Ughsmash (7510) - Pewaukee, Wisconsin, USA - AUG 17, 2011
On tap at GTMW. Poured clear honeyed amber with not much head on top.. lovely color. The aroma picked up sweet vanilla, molasses, and drawn caramel.. complementary sweet bourbon topped it off.. definite oxidation on the back.. solid presentation. The flavor found lots of sweet caramel, vanilla, and bourbon throughout.. peppery warmth and oxidation again on the back-end.. the barrel was well-integrated. Syrupy and warm for the most part on the palate, but a touch thin at times.. low carbonation.. nice feel & flow. Pawola22 (3262) - Woodridge, Illinois, USA - MAR 3, 2011
On tap for Beer Bout IV at The Tribes Alehouse in Mokena, IL where this was said to be the original batch. Rating #1,500. Pours a mostly clear, deep amber colored body with a thin, creamy, beige head that dissipates slowly and leaves a nice lacing. Aroma is great. Lots of sweet caramels, dark fruits, a very pleasant vanilla-bourbon that never overpowers, and some really nice oaky wood. So smooth and rounded with a great balance. A touch of chewy butterscotch with a distinct raisin as this warms a bit. I also get a hint of citrus. Damn this is a great aroma. Flavor is solid as well. Plenty of caramel and dark fruits with a bit of a bready chewiness. A really nice, rich bourbon-vanilla and raisin sweetness that balances very well and never gets boozy. A light earth to balance with some distinct wood to off-set the vanilla and caramel. Finishes just a tad syrupy sweet, but very well balanced with caramel, vanilla, dark fruits, and soft bourbon. A hint of pleasant warmth as this slowly dries with a light bitterness before leaving a lengthy aftertaste. Medium-full, very smooth, soft body with a creamy, moderate level of carbonation. Overall, a damn impressive barrel-aged barely wine. This has a really round and complex flavor and palate and seems to have aged with the best of them. Very well balanced and no real hint of the 13%. Love the big vanilla-caramel and rich bourbon. Great beer all these years later! TheAlum (7164) - Aurora, Illinois, USA - FEB 27, 2011
Draft on tap at Tribes Alehouse (Mokena, IL). Post Beer Bout #4, I think. Pours a deep dark opaque brown pour, no real light on the edges with a khaki head, big and cakey, laces well. Aromas are rich sweet malts and rich bourbon spirit, wet oak and vanilla tannins, a touch of heat, but really toffee and caramel, touches of dark fruit in the nose, sweet vanilla. Initial is fuller bodied, a big sweet caramel, toffee, some toasty bread presence. Not really thinned out, instead with a rich oaky barrel presence, vanilla tannins, Bourbon, not too much heat. A lightly bitter finish, but largely sweet and sticky lingering malts, rich toffee, caramel, vanilla, warming heat as it comes to rest in the belly. Some raisins and plums. Rich oak, sweet malts with some dark and candied fruit, cakey bready malts, some touches of sweet candy. It’s a sweeter fuller beer, warming, proper barrel which doesn’t overwhelm, warms the soul. Wow, a good BA Barleywine, full and flavorful. Good flavors, perhaps lacking complexity but it more than makes up for it in in rich flavors. The bartender here told me this is indeed the original batch.. Truly an honor to try. Finish is warm and sticky sweet, barrel and toffee. Mmmmmm. A true BA Barleywine, laid down and tamed it seems for the better. Sweeter, but with a reason behind it. An honor to try cbfobes (2891) - Quad Cities, Illinois, USA - NOV 25, 2010
UPDATED: NOV 20, 2011 Re-rate 11/20/2011, on tap at Tyranena. This was the 2006 vintage that has been patiently sitting in the back and man did it come out awesome. The last 5 years treated this Barley Wine wonders. Pours an unclear brown with a thin soapy head, the aroma is amazing, tons of oak, maple syrup, caramel, and a nice touch of bourbon. The flavor weaves together tons of caramel with vanilla, chocolate and maple syrup in the finish. The 13% is basically nonexistent, so smooth and delicious. This is by far the best thing I have ever had at Tyranena, the head brewer said they had a few more half barrels in the back, God I hope they re-release this again. Simply amazing. coharahawk (170) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - APR 9, 2010
Tap at brewery. Pours dark brown with ruby highlights. Whiskey, tons of oak, dark fruit, and EtOH astringency are the aroma. Tasted when cold from the tap was HOT with EtOH. Wow! I had to wait for it to warm before I could actually enjoy this. Flavors are a complex mix of bourbon, dark fruits, oak, coffee, chocolate, and belgian candy sugar. Once this was at the proper temp, it was delicious. Nice work!
MrPickles (571) - Waunakee, Wisconsin, USA - NOV 21, 2009
2006 vintage on tap at Tyranena’s 10th anniversary party. Pours a murky red brown with a thin head that quickly fades. Aroma is caramel, dark fruits, brown sugar and bourbon. Flavor. is similar, very complex. Starts sweet and caramel, moving to fruits and bourbon sneaking in, finishing very smooth with no burn at all. The ageing only made this one better. This is the main reason that I went to the party, and it did not disappoint! madvike (3301) - Middleton, Wisconsin, USA - NOV 15, 2009
2006 vintage on tap at Tyranena’s 10th anniversary party - This beer was the reason I made it out to Lake Mills, and it didn’t disappoint. Poured deep brown with nary a head. Smell is sweet bourbon, caramel, vanilla, and raisins. It’s pretty straightforward, but smooth as hell and without any of the booziness that the original had. Taste is more of the same, but all the rough edges have been smoothed out, and all that’s left is dangerously easy-drinking sweetness. It’s not over the top though--it doesn’t feel too sweet or syrupy, just very rich. Definitely a sipper both because of taste and the 13%, but this was everything I thought it would be. Stupendous. CaptainCougar (7634) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - JUN 17, 2009
On tap at the Great Taste of the Midwest (8/9/08): Clear copper bronze with a thin, wispy-lacing off-white head. Aroma of sweet caramely bourbon and a touch of butterscotch. Body starts fairly full and sweet with good assertive bourbon notes and sweet caramel balance. Well aged and enjoyable. MatSciGuy (924) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - DEC 12, 2008
2006 vintage sampled from a growler shared by Joebrew at Beer Geek Christmas at Heritage Liquors. Pours a slightly hazy burnt caramel with little/no head. Aroma is more vanilla and oak than bourbon, with a little bit of oxidation and some caramel malts. The flavor possesses a lot more of the bourbon that was absent on the nose, a bit of hops and hop bitterness, and some caramel. May have been drank a little on the cold side, but the mouthfeel was a little thin, but I suppose the beer is probably starting to show its age. Delicious nonetheless. kmweaver (3208) - Petaluma, California, USA - SEP 20, 2008
Draft @ Tyranena, 2006 vintage. Pours a murky, orange-brown color; light-tan head with fine-bubbled lacing. Very dense and generous aroma, showing chewy sweet bourbon notes, toasty vanilla, butterscotch, and maple syrup; reasonably soft edges on this, with earthy and citrus bitterness; solid, rounded nose. Medium-to-full mouthfeel: lots of chewy, toasty bourbon notes from the beginning: charred wood, dried dark fruits, with touches of butterscotch and sweet vanilla; well-hidden alcohol, with a solid perimeter of spicy, citrus hop bitterness; solid, softly-aged barrel beer; the earthiness and hops beneath remain apparent. Lengthy finish: long earthy and spicy bitterness, toasty, charred wood, with some dried orange peel present with vanilla at the far end.