jsquire (4489) - St. Marys, Ohio, USA - JUN 15, 2017 dreddy (17) - Austin, Texas, USA - OCT 11, 2010
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 20/20
Wooden Hell pours an attractive chestnut-amber body with a nice depth to the hazy hue. The manila head vanishes quickly, leaving a thin wisp of foam on top. Rich nutty caramel and toffee sweetness greets the nose, followed by earthy hops and dried fruit notes of fig and prune. A flash of boozy bourbon, but more subtle than most. No real signs of oxidation--I think it’s safe to say this beer is holding up well.
The flavor is something to fawn over. Gooey caramel candies coat the palate; beneath that are layers of butterscotch and dusty chocolate crumbles. Booze tastes sharp and still quite green despite Wooden Hell’s age. Whisky wood and vanilla linger on the finish, but the heat is nicely restrained. Carbonation is tight, making for a creamy mouthfeel that keeps the thick body in check. Both spritzy and vinous on the finish with a flash of alcohol. No overpowering heat, cloying sweetness, or laboriously thick body. Everything is in perfect balance in this beer. Amazing stuff, worth the hype. Thanks again Chuck (thickfreakness)!
Deep reddish amber color with a sticky foamy beige head. Great nose of bourbon barrel, ripe fruit and warming alcohol. So rich. Buttery bourbon taste with raisin, over ripe fruit, and oak. Really well balanced big ba barley wine. Clownoisseur (482) - Buchanan, Michigan, USA - MAY 16, 2017
Bottle via trade, thanks Kevin! Pours a translucent mahogany with deep copper and amber hues. Medium carbonation pushes a thin off-white head. Fine lacing. Looks clean. Aromas of toffee, vanilla, caramel , brown sugar and a light oaky bourbon. Whoa. I’m not a big Barley Wine fan, admittedly...so when one impresses me, it stands out. The balance here is nearly perfect. The barrel inflection is spot on. The body is medium and far from chewy, but masks the alcohol completely. Lightly sweet with hints of raisins, big toffee, vanilla and brown sugar. Very fresh and clean grain notes. The hops are extremely fresh too. Moderate dry bite. Just a delicate body with everything popping. So glad to have had this fresh! I’ll take this over some of the booze bombs I’ve had, anyday. Extremely impressed with this beer! ctipping (2047) - Florida, USA - MAY 13, 2017
650 mL bottle. Batch 1, the re-release made me realize I’d never put this one in. Originally reviewed 7/2/2014. Deep murky reddish brown body. Small welling of khaki bubbles. A very thin collar.
Smells little oxidized. Kinda cardboardy. Bourbon. Brown sugar. Boozy.
Taste has a better bourbon flavor. Better all around. Still a little cardboardy and oxidized. Some dark fruits to it, too. Lots of brown sugar. Woody finish. Almost spicy finish.
Medium carbonation. Oxidized in the back end. Boozy.
So this is getting old. The oxidation is becoming overwhelming.
rxeight (3083) - Illinois, USA - MAY 12, 2017
Rating #3000 and first for the return of the legend. Murky brown, with a slight red hue. Aroma is molasses, oak, brown sugar.
Taste is molasses, hard ribbon candy, oak, very light bourbon. Grassy hops on the finish.
Great to see this finally make a return, although now this is just a really solid barlewine. 11 years ago this would have been mind blowing. hackobock (4029) - Stockholm, SWEDEN - NOV 21, 2015
November 21, 2015. Sample courtesy of James, thanks!
fletchfighters (1529) - AUSTRALIA - JUL 21, 2015
Murky brown amber with almost no head. Aroma is caramel, raisins, figs, bourbon, oak, port wine, berries and slight oxidized cardboard notes.
Taste is sweet malty, soft bitter and some alcohol hints. Finish is is ligjt to medium bitter, light dry oak notes, sweet dried fruits, caramel, toffee, dark berries and warming bourbon alcohol. Medium to full bodied, oily texture, soft carbonation.
Great beer, slight past it’s prime showing a bit too much oxidation but can see why it’s top rated.
650 ML bottle
Dark mahogany color. Great ruby hues. Very clear until end. no head just a ring of lacing.
Nose is dark fruits, caramel, soft wood, soft bourbon notes, vanilla and coconut develop later after opened.
Taste is very bourbon forward. Must have been a beast younger. Lots of bourbon and notes of barrel. Swear it must have been with spirit as lots of caramel, vanilla and coconut. A lot of booze for the age. Bordering on spirit or port like as just very well balanced body to get that much barrel and to still get dark fruits and roasted malt.
Body is slightly sweet and spirit like. Has held up extremely well for the age.
Can see why this is considered a whale. Forerunner to the massive BA beasts of now. Probably way ahead of its time. Pleasure to drink djd07 (14517) - Houston, Texas, USA - JUN 18, 2015
Blind rating thanks to Brad as bottle was wrapped in foil. Pours a cloudy brown with small beige head that diminishes to nothing. The aroma is strong caramel, dark fruit, molasses, toffee, wood, bourbon. Medium mouth, similar flavors to nose, very boozy, held up well, shocked when I saw what the bottle was, thank you for this rare treat. tectactoe (3125) - Michigan, USA - APR 18, 2015
Bottle: Holy shit. Thanks, Anthony. Dark ass brown pour, almost black with barely any head, tiny beige collar. Aroma is huge, super thick. Caramel coated raisins, molasses, sweet toffee, vanilla, dense brown sugar, prune, & a strong oak underbody. Almost not oxidation but a strong bourbon aroma still lives. Flavor follows through with a huge river of caramel, toffee, brown sugar, thick wood, vanilla, cocoa dust, & more dark fruit in the finish. Booze flows from beginning to end. Awesome stuff. Dfonorow (2216) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - SEP 3, 2014
Bottle cellared since 2009. Pour is hazy brown/red with a thin tan head. Aroma of sticky caramel, dark fruit, raisins, burnt caramel, brown sugar, and molasses. Flavor is similar with some added alcohol warmth and slight hop presence. Medium body and carbonation. BoBoChamp (5755) - Gent, BELGIUM - JUL 8, 2014
65cl, retired exclusive American brew, thx alot to Dirk for sharing this rarity!, very complex brew, woody/alcoholic/sweet and slightly malty/fruity, yet not too heavy, balanced, cloudy, nearly no head, very good brew, yet not worth all the hype!, ’Sadly some signs of oxidation...’