BBB63 (5411) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - APR 21, 2013
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Barleywine throwdown, all served in Duval snifters: Pipeworks Murderous (PWM) a more English styled vs Widmer Brothers Old Embalmer (WBOE) a more American style with Bravo hops vs Stone Old Guardian Oak-Smoked (SOGOS): Each of these represent different takes on the same style of beer!
Appearance: The PWM is a tad murky light brown with a mostly lasting off white head and spotty lace.(3) The WBOE is a honeyed hued amber with a more fading head and very minimal lace. (3) The SOGOS is a beautiful coppery hue with crimson highlights topp by a lush initial head and very good lace. (5)
Aroma: The PWM has notes of caramel, toffee, roast, dark bread, hint of smoke, floral and resiny hops with a slight citrus and herbal vapour. Some booze but not demanding. (9). The WBOE has light crystal, biscuit, apples, tangerine, some resin and a touch of spent grains. Weaker nose than the other two. (7) The SOGOS has a forceful meaty smoke along with plenty of oak, caramel and toffee too. Very light piney and earthy notes along with a fair amount of booze. (9)
Taste and Palate: The PWM is moderate lush of sweet malt but has a nice twang fruity component and just enough hop bitterness. The alcohol while noticed is not forceful. The finish is slightly minerally and earthy. The mouth feel is lightly sticky, some dry finish and warming (8/4) The WBOE is less malty which allows it to be perceived as more hoppy and citric. A nice earthy midsection before a minerally and herbal finish. The mouth feel is less dense and more lively than the other two but also shows a lack of depth. (7/3) The SOGOS taste is just what you expected, heavy smoke, meaty notes, and oak that is ashy and very earthy. Does make is harder to find the base beer underneath. When you do get to experience the Old Guardian base you find some caramel, bready and prune like undertones. The mouth feel is much more aggressive, ashy from the oak and quite warming. (7/4).
Overall views: The PWM seems to be old school but gives a nod to a touch of new school hops. Sadly however I do not feel this will be one for long term aging in fear of a developing sourness. But for now it delivers and met expectations. (15) The WBOE had lower expectations and met them. This beer does display the Bravo hop nicely but does fall short on the malt front, lesser depth of palate. This could be aged for a year or so but methinks the hops fade without the malt will make this taste very oxidized quickly. (13) The SOGOS is vastly different with the smoke overtones that did disappoint me slightly since it seemed to cover up the base beer too much. That said this is the one I feel is best for long term cellaring. I expect the smoke to subdue allowing better balance. (14)
allfreej (511) - Louisville, Kentucky, USA - APR 10, 2013
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
On tap at Holy Grale, Louisville. Poured into a small snifter.
Medium copper pour with a fine, tan head. Nice lacing.
Nose is resins, caramel, and a slight hint of hops.
Flavor is caramel, alcohol (though not hot), and a little hop in the finish. Cherry/stone fruit. A little juicy fruit taste in the finish.
Medium full mouthfeel.
A very nice barleywine.
---Rated via Beer Buddy from my iPad.
Ratman197 (7633) - Arvada, Colorado, USA - APR 2, 2013
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bomber poured a clear reddish amber with a lasting amber head. Aromas of sherry, carmel, toffee, fruittiness and light spice. Palate was medium to full bodied and smooth. Flavors of sherry, toffee, light carmel and a hint of fruittiness with a smooth lingering sherry finish.
sudsmeister (61) - Colorado, USA - MAR 31, 2013
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
2012. This barleywine is delicious. Reminds me of a long gone beer called Tree Spirit Stout by the Santa Fe Brewery, which I miss. Will be picking up some more of these bombers when I can afford them!
closey22 (255) - Mt. Laurel, New Jersey, USA - MAR 30, 2013
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Malty nose; deep amber with dimming lacy beige head; Flava is rich sweet tobacco, raspberry, pumpkin, molasses, and honey; feels thick and chewy with some zing(not flat); finishes dry within tart berry and sweet berry.
ben4321 (3007) - Hoboken, New Jersey, USA - MAR 16, 2013
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Location: 22 oz bottle from Whole Foods Bowery, 3/15/13
Aroma: The nose has a nice hop presence, some floral/earth, pine, wood, and caramel/toffee notes as well
Appearance: This one pours a mostly clear golden color with a smallish head and light lace
Flavor: The is fairly heavy malt flavored as well as fairly bitter with a bit of boozy flavor to it also
Palate: This one has a fairly full body, creamy and thick, medium heat, and a somewhat dry finish
Solid stuff overall. Fairly big across the board with lots of malt flavors, hop flavors, and some booze. Pretty good stuff. Leans almost toward the DIPA direction.
mnoud (213) - Martinsburg, West Virginia, USA - MAR 9, 2013
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
2013.03.09 - Widmer Brothers Old Embalmer '12 - 22oz (?) bottle in pint glass. 2012 Vintage.
Aroma: very nice balance of hops and sweetness.
Appearance: Pours around 14 on SRM scale. Fairly light for barley wine, lighter than Newcastle Brown maybe. Very vigorous head/carbonation, 1-2 inch head, sticky white.
Taste: very nice. I don't even know how to describe. Good balance of hops and malty sweetness. I pretty much slammed this bottle, I'm reviewing as there is literally one drink left. Very tasty, good hop flavor without hops in your face.
Aroma 8/10, Appearance 4/5, Taste 8/10, Palate 4/5, Overall 16/20
pinkzambia (1296) - Boise, Idaho, USA - FEB 8, 2013
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle: Copper color with a nice off-white head. Rubbery aroma as well as sweet. Lots of hop flavor with a prolonged bitter trailer. Very nice.
slang (654) - Columbia, South Carolina, USA - FEB 4, 2013
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
bomber. Light brown, minimal head, astringent nose of toasted sugars & a hint of herbs. Sweet semi-full bodied mouthfeel. Alcohol is strong. Long lasting sticky palate.
nick76 (4077) - Tampa, Florida, USA - JAN 20, 2013
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
The aroma is very hoppy for the style making it like an India pale barley wine. It has pine and citrus with lots of caramel malt and vanilla. The appearance is amber with a small head. The taste is like the aroma and quite bitter. Overall solid but not the best, just a wee bit to bitter for me.