ThisWangsChung (826) - 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.
BelgianBeerGal (3322) - Panama City, Florida, USA - APR 24, 2015
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Draft sample at the Craft Bar PCB. Bronze colored pour. Aroma was sweet syrup and caramel. The flavor starts with simple sugars, a touch of coconut and light bitterness in the finish. Good barley wine.
ansjelaah (1629) - Westelbeers, NETHERLANDS - APR 23, 2015
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle with dutchdrebus and benzai. Red/brown color with a beige head. Smells and tastes sweet, fruity, alcohol, barley wine, caramel.
DutchDrebus (4528) - Oirschot, NETHERLANDS - APR 23, 2015
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle @ home. Dark amber to copper colour with a small white head. Smells very sweet, barley wine, alcohol, slightly raisins. Typical barleywine if you ask me. Tastes horribly sweet, baverois, barley wine, extra sweet apricot. Sick. Alcoholic. Full body, soft carbo.
chinchill (2718) - South Carolina, USA - APR 12, 2015
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
12 oz bottle nicely dated with both the bottling date (30-Dec.-2014) and the BB date (Dec. 2019).
The beer pours with a clear red-brown body and a small head that quickly reduces to a ring.
Aroma: fruity, malty, boozy, oaky and inviting. Thereís also a hint of vanilla.
Taste: More complex than the smell. Dark fruits, vanilla, faint wood, dark bread and a hint of pepper.
Mouthfeel: wonderfully smooth with minimal adverse effects of the 11.1% ABV. The beer is full bodied and lightly sticky with little carbonation.
Overall: an excellent and refined barleywine.
madvike (3054) - Middleton, Wisconsin, USA - APR 2, 2015
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle - Pours murky dark brown with rosy highlights and a filmy off-white head. Nose is buttery, bready malt, caramel and butterscotch, sharp whiskey, and a bit of woodiness. Taste is better, with the mellow whiskey melding better with vanilla, caramel, butterscotch, light toasty oak, and doughy yeasty and bread malt. Finish is long, sweet, and warming, with more whiskey. Medium and slick, with medium carbonation.
Benzai (9653) - Oirschot, THE NETHERLANDS, NETHERLANDS - APR 1, 2015
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle [from trade with mista] @ home. Hazy red color, medium sized beige head. Aroma is malts, slightly alcohol, sweetness, overripe fruits. Taste malts, sweetness, overripe fruits, a hint of vanilla somehow, some alcohol. Full body, suitable medium carbonation. Pretty good barley wine, I quite like it.
ColovianTrader (405) - - MAR 26, 2015
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Sweet vanilla front, with notes of caramel, brown sugar, oak, apples cider and orange. Hints of toffee and cinnamon. Very smooth.
jrodooo5 (1153) - Wilmington, Delaware, USA - MAR 23, 2015
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
The smoothness w/ the flavor explosion is one hell of a combination here! The oak really shines through in the aroma w/ just a hint at the alcohol potency. The pour is a murky copper w/ a thin tan head that leaves a good ring of lacing. The taste is dominated by the oak & vanilla flavors w/ a subtle kick of your traditional barleywine in the finish. Incredibly easy on the palate at 11% & dangerously drinkable. Outstanding!
PapaSkeetSkeet (999) - Providence, Rhode Island, USA - MAR 16, 2015
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Amber, cream-colored head. Aroma is a punch of whisky and some caramel. Body is heavy syrupy, medium-coarse carbonation, moderate burn, soft. Flavor is huge whisky (sour mash, not bourbon) with caramel sweetness and moderate neutral bitterness. Unique due to the huge non-bourbon whisky, but not as good as the regular English barley wine they brew... a bit too much for me, actually.
radio_nowhere (1029) - Maryland, USA - MAR 15, 2015
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle into snifter glass, clear rusty-orange amber color with light tan head. Aroma notes of strong malt sweetness, oak, vanilla, honey and berry fruitiness. Taste adds heavy malt fruitiness, cherry, plum, toffee and bourbon booze. Heavy body, low carbonation, rich, syrupy with fruity, sweet and boozy finish. Itís a sweet, heavy and boozy barleywine true to the English style with some oak influence.