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Gratitude - East End Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

490 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 490
Reviews: 225
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 9.53%
Wants: 781
Gots: 135 | FT: 14
Brewed by:
East End Brewing Company visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  11.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
A limited edition Barleywine Style Ale, brewed in November in the American tradition and hand packaged to specially commemorate the anniversary of the brewery each year.

Gratitude Wax Colors:

2005-Red Wax
2006-Orange Wax
2007-Yellow Wax
2008-Green Wax
2009-Blue Wax
2010-Indigo Wax
2011-no wax, blank cap (Flatitude)
2012-no wax, "12" on cap (Flatitude)
2013-Violet Wax

(Beer added by: beergeek279 on 12-23-2005)
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Ratings: 490 | Reviews: 225 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Wetpaperbag


3.68/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Orange Wax

A- Caramel amber color with a thin layer of head. Nice lacing that clung like spider webs all over the glass.

S- Lots of complexity going on, caramel maltyness, toffee, molasses and dark fruits such as dates and figs.

T- I was a bit let down by this. It was good don't get me wrong, but I think I over hyped it for myself. There was nice honey flavor, combined with a brown sugar and molasses flavor. But it was a bit too sweet for me. I also felt that it was trying to be a hoppy barleywine but at the same time was trying to be an english styled barleywine and couldn't make up its mind.

M- Good mouthfeel, solid for the style with light carbination that helps the beer along.

D- Was fairly easy to drink, but the sweetness was too much for my tastes.

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2010 04:39:21 | More by Wetpaperbag
Photo of philbe311


4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 (Green Wax) - Bottle 555/700'

A - Not much in the way off head, but a couple of large bubbles off a vigorous pour that quickly fade... No lacing...A murky rusty reddish brown color... Still with not noticeable carbonation... A slight film is left on the glass...

S - A stellar bouquet... Uber sweet... Caramel... Toffee... Raisins... Grapes... Cherries... Brown sugar... A slight bit of booze buried beneath the rest of the complexities...

T - Raisins... Brown sugar... Booze soaked cherries... Undertones of caramel and toffee... Just a kiss of citrus... Pineapple... Subtle tannin qualities... Excellent depth and complexity...

M - One the fuller side of medium bodied... Slightly sticky... Just the slightest of carbonation can be detected... A tad on the thin side... Astringent alcohol warmth coats the tongue and lingers... Insanely smooth and sleek...

D - A world class Barleywine regardless, but it's a bit of a shame that the lack of head and a thinner than expected mouthfeel with no creaminess keeps this from being an epic offering... Packs a little bit of punch... Highly recommended and still worthy of every BAs attention...

The bottle and packing itself is a work of art, even if it is a little tough to open...

2009 Version Update (04/23/11) - A much richer fuller creamier tan head than I had remembered... The hops were more lively and juicy than expected... I have adjusted my scores slightly upward in terms of Appearance and Mouthfeel...

2010 Version Update (08/11/12) - I won't go into too much detail as this was very similar to past renditions, however I found this iteration's mouthfeel to be a bit subpar... A bit flat, a bit thin, without any of the rich and creamy texture that I recall from previous offerings... I have downgraded my mouthfeel rating back to a "4" as a result...

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2010 01:35:14 | More by philbe311
Photo of MbpBugeye


4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally got around to popping this bottle. '09 vintage, blue wax. "The blue bird" as I have been referring to it as.

A- This is the best packaging of any beer out there. Its a total work of art. The beer its self is a clear rusty brown color. Its very difficult to get any sort of head from this beer. What you can coax out with a really rough pour will fade very quickly and leave only small pearls of foam stuck to the glass.

S- Sweet and fruity. Lots of red wine, grapes, raisins, toffee, brown sugar, french vanilla and lots more. No real hop profile but lots of alcohol that gives the nostrils a twinge.

T- More sweetness all over the place. A few different types of grapes. Red grapes, raisins and a touch of sour grapes. Apple cider, toffee, lots of molasses, and brown sugar. A slight hint of Worcestershire sauce from time to time. Alcohol is hardly picked up despite how strong this beer is. This really isnt very balanced, its very sweet.

