Alphadelic (2237) - Portland, Oregon, USA - OCT 12, 2011
It really is a great winter warmer. Surprisingly dark in looks it’s all about rich grainy aromas backed up by a pleasant boozy heat. In the mouth it begins with a spiky carbonation and woody, resinous grain. This then rolls back into ripe fruit and some light milk-chocolate flavours. These, in turn, fall away to reveal the warm brandy-like booziness of that 9.5%. It’s got plenty of rsidual sugar but that is counteracted with great alacrity by a zesty hop bitterness. Its vinous fruit stays with you like its heat in your stomach. Delicious. jehoesefat (366) - Poway, California, USA - MAY 16, 2013
Aroma is deep, malty, and toasty. Pours clear dark orange with a creamy head. Deeply flavored with strong malt aftertaste, goes down thick and creamy. liquidhedonism (289) - Beaverton, Oregon, USA - DEC 16, 2014
12 oz bottle. Appearance: very dark amber color (almost Porter-like), with lots of stirred up sediment. Aroma: malty and smokey, with hints of burned caramel, dates, and toast. Taste/Palate: thick, crisp, and sweet; finishes bitter and astringent. Indra (2711) - Suburbia, Kansas, USA - MAR 31, 2003
2001 bottling. Intense aroma, plenty of fruitiness, some apple, citrus and cherry, baking spices, faint tea leaves, wafting alcohol and lightly spicy hops. Red-orange color, finely hazed, initially fine head that all but dissipated completely. Great balance of caramel, bready, fruity malt sweetness, spicy, lightly piney and herbal hop flavors, bitterness and warming alcohol. Low effervescence on the palate and syrupy, oily mouthfeel. This is just a very nice beer, and the two years' aging certainly could not have hurt. hayduke (5211) - Eureka, California, USA - DEC 24, 2005
UPDATED: NOV 12, 2007 This is a 2007 update and this has managed to get ever better. Poured a very rich mahogany that was sort of a cross between red and brown and raised a big fat tan head left wonderful lacing in the glass. Wonderful nose of barley malts, hops,and some woody odors. Very smooth mouthfeel. Nice hop finish. This was good before and somehow they have made this batch even better.
Original rating 12/24/05 was 7-4-7-4-17- 3.9. 2005 bottle fresh from the brewery. Poured a red-brown with a nice long lasting tan head. Clean nose with a hint of smoke. Palate is great with bit of a sizzle. Alcohol is obvious and hops are just right. This is a very unique tasting brew and may not be for everyone. But I like it. Sort of like an IPA on steriods. The 2006 was good, but the 2007 is wonderful. Put four six packs in the cellar to age. May get even better.
DocLock (10702) - Lower Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 8, 2006
Thanks to Ross for this one. This one looks like a smacked ass, which is what a good barleywine should look like...muddy dark brown in color with 1-finger splotchy khaki head. The aroma is very fruity, oaky, peaty, woth some hops, caramel malt, and feety cheese hints. The flavor is richly caramel malty, very fruity, figgy, with a big oaky bourbon, cabernet, cognac, and citric finish. Nice complexity and balance. molassesfan (202) - Raleigh, North Carolina, USA - JAN 9, 2007
Pours dark with a nice head. Aroma is very complex, mostly of bourbon and chocolate. Mouthfeel is thick and taste is hoppy. Would be amazing but hops are a bit too influential in this one. rajendra82 (1093) - Alpharetta, Georgia, USA - DEC 25, 2010
My bottle has a different label and says it’s the 2009 Cellar Reserve, so this must be a special run. The beer poured cloudy auburn in color, and had a one finger thick head that lasted for quite a while when left alone. There didn’t appear to be any lingering carbonation after the initial pour. The aroma was very much like liquefied raisins with some slight pine in the background. The taste was sweet and vinous with a lot of toffee and very little hop presence considering the style. The sweetness was not cloying though, and there was a restrained spiciness in the finish. Very clean tasting, with almost no hot notes, which made it very drinkable for a Barleywine. The first impression made me feel that this was a little too light in the mouth, but the thickness seemed to be better after it warmed up. A straightforward, but extremely elegant drink. Odysseyalien (73) - New Jersey, USA - NOV 23, 2012
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. zoucrew102 (1880) - - JUN 22, 2014
Bottle, 2012 vintage. Sweet caramel malt aroma with notes of dark fruit and toffee. Pours dark caramel colored with a thin light brown head and good lacing. Sugary sweet barley with notes of caramel to start. Very rich, thick mouthfeel. Very smooth finish with notes of caramel, toffee, and dark fruit. Rich, flavorful barleywine.