dcschiller (2208) - Scottsdale, Arizona, USA - JAN 15, 2012
(22oz bottle. Bottle on 10.08.11). Pours a clear garnet color with thin tan head. Aroma of bourbon, vanilla, brown sugar, caramel. Taste is sweet with brown sugar, caramel, vanilla, molasses, and light bourbon. The treatment is not overdone and very complimentary to the base beer. Full bodied with a sticky texture. Smooth finish. An awesome beer. beernbourbon (1592) - Iowa City, Iowa, USA - JAN 15, 2012
Sample enjoyed at bbbb in STL. Pour is deep. rich-looking brown with a medium light brown head. Aroma is very malt with hints of brown sugar, toffee, faint spice, and a touch of vanilla. Flavor is great: full bore toffee malt with a hint of vanilla and a touch of brown sugar. So rich and smooth. Just a great barleywine. MBrausen (69) - Minnesota, USA - JAN 14, 2012
Thanks to Dougofthefuture for holding this tasting!
Poured from a bomber into a snifter.
A. This beer pours a nice dark caramel color with a reddish hue, nice half finger head, consistent bubbles stemming from the center of the glass, , good retention of a thin layer all the way through the glass.
S. The smell is extremely sugary, very sweet, sweet alcohol and obvious whiskey overtones.
T. Taste is extremely sweet. Lots of sugar, heavy chocolate, oak, some vanilla , and a hint of whiskey.
M. It feels thick and chewy, a wet taste with a dry after taste. I feel like this beer covers up how thin the body actually is with the super sugary after-taste. I feel like it is thinner than it is. Medium body
O. Overall this is a very good beer. This is the way barrel aging should be done. Lots of oak/chocolate/vanilla from the barrel, and only mild alcohol taste to compliment it’s finish. That being said, this was an extremely sweet beer, to the point where I don’t think I could ever finish a bottle alone. It was very overbearing. I felt like I was a kid eating direct from the mixer at a bakery. It was very pure and raw sugar tasting. This beer is very good, but I think it is over-hyped. daknole (11049) - Scottsdale, Arizona, USA - JAN 12, 2012
Brown pour, off white creamy head. Sweet aroma of booze, vanilla, toffee, oak, candy sugar, syrup. Damn nice brew. Loaded with sticky malts, toffee, vanilla, brown sugar. davey101 (751) - Connecticut, USA - JAN 11, 2012
UPDATED: NOV 9, 2012 Bottled on 10/08/2011 0908. 22 oz bomber into an over sized wine glass at cellar temperature.
A - Extremely dark red body. Its almost black its so dark. Doesn’t let much light pass through. 2 finger dark khaki head lasted about 30 seconds before fizzing away into some random spotches and some light edging. Nice alcohol legs. Looks like a typical barley wine.
S - Huge bourbon presence. Very hot and intense, but pleasant and inviting. This is followed by sweet caramelized figs and raisins. Theres some light but complex notes of chocolate, molasses, and woody oak happening in the background. Crazy smooth vanilla rich bourbon aroma just steals the show though. Perfect aroma.
T - Starts with some biting alcohol. Vanilla and oak followed by a very sweet malt and dark caramelized fruit backbone. Not as complex as the nose, but theres still a lot of stray flavors happening here. Some toffee, caramel, and bittersweet chocolate. Very rich and sweet. The aftertaste is filled with perfectly mellow and smooth bourbon notes. I can feel the heat in the back of my throat, but its very easy to drink.
M - Medium to thick body with a nice low level of carbonation allowing it to drink extremely well. Really oily and smooth. The alcohol heat is there but doesn’t interfere at all.
O - Does it live up to the hype? Absolutely! Is it the best beer of 2011? I don’t think it is. It is one of the best barrel aged beers I have tried, and hands down the best barley wine I’ve had though. Stupidly good and worth the hassle of landing a bottle.
hombrepalo (1971) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JAN 8, 2012
UPDATED: DEC 16, 2013 1300th rating and it was excellent! Pours a dark blackish/brown color with a finger of off-white head. Rich bourbon aroma as well as plenty of dark fruits such as raisins and plums. A strong flavor of bourbon, vanilla, and caramel. Heavy on the brown sugar and toffee as well as some dark fruit notes. A thick full bodied with medium carbonation. Overall excellent and I wish I had more bottles.
arminjewell (9669) - East Lansing, Michigan, USA - JAN 8, 2012
UPDATED: JAN 16, 2012 Rating #2300 from notes, big, big thanks to Caleb for this pour from 22 oz bottle. Hazy dark ruby reddish pour with thin off white head, aroma has notes of nice bourbon and vanilla notes that are there but slightly muted a bit, nice caramel, toffee, dark fruits and slight chocolate-y notes in there, nice molasses in there as well. Taste is great, a nice mix of caramel, toffee, vanilla, bourbon and sweet molasses notes coat the mouth well, with slight bittering earth and dark fruits in there, really nice slight hints of grass, finishes fairly dry no alcohol in there. Fantastic stuff, and definitely should be drank ASAP! callmemickey (4543) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 8, 2012
UPDATED: MAR 1, 2013 A: Deep brown body with chestnut highlights. Think khaki skim. Only the faintest traces of lacing left here and there.
S: Bold and assertive. Caramel, bourbon, oak, vanilla, and dark fruits. The bourbon barrel treatment is restrained and complimentary of the base beer. Very nice.
T: Like the nose, the bourbon barrel treatment is wonderful. Second-use barrels kept the heat down, mellowed the bourbon, oak and vanilla, and smoothed the mouthfeel. You also get a bit of more chocolaty and roasted malt notes that are probably the result of the leftover Rare that had permeated the barrels. Otherwise, caramel, raisins, and toffee as expected.
M: Smooth, full bodied. Appropriately carbonated. The high ABV is pleasantly concealed.
O: A real winner. I was really impressed with the way the second use barrels impacted the end result. It was almost like this beer and been mellowing for a few years in the bottle rather than being a new release. Good job, Goose Island. GMCC2181 (1610) - Newark, Delaware, USA - JAN 8, 2012
Bottle via SL.... Poured into a snifter.... dark red, almost black in color, no head.... Nose of alcohol, bourbon, malty sweetness with a fruity touch. Taste a nice big warming barley wine... Alcohol is noticable but very warming... bourbon clearly makes it presence know but not in a offensive way at all.... big malty sweet base followed by a some dark fruit notes. Body is low carbontion....sticky..oily... but not sugary sweet.... Overall: Great BarleyWine for a cold winters night! jckp64 (356) - St Louis, Missouri, USA - JAN 4, 2012
Pours dark amber with a tan ring for a head. Aroma is caramel malts, Bourbon, vanilla and toffee. Flavor is sweet caramel malts, vanilla, bourbon, brown sugar and oak. Has a very nice smooth finish with just enough bourbon. This beer is ready to drink now. Awesome barleywine.