M- A bit thinner than I was hoping. The carbonation is very very low. The beer is smooth, semi dry and mildly sticky.

D- Drinks very easily. The alcohol here is very tame.

This beer really fits into the category of an English Barleywine rather than American. It might be the way this beer is or it could be the fact that this bottle is about 6 months old and the hops have faded.

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2010 04:09:12 | More by MbpBugeye
Photo of Mora2000


4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to thirdeye11 for sharing this bottle.

Bottle number 968 of 1,500. 2009 vintage with blue wax with a blue jay on the paper label/wrap. This is my first East End beer and one that I have been looking forward to trying. The beer pours a brownish-amber color with a very small white head. The aroma is brown sugar and cherries with possibly some oak. The flavor is cherry, oak, caramel malt and alcohol. The flavor is semi-sweet. Low carbonation and medium mouthfeel.

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2010 02:11:38 | More by Mora2000
Photo of boothbeer


4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2006-2008 Vertical. Rating is averaged. Overall, my favorite was the 2007 vintage.

2008- Green Was.
A: 3.5-Dark brown with maroon hues. Almost no head and no lacing.
S: 4.0- Nice malty aromas. Dark fruits are prevalent. Some bitterness as well.
T: 4.0- Great American barlywine. Nice maltiness. Not too much bitterness, but a slight presence. Lots of alcohol burn though that contrasts the sweetness.
M: 4.5- Very smooth. Moderate carbonation
D: 4.0- Delicious. But I think the alcohol presence comes through a little too much. It's a good thing I split this vertical 3 ways.

2007- Yellow Wax.
A: 4.5- Dark amber color with some red tones. Nice amount of cream colored head and nice lacing. Great retention.
S: 4.5- Blend of rich malts, dark fruit, some hoppiness and spices-cloves and nutmeg.
T: 4.5- Sweet malty goodness. Carmel hard candy and toffee. Hints of honey and nutmeg. Alcohol is mellowed, but still present in the finish. A little hoppiness, but very smooth and mild.
M: 4.0-Medium carbonation but still very smooth.
D: 4.0- Very nice. Definitely worth the aging on this. 1 year made a huge difference. Overall, this was my favorite out of the vertical!

2006- Orange Wax.
A: 4.0- Dark Brown, and a little cloudy. Light chalk colored head that dissipates to a thin film. Not much lacing.
S: 4.0- Very malty up front. Hints of hops and bitterness. Similar to the 07, but less spices in the flavor.
T: 4.5- More of a bitter malt to this one. Picking up some bite and alcohol burn. Some nice dark fruit in the beginning and ends with a bitterness burn.
M: 4.0- Moderate to mild carbonation. A little tingle
D: 4.0-Very similar to the 07, but it lost some aromas.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2010 02:04:18 | More by boothbeer
Photo of zdk9


3.88/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Caramel colored, slight head. Stirs of lacing.

S- Nice strawberry, sweet orange. Caramel.

T- More caramel in the taste than the smell. Just a hint of citric acid.

M- Sweetness sticking to my mouth.

D- This is a good beer, but I can't say it really sticks to my tastes, but it's good. Kind of a butterscotch beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2010 00:44:35 | More by zdk9
Photo of jrallen34


4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this 2009 version at dld. Medium brown light tan head not much to note in retention or lacing. The taste and aroma here are awesome, one of my favorite bw's ever. It starts off with sweet caramel and some really nice dark fruits and has a very nice balanced hoppy finish. Super tasty and easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2010 22:31:42 | More by jrallen34
Photo of Jmoore50


4.68/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The 2006 to 2009 Vertical. Epic.

