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RATINGS: 76   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.52/5   SEASONAL: Winter   IBU: 75   EST. CALORIES: 315   ABV: 10.5%
Like Mr. Buck, the Bernese Mountain Dog on the label, this is a BIG beer. A complex, dry-hopped, and unfiltered barley wine ale that will only get better with age. The malt aroma, possible only in a barley wine ale, together with deep malty flavors melds perfectly with the hops for a truly unforgettable experience.

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SG111 (2055) - New York, USA - MAY 21, 2015
Bottled. No clear date but sediment is noted in the bottle. Pours slightly murky hazelnut chestnut color quickly dissipating off white/tan head. Aroma is toffee, vanilla, oats, distinct roasted malt character, hop undertones are mild but notable, definitely some resinous pine, bit of citrus, some dark fruits, raisins, figs. Pretty complex and solid. Flavor is malty, very rich toffee, caramel, raisins, molasses, fig. Definite hop bitterness presence. Bitterness lingers in the finish. Overall it’s very good but it’s just not amazing. Definitely hides the booze well. Also pretty effervescent for such a strong beer.

jsquire (4621) - St. Marys, Ohio, USA - MAY 9, 2015
Deep amber color out of the bottle with a shout, sticky off white head. Sweet nose of toffee and some green hops. This is not a complex barley wine but there is a very nice balance big malty sweetness with some berry fruitiness and a hop resin/old grapefruit rind bitterness. The ABV is well hidden. Dare I say this is a quaff-able barley wine?

CharmCityCrab (249) - Maryland, USA - MAR 15, 2015
Aroma is very sweet and toffee-like. Pour is a caramel brown color. Taste is hard to describe. A bit of front end is a tad reminiscent of an irish cream, but it quickly moves to complex combination of almost sickeningly sweet candy, roasted malt, and hops. There are some rum-like notes in the aftertaste. If not for the high ABV and the hops presence, this would be a beer I’d be very afraid would go bad if it sat too long or experienced much heat or sunlight- this malt blend (Possibly some fermented sugar, too? Juniper berries?) is one that tastes familiar to me as something I’d had before in a beer or two that was great when fresh and just turned with a vengeance if it sat in a fridge for a few months.. As it stands, not a bad beer. I hate to rate this a little below par because it was a generous gift, but I assume people still want honest reviews. I like the beer and I’m enjoying drinking it, but I’m not sure this fits the ideal mix some might look for in a barley wine. It’s close, but something is not quite right- off the top of my head I would say either tone down the sweet elements or use fewer roasted malts and just make it a sweet drink with a hoppy finish. Part of the sweet spot (Pun alert) with a barley wine is getting both sweet and bitter elements that are each very significant components of the style working together in unison to produce a well blended experience instead of having two tastes fighting each other to the point where each is distracting from the other and neither seems quite right. I wouldn’t say this quite falls into that latter category, but it’s perilously close. I feel like the seeds are there for a good brew. Minor modifications and I’d rate this at least 0.5 higher, and maybe beyond that. I feel like the balance is just a little off and, unfortunately with a barley wine, it seems like a small mistake can really have a greater effect that in might in another style. One thing that would interest me is trying this straight from the factory, a day or two after it was bottled. I think this might be one of those beers you want right off the line. I don’t think this is that old- no apparent dating information, but I note it’s categorized as a winter seasonal on rate beer and I’m drinking the ides of March- so it could easily be 5 months old (Brewed November 15th would not be a stretch for a winter seasonal these days), which would mean that it’s possible this was a much better beer if you grab it at the beginning of the season. Not bad in March either! Just a little digression in case it’s November or December 2016 and you’re wondering whether you want to try now or wait a few months- I’d say early might be your best bet (Just a guess, though). Also, the sweet rum-like tastes might make it a good beer to drink around Christmas time- Christmas party, Christmas holiday gathering, Christmas rendevous with a hooker in a Santa hat at a cheap motel- whatever (I try to make these reviews entertaining). :) My brother in law loves beer and he loves a good rum-heavy eggnog. I’d recommend this to him as a Christmas drink, I think he’d really enjoy it. And I like dogs, so I give them props for having a dog on the cover. Not bad, really. Just rated to style where I think this is maybe average for a barley wine I’d had, give or take a couple tenths of a point.

solidfunk (9440) - Washington D.C., Washington DC, USA - MAR 1, 2015
Boiled down male with some sugar and light berry tastes. a lot of oak in finish. Pretty bitter finish. Pours amber with OK head and lacing. Tap at proletariat.

mixmasterob (1060) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - FEB 25, 2015
Bottle from Bruisin Ales. Clear brown pour with a small quickly fading white head. Nice rich caramel aroma with notes of sweet fruit. Super well rounded and tight. Flavors were in line with loads of caramel, candied figs and a touch of bread. Plus mouthfeel with light carbonation. Really enjoyed this one, a true stand up BW.

Daytonbeer (730) - Ohio, USA - JAN 16, 2015
Pours reddish brown with same light tan head the dissipates quickly to nothing. Aroma of caramel, citrus, and is astringent. Taste is toffee, burnt sugar, bitter, and has an alcohol bite followed by numbing!? Reminds me of Novocain at the dentist.

kayres (888) - , Georgia, USA - NOV 26, 2014
Dark copper with a thin tan head. Sweet malty aroma. Full bodied with a crisp full citric hop flavor ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

nearbeer (5636) - Knoxville, Tennessee, USA - SEP 22, 2014
12 oz. Hazy dark copper with a lasting film of cream. Aroma of toffee, raisin and plum. Tastes of dark toffee, wooden hop, citrus, and Tootsie Roll. Medium-heavy body is smooth with medium carbonation and has a nice balance.

Shag (3047) - Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA - SEP 21, 2014
A murky brown color with a white head. The aroma contains some alcohol, caramel, toffee, a bit of orange peel. The flavor is well balanced with a bit of dryness. I’m getting some caramel, citrus, and brown sugar. A bit of alcohol shows up in the finish. Overall this is aight

TheHOFF43 (2052) - Robbinsdale, Minnesota, USA - SEP 1, 2014
Bottle from phaleslu. Thanks pete-o. Pours a hazy, light brown. Aroma is caramel and dark fruit. Actually pretty nice. Taste is similar, somewhat boozy. Overall quite nice. Appearance is a 5 due to label.

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