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RATINGS: 158   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.32/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 291   ABV: 9.71%
Barley Wine Ale is a legendary top-fermented brew with a deep amber/orange color, and intense fruit and malt nose that is laced with alcohol accented by the sweet aromas of Port. This "wine" made with barley is brewed with a French yeast culture, and possesses a complex flavor of rich malt, fruit esters, and sherry-like qualities that is delicately balanced with hops.

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   AROMA 3/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 2/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 10/20
Ofortuna (322) - Grafton, Wisconsin, USA - APR 16, 2006
Was told by the salesrep at the brewery that its made with a french red wine yeast culture and that the brewers wanted to go with very little hops to make a sweet barley wine. Pours a decent amber hue with very little head and a thin lacing. Dominant alcohol smell with sherry like tones. Body very thin for this style and mouthfeel battered down by a bit too much carbonation. Palate is that of apple cider vinegar and cheap vodka. Very odd sourness to it, like this batch was contaminated with Lactobacillus and not in the belgian way. I can appreciate the type of yeast strain used and is very unique to this style. It gives a faint impression of red wine on the finish. However, overall and for this style, I think something happened at the brewery and this batch is flawed.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Cornfield (5570) - Oak Forest, Illinois, USA - APR 14, 2006
Sprecher never replied to my e-mails concerning this interesting brew that I had at a beer fest, so Im glad someone else got it into the database.

Vintage 1999 - Not much on looks, but the aroma captivates. Having an almost wild yeast sourness to the nose, its supported by caramel/toffee accents with alcohol and a light fruitiness - cherries, plums, apples. It has one of those complex, sweet/sour tastes, malty and fruity and just a bit funky. The finish is a prolonged sourness. A very enticing twist on the barleywine style that makes me wish that more brewers would experiment with the yeasts that they use and not rely only on being malt heavy or hop heavy. And I agree with Joseph - aging seems the way to go with this ale. Id definitely be interested in stocking up on what was originally described to us as a "Beglian barley wine."

<font size=-4><a href=http://www.ratebeer.com/events-detail.asp?eve Beer Fest at Delilahs, Chicago, IL 02/25/2006<font size=-1>

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
frankenkitty (2008) - Oak Lawn, Illinois, USA - APR 14, 2006
1999 Vintage

Poured a dirty bronze with an ecru halo. Huge alcohol in the nose with very rich sweetness showcasing caramel and sweet fruits. Carl says, "Belgian yeast" and I nod in agreement. Flavor finds a sour start, a rich, malted center and a heady, sour finish. Aftertaste made me think I had eaten some cheese. Maybe a nice cheddar. A killer beer... very interesting. Im glad it finally got entered into the RB database and must say by reading the other reviews that aging is the way to go with it.

<font size=-4>Sampled at <a href=http://www.ratebeer.com/Events-Detail.asp?Eve Vintage Beer Fest 2006<font size=-1>

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
DavidP (1748) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - APR 7, 2006
2005 Bottle. Pretty stuff - clear red-amber body under a creamy a persistent light tan head. Strong aroma of raisin, prune and cane sugar mixed with alcohol. No hops, really. Odd for a fresh bottle. The flavor has a nice raisin/sugar/wine sweetness vivisected by a distracting dry stale bread thing. The finish brings about some apricot, smooth sugary sweetness and a drying red wine quality. No hops on this radar screen but thats OK, the flavor does will w/o them. Im torn on getting a second bottle for aging as there arent any obtrusive flavor components that need smoothing out like hops, alcohol or one kind of malt. Its already well-blended together but just not that interesting. Perhaps my palate needs that unbalanced sample first in order to be able to appreciate the aged version.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
brewblackhole (1588) - Muskego, Wisconsin, USA - APR 2, 2006
Aroma pretty one dimensional,alcohol and dark fruit, light amber color fruity estery raisiny sweet with alcohol and vinegar overtones,slightly overcarbonated but this should balance out in time Body too thin for a barleywine

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
KingpinIPA (841) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - APR 2, 2006
Bought a 16oz and saving a 33.8 oz. for 3 or 4 years. Pours an amber color. Carbonation was lively. Still bubbling after 5 minutes. Not that very potent but could smell the alcohol. Smell of fruit, raisins and rusty nails. Tastes better than it smells. Fruity, hoppy, bitter and the alchol aftertaste. It was sweet but still carbonated. A good barley wine.

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 8/20
JPDIPSO (6093) - Wauwatosa, USA - APR 1, 2006
Copper color with a soft beige, slowly diminishing head. Aroma is quite strong, and quickly loses some of the volatiles (a good thing). My first thought was that of german sauerkraut, with sugar and caraway. Some heavy overripe fruit abound, with pineapples, peaches and pears. Seems to be developing a mild stomach acid scent. Cheese and rice, is this sweet. Full fruit syrup and brown sugar dance slowly in the mouth. Some hints of a mild cigar late in the quaff. There are some triple qualities. but the sweetness continues to overpower things. Oloroso sherry is one thing, (I was never a big sherry fan (well there was that one Sherry in in high school)but a barley wine that seems to miss the mark and lack a presence of hops doesnt make sense. Strike two on the anniversary brews. There will be a verticle with their BW of ~10 years ago.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Ughsmash (7508) - Pewaukee, Wisconsin, USA - MAR 23, 2006
16 oz. bottle picked up at the brewery. Clear, deep fiery orange pour with a short cap of yellowy-beige head. Nose was quite pervasive with a tripel-like light fruit profile (sliced apples and pears), strong yeast, and Port wine esters. Flavor was very sweet with crisp light fruit sugars, slightly darker berries, and Port. Palate began crisp, but a fruity sugar explosion and powerful alcohol hotness threw the balance out of whack.. which resulted in a cloying finish. Overall too sweet and too hot.. but may mellow with some cellar time.

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