Eyedrinkale (3235) - Astoria, New York, USA - JAN 14, 2008
Amazingly on tap at Bar Louie. Served Sofa-King cold, the head isnt really an issue. First sip is a Holy Shit moment as the warming bourbonilly vanilla takes over to cover up the almost obscene level of coldness this beer is served. the mouthfeel is as silky as the 18th green at Augusta National. Larry my man, you’ve found a way to get it done again. Driftwood6 (214) - USA - JAN 13, 2008
On tap at Bell’s Eccentric Cafe. I actually liked this more than I thought I would. Very nice flavor with a hint of alcohol. Not harsh at all-- could sip this all evening. Glad I tried it. Numenor (871) - Richmond, Virginia, USA - JAN 9, 2008
Tap at Capital Ale House - Innsbrook. Damn... I love this beer in it’s normal state and when you put the Bourbon ageing on it I was in heaven. Great smooth aroma with some light fruits, cherry is noticeable. Loved the taste, some of the harshness of the normal version has gone out and been mellowed. Loved the light vanilla accents in the ending. Amazing stuff. auerbrau (3206) - Ithaca, New York, USA - JAN 5, 2008
On tap at Bar Louie - Ann Arbor, MI. Heavy bourbon nose over pineapple, hops, cream and the typical TCOA estery aroma. Very nice, if a twinge hot. Even glowing at a cold temp. Pours a muddied rufous and brown, with a thin rim of tan. Right away, on the front end the flavor is too bourbon hot. Coarse. Bitter. Straight fresh bourbon, right in a glass dominates the front end of the beer. Then there’s a discordant clash with the hops, having aged lightly into some vegetal notes. Following through is the good estery run and warm, rich creaminess this beer plays. So, it’s not working real well right now, but I bet if you aged this 3-5 years, it would be completely out of sight. I’m surprised by how well the carbonation is working. Finishes on a light toast note. Kinz (3786) - Glen Allen, Virginia, USA - DEC 30, 2007
Draft at the Capital Ale House Innsbrook Kerstbier Fest. Sampled after a firkin pour of Expedition and Expedition through the "Caffeinator." Delighted to try this. Murky brown, slight head. Bourbon, oak, and slight cherry nose, rich caramel malt in the background. Flavor has massive rich caramel malts, loads of bourbon barrel tannins, and vanilla in the back. Nice. You could make an argument that there is too much bourbon influence here, but I enjoyed it. Although I probably prefer the normal version of the Old Ale.
Silphium (3224) - Traverse City, Michigan, USA - NOV 19, 2007
On tap at Graydon’s Crossing, Grand Rapids. Murky orange-brown body, thin, tight cream head. Heavy oak dominates the aroma, which warms to sweet breads, musty caramels, and alcohol. Big oak body, the oak tending to dominate the flavor profile. Sweet, musty caramels kick in over time, in addition to oxidized hops. Dusty. A thin red wine or brandy character also becomes apparent after the palate is coated. And, a touch of plum pudding and bubblegum. But, the predominant characteristic is oak beginning to finish. Just a touch of prickly alcohol reminds the drinker of its potency. Very good. CaptainCougar (7634) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - NOV 18, 2007
On tap at Maduro prior to the 2007 GTMW: Pours a barely transparent dark mahogany with a thin, frothy coating of light tan head. Sweet caramely malty bourbon oaky vanilla nose smells like a dessert. Rich complex body starts with full sweet caramely malt and a nice balance of oaky bourbon and smooth bittersweetness with lots of molasses and a hint of warmth toward the finish. They left this in the barrel the perfect amount of time. Great balance and complexity. A sipping dessert beer. Mangino (1027) - Mississippi, USA - SEP 26, 2007
Maduro Pre GTMW- Dark brown, off white head. Nose is dark fruit and bourbon. The balance in this beer is like nothing else I’ve ever had. It was incredible with a perfect mix of the barrel and the beer itself. Makes the beer better. brewblackhole (1587) - Muskego, Wisconsin, USA - AUG 14, 2007
This brew had everybody whooping and hollerin at Great Taste, the bourbon here really did knock your socks off. Once that intial surprise of the X-heavy whiskey was overcome,you could start to detect the candy sweetness and dark fruit ,caramel malt aromas, taste was same, we knew we were in for a great festival and trying this,so interesting,I’m not sure the bourbon works as good in the fruity barley wine,as it does the more chocolaty malts,but damn ,i’m glad I tried this Philip (436) - Illinois, USA - AUG 13, 2007
On tap at Maduro. Enjoyed this side by side with BA 7000 -- not bad double-fisting. This was surprisingly sweet -- bitter hops were muted in favor of cane syrup, brown sugar, and stone fruit flavors. The bourbon again dominated (similar to 7K) with strong vanilla and hazelnuts components to the beer. Finish was boozy. Solid, but there are better barrel aged interpretations of the style out there. Nonetheless, an experiment worthy of Bells.