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.
ordybill (82) - Douglasville, Georgia, USA - SEP 15, 2014
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass
Aroma- Has an awesome scent of bourbon with sweet accents
Appearance- a dark brown colored beer with a tannish head
Taste- a great bourbon flavor mixed with maybe some vanilla and the beer flavoring following through
Palate- A full bodied beer with a syrupy feel
Overall- An excellent example of an English Barleywine. I highly recommend this to everyone.
slowrunner77 (1610) - Reno, Nevada, USA - SEP 11, 2014
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
"surprise wish list item during a random Wednesday tasting. Rich tofee and caramel, ample bourbon and boozy flavors and aroma amidst a sweet fruity flavor. Little in the way of hops. Not balanced, but very tasty."
Darkmagus82 (1219) - - SEP 1, 2014
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Transfer from BA review on 3-11-13-
Served on tap in a chalice glass
Appearance Ė Served a hazed copper colored brew with a one half finger white head. The head fades very quickly leaving a light level of lacing on the sides of the glass.
Smell- The nose is big of a bready, caramel, and fruit aroma. The fruit is a mix of both light and dark with the darker fruit smells winning out over the light. Smells of raisin, cherry, and prune are mixed with lighter notes of pear and banana. With these smells comes a light oaky and vanilla smell as well as a decently boozy smell of a more bourbon nature.
Taste Ė The taste begins malty and caramel and stone fruit sweet. There is a big bready base with large amounts of caramel sweetness with lighter notes of a cherry, prune and plum sweetness. As the flavors advance some of the oaky flavors begin developing further with the sweet fading ever so slightly, but remaining rather strong none the less. Toward the end of the taste the boozy notes that were detected in the nose come to the tongue. The flavors, largely of a bourbon nature, blend well with the sweet caramel and fruit leaving a nice thick warming sweet taste on the tongue.
Mouthfeel Ė The body of the beer was on the thicker and creamier side with a carbonation level that was a bit on the lower side. The thicker body and thinner carbonation were both quite nice for keeping this a sipping brew as well as for allowing for the sweeter and maltier flavors of the brew to really pronounce themselves with the warming boozy taste that is present.
Overall- A great sipping brew if I do say so myself. Not too overpowering, but definitely strong and flavorful enough with just the right amount of warming kick from the boozy taste to make it quite and enjoyable warmer.
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 (55) - 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 (965) - 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 (467) - - 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 (1466) - 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 (339) - - 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 (3874) - 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.