TheBeerGod (6224) - Newport News, Virginia, USA - FEB 24, 2015
Bottle - 500mL corked and caged. 2011 Vintage. Murky opaque brown pour with a short tan head. Aroma is brandy, grape skins, caramel, booze, brown sugar, soft wood and candy notes. Taste is grape skins, wine, caramel, sweet malt, brown sugar notes, soft woodiness, booze and hops. Body is medium with a moderate, prickly carbonation. Ends with more brandy notes, grapes, booze, caramel, brown sugar, hops, sweet malt, toasted dark bread and faint wood notes. ryanfolty (2553) - Bourbon County, Minnesota, USA - FEB 22, 2015
UPDATED: NOV 19, 2016 February 22, 2015 - bottle from Blue Max, 2011 vintage. Relatively dark brown pour with limited head that faded quickly. Aroma was brandy, caramel sweetness and butter. Some dark fruit and vanilla came out as this warmed. Taste started with the sugary and fruity sweetness, which is then over powered by a blast of dry alcohol/brandy that lingers for quite a while after going down. Glad I have another bottle to see if this smooths out a bit with some more age.
Second bottle consumed on 11/18/16 - this smoothed out nicely. Bumped this up to a 4.4 from a 3.8. Weezel (272) - Florida, USA - FEB 22, 2015
UPDATED: APR 22, 2015 2011 vintage. Huge Brandy aroma with notes of figs, molasses, chocolate and apples. Deep mahogany and ruby. Super smooth with a tinge of welcome alcohol heat. Dark candied fruits, vanilla and some coconut mingle with the brandy and barrel. This is outstanding in every way. weihenweizen (3826) - Charleston Area, West Virginia, USA - JAN 25, 2015
Refrigerated 0.5 L brown 2011 vintage bottle corked and capped poured into a snifter. Opaque dark brown with very little beige head which dissipates quickly completely. Aroma is brandy, medium body, very low carbonation, and no lacing. Taste is molasses, whiskey, figs, oak, caramel, some vanilla, some maple and alcohol. Complex, but alcohol is not covered and pretty heavy. I prefer Bourbon County Barleywine. cbfobes (2883) - Quad Cities, Illinois, USA - JAN 8, 2015
Poured from bottle, 2011 vintage, pours a murky dark brown with an almost red tint to it and a thin light brown head, the aroma has a lot going on, quite a bit of dark fruit and malt mixed in with a strong amount of vanilla and brandy sweetness with quite a bit of the barrel coming through, the flavor has a nice dark fruit front end, not overly sweet but the brandy and some vanilla show in the finish as well, pretty big, good stuff.
phaleslu (10264) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - JAN 6, 2015
500 ml bottle from Homer321 - thanks a ton for sending this, Sean! This is the vintage marked 2011 on the neck and label, but that the brewery released in 2013. Pours a cloudy amber color with a small off-white head. Notes of caramel, brown sugar, oak, toast, marshmallow, maple syrup, coconut, dried fruits (raisins, dried berries, figs, dates), and a slightly warming brandy throughout. Medium-bodied, with moderate carbonation and a sweet, malty, warming, not quite coating mouthfeel. It’s all of those things as well as beautifully rich without being cloying, abrasive, or hot. Incredibly well done. Exceeded my high expectations and is absolutely worthy of its place in the RateBeer top 50 (as of this rating). DrSilverworm (9671) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - JAN 5, 2015
500ml bottle, big thanks to phaleslu for sharing. Amazing, huge aroma in the nose. Seeing a lot of maple syrup, pretty impressive amount of that, really interesting. Dark brown, red color. Kind of hazy. Minimal amount of off-white head. Really nice visible legs. Bigger body. Kind of slick, lighter carbonation. Light dry in the finish. Moderate to bigger sweet taste, not cloying at all. Moderate bitter. Hides the alcohol astonishingly well. Mild warmth, but nowhere near the burn or bite that you’d expect for the ABV. Wonderful, amazing stuff. Super-tasty aroma for a sweeter barleywine. Extremely satisfying to sip on. Very pleasant warmth on the end. wedgie9 (2702) - Nashville, Tennessee, USA - DEC 25, 2014
2011 Vintagejhamp9 (1860) - Corinth, Texas, USA - DEC 18, 2014
Tasted on 12/25/14 from a corked and caged 500mL bottle purchased at Liquor Barn in Bowling Green. Pours nearly opaque dark cola brown with an average, fizzy brown head that disappears rather quickly. The nose is really developed, tons of vanilla brandy, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, cocoa, bitter chocolate, maple, and just a bit of soy sauce oxidation. The flavor is darker with molasses, cocoa, and a touch of milk chocolate up front, moving to tons of vanilla, maple, caramel, and then some of the bitter dark chocolate and touch of roast, and the lightest nutty hint showing the age much less than on the nose. The body is very full without being cloying, with light, just the right amount of carbonation, and a very long vanilla, maple, and caramel brandy finish. Glad to have this as my Christmas 2014 whale.
Murky brown pour with a thin quickly fading tan head. Aroma is sticky dates, molasses, wood, and earth. Taste is sweet and boozy with strong date, molasses, and wood notes with some earthiness and light spice in the background. Full slick texture with a good deal of alcohol warmth. Clownoisseur (482) - Buchanan, Michigan, USA - DEC 11, 2014
2011 vintage. Pours a copper-brown, dark golden hues minimal tan head that dissipates quickly into spotty lacing. Aromas are of wafting alcohol, dark fruits, oak, barley and sweet brandy. Taste is similar to the nose, though not as hot as expected. A nice dark fruit/molasses upfront, melding into nice notes of whole grain, vanilla, oak and then the brandy rounding it back out with a nice sweetness. Good stuff!