Heathen (1500) - Wilmington, Delaware, USA - JAN 31, 2012
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
THOUGHTS: All those ingredients and it’s still fairly smooth. Sort of like a stout and barley wine had a baby. I wonder ho long they can keep this up. Hid alcohol decently for the high ABV. There might be a lot of hops, but this was a malt showcase. It got more and more complex as it warmed. It’s always one of the best holiday ales.
TECHNICAL: Bottle. Poured a dark brown that was pretty much opaque black in the glass with reddish amber highlights at the edges and an average, light brown head that fully diminished and left virtually no lacing. The aroma had heavy nutty malt, dark chocolate, coffee and chocolate syrup; lighter grain; raisin; black cherry; tar, soy sauce; brown sugar; maple syrup; vanilla; licorice; and dark fruit. Kept getting fruitier as it warmed. The initial flavor was heavily sweet and light to moderately acidic; while the finish was heavily to nearly harshly sweet and light to mod bitter and lightly acidic with a long duration. There was chocolate syrup, caramel malt, that barley wine taste, roasted malt, something spicy like rye, alcohol, nutty malt, dark chocolate, toffee, molasses, maple syrup, brown sugar, dark Belgian candy sugar, dark fruits, raisin, prune, black cherry, soy sauce, a little coffee, vanilla, tobacco, licorice, and some sort of hop bitterness to balance things out. The full body was sticky on the lips, a little syrupy, ever so slightly creamy, then slightly dry, but also oily with soft carbonation and a lightly alcoholic and lightly metallic finish.
zvikar (5731) - Ramat Gan, ISRAEL - JAN 31, 2012
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
At the warm beer tasting, thanks eyes_wide_shut, pours clear black with a small head, aroma of raisins, honey, coffee and milk, flavor of coffee, dried fruits, caramel, chocolate, carbonation, full bodied, nice
GandGKevin (934) - Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA - JAN 29, 2012
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Shared with Chicago Mike and Dan. Caramel aromas with raisin. Flavors of toffee, chocolate and so much stuff I can’t even imagine what they put into it. Overall it’s pretty amazing.
brentfeesh (1208) - Mansfield, Ohio, USA - JAN 28, 2012
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
On cask at Atlanta cask ale tasting. Black oily pour. Tons of sweet booze in the aroma. Dates, prunes and dark fruit, Dr. Pepper, in the aroma. This is dessert. Chocolate with Orange and dark fruit and some kind of cordial liquor. You just need a little of this oily thick concoction. It’s good though.
deekyn (1459) - San Francisco, California, USA - JAN 27, 2012
3.1 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
A - pours dark molasses brown with no Heath and no lacing.
S - barley, grains and dark dried fruits up front. Molasses, caramel, brown sugar as well.
M - syrupy sweet heavy bodied brew. Chocolatey malty lingering ending.
T - molasses and caramel on the nose. Dark dried fruits and dark chocolate on the palate. Chocolate, molasses, brown sugar ending.
O - very good dark sugary barleywine. Quite good.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
tennessejed420 (940) - Denver, Colorado, USA - JAN 27, 2012
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
bomber. Pours a very dark reddish color with small tan head. Aroma of molasses, raisin, honey. Flavor has a nice lasting chocolate undertone with plenty of caramel, molasses. Very smooth for how young it is, impressive palate.
thornecb (5809) - Marblehead, Massachusetts, USA - JAN 25, 2012
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours deep mahogany into a jewbelation glass...Tan head quickly recedes to scant remnants. Dark pit fruit, chocolate, and licorice aromas. Thin with dark pit fruit, dark chocolate and dark caramel upfront lightening to licorice and soy before the lasting vanilla oak finish.
ChainGangGuy (4881) - Woodstock, Georgia, USA - JAN 25, 2012
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Appearance: Pours out a very, very dark brown body with a large-sized, toasted khaki-colored head.
Smell: Layers of sugar, dark syrup, sugar, and more sugar over roasted fruits with a spritz of swelling liquor. Over the years, their anniversary brews have gone from bold and big to now morbid and despondent.
Taste: Sharply sweet Coca-Cola soda syrup and chilled molasses glazed figs, dates, and prunes. Sweet enough that I cringed a bit, and it’s well-known I likes’m sweet. Remains notably fruity throughout, maybe even kicking up a notch. Also super sweet throughout. Faint, ineffective flutterings of citrus, spice, and leafy hops trying to shine through the heavy malts and residual sweetness. Some bitterness felt. Some ethanol felt, too. Very sweet, highly fruity finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation. Some sticky syrupiness here.
Overall: I thought last year’s Fourteen needed some time to settle and smooth out, and I most certainly feel the same for Fifteen (plus a tall glass of water to help wash it down). It’s all quite decent (for a 15% brew), but I’m really beginning to long for the big, bold, but more well-rounded anniversary brews of past years.
Ughsmash (7508) - Pewaukee, Wisconsin, USA - JAN 24, 2012
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bomber. Poured very deep brown with a creamy, almost whipped tan head.. set up nicely in the glass. The aroma picked up warm, toasted vanilla, caramel, and nutty notes on the first whiff.. peppery alcohol and rich, syrupy vinous notes around.. just a whole lot of stuff going on, and it worked well together. The flavor opened with tart vinous, oaky notes, and peppery alcohol.. molasses, darker chocolates, and jammy dark fruit at the core.. spicy and bitter around, with wine-like character on the very long finish.. tasty stuff! Heavier-bodied and a bit oily on the palate.. quite a bit of fruit in there.. a few too many residual sugars and random bitterness on the finish, but overall a very good brew!
drjay44 (3615) - Salida, Colorado, USA - JAN 23, 2012
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
650 ml. bottle. Pours a thick, long duration beige head,with some lacing, over a clear, dark reddish brown (SRM 33) body....nose is molasses, plum, fig, raisin....taste is sweet dried fruits, with plum raisin, fig, light molasses, very light soy tones....mouth feel thick, sticky, alcohol hidden, carbonation low. This is a rich, sweet, heavy, complex brew resembling the Dark Belgian Strong style more than the diffuse American Strong Ale. The sweetness dominates overmuch, but otherwise this is an interesting brew. It is not light, crisp, refreshing, but heavy, thick, chewy and very, very sweet. While it tastes good in winter, it could be used as a method of suicide on a hot summer day. BJCP 7/3/14/4/7