1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Gratitude - East End Brewing Company

Not Rated.
GratitudeGratitude

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

521 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 521
Reviews: 227
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 9.3%
Wants: 787
Gots: 135 | FT: 11
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 521 | Reviews: 227 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

CrellMoset, Mar 04, 2010
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.

DIM, Feb 12, 2010
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.

m1ked, Feb 07, 2010
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!

BEERchitect, Feb 02, 2010
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.

nickd717, Jan 25, 2010
Photo of Ineedabeerhere
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.

Ineedabeerhere, Jan 21, 2010
Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed at hoppymcgee's tasting 1/16. '07 vintage (yellow wax). A 4oz. pour into a sample snifter. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a 1 finger moderately fine yellow-creme colored head. Beer is a cloudy clay color. Lacing is spotty.

S: Nose is boozy, maple syrup, caramel, brown sugar, sweet and rich nuttiness.

T: Opens deep and rich sweetness. Brown sugar is apparent as well as a dominant caramel. Boozy but not overwhelmingly so. A slight sourness is pervasive and this one finishes slightly sweet/sour. Maple syrup is the dominant flavor here, lending both body and a syrupy malt backbone. Hop character is really lacking here which surprises me as that hasn't been my experience with barleywines.

M: Medium to full bodied, smooth as all hell but a bit awkward on the finish which is sticky and sweet.

D: Not usually a fan of barleywines but this one impressed the heck outta me. A well balanced flavor profile that I enjoyed as it was a bit more laid back on the hops. Malt backbone is complemented well by a rich body that melds all the flavors together. A very respectable beer overall.

SpeedwayJim, Jan 17, 2010
Photo of beertooth
3.93/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Wil for bringing this over yesterday.
2008 green waxed bottle #686

This beer pours a cloudy caramel with no head and a lot of yeast bits floating around.

The nose is a little oxidized. I'm getting some caramel covered raisins, some slight hop spice, and burnt toffee.

The taste is on par with the nose. It's fruity and spicy, but there are hints of cardboard from the oxidization. More caramel, dates, prunes, and some alcohol is also present.

The mouthfeel hurt this beer. It needed more body and a little more carbonation.

I was happy for the chance to try this, but one glass was more than enough.

beertooth, Jan 12, 2010
Photo of cpetrone84
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch 2005 drinkin May 2010, rating based off of this review.

A-clear orange color that glows, notes of pink on the edges, off white tight head with some bubbles on the top leaving a thick lacing on the glass.

S-the nose is huge, maple syrup, piney, caramel, cooked brown sugar, the focus transitions to delicious ripe fruits, hints of booze, cherries, plums, candied oranges. glorious nose!

T-the flavor is also huge, sweet, piney forrest, a little earthy, maple syrup flavors, there is a floral aspect with a nice fruity sweetness, plums, raisins, candied orange, and airy.

M-huge, full bodied, syrupy, smooth and creamy on the palate, plenty of carbonation left to balance.

D-so tasty and huge, amazing flavors and put up next to some big names (07 BA Old Numbskull and Perfect Storm). This was clearly the best of the bunch and one outstanding beer!

***

yellow wax, 07 batch drinkin 12/26/2009

A-pours a beautiful hazy liquid that is a brownish ruby color that has a thick white head that leaves a decent lacing on the glass

S-big nose of sweet caramel malts, some brown sugar, dark fruits of raisin, prunes, and plums. it has a light note of alcohol at the finish of the aroma

T-sweet dark fruits come in first, the plum and prune show through with a touch of raisin and a melow caramel malt. it also brings a touch of sweet dark cherry that fades in towards the finish

M-extremely smooth and silky with a medium body on the fuller side of medium and a low level of carbonation to keep it feeling nice and smooth as it goes down

D-the alcohol must have mellowed through the aging is it is extremely well hidden, huge tastes and nicely sweetened with an amazing mouthfeel make me want to keep drinking!

cpetrone84, Dec 26, 2009
Photo of davod23
4.55/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2007 edition, poured from the bottle into an oversized wine glass.

Nice pour. Deep red-amber color, pretty thick pour, with a very large billowing off-white head that takes a few seconds to form. Cascading carbonation is evident with a tilt of the glass. Very nice looking barleywine.

Smell is quite good, though perhaps more subtle than I expect from an American Barleywine. Sweet, sugary aromas emanate from the brew, including brown sugar, toffee, sweet dark fruit, and a hint of light molasses. Hop presence is virtually zero.

