i suoi 11 gradi abbondanti che vengono cullati da un insieme di gusti che ti invoglia a berla senza pause, cosa non cosi comune per il genere!
Douberd (2975) - Arnhem, NETHERLANDS - JUL 30, 2014
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle 330ml from bierkompass, poured into a taster at home, ABV 11%
Bright deep orange to red colour, good clarity, a thin line of off-white head on top disappearing quickly, leaving almost no lacing on the glass.
Nice aroma, very fruity, red and (less) dark fruits, notable alcohol, caramel.
Very stong boozy taste, after the initial burn flavours of caramel, light nuts, red fruits, toffee, quite sweet but still very drinkable despite the high alcohol.
Medium body with good carbonation, sticky palate.
Very good, maybe not the best choice for this warm day but still, very enjoyable.