overall
98
94
style
Serve in Snifter

bottled
available

on tap
unknown

Regional Distribution

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RATINGS: 1632   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.79/5   EST. CALORIES: 330   ABV: 11%
COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Vast in character, luscious & complex. Brewed with peat-smoked barley, this strong ale is brewed with organic juniper berries, vanilla & maple syrup. It’s aged on oak and fermented with a blend of English & Belgian yeasts.

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sfontain's rating

3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
sfontain (851) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - NOV 30, 2013
11 oz bottle, Andersons, $13.99/4. I bought 8, and I’m rating the second; the first one was apparently infected, with a strong flavor note of Band-Aid. I don’t know if my second was from the same pack as the infected one because I removed them all from it, I certainly hope that entire 4-pack isn’t infected. Dark ruby pour, viscous, with a smaller white head. Aroma is unfortunately dominated by the peat smoke, even though it’s not all that strong. Flavor is heavy and sweet, with more of the peat smoke; caramel. To their credit, the 11% is completely imperceptible; some 6% beers have more alcohol presence than this one. Medium body with copious frothy carbonation; sticky. This is one of the more annoying things to me about what Dogfish Head insists on doing so often--adding all these fancy upscale descriptors and flavors in their descriptions and then only adding a barely-to-non-perceptible quantity of them. Vanilla? Maple syrup? OAK?! Where?? RB currently has this at 95th percentile in barley wines, which is pretty wacky; I’ve had a lot of much better BW’s than this one, and I think that if people didn’t kiss DFH’s ass so much this would be rated significantly lower. I usually love big, heavy, complex beers, but this is pretty sad and one-dimensional for such a highly rated brew.


3.1
PanMarek (452) - Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 25, 2017
Dark orange / brown pour with scant foam. Lots of malt in the nose along with some spice and some earthiness. Medium, slick body with a sweet finish. Complex flavors all rather sweet: maple, berry, and woody. Strong alcohol finish. The flavors are very well balanced, but ultimately too sweet.

3.7
willisread (3350) - Nashville, Tennessee, USA - JUN 2, 2017
Bottle from Old Town. Pours a clearish copper with a finger of foam that dissipates quickly. 2016 version. Big berry notes on the nose, dates and some faint peat aromas. Vanilla bean, earth, apricot & peat on the palate. Bitter w/ tart young strawberry-like quality. Almost like an old ale. The maple was kinda muted for me.

4
bnokk (535) - Lee, Massachusetts, USA - MAY 24, 2017
2007 bottle sampled in 2017. APPEARANCE- dark ruby color. NOSE- sweet & nutty. totally boozy. FLAVOR- sweet, slightly dry. dark fruits... fig. NOTES- almost like drinking a liquor.

3.8
MadRobin (2988) - Silver Spring, Maryland, USA - MAY 21, 2017
On tap at Frisco Taphouse and Brewery in Columbia, MD. Clear, ruddy copper with a thin off-white head and good lacing. Aroma of vanilla, toffee, maple, plums, prunes and oak. Taste of caramel, alcohol, vanilla, maple, oak, prunes and plums. Full/medium body and medium carbonation. This might be a great beer after cellaring. As it is, on tap, it still has a hard edge. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

3.8
SG111 (1824) - New York, USA - APR 14, 2017
UPDATED: APR 14, 2017 Tap at Clubhouse BFD. Pours sticky Burgundy copper, tan head. Aroma is cherry, caramel, toffee, vanilla, citrus. Solid. Flavor is cherry, boozy, quite smokey, caramel, vanilla, some citrus. Boozy burn. Pretty hot. I like it, but it?s kinda sweet and smokey.

3.9
jeremyh70 (1103) - Missouri, USA - APR 7, 2017
Slightly smoky with sweet malt, maple and a bit of oak. Boozy and warming. Strong with nice flavors.

3.3
kambei70 (1070) - - APR 2, 2017
Slightly hazy, reddish-amber with a medium sized head. Aroma was very strongly oak with smoky notes. Taste was also strongly oak with smoky notes. Sweet upfront with malty flavor sin the middle and notes of vanilla in the finish ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

3.6
Macegan75 (845) - Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, USA - MAR 2, 2017
2009 Vintage on draft at Capone’s. Pours slightly opaque medium to dark brown with minimal head that hangs around the edge of the glass. Aroma is mild fruity ketone, corn sugar, booze, stove top hard candy like my grand mom made, mild ash and slight esters. Taste is similar with a moderate smoke flavor that fades quickly with a touch of oxidation. Finish is pleasant with mild tart and citrus flavors.

3.8
BlindGuardianco (89) - - FEB 21, 2017
Was not sure what to expect from this on since I have not had any barley wines. If it was a beer I would say it was a bit too boozie and flat but I think that is how it is mean to be.

4.6
tsd08460 (1169) - Marshall, Virginia, USA - JAN 15, 2017
Bottle from Whole Foods Market Fair Lakes Aroma: smoke, caramel, juniper, smoke, woody Appearance: dark amber with a tan head Taste: medium sweetness, medium bitterness, Palate: medium body, creamy, average carbonation, long finish, Tasty


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