diabel (1713) - Aarschot, BELGIUM - JAN 8, 2007
Bottle at the Düsseldorf Gathering. Muddy, amber body. Off-white, fizzy head. Very intense aroma of honey, flowers, vanilla, wine, barrels, orange, ... even somewhat too intense, reminds me in some kind of way also like jam smells. Moderately bitter, moderately sweet flavour. Nice complex flavour of vanilla and fruits, but not overwhelming. jbrus (4990) - Delft, NETHERLANDS - JAN 8, 2007
Dusseldorf Gathering, Bottled. Not bad but plain aroma: sweet, apple and some aroma hops. Cloudy, orange color, beige head, good lace. Sweet, fruity, well hopped, oak and bourbon (not strong, just right), apple, vanilla, sticky mouthfeel. Nice. RagallachMC (631) - Cleveland, Ohio, USA - JAN 3, 2007
12oz bottle via CaptainCougar. Batch 64. Aroma: Oak is upfront with a nice vanilla and caramel character. Oak makes me think of some nice oaked Chardonnays I’ve had in the past. Strong yeasty breadiness, and a good dose of orange. Intense. Appearance: Dark orange/amber in color and very hazy. Light beige head was small and creamy, but didn’t last long. Formed a pleasant cap, however. Nice lacing. Flavor: Oak comes through strong again. Good dose of vanilla and a light spiciness. Oak lingers in the mouth long after swallowing. Good caramel, bready/yeasty, orange and floral notes, as well. Palate: Full bodied. Moderate carbonation. Nice alcohol warming covers mouth. Some light astringency on tongue. Overall: Intense and delicious. Not something I’d want to drink every night, but great for a special occasion. drewbeerme (3920) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - DEC 25, 2006
UPDATED: FEB 5, 2008 12oz bottle. Batch 64 (RB series) released 6/06, 6 months old now. Thanks to JCB for this extra! What, Fred from the wood as an extra! Yep. Pours a cloudy dense amber with 1/4inch head. looks great. aroma is mainly american oak, the oak takes over the aroma clearly, with some citrus possibly from the hops. very impressive oak aroma. flavor has loads of charred american oak, loads of vanilla, bright citrus notes, some caramel. Flavor is very nice but there’s something about it that prevents me from crowning it. perhaps it’s the american oak and how strong that type of oak is, maybe i’d prefer french oak or a wine barrel. i’m rather sensitive to vanilla flavor and perhaps the oak creates to much vanilla for my liking. however, as after 6oz or so I got used to the sharp oakiness and it no longer bothered me. every sip sits on the palate nicely for a long time. very impressive. alcohol is barley noticible and well hidden. a very impressive beer and due to the oak aging it’s a BW that stands apart from the others. i wonder how this beer will age.4.vyvvy (6465) - Florissant, Missouri, USA - DEC 22, 2006
11/21/07, 12oz bottle, RB series. aged 17months. pours hazy golden-amber with off white head that last the whole time with great head retention for a barrel aged beer. this is truly a masterful beer, the oak aging is wonderfully done, nothing out of balance, but the oak is impossible to miss. i love how the vanilla is there but it doesn’t take over and mesh with the sweetness of the malts. the wood leaves a charred note, but delicate one, nice soft tobacco, and sherry like notes. i can’t get over how incredible this beer is. just a joy to drink that is clearly something unique and special. aging well and showing no signs of slowing down. i’m not sure how age will help this beer but it probably wont hurt it either. awesome stuff. 8/5/8/5/17=4.3.
2/5/08, batch 64, aged 20 months. a head really never formed. nose seemed just a touch oxidized with some port and sherry notes. the body is thinning a tad more too. flavor is still there, melding nicely, huge oak, still holding up well. i can’t see this getting better though. i think it is what it is at this point, and that’s a great thing, this is still an extremely oaky smooth easy drinking barleywine. wonderful stuff.8/4/9/4/17=4.2.
Massive thanks to Beerdrenched for sharing this fantastic rarity - Batch 64. Pours hazy orange / brown with good sized cream colored head. The aroma has lots of wood and vanilla along with wild earthy yeaste (bret??), some white grapes seem to be in the mix as well. This smell like no barley wine I’ve ever encountered. Medium / full body with some soft carbonation that doesn’t interfer with a thing. The taste starts sharp with malt, saison style fruitiness, grapes, kiwi and some breadiness. The finish has more spice and funk. Very complex and wonderful. Having this next to Allahash Odyssey was a pair made in beer heaven. Excellent unique beer.
Terminus (3683) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - DEC 18, 2006
bottle-thanks to Ernest for this fine brew! pours lightly hazy copper/bright orange with a fizzy off-white head. nose is big vanilla, oak, lots of funk-bret-like notes, which really makes this one stand out from the crowd. flavors are very nice-lightly alcholic, lots of funky bret, grapes, and some spices. pales is somewhat fizzy but not that bad, which is my only gripe about the beer. another winner from HOTD. thebaldwizard (1207) - Ohio, USA - DEC 18, 2006
Bottle from Tever--thanks man! Aroma is of oak, dark fruits, citrus, honey and some wine like scents as well. Murky golden brown with medium head. The palate is full with medium carbonation. Taste is lots of raisins, wood, and some noticeable alcohol. Very light citrus hint in the finish. A complex and tastey brew. tiggmtl (4545) - East York, Ontario, CANADA - DEC 13, 2006
Some things really live up to their hype. This is one of those things! Vinous aroma offers notes of vanilla, italian parsley, kohlrabi, celery, pepper, plums, raisins, sherry and berries. Malt character is sweet and lightly toasty. Opaque muddy tan-copper coloured body is topped by a decent and lasting white head that stands throughout and laces well. Hugely complex flavour profile does a tour of duty through generous maltiness, herbal hops, fair bitterness, fruity esters and vinous, oaky barrel character. Barrel is everpresent but never overwhelming. Sweetness lingers on the tongue in the aftertaste along with some alcohol though again it does not dominate. Somewhat sticky, lip smacking texture with pointy, though soft bubbled carbonation. Obviously there are some brewers out there who get that it takes more than a barrel to make a classic. Cheers! Bottle enjoyed with MartinT, Olivier_MTL and Rastacouere. spector (906) - Lancaster, Ohio, USA - DEC 11, 2006
Aroma’s are of raisins and vinegar.Pours hazy brown with a reddish tint.Has a medium off white head.Raisins,oak,and alcohol stand out in the flavors.Full palate with lots of alcohol in the finish. JonnyC22 (164) - Huntsville, Alabama, USA - NOV 28, 2006
Ridiculous. Gotta thank Grant for bringing this down. Every flavor you could ever want out of a bw. Only drawback..a little too much alcohol taste for only ten percent. Still a solid 4.