Talon - True Style Barley Wine Ale - Mendocino Brewing Company
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Ratings: 235 | Reviews: 211 | Display Reviews Only:
3.8/5 rDev +1.9%
Sticky, fruity, caramel laden malts with notes of pine resin, cellar mustiness, plums and other dark fruits.
Not necessarily English in style but this is definately malt accented. A nice blend of caramel, butter and toffee notes along with notes of earth, bark, grapefruit and red apple skins. Quite tasty.
10-13-2004 20:30:56 | More by Crosling
4.38/5 rDev +17.4%
Big ole tall boy 22 oz browner with a body & neck label motif. The neck label boasts "True style barley wine ale is grand in flavor and body. It has a rich amber color and a full robust body. Talon has been aged for months and this gives it that intense and delightful traditional warming barley wine flavor. Talon is ideal to bring cheer to the sharing spirit of the season." Glugged into me Duvel pint after only two months escape time from the brewery in Saratoga NY from Bob Craven, himself. Talon shows a hazy orangey coppery pour under a khaki healthy spotty 1/2 " cap that quickly disapates to a slick coating. Decent head lace slides down the glass.
Ripe mixed fruit blasts like apples, bananas, and pears that scream malty base. Candy aroma overwhelms me nose like a bowl of mixed hard candy i.e. Jolly Ranchers and caramel corns. The aroma goes on 'n on 'n on. Unimaginable, the awl-kee-hawl esters, like Vanilla extract creep out as warming hits
First swigs: Sizzled dark fruit blend flavor well warming with awl-kee-hawl pears and ripe red apples. Whew! Perhaps a bit rough, despite the aging from the brewery and from me, but just big in style and flavor. Tart lemony oil and peppery twinges pop out as warming takes over.
This is a drinkable beer with a caveat "Whoa Silver" meaning that you can ride this horse if you can tame the wild nature. A bit unbridled but tame-able if you dare. American vs. English? This walks the line IMO.
Last swigs; Extremely excited to try this Barley Wine, especially since I traded a bottle of Weyerbacher Quad directly in person to Bob Craven, the manager of Saratoga's MENDOCINO brewery. Malts nose reminiscent of Stone IPA. Funny how this ironically reminds me of the Quad that I traded for it. Stone maltiness lemons meets thick hops sizzle.
Beer is good. Happy beering.
09-08-2004 05:00:16 | More by blitheringidiot
3.95/5 rDev +5.9%
Poured from 22 oz. bomber into a cognac sniffer. Pours with very little head and is a rich red color that looks like cherry juice. Aroma is full of cherry, almond, and woody (oak?) flavors. It sits in the glass with little carbonation and mostly looks like an odd colored red wine.
The flavor screams of soft fruity malt and a sour barley flavor. It has the light body of a juice. The flavor lacks some complexity. It is overpowering in it's tartness and sweetness, but it's not bad. Some molasses flavors come through that make it a bit too sweet. Overall it is a good barley wine, but not a daily drinker.
08-28-2004 23:52:39 | More by BrewMaster
4.1/5 rDev +9.9%
The beer evacuates the 22 ounce brown bottle a transpicuous burnished copper color with a planetary sized head the is frothy in texture and the color a toothsome light tan color, the resultant lace a thick blanket to cover the glass. Nose is rich in malt, hints of caramel, molasses maybe, plum like, earthy and hearty to the senses this beer. Start is sweet and rich in malt, the top moderate to full in its feel to the palate. Finish is respectably acidic, the hops hail and hearty in their spiciness, and the beer quite dry with a bit of alcohol bitterness, a for sure belly warmer this one and one not made for the palate challenged drinkers.
07-27-2004 23:20:17 | More by Gusler
4.15/5 rDev +11.3%
Pours a deep caramel with gold and orange highlights. No real head to speak of but heavy alcohol tannins visible on the glass.
Aroma of heavy malt, dark citrus fruits, raisins, some leather and cigar wrapper, figs, dates and grain alcohol.
Flavor is domianted by the heavy malts but is remarkably balanced by a mild yet powerful hop oil and resin. No real bitterness is present but the hops obviously cut the heavy malt. Very nice.
Mouthfeel is sickly sweet for a nanosecond then cut to a pleasantly balanced well-done barleywine.
Drinkability is very nice. I shared with a non-BA and his only comment was "wow, its powerful and very tasty." Another convert.
06-06-2004 03:35:09 | More by CRJMellor
3.75/5 rDev +0.5%
This poured to a great deep and dark color with hints of purple and red. There was little head and no lace worth mentioning.