Ahh, this is good stuff. Quite sweet, but not cloying - which is what I hoped for. Brown sugar, caramel, toffee... this is candy in a glass. Some nuttiness, I believe it might be almond. Some hints at plum... maybe a hint of mango? Very nice.

Mouthfeel is superb. Sticky, chewy, viscous. Beautiful.

Drinkability: For the style, this is as drinkable as humanly possible. I just polished off the whole bottle myself without any trouble whatsoever. It was just as much a pleasure on the last sip as the first.

Excellent beer.

davod23, Dec 07, 2009
Photo of waltonc
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Dyan for a great trade. Figured I'd break this out tonight since the thermometer is dropping and it's supposed to start snowing.

Yellow wax - I believe that's 2007? Pours a beautiful hazy caramel without a ton of head, but plenty of lacing to let you know this is amply carbonated. Fantastic smell and taste - caramel, toffee, brown sugar, slight notes of aged hops. This is a very sweet, thick-bodied beer. A mammoth barleywine. A meal in a bottle. Big, rich, sweet, not too much hops - my kind of beverage. The high ABV and sweet, thick body will ding drinkability for some, but I think it's great, especially on a cold winter night.

waltonc, Dec 06, 2009
Photo of RustyDiamond
5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Yellow wax...2007 #566/1500 on Thanksgiving 2009. Perfect pour into my Brooklyn snifter- cascading 3 fingers of beige froth chesnut brown in appearance. After a few sips, wonderful spotted lacing with a nice beige ring throughout.
Aroma of nutmeg, molasses, old vine cherries, vintage port wine.
Mollassey hoppy up front with some prune kicked in. Dry and nutty quite the warmer. Subtle vinous and cinnamon...deeply complex. 2nd pour solidified my earlier observation- this is a genuine American Barleywine. Warming, blended to perfection.

I don't give 5's put often, but goddamm. I've drank a lot of Barleywine, and it can't get much better than this. Praise Marty Moose- Holy Shit!

RustyDiamond, Nov 27, 2009
Photo of paco1029384756
3.68/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 bottle.

Pours a turbid brown color with a few bubbles that could hardly be considered a head.

Scent of strong caramel, faint grassy hops, sweet fruit, and a hint of chocolate. Smells more like an English Barleywine than an American one, but it is still pleasant.

Taste of caramel, faint, but sharp hops, a hint of dry oak and some alcohol in the finish. I was expecting much more from this, which is probably why I find this a bit disappointing.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and oily with a small bite of carbonation.

paco1029384756, Nov 22, 2009
Photo of russpowell
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this from FreightTrain, cheers Jacob! Review based on notes, bottle 286/700

Pours brown/chestnut with a thumb of tan head. Murks up a bit at the bottom of the bottle, minimal head retention & zero lacing

S: Fruitty & oaky, plums come to fronts as this warms, as well as leafy hops

T: Cakeyness, orange slices & oakyness up front. Leafy hops & fruittyness dominate as this warms, plus dryness & dark fruit. Finishes dry & fruitty

MF: Pretty darn chewy with low carbonation

Drank fairly well, this failed to wow me as an ABW, not enough hops presence to satisfy me, still pretty good

russpowell, Nov 21, 2009
Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A bottle of the 2008, I still have one in the cellar to try in a couple years. By the looks of things, it should be phenomenal at that point.

A: Pours a brown with a strong ruby hue. There seems to be almost no carbonation at all. There is a thin film of bubbles that doesn't even cover the entire surface of the beer. Somehow, though, this beer still manages to give me a little bit of lace.

S: A HUGE rich and malty sweetness flows out of my glass into my nostrils. There are notes of caramel and candied sugars, as well as some sweet candied almost fermented fruity aromas. This one is really a noseful.

T: Wow, the smell gives a very nice picture of what this beer has to offer. I had expected a nice hoppy barleywine, but this is nothing of the sort...not that that is a bad thing. The caramel malty sweetness of this beer is striking. There are sweet candied notes of fermenting fruits. Seems almost more like an English Barleywine, given the fruity and malty characters.

M/D: I don't really know where else this beer can go, even with some age on it. The mouthfeel is sticky, resinous, and thick. The carbonation is low, and the alcohol content is imperceptible. I don't understand how much more this could possibly mellow, but I can say for sure that the one I am aging will be phenomenal.

NittanyBeerFan, Nov 10, 2009
Photo of pwoods
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to beachbum1975 for sharing the bottle. Yellow wax, which I believe is '07.

