PilsnerPeter (3045) - Flushing, New York, USA - SEP 29, 2008
Tap at the brewpub: Pours a deep murky ruby/maroon with a sticky off white lacing ring. The aroma has lots of sweet booze, heavy oak, mild vanilla, dark fruit notes- fig, and an estery note of underlying banana, ouch. The body is thick with sticky carbonation that goes down slowly. Apparent boozy/bourbon flavors upfront. Heavy on the oak at first, yet it leans toward sweet with bourbon/vanilla all over. There’s some fruity notes of fig, alcohol, honey and banana comes through- (seems to have had a high fermentation temperature) I don’t pick up on much rye at all, however, when it warms there is a subtle sweet note under all the sweet bourbon, which is nondescript, yet may be described as bready. The finish does offer some dry American hop character, but cannot balance the initial booziness. Not altogether cohesive or well integrated, but a decent attempt to a barrel-aged Barley Wine by a small brewpub. goldtwins (4320) - Nesconset, New York, USA - SEP 18, 2008
Tap @ BFBH. Poured a hazed dark red-brown color with a creamy off-white head. Lots of lacing. The aroma was nice with a mix of sweet fruit, earthy citrus hops and a touch of chocolate. The flavor is fruity to start with a chocolate finish. Hops move in and out and finish off leaving a mild-moderate bitterness. Mild alcohol on the mostly dry finish but the fruit helps give it balance. The finish does have a bite which might be from the alc or the rye. Nice warmth with a medium to full body. After allowing the second half of the snifter to warm the wood and vanilla notes really show themselves but stay in balance. Take some sips then let this warm. Nice beer. notalush (5875) - Denver, Colorado, USA - AUG 30, 2008
After a bad experience many months ago, I swore that I would never return to this place, but after seeing this beer listed on their website, I had to break my vow (I love rye barleywines!) - served in a small snifter at the brewpub - this beer pours a hazy dark red, with a small but lasting head - semi-sweet aroma, with fairly apparent amarillo hops, caramel, vanilla, even some bourbon and touches of oak, with warm alcohol underneath it all - the palate is creamy at first, but the body thins out pretty fast, and some faint notes of oxidation are noticeable (I guess that’s its age showing) - it is much more dry than the aroma suggests, with just a hint of sweetness (for the style, anyway) - the rye is pretty forward for it only being 20% - a bit of cherry and other slightly fruity characteristics through the middle - as the body starts to thin out, some vanilla settles in, and the hops make their presence known at around the same time that a spicy alcohol bite surfaces - as it warms, the alcohol takes over quite a bit in the finish - it’s a decent beer, but in hindsight, I probably should have kept my vow.