CraftyHare (131) - Adelaide, AUSTRALIA - NOV 18, 2017
355ml bottle pours deep amber with modest off-white head. Aromas of butterscotch, orange zest, tropical fruit, and floral characters. Tastes of honey, toffee, caramel malt, nuttiness, barley, burnt toast, bourbon, lavender and herbal characters. Oily viscous mouthfeel. Long finish with Aperol-style bitterness. Plenty going on to hide to 10.5% alc vol. This is a rich and balanced barleywine! Bill Becker (2003) - Casper, Wyoming, USA - NOV 8, 2017
From Apr 2008
I got this in a trade with joe1510. Thanks Joe!
Nice clear amber-red colour with a finger head of foam and some good lacing.
The smell gives me a big dose of fruit, caramel malt, and some citrus.
The taste is very fruity with a lot of apricot and some cherry, a nice caramel malt sweetness, some vanilla, and just a touch of citrus near the finish. And man, it does have some decent warming during the swallow but since it's just another winter like day outside, it's a pretty welcome feature.
A few more sips in and I notice how bitter the finish really is but overall, I think it has good balance. A nice BWSA here that's a bit different taste wise than I'm used to but quite drinkable indeed. I'd drink it again.
oobawa (1858) - Tennessee, USA - OCT 6, 2017
UPDATED: OCT 18, 2017 2010 bottle. Not as complex and robust as I'd expect in a barleywine this old, indulgent but a bit superficial as far as the style goes. Still drinkable--don't get me wrong--but the caramel sweetness is the dominant trait, with a little molasses and sweet tea notes underneath. Hops have morphed into a juniper-like herbal freshness, bitter but brisk, a nice break from the hefty malt. Still a bit of a bite in the texture, not quite alcohol warmth but not not boozy either. Good, but you want more depth after seven years on the shelf. gripweed57 (2967) - Hamilton Square, New Jersey, USA - MAY 7, 2017
From old tasting notes. Cloudy brown color. Interesting spicy malt nose hints at rosemary and oregano. Intensely sweet and spicy malt flavor is redolent of rosemary. Big alcohol push. Complex and beguiling. Christos (5909) - Arnhem, NETHERLANDS - MAR 1, 2017
(Mad River John Barleycorn) Bottle 355ml at home, served into a teku, ABV 10% Vintage 2014.
Deep mahogany brown colour on the body, mostly clear, with a tall but thin dark beige head, average retention.
Aroma has light caramel, dates, plums, nice hoppy notes.
Taste is sweet, with caramel, toffee, dark fruits, little bit of raisins biscuit, just a hint of alcohol, hops and a nice bitterness on the finish.
Medium body, good amount of carbonation.
DwarfeD (3539) - Amersfoort, NETHERLANDS - JAN 26, 2017
Bottle at Boothill, Amersfoort. Dark pale amber brown with almost no head. Full body with low carbonation. Quite sweet with nice bitter tones. Caramel, ripe dark fruits, raisin and malts. Nice. J_man (1025) - Tustin, California, USA - JAN 19, 2017
2016 version at 10% ABV. Strong molasses aroma along with a bit of burnt sugar. Appears to be a medium brown color but under bright light it’s a nice reddish orange. Unfortunately, the burnt sugar comes through much stronger in the taste with an acrid note that builds as you go. There’s some good dry leaf and earthy hop bitterness here, but it adds to (or might be a major component of) the burned flavor here. Fortunately, a delicious honey/caramel/molasses sweetness comes in and at least attempts to balance this out. In the end, the flavor mellows a bit although a strong alcohol bite comes through and heats things up. Lasting bitterness and dark honey sweetness. I’ve had previous versions of John Barleycorn and I think they were better balanced than this version since I remember wanting more of them. This one’s not bad, but it’s not the best. MaartenRF10 (1959) - Wageningen, NETHERLANDS - JAN 13, 2017
Geen geweldige barleywine. Behoorlijk bitter, veel koolzuur. Tegenvaller... tricksta_p (5341) - Steenwijk, NETHERLANDS - JAN 6, 2017
2014 vintage. Bottle from Bierkoning, Amsterdam. Aroma is sweet malt, grain, caramel, toffee, hoppy notes in the finish, touch of berries, caramelized sugar, alcohol. Flavour is sweet and moderate to medium hoppy bitter with a bittersweet finish. Quite boozy with alcohol burn. Body is above medium. Okay drinkable, but kind of rough harsh sugary malt boozy Barleywine, not my favourite. zdk (1917) - New York, New York, USA - JAN 3, 2017
2008. Burgundy pour. Very much passed its peak... if it ever had one. Nose is butter and corn, burnt caramel and toffee malts. Roasted nuts and toasted malts. Some sulfur coming out at the back. Dry finish. Full bodied and a bit skunky.