HopheadHans (804) - Bay Area, California, USA - NOV 9, 2006
UPDATED: DEC 29, 2008 Bottle. Wonderful aromas of fruit, flowers and alcohol. The flavors are more of the same. A very dominant hops component with some pronounced alcohol. Additionally there is some floweriness. Pours copper with a small head. Most satisfying and excellent beer. Funknmilla (745) - Wayne, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 9, 2006
Smells of hops and alcohol...malts are very apparent...whew!....powerful aroma...color is same as regular bastard dark amber except with burnt orange hues...a very unusual beer...amazed that a 10% brew is this easy to drink...this beer is: "The Essence of Autumn" talon1117 (1152) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - NOV 8, 2006
UPDATED: OCT 6, 2011 2006 bottle. Pours similar to the original, dark, deep, opaque, red-brown; head is average, creamy, and somewhat lasting with a canvas color and minimal lacing. Similar nose but fruitier and stronger; a caramelly, cookie sweetness, dark fruits (maybe plums or prunes), and noticeable piney, resinous, and citrus hops with slight alcohol warming. Flavor is definitely in your face! Pine and resin hit first, followed by a nice caramel, cookie-like sweetness with some fruitiness (grapefruit, plum) and vanilla & cinnamon. Bitterness is high and really takes over by the finish, which contains some alcohol warming and pine and resin which lasts forever. Palate is soft, creamy and chewy, and full. Flavors get more complex as it warms. Interesting and like no other; a strong American with plenty of hops and a slight Belgian strong influence with the fruitiness. Such a well done beer from such a great brewery and will buy more to age; this is by far my highest rating for a ’strong’ ale. The newer vintages seem to have changed the hops, which clash a bit with the malt backbone. I aged a 2010 bottle for almost a year and it is more like the older versions with a high bitterness, nice malt complexity and hop notes all over. Looking forward to this year’s vintage. cbkschubert (2901) - BFE, Arizona, USA - NOV 8, 2006
(2006) 22 oz. bottle from Plaza Liquor - Opened with a big hiss. Pours a deep amber color with a good size light tan head. Nice thick stringy lacing left as the head settles. Has a sweet, floral, resiny aroma. Flavor is sweet with a nice hop/malt balance and light esters. Slight alcohol warming. A suprisingly smooth, full bodied beer. An excellent beer. RagallachMC (631) - Cleveland, Ohio, USA - NOV 7, 2006
Bomber. Aroma: Lots of sweetness, some dark fruits, grapefruit, caramel and malt, pine and resin, and lots of alcohol. Big aroma. Appearance: Murky reddish-brown. Light beige head was full and creamy with decent retention. Nice lacing. Flavor: Lots of sweetness and malt up front. Sticky sweetness, that if it stuck around I would not like it. Fortunatly, A ton of hop flavor and bitterness comes in to scrub it away. Hops are a tasty grapefruit juciness, pineiness, and earthy resin. Bitterness comes on strong. But it’s needed, and welcome. Some spice, honey, dark fruit, and caramel also of note. Lots of alcohol in the finish. Palate: Full bodied. Moderate carbonation. Some significant alcohol warming in rear of mouth. Overall: Not something I would drink regularly. I’m even glad I shared this bottle, because a whole bottle might be too much. Bigness is the name of the game here. Big aroma. Big flavors. Big bitterness. Big alcohol.
sneagrams3 (2337) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - NOV 6, 2006
Another Milestone...500. 22oz bottle. Lively hiss upon opening. First pour shows a filtered deep purple reddish hue. A mix between red wine and iced tea. Sweet sugary candy sugar malt nose. Cocoa and dark fruity notes. A little cinnamon and cookie mixed within a peppery anise spice rack. Body is full and strong. Hmm, let me think...Full and sweet, then the bitter alcohol then the sticky dry alcohol burn then citrusy bitter dry hop finish, then cloying effervescent big burpin’ lingering aftertaste. It’s a kicker! Initial cocoa and cinnamon malt sweetness, then the pruny dry bitter middle stands out. Still get a vanilla oaky, smokey flavor. Finish is still sweet, but it is played out to a bitter long, coating the tongue piney hop finish. Which, of course, melds perfectly with the whisky burn and the sticky cooked sugar flavors. They are arrogant and correct, my palate has been worked over. Ever angle and flavor was smacked around. And I still have half the bottle left. Second glass...More spice in the nose. More caramel and cinnamon notes. Maybe not more, but more overt. More pronounced smokey flavor. Sticky. Dry medium roasted coffee notes start to shine through. Dried fruits. Slight hint of tart cherries. This has lived up to the hype. The flavor is great. The complexity is there. The burn is trace. The finish is lasting. The effects are blurry. And the glass is still half full. Job well done! Well...done writting, gonna enjoy this. JohnnyJ (5562) - San Diego, California, USA - NOV 5, 2006
Rating #200. This is damn good. Pours a deep red with an good head. Very hoppy grapefruit aroma, as well as fruit and malt. Strong flavor of delicious fruit, sweet malt, very bitter, and pine. Juicy, bitter, and fairly thick. greenhorn1 (850) - Mission Viejo, California, USA - NOV 4, 2006
22 oz. 2006 release. Pours a thick creamy dark maroon with a thick head and big slow moving bubbles. Aroma has a strong alcohol presence, sweet toasted carmel notes, and subtle hints of fruit and raisin. Taste is just as complex. Medium to heavy mouthfeel, with a nice warming feel from the alcohol. This bastard freakin’ rocks! garmonbozia (429) - Hattiesburg, Mississippi, USA - NOV 4, 2006
Now this is what I imagined it would be. This was an awsome expirence. I really liked the dark cloudy color of this beer. It was nice and thick and it warmed as it went down, I could taste the alcohol in this one for sure. I would love to have more of these. jwhite (1) - USA - NOV 3, 2006 does not count
06 version. An absolute monster of a beer. More barleywine than I recall of the 05 and in my mind a lesser beer but still, yet again a staggering achievement.