Fish Tale Leviathan Barleywine (Batch 5+)

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RATINGS: 270   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.61/5   EST. CALORIES: 300   ABV: 10%
Bottled November 2004, Batch 5. With its assertive hop bitterness, delicious malt flavor and long, dry, hoppy finish, Leviathan Barleywine is a brew of mythic proportions. Dark amber, rich, and malty with a most very hearty alcohol strength, it is capable of soothing the savage beast in us all. Leviathan rises out of Pale, Carastan, and Chocolate malts with monstrous additions of Chinook hops for bitterness and Cascade hops for flavor and aroma. This vintage ale finishes quite dry after a long maturation period. As it comes of age in the keg, subtle flavors of sherry, pear, and roasted nuts will develop.

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   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
VertBaconStrips (2382) - Blerkablerka, VENEZUELA - JUN 14, 2009
UPDATED: NOV 17, 2009 ****re-review of the 2006 vintage - 3yrs aged*** - note: does not compare to drinking this fresh. flavours mellowed out but the alcohol seemed stronger and it tacked any endearing qualities - a worthy learning experiment!
****re-review on the 2006 vintage - October 13, 2008*** Mellowed out, smelt like peat out of the bottle, fairly easy drinking but lacked any real depth. Not a 3.8 after 2yrs of aging.
Original review:
Ive been sitting on this beer for well over a year and today is the day to finally get to it. I probally should have drank at least one fresh, but too late for that now. Poured out a small tan head with little retention - nice lacing though! Spotty and not going anywhere. More brown than red, the colour is quite nice and clear as I did not pour in the entire bottle. Aromas is pretty nice and fresh even after all this time. Aroma is a good mix of malt, wood, nutty (search for it and you will find it), sweet cherries, cirtus, a slight spice (whatever it is) and probally a bunch more but I cant really make it out due to the compexity of this. At different times, the grapefruit / citrus aroma of the hops is the first thing you get. Just poured out the rest of the bottle and there was near zero sediment. Aroma is very smooth just like the flavour. Is the flavour almost too soft? The large bitterness has faded due to the large presence of tons of malts. Taste is extremely full and soft. The massive somewhat bready malts are so huge that I am having a hard time finding specific flavours, but blended all together have made for an incredibly easy drinking 10% beer. Grapefruit, spice (something liccorice like, but not licorrice (sp.??)), candy, a retarded ammount of malts...shit - I dont know - it just keeps changing every sip...savage - all while remaining very smooth. I havent forgotten about the hops, but at the temperature that Im draining this at, the malts are superior. The hops have been relegated to the end of the mouthfull. I can notice some wood in the aftertaste along with the lengthy bitterness that is combined nicely with the malts giving a nice aftertaste. Nearing full bodied. Leviathan at room temperature is amazingly mild. No notice of the 10% at all except in my typing skills as I had to do some serious editing on this after dropping back the entire 650ml in about 40 minites. I have more in my cellar that I will open in, oh, 2009. A wonderful beer. Buy some and cellar it.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Adam77 (457) - Eastampton, New Jersey, USA - JUN 11, 2009
Poured dark amber with no head. Aroma of fruit and caramel. Good sweet caramel character with some fruit hints.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
Cirrhosis (1283) - Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA - JUN 8, 2009
Dark honey brown body with slight orange showing through, hazy looking in the glass not cloudy but theres a definite haze. Rocky light tan colored head capped off this brew didnt really have great retention though but a skiff still remained on top, lots of bubble columns are rising up from the bottom of the glass they look pretty. Appearance just got an upgrade at the bottom of the bottle there was a ton of sediment my beer is now cloudy not hazy. Very nutty aroma combined with dark bitter smelling malts, noticeable hops are giving the beer a nice citrusy smell. The aroma is good not to weak and not overpowering I really like it, it seems to smell gets sweeter the more the beer warms in my glass. Good malty bitter taste, combined with wood and nuts, the alcohol is defiantly noticeable in the finish and this gave the beer a nice warm feel. Perfect amount of hops in the brew not overpowering the taste but still giving it some zing, the beer finishes sweet but leaves a mild bitter after taste, maybe even some darker tasting fruits in here YUMMY. Perfect beer, smooth, tasty and very high quality, too bad it only comes in 650ml bottles these just arent big enough."

