KickInChalice (860) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAR 13, 2012
From notes. First reviewed 12/10/2011. Served on tap in a snifter at Fountainhead.
This has a color that is on the darker side for a barleywine - a full brown color with a bit of mahogany color in the center. A small tan head fades to a collar fairly quickly and does not leave any lace.
The bourbon really jumps out of the glass and into the nose. Gooey caramel and vanilla complement an English malt bill, bringing out some notes of fig, dates, and peat. A bit of coconut as well.
Following the nose, the flavor is strong on the bourbon as well. It is the first flavor on the tongue, preempting dark roasted malts, gooey caramel, and some dark fruits. The figs, dates, and raisins get a bit of peat and take on a bourbon soaked flavor due to the intense barrel character. Some vanilla, lots of oak, and more alcohol intensity in bourbon form come through at the end.
The beer itself has a malty sweetness throughout, but this is mostly negated by a very intense bourbon and oak dryness. The carbonation helps to bring out a creamy feel, but it does not quite go far enough.
Firestone 15 has all of the signs of being raw; it is fairly hot, with the bourbon overwhelming some of the base flavors, which haven’t seemed to blend together that well yet. Some time will help mellow this out a bit, and it will undoubtedly improve over the next year or two. TBone (18568) - Pori, FINLAND - MAR 10, 2012
UPDATED: NOV 28, 2013 [email protected]sailracer (486) - Massachusetts, USA - MAR 9, 2012
Dark ruby color, tiny off-white head. Rye, licorice, caramel and malts in the aroma. Full-bodied. Flavor has lots of caramel, vanilla and is very sweet. Liquerish palate. Another tasty one from Firestone Walker. (7/3/8/4/15 3.7)
Bottled 500ml PBFVIII
Dark ruby color, small off-white head. Vanilla and caramel in the nose. Medium-bodied. Vanilla, caramel, alcohol, rye bread. Not the most complex anniversary, but still good. (7/4/7/3/14 3.5)
Tap. Pours a deep murky brown with a little head. The aroma is malt and oak. Very complex flavor. It is sweet on the tongue with prevalent alcohol. The malt flavors dominate but there are strong undertones of oak and chocolate. Quite good, though I might have preferred a little less sweetness. SudsMcDuff (8541) - .....Manchester United.........., Texas, USA - MAR 8, 2012
500ml booot .. . pours a deep brown black .. medium head, medium lacing .. . its like a skeleton convention in there .. . light heat- light bourbon wood + roasted vanilla bean .. . a great beer- will be amazing in 6months to a year bmerz (741) - Brooklyn, New York, USA - MAR 8, 2012
.. . . i am a cipher, a cipher wrapped in an enigma smothered in secret sauce...
Draught at spuyten duyvil. Brown with good color and ring of foam. It is complex in ways that are hard to describe...like picking the spices out of a mole. Dominate aromas of vanilla, spices, sugars, some esters, oak, alcolhol. Slick sticky slightlu prckly and not such a big mouthfeel. Dries. Flavors of caramel, mulled citrus, solidly bitter but balanced. Really interesting and so many enjoyable layers.
bigabe (194) - California, USA - MAR 6, 2012
Quite simply, the most complex beer I have ever tasted. Massive chocolate, coffee, bourbon notes... sweet malt, bourbon, and a little hop bite on the finish. Massively awesome, extremely epic... pick your superlative. This beer is incredible. GypsyHead (35) - California, USA - MAR 3, 2012
Fantastic brew, though I don’t really like heavy barleywine-esque styles. This one knocks it out of the park though. Smooth, velvety vanilla tones and a nice oak presence, though, depending on the temperature, there can be a bit too much booze presence. Had to keep tossing the 22 back in the fridge while drinking small samples to keep it under control. Great body and mouthfeel, very smooth without being slick. Very chocolatey and rich in all the right ways. Papsoe (25054) - Frederiksberg, DENMARK - MAR 3, 2012
Bottle 65 cl. Courtesy of anders37. Pours a clear reddish brown with a small off-white head. Heavy booze hits you straight away revealing more subtle layers of alcohol, wood and vanilla. Solid body, sweet caramel, loads of bourbony oak. licorice all-sorts, vamilla - you know the drill. Not sure I get the "citrus zest" at all - the oak and booze overpowers all subtleties. Warming alcohol finish. Very enjoyanle - as always in this series. 030312 Blairgus (4615) - California, USA - MAR 2, 2012
12 feb 2012, bottle. Nose is honey and toast. Med body and a bit fizzy. Golden syrup. Some maple syrup and big vanilla. Some burnt oak notes. Amazing!
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone auerbrau (3206) - Ithaca, New York, USA - FEB 28, 2012
On tap at the Blind Tiger - Manhattan. NY. Boozy, cherried, bourbon nose. Strong, fuming bourbon malt flavor. Very oaky, but this is a little too barreled for me. Thme blended malt complexity is there, but it gets a little overwhelmed by the heat of the booze, the dryness of the barrel and the age of the hops. This is tight, but there’s way, way, way too much barrel and not enough beer.