oobawa (1662) - Tennessee, USA - OCT 6, 2017 Odysseyalien (74) - New Jersey, USA - NOV 23, 2012
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Single bottle found at Cable Beverage, Nanuet, NY. I may also have had this on tap back during the Spring of 2012 at the Blind Tiger in Manhattan. When I found this at Cable Beverage though I wasn’t sure if it was a British or American barleywine. I almost never drink American barleywines as I don’t care to mix my beloved DIPAs with my beloved British barleywines. (American barleywines are usually hopped up compared to the British.)
So it was a very pleasant surprise to open this bottle and find that it was only moderately hoppy. The head was only about an inch deep and dissipated fairly quickly. Lacing on the glass was slight to say the least but I have no problem with that.
The smell -- molasses, raisins, dark fruit. The taste -- molasses, slightly sweet...just the right amount of sweetness to make it welcome as a dessert or after dinner beer or a nice mid-afternoon refresher.
Was there some real age on this bottle to make it less hoppy and thus more pleasant? I don’t know. I do know that I want to get some more and open my mind to more American barleywines. This was a real pleasant surprise and I’m glad I found it.
UPDATED: OCT 18, 2017 2010 bottle. Not as complex and robust as I'd expect in a barleywine this old, indulgent but a bit superficial as far as the style goes. Still drinkable--don't get me wrong--but the caramel sweetness is the dominant trait, with a little molasses and sweet tea notes underneath. Hops have morphed into a juniper-like herbal freshness, bitter but brisk, a nice break from the hefty malt. Still a bit of a bite in the texture, not quite alcohol warmth but not not boozy either. Good, but you want more depth after seven years on the shelf. gripweed57 (2805) - Hamilton Square, New Jersey, USA - MAY 7, 2017
From old tasting notes. Cloudy brown color. Interesting spicy malt nose hints at rosemary and oregano. Intensely sweet and spicy malt flavor is redolent of rosemary. Big alcohol push. Complex and beguiling. Christos (5885) - Arnhem, NETHERLANDS - MAR 1, 2017
(Mad River John Barleycorn) Bottle 355ml at home, served into a teku, ABV 10% Vintage 2014.
Deep mahogany brown colour on the body, mostly clear, with a tall but thin dark beige head, average retention.
Aroma has light caramel, dates, plums, nice hoppy notes.
Taste is sweet, with caramel, toffee, dark fruits, little bit of raisins biscuit, just a hint of alcohol, hops and a nice bitterness on the finish.
Medium body, good amount of carbonation.
Pretty good! DwarfeD (3540) - Amersfoort, NETHERLANDS - JAN 26, 2017
Bottle at Boothill, Amersfoort. Dark pale amber brown with almost no head. Full body with low carbonation. Quite sweet with nice bitter tones. Caramel, ripe dark fruits, raisin and malts. Nice. J_man (1022) - Tustin, California, USA - JAN 19, 2017
2016 version at 10% ABV. Strong molasses aroma along with a bit of burnt sugar. Appears to be a medium brown color but under bright light it’s a nice reddish orange. Unfortunately, the burnt sugar comes through much stronger in the taste with an acrid note that builds as you go. There’s some good dry leaf and earthy hop bitterness here, but it adds to (or might be a major component of) the burned flavor here. Fortunately, a delicious honey/caramel/molasses sweetness comes in and at least attempts to balance this out. In the end, the flavor mellows a bit although a strong alcohol bite comes through and heats things up. Lasting bitterness and dark honey sweetness. I’ve had previous versions of John Barleycorn and I think they were better balanced than this version since I remember wanting more of them. This one’s not bad, but it’s not the best.
MaartenRF10 (1959) - Wageningen, NETHERLANDS - JAN 13, 2017
Geen geweldige barleywine. Behoorlijk bitter, veel koolzuur. Tegenvaller... tricksta_p (5029) - Steenwijk, NETHERLANDS - JAN 6, 2017
2014 vintage. Bottle from Bierkoning, Amsterdam. Aroma is sweet malt, grain, caramel, toffee, hoppy notes in the finish, touch of berries, caramelized sugar, alcohol. Flavour is sweet and moderate to medium hoppy bitter with a bittersweet finish. Quite boozy with alcohol burn. Body is above medium. Okay drinkable, but kind of rough harsh sugary malt boozy Barleywine, not my favourite. zdk (1917) - New York, New York, USA - JAN 3, 2017
2008. Burgundy pour. Very much passed its peak... if it ever had one. Nose is butter and corn, burnt caramel and toffee malts. Roasted nuts and toasted malts. Some sulfur coming out at the back. Dry finish. Full bodied and a bit skunky. EvNa (456) - Ede, NETHERLANDS - JAN 1, 2017
UPDATED: JAN 1, 2017 Bottle. Vintage 2014. Color: Ruby, almost no head. Taste: Sweet malts, alcohol, sticky toffee, grainy. Hints of red fruit. More hoppy and some spicy and citrus notes at the finish. Medium body and carbonation. JPDIPSO (6261) - Wauwatosa, USA - DEC 31, 2016
Umber color with a diminished taupe head. Sweet aromas of over ripe fruit, dark toffee and hints of citric zest. Sweet start with a mild resin middle. Simple, snifter and fire brew. 1/14