orgbrewer (1) - Chico, California, USA - FEB 12, 2007 does not count
Wow this beer sure goes down smooth. Never had a beer this strong that drank so easy. Got to be careful with this one. For all hop heads out there this one is huge on the hops, not for the weak a heart. Its very dry, not thick and syrupy like most barlywines. I could drink these all night, thats if i did not passout first. Its a must try. Ratman197 (14838) - Arvada, Colorado, USA - MAR 15, 2008
Bomber poured a clear reddish copper with a lasting light amber head. Aromas of light oxidation, carmel, brown sugar, dates, raisins and pepper. Palate was medium to full bodied and smooth. Flavors of carmel, toffee, raisin, spice and light brown sugar with a smooth lingering bittersweet finish.FlacoAlto (4182) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - APR 14, 2007
Hides it’s alcohol well!
Sampled March 2007 at the Stuffed Sandwich, San Gabriel CAChainGangGuy (4894) - Woodstock, Georgia, USA - NOV 18, 2007
Candied orange aromatics greet my nose from the first, but are also joined by nice herbal notes, some solid berry aromas and a touch of menthol. The beer is a brilliantly clear, amber hued red color and it is topped by a frothy, initially one finger-thick, tan colored head that is decent for a draught beer.
It is immediately apparent that this is a chewy beer, not to mention that this is definitely a hoppy brew. Hop notes of pine, green tasting herbs, plus lots of citrusy notes of orange, grapefruit, tangerine and apricot are prominently noticeable. This beer is defined by very large flavors, with the hops definitely leading the way, yet there is certainly a lot of supporting malt character here. The malt takes on notes of caramel, toffee and noticeable residual malt sugars and that is what is easily noticeable underneath all the hop character. There is a nice berry character here that comes through if you roll the beer around on the tongue a bit. Brandy notes really add to what is already a contemplative sipping brew. This is one of the better Barley Wines out there; certainly it is hop centric, but even the hops have lots of complex flavors that just mix so well with the huge, chewy, yet supporting malt character.
Appearance: Pours a hazy, deep amber body with a large, creamy-looking off-white head.
Smell: Alcoholic, sweet-smelling nose of caramel syrup and candied citrus fruits. Lesser notes of biscuits and pine needles as well.
Taste: Sugary caramel flavor upfront followed by a variety of juicy citrus fruits, traces of pine, and a solid bitterness. The sweetness makes a rebound with hints of brown sugar coated biscuits. The candy sweet finish carries with it a palate-scorching alcohol bite.
Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation. Definite warming alcohol presence.
Drinkability: Not so bad, all things considered, though it most certainly could benefit from further time away in the cellar. doubleo (1432) - San Diego, California, USA - NOV 19, 2008
22oz bottle. This beer was surprisingly good. Pours clearish brown/red with a slow building, frothy, offwhite head with good retention and spider web lace. Smells spicy hoppy and caramelly malty sweet. A bit of alcohol on the nose as well. Tastes malty and sweet caramelly with a healthy dose of spicy hop flavors. Pretty hot, lots of alcohol flavor. Pretty solid, classic BW. Full body, good carbonation.
neepsntatties (1988) - Portland, Oregon, USA - AUG 1, 2011
A 2007 bottle at a tasting at the home of, "hannont". Colour... very cloudy amber. Nose... boiled sweets with cinnamon discs and menthol drops. Palate... sweet, frothy, bitter on the sides of the palate with lots of dates, Christmas cake and sticky toffee pudding. Palidor19 (3188) - Brandon, Florida, USA - APR 23, 2008
Works well on all levels, its got a dark aroma of caramel and high malts. The taste is very herbal and has a dark malts flavor with high alcohol.
A must have after4ever (8025) - Mukilteo, Washington, USA - MAY 26, 2008
22. Pours a deep dark mahogany with bright burgundy highlights. Thick, creamy tan head that really sticks around. Plenty of craggy lacing, too. Opens up with a big dark ganja-like aroma, as you would expect from a northern California beer called "Train Wreck." That mixes in with dark wet leaves, a wee bit of earth, and plenty of wood. The body kicks off thick and creamy; very nice. Plummy, vinous notes mingle with the wood, earth, and leaves. If this beer reminds me of anything, it’s Bigfoot--not ganja. The wood notes are very pronounced. Nice dark and sharp finish. This is a very good barleywine, maybe a great one, and will only improve with age as that sharp vinous stuff settles down and it all blends. popery (2170) - San Francisco, California, USA - DEC 20, 2009
It’s been about 15 months since I purchased the bottle. I don’t know if it’s significantly worse fresh, but this is a big, rich barleywine at this point and it’s quite nice. The beer is a pretty standard red-tinged amber with a small head fading to a bit of lacing. The aroma is particularly good - vanilla, caramel malt, a touch of lingering citric hops, cognac around the edges and an almost koelsch-like vinous quality. The grape aroma is all sweet, little champagne grapes and adds a lot. The flavor has that silky, smooth sweetness of residual sugars that have slowly oxidized. The mouthfeel could be a touch creamier but it’s still good. It’s really quite nice at this point. I almost want to try a fresh bottle to understand some of the lower scores. I’m not sure why this beer would rate lower than Old Guardian or Green Flash’s barleywine. chinchill (5010) - South Carolina, USA - JUL 9, 2015
Aged 22 oz bottle served in a Belgian snifter.
Very smooth and near full body, with some warmth but nicely tame for 10.6% ABV.
Aroma: caramel, raisins, alcohol, vanilla.
Flavors: brown bread, butterscotch, alcohol, wood.
O: a fairly mainstream but organic and very well crafted barleywine. Recommended!