auerbrau (3203) - Ithaca, New York, USA - JAN 13, 2010
12oz Bottle. Thanks Sean! An intense fruity nose that brings me back to the essence of Barleywine. Honey-drenched graham cracker, rum-macerated dried figs, and bourbon soaked peaches. Absolutely glowing and delightful. Froths up a thin rim of white. Lying beneath, a murky brew cloaked in henna and amber, fringing golden. Alcoholic bursts forward, taking within a strong mix of malts, fruits, and barrel. Oak, apricots, and oat crackers all tumble out of a brandy bottle, spilling the lugubrious vapors all over my palate. The alcohols really keep this one fresh. I expected sickening sweetness and instead got airy oak-balanced liquid toffee. This beer has a great balance of flavors and none of those rancid characters I might expected from such a beer, such as, bubblegum, early-stage infection, or oxidation. There’s a deep pithiness to the oak that elevates to vanilla and cream. This beer really and truly is an epic barleywine, one that reminds me that I do, in fact, enjoy the style (when done well). What a pleasant, lovely surprise. corby112 (2804) - philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 13, 2010
Pours a dark caramel toffee brown color with burnt amber edges. Completely still with a faint, very thing ring that quickly fades.
Sweet boozy aroma with a very prominent bourbon presence. Hints of caramel and toffee along with some dark fruit, especially fig, plum and raisin. Again, the bourbon is dominant but you can still smell the oak and other notes.
Very hot and extremely boozy with a ton of bourbon that dominates the flavor and lingers into a long warm finish. Subtle vanilla from the barrel along with some slick caramel toffee sweetness and dark fruit, namely fig, date and raisin. A bit too hot and bourbony and not as well balanced as I prefer but it’s a very nice sipping beer that should be savoured slowly.
punkrkr27 (903) - Berkley, Michigan, USA - DEC 23, 2009
2009 bottle. Rusty-brown colored pour with minimal head. Rich candied fig aroma with hints of plum, oak, vanilla, red grapes, red apples, and balanced bourbon. The flavor is candied fruit, rum raisin bread, a little spice, vanilla and a strong oaky finish with lots of booziness. This really drinks a nice mellow bourbon instead of an assertive barley wine. The body is full and velvety with low carbonation and a kick of alcohol warming after you swallow a sip. I wouldn’t really try to pair this with anything, but it make a great aperitif after a nice steak dinner. deyholla (11602) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - DEC 21, 2009
On tap at the brewpub during ’09 Winter Solstice. ’09 version. Poured a burnt sienna with a tint of yellow and no head. A huge aroma that was full of sweet grain notes and a strong note of bourbon. Flavor starts quite sweet with grainy and caramel notes, but bourbon and booze take over in the finish. Nice and thick on the tongue. mattmc1973 (479) - Sterling Heights, Michigan, USA - DEC 20, 2009
On draft at 2009 Winter Solstice party. 10 oz snifter. Deep caramel brown with no head. Aroma of strong bourbon, caramel, brown sugar, and dark fruit. Taste is sweet and sugary. Smooth mouthfeel with light carbonation, slight alcohol burn. Delicious!
Sammy (12204) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - DEC 20, 2009
UPDATED: DEC 29, 2009 Mondiale 2007. Dark brown body with amber highlights. A great soapy white head. Very fresh tasting, vanilla and caramel. A very good bourbon barrel effort, and a great matchup of barleywine. yobdoog (1888) - Kingston, New York, USA - DEC 7, 2009
Aroma is great. Sweet, dark rich fruit, wood and mellow bourbon and vanilla. Love the vanilla that comes out from the aging. Flavor is sweet, molasses, vanilla, bourbon and sherry with some faint fruit. Nice. zathrus13 (1776) - Mount Laurel, New Jersey, USA - NOV 15, 2009
Big thanks to BB63 for this bottle. Pours cloudy brown. Aroma is bourbon, malt, oak, fruit, toffee, and vanilla. Flavor is fruit, mostly cherries, toffee, bourbon. malt, and oak. Fairly heavy body. Very mouth watering, and the alcohol is pretty well hidden. Very little carbonation. More would make this even more incredible. hapjydeuce (1001) - Carlsbad, California, USA - JUL 10, 2009
Bottle brought by jarspag to the 6/27/09 D-METAL in Del Mar. Shared with Katie and Simon as well. Thanks for the chance to try this kickass rarity J. Not much on the appearance, clear burgundy color that is still and coats the snifter with legs. F*cking epic aroma! Fills the room with notes of cherry, oak wood, cinnamon and brown sugar with toffee. The nose changes from good to great as it warms. Flavor is a beautiful medley of cherry, plum, cocoa, wood barrel and light bourbon tones underneath some green apple. The bourbon complements everything very well, but is never too hot or overdone. Hellishly smooth palate with a warming finish, like a fine cognac that nearly numbs the roof of the mouth. F*ck me this is good. jarspag (601) - San Francisco, California, USA - JUL 9, 2009
Bottle shared w/ J, K, and Simon at the 6/27 Del Mar Doom. Thanks Derek! F me...this is unreal. Silly, stupid, ridiculous. You know those beers you crack, sniff, and laugh? What you’d expect in the nose - but to perfection. Oak, bourbon, sweet malt/toffee, mellowed and powerful. Flavor boasts PLUM, sweet (a good sweet), oak, bourbon, raisin, toffee, candy apple, caramel, slight roast in the finish ... a really pleasant heat. Palate is aged to perfection and soft... beginning to push the limits of a "beer". This was a ’wow’ type beer in every way. You guys should probably make this again.