Thorpe429 (5035) - , Illinois, USA - APR 7, 2011
A ginormous amount of thanks to Huhzubendah for sharing this bottle. Served in a Bruery tulip.
The pours yields a moderately-dark brown elixir that borders on copper and seems to shine. There is a nice half-finger head that forms after the pour, sticking around for a bit of time. A few slight rings of lacing stick to the glass as it goes down. The nose is absolutely phenomenal. Just wow. It starts off with a strong showing of caramelized sugar and is then followed up by very, very smooth notes of bourbon and the accompanying oak and light vanilla. Slide notes of oxidation carry over well and fit right in.
Flavor is ridiculously good. The strong notes of caramel and brown sugar push to the front and meld beautifully with bourbon undertones. Really quite smooth. A bit of sweetness fades into very light amounts of alcohol alongside fine bourbon. Very mild oak presence pairs with a decent amount of vanilla. The mouthfeel really makes this beer. It’s uber-smooth with just a touch of alcohol warmth. Age has treated this beer really, really well.
This was an incredible experience, and huge thanks go out to Matt for sharing this with us. This was perhaps the best barleywine that I’ve ever had, and I was supremely happy to share it amongst a fine group of friends. Cheers.
Serving type: bottle
Reviewed on: 03-20-2011 callmemickey (4542) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 1, 2011
UPDATED: MAR 1, 2013 Consumed January 2011.
A: Dark chestnut brown body, Thin khaki skim. Light soapy lacing.
S: Rich malts with a pleasant underlying sweetness. Brown sugar, caramel, toffee, hints of sherry, booze, bourbon, and vanilla. Quite the complexity with subtle interplay between the aromas.
T: Absolutely wonderful... I get quite a bit of brown sugar and caramel up front with a restrained faint bourbon, oak and vanilla. Nice maltiness that delivers a boat load of flavor without overwhelming the palate.
M: Smooth, medium-full bodied. Sweet, but not cloying finish with a hint of bitterness.
O: One of the best barrel aged barleywines out there... easily.
drabmuh (194) - Maryland, USA - MAR 31, 2011
Whoa, bottle opened by Huhzubendah at his place this weekend with some other fine beers. Poured into a wine glass.
There are some beers that you don’t think you are going to ever sample or get, and then through some unknown mechanism of karma or generosity or both you find yourself holding a glass of Wooden Hell with a few other guys. It was an awesome experience and great night overall. Also, WH is the best barleywine I’ve ever had.
Beer is pretty dark brown, mostly clear with a thin off white head of small bubbles, not much retention but it leaves some lacing behind.
Aroma is very impressive. Sweet, sugar, caramel followed by some liquor / bourbon aromas. Some oakiness and mild vanilla. Very inviting aroma.
Beer is medium bodied, not very carbonated on the palate, overall the lead off is this nice candied flavor that fills the palate and balances the beer well with the mild bitterness at the finish. The early midpalate is a liquory / bourbon flavor that fills out the beer without making it boozy, really drinkable. Very balanced, very great. Even my wife liked it when she took a sip and she doesn’t like barleywines at all.
Serving type: bottle
mdfb79 (8) - New York, New York, USA - MAR 30, 2011 does not count
From 03/19/11 notes. HUGE thanks to Huhzubendah (BA) for sharing this one; thanks Matthew, never thought I’d get to try this one! Served in a tulip.
a - Pours a somewhat clear medium-brown color with one inch of off white head and very light carbonation evident.
s - Smells of caramel malts, bourbon, oak, vanilla, and some sweet molasses or sugar. Light oxidation evident but doesn’t take anything away from the smell. Absolutely amazing smell.
t - Tastes of vanilla, caramel malts, oak, bourbon, tofee, and syrup/molasses to sweeten the taste a little bit. Again, the taste is amazing and perfect for a barleywine.
m - Medium body and low carbonation. The body is super smooth and creamy, and no real hotness from the bourbno at all. Felt like I could have drank a whole bottle by myself, and would want to.
