DocLock (10689) - Lower Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania, USA - MAY 31, 2007
Bottle 1013/1300, and I’ve had two other bottles; thanks to the generosity of Matt Capone for procuring and secreting these three bottles for me. The Pour:
The pour is a lovely hazy deep ruby color with a 3-finger or so, uniform, creamy off-white head, and indeed this one has a sort of reverse Guinness cascade, which is just lovely to behold. This is perhaps the best looking beer I have ever poured.
The Olfactory Notes:
The aroma is complex, providing hints of caramelly malt, figgy fruit, cherry, brown sugar, bourbon/cognac, some funky notes, hops, mild cheddar cheese, black pepper, strawberry, mango, and melon. Amazingly complex aroma that I could bury my nose in all night.
The initial sip is very caramelly malty, with a bold hit of cherry, strawberry, and blueberry flavor. This gives way to a mid-palate taste of hops, cognac, more malt, figs, more berries, and brown sugar. More flavors come and go throughout, and they all intermingle perfectly, making every sip a nice surprise.
The palate is on the rich, hefty side, and amazingly complex and well balanced. No heat is detected at all, even though you will know it is there. The multi-layered fruit, berry, malt, hops, spirit, slight funk, and spicy peppery continue all the way through, and make this one of the better beers I have ever quaffed.
In summary, do whatever you need to in order to get some of this stuff, if you still can. I’d love to age this, but there’s no way in Hell I’d ever have the willpower to do so. Go Steelers!!! HonusWagner (2168) - Florida, USA - FEB 10, 2014
2005, thanks to David!
I’ve had many a vintage of Gratitude, but never 2005 until now, and I must say the beer has aged remarkably well. Firstly, there was still "ample" carbonation by the standards of a Barley Wine, even a fresh one. The oxidation is definitely less than you’d expect of a typical BW bottling, but gives a nice sherry characteristic to things without any of the watery texture issues. Slightly chestnutty with lots of interesting sweet fruit notes and a hint of leathery character. Excellent, beautiful beer. It’s a shame I’ll almost certainly never get to drink it again, but in my experiences basically every batch of this beer ages well. So grateful (hehehe get it?) to have tried this. TomDecapolis (4618) - Milton, Delaware, USA - JAN 14, 2008
1204 of 1300 2006 bottling. The bottle artwork and design is awesome...nice job! The beer pours just as wonderfully...lightly hazy ruby red/orange amber with a nice creamy off white head that left great lacing and sustained. Aroma of toffee, toasted grains, caramel, dried fruits, floral notes, citrus and still some hops, Flavor of toffee, dark fruits, toasted notes, caramel, mixed tropical fruits, citrus, still some hops. A touch of hop bitterness with a nice creamy mouthfeel that is not cloying. Darn...I should have picked up two bottles! I need to find out when the 2007’s get released. This beer is over a year old and it has aged fantastically...this must have been one hoppy beer when it was fresh! 50belair (3643) - Florida, USA - JUL 6, 2010
UPDATED: MAY 23, 2012 2005 generously pulled out of the cellar by Ryan at the Philly tasting. Dark amber pour with little head. The aromas were sweet caramel malts, red apple, and dark fruits. Like the set of Brandon Lee’s movie, this 11 plus percenter is dangerous!! Smooth and mellow should be the Gratitude slogan. Great body, great balance. This barley wine is delicious. I drank this at a tasting with M, SA Millennium, Stonewall, and ’06 Old Guardian. In my opinion the Stone beers weren’t even close and the Gratitude went toe to toe with M and Millennium. All kinds of wonderful caramel notes, dark fruits, apricots, even some rich molasses. A real stunner.... CapnJazz (52) - Binghamton, New York, USA - MAR 9, 2010
Opened an 05 (red) an 06 (orange) bottle after the release. Thanks to Nate for sharing the 05. I had the 07 (yellow) a year or so ago and found these older vintages to have aged incredibly well. The 05 was a kind of hazy dark orange brown, with brown sugar, dark fruit, and a rum note wafting out of the glass. Sweet, complex flavor, deep brown sugar, figs. Perfect balance, this bottle was by far the best of all the barely wines we opened after the release. 06 was very good as well, dark brown to clear red in the light, still alot of brown sugar, though not the balance and complexity of the 05. A little bit of bitterness hanging on. 05 was like a perfect English style barleywine, trying it next to Old Horizontal, Arctic Devil, Mirror Mirror was such a treat. Amazing beer, I think the newer vintages will age really well, too bad I didn’t get the 05 or 06 myself.
cpetrone84 (1810) - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 10, 2010
Batch 2005 drinkin May 2010, rating based off of this review.
A-clear orange color that glows, notes of pink on the edges, off white tight head with some bubbles on the top leaving a thick lacing on the glass.
S-the nose is huge, maple syrup, piney, caramel, cooked brown sugar, the focus transitions to delicious ripe fruits, hints of booze, cherries, plums, candied oranges. glorious nose!
