phishpond417 (2087) - Madison, Wisconsin, USA - FEB 8, 2009
On tap at the downtown location, served in a sniffer glass: Pours a hazey orangeish colour with a fairly large white head. Noticeably piney, well hopped and soft alcohol fumes on the nose. Taste is awesome. Very fruity, lots of tropical fruit and firm astringent hop notes. Hint of raisins and black cherry flavors. This is the 2008 verison. noncaloric (684) - Madison, Wisconsin, USA - JAN 30, 2009
UPDATED: MAR 8, 2009 Hazy red-orange with a modestly sized but well retained creamy beige head. Minimal lace. Aroma is malty with decidedly fruity ester overtones. On the flavor, the fruits take on a decidedly peachy character, with sweet malts and vanilla forming the backbone. Not a lot of aroma hops, but a definite hops bitterness sets off the sweetness. Medium to full mouthfeel, alcohol warming, a minty cooling, and an effervescence of tiny bubbles all contribute to the palate. DietPepsican (1592) - @ $13.99, Iowa, USA - MAR 20, 2008
05 vintage, what a treat! Pours a dark ruby with a thin tan head. Aroma is strong walnut and vanilla. Flavor is walnuts, vanilla, plus, toffee, raisin, brown sugar, and pear. Finishes mildly bittersweet. Little carbonation. Amazingly creamy. Reminds me of sherry. Very nice! GeneralGao (3614) - Iowa City, Iowa, USA - FEB 18, 2007
Draft at the brewpub. Clear garnet-brown color. Head was thin, off white, and reduced quickly into a thin ring that didn’t really leave any lace behind. Aroma was of French perfume, malty molasses, and plum. Sweet and full bodied. Very fruity with malty toffee, light brown sugar, and warm alcohol. iowaherkeye (2702) - Ocean Beach, San Diego, California, USA - FEB 15, 2007
Draft at the brewpub. Was told this was the 2006 batch. Served in a 9oz. snifter. Clear ruby brown with a fading one finger beige head. Aroma of raisins, molasses, brown sugar, grapefruit and lemons. The flavor had some vanilla sweetness up front, milk chocolate, raisins, brown sugar, and a coffee sweetener finish. There is a bit of a cherry brandy sweetness in there as well. Overall pretty sweet. Full thick body with low to moderate carbonation. Pretty decent brew to finish out my night.
TheEnemy (563) - Chicago, USA - JAN 7, 2007
On tap.troyc (2869) - Illinois, USA - DEC 26, 2006
Pours a dark mahogany with a thin ring of bubbles around the rim. Aroma is molasses-sweet malt and sharp, piney hops. Flavor is huge and malty sweet with tobacco-leaf hop flavors very prominent. In fact they’re almost too prominent causing me to issue the same complaint I have about many American (particularly West Coast) barleywines: the use of Northwest hop strains in barleywines has to be done exactly right or they clash with the rich, darker malts and the combination becomes acrid. Unfortunately this barleywine suffers slightly from that problem, but not so much as to make it a deal-breaker for me. Big, rich, thick almost sticky palate. In my estimation their Barley Port hits much closer to the style ideal. This is still a good, rich beer to have as your final beer of the evening.
(Tap) Pours an amber color. Not much of a head, and light carbonation. Sweet and very alcoholic. Carmelized sugar notes, maybe some maple syrup in there as well, with warming throughout. Decent mouthfeel, yet too cloying for me. OK, but not really my thing. bowhunter24 (8) - Wisconsin, USA - SEP 13, 2006 does not count
Oh my f’ing god this is good beer. A thin frothy ring of head indroduces one to the wonderful camel/maple flavors. Quite sweet and malty with a lasting finish. Very full bodied and satisfying. High alcohol content, but not noticible. It is a seasonal brew which one simply must experience when visiting the Madison, WI area. StewardofGondor (1934) - Washington Heights - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - APR 3, 2006
Barely translucent with a caramel-orangish-brown tint. Sudsy white rung and an ice pond sheaf formation comprise the head. Sweet aromatic cacophony alliterates cherry toffee chews, amaretto syrup running down the sides of maple oak vats, caramelized pistachios and Disaronno on graham crust. A dessert nose, no doubt. Lighter fairing flavor registers with boozy grenadine. Very sweet, to the point of candi sugar accompaniment. Carbonation conceals a little of the sweet malt testament, but we never advance to nailing the barleywine bill. Some thicker fluidity is countermanded by seeming simcoe and amarillo flavor hop additions. Like a small beer version from Old Foggy’s second runnings. Cherry toffee cordials melting in the spring sun bring things to a close. A bit of a let down, but still a decent drink. DJMonarch (9180) - Northwich, Cheshire, ENGLAND - MAR 14, 2006
Barrel Draught from the jug at the GABF, Colorado Convention Center 29/09/2005
Mid brown coloured and very strong in alcohol with a fruit aroma. Crisp hoppy slightly bitter malt finish.