Quetzalcoatl (153) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - FEB 11, 2005
4.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Before getting to the contents, I must say that this bottle has one of the best labels I’ve ever seen. The silhouette of the ‘Idiot’ bursting into the red doorway….just looks intimidating. Upon pouring, the aroma is surprisingly faint, with mostly sweet scents. Body is a moderately clear burgundy, with a thin tan head. The real joy of this beer is all in the mouth…big rich body that covers the tongue. The flavor is very deep; sweet up front, but plenty of bitterness, vanilla, boozy burn, and a perfect hint (but not domination) of woody/bourbon from the barrels. Very well done.
jasonp (1573) - Ashburn, Virginia, USA - FEB 7, 2005
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Beautiful clear mahogany with a thick beige head. Aroma is somewhat of a letdown; some faint caramel, fruit and a little alcohol. The taste, however offers more - notes of dark fruit, cherry, tropical fruit, toasty malt, brown sugar/molasses and a hint of bourbon. The slight oak woodiness is picked up mainly in the aftertaste. Pretty sweet. Soothing/warming alcohol presence on the way down. Smooth medium body with subtle carbonation. Pretty easy-drinking for a barleywine. Overall, enjoyable.
atpayne (615) - Zionsville, Indiana, USA - FEB 7, 2005
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Deep amber garnet red. The aroma hints of a warming character. Has a standard barley wine malt base and a hind of brown sugar. The first feel is a very full, round mouthfeel. Smooth with a malty sweetness. Nice alcohol character seems to go well with a woody dryness. Vanilla is a nice addition as it softens the alcohol impact and plays nicely in the finish.
Gachupines (1230) - USA - FEB 7, 2005
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Might not be the most representative of a barley wine, but overall I enjoyed this experiment with bourbon aging. Taste is smoother and sweeter with a slight hint of vanilla. Bourbon taste is more prominent in the finish, but the result is surprisingly drinkable. Overall I enjoyed this beer quite a bit.
lamas (1536) - Washington DC, USA - FEB 6, 2005
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
22 oz bottle. Pour is a nice amber/iced tea color with smallish creamy tan head. Aroma is rich vanilla extract, bourbon, licorice and cherries near the end. Taste is nicely rich, smooth and balanced. The presence of alcohol is a bit too strong for my taste. Begins nice and smooth and fruity and finishes with an intense kick of warming alcohol. I didn’t care too much for Blithering Idiot but this is better. I can’t deny this beer’s quality.
axilla (962) - New Providence, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 6, 2005
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
OK, who’s gonna be the first to age bourbon in old barleywine casks?
Definately a good looking beer. Deep, dark mahogany body with a small sticky head lace. The aroma is dominated by bourbon and oak with a lot of alcohol present. Much more like a barley-wine than I expected. I don’t mind the woody flavors in this one and the bourbon’s not as explosive as it was in heresey. Huge sweet malt flavor that helps hide the alcohol. Very good stuff.
notalush (5669) - Denver, Colorado, USA - FEB 5, 2005
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 13/20
Dark ruby pour with foamy white lacing in surprising abundance for something with this much alcohol in it - aroma is heavy with alcohol, caramel malt, bourbon and wood - unlike with the Heresy, the bourbon doesn’t nail you over the head in this one - fairly tasty and sweet (borders on cloying, though) - however, just like its cousin, the elements the cask imparts to the ale don’t balance out very well with the fruity esters and thick malt body - perhaps something as simple as aging the beer a while will balance out the abundant, yet conflicting flavors, but for now this is far too brash and palate-confusing.
JonR888710 (999) - Cochabamba, BOLIVIA - FEB 4, 2005
3.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
So I came home wanting a barelywine, and since all of mine are aging, I picked this one since its already been aged. Aroma is mostly oak, followed by chardonnay, sweet fruits, plum, cherries, kiwi, and also, lightly of vanilla, tobacco and alcohol. Color is ruby, brown with some faint oranges and yellows around the edges. Head is a nice butter-cream in the beginning, then fades to a small amount of sparse white bubbles. It provides very nice lacing and a heavy ring around the glass that will paint bubbly, crystal sheets whenever you like by tilting the glass. At first glance, it looks like any barleywine but when held to the light, this seemingly clear beer is impenetrable by light. Fascinating phenomenon that I’m not sure how they pulled off. Taste is smooth and subdued; I was expecting a big barleywine blast and did not get it. What I did get was a ton of oak flavor wrapped around a sweet, caramel and fruit malt core. As the initial flavors pass, the palate opens up to expose some chocolates and coffee, along with non-descript esters and prodigious alcohol. All in all, I can’t say that I like this rendering of the Blithering Idiot all too much. It drinks well for sure, but the oak flavors cover up what is otherwise a pretty average-to-below-average barleywine.
Cornboy (424) - Eastampton, New Jersey, USA - FEB 3, 2005
2.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 8/20
Ok, this one is a good candidate for "just because you can, doesnt mean you should". Warning, this one is about as contrasted a barrel aged brew can get. Just does not mesh well in my opinion.
Shared with 3 other people, still poured half the bottle in the sink (sorry).
I have another bottle, will rerate in a few months to give it a fair chance if it mellows...
argo0 (12928) - Washington DC, USA - FEB 2, 2005
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Well lookee here -- another of them bourbon-cask-aged beers. This time the cask is messing with a barley wine -- should be good prep for trying the BAON this weekend. But I digress. Medium beige head atop a lightly hazed copper body. Aroma is moderately sweet, vanilla, alcohol, caramel, light plum. Taste is moderately sweet, vanilla, alcohol, caramel, some wood. Some cherry appears as the beer warms. Finishes with a pleasant bourbon alcohol burn. Creamy full body, but surprisingly rather clean. The bourbon is definitely the star of the show, but fortunately it still tastes like a beer.