750ml paper wrapped bottle poured into a snifter. Notes.

A: Pours a rawny orange. Solid head forms and holds nicely. Lots of lacing.

S: Lots of alcohol. Maple syrup and sweet toffee. Plums.

T/M: Lots of alcoholic dark fruits. Definitely plums. A touch of tart fruitiness. Very phenolic. Hops add a touch of citrus and an aged bitterness. Body is medium full with smooth carbonation. Warming alcohol.

D: Big ABV and definitely a slow sipper. I like it a lot, though.

pwoods, Oct 20, 2009
Photo of Thorpe429
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to bmanning for sharing a bottle of the 2008 version at a recent tasting.

A: Pours a bright copper brown with a small head.

ST: Lots of sweetness coming through with a little bit of hops coming on near the end--more of an English Barleywine, at least at this age. There are also some candied sugars, brown sugar, and a tad of caramel.

M: Pretty thick for the style, but not overly so. Quite a bit of alcohol.

D: Fairly drinkable, but a little much overall. A very good barleywine, and one I'll definitely seek out again.

Thorpe429, Sep 27, 2009
Photo of francisweizen
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2006

rusty muddy deep dark brown
cinnamon sugar, toffee crown

Rich and malty, very sweet
this barley wine, she can't be beat.

Taste is malty, fruity too
wait until the abv sneaks up on you

Mouthfeel sweet, but there is no cloy
Suitable for a girl or a boy

Drinkability is really grand
for the abv in barley wine land

francisweizen, Sep 21, 2009
Photo of callmemickey
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008

A: Dark ruddy brown with a slight khaki brown cap. Fairly decent retention. Slight lacing.

S: Rich brown sugar and roasted/toasted caramel leaves a sweet impression. Some slight fruit (maybe raisin and fig?).

T: Amped up malty sweetness. You can almost feel the sticky caramel and brown sugar. Again, some dark fruits run underneath the sweetness. Slight alcohol presence, but nothing that negatively impacts the flavor.

M: A little light on the carbonation for my liking. Thick and somewhat oily on the tongue.

D: Fairly good. A little to sweet for me to want to polish off a bottle by myself.

callmemickey, Sep 20, 2009
Photo of alcstradamus
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown with an amber hue. There is a slowly developing cascade that forms about a half finger of head and was really nice to watch...too bad I was busy fishing around the glass for the wax shards I accidentally dropped in it :(

Smell is caramel, floral hops, hints of chocolate and toffee, and rich dark fruit. Pretty much exactly what I expect a good barleywine to smell like.

The taste, on the other hand, is above and beyond what I consider "good." This is damn near amazing. Very smooth caramel/toffee/chocolate flavor, the dark fruits are there but don't bog it down with excessive sweetness. Steadily improves as it warms, as well.

Mouthfeel is smooth with lower levels of carbonation but still enough to splash the tongue...just how it should be.

This is a fantastic beer, definitely one of the best barleywines I've had. The brewery does not recommend drinking this fresh, so I am very curious to see what time will do to this bottle conditioned beauty....I guess I'm going to have to get more bottles!

alcstradamus, Aug 28, 2009
Photo of boatshoes
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The green wax 2008 vintage poured into a six ouce tasting glass. If I recall correctly, the bottle was 652/700, but I pitched it already and can't quite remember. Learned a little lesson about cellaring paper covered bottles in damp areas today though when it came out of the basement completely covered in mold...that being said, it didn't affect the beer any.

Appearance- Pours a nice deep brown into my glass with a small tan cap. Looks quite thick and sticky. Not a whole lot of carbonation, but certainly enough for the style. The head actually sticks around for the entire duration of the drink (6 oz. initially, followed by another 2 oz.) and a good deal of lacing is left in the glass as well.

Smell- Oooh boy, this one smells sweet, but in a good way. A whole hell of a lot of caramel and brown sugar in the nose along with some sweet smelling candy fruit as well. Reminds me on the whole a little bit of spiced rum. Despite the overwhelming sweetness, I find the nose to be quite pleasant with the touch of fruitiness and sugar sweetness. Almost like a candied apple or a fruitcake.

