ThisWangsChung (747) - Leonardtown, Maryland, USA - MAR 13, 2013
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Reviewed 3/2/13. 12 oz bottle poured into a snifter.
A: Pours a ruby red color with nice clarity. The head is quite good for a barleywine; a one finger light cream color. Retention is pretty good, and even after fading, the collar on the side of the glass is quite nice as well.
S: This one comes across as being very caramel-forward. I also detect notes of toffee and brown sugar. The bourbon barrel influence is certainly present, as well, providing tones of vanilla, coconut, and pleasant booze. Quite nice.
T: The bourbon presence is what first sweeps across the palate at first. Vanilla and coconut - even if itís not as distinctive as, say, Sucaba - are certainly an enjoyable sensation on the palate. I swear I detect the most subtle hint of chocolate on the midtaste. The aforementioned midtaste and finish is where the barleywine proper breaks away from the barrelís influence; caramel, toffee, and prune notes gradually build from the midtaste all the way to the finish. Itís certainly good - but it lacks the proper depth to be elite.
M: The feel is both moderately thick and a bit syrupy; the latter is no big deal given the styleís conventions. The sweetness does a decent job of covering the alcohol presence without being an overbearing expression. The aftertaste provided by the oak barrel tannins give a bit of a dryness without exasperating the alcohol harshness significantly or gutting the flavors.
O: Truth be told, Iím the kind of person who prefers my barleywines to be simple and non-barrel-aged, but Iíll be damned if this one isnít pretty good. Iíd even go so far as to say I (slightly) prefer it to Sucaba. So sue me. The relative cheapness and ease of attainability are just gravy, really. All in all, itís really good, but not amazing.
Spwalsh75 (1) - - AUG 26, 2014 does not count
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
Although it is very heavy, it has a great taste. This one will knock you on your ass.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
katrinaez (14) - norristown, Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 17, 2014
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Strong. Great flavor. Hops is perfect. Had the 2013 as a vertical pairing. Forgot it was high octane!
devman171 (951) - Annapolis, Maryland, USA - AUG 5, 2014
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle pours murky brown low head. Aroma is rich dark malt and vanilla oak bourbon. Taste is similar with a crisp bite before the booze sets in, nice
RussianDragon (449) - - JUL 24, 2014
3.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
On tap at Whole Foods. Pours a hazy clear caramel brown with light orange hues. Head is quickly fading light tan, that leaves solid lacing and an edge wisp behind. Aroma is caramel malt, banana bread, rum raisins and booze. Flavor is boozy and aggressive with active carbonation: big malty barleywine notes with sweet fruit, toffee, bread, vanilla and oak sweetness in the finish. A bruiser, just a small pour was enough.
haddon90 (1451) - Denver, Colorado, USA - JUL 23, 2014
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle. Pours a crystal clear ruby color with hardly any head. Brown sugar aroma with a smokey finish. Oak barrel notes as well. Sweet taste. Sugary with a hint of bourbon. Alcohol is masked. Great balance. An incredible barley wine.
BeerdedDave (297) - - JUL 13, 2014
4.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
deep amber to ruby red color; oaky, fruity aroma; an outstanding beer; thereís a lot going on in this beer; very complex flavor; malty and somewhat fruity (dark fruit like plums and raisins), though not at all sweet as I expected it to be; notes of oak, toffee, vanilla, and bourbon; a dry, bitter finish that lingers; thick, creamy mouthfeel; quite smooth for a beer that weighs in at 11.1%abv
wlajwl (3816) - Quad Cities, Iowa, USA - JUL 7, 2014
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Aroma is dark fruit/grapes, malts and a good hint of sweetness. The flavor is dark fruit, malts, vinous notes and a mix of mild sourness/tartness and alcohol in the finish.
hockeybeerguy (1958) - Juneau, Alaska, USA - JUN 24, 2014
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Reviewed from notes.
This was poured into a chalice and a snifter. The head was slightly larger but a half finger in the snifter.
In the both glasses, the appearance had a nice looking dark brown color with a nice moderate lacing coating the sides of both glasses.
The smell had a nice conglomeration of plums, dates, and vanilla substances that seemed to be combined nicely into a blend of roasty oaky/slightly bourbon-like aromas.
The taste was subtly sweet through the dark fruits and yet it still brought forth the nice alcohol warmth from the bourbon.
On the palate, this one sat about a medium and tried to show a heavier aspect that honestly, didnít quite just cut it just yet. This one was more of a sipper for the most part and had a pretty good carbonation underneath it all.
Overall, in my opinion, this was a good barleywine worthy of having again.
HoppyScallywag (63) - Butler, Pennsylvania, USA - JUN 16, 2014
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
The aroma, one word......sweet. Oak seeps out of it. Vanilla is tucked away in there. The initial taste fills your mouth with oak and increases on the palate. Did I mention it is 11%?? I dig it.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
solidfunk (3893) - Washington D.C., Washington DC, USA - JUN 13, 2014
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Respectable barley wine. Pours reddish brown decent head and lacing. Sweet caramelized malt. A little on syrupy side. OK.