bytemesis (8438) - Sunnyvale, California, USA - FEB 24, 2015
Bottle. Pours clear ruby black, large brown head, creamy and slow to dissipate leaving great residual and lacing. Aroma is caramel, toffee, raisin, vanilla, fig, pine, dark breads. Flavor is medium sweet and medium bitter, rich and complex. Full body, creamy mouthfeel. Lingering bitterness. chinchill (5025) - South Carolina, USA - JAN 14, 2015
Appearance: dark mahogany; slightly hazy; squat off-white head has decent retention.
Smell: Spicy hops and roasted malt dominates. High ABV evident but not objectionable.
Taste: Quite smooth and tame (in terms of bite) for a barleywine; some extra aging in effect here, I believe. A nice palette of hops, malt, caramel, and spice flavors also helps mask the alcohol. More hops than usual for style, but not so much as to overpower the nice complex interplay of other flavors. Rating approaches 9.
Mouthfeel: Medium body; light carbonation; slight warming from alcohol.
Overall: Probably my 1st black barleywine, so I can’t judge it for style. Certainly quite enjoyable for a beer with this kind of ABV, and better than most barleywines of any variety in my limited experience. Excellent choice if you like a black IPA. (From notes) Odysseyalien (73) - New Jersey, USA - NOV 28, 2014
I selected this as my Thanksgiving Day 2014 "special occasion" brew from the cellar. Yummy...tastes of dried fruit laced with notes of coffee, brown sugar, and all good things barley wine. The brew was four years old but still had quite a head in my glass. slowrunner77 (12051) - Reno, Nevada, USA - OCT 3, 2014
"marketed as some form of hybrid imperial porter/barleywine...ends up not being either. aroma is a bit of sweet and roasted malt, and a sh--load of hops, piney and spicy. pours black, a little viscous, but not as thick in the feel as you expect. flavor is dominated again by the overzealous hopping, which while not altogether unpleasant, kills the complexity i was expecting from this beer and made it instead into a palate wrecking hop bomb. c’mon, guys, show a little restraint when hopping a beer. this is a good beer, but it coulda been a contender! the hops mellowed big time with just a little age. more drinkable, not necessarily better." Suttree (6392) - Knoxville, Tennessee, USA - SEP 20, 2014
Bottles in 2010, stored under under refrigeration until Sept 2014. Black, with a huge brownish beige head. Lots of raisin and prune in the aroma, plus vanilla and oak. Taste is a lot of prune, some grape, some oak, and some black pepper. Hints of dark chocolate emerge as it warms. Seems to have held up pretty well, actually.
superspak (5603) - Michigan, USA - AUG 1, 2014
750 ml bottle into snifter, bottled on 7/12/2010. Pours fairly pitch black color with a 2 finger dense khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice dense soapy lacing clings around the glass, with some moderate streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of big caramel, toffee, toast, brown sugar, brown bread, raisin, plum, fig, chocolate, cocoa, light roast, citrus zest, light pine, herbal, grass, and herbal/toasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/bready malt, fruitiness, and light-moderate hop notes; with great strength. Taste of big caramel, toast, toffee, raisin, plum, fig, brown sugar, brown bread, chocolate, cocoa, light roast, citrus zest, light pine, herbal, grass, and herbal/toasted earthiness. Light-moderate earthy pine/roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toast, toffee, raisin, plum, fig, brown sugar, brown bread, chocolate, cocoa, light roast, light pine, and herbal/roasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic complexity and balance of dark/roasted malt, fruitiness, and light citrus/pine hop flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and full bodied; with a very creamy, slick, and lightly chalky mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is an outstanding dark barleywine style. All around awesome complexity and balance of dark/roasted malt, fruitiness, and light-moderate citrus/pine hops flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A highly enjoyable offering, definitely aging well. Mark_Eck (1957) - - JUL 22, 2014
Draft at HopCat. 2010. Pours black. Aroma is malty caramel and toffee. Taste is toffee and alcohol. alliance100 (1152) - Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA - JUL 11, 2014
Draft at HopCat GR - 2010 vintage - pours almost jet black . Piney citrus aromas . Mild roast notes and still a fair amount of bitterness . Very good .
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone koleminer20 (3599) - Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA - JUL 1, 2014
From notes. Enjoyed at the Ashley’s Rare & Vintage Beer TasteFest on June 07. The pour is a deep ruby with a thin ring of white head and no lacing. The aroma is pretty great. There is a bit of malty caramel, a nice toast on the malt, and a good presence of dark fruit. There is a light booziness and a mild grass hop on the back end. The flavor is incredibly similar. It’s nice and sweet, with a good complexity. The mouth feel is a bit thin and the carbonation is there, but doesn’t help out much. The after taste is lingering dark fruits and light malt. Pretty good Iphonephan (6989) - Jackson Hole/McLean, Virginia, USA - JUN 23, 2014
From a 75 cl bottle courtesy of Andree’s secret stash. Pours a hazy dark amber with an ecru head. Aroma of caramel. Flavors of dark cherries some oxidation but still quite tasty.