phredrik (1024) - Copenhagen (formerly Aalborg), DENMARK - FEB 19, 2012
2005 vintage, 75 cl bottle at tasting. Ruby red pour with a small rim of khaki head. What stroke me about the aroma was that it isn’t in your face at all. Subtle dark fruits - esp. dates, figs - lush caramel, slight notes of coconut and vanilla. Dried apricots, slightly oxidized. The oxidation complements the other elements really well. Not very complex, but very pleasant and well balanced. Taste is high on the sweetness, lots of caramel (quite fudgy, actually), raisins, port like, figs. Huge coconut element, some vanilla. The funny thing is that it isn’t bourbony, but it has the coconut and vanilla from the barrel. Well balanced and quite easy drinking for a barrel aged barleyed wine. The mouthfeel is very thick, soft carbonation, which makes the texture velvety and very pleasant. I mind this beer. Slipstream (2677) - USA - OCT 16, 2011
A thank you to my cousin for cracking this open for sushi night. This was my first from now-defunct Heavyweight, and given quality like this, I am sorry they are not in business any more, altho apparently the people who ran the place are still in business as Earth Bread & Brewery in Philadelphia. This was from 2006 or so, but still tasted great. Vinous aroma with some vanilla notes. The flavor is complex and sweet - lots of malt, some raisin, spices, and bourbon. It is kind of punchlike, but a very good punch indeed. Excellent! Beerman6686 (6607) - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 27, 2011
This poured a murky medium brown color with a beige head. Aroma was lots and lots of sweet malts, lots of caramel, fig , and boubon. Flavor was nice vanilla from the oak and bourbon, lots of sweet caramel malt and light dried Fruit. Oxidation is there a ittle bit but hasnt completley taken over yet. alexsdad06 (10640) - West Chester, Ohio, USA - JUL 19, 2011
750 ml bottle shared by shigadeyo. Pours a cloudy copper color with no head to speak of at all. The aroma is big sweet caramel and toffee, ripe fruits, vanilla with only mild bourbon notes. Oxidation is there, but seems to be doing pretty well for its age. The flavor has sweet ripe fruits, sweet caramel malts, toffee, cherry notes, vanilla and hints of wood. This is very smooth and although sweet, a treat to see how this has held up. The oxidation notes don’t hurt this too much. I wish I had more. italarican (1549) - Indiana, Pennsylvania, USA - JUN 20, 2011
Bottle generously shared during the RBSG grand tasting. Pours a murky tan, headless. Aroma has classic barley wine notes of sweet toffee and marshmallow and a whisky background. Flavor is syrupy, syrupy toffee. This thing is massively sweet. Appears to have held up reasonably well.
MasterSki (8) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - APR 17, 2011 does not count
Received this in White Whale IV BIF from mikeyv35. Served in a Michigan Brewer’s Guild tulip.
A - Pours with surprising carbonation. A finger-plus of tan foam settles to a thick ring and partial cap, but minimal lace. Transparent dark brown body with some transparency when held at the right angle. Swishing the glass totally reactivates the foam.
S - Butterscotch, coconut, and oak - definitely a lot of barrel present here. Base beer provides brown sugar, molasses, and light oxidation notes. Gets increasingly woody as it warms up. Still pretty potent and defined after 6 years.
T - Taste is a little sweeter, with less overt oak character. Port-like oxidation, brown sugar, raisins, molasses, and butterscotch. Not much whiskey or overt alcohol - I’m guessing these have mellowed out over the years.
M - Carbonation is much too high - somewhat harsh and spritzy. It actually takes a while to settle down enough so that one can objectively evaluate the taste properly. Medium body seems a touch thin for 11%. Some tannic oak in the finish, but minimal alcohol warmth.
D - Had the unfortunate position of being consumed concurrently with M. Still it was quite tasty for a 6-year old barrel-aged barley wine. Once the bubbles dissipate a bit it’s a nice treat that any lover of the style should get to experience. Seems to be aging gracefully if cellared properly, although it’s not going to be better with additional age methinks. mreusch (851) - Olathe, Kansas, USA - JAN 8, 2011
750ml bottle, 2005 vintage, shared by beastiefan2k, thanks Eugene! Pours darker caramel with some burgundy highlights. Aroma is loaded with rich malts, toffee, caramel, ripe dark fruits, and some subdued barrel notes of oak and vanilla that are nicely complimentary. Flavor is more full flavored malts, caramel, toffee, ripe dark fruits and some light oak and vanilla to add to the sweetness, but mostly the barrel is fading away. This one is big and rich, and impressed with how it’s holding up, thanks again Eugene! csbosox (1229) - Prairie Village, Kansas, USA - JAN 4, 2011
750ml bottle. 2005 vintage. Malty, caramel, slight oxidation and moderate barrel aromas. Rich maltiness, toffee and light caramel with a little bit of barrel at the end. The barrel character is nicely balanced. Doodler (318) - Denver, Colorado, USA - DEC 27, 2010
750 bomber shared with Ratman and Irishboy (Thanks greatly!) Loved the cartoon label on this one. Poured into a BA Fest snifter. Starts out with a rich cola color and a decently thick tan head. Surprisingly for it’s age, it still has a full nose of darker fruits, leather and caramel apple aromas. First sips have rich malts and a slight oaky flavor. This is a big barleywine - robust with flavors of sticky prunes,,vanilla beans and a simple syrup backbone. Nice stuff. I didn’t get much of the bourbon barrel in the finish, but expect it has diminished over time. Still holding its own as a terrific brew. So glad I got to try. Thanks again for this treat Richard!. wavers1 (916) - Notown, California, USA - DEC 20, 2010
750ml courtesy of the baldwizard, huge thank you for this one! nice cloudy dark amber pour with desent head and retention. sweet, salty, dry, syrupy, just a touch of funk. completely delicious! holding up very well.