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RATINGS: 1602   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.79/5   EST. CALORIES: 330   ABV: 11%
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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DrnkMcDermott's rating

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
DrnkMcDermott (3136) - Downers Grove, Illinois, USA - NOV 11, 2003
UPDATED: NOV 29, 2007 I first rated this from a year-old bottle at my local homebrew club meeting in November. Unfortunately, the beer had somehow gotten contaminated (bacteria?). I rated it very low, but with the caveat that it had clearly gone bad outside of the brewer’s control. Within minutes of posting the review, DFH’s brewmaster messaged me, expressing his concern about the bad bottle. The fact that these guys are checking outside consumer feedback like this and want to learn the circumstances of a bad rating, even if it’s one out of 250 raves, speaks volumes about Dogfish Head. He notified me when the next batch had shipped so I could get a fresh bottle to re-rate. Here it is:

Bottled Dec 2003.This is definitely the kind of beer one would expect from DfH! The hop aroma of grapefruit and pineapple assaulted me as I opened the bottle. It poured a light brown, just slightly hazy, with a fizzy, short-lived head like any barley wine. The taste is, how to say it... just like a heavy Belgian except that it’s not a Belgian: "Thick," even "chewy" comes to mind. The maple is very apparent, with vanilla as kind of a backup. Only then did I notice the big toasted malt leaving its sticky mark on my lips. The fruity hop aroma doesn’t translate in tasting, instead it just shows as a tingle on the tongue. The alcohol gives it a brandy character, and starts to make me lightheaded in the first few sips (Have to remember that this is not the strongest beer in DfH’s arsenal, either). Exceptionally smooth. Then a slight taste of bubble gum toward the end.
And this is still a "raw" bottle. I got a second bottle, but may have to share it with the club so they can all get a better idea. Guess that means I should seek out more to cellar for myself.

Bill Becker (1775) - Casper, Wyoming, USA - OCT 26, 2017
From Aug 2007 I got this one in a trade with Wasatch. Thanks, John! It pours from 12oz bottle a hazy deep amber with a very small head of foam with a bit of lacing. The smell is huge on the caramel malt...reminds me of taking a whiff of a JW Lees Harvest Ale or similar brews. The taste is as big on the caramel malt as the nose. Sweet? Yes it is. Too sweet? Not for my palate. There be big Oak flavours here as well and some vanilla.(says so on the label and it's true) There's also a good presence of dark fruit like fig and a touch of plum and it has just a wee bit of hop bitterness that shows up right before the finish. But as far as the style goes, I don't *want* much of a hop presence; the malt is king here and rightfully so. Great sipping brew and at 11%abv, that's the way to handle this baby though, I have to say, DFH has done a remarkable job of keeping the potent alcohol out of the taste and it doesn't really warm me at all as I swallow this nectar.The mouthfeel is thick and chewy and the carbo is light, just right for the style. I've had this one before, years ago, and I'm *still* enthralled with how well of a crafted brew this is. Ok, I'll go ahead and say it. It's one of my favourites. Thanks again, John!!

oobawa (1737) - Tennessee, USA - SEP 30, 2017
Not sure I'm on board with using juniper berries in a style as sweet as barleywine, especially one with the added touch of maple syrup. Starts with a nice, breakfast-like friendliness, the syrup and vanilla giving off a waffles-n-whipped cream vibe backed up by notes of apple and smoked tea. Bitterness on the back end shores up any cloy notes, but the juniper takes the brew in an odd herbal direction, like somebody stashed some pine needles in between your pancake stack. I'm a fan of hoppy-as-hell barleywines and juniper beers, but mixing the two ain't for me. Nose is caramel and toffee and juniper. Pour comes out a viscous, opaque brown with a modest off-white head and little lacing. Good texture; a year in the basement takes away any boozy heat. Too bad I can't reconcile the juniper and the sweetness.

beern (198) - Alabama, USA - SEP 4, 2017
Pours dark, orange/amber-whiskey color and nearly opaque with a 4 finger off white to tan head with an aroma of malt, vanilla and maple syrup. Tastes of malt, vanilla and maple syrup with an oak and Belgian yeast, clove finish with perhaps resin and bitter pine taste from the juniper berries. It has a sticky, viscous palate with little to no carbonation. It's full-bodied and exceptionally complex and a little smokey.

AndyW68 (1602) - Louisville, Kentucky, USA - AUG 11, 2017
Deep brown with tan lacing head. Aroma is maple wood and berry. Taste is like a raisin liquor followed by some bitterness, ashy wood and alcohol burn. Like it.

PanMarek (463) - 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.

willisread (3644) - 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.

bnokk (545) - 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.

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

SG111 (2026) - 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.

jeremyh70 (1115) - Missouri, USA - APR 7, 2017
Slightly smoky with sweet malt, maple and a bit of oak. Boozy and warming. Strong with nice flavors.

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