jake65 (4033) - Meridian, Idaho, USA - OCT 14, 2009
Bottle - ’09 vintage. Beautiful amber pour with a smaller and very creamy sand colored head. Sweet and citrus filled aroma with caramel, toffee, and grapes. The flavor is soft up front with fruity and candied sugar sweets. Light bit of florals and has that ’hot’ feeling. Tail end is faint vanilla nad oak. Good, but will re-rate after another six months of cellaring... Enniskillen (2061) - Bakersfield, California, USA - OCT 12, 2009
Amber with a thick off white head. Aroma is a caramel maltiness, medium background hoppiness, alcohol, toffee, oak. Taste is malty, alcohol sweetness, mild hoppiness, background of caramel, raisin. JAXSON (611) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - OCT 8, 2009
Bottle. Pours a clear reddish with a pretty large head. Aroma is sweet raisins and a really pronounced burned cashew thing that is really off-putting. Bad. Sweet and pretty creamy in the mouth, some nice dark fruit presence shines. But a heavy bittering element really clashes here. Not sure whether this is supposed to be a hoppy expression or not. Too sweet, not balanced, and the burned nut thing going on is just bad in my opinion. On a positive note it’s not all that hot for an 11% beer. ultracake (42) - salem, Oregon, USA - OCT 3, 2009
22 oz bottle, a 09 vintage, sweet and smooth, i was really excited about trying this, couldn’t wait till the best after date. very sweet fruity hops, a little bitter ending but very nice after all the sugar, hides the alcohol very well. asedzie (835) - San Francisco, California, USA - SEP 28, 2009
Bottle. Pours deep amber with thin off-white head. Nose has tropical fruit-like hops, light simple caramel malt. Flavor is lightly sweet, has vanilla notes, very subtle bourbon touches, finishes lightly bitter with lingering flavors of malt sweetness and pine resiny hops. Creamy and a little syrupy on the palate. Not super complex, but many interesting nuances emerge with each sip.
zizzybalubba (1891) - Raleigh, North Carolina, USA - SEP 27, 2009
UPDATED: AUG 30, 2010 22 oz. bottle shared at Logan’s 2009 pre-GABF Party 2005 Vintage). Brownish-orange in color. Tangerine, peach, and caramel aroma. Citrusy hop flavor with a nice balance of brown sugar. Unfortunately this is a bit thin for a barleywine (possibly due to the age?) but still a very good beer. Beerdrinker79 (2188) - Idaho, USA - SEP 25, 2009
UPDATED: SEP 26, 2009 22 oz. bottle 2009 Vintage- Aroma of alcohol, pours nice head that never fully dissipates. This is a strong brew, but not over bearing. Highly recomend letting this beer breathe, a nice sweetness arises as it warms. Barley wine done right (this one and Sierra Nevada’s) is one of my favorite styles, I just might have to buy a couple more bottles to cellar for a few years. DTM (870) - Vacaville, California, USA - SEP 24, 2009
Another winner from Deschutes seasonal releases. Poured a clear copper color with a large head. Smelled of caramel and dark fruits. The alcohol is masked well until it warms up a little. Smooth on the palate and a great beer for a cold winter night. Too bad I tried it in the summer time.... talon1117 (1152) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - SEP 21, 2009
UPDATED: MAY 4, 2010 2009 reserve, BA 4-20-10. Pours a nice mostly clear, auburn red color with a moderately full,canvas-colored, pillowy head which is somewhat lasting and leaves some drippy lace rings. Nose is nice but not overly complex yet; candy-like caramel, rum-soaked raisins, caramelized apricots, dry oak, bourbon-like alcohol, citrus and pine hops somewhere. Flavor is much of the same but there is more of a hops presence than I thought there would be; still very fruity with cherry, raisins, apricots, plenty of sweet notes of candy, caramel, caramelization, light maple coming through, hops are moderately high in bitterness and piney, citrus grapefruit, and almost herbal, and other notes of oaky alcohol, toasty oak, and vanilla oak. Palate is nice with a moderately full body, lightly syrupy, a bold warmth, nearly lively, drying a bit from the alcohol and oak, and chewy. Finishes long with a nice warmth, dry oakiness, some almost herbal bitterness, and some lingering sweetness of maple, vanilla, and caramel sweetness. I know the beer says BA 04-10, and they are probably right, but right now the beer is very nice. It is still a bit brash even with the oak to round things out, but I like all the fruit complexity and the hops balancing the rich sweetness. I have a bottle still in the cellar and I may wait a whole year before I give it a try. One of my favorite BW’s in a while.
I finally waited long enough to try this one after the BA date... The nose is not necessarily more complex, but it is richer and fruitier but still keeping the hop notes. The flavor is similar but the oak seems to be drier and less sweet and the hops seem to almost get in the way of the of the other notes; by the very long finish, the flavors seem to find a way to work with each other. The palate may be a bit more full and a little less syrupy but nearly the same. To be honest, the nose was richer and more intense but the flavor seemed a bit detached. Still a very nice BW, a bit richer but the oak and hops do not work as well together. robinvboyer (4813) - Sturgeon Falls, Ontario, CANADA - SEP 19, 2009
Great hoppy aroma along with some nice caramel maltiness. The flavor is loaded with ripe fruit, hops and more of the great caramel malts. A heavy hoppy sipper of a beer a real treat.