railcat1 (702) - Kissimmee, Florida, USA - MAR 7, 2008
This was too strong and sweet for my taste,i know the hype behind this and i had a chance to try but not my style of beer but it would be a great sipping beer,like drinking whiskey.CHEERS! greedycheater (80) - Oklahoma, USA - MAR 5, 2008
Thanks to the good folks at Cork and Bottle in Oklahoma City for inviting me to this rare tasting. Rumors were Oklahoma would not see this specific brew, then switched to "only 6 bottles were received" within the state. Whatever, I got my taste! And that makes some of the guys I work with jealous!
Aroma - incredibly, strongly, intensely alcoholic at first, changing to a warm, butter rum. I couldn’t keep my nose out of the Riedel. Poured a dark, rich, ruby red with no head, carbonation, or lacing - normally a bad sign for a beer - but this is no ordinary beer. Full-bodied and thick on the tongue, I sensed bread pudding, raisins, and almond oil. A very complex and unique barleywine. Too bad I didn’t have a Cohiba to enjoy with it. On a musical scale, this beer is George Clinton’s Parliament - unique, funky, and out of this world. mybestfriend (263) - Gothenburg, SWEDEN - MAR 1, 2008
UPDATED: JAN 14, 2010 2007 version. 2 cl sample. Dark amber colour. The nose - think sweet sherry or vintage port. Loads of dried fruits. Alcohol and some butter. A bit perfumy. Flavour is extremly full-bodied. Very sweet - again think sweet sherry or vintage port. Dried fruits and chocolate. A fantastic brew that is impossible to compare to other beers. Ibrew2or3 (8743) - Tempe, Arizona, USA - FEB 25, 2008
UPDATED: MAR 29, 2009 #100 Barley Wine ratingQuake1028 (638) - Tampa, Florida, USA - FEB 24, 2008
Huge thanks to the Oldsmar Tap House owner Tony for allowing us beer geeks (Degarth, Quake1028 and myself) to finally get a chance to sample a beer we’ve been collectively Jones-ing for for months. The sample pours out crystal clear amber with lots of legs along the edge of the glass and zero head. Wow, big big tasty aroma. Love it. It is sweet and yummy. A deep drag pulls up sweet rich creamy sticky caramel malty sweetness. I also get some opulent dark fruity esters with dates, grapes and perfectly ripe cherries. As the drag continues the phenols start to kick in and almost burnt the nose with alcohol. This is the thickest, richest, boldest and most alcoholic barleywine I’ve ever experienced. The taste begins with a slick sweet nectar that slips in on its own. The taste is just rich and decadent. There is a rich creamy and bold caramelness that seems to happily dominate the flavor. There’s also lesser amounts of dark fruitiness way out in the background. Toward the finish the heat does build up a bit along with caramel mixed with almonds, chestnuts and filbert nuttiness. WOW!!!
UPDATED: MAR 22, 2008 Degarth, Ibrew2or3 and I almost bought a bottle of this a while back but missed out on the chance. I feared I would never get to try it due to the rarity and price. Thankfully there are some ungodly generous people on this Earth. Sample from the extremely cool and generous owner of Oldsmar Tap House. All we did was comment on his bottles above, in passing, and next thing we know he was pouring us all a sample. The 3 of us have been pining after this beer for quite a while, so this was aa real treat. Looks like a fine liquor when poured out, no head at all, and a beautiful deep caramel color. Completely still in appearance, this one looks like it’s going to put a hurting on you. Nose is huge, sure there is tons of booze there, but that can’t be helped, but behind that there is a large amount of tropical fruitiness, sweet nutty notes, caramel and toffee malts, some peat and some pungent perfumey type hop notes. The nuttiness, while apparent in the aroma, becomes a standout in the flavor profile. It makes this dangerously close to being too sweet and cloying, but I think the super high ABV cuts things enough and distracts your palette so it’s not a huge bother. Very viscous and substantial, this one coats your mouth and stays there for a long, long time. A perfect mouthfeel, wish I could give it higher than a 5. Tremendous amounts of phenol heat show up in each stage of this beer, but thanks to the small sample size, it’s manageable. A little dab’ll do ya with this one. Finish is lengthy, hot, nutty, malty, rich and decadent. Thanks, Tony!
