cquiroga (371) - Tujunga, California, USA - JUL 31, 2004
2/21/04. On draft at Toronado Barley Wine Festival ’04 in San Francisco, CA 2/21/04. 2002 Vintage. Pours a red-amber color with lumpy, very rocky, off-white head that dissipates. Lacing is chunky and scatters. Floral pine aroma, hopped to the max almost like a double IPA. Flavor is of dead IPA hops, falling off into a flat and sort of boring mess. Sort of a veiled, buttery malt action in there as well, but there’s not enough. Full body, flat. Very soft, creamy texture, but all the action is gone. Very cool and silky sensation in the mouth. Very nice feel. I just wish it tasted better. RedHaze (371) - Where the hell am I?, Nebraska, USA - JAN 12, 2006
UPDATED: MAY 12, 2009 2004 vintage. mpersinger (366) - , California, USA - JAN 13, 2013
Pours a brownish/red with a half inch off-white head that quickly fades away to a thin ring that leaves a decent amount of lace. Pretty nice considering the high abv.
Smell; dark sweet cherries and a little bit of apples, rich chocolate and caramel. There’s also a presence of alcohol in the nose that mingles pretty well with averything alse.
Taste; the rich caramel malts jump out with the initial sip, but then the darks fruits kind of slide in there without being overly sweet. The alcohol has a presence in the flavor, but it’s not biting or overwhelming. The year this has had to sit has mellowed out the hop bitterness quite a bit without developing any off tastes from oxidation. Mouthfeel is full bodied and chewy. Drinkability takes a bit of a hit with such a high abv.
A very enjoyable sipping beer, that I would highly recommend.
2010 Vintage 12 oz bottle drank very differently tonight compared to when I imbibed in 2010. This poured vibrant amber with an audible crack from the carbonation then it quickly went flat (but drank sparkly). Aroma is like a rich ruby port and a sweet cola. Flavor notes of brown sugar, molasses and specialty malt with a slight jolt from alcohol warming. Barely medium-lean in body. Drinkable and refined. fluids (364) - Massachusetts, USA - OCT 28, 2005
Caramel taste however the alcohol is not entirely blended so you hit into it after you taste the beer. A nice barley wine though. GreatStelle (363) - Chico, California, USA - OCT 9, 2003
Terrific. Strong malty flavor that just roll on the palate. Good caramel flavor. Can taste the alcohol but in this case it's a good thing. A very good barley wine.
Brad (363) - Berkley, Michigan, USA - MAY 26, 2005
12 oz. Bottle, 2002 Vintage: Cloudy red-amber pour, fair carbonation produces a solid brownish head. Sweeter smelling frutis and malts dominate the nose with the alcohol making an unwanted appearance, missed the hops. Flavor starts sweet and quickly turns to medicinal alcohol, again I missed the hops. Maltser85 (363) - Fargo, North Dakota, USA - SEP 2, 2013
Beer pours a murky brown caramel color with a slightly off white one finger head. The nose starts off with a big raisin note, very malty. There are notes of fig and prunes and maybe some plum. Sweet caramel and slight toffee notes fight through the dark fruit notes. Maybe a hint of alcohol, but it comes off as more of a sweetness, this is over a year old. The taste starts off sweet, slight candied fruit. Then, bitterness in the middle of the palate that quickly moves into the raisin/dark fruit component. Finishes with a big malty sweetness. The beer is mildly carbonated. A nice creamy ring of head hangs around. Big alcohol legs up and down the glass, but the beer is 11.7% so yea. Medium full mouthfeel/body on the beer. As it warms, the booze becomes a bit more present. Some toffee notes also start to come out on the nose and in the middle/finish of the palate. I like this one a lot. Could be just a hair sweeter. Veer (362) - Landskrona, SWEDEN - JUL 14, 2006
UPDATED: OCT 10, 2008 October 2008 (2008 vintage): mcmisko (362) - New York, USA - JAN 31, 2012
Aroma:roasted, alcohol warmth. Mascobado, prunes, cocoa, slightly smoky... fiery, vinous, barley... vaguely of bitter & grassy hops... burnt sugar.
Flavour: powerful, sweet, very malty. Dried fruit, coffee, roasted malt, pears, vanilla, liquorice.
Appearance: clear, deep amber w/ quickly fading yellowish foam.
Palate: big, creamy, fizzy, velvety & viscous.
September 6, 2007: 2007 bottle
Aroma (8): Molasses, pumpernickel. Sweet and refreshing berry scent (as of red currants) – vinous.
Really wonderful. Astonishingly complex yet nuanced. Alcohol warmth.
Nice balance between roasted, alcoholic hot – amost kräuterlikör-like – vinous and sweet, almost summery notes.
Flavour (8): Very good initial balance of espressolike roasted bitterness, dark malt and molasses. Lovely!
This is the perfect beer to truly explore. So many details with the flavour that differs from other beers.
I’d say it’s got a pretty ‘dark’ flavour for such a non-dark beer. Judging by the looks you wouldn’t expect such malt deepness.
The aftertaste is remarkably milky and lettuce-like, believe it or not. Well to be truthful, it actually reminds me of dandelion leaves.
There is some sort of hazelnut or coconut thing going on somewhere in the background as well.
Appearance (4): Profound red, beautiful body.
Pretty, yellowish foam with a crema-texture.
It doesn’t immediately go away either – yay!
I actually really like the look of this beer. The foam sort of cracks up really slowly with small holes.
Palate (4): So smooth. This is like a mixture of a foamy espresso and ehm…a hefeweizen.
2006 13.25% ABV
Aroma: sourish, musty, malt, dried fruit, smoke, liquorice/tarragon, coconut, roasted, alcohol, raisins, vionus, flowery.
Appearance: redbrown, almost clear, beige head that sets really quickly and leaves a rim.
Flavor: bittersweet, peculiar, metallic, very full-bodied.
Palate: smooth, little carbonation, viscous, rich.
8, 4, 7, 4, 16
From a bottle (2011): Dark copper color with a one finger off white head. No lacing. Moderate carbonation. Smells interesting, like plum, malts, and funky white cheese. Taste different, like sweet malts, brown sugar and a hint of vanilla. Texture is a little oily, and the after taste is drawn out with warming from the alcohol and a touch of sweetness. This is not overly sweet, and the alcohol is not overly present for my taste. Although, those two things are what seem to define this ale. I would like to try old vintages of this ale to see what flavors come out, I am sure it will not disappoint.