arkurzynski (2427) - Combined Locks, Wisconsin, USA - FEB 5, 2012
Abacus bottle shared by motortoddhead. Deep red-brown with fading head. Awesome aroma of earthy, must oak, dark cherries, sweet caramel, toasted malt, syrup, and mild booze. Flavor is sweet cherry, plum, brown sugar, syrup, oaky goodness and finishing with light bourbon and more malt goodness. Some mild alcohol residual. Lingering cherry, vanllia. Thick and sticky. Amazing! doublebock (558) - California, USA - FEB 24, 2012
Dark brown-publish color with thin white head. Aroma of chocolate malt, biscuits, maple syrup and bourbon. Taste is...hello flavor country, we’ve got a whole lot of complexity going on here: Vanilla, raisins, toasted malt, molasses, bourbon. The finish has another layer of oakiness followed by a tart sweetness. Surprisingly light body for a barleywine. More please. Aml42000 (622) - Washington, USA - FEB 25, 2012
Amazing. 2011 vintage. Dark brown color with a thick white head. 6oz snifter. The nose shows roasted nuts, a variety of pit fruit and some spice. Layered and complex palate showing figs, mocha, citrus and berries. Perfect mouthfeel and absolutely no heat on the long finish. kimjongill (207) - - NOV 27, 2012
UPDATED: MAY 9, 2013 From 2011 bottle (Abacus). The aroma is absolutely fantastic. Strong malt with a bourbon barrel scent. The appearance is dark ruby with an off-white head. Taste is spectacular. Lots of oak aged complexity with hints of the various malts involved as well as the bourbon components. It may be a high rating but keep in mind this bottle had 2 years of age on it at the time of tasting. CWoodsKilla (36) - Columbia, Missouri, USA - MAR 2, 2013
Beautiful dark ruby red pour with a soda-like fizzy brownish head that dissipates very quickly. The aroma is so complex that I just want to keep sniffing it over and over. Bourbon, vanilla, plums, coffee, cherries, caramel, and plenty of alcohol. The flavor is just as it smells, very sweet and extremely smooth. You definitely notice the alcohol present though. I get a lot more of the bourbon lingering on the palate with a hint of vanilla. This is a very bold yet subtle beer. There are a lot of very strong flavors present, but none seems to override the others. I would recommend picking this up as often as you can find it. This is a special beer
QCBWarlock (44) - New Jersey, USA - JUN 24, 2013
On tap at Uno’s Hamilton during Philly Beer Week. This was my favorite beer of all for the Big Wood Event. Super complex. Chocolate Vanilla and Cherries, Oh My! 574deadzone (1419) - North Central, Indiana, USA - SEP 28, 2013
An awesome surprise. 2012 vintage. Pours a deep reddish-brown with a thinner khaki head. Nose involves huge dark fruit notes, notably plum, with lots of vanilla and oak toast, some faint pine and herbal hops, molasses, raisin, and date bread. Very sweet flavor, quite bitter still also. Rich body, warm, heavier, syrupy, oily, viscous, soft carb, tingly, with a long warm whiskey finish. Absolutely world class brew, great combo of bourbon barrel and barleywine. This could easily sit for 2 or 3 more years and still be great. Fantastic experience. mverity (294) - Tallahassee, Florida, USA - NOV 17, 2013
Poured into a large snifter after about 20 minutes out of the ice bucket. Deep reddish brown with a fair amount of tan, creamy head. Good lacing, and the collar was thick at the edge of the glass. Aroma of toffee, caramel, some woody earthiness, sweet medium roasted malt too. Taste is of toffee/caramel, leather, woody-earthy, very lightly smokey (perhaps because of the campfire). So damn good. Mouthfeel is all that barleywines should be. Appropriately carbonated, medium creamy body. I could drink this til the cows come home; too bad I have to trade for it.
OKplus (787) - Oklahoma, USA - JAN 18, 2014
Served in a snifter
A - Pours a dark brown/mahogany color with red highlights. 1 finger of off-white head forms a thin collection of wispy patterned bubbles below a solid collar.
S - Sweet whiskey, vanilla, buttery cotton candy, toasted coconut, caramel and toffee, sugar coated nuts roasted, amaretto, scorched oak wood and cherries, strawberry and rhubarb preserve.
T - A swirl of roasted wood, sweet vanilla, dense toffee, sticky caramel, toasted fruit bread, leather, spicy hops, whiskey swirls around notes of chocolate cherry cordial, amaretto, and rum. The whiskey components grow stronger as it warms, making the finish drier and drier. Some spiciness shows up toward the warming finish.
M - Starts out firm and full but turns medium and softens out, low and fine carbonation.
One of the best aromas I’ve ever smelled from a beer. Complexity is an over-used word but this is complex. The transitions of aroma, taste, and feel over the course of the bottle are incredible. Full barrel flavors the meld beautifully. Don’t know how this could get any better with age.
Serving type: bottle
05-27-2013 dustpanman (4) - oak park, Illinois, USA - FEB 9, 2014 does not count
Pours strong. Light head that fades fast. Smells like butterscotch and toasted molasses. Tastes show more oak than expected. Residual sweetness and heavy malt profile take away all bitterness. Tasted somewhat like banana bread. Surprised me to not be at all hoppy as a Barleywine.