(Green's Trip: 08') Bottled 2007. Aroma on the fine ale is of aged cherries as well as apricots wih some aged oak and offers fruity esters that are very effervescent and is very different than other barleywines I have had. Appearance is a hazy, light burgundy with some reddish hues with a very full head that is well-carbonated with excellent head retention and is creamy and seltzer-like and leaves frosty lacing on the glass. Mouthfeel is full-bodied with surprising malty balance as well as actual hop complexity that is noticeable with a palate that is creamy to some extent but dry-like as well and could be smoother. Flavor is malty sweet with some apicot and oak with some tartness and has an aftertaste that is dry-like with some notes of bittering hops and citrus with a finish that is clean and crisp with some slight grapefruit overtones and pine with some tropical mango even but could use some mellowing to become smoother. Overall, an interesting take on the barleywine style here for sure and seems more of an American interpretation as opposed to an Engligh take but all-in-all; a very dynamic brew here and hope to get another bottle to let some dust gather on it in my cellar.
Bottled. Hazy orange colour, mediumsized beige head. Aroma is wood, caramel malts, some mild yeastyness as well as dark dry fruits with mild alcohol. Flavour is quite much the same in a nice balance, but also has some very grassy and earthy notes. Mild notes of dark chocolate and grass in the aftertaste.
Vintage 2007. 9.1 ABV. Pours out in a hazy orange colour with a lively lasting white foam. Dense orangey and spicy hops in the aroma with touches of pine-needles, flowers, dried fruit and earth. Full flavour of oak, orangey hops, grass, anise, vanilla, black pepper, wood and alcohol. Full-bodied. Long oaky and peppery finish with touches of orange-peels, mild flowers and apricot. I liked the non-barrel edition but I rank this one a bit higher. Not your typical over-hopped US Barley Wine and the barrel aging just adding some extra components without totally take over the base of the beer.
2007 Bottle Date; Sampled February 2008
Well carbonated as the beer pours with a three-finger thick, tan colored head that I fairly tightly beaded for such a big beer. The head leaves some thin lacing as it slowly subsides. The beer is a reddish amber color and shows an almost brilliantly clear, pale cranberry hued, copper color when held up to the light. The aroma is quite hop focused up front with lots of fruity notes of apricots, candied orange zest, ruby-red grapefruit syrup, some tropical fruit and a substantial lychee contribution. Towards the middle of a big draught of the aroma is a toasty, bread-like, crusty malt character, but then the oak components kick in. The oak contributes ample spicy oak, a woody backdrop and a warming finish. Interestingly enough the huge, up front character of this beer is the fruity hop character, you almost have to dig to get to the oak aromatics and I find that nicely refreshing in an oak aged brew.
Sweet and thick at first, but then an ample carbonation kicks in that froths the beer up a bit more than I would like. This carbonation is followed by a sharp, spicy, woody oak component that lingers on into a long, slightly tannic finish. A vigorous, quick swirl of my tulip glass gets rid of the excess carbonation. Up front with the clean malt sweetness this has a fair amount of hop-fruitiness to it, not as much as the aroma might have suggested, but I still get flavors of orange zest, grapefruit and a touch of lychee. The oak flavors are much more present here. At times they can be a bit distracting, especially as they combine with the alcohol, and hop bitterness in the finish; all of which contribute to a slightly harsh astringency. At its best this beer has a nice black pepper piquancy in the finish that is made up of both woody components and spicy oak components. Somehow this is almost smoky in the finish and even a bit salty as well, it is vaguely evocative of peat somehow, though I have no idea how it would have picked up these flavors. The combination of oak and alcohol also makes the finish seem a bit boozy at times.
Tasty, but it can be a bit out of balance at times. I would have really loved this beer if the flavor had somehow kept the hop to oak ratio that was in the aroma. The hop flavors are much less juicy and appetizing than the aroma was and the oak flavors seem to add a bit of harshness to the beer, especially in the finish. Still this is a tasty, enjoyable beer, one which I would be happy to have again.
This was extremely easy drinking for a barleywine. It poured a red-brown, fairly clear with a good head. The aroma was a bit of old fruits and caramel along with wood and malt from the barrel. Not the big massive beer most wood-aged barleywines are, but I think many of those take it too far.
Poured a hazy amber color with a small, off white head that left nice lacing on the glass. Aroma of vanilla, caramel malts, toffee, dark fruits, with light spices and alcohol as well. Taste of vanila oak, with a think, chewy caramel maltiness, was vinuous, with some nuts, and peppery alcohol in the finish.
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