overall
98
94
style
Serve in Snifter

bottled
available

on tap
unknown

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 1634   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. Itís aged on oak and fermented with a blend of English & Belgian yeasts.

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ThisWangsChung's rating

3.6
ThisWangsChung (836) - Leonardtown, Maryland, USA - MAR 2, 2014
12 oz bottle into a pint glass. A: Pours a dark brown color with decent (not spectacular) clarity. The head is about three fingers high, cream shaded. Its retention is really fantastic, and the texture isnít half bad either. It leaves behind some nice lacing on the glass, too. S: PHE. NO. LIC. One can definitely tell that this is a peaty brew. Let it warm up a bit, though, and its sweet malt backbone develops nicely. In particular, it brings caramel, brown sugar, and maple sugar notes. Vanilla is slight but definitely evident. Iím having trouble picking up the oaky tones, though; that or its blending itself with the peat to create a ham-like smokiness. Nonetheless, this nose is telling me a lot - but thereís one thing it isnít telling me. Alcohol. This is a shockingly un-boozy nose. T: Like expected, phenolic peat notes hit the palate immediately. This sensation tends to melt away around the mid-taste, being replaced by flavors of caramel and brown sugar. Thereís some slight vanilla in the finish; just like in the aroma, itís pretty subtle. Some faint tobacco qualities are peppered throughout. Once this warms up, its boozy qualities pretty much evaporate. My only real problem is this: take away the peaty notes, and this one is...kind of mundane. It only really develops complexity after many, many sips - and by that time, thereís practically none left in the glass. M: Itís not exactly chewy, but it does have a decent body. While the sweetness has a negative effect on the general balance of the flavors, it does a great job of hiding the alcohol. There is absolutely nothing here to suggest itís 11%. O: Okay, Iím really impressed with its lack of booze - and how the supposed peat isnít really that bothersome to my palate. This has some elements of a nice scotch whisky. Having said that, itís not quite as deep as I like my big, boozy monsters to be. Still, this has great aging potential, even with its currently well hidden alcohol.


3.7
willisread (3306) - 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 (528) - 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, Alabama, 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 (1781) - 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 (1037) - - 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 (843) - Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, USA - MAR 2, 2017
2009 Vintage on draft at Caponeís. 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 (1135) - 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

3.5
gephross100 (943) - Bellaire, Texas, USA - JAN 6, 2017
UPDATED: JAN 7, 2017 On draft at Brew and Brew. Pours murky red color with a small white head. Smells like a Manhattan, Bourbon, vermouth, and cherries.


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