lordeche (479) - Quincy, Massachusetts, USA - FEB 19, 2008
Night of the Barrels: Had a wonderful cocoa aroma from the aging that complimented really well the abundant vanilla, caramel and slight dried fruit notes. Flavor was amazingly well balanced. I was expecting to feel as though I was drinking a liquor, but the flavor hid the alcohol extremely well. The cocoa seemed to mellow out the sweet malts and turn this into the most surpisingly good beer at the festival. rustbucket0873 (460) - Greenville, South Carolina, USA - JAN 30, 2008
Pours a brown golden color no head but has legs like a nice wine. Smells heavily alcholic fingernail polish scotch and walnuts. Palate is hot but well coated and creamy. Flavor is maple syrup sticky malt scotch and more raw alcohol. IMtheOptimator (1170) - Brookfield, Connecticut, USA - JAN 27, 2008
This sample was generously provide to me from the bottle of jjpm74. Poured a sticky amber, almost mead or scotch-like in appearance. Aroma of alcohol, butterscotch, and maple candy. Flavor is sweet with maple syrup, french toast and almonds. Still body is a bit of a surprise but appropriate I suppose given the nature of the drink, though makes it feel more like an additive than something that is supposed to be consumed alone. I would like to pour this on a breakfast offering, as I imagine it would go well. I would rather drink syrup than soy sauce, though, so I would call this creation more successful than the triple bock. Pretty well done, but not with any degree of craftsmanship that would merit a price within the same time zone as what this beer sells for. To me, this beer still represents BBC trying to hose the beer community because it’s a well known brewery, but at least it’s a good drink. illidurit (2347) - San Francisco, California, USA - JAN 26, 2008
It was pretty surprising to see Utopias on my local bar’s beer menu. I was a bit hesitant to try another Sam Adams strong ale after trying the Triple Bock and finding it to be a mess of flavors that didn’t belong together. However a sample of Utopias isn’t something you come across everyday. The rarity and uniqueness of this brew pushed me over the edge, and past the price too.
2 ounce pour for $15 (!) at The Red in Santa Cruz. The bartender poured it into a kind of undersized champagne flute that I found to be very appropriate for the beer. It poured a deep amber that seemed to glow with light, as though by camera trick or special effects from a commercial. Very viscous for a beer, it left long thin legs down the glass after swirling. No head, no carbonation.
Aroma is primarily sweet molasses and caramel, with a distinct vanilla note. The booze manifests as a particularly oaky bourbon note.
Taste is a whirlwind of sweet and hot flavors. Chocolate, vanilla, and caramel wash over the tongue amidst exquisitely smooth booziness. Finish is buttery, almost butterscotchy. Obviously portlike although less fruity.
Mouthfeel is very thick but smooth. The alcohol blends with the sweet flavors seamlessly. The finish lingers for a long time, lending companionship to the slowly evolving warmth in the chest.
Considering the alcohol level, this is very very drinkable, but only by way of sipping. I’d love to have a bottle of this so I could pour a significant helping into a snifter and just slowly revel in the sweetness and warmth on a cold winter night. thewolf (12706) - Kolding, DENMARK - JAN 19, 2008
Bottle. [thank you, Yespr]
Pours a light hazy red-brown with a little bit of bubbles along the rim of my glass. Aroma is extremely alcoholic, some port and wood. The alcochol leaves wonderful lace curtains on my glass. Oily mouthfeel with an extreme alcohol burn. Rather sweet, lots of dried fruit (primarily figs). Light caramel, port and wood. Far too powerful for me, but it is impressive, though.