run20six2 (123) - USA - MAR 23, 2005
A very strong beer, with a noticeable taste of alcohol. Overall pretty decent, with a bitter finish. ebrowner88 (123) - Rice, Minnesota, USA - APR 11, 2008
I had a sample of this at the Victory Brewery. I was already a few pints in to the experience when the bar keep pulled a sample of this off for me. Brown color, head was lighter color then the beer. Great malt taste and warm mouth feel. Room spinning, then stopping, then leaning. Then "stop touching me" then "you guys have any cashews?" followed by "let me try one of those golden monkeys." Agaguk (122) - Gatineau, Quebec, CANADA - MAR 17, 2009
2 355ml Bottles shared with Pyrozoid and French Tickler. Aroma: grape bubble gum, figs, orange zest. Flavor: alcohol, grapes, peppery, salty, figs, hops and cotton candy. Palate: medium to full body, soft carbonation, oily, silky with a grape pepery alcohol finish.
BlueDevil0206 (122) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - JUN 24, 2005
UPDATED: JUL 12, 2005 Bottled. Pours a deep reddish amber with a small quickly dropping head. Aroma is majorly malty: toffee and caramel and cereal. Hops are also very apparent in the nose: spicy and earthy. A moderate ester profile is also present. Flavor is also big and malty. Sweet with crystal malt and breadiness. Hops are spicy and citrussy in flavor with plenty enough bitterness to back up the syrupy sweetness and hop flavor. Some slight fruity esters comes through with flavors of citrus and a bit of apple and cherries. Body is very full and silky smooth and syrupy, coating my snifter with every sip. Excellent American barleywine. RAUCHFEST (122) - PROSPECT PARK, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 2, 2002
these are great when somebody has some saved away and takes out their vintage now and then
jeckenroth (121) - Reading, Massachusetts, USA - JAN 31, 2009
Pours a wonderful reddish amber. The head is a substantial and long lasting off white foam with nice lacing the whole way down.
Smells of warm caramel sweetness with under tones of the floral hoppiness that makes all Victory beers distinct.
The mouthfeel is nice and thick, reassuring. There is a sharp carbonation but fades quickly to an oily liquid that coats the tongue.
As many have said, you don’t get a wall of alcohol taste, even with the high abv. The first is malty and spicy (hints of cloves or cinnamon) but that fades to a nice sweet warming middle. The end is long and hoppy. There is this hint of what I can only describe as dried cherries that comes through every once in awhile.
Another wonderful example by a very strong team in Downingtown. Louipa (121) - USA - JUN 16, 2006
Victory’s beers are fantastic. This one starts out with a rich, molasses nose that is more malty than hoppy. Rich, reddish amber color with a small white-tan head. Tastes like it smells. Finish is somewhat hoppy and very good. Hops come out increasingly as it warms. Surprisingly drinkable for an 11%abv. An excellent beer. dphoxie (120) - North Carolina, USA - DEC 6, 2013
Sweet barleywine goodness. Chewy and sticky. Lots of complexity. Really enjoyed this and looking forward to finding another bottle. Sooo tasty. GoldenSpunky (120) - Rochester, New York, USA - AUG 9, 2004
Pours very think and smooth with copper tints and small head. This barely wine quite possibly has the best aroma I’ve ever smelled on any beer. Upon the first taste, hints of chicory roasted barely and delicious hops. This is what a barley wine should taste like. I almost dont want to write anymore just so I can enjoy this beer while only focusing on how good it tastes. blueduk (118) - Eugene, Oregon, USA - MAY 19, 2006
Wow, this has some high ratings. What a surprise, it has over 10% alcohol by volume. This beer is good, and it’s good for its style. Maybe my bottle was too young, but I think we need a reality check.
The beer poured clear amber with a thin tan fizzy head. The first whiff is an assult of fresh fruity citrus hops, orange and lemon. After recovering, malty notes are dectecable, mainly caramel, oak, and vanilla, which are also present in the flavor profile. The mouthfeel is soft and smooth, carrying fruit beneath bitterness of a magnitude I wasn’t expecting. This bitterness lasted long into the finish, forgetting the nice malty underbelly. The alcohol was very noticeable by mid-bottle.
This is a good barleywine, but not the best. I think it’s a step below the examples from Sierra Nevada, AleSmith, and Stone, which are not as rough around the edges.