MartinT (10036) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - JAN 30, 2005
UPDATED: MAR 29, 2005 Sample at XBF:Ernest (7822) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - JAN 21, 2006
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...
Head is mostly diminishing.
Body is hazy light amber.
Aroma is moderately malty (cookie, caramel), lightly hoppy (apricot, resin), with notes of peach, vanilla, and candy sugar.
Flavor is heavily sweet, lightly acidic, lightly bitter.
Finish is moderately sweet, lightly acidic, moderately bitter.
Medium to full body, syrupy texture, lively carbonation, lightly alcoholic.
Another minor winner at GABF...didn’t completely knock my socks off but it was a fair sight better than a lot of overhopped American barleywines. 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. ClarkVV (6873) - 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. egajdzis (6730) - Pennsburg, Pennsylvania, USA - OCT 3, 2009
 Hazy red brown color with a medium sized, light tan head that left nice lacing on the glass. Aroma of sherry, dark fruits, molasses, honey, caramel, vanilla, and citrus. Taste of dried fruits, caramel, some oxidation, citrus, pine, roast, tobacco, vanilla, and some alcohol. Thanks for sharing Tom!
BBB63 (6567) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - OCT 16, 2005
GABF 2005: Hazy amber hue with a fading head and minimal lace. The aroma has a strange vinous quality (which I see now may be the French Oak and dried fruits), salty and peppery with a moderate caramel vapor. There is a light phenolic nature to the nose as well. The taste is salty, tannic and bitter that attacks the palate before a smoother bready and malty character settles down. The finish is part sugar sweet and vanilla versus an equal part sharp spicy hops. The feel is biting and aggressive with a warming nature, the alcohol is not hidden but not offensive either. A good solid brew that could be even better with a tweak or two. TheBeerGod (6261) - Newport News, Virginia, USA - OCT 15, 2006
GABF 2006. Amber bodied. Nose is caramel, sweet malts, light hops and alcohol. Taste consists of more caramel, light toffee, hint of honey, alcohol, overripe fruits and light hops. Body is slick and medium-full. Light carbonation. Finishes with more caramel, fruits, sweet malts, and light hops. Not bad! 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! Rciesla (5607) - Exit 15W, New Jersey, USA - FEB 23, 2009
Draft at EBF. Pours a copper amber with a white head. Light chewy fruits, pear and plum. Oak, toffee and hints of cherry. Lightly woody with a moderate alcohol warming. A spiced note to round it out. jkwood04 (5463) - Connecticut, USA - JUN 4, 2012
Sampled at the 2012 American Craft Beer Festival. Flavor strong of the caramel malts. A pretty good barley wine.