MrRomero (1976) - Nolanville, USA - APR 17, 2005
Draft at brewery: poured a cloudy brown with red notes. Thick tan head. Big yeasty, brown sugar aroma. Moderately hopped. Sweet finish with a blast of alcohol. muzzlehatch (4969) - Beloit, Wisconsin, USA - APR 1, 2005
New England Road Trip Easter ’05 with MartinT, tiggmtl and Rastacouere, beer #61. Sample at the brewpub. Dark cherry-brass, tiniest ring of head, near-opaque...cherry liqueur, swirls of chocolate and new leather regale the nostrils...gorgeous sweet fruity body, light peppery alcohol throughout extremely well-hidden and just warming, a bit syrupy, bourbon-vanilla and maple delight alongside coffee and port in the finish. Too sweet for many I suppose, indeed I missed a bit of hops, but still quite wonderful. YogiBeera (2569) - New Jersey, USA - MAR 8, 2005
2004/05 vintage - at brewpub: Nice mahagony red color. Nice head, leaving brussels laces on the glass. Medium alcohol nose - brandy like with a touch of cookie dough. Nice and smooth - lingers down easily. Woody and raison with a medium alcohol taste, which stays nicely behind. I was pretty impressed by this one. tiggmtl (4543) - East York, Ontario, CANADA - FEB 1, 2005
Raisins, grapes, plums, huge sweet malts, nutty marzipan and hints of alcohol collide in a complex symphony of scent. Clear amber-brown with shy white head that recedes to ring. Smokey flavour underlies a huge, sweet, round maltiness with a fair bit of alcohol and a nice balancing bitterness. Definite warming. Medium body with low carbonation. Sampled at the Extreme Beer Festival 2005. Rastacouere (6177) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - JAN 31, 2005
Draft, EBF: Hazy brown with ruby hints. Gentle hops complement a complex flowery perfume with orange and green grapes trying to bring a mellow vinous side to this beast, but despite a faint acidity, they don’t manage to strike through this highly pleasant smokiness. Typical toffee and caramel malts stand firmly from the beginning to the finish making this perhaps just a touch too sweet to be among the top of the genre, but this was to me highly enjoyable. Medium body is well enhanced by a smooth and soft carbonation that carries the flavours into a long smoke and fruit aftertaste. Yum!
beerbuzzmontreal (3486) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - JAN 31, 2005
Sampled at the Extreme Beer Fest. Pours a dark amber color. Aroma of fruits, malt, caramel and alcohol. Flavor of fruits, caramel, malt and alcohol, bitter finish. Light body, liquorous texture. It’s a nice change of pace from the usually very hoppy american barley wines (not that I don’t like those !). MartinT (10102) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - JAN 30, 2005
UPDATED: MAR 29, 2005 Sample at XBF: ukoolaid (580) - Amherst, Massachusetts, USA - JAN 28, 2005
Fruity malt mastodons carrying caramel tuns spiked with piney hops...A potent and healthy equilibrium, leading the way to a nutritious offering, certainly...A muscular body warmly harbors proficient earthy malts, strong resinous bitterness, alcohol and cherry-like fruitiness...Not expressive enough to be world-class, but definitely one I’d like to study and nurture for a few hours...
On tap at the brewery:
Burnt berries and gargantuan malts and their sweetness dominate what slowly becomes a J.W.Lee’s Harvest Ale substitute...Excellently powerful...
On tap. Slightly cloudy dirty brown with small head. Aroma of sweet caramel malts. Smooth and tasty beer that hides the alcohol very well. Good barley wine. ClarkVV (6893) - Boston, Massachusetts, USA - JAN 12, 2005
On draught at Cambridge Brewery January 2005. Aged four months prior to release. Alcohol listed this year at 12%. FG 1.020. Served in a snifter for $4.50. Aroma of toffee, raisins, molasses (their big beers all smell like molasses), treacle, dried figs and prunes and light toffee. Color is a medium dark brown, with a small light tan head. Though it says unfiltered, the beer is nowhere near opaque and actually quite transparent on the edges. Flavor begins with a mix of hops, spice and molasses with some caramel sweetness resting faintly in the background. Residual sugars take over somewhat, with notes of prunes, raisins and some touches of vinousness. Dry charred wood flavors also apparent in the background. Finish has notes of maple syrup, more raisins, a bitter hops astringency and some oak mixed with alcohol. The hops burn slightly and then are gone. Feels smooth and lightly silky on the palate, very low carbonation, medium-full body. Though this one seems to be undecided as to whether it’s English or American, I would prefer that it be more richly flavored whatever it is trying for. The hops burn noted up front and on the finish is interesting, but I would rather it be more integrated. Smooth as the body is, it is still a touch watery on the finish. Perhaps it just needs more aging. It’s certainly worthy of a rerate soon. CaptainCougar (7634) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - OCT 11, 2004
GABF 2004: Cloudy copper color with a rich frothy tan head. Sweet, rich caramel malty aroma with a touch of hops. Body starts full and caramely sweet with a touch of metallic flavor. A sticky, malty finish hides the alcohol well. Nicely balanced mild bitterness throughout. An enjoyable barleywine.