T-the flavor is also huge, sweet, piney forrest, a little earthy, maple syrup flavors, there is a floral aspect with a nice fruity sweetness, plums, raisins, candied orange, and airy.
M-huge, full bodied, syrupy, smooth and creamy on the palate, plenty of carbonation left to balance.
D-so tasty and huge, amazing flavors and put up next to some big names (07 BA Old Numbskull and Perfect Storm). This was clearly the best of the bunch and one outstanding beer!
yellow wax, 07 batch drinkin 12/26/2009
A-pours a beautiful hazy liquid that is a brownish ruby color that has a thick white head that leaves a decent lacing on the glass
S-big nose of sweet caramel malts, some brown sugar, dark fruits of raisin, prunes, and plums. it has a light note of alcohol at the finish of the aroma
T-sweet dark fruits come in first, the plum and prune show through with a touch of raisin and a melow caramel malt. it also brings a touch of sweet dark cherry that fades in towards the finish
M-extremely smooth and silky with a medium body on the fuller side of medium and a low level of carbonation to keep it feeling nice and smooth as it goes down
D-the alcohol must have mellowed through the aging is it is extremely well hidden, huge tastes and nicely sweetened with an amazing mouthfeel make me want to keep drinking! corby112 (2804) - philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - MAY 24, 2011
2007 vintage. Pours a deep dark mahogany/chesnut brown color with a thick, frthy two finger light beige head that has excellent retention, slowly fadig into a lasting cap that coats the glass with large chunks of soapy lacing.
Sweet malty aroma with subtle spice, booz, dak fruit and earthy hops. Leathery with hints of caramel, toffee and biscuit as well as some plum, fig and raisin. Faint earthy hops and peppery spice add to the nose. Sweet alcohol bit doesn’t smell too boozy considering it’s 11.5%.
Creamy, chewy full body with an excellent balance of leathery and sweet malt, booze, dark fruit and earthy hops. The mouthfeel of this beer is onenof the best I’ve encountered in the style. Slightly earthy with lots of sweet malt going off hints of caramel, toffee, hazelnut, rye and biscuit. There are some earthy hops balancing thing out especially in the finish whichns long, dry and slightly bitter. Very well balanced and extremely quaffable with faint hints of dark fruit, especially plum and raisin. The alcohol sweetness is there but it isn’t hot at all and the high ABV is excellently masked making it deceptively drinkable. Highly recommended! orangesol (987) - Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 13, 2011
UPDATED: SEP 19, 2011 Huge props to AL aka petesuphi for bringing this whole vertical to the Inaugural "Imminent Liquidation Bottle Share" Event. While I tried samples from all of them, this review will be for the 05. Red waxed bottle poured into a taster glass.
A - Pours a deep, hazy, orange with a small half finger tall off white head, dissipating down to almost nothing, leaving light wisps of lacing down the glass.
S - Lots of sweetness in this one. Smells of caramel, butterscotch, and toffee sweetness up front. The sweet caramel malt is strong but not to the point of being overpowering. I almost didn’t want to drink it, it smelled that good.
T - Damn, this is one tasty beer. Lots of caramel and toffee sweetness up front never really giving way thru out the glass. The earthy sweet caramel malt adds depth behind all that sweetness. The booze has all but disappeared at this point leaving an oh so smooth feel that is just outstanding. Finish has some lingering sweetness but it fades quickly. This was easily one of the best barleywines I have ever had.
M - Medium body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Smooth, rich, feel with some lingering sweetness in the finish. It is just so damn sooth it is bordering on dangerous.
O - Damn. I have had some of the newer vintages of gratitude before but the 05 and 06 are easily the best I have had. The 07 and 08 are well on there way as well but the original two are already there. One of the best barleywines I have had in quite some time, possibly even the best ever. Thanks again AL !! JoePeesie (925) - Long Lake, Illinois, USA - SEP 19, 2011
2007 vintage-pours a deep red brown with a beige head that fades into a thick lacing. At this point the hop presence has faded into a very subtle bitter support to an out standing malt backbone. This is an amazingly balanced sipped that I can’t get enough of! CMUBEERMAN (443) - - FEB 19, 2006
UPDATED: AUG 11, 2008 Drank an 05 the other day. Fucking great.
I had this at the 2nd annual "Hell With the Lid Off Barleywine Tasting." Pretty damn good...I’ve only had their big hop before and I wasn’t expecting too much. First off this beer set itself apart from the other 16 or so barley wines. It had a distinct almost belgian character. Color was a murky amber. Aroma had a lot of yeasty, floral, and acidic notes. Taste was huge on the malt, yeast, and had an almost perfect touch of sweetness. Mouthfeel was very smooth and kind of oily. I think this is supposed to be available in bottles at the brewery at the end of the month...only 600 of them. Should be a pretty good find for anyone who can get a hold of a few of them.