proc (342) - Dearborn, Michigan, USA - AUG 22, 2003
This is a monster of a beer. Rich, flavorful and warming. I drank this on a warm day and still enjoyed it, but it would be better enjoyed on a cold, winter's day. Pours out to a dark ruby in the glass. Aroma is that of raisins, plums and fruit in general. Taste is explosive, but not overwhelming. Malt, hops and even a slight hint of licorice present. A very good beer.
scraff (2121) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - MAR 10, 2005
Aged bottle - not sure of the year though...but I know it was aged. Deep coppery amber, thin fizzy white head. A rich and complex nose of fig, toasted caramel, prune, and soft roasted coffee. Got a slight musty vinous note laying just below the surface too. Very well balanced throughout, with the aging hoppiness blending perfectly with the sweet malt. Medium to full bodied, soft smooth carbonation, drying, caramel and dark fruity finish. This was an excellent brew and highly recommended. Thanks to who ever brought this to the Kuhnhenn get together (I can’t remember - I was hammered) Wohlfs? walleye (1101) - Sterling Heights, Michigan, USA - OCT 29, 2005
from the bottle. poured a cloudy amber, with no head. aroma the alcohol jumps right out there, than got malt, caramel, honey,fruits, apple. flavor, there is that alcohol in 1st again, hops, got hints of toffee. for me this is the best dark horse I have had. the flavors are robust and a nice full smooth mouthfeel. ryan (3186) - Beltsville, Maryland, USA - JAN 6, 2006
On tap at Dark Horse. Amber body with redish highlights and a thick, creamy off-white head. The aroma is caramel and pine with a touch of alcohol. The flavor is caramel, toffee, pine and grapefruit. Finish is soapy with big chunky bitterness. The mouthfeel is big and chewy. notalush (5896) - Lakewood, Colorado, USA - MAR 3, 2006
Bottle sent my way by Pailhead (thanks!) - this is one excellent barelywine - rich aroma of candied fruits (plum, fig, cherry), dough/bread, brown sugar and toffee - nice, low carbonation and oily mouthfeel - hop bitterness throughout helps temper the extreme sweetness of this beer - caramel and dark fruit abound (plum mostly), chocolate, doughy character (like christmas cookies) - lingering hop bitterness in the finish, with some more dough-y flavors hanging around.
JB175 (1665) - Bucks County, Pennsylvania, USA - JUN 28, 2008
2005 bottle thanks to hoppymeal. Look up big in the dictionary and this bad boy should be right there. Nice looking reddish-brown color with a medium size head. Aroma is mildly hoppy with alot of sugar and fruit sweetness. Taste is big and sweet with lots of citrus hops left over to go with some brown sugar, candy, and sweet maltiness. Big, sweet, smooth and a tad alcoholic sums this one up. The only problem is that the 2005 seems young, so I can understand the low ratings for the recent release. As for my 2008 bottle, its getting tucked away for quite some time. Nice brew! Ibrew2or3 (8748) - Tempe, Arizona, USA - JUL 6, 2008
2004 vintage courtesy of footbalm. Bomber pours clear copper with thin head. The aroma is rich creamy and yummy. I get creamy candy caramel, some dark fruity esters, some alcohol and a bit of vanilla. Amazing and interesting. The taste is the same as the aroma with chewy sticky maltiness, a bit of pine flavor non hop bitterness, caramel goodness and a nice warming sensation. This brew has aged greacefully. Wonderful. bdigital (658) - Ft Wayne, Indiana, USA - APR 22, 2009
’09 bottle: Pours a dark amber with a minimal tan head. Immediately something hit me that seemed distinct compared with other barley wines...their seemed to be a strong smoked bacon aroma permeating through the massive amounts of malt, some toffee and dark fruits noted as well. Completely devoid of any hop notes in any way/form. Sticky sweet body, flavor is quite hot, smokey, dark cherries, plums and toffee all apparent. Very good brew, complete opposite of most fresh barley wines with their ridiculous high alpha hop content. marchcow (664) - Coralville, Iowa, USA - MAY 8, 2009
Purchased in a 4 pack at the brew pub. Raisin bread and dates and roasted fruity malts dominate the aroma. Some cinnamon, vanilla, and other aromas. Very dark brown with a bubbly head. Very rich chocolaty initial flavors with the sweetness really pushing forward. Again lots of rasins, dates, caramel, cinnamon and other wintery warmer spices with some woodiness and a little cheese. Some light bitterness to balance. Thick and rich on the palate. With a very nice warming duration. Definitely a rich sipper. Very good. fredandboboflo (1570) - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 14, 2009
UPDATED: AUG 7, 2009 Bottle, thanks to tjthresh. Aroma of red to dark fruits, notably cherry and plum, graham cracker, mocha, and of course plenty of malt. Flavor rich without being sugary (shockingly), with a sticky fig sort of feel and more of those graham cracker/cake sort of malts. Though I would need to see the lab test to believe this is 15%, however big it is, it is remarkably under control yet still powerful and certainly interesting....rerate ups flavor from 8 to 9, overall from 15 to 17, just great complexity here with so much chocolate, bread, cocoa, mocha, tons of rich notes that again, to emphasize, are never sugary. Quite excellent.