joeneugs (6372) - Livermore, California, USA - JAN 27, 2012
An old favorite. I can’t believe I never rated this one, and am very sad it’s retired. Hopefully some of the new High Water barley wines will be as good. It pours a dark ruddy brown with a small beige head. The aroma is still pretty hot after some time with nice notes of raisins, toffee, molasses, maple syrup and hints of cocoa. The flavor sweet up front with maple syrup, raisins, fig, and more balanced on the back end with some toasted malt, nuts and earthy bitterness. The alcohol is still very much present but not too overbearing. The body is full but not too thick or sticky. A really nice drinkable barley wine. brokensail (16689) - Dublin, California, USA - JAN 22, 2012
Pours amber in color with an off-white head. A pleasant sourness that has a nice fruity, almost strawberry, aroma to it. Some hints of hay and oak as well as a touch of vinegar. There still is a fair amount of sweet malt and toffee notes with a hint of vinegar. The flavor has a mild bourbon character to it as well as some vanilla and brown sugar and toffee sweetness. Light to moderate tartness of vinegar, underripe fruits, and strawberries. Surprisingly good.chibuck (3521) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - NOV 19, 2011
Earlier Rating: 5/11/2010 Total Score: 4.1
A: The pour is a dark mahogany color with a creamy khaki colored head.
S: There are plenty of caramel, toffee, brown sugar, and maybe even some molasses. The ubiquitous dark fruits also come into play and seem to be in the form of figs, raisins, and plums, along with a non-dark fruit: banana.
T: The dark, caramelized sugar flavors are the most up-front. As with the nose, a lot of brown sugar and toffee here. The light banana character is present, as are the plums and figs. A bit of alcohol warmth, but not hot by any means.
M: The body is on the full side, as you might expect, with a low, smooth carbonation and some warming alcohol.
D: Despite the barleywine moniker, this is a very easy to drink beer. The alcohol is nicely hidden and the sweetness is well balanced, despite a noticeable lack of hop flavor and aroma.
bottle... medium brown with a light tan head, not much to see... the aroma is pleasant enough but on he hoppier side, a little caramel... the taste is too bitter, weird aftertaste, wasn’t a big fan of his, hard to finish my 5oz pour BelgianBeerGal (4258) - Panama City, Florida, USA - AUG 4, 2011
Bottle picked up at the brewery about a year ago. Pours a nice dark bronze-brown with a small tan head. Toffee and caramel in the aroma that reminds me of Bailey’s Irish Cream. Similar notes in the flavor as well. The mouthfeel and overall it seems a bit thin. Not bad, just could have been a little bigger. Nice and Wow, this is smooth for 11+ ABV. Very drinkable for a barley wine. robertjm (904) - Albany, California, USA - JUL 21, 2011
22oz. bottle - Pours a scant pinky sized head, which pretty much falls to a ring in a short amount of time. Muddy deep chocolate brown body. Aroma of soy sauce. Huge malty flavor of prunes and figs, balanced with just the right amount of hops. Bitterness on the finish. Not the huge Left Coast hophead barleywine, nor the uber malt of the British style. Right in the middle. Very nice job!!!
fiulijn (21516) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - JUL 17, 2011
Blind tasting at Yesprucusty (2693) - raleigh, North Carolina, USA - JUL 11, 2011
Dark brown color; thin creamy head. Light aroma of caramel, very light plastic, phenol, bread. Dry caramel flavor, strong bitterness, very nutty. Easy.
Amber pour with a thin beige head. Aroma is toffee, citrus, and light alcohol. Nice malty flavor. Chocolate, toffee and maybe a little apple or pear. CaptainCougar (7634) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - MAY 14, 2011
Bottle sampled on 1/2/11 thanks to nimbleprop: Pours a clear copper amber with a spotty-lacing light tan head. Has a lightly oxidized toasty dark caramel malty nose with some mild piny hops. Starts with a chewy dark caramel and milk chocolate palate with some light fruity complexity and a touch of light oxidation and piny bittering hops. A little past its prime, but seems to have aged fairly well. Thorpe429 (5122) - , Illinois, USA - FEB 16, 2011
Thanks to drabmuh for opening this up.
Pours a nice caramel color with an off white head. Nose brings forward some lint cherries, a bit of citrus, caramel, and dates. Taste integrates the flavors but it does not have the depth I expect from the best in this style. Feel is quite nice and creamy and this drinks quite well. I wouldn’t mind have a bottle or two to cellar.
Serving type: bottle
Reviewed on: 10-06-2010 changeup45 (1731) - Lake Mary, Florida, USA - FEB 11, 2011
I’m not sure exactly how old this bottle is. I bought it sometime last Spring or Summer from Healthy Spirits when Valley Brew, of course, was still in production. The pour is a dark brown color with some ruby mixed in and an ultra thin whispy head lasts on top. The aroma really doesn’t scream out at me. Caramel, toffee, molasses, plum, but the overall scent is tame for an 11% brew. The flavors are more sugary than expected, brown sugar to be specific. It’s a bit toasty as well, that of burnt caramel and dark brown sugar. Not surprisingly, this has plenty of malty sweetness but the toasty flavors, that also come across as toasted almond at times, counter a lot of that. Still, this is kind of thin. The hops are a bit resinous in the finish but not really a big factor. I don’t know, this is pretty solid, I guess just a little unexciting.