The appearance is nice copper rust, with a beautiful gradient to a brass colored rim. It pours with some foam, but it soon disappears and just produces nice thick legs on the sides of the glass. The brew has a nice clarity, paired with the color makes for a beautiful brew.
The smell like it tastes, dark sweet caramel toffee with dark fruits and brown sugar.
This vintage is the best, and is also the best barley wine I have ever consumed. Candy sugar, molasses, booze, raisins, apricots, dates, brown sugar, oh oh my.
It has a great carbonation after all of this time, still involving the entire palate. It is oily, coats your mouth with a syrup like characteristic that is delicious.
This beer could keep for about two more years.
This beer looks very different than the 2006 vintage. This one is actually ruby red with a nice tan one finger head that develops into a film over everything. Still has a mean leg, which just looks awesome in the Lost Abbey glass.
It still has a smell of dark fruit and some sweet malts, but the booze is a bit more pronounced. Stings the nostrils, but in a good way.
This one tastes good, but not as great as the 2006. There is the cornucopia of dark fruits and sweet aged malts as the last one but the development is not there. A year and some ingredient changes are obviously the differences here, so all I am doing is splitting hairs. Both are good beers.
This vintage is better than the 2007, which is interesting because I thought the main reason I liked the 2006 was because of the age. This one is a year younger and is still better than the 2007. This has a darker ruby color than the previous year, and has a one finger white head that sticks around for a minute. It leaves some random lacing, and STILL has a crazy ABV leg.
The smell is mostly of booze, with brown sugar and raisins being huge in the dark fruit category.
The tastes in this one are blended very well, bringing boozy and fruits together to form something really special. Caramel and toffee come back in this one to hold hands with the alcohol, this creates a really sweet bourbon character that I loved. The carbonation is a little more aggressive, creating an interesting experience for the palate. The sweetness are not overwhelming, and effect the entire mouthfeel. Delicious.
It has some infection problems that are really distracting. It is in the very early stages of infection, so it was drinkable, but still had that sourness to it. In a year this will be a drain pour.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2010 01:10:15 | More by Jmoore50
Photo of alleykatking


4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle of 07' Gratitude.

A- Pours a dark amber color. One finger white head comes and goes down leaving some light lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- This is a sweet smelling alcoholic punch! Light brown sugar notes along with some candi sugar in the front end of this. Tons of different fruits come into play around the middle of the aroma. Everything from figs to cherries come and go. Light alcohol around the back end makes this a interesting and very yummy smelling beer.

T- Taste is very barleywine and in a smooth way. I was amazing to be honest that it was so sweet upfront with some sugary darker fruits being what I tasted first. Some light toffee and bready notes in the middle of the beer bring way to another sweet alcoholic taste in the backend of this. Some light Sherry like notes run through this beer from start to finish.

M- Medium heavy mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Kind of dead feeling on the mouth...chewy. Drying the palate after each sip as well. Light fruity malty goodness left on the palate with light alcohol booze on the aftertaste. Flavors have mellowed with a couple years on this.

D- This was a very drinkable beer to say the least. Everything I like about aged barleywines this had and then some. The smoothness on this beer couldn't have gotten any better. Looking forward to the others I have in the cellar right now!

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2010 23:13:34 | More by alleykatking
Photo of vacax


4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Yellow wax, 2007 vintage on this bottle, which might I add looks lovely. Amongst the best packages in the beer world. Pours a dark red copper with an inch of dense creamy head that is equally dark as the beer. Aromas of toffee, raisin, peppery spice, and berries. Tastes of rich malts, toffee, berry, burnt caramel, and a big cookie finish. Feels full with a nice creamy restrained carbonation. I liked this one a fair amount, though I like the package even more than I like the beer. Good barleywine, though maybe suffering from overexposure.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2010 03:30:46 | More by vacax
Photo of wagenvolks


4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Blue-waxed 2009 bottle courtesy of stopbarking at a recent BA tasting.

Pours a dark amber color with a nice depth to the hue that shows a copper tint as well. Khaki bubbles retain well up top, and leave behind a good amount of lacing. Aromas of caramel-toffee-coated sweetbread (lightly toasted), with fruity hops that suggest citrus and pineapple gummy bears.

