Ofortuna (322) - Grafton, Wisconsin, USA - MAY 22, 2007
Bottled shared at Sombeast’s tasting via Jason. They’re getting a little better at the whole bourbon-barrel thing. Still, unfortunately, using an extremely sweet barley wine base which lends a bit of a cloying character. Although, the red wine yeast strain that they use is something I’d like to see more beer makers use. Some very interesting esters are produced which lend a certain unique complexity that saves the whole rating. That, and the overall improvement in their barrel-aging. JPDIPSO (6257) - Wauwatosa, USA - MAY 1, 2007
Not much of a pop on the flip top. LIght orange umber color with a small, but stable creamy taupe head. Buttery caramel and oak aromas. Not overly complex, but quite sniffable without much alcohol or overbearing sweetness that I found in the regular BW. Lots of buttery caramel and light toffee in the front of this one. Light rum, prunes, figs, vanilla and other fruits and sweet spices seem to float about. While still sweet, this one has enough complexity to help carry the sweetness and not get cloying. This one has picked up the oak without being overly bourbon like. I was a skeptic when I saw the rating on this one. Just the thought of the "plain" BW sent shivers down my spine. But they seem to have nailed this one. Nice job. I have been less than pleased with most of the offerings from Sprecher lately. I see a glimmer of hope. tyler_mn (1475) - SLP, Minnesota, USA - APR 9, 2007
UPDATED: APR 14, 2008 Pours a wonderful rich amber with dark orange highlights. What a nose! Notes of Raisins, malt, spice, candied fruits and port wine. Quite rich on the palate. Dry initially, but finishes quite malty and sweet. Notes of cereal grains, caramel, coffee cake and milk chocolate balanced nicely by a slightly hoppy backbone. Finishes rich malty and long. Good stuff! Crosling (1864) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - APR 9, 2007
1.0 L bottle from Liquorama. Liquorama is sold out I believe, but Hi Time just put this on their website if you are interested. Bronze color with a lovely head. Aroma is very light, not much to describe. Sweet flavors with cinnamon and rock candy hints, as well as light hints of caramel and toffee. The barrel provides very light notes of vanilla and bourbon. All the flavors however, are rather vague not super expressive or complex.
Mouth feel could be heavier and a bit more complex as well and might elevate the flavors a bit. I really wouldn’t recommend this beer, however, i love that it comes in a massive liter bottle. StewardofGondor (1934) - Washington Heights - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - MAR 26, 2007
Loud pop as the hinge swings off, pouring to a pristine scarlet amber hue with mini pin heads and bubbles floating on the surface. Conspiring depth lies inside the nose, as alcohol reverence and bing cherries pool around in a plum port sauce. Brandy and caramel hum with a never-ending liquod liquor pull of wonder. Thick juice pools about with concord, red currant and boysenberry oil. Plums and their figgy filling continue the flavor conquest. Dates get plucked out of brandy and enduringly drip caramel onto the tongue. Carbonation supports the bourbon accented sherry-plum-port persona. Prunes and craisins excrete some brighter accent flavors to the steady red and black stream. Oily, boozy balance with a toasted coconut and new oak appeal. Caramel and port continue the masterful presentation all the way through the finale. Thanks much, Jason!
Skyview (6093) - Papoose Jct, Minnesota, USA - MAR 25, 2007
Brought a bottle to the National Brewery Museum meeting. Very well received barley wine! Pours an amber/copper in glass and holds a nice creamy head. Sweet! Hints of apple, light cherry, and (of course) bourbon. Even though this is already sweet, we’re keeping one in the cellar for five years. Very nicely done. DavidP (1748) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - MAR 16, 2007
Bottle shared by Jason. Clear brown amber body with a reddish tint. Boozy bourbon and coffee cake caramel with the aroma. Big apple/cherry fruit and chocolaty caramel in the base wit light spicy hopping in the finish. Ughsmash (7508) - Pewaukee, Wisconsin, USA - MAR 14, 2007
Beautiful look to it… radiant reddish-copper with a short off-white head. Aroma picked up a nice bourbon blend accenting sweet, darker caramelly sugars, dark fruit, and it had wonderful vanilla accents. Flavor was rich and full with dark fruit and toasty caramel at the core.. sweet, very nice bourbon blend and vanilla accents from the barrel… lightly-charred oak.. damn tasty! Heavier-bodied with a great flow to it.. rather strong toward the back with warmth. Great beer! Sombeast (151) - Pewaukee, Wisconsin, USA - MAR 12, 2007
Consumed at the Pewaukee tasting. Clear whiskey-colored liquid. Malty sweet aroma, bourbon barrel evident. Very sweet flavor with distinct bourbon and oakey notes. I’m not a super-big Bourbon fan but this is kind of good. I’m definitely not a coconut fan, but I’d have to agree on mixing the Girl Scout cookies with the Barley Wine - ha!
1FastSTi (3361) - Glendale, Wisconsin, USA - MAR 11, 2007
2005 vintage. Thanks Jason! The beer pours to a radiantly glowing clean body and has a creamy white head. The aroma is a nice high-end bourbon with sweet vanilla notes. Subtle toffee and nougat. The flavor is toffee and nougat, sweet vanilla, and light strawberries. The palate is sweet, moderately full bodied, a little hot. Very good however. The beer also goes surprisingly well with the box of Girl Scout Cookies - Caramel deLites. I’d definitely buy another but there likely aren’t more bottles.