SimonBlok (249) - GRONINGEN, NETHERLANDS - AUG 21, 2016
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
33cl from Van Erp, Groningen. Appearance: clear ruby red with medium creamy white head. Aroma: pear, toffee, red fruits, strawberry milkshake, caramel, figs. Quite boozy. Taste: very sweet with medium bitterness. Sugar like sweetness stays till the finish, where the bitterness gently comes in. Notes of brown sugar, caramel and red fruits. The high sweetness conceals the high abv of this beer, while it gives a little warming sensation though. Palate: medium bodied, sticky texture and soft carbonation
klm1 (876) - - JUL 21, 2016
2.6 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
UPDATED: AUG 12, 2016 Pours dark amber, clear, with off-white/beige creamy head. Aroma: intense malt aroma, with notes of caramel, candy sugar, toffee, honey...flavor: similar to aroma: prevails malt flavors, with jotes of caramel, honey, toffee. On second half steps forward hop flavor with some spicy notes. Finish is sticky, slightly dry and bitter. Alcohol note is obvious. Body is mrdium to full, texture soft, carbonation is low.
douglas88 (8332) - Portland, Oregon, USA - JUL 7, 2016
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
On tap at the PIB. Pours a dark copper color with a small white head. A big boozy sugary nose. Hot, floral notes, sugary sweet toffee, berries, some caramel. Quite nice. Not super hot.
mcberko (14059) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - JUN 26, 2016
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle at PIB 2016, pours a clear copper with a small beige head. Aroma brings out caramel malt, bready notes and booze. Flavour is extremely sweet, in cloying territory, with heaps of caramel and actually subdued booze. Very sweet on the finish, a little too much. Booze well-hidden. Very good.
Alengrin (4456) - BELGIUM - JUN 17, 2016
3.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: JUN 18, 2016 White Pony’s super-strong but essentially English style barley wine, in the version brewed at Het Nest, where it is labelled as S... Than Ever, like the original Gaverhopke version when it was intended for export to the US. Never had the Gaverhopke version pictured here (in a steinie bottle): after so many extreme gushers, I had basically given up on White Pony, until Roberto informed me that they were moving to Het Nest. Bottle from a local drinks shop in Zele. Moussy, pale yellowish beige, creamy head retaining well as a dense rim on the edge and a discontinuous veil over the middle; clear and translucent, deep bronze robe with coppery reddish glow. Strong aroma of fig, pomegranate, tamarillo, sweet sherry, tomato concentrate, caramel, freshly grated ginger, ’natural’ iron, raw red cabbage, Liège pear syrup, brown rum, toasted brown bread, hazelnut oil, hints of sweet red curry, amaretto, baked banana, cloves, maracuja, dry earth, lavender soap, ’bread pudding’, chestnut, fresh paint. Concentrated sweet onset, residual brown sugar mingling with fruity esters reminiscent of candied date, ripe pear, dried banana and ripe blue plum, softish carbo as expected from the style, heavy and vinous body, thickly toffeeish and honeyish malt sweetness gaining a lightly toasted edge in the end providing a glimpse of comforting bitterishness in this sweet environment in which the brown sugar is carried onwards to the finish, meanwhile sticking to the teeth a bit. Sweetness dominates the finish as well in spite of the toasted bittering effect and spicy, leafy hop bitterness which punches the back of the tongue; very rum-like alcohol, however, unsurprisingly gets the last word, as it not only deeply warms the mouth and throat as can be expected from a barley wine, but also forces itself onto the palate at a fairly early stage (somewhere in the middle), adding a much less pleasant wryness on top of it all, a wryness which goes down in the end and makes the back of the tongue cringe a bit as it passes by. I have no doubt that from a purely technical point of view, this is better executed than it was at Gaverhopke (I’m even inclined to purchase a Gaverhopke edition purely to prove this point), but other than that, this could have been better: like their quad (Dark Signs), it seems they are missing an opportunity to achieve greatness by overstating everything; and speaking of quad, this beer also heavily draws from the quadrupel tradition in carrying so much brown sugar sweetness. As for that alcohol issue: I had great beers of 15+%, even a few of 20+%, but those to me were great only because they managed to keep the alcohol in the background where it belongs. In this one, alcohol is too prominent and ’early’ even for a barley wine, the aroma is a bit odd, and the taste could have been a tad less cloyingly sweet. Perhaps cellaring this for a few years could bring some interesting results - and I generally do like my barley wines at several years of age when signs of maderization come in - but for now: decent, but over the top in terms of sweetness and alcohol strength. I do think barrel ageing would do this beer good, though, so I’ll be on the lookout for any of those more limited versions.
allmyvinyl (9334) - Edinburgh, SCOTLAND - JUN 2, 2016
2.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Bottle at Craigs. Pours hazy amber with a thin, short-lived white head. Aromas of marzipan, caramel. Taste is sweet, sickly. Sticky finish.
Stuu666 (10291) - Edinburgh, SCOTLAND - JUN 2, 2016
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Can at craig’s. Pours deep orange, nose is caramel, vanilla, citrus, taste is sticky, sweet, light fruit.
cgarvieuk (21095) - Edinburgh, SCOTLAND - JUN 2, 2016
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottle at home... Amber... Thin tan lacing... Soft sweet toffee fruit nose.. Soft sweet toffee fruit nose herbal toffee malts fruit
gyhallmanti (267) - Groningen, NETHERLANDS - MAY 27, 2016
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: MAY 27, 2016 33cl bottle at home. Pours a copper red colour with a decent white head which leaves slight lacing. Aroma of dark fruits, dark malts, ripe fruits, caramel, bit of hops, citrus, alcohol. Taste is very sweet, soft bitter with a light dry and warming finish. Notes of syrup, caramel, alcohol, ripe fruits, liquorice. Texture is sticky, almost syrup-like. Full bodied with soft carbonation
MelvinKalksma (871) - UTRECHT, NETHERLANDS - MAY 21, 2016
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Slight/medium aroma of malts, caramel and overripe fruit.
Turbid amber/brown beer with a slight/medium off-white head.
Heavy sweet with malts, caramel and overripe fruit.
This beer is so intensely sweet, it is almost unbearable. Overripe apple and grape, drenched in alcohol syrup, is all there is too it. Way too intense for me and god, would I have given this beer a two if I didn’t have the American label. That name is simply atrocious.