A restrained pinyness from the hops hits the palate first, followed by a vinously chewy caramel malt note and sweet toffees. Very fruity, almost candy-like in texture and flavor. Surprisingly light-bodied for the style, Gratitude is juicy & refreshing at the same time, unique for an American Barleywine in that respect. Gratitude is the operative word, here. Many thanks to Daniel for sharing this gem at our tasting.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2010 01:29:29 | More by wagenvolks
Photo of ChainGangGuy


4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2007 Vintage.

Appearance: Emerges from the paper-wrapped bottle a hazed, dark amber body capped with a sudsy, white head.

Smell: Markedly sweet-scented, reasonably candyish bouquet sporting full notes of toasted toffee and light brown sugar. Chock full of punchy fruity notes, everything from apricots to grilled pineapple rings, figs, white grapes, and even juicy clementines. Small sniff of wafting booze as well.

Taste: Vibrant maltiness displaying lusciously sweet tastes of light caramel, light brown sugar, toffee, and toasted grains dusted with table sugar. As with the aroma, there's a bold fruitiness present. Predominately citrusy hop character with a modest bitterness lessened with time away in the cellar. Splash of sherry. Drying finish with plenty of belly-warming alcohol and a long, lingering fruitiness.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied, chewy mouthfeel. Medium-low level of carbonation.

Drinkability: It's a rich, strong, but altogether inviting brew (at least with a couple years on it). Go get yourself some paper-wrapped goodness. I'll wait here.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2010 22:27:50 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of LordAdmNelson


4.8/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Blue-waxed Gratitude '09, Bottle #1424/1500.

Many many thanks to Joe (Sench) for sharing this.

Really this is an amazing bottle and label. I really like the idea that this beer is put out as a "thank you" to the loyal customers of East End. And what a beer it is.

Pours a beautiful hazy copper caramel color with an inch or two of light orange cream colored head. So far so good. Extra points for the bottle.

Smell is incredible. This is definitely going to be one of my favorite beers, I can just tell. Big candied fruit aromas, some citrus hops, a hint of alcohol, some caramel malt underneath. I don't even want to drink it, it smells so good.

Taste follows the smell. Honestly, it reminds me to some degree of Olde School Barleywine, or at least it has a similar flavor profile. Follows the nose, with big fruity flavors that dance in and out. Sometimes darker like cherries and raisins, and sometimes lighter like pineapple, pears, and oranges. Delicious. All of this on top of a nice caramel sweetness, and moderate toasted malt. Tremendous. Robust, but balanced. Unreal.

Mouthfeel might be the only thing I can knock on this guy. It's not quite as full as I would hope for. Very smooth, however, carbonation is decent, I'm just looking for a little more.

Drinks like a dream. So complex, definitely a tremendous beer to share with good friends. If you can get it, do. If you have it, drink it.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2010 22:55:13 | More by LordAdmNelson
Photo of Pencible


4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2006 vintage. This poured a hazy copper with some light tan head. It smelled like peaches and cream, with candied pineapple and caramel and honey malts, and a bit of bready yeast and alcohol. It tasted like peaches and nectarines and creamy honey, with some mango and bready yeast, and a bit of copper hops and alcohol. It was somewhat thick with a bit of carbonation, and had a bittersweet aftertaste. Overall this had an amazing scent and taste, with tons of fruity sweetness. It had great body too, and hid the alcohol decently. So it was pretty easy to drink, but much better to sip and savor. I haven't tried this fresh, but several years aged is fantastic, and it could still easily age longer. This is a top notch barleywine.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2010 19:57:54 | More by Pencible
Photo of rhinos00


4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

'06-'08 vertical split between pecorasc and boothbeer. Poured into tulip glasses.

2007 vintage - 4.5/4.5/5/5/4.5

Huge thanks to BeerWorld for giving me this opportunity.

A- Pours a clear, dark burgundy color. Produced two fingers with of off-white head with a yellow tint...quite unique. Minor lacing as consumed with great head retention.