d - I was a little afraid that this one wouldn’t live up to the hype, but it really did. I enjoy barleywines quite a bit and love MoaS, and this one was much better in my opinion; it’s one of the best beers I’ve ever had. The smell and taste were such a great combination of caramel, vanilla, and bourbon, and the mouthfeel was perfect. Very glad I got to try this one.
chibuck (3513) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAR 28, 2011
Thanks to Russ for sharing this with us at our Chicago tasting...The pour is not much to look at, a slightly watery brown without much carbonation at all...The aroma and taste are both awesome and dominated by a super smooth and not at all coy or irritataing vanilla. I just keep coming back to smooth, so easy velvety and easy to drink and just the right amount of vanilla with a backbone of oak and a touch of hopoy wood on the back end. I literally just kept sniffing this for like 15 minutes because the aroma was that good...The feel is super nice, very easy to drink, not alcohol at all...The vanilla makes it a tad of a sipper but I really had to contain myself to not drink this in one gulp.
The best barleywine around, awesome all around.
brokensail (16444) - Dublin, California, USA - FEB 2, 2011
A: The pour is a dark amber, almost chestnut, color with a thin tan head.
S: Pretty much what I was expecting/hoping for in the nose. Lots of vanilla and bourbon along with brown sugar and dark fruits. A slight oak not, but there’s some nice chocolate oxidation taking place.
T: Quite sweet with lots of caramel, brown sugar, and toffee. Plenty of bourbon and vanilla are present as well. I get some wood and dark fruit here, along with a bit of warming alcohol.
M: The body is medium with a low to medium carbonation that is quite smooth on the tongue.
D: This was surprisingly easy to drink, but I guess that’s part of what makes it so good. You can pick up the oxidation, but it’s not to the point of detriment at this point. jtclockwork (16581) - , New Jersey, USA - JAN 23, 2011
Bottle shared by me at Alan’s epic tasting. Pours dark mahogany toffee. Nose and taste of intense raisins, plums, wood barrel, dark caramel, butterscotch toffee and light vanilla. Extremely well crafted and delightfully complex. cpetrone84 (1810) - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 6, 2010
Huge thanks to Jeremy for sharing this gem!
A-pours a transparent deep ruby red with a nice tan colored head.
S-the nose has very little barrel, hints of woood and faint bourbon, strong malt body, chocolate and dark raisins, hints of sweeter toffee, vibrant fruits of sour apple and ripe plums.
T-this is quite good, light notes of bourbon with hints of dry wood, chocolate malts, dark raisins, toffee. it transitions into some sweeter fruits, dark ripe plums with notes of sour apples.
M-very full body, extremely smooth and creamy on the palate, strong carbonation with a crisp clean wet finish.
D-this is extremely tasty, well integrated flavors and very complex malt body. the barrel accentuates the malt complexity and adds to it rather than overshadowing it. the body is huge and still so drinkable. fantastic stuff! MrChopin (4304) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - DEC 5, 2010
Dark red-brown, frothy white head with considerable lacing. Sweet nose of apple, plum, cookie dough and spice, very light heat. Incredibly light and fruity, but huge malt presence within the huge body. Lots of malt up front, light wood and apple, way more heat, then a light honey-pear through finish. Stunning complexity, and then even more: bubble gum, fruit lightness despite huge body. Thick body, sticky, but still ultra-drinkable. Drank next to 6-8 other barrel-aged barley wines, smashed them all. There is a nagging that it’s all bourbon, but as is it’s fantatic. 5000 (6862) - Hardened Liver, Washington, USA - NOV 21, 2010
Bottle:   Fiery amber, copper hued, thin sudsy off-white head, sparse lacing.   Seems aged.   Huge bourbony aroma, otherwise caramel malt character.   Slight vanilla and graham cracker.   Similar tongue, a little heat but not hot.   Caramel, vanilla, graham cracker, bourbon... certainly tasty but seems a little one dimensional.   Very smooth, warming but not hot.   Moderate to full body and mouthfeel.   Smooth caramel malt finish, bourbon and vanilla.   Pretty simple, but well balanced and very tasty.   Thanks Trevor for sharing this rare gem!