TimE (6130) - Tokyo, JAPAN - JUL 26, 2005
UPDATED: MAY 28, 2009 This is a sexy looking amber brew. The nose is incredible, sherry, yeast, honey, oranges, horse blanket and cheese. WOW what a nose. The med-full body is rich and syrupy with a dazzling profile of feta cheese, cherries, soda crackers, sherry and shrimp. WOW what a body.
The finish is rich and come out tasting like very good cherry cheesecake. WOW, what a finish. The best barley wine in Canada bar none as far as I am concerned. Didn’t even notice the 12% alcohol. Hot damn this guys make good stuff.
hopdog (13102) - Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 28, 2005
Poured a medium amber color with an off white head. Aromas of earth, grapes, wood, and fruits. Tastes of grapes, vanilla, citrus, and oak. Malty sweet with a light bitter balance. Light alcohol in the end. I’m glad I had the chance to taste this one. Probiere (992) - Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 28, 2005
Grapey/tannin aroma, lots of flowery hops as well. Super-Fruity Pebbles, Batman! Taste strawberries! pears! honeysuckle! Medium bodied fruit/caramel BW reminiscent of Old Foghorn (just a bit). Chuggable! None of this overdone, syrupy, bourbon crap--this is light, acidic, superb tart/sweet balance, slight wine-like warmth in aftertaste. 12%--no way!! Thoroughly impressive. THANK YOU, Eric! egajdzis (6730) - Pennsburg, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 27, 2005
2004... Poured a copper color with a medium sized off white head, that left nice lacing on the glass. Aroma of earthy, fruity, light citrus hoppiness, red wine, and vanilla oak. The taste showed lots of fruit and oak, with light bitterness, and a spicy alcohol finish. BeerPrince (1701) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - MAR 8, 2005
Amber body with an off white head. Aroma is strong with caramel, winey, grape and slightly hoppy. The wine barrels from the okanagan give this a malty red wine taste like the red wines of the okanagan, thinner in body but nicely balanced with berry and plum flavour. Alcohol is hardly noticeable until teh very end.
willblake (2664) - Bel Air, Maryland, USA - JUL 20, 2005
07.08.05 RBSG Beautiful clouded amber, medium khaki head and lots of lace. Tobacco, apple, soy, strawberries, jammy. This stuff is out of control and just beautiful. I get some vinous notes, but not much wood, more like a younger wood aged port...but milder, not old. Palate is so soft but not at all flat. IslandHaole (1299) - Misawa, JAPAN - DEC 18, 2005
This beer brings back memories of living in Guam. Thick, dark and sweet, like the women there and the smell reminds me of walking around the back of my house a week after a typhoon. The Mangoes, Guavas and Star Apples would be carpeting the ground all half fermented, baking in the tropical sun. The scent makes me want to get a spoon! Thick-bodied, massive malts, sweet barley syrup up front. Rich sweet fruit in the middle and a rather dry, slightly woody aftertaste. The 12% is well masked. You will feel it before you taste it! Thanks to Josh for this malty monster! daknole (11402) - Scottsdale, Arizona, USA - FEB 12, 2009
Bottle from Sunshine and Oakes. Damn I cannot remember what year he said this was, maybe 2005? I think so. Man this is kick ass. Really damn good. Amber pour with a small white head. Aroma is loaded with honey, caramel, booze, and vanilla. Flavor is really great. Toffee, vanilla, wood and has a great mouthfeel. I am glad I got to try this!!! JoeMcPhee (9550) - Toronto, ON, Ontario, CANADA - DEC 31, 2004
UPDATED: JAN 16, 2006 2005 version. Deep garnet tinted beer, crystal clear with a thich off-white head. Very sweet, malty aroma, loads of vanilla, bourbon barrel oakiness. Some prominent berry fruitiness and a light bit of yeasty spiciness that wasn’t there last time. Flavour is very sweet but with a lightness to the body the keeps the finish drier than would otherwise be expected. Loads of woody character with some light peppery ethanol and a lingering vanilla and toffee finish. As it warms up, a bit of raisin/white grape character comes out as well. Not what it once was, but still a better than average barleywine.
Thanks to Oakes for bringing this one back. 2004 version. Despite the fire alarm in mid-tasting, this beer just couldn’t be suppressed. Reddish-amber beer with a huge and sticky white head. Big malty aroma, pale malt, some faint butterscotch and toffee, very vineous aroma. Loads of oaky character, similar to a tawny port. Flavour is very malty, honey, white wine and oak come through. Light hopping and bitterness perfectly balance the sweet malts and aggressive oakiness. Sweet grape flavour with a long oaky finish. One of the most beautiful smelling beers I’ve ever had. If you can get to Nanaimo, stop in... you won’t regret it.
Ar 10 Ap 4 Fl 8 Pa 4 Ov 18 Oakes (18851) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - JAN 1, 2005
UPDATED: FEB 27, 2009 2007: Hazy amber colour. Not much head. Aroma is heavy caramel and oak,with light vanilla...still fun but not as dynamic as last year’s. Flavour, however, is. Wow. Caramel, earth, alcohol, vanilla, wood, bourbon, mushrooms, Cuban sugar, apricot, medjool date...this has depth. It’s like breakfast in Remedios with a 15 y.o. Havana Club. This is the most consistently gorgeous, evocative beer in BC. 8-3-9-4-17 = 4.1
Slight haze. Deep amber colour. The aroma is complex - pear, alcohol, the finest Madagascar vanilla, light bourbon, earthy-caramelly malt, custard, plum...and it just goes on from there. Full body. Sweet - lots of earthy red malts, big vanilla rounding things off, and light pear, peach and plum fruitiness. Finishes sweet, with a gorgeous balance between caramelly, fruity, flowery barley wine and subtle bourbon and a nice bit of heat in the back. A return to form. Ar 9 Ap 4 F 8 P 5 O 17 = 4.3
Bright amber colour. Nose is sweetly malty with accents of wood, vanilla and beef. Big, brawny alcohol leads the way, but more peppery than hot. The body seems more attenuated this time out - but you get the same balance of big English barley wine characteristics and barrel notes. Though in this case, the wood and vanilla from the bourbon barrels is inherently less preferred by myself than red wine. Still a solid beer, still one of this province’s finest efforts, but not the world classic last year’s was. Ar 8 Ap 4 F 7 P 3 O 15 = 3.7.
12% aged in wine barrels. Golden amber colour. Unique and assertive aroma - very winey and massively malty. The flavour is big and sweet. Winey, woody notes meld seemlessly with huge malts. Fruit and wood are everywhere. A stylish and sophisticated brew - an example where time in the barrel is used to accent a beer’s flavour rather than dominate it. Ar 10 Ap 4 Fl 8 P 4 Ov 17 = 4.3