S- Compared to the '08, this is more pronounced. Wanted to give it a 4.75. Combination of malt sweetness, belgian candy, brown sugar, and a touch of vanilla. Just remarkable.

T- Simply blown away. Sweet, candied malts upfront with caramel underneath. Well layered and showcases the depth wonderfully. While the beginning was quite nice, the finish is where this beer had me reeling. Finishes with a distinct combination of brown sugar, sweetness from sugar cane and a distinct cola-like flavor. Just awesome. Much more complex than the '06 and '08.

M- World class for an American barleywine IMO. Medium bodied, but contained a fuller feel because of velvety, smooth texture of the beer...quite remarkable as I usually use these descriptors for a big RIS. Viscosity was perfect. Much better than the '08 and '06. Left a delightful sticky, sugary residue on the palate and lips.

D- Very high and the alcohol was nowhere near as noticeable as the '08.

Overall, not only did I consider this the best in the '06-'08 vertical we had side by side, but this is easily the best American barleywine I have ever had. Unlike most American versions that slam you with IBU's (or aged ones that still have a lot of dead hop character left over) the hops in this beer are ever so faint and much more subdued. Very well restrained and something other American brewers should think about imitating.

2006 vintage - 4.5/5/4/4/4.5

Thanks Frank for sending this gem our way.

A- Pours, a clear dark burgundy with two fingers width of off-white, yellow tinted head. Some lacing and good retention.

S- Sweet candied malt base. Similar to '07 but much more mellow and subdued...almost lends the beer a dark fruit aroma. The alcohol notes are more complex and developed and leaves an almost nutty character.

T- More or less one continuous complex note. A ride from beginning to end of sugary, fruit sweetness with a malt, candy base. Finish was rather sweet, almost too sweet.

M- Medium bodied. Very smooth, but lacked the viscosity and texture of the '07.

D- Extremely drinkable.

Overall, a very good American barleywine, better than the '08.

2008 vintage - 4/4.5/4/4/4

A- Pours a murky, burgundy color. Produced a fingers width of off-white head. Reduced to a faint ring around the glass throughout consumption.

S- Pretty potent and aromatic. Combination of sweet malts, belgian candy, caramel with a citrus undertone. Faint, mellow hops are noticeable in the background. The aroma just seems to explode with every swirl of the glass.

T- Much like the aroma. Upfront there a malt sweetness with underlying bitterness from faint hops. Midway through to the finish contains a variety of caramel and malt sweetness with a citrus-like character. Ever so slight bitterness in the finish with an alcohol kick.

M- Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Good viscosity for a barleywine.

D- Would have been higher but the alcohol really does play a factor. After a few sips, you feel the chest start to burn a little. Not too hot, but definitely there.

Overall, a pretty good American barleywine. Easily one of my favorites for this particular style.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2010 15:39:05 | More by rhinos00
Photo of ShadesOfGray


4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared with jmu500 on Kate the Great Day'eve. Yellow wax top/Vintage 2007. Reviewing from notes. Poured from a 750ml bottle into a small brandy snifter glass. Pours a dark brown with slight burgendy hue. Mild yet firm and frothy head that slowly dissapates and leaves nice sticky lacing.

Aroma is delicious! Some caramel and chocolate, hints of toffee, fruits...booze! This is one of the best smelling barley wines I've ever experienced.

Great flavor! An awesome barley wine, and age did this beer good! Like the aroma, notes of fruit, caramel, chocolate, toffee...possibly tobacco. A very sweet and grainy, smooth, warming(from the ABV), and chewy mouthfeel. Full bodied, and still very good carbonation. Now I don't have a fresh tasting to compare with this aged one, but I can only immagine that proper againg DID this beer justice! Great barley wine!

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2010 03:52:24 | More by ShadesOfGray
Photo of womencantsail


4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 Vintage shared generously by Bobby.

A: The pour is a dark amber color with a fluffy cream colored head and some excellent lacing.

S: A fantastic nose to this beer! Lots of caramel, dark fruits, brown sugar, toffee, and mild alcohol. A touch of oxidation, but in no way a bad thing.

