Ethereal (2471) - Los Angeles, California, USA - AUG 9, 2008
Bottle at GBBF 08. 14th Anniversary edition. Deep brown with a foamy magnolia head. Right from the first sip, it’s all heavy malt and fierce hop flavours. Very, very American. It takes you out back to the alley and gives you a kicking! KimJohansen (10497) - Frederiksberg C, DENMARK - AUG 7, 2008
Dark reddish brown with large beige head. Sweet aroma with toasted malt, caramel and pronounced hoppy notes. Sweet flavor with roasted malt, caramel, grapefruit, piney and hoppy Notes. Ends solid bitter. barncatmatt (2355) - Cambridge, Ontario, CANADA - AUG 4, 2008
12 oz bottle from a trade with douglas88. pours very dark brown with a small tan head, not typical of a barley wine but still very appealing. aromas are sweet dark malts and hop resin. the aroma is good but not great, i dont even know what else i want but its just middle of the road for barley wine aroma. flavours are big and well balanced with black tea bitterness at the end. not a bad barley wine but not the best ive had. thanks for the bottle douglas! mgumby10 (1856) - Jupiter, Florida, USA - JUL 29, 2008
Pours a semi-clear dark maroon/brown, with a smallish light tan head. Smells of burnt malt, big caramel, bready yeast, and wood. The flavor actually has a pleasant little fruitiness to it, then turns too some yeasty bitterness and caramel malt. Kind of a burnt wood thing going on too. Almost had a campfire thing going on. Im not huge on barley wines recently, I havent had the palate for their bitterness, but this was decent. Headbanger (4021) - Aurora, Illinois, USA - JUL 26, 2008
12oz bottle XV(courtesy of RSRIZZO)-Pours a dark ruby amber body with a small ring for a head. Aroma of caramel, sweetness, malt, and butter. Taste is of the same with all the flavors coming together and finishing with a nice sweetness. A bit mild IMO but still very tasty.
LinusStick (3510) - Moon Twp, suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 26, 2008
Courtesy Secret Santa. A delicious and easy to drink barley wine. I usually don’t care much for American barley wines, but this was very nice. Aroma was strong caramel malt, a hint of Vicks VapoRub and alcohol. Pour was a nice deep cloudy brown with a one finger near tan head. Taste was a little hot, but very hoppy and drinkable. The strong caramel and sticky malt quickly gives way to a heavy hop backbone. The hops carry through to the aftertaste. Nice barley wine! RSRIZZO (2032) - Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA - JUL 13, 2008
This was a 12 oz bottle, XV Anniversary. Aroma is a sweet caramel scent with some alcohol in the back. Color is a deep dark ruby with almost no carbonation and just a thin ring for a head. Taste is sweet, fruity and a bit light. Starting with a full/medium body it goes down with a sweet feel. Finish comes in with a sweet roasted malt taste that has some nice raisin tones the a mild bitterness. In the after taste the bitterness builds a little with just a hint of alcohol. This is a nice Barley Wine, its a little lighter then most and a bit bitter but still tasty. TheEpeeist (3709) - Media, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 12, 2008
12 oz bottle, XV Anniversary. Deep amber brown with a trace of foam. Nose is toasted caramel and buttery hops. Almost medium with faint carb. Taste is toffee, flat club soda, a touch of raisin then bitter grass. Maybe too young but not bad now. FlacoAlto (4220) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - JUL 8, 2008
14th Anniversary Release, Bottled December 2007; Sampled July 2008WhatDidIDrink (10) - , Utah, USA - JUL 7, 2008
A vigorous pour into my New Belgium globe glass produces an almost three-finger thick, amber tinged, lightly browned, dark tan colored head. The beer is a very dark amber / brown color that shows a brilliantly clear, striking cranberry color when held up to the light. The aroma is sticky with hop notes of candied citrus, lychee, candied pine needles, some harder pine sap notes and a solid herbal backdrop. The dominant hop aromatics are supported by a sticky malt base that is quite caramelized, has some rich toasty notes and ample biscuit aromatics. The aroma is quite nice and I am definitely enjoying the sticky hop notes. While hop focused, this is not nearly as hop dominated as a Bigfoot of this age is, there is quite a bit more malt character here.
Spicy hop flavors mix with ample toasty malt notes. Seems a touch more malt focused than the aroma, but it is still leans more to the hop side of the spectrum at this point; this should get quite malty as it ages out. Lots of bitterness from the get go, towards the finish this even gets a little astringent in its bitterness with green, almost tannic, hop influences. Not quite as rich as one would expect from a beer of 10% abv; it has a medium thickness to it with a soft creamy viscousness; actually the sharp hop bitterness really cuts through the body quite a bit. In the end, somehow, this manages to seem a bit thin. This does have a nice malt character to it though; lots of toasty, almost brown malt flavors, dark bread notes and some caramelized berry flavors.
I really like the aroma of this beer and I think that it will age quite gracefully, but it is just too harshly bitter to be really enjoyable right now. Give this at least two years and this should be tasting quite nice (thankfully I was sent two bottles of this). This is definitely a beer to lay down, in fact I would guess the Brewer brewed this with that intent; so hold on to those Fourteens for a bit.
I really like this. If you are looking for a good 3 beers but are too lazy to drink 3 have one of these and go to bed. I am going to cellar the rest of this sixer for colder weather.