kramer (6299) - Sunbury, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 15, 2010
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
50 cl bottle. Pours a clear dark amber to brown body with a small light beige head that faded fairly quickly to a very thin ring. The nose is a mix of campfire smoke and tropical fruits, making for a very delicious conglomerate even if it’s extremely weird and unusual. There’s some candy like caramel and toffee but also that unmistakeable earthiness that only comes from rye. Very little noticable alcohol for the ABV. This smells so appetizing to me that it’s crazy. The flavor is really unique as well. The smoke and rye together really meld well. The underlying caramel and toffee Barley Wine notes express themselves a little heavier on the finish along with a slight band aide like phenol note. The finish really reminds me of a heavily smoky single malt scotch like Lagavulin 16. The mouthfeel is full and sturdy with soft light fizzy carbonation. Not clingy or sticky at all, with minimal to no alcohol heat on the finish. This was really frickin tasty. I’d drink this really often if this were a little more economical to do so here in the US. Awesome.
Heathen (1500) - Wilmington, Delaware, USA - FEB 12, 2010
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
THOUGHTS: Wow. A smoked barley wine. Hid alcohol incredibly well. Surprisingly easy to drink for a smoked. Not overly smoked. Just enough to make it interesting. Almost like drinking an ancient beer. Oddly Christmasy. Flavor was way more complex than the aroma, and the aroma was fairly complex — so what does that tell you? An excellent beer as an example of the past. Very good beer overall. It was OK to good with chocolate chip cookies.
TECHNICAL: Bottle. Poured a medium to dark brown with reddish, amber highlights and a small, off-white head that mostly diminished and left fair lacing. The aroma was moderate to heavy, molasses and caramel; light to moderate pine and citrus hops; wood, smoke, brown sugar, bacon, BBQ sauce, barley wine smell and slight soy sauce. The hops and smoke blend together. The initial flavor was rather sweet; while the finish was very, almost harshly sweet and slight to lightly bitter with a long duration. There was caramel, apple, cherry, smoked meat, tar, charcoal, a little like BBQ sauce, molasses, a bit of alcohol, a little citrus, sweet orange, barley wine taste and wood. If it wasn’t so cloying it would be perfect. The medium body was syrupy and then a little dry, but very sticky on the lips with lightly fizzy carbonation and a ever so slightly metallic and lightly smokey finish.
csbosox (1229) - Prairie Village, Kansas, USA - FEB 1, 2010
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
500ml bottle. This is a beer I have wanted for a while, but the high price kept me from it. It is worth the price, this is a fine beer. I’ve had all but a few ounces of the beer and I have loved every sip. I cooled this down too much and served it way too cold. Served cold it was OK, but with it warmed up to just slightly below room temp, it really shines. The smoke, alcohol, spiciness and over ripe dark fruit aroma is very pronounced, but inviting. The alcohol and smoke combine to make some very unique smells, the sort of thing that would be disgusting if amplified much more, but real nice as a part of the beer and not the whole thing. There are several odd little notes, creosote chiefly amount them. I would also add molasses and medjool dates to the aroma descriptors. The beer has a murky browinish color with a short lived off white head. Legs galore. The taste is sweet, almost cola-ish at first (more like a cola mix lean on the water) with tons of dark fruit, most overly ripe and fragrant, black and white pepper, woodsy and spicy with a lingering bit of alcohol (burn.) Thick mouthfeel, maybe a lot of residual sugars, but not in an off putting way. The proteins in the rye probably help the body out as well. The choice of malts here is awesome, the smoke malt is enough to impart a wonderful flavor and the rye brings it’s own spiciness and body to the party, which is big anyway with an oversized barleywine. This would be the type of beer I would love to have a lot of.
SpringsLicker (3501) - Tennessee, USA - FEB 1, 2010
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Clear, deep dark brown body with garnet highlights under a creamy tan head that is of good size for the style.
Complex aroma consisting of dark fruits, vanilla, and a touch of smoke.
Simple, not as complex as the aroma but along the same lines.
joshwilfong (1200) - Cleveland, Ohio, USA - JAN 28, 2010
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
chocolate brown with mild white head. low carbonation. some dark crystal and smoked malt to the nose. present bitterness before low crystal with some rye spice and a nice touch of smoked malt that does wonder as a compliment. alcohol is rather subdued for 11%. overall a very subtle beer for something so large. an antagonist would say that it doesnt have the depth that a beer of this abv could, but the understated flavors are more impressive to me
mickut (276) - Espoo, FINLAND - JAN 27, 2010
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle. Pours slightly hazy, bright reddish brown with almost no head. Full body has dryness and surprising carbonation compared to head and quite quiet looking body. Aromas have roast, dark chocolate, resins, raisin and bit of pepper.
hellbilly (3249) - scottsdale über alles, Arizona, USA - JAN 26, 2010
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
bottle on 10/18/2009.
fairly dirty looking hazy opaque pour. it appears chestnut-y reddish/orange brown with a tiny little head... actually, it is more of a tan film which comes to the top of the glass only to quickly disappear.
sweet mild smoke leads the way in the old sniffer... followed by golden raisins, dates, caramel-y brown sugar, toasted nuts, earthy spice, candy/bubblegum, citrus and plummy vinous notes.
the palate is very rich but not overly sweet. flavors include some grassiness, leafy dank hops, golden raisins, light ashy smoke, brown sugar, spiciness and some vinous plums. it seems really simple... delicious nonetheless the aftertaste is smokier (and ashy) than the actual flavor itself. alcohol is slight but really doesn’t get intrusive.
it is full bodied (at least for a ’smoked’) and thick but ash, spice and hoppy dryness clean it up and make it incredibly drinkable.
what an intriguing beer... i just wish it came in a smaller bottle because it did become a bit monotonous as the night went on. 8/4/8/5/16/4.1
Beerdedone (3308) - Croydon, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 19, 2010
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle. Pours dark brown with a light tan head. Aroma of caramel, dark fruit, roasted malts and some smoke. Flavor was very mellow with caramel, light smoke, dark fruit, alcohol and a bit of toffee. Overall a good balanced beer.
yemenmocha (659) - Glendale, Arizona, USA - JAN 13, 2010
2.7 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Pours hazy brown with virtually no head, even with a vigorous pour. Nose is weak with some faint caramel/toffee, raisins, and brown sugar. The palate comes through with the anticipated flavors on the nose with plenty of raisin sweetness, and a sugary sweet finish. High alcohol is masked relatively well.
FatPhil (14896) - Tallinn, ESTONIA - JAN 10, 2010
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
500ml bottle (Pikkulintu, Helsinki, Winter beers 2009) - shared by mjs - thanks!
Marmite aroma. Tingle hops in the palate. RIch burntness. More marmite in the finish, even including the saltiness.