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RATINGS: 101   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.61/5   SEASONAL: Special   IBU: 117   EST. CALORIES: 327   ABV: 10.9%
R&D Series. In the Ninkasi tradition, this barley wine is hopped to high heaven –using more than 16 pounds per barrel! Critical Hit’s rich, malty expression is balanced by 16 varieties of hops that linger on the palate. Its high gravity nature warms the cheeks and soul. Critical Hit does maximum damage, so you might have to roll to save if you take this ale for granted!

Massive citrus, earthy, resinous, and grassy hop flavor is balanced with the melanoidin complexity of port and sherry notes, creating a powerful and warming taste experience. Big citrus, earthy, grassy, and pine hop aroma with port and sherry notes mingle in this beer conditioned for over a year. Aggressive bitterness dominates up front with a large array of hop flavor spanning citrus, earthy, resinous, grassy and dank. Subtle caramel and melanoidin compounds oxidize (in a good way) to create the port and sherry notes that are a trademark to these extremely strong beers called barley wine. The bitterness of the beer helps round out the intensity of alcohol and the malt complexity to make a non-cloying and very, very tasty beer. This may be the one beer that you still need to sip rather than quaff but it is deceptive for the style.

Hops: Columbus, Millenium, Northern Brewer, Simcoe, Falconers Flight, Galena, Peerle, Santiam, Ahtanum, Fuggle, Glacier, Hersbrucker, Liberty, Spalt, Hallertau

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gnashville's rating

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
gnashville (4) - Victoria, British Columbia, - MAR 23, 2014
2012 reserve, bottled late 2013 The hops in this are practically jumping out of the glass, and are very much the focal piece. Quite resinous, with a touch of oakiness as well. On the darker side of barley wine, but the body is only middling, which I find to be an asset with this much hop going on. One of the few barley wines I’ve had that I think might suffer somewhat from aging; the alcohol is already quite in check, and losing those hop notes would turn this into a fairly muddy beer. Overall, an excellent take on the style.

AgentAle (1853) - Fort Mcmurray, Alberta, CANADA - DEC 29, 2017
Deep dark malt flavor with coffee, vanilla nibs and mocha. Good balanced with a fair bit of bitterness on finish. Fairly well rounded.

pictoman (1254) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - JUL 30, 2017
Poured from the tap. Amber brown with beige head. Toffee and caramel malt, fig and raisin, mild alcohol. Good flavours, decent cohesion.

KansaiBeerLvrs (5511) - Kyoto, JAPAN - JUN 30, 2017
Tap at Imazato. A purplish accented mahogany brown with a hoppy sweet but piney malt aroma. Many were saying Triple IPA. Pretty good but didn’t stand out to me after Pohjala OO Cassis and Eclipse Buffalo Trace.

bytemesis (9515) - Sunnyvale, California, USA - APR 14, 2017
Bottle, vintage 2014. Pours clear amber, medium beige head, dissipates fairly quickly, some lacing. Aroma is pine, caramel, oranges. Flavor is fully sweet, hugely punishingly bitter, Eww. Medium body. Ouch. This one hurts

rosskyle (800) - Denver, Colorado, USA - MAR 19, 2017
Big bottle. Dark amber color with an off white head. Sweet alcohol with a lot of hops aroma. Sweet plum malt up front with a hops finish that lingers. Heavy body. Nice balance of malt hops that disguise the alcohol content. Not a traditional barley wine but is very good. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

tightslice (1530) - Redwood City, California, USA - MAR 12, 2017
Bottle from BevMo! in Redwood City, CA. Aroma is earthy, vegetal hops. Taste is medicinal / herbal. Lots of earthy hops with a malt backbone. Not my favorite Barley Wine.

bulldogops (2874) - Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA - FEB 12, 2017
Rating #2437 - 2016.04.11 - Draught @alibiroom - Copper&Theory TT. Golden pour with a bubbly tan head, decent retention. Aroma is soft fruits, vanilla,cracked wheat, vanilla, powdered sugar, wildflower honey. Low-medium carbonation, explosive alcohol warmth and depth. Palate is a whirlwind of malty sweet, and alcoholic, earthy dry tones. A phenomenal beer.

kathouse (1942) - LAS VEGAS, Nevada, USA - AUG 4, 2016
Deep amber with red highlights. Burnt toffee aroma. Dark caramel and alcohol heat. Finish is dry and vegetal from dry hopping.

Blairgus (4615) - California, USA - JUL 31, 2016
31 July 2016, tap. Pink/brown. Nose is booze, nail polish, dried grass hops. Med body and moderately fizzy. Bitter grass hops, some booze, bitter throughout, mildly sweet. Good.

reebtogi (6403) - Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA - JUL 14, 2016
650ml bomber pours amber in color with a 2 finger white head that leaves some decent lacing on the glass. Aroma is citrus and caramel with some earthy and grainy notes. Taste is a citrus and earthy hop bitterness with a fruit and caramel malty sweetness with a light alcohol burn in the finish. Medium to full bodied with good carbonation for the style. Overall, a very nicely done barley wine that is hoppier than most beers of this style, but still balanced and not too over the top. Highly recommended.

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