GG (2332) - NorCal, California, USA - NOV 5, 2014
22oz bottle -
This is just insane how great this beer is on nearly every level. The intense amount of flavor depth combined with the olfactory input is really something to appreciate and admire. Waves of rich, butter-toffee, vanilla, wood, chocolate, thick caramel syrup, and coconut cake batter fill the nose with just a light twinge of alcohol showing up. Stunning.
The complexity on this is just mind blowing. It reminded me in a lot of ways of Apis Póltorak Jadwiga, with it’s multiple layers of flavors, each meshing with each other in an orchestra of wonderful flavors. Bounding flavors of bourbon, oak, vanillin, brown sugar, caramel, chocolate, butter-scotch, leather, and Captain Black pipe tobacco. There are very few beers as defining to a category as this is to the barleywine style. It’s simply, simply amazing. Fred82 (2324) - Québec City, Quebec, CANADA - JAN 10, 2012
Bomber thanks to PintPlease.badnewsbeers (2312) - Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA - AUG 8, 2011
Appearance : Deep clear amber with small white head.
Aroma : Big sweet malt with fruity hops. Light resinous notes. Very light oxidation maybe. Light licorice.
Taste : Licorice with sweet fruity plums and raisins. Awesome caramel with some resinous hops. Finish has a lot of raisins with light resinous hops. Not much alcohol.
Overall : Wow this was good. Awesome sweetness balanced with the resinous hops ans the light alcohol. Delightful caramel. The Bourbon is not very present but adds to the complexity and to the richness. Very well balanced and very tasty. My kind of Barley Wine.
2011. bottle. dark reddish brown, ruby almost with minimal head. aroma of caramelized sugar, anise, and alcohol. flavor of maple syrup, bourbon, vanilla, caramel, and booze... Darkmagus82 (2302) - - OCT 14, 2014
Transfer from BA review on 4-10-14-
Poured from bottle (2013) into a snifter
Appearance – The beer pours a super deep copper color with thick tow finger of tan colored head. The head has a good level of retention, slowly fading to leave a light level of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.
Smell – The aroma of the beer is quite a caramel and toffee smell mixed with a ton of fruit aromas ranging from darker stone fruits to lighter fruits. Apple, cherry, raisin, are the strongest with hints of other fruits within. A good deal of oak and lot of bourbon booziness are there as well creating a very warming smell overall.
Taste – The taste begins big caramel and butterscotch flavor. A big bready and doughy flavor is there as well. A bourdon and vanilla flavor begin working their way onto the tongue along with the caramel and toffee transitions to a molasses and brown sugar flavor. A ton of oaky bourbon booziness hits the tongue toward the middle to the end of the taste with some dark fruit flavors starting to be sensed as well. The booziness gets a bit hot at the very end and is combine with a bit of a herbal and earthy hop flavor to leave a very warming and sweet flavor on the tongue.
Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the thicker and creamier side with a carbonation level that is on the lower side. Both are quite appropriate for the style and match the huge sweet and boozy of the flavors rather well, making for a rather slow sipper.
Overall – A bit on the boozy and oaky side with a ton of sweetness. A rather robust Barley wine. Not one I would likely frequent frequently, but a nice on to try none the less.
Sarlacc83 (2287) - Portland, Oregon, USA - MAY 30, 2013
22 oz bottle from Belmont Station. Reviewed from notes.
A: Ruddy mahogany with a firm creme colored head. Some particles land on the glass when this is swirled.
N: Caramel, vanilla, malt, oak, and toffee. Bourbon is well-integrated. Brown sugar, honey, and syrup. Some cola. Has a lot of rich flavors.
T: Tastes of bourbon mixed with a round sweetness and a tempering bitterness. Lots of flavors of the wood are showing through here. DOesn’t destroy the palate, and that’s a good thing.
M: Not as heavy as expected, and there’s a high amount of carbonation which I don’t enjoy. Alcohol is somewhat pronounced.
O: A very solid beer that seems to be missing a little extra oomph. Enjoying it, even if it reminds me a bit of a low-end bourbon.
csaso (2284) - Missouri, USA - AUG 18, 2012
Bottle, 2012 vintage - small foamy head, very dark amber color, aroma is strong alcohol, malt, oak, vanilla; tase is similar with added coconut notes - very complex beer of course, but very good. Definitely strong in the alcohol department, so drink slow! illinismitty (2271) - Nashville, Tennessee, USA - FEB 19, 2012
Bottle at Yazoo Fortuitous release. Pours deep copper brown with a beige head. Aroma of vanilla and caramel. Medium to full bodied with a slight sticky texture. Flavor of caramel and vanilla, but with a spicy bitterness and nice wood nuance. Sweet without going over the top. One of the best barleywines I have had in a long time. charule (2268) - New York, New York, USA - SEP 28, 2013
UPDATED: JAN 25, 2015 Bottle thanks to artmcd8. Poured chunky reddish brown with light tan head. Aroma of some alcohol and spice. Kind of smooke with light smoke and barrel. craftbeerdesign (2254) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - OCT 5, 2009
UPDATED: SEP 29, 2012 2012 vintage bomber. pours a deep red / brown with a nice 1+ finger off white head. sweet nose with bourbon, oak, vanilla, and dark fruits. med body with a very smooth balance between the barrel notes and the malts. sweet caramel malts, dark fruits play off the lingering bourbon and oak notes from the wood. sweet dark fruit finish with some heat and a touch of citrus. this is one of the best beers around. worth every penny.
Sparky (2244) - Phoenix, Arizona, USA - FEB 20, 2010
sample from the pitcher at GABF on 9/26/09... pours a dark brown... lots of wood on the nose... big smooth body with dark fruit notes blended with a perfect level of oak. really nice Barley Wine...
On tap at the 2010 AZ Strong Beer Festival. One of the best at the Fest. Pours dark opaque brown with a thin tan head. The nose is bourbon, wood, citrus hops and brown sugar. The taste is oaky vanilla, bourbon, tart citrus and caramel malt. Medium semi-creamy mouthfeel. Very good beer.