The smell is potent, and tips one off right away to this being a barleywine of respectable strength. The flavor is nice, with the alcohol content apparent but not overwhelming. The mouthfeel is a little bit sharp for my tastes.
This is definitely a good one for sipping.
05-26-2004 18:00:33 | More by watermelonman
4.5/5 rDev +20.6%
Talon has a malty and complex aroma that projects a mix of dark fruits, fig, and alcohol. The color is a dark mahogany and has the appearance of fine cognac with a few threads of lace. It is capable of producing a sizable head at first, but like most barleywines it is ultimately a heavy, sullen brew and is only modestly carbonated.
Talon is aged for a full year before bottling and very little yeast residue is present in the lees. It has a taste whose balance tips to the malt with a rich tapestry of warm fruity notes. Raisin or black current are among the fruit notes indicated while the broader taste suggests a plum brandy. Alcohol is present in the palate but is not overbearing or intrusive. The ABV potency of this brew makes itself most known in the warmth that stirs the belly.
I enjoyed this hearty barleywine a great deal for its obstinate willingness to praise the malt body. At last, a clear-eyed heathen unwilling to bow to the hop gods! The finish suggests a judicious restraint on bittering while still providing enough hops to gently ply the brakes on what could otherwise be a runaway malty sweetness. The potential drift towards syrupy mass is offset by enough carbonation to keep things relatively light on the tongue. Thus, even though shes sweet and heavy, she doesnt brood. (Reminds me of the barmaid at the Seven Swans .. aw, nevermind).
This brew should be enjoyed for what it is, not for what it should be. It is full bodied, complex, and smooth. It is endowed with a profuse and luxurious smell and a relaxed mouthfeel that sits like a heavy blanket on a winters morn. This is a premium barleywine a slow sipping work of considerable craftsmanship.
04-21-2004 22:06:30 | More by RedDiamond
3.63/5 rDev -2.7%
I was really surprised to see a new barley wine on the market and even more surprised to see that it was from Mendocino. The beer poured with a nice head and a potent hop nose. The color was dark amber and looked great. The taste was that of a nice rich hoppy barley wine may be a bit too sweet for some. The taste is long and lingering with definite alcohol warmth. As it warms, the flavors come together much better. There is no vintage dating but some time may help round out the syrupy sweetness. A good attempt and I hope they start brewing bigger beers. Berkeley Bowl
03-22-2004 03:39:01 | More by lou91
4.45/5 rDev +19.3%
22 ounce bomber purchased at the North Coast Co-op in Arcata, California.
Creamy and frothy tan head on the pour. The head falls after a minute or two and leaves a few milky scraps of lace on the glass. Body is opaque crimson until held to the light where it's a translucent, yet murky amber.
Smell starts off with strong grassy, hoppy notes, with a malty -- plums and brown sugar -- finish.
The taste begins with a dense flavor of prunes, also some hints of tobacco; the middle is an escalation of hop bitterness, knife-sharp and concentrated in its movement like a perfectly thrown dart, followed by a finish of tingling hops and a gentle fruity maltiness -- like dried apricots.
Creamy, palate-massaging mouthfeel; middling carbonation.
This tastes like a more traditional barleywine, where the malts aren't upstaged by the hops.
Has an interesting progression of flavors, and very balanced.
03-19-2004 03:55:25 | More by RootedFool
3.18/5 rDev -14.7%
First time I've seen a barleywine by Mendocino Brewing. It's being marketed as a limited edition True Style Barleywine Ale.
In keeping with their avian tradition of naming beers, it's called Talon and has a large golden birds foot on the red label sporting four viscious looking talons. That all being said...
Pours a clear bright reddish/amber. Almost looks like it has a bit of marascino cherry juice in it. Small tan head that disappears immediatly. Noticeable carbonation (for a barleywine anyway) Smells of sweet malt, caramel, red licorice and a dry hopped presence.
Taste is a bit strange. Starts out sweet and malty and has a medicinal red fruit middle, kinda like that artficially flavored boysenberry pancake syrup at IHOP, and finishes all out of whack with a dry hop and raw alcohol bitterness that lingers on rather unpleasantly.
Medium bodied for the style. Creamy, slightly syrupy mouthfeel and tingly carbonation. To much stuff out of whack to make this highly drinkable.
Me thinks this one needs to age for a while. Seems a little young and harsh.
03-11-2004 02:18:41 | More by rkhaze
Talon - True Style Barley Wine Ale from Mendocino Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 235 ratings.