T: The flavor is just as good as the nose, perhaps a bit better. There's lots of the usual caramel and brown sugar sweetness with some good notes of molasses and toffee along with plenty of fruitiness. There's a bit of bitterness which is surprising after a few years.

M: The bot is medium with a low, smooth carbonation and a slight bitterness.

D: This is definitely a quality barleywine and I'm pleased to have tried a couple different vintages now (2007 and 2008), both fantastic.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2010 04:05:19 | More by womencantsail
Photo of Monkeyknife


4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the yellow-waxed bottle a bright amber red color with two fingers of cascading yellowish-beige head.

The aroma packs a big punch of caramel malts, toffee, vanilla, pine and dog's breath.

The maltiness as expected is big with every sip along with the caramel, toffee, vanilla, pine and light raisin. The 11% alcohol is warming but has mellowed a hair after three years or four years.

Full bodied and chewy with a lighter carbonation.

A very nice bottle to sit back and enjoy each sip. I know I did.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2010 21:23:22 | More by Monkeyknife
Photo of NYCWheatFanSC

New York

4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2007 vintage, shared by me at Greg's epic Wall St. tasting. Reviewed from notes.

A - Pours an unimpressive rusty brown, with a head that recedes quickly to a light tan collar. Not expecting much after the initial pour.

S - WHOA! I can't believe this beer has been sitting in the East End cellar for 2 years. This brew is surprisingly fruit forward (dare I say strawberries!?!?!), especially for the style. Loads of slightly sweet roasty malts in the back. The best smelling barleywine I've ever had, hands down.

T - Lots of caramel and toffee from the caramelized light malts. Ends quite hoppy and a tad boozy.

M - perhaps a bit over-carbonated, even after all this time. Hurts the indulgence of the flavor a bit.

D - Very drinkable for an English style barleywine. Overall a great brew. Thanks from all to Stigs!

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2010 05:24:33 | More by NYCWheatFanSC
Photo of CrellMoset


4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL yellow wax-topped, paper-wrapped bottle - '07 vintage, bottle 1182/1500 - picked up at Capone's in Norristown, PA. Poured in to a 22 oz. brandy snifter.

Appearance: Pours a gorgeously-hued auburn cordovan burgundy, absolutely impenetrable to the light in its thickness and depth of color. A fawn colored head approximately a finger and a half in height creeps out of the depths of this one, slowly, very slowly, on the backs of thousands of immaculately-distributed points of carbonation, and sits - a proud, immobile, and stoic crown, creamy, dense, and rich - atop this brew. The retention is fantastic, with the head maintaining 50-60% of its volume for most of the experience, and the lacing is likewise just superb, with giant wisps of smooth, continuous and gracefully shattered legs splayed along the sides of the snifter. Nearly perfect.

Aroma: Even more impressive than the appearance, and being greeted by this as soon as I cracked the bottle - pow, right in the face - was a great omen of things to come. First, what's expected: a hugely vast array of toasted malts, ranging from light and relatively sweet and simple caramelized sugars to massive dark toffee to wholesome bread crusts to maple syrup to cocoa power to brown sugar. Nothing out of the ordinary here, but it is an extraordinarily robust array of malts, authentic, complex, and very well balanced with the less expected notes. Hops contribute sticky tobacco and other herbal overtones, faint pineyness, and a good amount of lighter, berry-like fruitiness - a friend gets raspberry syrup, as if from an Italian soda, and I agree - though they've likely faded a fair amount since this beer's creation. The most unusually and pleasantly surprising aspect of this beer, though, is the nuttyness. It's slightly toasted, almost reminiscent of a good ricotta or gruyère, and rounds out an amazing olfactory array of aromatics. And no alcohol.

