Westmeister (2129) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - FEB 13, 2012
Bottle. First sip hmmm just ok. Second that’s different. Then by the third I truly think they crafted something unique and beautiful here. Pours a amber/ruby with thin head. After a few sips not much lace but more of a syrupy film. Smell is sweet caramel, bread, dark ripe fruits and sugar cane. Taste initially was sweet caramel but lends to some dark fruit, breadiness, earthy hops, more caramel, cotton candy, some yeast. For 10%, it doesn’t show hardly any booze, however it is quite sweet, but in a very soft and not sickening way. In fact, the whole flavor profile is rich and full, but very mild. Reminds me of the bastard love child of an imperial amber, quad and barley wine. Mouthfeel is sloshy and oily. Very nice. nathan30533 (1020) - Clifton, Ohio, USA - FEB 12, 2012
Perfect score! I don’t understand what the other guys are drinking but maybe that’s because I’m a big IPA/ Double IPA/ Rhye IPA/ESP guy. I love this one from the word start. Smells of sooooo many aromas like a good Belgium you dream about. Then the sweetness and wonderful hops. Good lacing. Great color. Great beer and thank you again to the wonderful sweetwater team for this one! Perfect Score!! elgiacomo (745) - Ringgold/Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia, USA - FEB 11, 2012
22oz bottle, very fresh release. Served at around 45F.
unclemattie (4358) - Georgia, USA - FEB 11, 2012
Pours lightly cloudy copper/amber with a nice two finger off-white light beige head that leaves really nice sticky bubbles of drippy lacing and recedes to a foamy island and ring. Before long, all head and lacing disappear for a flat appearance.
Aroma is caramel, toffee, grassy and earthy hops, fairly fruity, bread. Pretty sweet, some alcohol. Good strength.
Flavor starts with some sweet malt, toffee, caramel, some fruit, some bread, molasses, finishes with a nice hop punch featuring some pine, grass and citrus, good bitterness on the finish. Quite a bit of candy sweetness throughout (akin to the recent Dank Tank 420). Decent bit of alcohol at the end as well.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, oily, a bit sticky, moderate carbonation.
Initially I was rather meh on this, but let it warm up a bit and it starts to open up. Let it warm too much and it just gets messy. Still a bit sweeter than I like for my tastes, and IMHO a style that doesn’t really need to be jacked up to 10% ABV. To be honest I would’ve liked to seen a little more from a big anniversary brew.
UPDATED: FEB 12, 2012 22oz bottle, pretty trout painted label. Dark ruby color, rocky foam. Aroma of sweet fruits, raisins, sugary malts. Strong taste, loads of sugar. Silky heavy body. Mellow hop bitterness. Wow, what a BarleyWine. Better in a smaller glass. Happy Birthday Jo. mixmasterob (1057) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - FEB 10, 2012
Dark amber/orange pour with no head. Aroma was full of caramel and earthy hops, notes of citrus lingered in the background. Earthy describes it well. Flavors were heavy on the caramel malt side without being too sweet. Nicely done. Nice bitter hop flavors throughout, actually well balanced given how big it is. Overall I thought this was a winner. Love how they went back to their roots for their big anniversary brew. The alcohol was incredibly well hidden, this was almost too drinkable. Mouthfeel was oily and slick, super smooth. They haven’t brewed a beer this big in a long time and pulled it off in great fashion. Cheers to the dudes at SW.