Pigfoot (2268) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - OCT 3, 2004
Appearance: a dark, plummish brown color, and a slight, but solid cream-colored head.
"Imperial" IPA, that doubles as a barleywine, eh? Obviously the Imperialism reflects high alcohol, and that alone should catapult it into barleywine status, if I’m following their thoughts. With this strength, this hoppiness, and this flavor, it does!
Aroma: Fantastic! A buzzing hornet’s nest of hoppiness! Every kind of fruit is set ablaze and swolders away in this astounding nose. Dark cherries, berries, grapes, more, unfolding, showing more alcohol, resembling port wine, dark and leathery, fierce, peppery, stinging, occupying every sense orifice, and becoming akin to taking a deep inhalation of cognac.
Hops dominate the mouth on first sip, slowly commanding the senses. Alcohol pretty much takes control, and steers the outcome of every consumption from here on in. Malt does it’s part, too, but the hops, and the booze, never stop!
I’m spinning already, under this influence!
Perfectly tasty, lip-smacking texture! Very sweet, delicious, full-flavored!
Under more ideal circumstances, controlled laboratory tests, perhaps a more thoughtful or scientific discernment might result, but, alas, this was not my first taste of brew of the night, and I feel like I’m getting a triple whammy out of this bad boy! A small 12 0z. bottle, but a well-affected, and remembered, experience.
As tasty as I like my barleywines, much stronger than my favorite IPAs, oh, so over the top, but exquisitely created!
Good job, Deschutes, keep it up!
weusebio (69) - Portland, Oregon, USA - FEB 28, 2003
Malty, fruity and biting. Beautiful color in the pour that makes you want to cream in your pants. The aftertaste is a bit strong, but overall a fantastic barleywine. rich42 (128) - USA - DEC 30, 2002
interesting cross between an IPA and barley wine. not nearly as hoppy as the bottle suggested - but still a nice bite. more of a spicy crispness than actually all that bitter. slightly sweet - but reasonably balanced by the hops and alchohol. almost creamy? surprisingly easy to drink and very enjoyable hanedwg99 (3) - Vancouver, Washington, USA - DEC 17, 2002 does not count
Seems stronger than 10% great color and aroma.... would like to taste after a couple of years of proprer aging. PorterPounder (8226) - Tallahassee, Florida, USA - AUG 26, 2003
Pours with a murky orange color with a tight white sticky head which dissipates quickly. Pleasant fruity, malty aroma - slight whiff of molasses. Excellent thick mouthfeel. Flavor - more akin to a barleywine but more hops present. Alcohol is evident but not overwhelming. Cascade hop flavor is dominant but not to the point of being cloying. Finishes strong. A good nightcap before bed.
AxeMaster221 (343) - Portland, Oregon, USA - JAN 13, 2003
I found this to be quite nice....amber color, with a minimal head, and a lovely hop aroma. The hops were predominant in the flavor as well, but there was an element of sweetness, though I thought the alcohol was masked quite well. A nice cross between a barleywine and an IPA, and another winner from Deschutes. mwsf (360) - San Francisco, California, USA - FEB 9, 2003
On tap: Copper color. Sherry-ish, almost oxidized flavor. This is not a bad quality and adds to the complexity of the beer. More of a Barley Wine than a Double IPA. Sweet. Full bitterness. Malty. Very good! herbjones (742) - Orange, California, USA - DEC 13, 2002
Same as the other two. San Diego Strong Ale Fest 2002.Very nice floral citrus nose. Very hoppy as you would expect. Somehow the brewers were able to keep a delicate body and profile on this one. Still a hop monster. schm1005 (151) - Seattle, Washington, USA - JAN 20, 2003
Nice amber orange in color with a minimal head. Aroma is a combination of fruity malt and alcohol. The alcohol definitely comes through in the taste but it is still smooth and not overwhelming. It adds a kick to the end of this beer though that sticks with you for a few sinus clearing moments. This is a good strong ale, not quite a barley wine as described on the bottle. It is well balanced and strong. I would say this is the best and most complex Deschutes beer that I have tasted so far. Murphy (1759) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - FEB 21, 2003
Great. Lots of big malty taste, with a great full body that fills the mouth. Hops are well balanced. As for fitting the style, they have failed. No big hops anywhere, but that's ok because this beer is the shit. Very good. Complex. Try it.