superspak (6200) - Waterford, Michigan, USA - OCT 31, 2017 stumpyiliz (220) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - JUL 27, 2013
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Dark root beer color with little to no head. Nose of caramel vanilla, banana and bourbon. Light body, with heavy booze dry flavor. Bourbon notes and oak really come through on the finish.
12 ounce bottle into snifter, 2017 vintage bottling. Pours hazy dark reddish brown color with a 1 finger dense cream colored head with good retention, that reduces to a thin lace cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation retaining the lace cap. Aromas of huge caramel, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, coconut, bourbon, toasted oak, brown bread, raisin, plum, fig, cherry, date, red apple, and red grape; with lighter notes of chocolate, cocoa, molasses, rum, leather, tobacco, sherry, red wine, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of dark/bready malt, fruity yeast, and bourbon barrel notes; with big strength. Taste of huge caramel, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, coconut, bourbon, toasted oak, brown bread, raisin, plum, fig, cherry, date, red apple, and red grape; with lighter notes of chocolate, cocoa, molasses, rum, leather, tobacco, sherry, red wine, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness. Light herbal hop bitterness and bourbon/oak spiciness on the finish. Lingering notes of caramel, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, coconut, bourbon, toasted oak, brown bread, dark fruit, cherry, apple, light chocolate/cocoa, rum, leather, tobacco, sherry, red wine, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Awesome complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malt, fruity yeast, and bourbon barrel flavors; with a nice malt/bitter/spiciness balance, and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Slightly increasing dryness from bitterness and bourbon/oak spiciness. Light-medium carbonation and medium-full body; with a very smooth, creamy/bready/silky, and slightly slick/sticky/chalky/tannic mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is extremely well hidden; zero warming alcohol or barrel booziness lingering after the finish. Overall this is an awesome barrel aged English barleywine! All around excellent complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malt, fruity yeast, and bourbon barrel flavors; very smooth and dangerously easy to sip on for the huge ABV. Definitely an improvement over the base beer, but not by a huge margin. Pretty much perfectly balanced fruity yeast and malt complexity. Awesome bourbon barrel integration; never boozy, tannic, or overly drying. A really enjoyable offering, and spot on style example. Dogbrick (14287) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - MAR 21, 2017
Sample from 2011 bottle during Blarney Wine Festival 2017 on 03/18/2017. The beer is a cloudy reddish-brown color with a medium light beige head that diminishes steadily to an outer ring. Strings of lacing on the glass. Aroma of bourbon, malt and dark fruit. Full-bodied with flavors of oaky bourbon, figs, caramel malt and yeast. The finish is oaky with a bourbon and malt aftertaste. Pretty good overall. SG111 (2138) - New York, USA - NOV 4, 2016
Tap at Hop cat, Detroit. Pours very dark color, ruby tinge. No head. Aroma is bourbon for days, vanilla, toffee, figs, dark fruit, rich caramel, wow, the bourbon is beautifully done. Flavor is bourbon, plum, dark fruit, toffee. Reminds me of Central Waters bourbon barrel aged Barleywine. This is top notch. Mark_Eck (1998) - - JUN 15, 2016
Notes from summer. Draft. Pours a reddish brown. Aroma and taste are caramel, bourbon, and oak. tmoreau (4734) - Lombard, Illinois, USA - JAN 26, 2016
On tap at Lunar Brewing Co., and snifter served showing a deepest mahogany, almost black hue, with a presentable layer of brownish, reddish, tan head foam that reduced expeditiously to a more lasting ring & film, and left spots & strands of lacing on the glass. The nose was chocolate, dark fruit as prune, sweetness, caramel, treacle, and barrel induced vanilla. Full bodied, with low carbonation, the taste started dry, yet sweet, with similar notes as the aroma, plus an added, dark fruit note as concord grape, with smooth, lingering booze and warmth. Slowly savored and wasn’t disappointed.
raoul_duke (270) - - AUG 7, 2015
On tap at jerry?s. Midnight black with a puffy white head. Raisin and toffee on the nose, some chocolate. Weird sweetness on the front, with lots of bourbon and vanilla. The back is really engaging, quite enjoyable. The front is just too hot for my palate. arminjewell (9721) - East Lansing, Michigan, USA - JUL 26, 2015
Pour on tap at Crunchy’s, hazy dark brownish black pour with tan head, aroma brought notes of nice dark chocolate, dark fruit, rum soaked raisin, plum, oak, vanilla, nice bourbon as well. Taste was a mix of oak, bourbon, vanilla, slight dark fruit, toffee into some molasses, touch of spice, finishing slightly sweet. kaser (6429) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JUL 23, 2015
Aroma is fig, raisin and cocoa. Black pour with thin ring of white head. Prune juice flavor. Boozy. Whiskey and Carmel notes. Massive flavor. Makes ya shake your head. Had this as part of a draft flight at Jerrys in Andersonville. Petkus331 (389) - Redford, Michigan, USA - JUN 26, 2015
On tap at arcadia. Very barrel vanilla, caramel, and toffee aroma with a touch of cocoa - wow! Appears like coffee, very thin ring of foam. Tastes like toffee-vanilla, followed by some alchohol burn, almost like a bold Founders CBS, very good. Fizzy, a little syrupy texture. Overall, great. firstsip (752) - Michigan, USA - JUN 26, 2015
Tap at brewery. Pitch. Nice little bit of lingering head. Nose is straight up bourbon barrel. Tastes of decadent fudge, dark chocolate, mild raisin. I normally don’t like barley wines, but this... this is something.