Taste: Everything I typed above, but with a minor element of "fade," which is the only -0.5 I see here. Dark toffee pairs perfectly with sweet and bright raspberry, caramel pairs perfectly with leathery and leafy hops, and dry, malty toast pairs perfectly with thick, heavy raisins and figs. This is all by way of saying that the malt aspects of this barleywine work perfectly - they're varied, elaborate. The bitterness at this point has really faded to a soft reminder, an afterthought but one that blends beautifully with the leafy and piney nature of the hop overtones. Everything here really is perfectly blended, and - barring that slight fade I mentioned above - it's an expertly-crafted blend of light and dark malts, light and dark fruits, faint nuttiness, light bitterness, and absolutely not a hint of alcohol.

Mouthfeel: So perfectly attenuated by this point and with such well-embedded, fine, perfect carbonation ... and I'm not going to use the word "perfect" twice if it's not, well, perfect. The body is at that perfect level of density, where the balance of sugars and sugar remains results in a beer with thickness without being sticky or cloying. The carbonation level is at that perfect level of zip, where the dissolved CO2 has over the preceding two years worked itself more and more efficiently in to the body. And everything just comes together in a beautiful harmony that works to augment all of the aforementioned flavors, with enough effervescence to augment the fruity and leafy overtones and enough of a body to make the malts borderline chewy. Divine.

Drinkability: A stellar beer, and one that I think is likely peaking. The hops have mellowed beautifully, but I think another year on this would likely render them a little hollow. As delicate as the goldfinches on the paper wrapping adorning this 750 mL bottle, East End's Gratitude really does show what beer aging is capable of. I've not had this one fresh, but there are elements here that I know one can only find in a properly cellared example of a beer such as this. If this beer is 11.5%, I'm amazed at how well hidden that abv% is - I neither taste it nor feel it.

However, the lack of feeling it may have something to do with how slowly I'm sipping and savoring this brew. I nearly waited to crack it, contemplating attempting to obtain an '09 bottle and doing a side-by-side. I'm glad I didn't wait. This beer is truly epic, a complexity bomb, if you will, managing to achieve that sort of fantastic balance and array of flavors that I'm used to finding in, say, one of the Firestone Walker anniversary brews - they one can achieve such levels of intricacy without blending is all the more impressive.

If I lived in or near Pittsburgh, I would be at the '09 Gratitude release this weekend, $400 in hand to buy a 5-year stacked vertical of this magnificent brew. And as a recent law graduate in a down economy ... well, I think that's about the highest praise I can pay this brew.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2010 05:09:10 | More by CrellMoset
Photo of DIM


4.93/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Easily the most memorable packaging for a beer I've seen. So beautifuly presented that opening it felt like a desecration. I had a 2008 green waxed bottle, #666 of 700. The 00 were eyes with horns over them, nice touch!

a: This was a clear, brilliant ruby tinted mahogany. It poured with a smallish off-white head that faded quickly to small spots of lace.

s: Perfectly beautiful barleywine nose. I've never had a fresh bottle, so I have no basis for comparison. But I think I picked a good time to open this. I found aromas of candy like cherries (pixie sticks?), boozy plums, mild toffee, and muted piny hops.

t: I won't argue with the American barleywine classification, but I might call this a hybrid. The hops are present, but as a mild tingle rather than being assertively bitter. At a little over a year old, I would have expected this to be hoppier. That isn't a criticism mind you, just an observation. The most striking thing about Gratitude is that it manages to be so candy like without being tiresomely sweet. There is something in small doses akin to the souring dust on Sour Patch Kids that keeps this in check. I tasted a wonderful balance of candied raisins, plums, and cherries. All of which were gently warm.

m: A fantastic combination of gentle carbonation, a hefy body, and a delicious lingering tart sugariness.

d: Absolutely one of the best beers I've tried, it makes me wish I was a better writer. Obviously packaged with care, and with good reason. This amazing beer deserves the special treatment.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2010 10:50:10 | More by DIM
Photo of m1ked


3.2/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

At the Brazenhead 20th ann cask fest..

A- Pours a nearly flat looking garnet mahogany brown. There is a ring of large bubbles that are popping and quickly disappearing. Looks unimpressive at best. let's hope for more on the rest.