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
otakuden (1783) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - MAY 21, 2009
Growing up right on the river and a short walk from the ocean, fishing, the ocean, and sunny days at the beach were the daily routine. Summers were spent cruising the ocean depths with my dad and family, trolling for dolphin, wahoo, and other various game fish. Or maybe it is a day to drop some lines down to the coral depths to bring in some chunky grouper and feisty snapper. Ill hold on the sharks though, please. Anyone who has fished, or hunted for ye land-locked lubbers, knows there is no tale as large as a fishermans tale. Of course, I now have the theme song for Gilligans Island stuck in my head, but that is a tale for another time. What is real and sitting in front of me though is the Fish Tale Ales Leviathan, a Barleywine-style Ale from Batch #5, November 2004. An aged barleywine is always a beautiful catch, and I cant wait to dive into her tangible depths. No fish tales here, just the real deal.

Cloudy, dirty brown with an invasion of dreggy bits free-floating for an impressive picture. A few random pockets of bubbles float lazily upon her surface while some swirls brings up a faint frothing of foam, but that fades just as quickly. No worries though, as it becomes rather apparent a large head would have just gotten in the way of her nose as it crashes upon my shores. Floral with soft leather right from the start while a hot spike of alcohol hits right in the back of my nose. Brown sugars, cinnamon, and all spice give way to a pronounced crunch of candied sugar. Now that I have the Leviathan in my clutches, it is time to see what she is made of. As I ravage her body, I am slowly consumed by a glowing, sweet warmth exuding brown sugar and spices. Leather sits on top of my tongue and serves as a welcome moisture deterrent to my palate while further notes of maple and molasses are sprinkled with cinnamon and nutmeg. The warmth and kick of alcohol I was slapped with in the nose is nowhere evident in the body which is a bit of a disappointment. It would appear that time has lessened her punch, but in return a whole new ocean of flavors has risen from her abyssal depths. A touch flat as I reach the surface, but nonetheless, I am happy with my catch.

The Fish Tale Ales Leviathan, Barleywine-style Ale, Batch #5, November 2004 from Fish Brewing told an impressive story if one listened to her nose. While the follow through was a bit flat, overall I would say that time was kind and gentle to this barleywine. I think I got her at the tippy-top of her peak. Honestly, any more time and she would have started going downhill. This fish ale is real, I promise.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
anders37 (25809) - Malm, SWEDEN - MAY 10, 2009
Bottle. Pours a slightly hazy amber color with a small off-white head. Has a malty peppery caramel aroma. Malty hoppy caramel flavor with a thin mouthfeel. Has a fruity malty hoppy bitter finish with some hints of caramel.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
stobbe74 (3789) - DENMARK - MAY 6, 2009
Bottle. Pours a dark amber beer with a fizzy offwhite head. The aroma has sweetness, malts and prune. The flavor is rich and sweet with bitterness. Leaves a bitter palate. Overall a good complex barley wine.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
GodOfThunder (1249) - Orlando, Florida, USA - FEB 24, 2009
Batch 5, courtesy of The Cheeseman. Aroma is malty, sweet caramels, chocolate and dark fruits. Flavors are sweet and malty, without coming off as too sweet. Very good.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
smith4498 (3616) - Winter Springs, Florida, USA - FEB 19, 2009
Bottle shared by TheCheeseMan. Batch #5 2004. Pours hazy caramel color with off white head. Sugary caramel aroma with some frutiness. Slightly sweet malty flavor. Medium body with average carbonation.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
rmalloy (199) - los angeles, California, USA - FEB 7, 2009
Seems like an unexceptional barley wine. But barley wine is a great style so this is a nice beer. The hop-malt balance is skewed toward the hop, which are quite bitter. I would prefer more going on in the malt.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
PhillyBeer2112 (2810) - Oviedo, Florida, USA - JAN 26, 2009
2004 Batch 5. Rich fruity caramel malt with some higher alcohols. Semi-dry. Peppery. Very nice.

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