blankboy (7833) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - AUG 22, 2005
Bottle shared with HogTownHarry, GregClow & tupalev -- courtesy of HogTownHarry. Pours a lightly cloudy dark ruby with a small tan head. The sweet aroma of roasted malt, dark fruit and alcohol was fantastic -- I spent several minutes just smelling it. The flavour was nothing to scoff at either: the roasted malt, chocolate, dark fruit, caramel, alcohol and hops were all perfectly combined into a really flavourful, delicious taste. As much as I love it I do find it odd to see it listed as a Barley Wine when, to me, it tastes more like an English Strong Ale. I loved it and like HogTownHarry, I look forward to getting more. Gorbalev (3000) - Ontario, CANADA - AUG 22, 2005
Bottle shared with HogTownHarry, GregClow & blankboy - courtesy of Harry. Strong hops, alcohol, and chewy malt in aroma (yes, I can smell chewy malt, all hail to my sniffer) - a cake like sweetness. Foamy big white head on dark brown body. Really nice strong ale malty taste with some hops. Well balanced. Not afraid to be full bodied, which adds to the balancing perfection. We’ve been trying thin little wannabe beers all night, so something this substantial was appreciated. And it is an imported English Ale that tastes fresh, thank you!!!!! Wonderful strong ale. krisbierjaeger (844) - dolores, Colorado, USA - FEB 10, 2006
an interesting aspect of my incipient senility is that i can’t really remember... can’t remember... uh, what i’m doing here. and who is that pig on MY sofa? uh, i mean, uh, sorry honey, i didn’t recognize you there. something about the light, you looked like snorka the killer whale for a minute. heh heh. no, i mean i can’t remember in an encyclopedic way every barley wine i’ve ever had. i can’t search my memory’s library of catalogued tastes and aromas in order to tell you where this ale falls--or fails-- in that presumed continuum. in short, rather than consider it lacking as a barley wine, as many have done in these esteemed ratebeer ratings, i’d like to consider it a robust adventure in a category that’s probably too narrow in the popular sense: english strong. maybe expanding that style has been discussed ad nauseam, or even debunked as a notion, but i can’t remember. i know that moonraker has a fabulous color of an old gibson mandolin-- the deep mahogany models with the hot garnet smudges glowing through the worn spots. the head is like a lapidary’s polishing cloth, chamois tan and soft enough to poke in a baby’s ear. i adore the treatment of these honey-bronze caramel malts, they ring in the aroma with baked apples and cherry pie, browning crusts and dried plums packed in whiskey-washed oak barrels. it’s got brisk carbonation out of the bottle, but with time, naturally, it becomes winey soft, with rich malts filling out a full-bodied flavor instead of grapes, tannin in the vinous sense is replicated by a moderate oaky hop bitterness. granted, it’s sweet enough with caramel to dip halloween apples in, but i think that dessert delectability is balanced with sherry-like alcohol, and again, that deep-root bitterness which combines vanilla bean, sassafras, and the kind of heart wood strength that holds an live oak together in a storm. while it’s thick enough to enjoy with a cigar, it has a bald spot admittedly where you thought a barley wine should be full, but, but... oh shit, i had another great point, but, uh, i lost my train of thought. can i get back to you on that? RooftopRogue (423) - Champaign, Illinois, USA - MAR 4, 2006
This beer offers a nice hearty aroma of figs and fruit. It is a dark walnut colored solution that sits under a good thick ivory head. This beer tingles the tongue as it enters the mouth. The taste is an infusion of figs, dates, and fruit. It fades leaving a nice mild malt flavor lingering in the throat. GG (2332) - NorCal, California, USA - MAR 27, 2008
Not sure what it was about this beer that really made it tasty. The tobacco-like notes in the flavor was probably what sold me. Of course it could have been the toffeeish malts or the dark fruits that made this so easy to drink. Either way this was a solid beer all the way thru. The color is a dark amber/brown color, cloudy with just a scant head. Not much carbonation in this one either but that’s okay. Clearly a sipper of a beer.
maeib (8749) - Wootton, Northampton, Northamptonshire, ENGLAND - FEB 19, 2010
Bottled. A muddy chestnut coloured beer with no head. The aroma is vinuous, fruity and malty. Brown fruits and bread in the nose. Lovely fruity alcoholic taste. There’s a bit of sweet pickle (Branstons) in there. Warming and very lovely. gwpom (298) - Akron, New York, USA - MAR 16, 2010
500 ml. Deep copper color, white nonexistant head, but a tasty strong ale. At 7.5%, just the ticket after a hard day at work. I like strong ales, and I like this one. I’ll get it again. jtclockwork (17381) - , New Jersey, USA - APR 30, 2010
Brown pour. Molasses and brown sugar nose. Candied apple and plum taste. Very smooth and easily drinkable for the style. Bulk_Carrier (6065) - Vermont, USA - AUG 26, 2014
Reviewed from notes.
This was poured into a mug.
The appearance was a semi-dark brown color with a one finger white foamy head that dissipated within about a minute. Light foamy lacing graced the sides of the glass.
The smell had a roasty nutty caramel aroma, somewhat like a brown ale. But a nice rich invasive chocolate came through with a light coffee to enliven a bit.
The taste was pretty much the same with a light added vanilla.
On the palate, this one sat about a light to medium on the body with a fair sessionability about it. The carbonation was mostly subdued and good for the style and for me.
Overall, English Strong Ale or English Brown Ale, it doesn’t matter to me, it’s good and definitely worthy of having again.