AndyReynolds (1085) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - MAY 7, 2009
Bottle. Pours a hazy amber with a thin off-white head. Aroma is strong of sweet malts, caramel, and dark fruits. Notes of bread, grapes, citrus, and hops also come out. Flavor is strong of malts and alcohol. In the finish, I detect hops, but the finish is very dry. The alcohol burn follows the beer all the way down. Not the best barley wine I have had, but worth checking out. cmonster (1000) - Portland, Oregon, USA - OCT 20, 2009
Bottle served in a snifter. A slight haze in the auburn-brown body. Minimal head. Sweet aroma sweet, caramel, over-ripe banana, and raisins. Creamy mouthfeel amonst little carbonation. Substantial body (medium-full) followed by plenty of hops. The finish, which is not real heavy, is a little bitter and lengthy. StinkBall (157) - Asheville, North Carolina, USA - NOV 29, 2009
2007 version. Very nice, balanced aroma. Dark amber color with copper tapering off at the bottom. Nice appearance. Thick and oily mouthfeel Dark fruit and black cherry taste. Perhaps my favorite barley wine that I have tasted but I’m not a fan of barley wines. jb43 (1650) - Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA - JAN 14, 2010
(bottle). Ruby color with light cloudiness. Large off white head. Sweet bread and floral hop aroma. Moderate sweet flavor with light pine hop and bitterness. Avg duration. Light bitter, light alcohol finish. Slick texture. Soft carbonation. Spare lacing. crackedmachine (481) - Seattle, Washington, USA - FEB 19, 2010
2009. 11% ABV. Pours dark copper-red with a medium tan head, with a heavy aroma of sweet malt, toffee, and some mild, but crisp hops. Sweet caramel and brown sugar flavor with a slightly bitter finish and lingering alcohol warmth. For all of its sweetness and detectable alcohol, this is a bit light-bodied and effervescent - at least for a sweet barleywine. The touch of bitter bite is nice. Obviously young, and it would be well worth seeing how this tastes down the road.
esjaygee (3904) - Oak Creek, Wisconsin, USA - APR 3, 2010
Murky orange-brown with chunks of dead yeast that eventually settle to the bottom. A thin white head sits atop and creates some foamy lacing as it disappears. Aroma of heavy alcohol, toffee, grains and brown sugar, very malty as most of the hops have faded on this two year old bottle. Taste is very malty and sweet with alcohol, light fruit and hop undertones. b3shine (8878) - Indiana, USA - DEC 9, 2013
Draft to taster. Looks solid; a transparent copperish orange with sticky off-white lacing. Smells sweet and malty with notes of juicy hops and caramel. Tastes like it smells with a nice mouthfeel that’s fairly smooth for the abv. Enjoyable. keanex (1799) - Atco, New Jersey, USA - DEC 23, 2013
It appears that I’ve wiped the dating off, but this is from the fresh 2013 release.Dan269605 (235) - Rocky Hill, Connecticut, USA - JAN 16, 2014
Appearance: The body is beautifully clear with a red body with pink tones through it. The head is short and dense with good retention, slowly settling into an off-white dusting on top with a bubbly ring.
Aroma: The nose gives off juicy grapefruit hop aromas, but it’s not pungent while hints of sweet caramel and bready malts back it up with a light booze presence. The aroma is a bit weak though.
Taste: The intro is very unassuming of the mildly aggressive bitterness that awaits. Bready malts and a mild caramel presence act as a base for a strong floral and grapefruit bitterness that peaks on the finish and lingers for a while. I get some raisin undertones by the finish, slight musky aromas as well. I didn’t remember this being so hoppy.
Palate: Full-bodied and moderately carbonated, a bit snappy on the finish.
Overall: I’m not sure how I feel about this beer. On one hand I find it to be a step above most American barleywines, and on another hand I find that American barleywines teeter on being a imperial IPA. I tend to like my barleywines in the English style, sweet with a complex malt base. I don’t get much here other than a huge hop presence, especially by the finish. Where is the deep and complex malt base here?
Hmm, this is an interesting one. Dark amber, somewhat clear, a finger of beige head. Fruity nose, fruit cake like. The taste has a fairly harsh bitterness followed by an almost cloying fruit cake sweetness, a little weird. This is definitely more of an American style Barleywine, which isn’t my favorite style. It’s alright, but no the best Victory offering by any means. GSH1976 (307) - Delaware, USA - FEB 28, 2014
Growler. Pours a clear orange/amber with a thin head and excellent lacing. Aroma is a candied sweetness, caramel, a hint of hops and booze. Taste is predominantly a candied sweetness and strong malt with some hops in the background but they are overpowered. Medium to full bodied with a somewhat dry finish. A decent barleywine but too sweet for my taste. Ironically this used to be one of my favorite beers which just goes to show how tastes can change over the years.