Shag (3036) - Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA - DEC 16, 2007
A dark copper appearance with a beige head. The aroma contains some alcohol, cherries, raisins, and vanilla. The flavor contains some dark fruits like raisins and dates. I also taste some coconut, figs, cherries, and molasses. The brandy is present but not overwhelming. The finish is warming with the alcohol coming through. This one wasn’t too hot or sweet. A very well balanced beer. For the time being I believe this is my new favorite beer! nolankowal (938) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - APR 4, 2008
UPDATED: MAR 17, 2009 Bottle courtesy of wetheral, thanks again John! Pours a rich solid caramel color with a short yellowish light tan head. The aroma is big and pungent with all the best sweet characteristics you’d want from a brew like this: toffee, bready caramel malt, hints of tobacco, brown sugar, vanilla, raisin, booze, muddled oak...it’s the kind of aroma that requires a smoking jacket. The flavors are rich and boozey as one might expect from a 14% odd beast of a barley wine: earthy wood blends with bready caramel, brown sugar and rasin that gives way to some spicy booziness and vanilla in the middle. The booze takes you to brief earthy hops that quickly give way to more oak, honey, toffee, bready malt to a warming, rich finish. Pretty big body with a soft carbonation...sweet/bready/malty/boozey/and slightly woody, with a sticky sweet/boozey finish. A really nice sipping brew to which I imagine age will only contribute. The booze is quite present in this one, but by no means in a bad way. It contributes to the spicy kick mid-way and leaves that wonderful warming as it finishes. Beautiful brew, and unlike my favorite standard BW, this is special occasion decadence in a bottle vs a "easy drinking" barley wine". Crosling (1864) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - JUL 29, 2008
One of, if not the best beer I’ve had in 2008. Incredibly complex aroma that gives notes of raisins, figs, caramel, toffee from the base beer as well as added dimensions of brandy soaked wood, vanilla and coconut from the oak. Flavor consists of chocolate, caramel, brandy, coconut, vanilla, dark fruit. Port-like character. Chewy and beyond rich. This beer is amazing and a total jaw dropper. Thanks to Steve for sharing. Theis (15152) - Frederiksberg, DENMARK - SEP 9, 2008
Bottle at Sune’s (T+M thanks Mikkel). Clear reddish - white head. Fucking fantastic, brandy, smooth as hell, brown sugar, wood, light alcoholic, chocolate, sweetness, fruity, caramel, barley, high malty. This is fantastic. I would give this 800 - but the scale stops at 50..... so !!!! Caskalefan (168) - Bellingham, Washington, USA - JAN 11, 2014
UPDATED: JAN 13, 2014 I’ve waited seven long years to try this masterpiece, and I wasn’t even slightly let down.
Beautiful dark ruby pour with a very minimal, fleeting off-white head.
Aroma and flavor of dates, figs, persimmons, walnuts, raisins, toasted coconut, caramel, toffee, brandy, leather, tobacco, honey, brown sugar, apples, pears, kumquats, breadfruit, canned peaches, starfruit, casaba melon, white grape, mandarin orange/tangerine, with almost a mentholated, extremely long finish.
Yup, this was definitely worth the wait.
maxifunk777 (31) - California, USA - MAR 16, 2015
The 2011 verison was the best beer I’ve ever had the pleasure of drinking. Calling this a smooth tasting beer is a under statement. The color, the smell, the taste man-o-man perfection if there is a better beer you’ll have to prove it to me. Pailhead (6543) - Rochester Hills, Michigan, USA - FEB 2, 2008
Courtesy of mj at Kuhnhenn’s Rasberry Eisbock releaseGAManiac (1944) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - DEC 9, 2008
Bottle: Outstanding aroma is a combination or caramel, chocolate, toffee, maple syrup, and light alcohol. It pours a transparent orangish-brown with a minimal off-white head. The liquid really coats the glass leaving behind sticky legs. The flavor is excellent and consists of chocolate, caramel and maple syrup. The finish has notes of buttery vanilla and bourbon. The alcohol isn’t overbearing as it has just a faint presence in flavor in the finish along with a nice warming affect. Full bodied with an oily texture and mild carbonation. Absolutely outstanding.
UPDATED: FEB 28, 2012 Bottle courtesy of Solomon420 poured into a snifter.
Pours a hazy caramel brown with amber showing through. The head was surprisingly active given the age and bubbled up to a one inch tan head before quickly receding to a thin ring.
The aroma is unbelievable. It starts with the brandy but then opens up to dark fruits with raisins and figs mainly and tons of caramel and brown sugar sweetness. There are hints of vanilla and wood as well.
The taste is just as spectacular with a huge sugary caramel sweetness of the base beer that underpins everything else. The dark fruits are complemented by hints of vanilla, toffee and chocolate with wood and brandy in the finish.
The mouthfeel is very smooth with good carbonation and has a dry boozy finish.
This is a great, great beer and very drinkable for the ABV. Certainly one of the best beers I’ve ever had. Can’t thank Damian enough for this rare gem. CpyNPrnT (620) - Indiana, USA - FEB 21, 2014
UPDATED: MAR 27, 2014 Two bottles from the store, saving one for a trade or special occasion. At 15.2%, you wonder if the alcohol will be over powering. Surprisingly, the alcohol fits well within the complexity of the beer. The appearance is murky, off reddish brown, little or no head. toffee, nuts, caramel, raisins, figs, sweet butterscotch are some of the flavors you pick up. The palate was the best for me, as it was creamy and slightly sticky like you were drinking candy (due to the brandy). My tongue felt nice and coated, but not overwhelmed, shifting flavors every sip. However, the malt backbone was present long enough to give the beer balance. The aftertaste was very complex and seemed to change a lot as the beer warmed up as well as my palate. Definitely an after dinner or special occasion beer. 2011 cellar edition
March 27th. Tasting again, this beer is uniquely complex. A rare and great offering by North Coast. RussianDragon (578) - - APR 18, 2014
’11 vintage, 15.2%. Thanks huhzubendah! Pours a dark brown with nearly no head and light lacing. Aroma is wood, vanilla, brandy booze and coconut. Flavor is complex: coconut, dark fruits, and brandy sweetness. Complexity intensifies as it warms. World class.