S- man this is not going well, I get a light touch of madera, cherry sweetness. but that is me swirling and getting my nose 2mm from the beer and inhaling long and steady...i mean I am really trying here.

T- OK we got something here, some rich sherry & faint cherry, caramel sweetness, with a close tannic bitterness bite....with a lingering chewy sweetness.

M- I am afraid that this cask has been tapped for a while, as there is 0 carb going on. Otherwise a medium-full bodied beer with some lingering chewiness.

D- I feel as this is a poor example of this beer as I had the opportunity to have a battle of this brew w/ DoggNate back in the day...the only reason I remember is the paperwrapped bottle... luckily I remember enjoying it much more then...despite my harsh ratings...this is a good beer... just not here & today.

Serving type: cask

02-07-2010 18:41:46 | More by m1ked
Photo of BEERchitect


4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A delicious and well aged Barleywine that fuses the styles of English and American varieties. This '07 release (yellow wax) is phenominal with two+ years on it.

The beer pours with a froathy and viscous looking pour, bringing a mohogany ruby hue, mild haze, and a thin blanket of foam that sits properly atop the beer. The foamstance laces well as the beer falls.

Mouthwatering aromas of sherry, stone fruits, toffee, brown sugar, red licorice, and cherries prove to be a powerful and elegant preview of the beer. Complex and inviting.

Flavors of grapes, dates, figs, plumbs, prunes, cherries, berries, anise, oranges, pineapples... the fruity descriptors can go on and on. Deep malts give a deep caramel, toffee, molassas, and brown sugar, and fruitcake flavors that give a lot of complexity, far more than just caramel sweetness. Hop flavor gives more orange peel and pineapple, nearly herbal in its lightness and smoothness. Bitterness adds a varying bite to the otherwise sweet beer. The hops are a bit under stated for an American Barleywine but is a testiment to the beer's age- beginning to give a more English-like flavor.

Full, rich, and decently weighted on the palate. Hop dryness and alcohols help to dry the beer out but the beer remains reasonably sweet and malty throughout. Pretty classic of Barleywines.

This is simply a jewel of a beer. Thanks Stiggs!

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2010 03:46:27 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of nickd717


4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008 (green wax) bottle via trade thanks to Davolebomb, which I shared at the post-Bruery Initiation bottle share.

Pours a nice somewhat hazy amber-brown color with a medium-sized beige head and some good lacing.

Aroma is very enticing - caramel, vanilla, wood, and some mild floral/resinous hops.

Flavor is predominantly sweet caramel malt, toffee, and wood, as well as vanilla, dark fruit/raisin, faded hops, and just a touch of alcohol.

Medium-plus on the body, a little sticky and resinous but not overly so. I like this one a lot. Drinkability is great for the style.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2010 06:57:18 | More by nickd717
Photo of Ineedabeerhere

Rhode Island

4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2007 Bottle shared by Mike at a recent tasting. Thanks a ton for bringing this one. From notes, on 1/16.

Nice, rich toffee appearance with some sporadic foam but not much real sturdy formation in my tulip. Some bubbles stick to the glass and try to form lace. (+.5 for the most excellent packaging I have seen, really awesome paper-wrapped label with great artwork. A bottle you really want to save, unless you got one of the moldy ones)

Decadent flavors of caramel, caramelized brown sugar, vanilla, butterscotch and toffee. A very muted earthy hop presence. Some toasted nuts and just a hint of booze. Plenty of dried fruits... raisins, dates, pears... in a more rich, savory way as opposed to their sweet qualities. These are just some of the flavors that gratitude offers, it is a very complex and satisfying beer.

Low-medium level of carbonation creates a very full, chewy mouthfeel. Gratitude is a VERY rich, heavy beer that shouldn't be tackled alone. 6-8oz pours by the fire on a winter evening with a few friends recanting stories is an ideal scenario. This beer ages wonderfully and I look forward to adding future vintages to my vertical.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2010 02:31:20 | More by Ineedabeerhere
Gratitude from East End Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 490 ratings.