Taste- The sweetness hits you right up front on this one. Almost no hops but a whole lot of caramel malt. Rounded out with a subtle spiciness and hint of dark fruit. Pretty much no alcohol burn whatsoever (makes sense given the level of sweetness). I'm really digging this, goes down really smooth and just enough complexity and spice to round out the sweetness. Not much like other barleywines I've had, but impresses me nonetheless.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- I can't say a whole lot about the mouthfeel of this one other than it was about on par for what I'm used to with the style. Very thick and syrupy and easily coats the mouth, with just enough carbonation to keep it going down easily. I found it also to really have an impressive level of drinkability for its level of sweetness and the style, I think given how smooth it was and the lack of alcohol bite.

Overall, I really liked this and hope to pick up another bottle and perhaps the '07 vintage as well before I head out of the Pennsylvania area. Highly recommended.

boatshoes, Aug 21, 2009
Photo of Overlord
3.68/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Shuggy!

Pours a ruddy, kind of unfiltered looking brown. Small tan head that quickly vanishes.

Smells ... sweet. There's some brown sugar, some candied fruits, maybe some dates ... and caramel with sugar.

The flavor is uber-sweet. Whoa. This is an American Barleywine? Very little hop content, and what there is, is more on the sweet citrus side than anything else. Brown sugar, candied fruits, just plain ol' dark fruits, almost a sort of oxidized (should a beer this young be oxidized?) rum, sugarized caramel, a hint of pancake batter with syrup ... it is sugary.

Syrupy mouthfeel.

Not too sure what I thought of it, actually. It is so sweet and complexit almost makes me think of a Belgian quad moreso than a barleywine, though maybe it's just the lingering effects of the sugar talking. Took a good few hours of zombie killing in Left 4 Dead to work through the bottle. The oxidation and hints of wet cardboard were a bit offputting.

Overlord, Aug 19, 2009
Photo of Floydster
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle with orange wax acquired in my first trade with hoppymeal over a year ago, 2006 vintage, bottle #583/1,300, shared at the Xmas in July last weekend with Carlos, Dyan, Chris, Shane, Scott, Eric, and a few others, poured into my Stone sampling glass, reviewed from notes on my phone, color is a dark red mixed with medium brown, one inch creamy light tan head that stands its ground, not much lacing, aroma consists of toffee, caramel, sweet malts, booze, dates, raisins, candied sugar, and pound cake, flavor starts off with caramel and sweetness from the very beginning, more rich malts in the middle with a slight bit of oxidization, spicy booze mixed with sweet dark fruits in the finish, served almost at room temperature so it did not have change much, sweet, boozy, and malty mouthfeel, full bodied, soft to moderate carbonation, taste lingers for a long time, smooth while being pretty sweet, high in alcohol and not all of it is hidden, but its drink well for its strength, even went down pretty easily outside on a hot summer day, quite good barleywine overall, this stuff seems to have aged wonderfully, had the 2007 with yellow wax and a different bird on the label a few weeks before but this vintage was superior, would drink again, recommended

Floydster, Aug 01, 2009
Photo of GbVDave
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a green wax sealed 750ml bottle into two generic goblets. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist! Very extra special thanks to Ineedabeerhere for the awesome hook-up!

Bottle # 640/700 2008 vintage-hand numbered and signed by Scott

A: Pours a slippery and viscous, dark-caramel brown with a thin little wafer of light brown head on top that leaves small specks of lace in the glass.

S: Strong aromas of sweet caramel apples, rum-steeped raisins, maple, brown sugar/molassas, and milk chocolate covered nuts. Sweet boozy aroma.

T: Spiced caramel apples, tart cherries, booze soaked dark fruit, spices, and sweet sticky caramel.

M: A bit of alcohol burn in the finish is overwhelmed by the sweet and spicy fruitiness going on in the beginning and middle. Sweet, slick, and not very hoppy. Awesome.

D: 11.4%? No way! This drank smoother and easier than a beer 1/2 the strength. So sweet with tantilizing layers of fruit, melty caramel, dry spices, and subtle booziness. Incredible!

GbVDave, Jul 28, 2009
Photo of brentk56
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy dark amber/copper color with a rocky beige head that spots the chalice with lace

Smell: Caramel dominant, but a lot of citrus and other fruit flavors underneath - nectarine, pineapple, strawberry and, I do believe, a hint of almond

Taste: The fruit and caramel flavors joust from the outset, with the prickly citrus flavors dominating by mid-palate; all of the flavor in the aroma arrives on the palate, along with some burning alcohol after the swallow

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate, but prickly, carbonation; warmth in the gullet

Drinkability: The bold flavors and the alcohol limit the drinkability a tad, particularly on the finish, although I suspect that some age will address this problem

brentk56, Jul 25, 2009
Gratitude from East End Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 521 ratings.