Ughsmash (7508) - Pewaukee, Wisconsin, USA - OCT 10, 2005
Bottle direct from the brewery. Pours a clear, deep orangish/amber with a quickly-receding head. Aroma picks up pears, caramel, figs, dried apple, and some other un-identifiable sweetness. Very enticing, yet not as potent as I had hoped. Potency came through in the flavor, though. Lots of sweetness, some caramel, light fruits, and some alcohol toward the back. The Golding hops give it a nice English twist with some citrus, mild bitterness, and a nice floral character. Finish was sweet and almost cloying as it approached room temp. Nice and warming on the way down. This was quite tasty... I’m all about seeing how this develops over time. NeonLX (261) - Wisconsin, USA - OCT 10, 2005
UPDATED: NOV 3, 2005 From a bottle, this pours a ruby-copper color with minimal head. Aroma is somewhat fruity but not intense. Sweet malt & fruity taste. Nice, well-rounded mouthfeel. Minimal hopping. Very warming as it flows through the old pipes.
This tastes a lot like Capital’s "Autumnal Fire" to me--not a bad thing. Great brew for the price.
Update 11/3/05: This stuff gets better with age. I’m enamored with this beer’s palate--syrupy smooth with perfect carbonation. I’m getting more depth in the bottles that have been sitting for a few weeks. It would be interesting to stash a few of these and see what happens over time, but it would be mighty tough to resist the urge to drink them "in the meantime". TheEnemy (564) - Chicago, USA - OCT 6, 2005
UPDATED: JUN 14, 2006 Clear dark auburn color which produces a thick, tightly packed head that leaves lots of lace on the sides of the glass. Pleasant dried fruit and sweet malt aroma with a touch of yeast nutiness. Sweet malt dominates the flavor with some support from hop bitter and dried fruit. Alcohol shows up later and becomes a bit rough. Strong, bubbly palate. Fine effort.<P>Re-rate June 14 2006: After 8 months of cellaring, not much has changed except that the alcohol character has smoothed out a bit, making a charming American barleywine even better. Rating moved up from 3.9 to 4.0 based on a one-point improvment in flavor. badgerben (5283) - Blaine, Minnesota, USA - OCT 5, 2005
Dark copper color with a thin head that vanishes quickly. Light, sweet malt aroma. Sugary taste, ladden with alcohol and a light variety of malt. The hops are nowhere to be found. Caramel and toffee notes. Should benefit from aging. hezron (614) - Viroqua, Wisconsin, USA - OCT 4, 2005
UPDATED: NOV 17, 2005 Bottle, served in my worthy glass at 55F. Light bready caramel aroma with some dried fruit (figs), floral hops. Bright amber-copper in color with a small head that mostly fades, leaving only a little ring around the edge. Sweet caramel flavor initially then some dried fruit sensations which change into a warming floral bitterness rising into the back of my nose. The flavors are good, but not well blended, perhaps age will help. Full bodied with a nice creamy feel to it. Overall, this is my kind of barleywine: sweet and malty, not too bitter.
Working on my second six pack of this and it is really growing on me. A few bottles have been noticeably hoppier than others and last night I noticed some smoked, charcoal flavor. I rarely drink this much of the same beer and it is making me think twice about rating 2oz samples.