beachbum25 (1092) - Powellville, Maryland, USA - MAY 25, 2012
22 oz bomber-Mahogany pour w/a very slight tan head which quickly fades into great, long lasting lacing. Fruity, winelike aroma. Cabernet Barrell Aging is quite evedent, very winelike flavor, really like drinking a fine port wine. Complex, multi layer flavor. I have always found the regular Below Decks Barleywine to have a harsh, short flavor.....this Cabernet Barrell Aging totally changes that. Very Enjoyable!! jeremytoni (3082) - Swedesboro, New Jersey, USA - APR 10, 2012
From a bottle poured a brown color with a small amount of head. Strong sweet malty flavor with a lingering finish. watsonmd (12) - Georgia, USA - MAR 14, 2012
Awesome beer. Ended a four beer trading with this beer. great palate. Middle ground flavor. TheGB (578) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - MAR 2, 2012
2011 version from Market Street Wineshop. Pours a dark brown with a good 1/4" head, better than the bourbon barrel version. Nice aroma of dark fruits and vanilla from the cabernet barrels, but also chocolate malt and hops. Full bodied with a smooth palate of dark fruits, vanilla, chocolate. Cabernet flavor is more prominent than I expected, but it’s good. Travlr (25556) - Charlotte, North Carolina, USA - FEB 24, 2012
Draft. Murky brownish maroon color. Aroma of vanilla, port, chocolate. Taste has port, coffee, cocoa. Nice.
dbarnold (1127) - Bethesda, Maryland, USA - FEB 10, 2012
I thought this was much better than the standard version, the cabernet really shows through. It’s got a rich dried fruit flavor from the barrell, isn’t overly sweet, and has a nice dry finish. One of the better heavy seas beers I’ve had. Heathen (1500) - Wilmington, Delaware, USA - FEB 4, 2012
THOUGHTS: In that rare type of barley wine like Sam Adams Triple Bock or North Coast Old Stock where there is a good amount of chocolate and soy flavors and aroma. Only slightly wine-like notes in the flavor, but the wine did seem to have made the beer more complex. A little too sweet. It became slightly cloying after a while.
TECHNICAL: Bottle. Poured a very dark red that was nearly black in the glass with a small, off-white head that mostly diminished and left fair lacing. The aroma had heavy molasses, caramel, chocolate and chocolate syrup; cherry; sort of red wine; wood; soy sauce; toffee; brown sugar; maple syrup; vanilla; light alcohol; dark fruit; and that barley wine smell. The initial flavor was mod to heavily sweet and lightly acidic; while the finish was heavily sweet, slightly bitter and lightly acidic with a fairly long duration. There was chocolate, soy sauce, caramel, that barley wine taste, toffee, maple syrup, cola, chocolate syrup, cherry, dark fruit, some red wine, wood, molasses, hints of smoke, tar, alcohol, maybe a little vanilla and maybe some brown sugar. The medium to full body was slightly syrupy, oily, then a little dry with fizzy carbonation and a light to moderate alcoholic finish. ljay6880 (475) - , Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 31, 2012
22 oz bottle served in a tulip. Pour is ruddy brown with two fingers of quickly dissipating kaki head that left very modest lacing. Nose is a beautiful swirl of ultra creamy vanilla, velvety caramel, dark molasses, wood, and I don’t know how, but something very similar to cherry. Taste is verbatim to the nose, and delivered in the utmost decadent of dessert fashion. I enjoy Below Decks, but this CAB barrel takes it to a different world! Get this if the opportunity presents itself, as long as you can indulge a hell of a sweet tooth! ChainGangGuy (4909) - Woodstock, Georgia, USA - JAN 26, 2012
22 ounce bottle - $6.99 at Olde Crabapple Bottle Shoppe in Alpharetta, Georgia. 2011 bottling.
Beerdedone (3432) - Croydon, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 25, 2012
Appearance: Pours out a dark brown body with a short-lived, light ecru head.
Smell: Tannic-scented, oak barrel-laden, sweet-scented, vinously fruity Cabernet nose over the charred bread and lightly toffee-edged malts.
Taste: Tart, tannic, fruity, and reasonably sweet with the Cabernet fully taking the lead ahead of the basic breadiness, lowly roasty from the malts. Modest inclusion of hops and bitterness. Small spiciness from the overall alcohol. Just vinous and sweet (but not quite too sweet) throughout and into the smooth finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation. Slightly sticky mouthfeel.
Overall: While not a grand slam home run cue-the-fireworks beer, it is a marked, appreciated improvement on the dreary base barleywine I had over five years ago. Sometimes, barrel aging actually brings down the initial beer, sometimes it’s a toss-up, sometimes it can make a good beer even better, and, sometimes, it can even revive a real dud. Consider this dud revived, friends!
Bottle. Pours a hazy dark amber with ruby highlights and has a creamy off-white head that left nice lacing. Sweet aroma of caramel, oak, toffee, fruit and had notes of red wine. Smooth & silky flavor of sweet caramel, dark fruit, toffee, red wine, wood/oak and a touch of vanilla.