trevor211 (1681) - Seattle, Washington, USA - MAR 20, 2010
On tap at Hard Liver 2010 - named the winner at the festival. Deep red pour with a small head, dissipating to a pretty little ring of bubbles. Powerful oak notes, with bourbon and vanilla on the nose. Smells a little hot, but the flavor really does pull through on this one. Lots of wood, but not bourbon - more like fresh-cut oak. I really feel like this is what Angels Share should taste like. It has the complexity (toffee, caramel, vanilla, oak, some fruit, etc.) - but isn’t quite as much of a punch-you-in-the-face palate bomb. Really good. Nena (963) - Seattle, Washington, USA - MAR 20, 2010
Draft, Hard Liver, ’07 vintage. Dark brown pour, white head. Aroma is sweet and caramelly, with vanilla notes. This has a huge, yet subtle flavor. Has the characteristic barley wine sweet caramel and toffee, with sticky raisin notes and vanilla. Overall this is one the sweet side, but is balanced out by light earthy and grassy hop bitterness and pronounced oakiness. This is very drinkable with no noticable alcohol harshness. Very nice, and certainly the most balanced barley wine I had today. jcwattsrugger (12507) - Florida and, New Jersey, USA - MAR 9, 2010
@Toronado BWfest–on tap-pours a light tan ring for a head and copper color. Aroma is sweet medium malt-toffee, some earthy hops. Taste is sweet medium malt-toffee, some earthy hops. Medium body. SamGamgee (2452) - down the whirlpool, California, USA - FEB 17, 2010
Draught at the Toronado Barley Wine Festival 2010. Looked like every other barley wine at the festival. Lots of oak character all around. Rich dried fruit and caramel malt notes in both flavor and aroma. Mild bitterness. Great balance. Full bodied and smooth. A standout for sure, and I’m not surprised that it took home first place. bvc (1242) - Washington, USA - JAN 17, 2010
Draft from the teet. Dark caramel ruby with little head. Biscuit, prune...sweet and not overly complex. Prune, bread, brown sugar, raisins, toasted oak...again, nothing here that rocks me. I’ve had this at hardliver, wasn’t impressed, and now at the source and still wasn’t impressed. No flaws, but this is middle of the road barleywine.
savnac (2391) - Anchorage, Alaska, USA - DEC 11, 2009
On tap @ Glacier Brewhouse. Had an 06, 07, and 2010 during the 12 days of Barley Wine but will rate the 07 my favorite of the night aged in virgin French oak barrels for 1 year. Pours deep mahogany with a small off white head. Aroma of caramel, raisins, oak and alcohol. Flavor is sweet caramel malt with light bitterness and a very light alcohol taste. Medium to full body with mild carbonation and a syrupy mouth feel. This is a nice wood aged Barley Wine, the oak drys it out a bit which is nice compared to the fresh stainless steel aged batch. User29624 (1683) - - DEC 3, 2009
FOBAB 09. Pours red/brown with almost no head. Aroma of Jim Beam, woody, caramel malt. Decent flavor, but nothing special compared to the rest of the beers I had this day. Boozy in the flavor. It was cool to see them bring beer from Alaska for this occasion though. marcus (10474) - Sacramento, California, USA - NOV 15, 2009
On tap at Bistro Barrel Aged Fest. Pours dark amber with a thin beige head and a sweet malt aroma. The flavor is sweet malt with a lot of bourbon in it, providing some heat and a little sourness at the finish. BeerBunker (965) - Burbank, Illinois, USA - NOV 8, 2009
FOBAB 09. Pours ruby with a small off-white head. Aroma is strongly of Jim Beam, wood, sugar, malt, and caramel. Taste starts off with a huge Jim Beam character that never subsides and dominates the entire beer. There are some characters of wood and caramel, but they are extremely muted. There is also an undelying earthiness that doesn’t quite work. Has a base of dry malt that is dominated by the bourbon flavor. Lingering taste of more Jim Beam. The alcohol is well masked behind the flavor, but it does have a nice warming effect. If you don’t like Jim Beam, you won’t like this beer. It’s all bourbon, with very little of the actual beer still there. Not impressed, at all. SuzyGreenberg (1603) - Seattle, Washington, USA - APR 9, 2009
UPDATED: JAN 29, 2010 Draft @ Glacier Brewhouse; was eager to try this again after being disappointed by it at Hard Liver; dense brown with foamy white head; malty sugars and caramel with oak, vanilla cookies; winey rich with an almost port-like sweetness; medium body with touch of oxidation; chaulky and dry finish; pretty solid overall and maybe a tad too sweet
Original rating (3.2 overall): draft @ hard liver ’09 - with all the buildup, this sucker fell flat on its face IMO; clear, amber, slight white head; lemony hops, woody, light caramel; thin texture, mild flavor profile; eh; as Mike LaFontaine would say, "Wha’ Happen?"