KickInChalice (860) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - AUG 15, 2012
From notes. Poured from a 500 mL bottle into a snifter.
My pour has a caramel amber color in the center, with a dark golden color at the edges. A small, tightly wound off-white cap gently forms around the edge of the glass.
A burst of bourbon is the first aroma to come across my nose. Wafting across after that are notes of caramel malt, apricot citrus, vanilla, and oak.
The bourbon comes across strong in the flavor as well, but it seems to me that the bottle has had enough time for the bourbon to blend into the base beer nicely. Good amounts of toffee, caramel, and vanilla all swirl around with the bourbon flavor, instantly showing off the beer’s fun complexity and aged smoothness. Some light notes of apricot citrus, figs, dates, oak, and spice add even further depth. The finish has a nice little bourbon kick.
Stone manages the mouthfeel of the bourbon barrel old guardian nicely. The body is cut just a little bit with the bourbon aging process, and the carbonation is still creamy and robust. A light stickiness is still present from the base beer, and there is a bit of alcohol burn at the back end of the sip. This is pleasantly smooth right now and will become more so over the next few years.
Being able to try this beer was definitely a treat, and I hope they will release it again in the future. bu11zeye (13029) - Frisco (Dallas), Texas, USA - JUL 30, 2012
(500ml bottle, 2010 vintage, courtesy of BMan1113VR) Pours a burnt orange body with a medium cream head. Aroma of caramel, wood, vanilla, bourbon, and citrus. Flavor of caramel, bourbon, wood, alcohol, grapefruit, and honey with a dry, bitter finish. julieimagery (182) - Coconut creek, Florida, USA - MAY 16, 2012
Amazingly good barley wine. Perfect balance of hops and malt, but of course more malt than pine/citrus. Loved it, had at Mom’s May 14th. :/ Jhilgedick (9) - - MAY 10, 2012 does not count
UPDATED: MAY 19, 2012 I?ve only had about 8 or 9 different barley wines so I?m not an expert. but. Suuuuuuuucked!!! worst Barkley wine I?ve ever had. FURLYSURIOUS (263) - Orono, Minnesota, USA - APR 28, 2012
Pours a crisp copper without a bit of beading. Soft, loose, sticky head. Perfect lacing.
Strong nose - caramel, toffee, raisin, booze, candied sugar, molasses, complex. Translates well to the tongue.
Bitter, boozy start on the tongue which then moves through numerous waves of goodness. Quite nice. Everything in the nose finds a home somewhere in the taste.
Not too easy going down, but it’s lovely to sip slowly and savor.
Boothead (26) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - APR 27, 2012
Slightly woodsy aroma, dry aftertaste, low.carbonation. needs mote flavor but still.a.good.barleywine. brokensail (16609) - Dublin, California, USA - APR 23, 2012
Pours amber in color with a white head. Smells much hoppier than I expected. Not a ton of barrel/bourbon character. Some vanilla and a bit of booze, but mostly pine and citrus with caramel malt. The flavor is more of the same. Probably the most bitter barrel aged barleywine I’ve ever had. Pine and citrus with caramel, a hint of vanilla, some oak, and maybe just a touch of bourbon. kopher (593) - New York, USA - MAR 7, 2012
2012 batch. hoppy for a barley wine and that keeps it from getting too rich. there’s still plenty of brown sugar and fruit but it’s more like a ’triple ipa’. Thisis12ptfont (1208) - Los Angeles, CA, California, USA - FEB 27, 2012
UPDATED: AUG 1, 2017 Aromas of wet corks, aged malts, barley, grain malt, oak, figs, raisins, dark fruits, plums, leather, barrel wood and sugared apricots. Pours a very dark crimson with a very thin tan foam. Taste brings delectable aged malts, wort syrup, slick malt syrup, figs, dark fruits, prunes and barley upfront. Mid palate gives way to heavy oak, wet corks, barrel wood, leather, toffee, subtle coconut, caramel and alcohol sugars. Finishes dry with noticeable bitterness, earth, resin, roasted sugar, cough medicine and aged honey. Overall, this is a great beer made even better with the barrel qualities. Not so much bourbon or booze overall yet, great barrel notes help push this beer forward.
peteinSD (1469) - San Diego, California, USA - FEB 24, 2012
’10 bottle. Pours a clear caramel red with a large and frothy white head. Aroma is faded hops, very slight bourbon, roast, caramel, raisin, and some grainy malt character toward the back. Taste is light hop bitterness, raisin, caramel, subtle and soft bourbon with a touch of vanilla, and a bit more hop bitterness through the finish. Mouth feel is even, clean, and even somewhat dry given the 11%+ abv. I was really surprised at how minute the bourbon character is on this beer but putting that aside the beer is still very enjoyable and it’s nice to enjoy this variant in the comfort of my home. Nice beer.