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Talon - True Style Barley Wine Ale - Mendocino Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Talon - True Style Barley Wine AleTalon - True Style Barley Wine Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

238 Ratings
THE BROS
81
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 238
Reviews: 212
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 12.06%
Wants: 9
Gots: 7 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Mendocino Brewing Company visit their website
United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  10.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: rkhaze on 03-11-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Talon - True Style Barley Wine Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 238 | Reviews: 212 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of vonnegut21
4.25/5  rDev +13.9%

vonnegut21, May 03, 2012
Photo of KingRascal
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

KingRascal, Mar 09, 2012
Photo of jfcaa193
3/5  rDev -19.6%

jfcaa193, Feb 19, 2012
Photo of SLeffler27
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The pint glass fills with a clear ruby, to dark copper beer and surprisingly abundant carbonation. A big, beige, rocky head sticks around for a long while, ultimately leaving patches of lace.

The aroma is rich with toasted dark malts and molasses. Accents of brown sugar, fig, strong alcohol, raisins, nutmeg and cognac.

Alcohol is strong and up-front, but not harsh. Some cherry and molasses notes are complimented by brandy and dark, dried fruits. The finish, while fleeting, is subtle and sweet.

Alcohol is appropriate for the style. The slick texture, medium body and soft carbonation lead to a smooth mouth-feel. Quite dry.

Equally good as a sipper or with a meal. This is a fine beer, however, it falls short for the style.

Aged 3.5 years.

SLeffler27, Jan 21, 2012
Photo of DavoleBomb
2.9/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a snifter. 2009 vintage.

4.0 A: Pours a ruddy brown color. Two fingers of creamy beige head. Retention is pretty good given the ABV and a small ring of lacing is left.

3.0 S: Toffee and caramel. Light plum fruitiness and brown sugar. Simple, but pleasant, and average.

2.5 T: Moderate toffee and caramel. Perhaps a touch of dark fruits. Even simpler than the nose.

2.5 M: Medium to heavier medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Lacking the creaminess that I want from a beer like this.

3.0 D: This beer is completely unoffensive and unassuming. It's boring without being bad. I didn't really expect it to be any good either given the brewer. I figured I could get a spot back in my cellar by drinking this and in that regard, this is a success.

DavoleBomb, Dec 24, 2011
Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev +7.2%

djrn2, Dec 01, 2011
Photo of DrDemento456
3.9/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark murky brown almost black except for a slight red hue and a nice layer of head that has a great sticky lace.

S - Wow that's crazy herbal cherry in the smell! I also get some caramel and wood but hope it doesn't taste too much like cough syrup.

T - Ah thankfully the taste is more balanced than the smell. I get cherry, slightly tart and herbal like a cough drop with a nice bit of oak with very little sweetness of caramel but it's there. I like how the cherry, almost medicine like, covers the ABV up nicely with no burn.

M - Heavy and herbal like cherry tea with a solid bit of tart.

Overall I seem to like this more than others have rated maybe because I like cherry. Certainly not the best Barleywine but well worth the 5 dollars. In fact this is the most obscure Barleywine I have had to date.

DrDemento456, Nov 22, 2011
Photo of Rochefort10nh
3/5  rDev -19.6%

Rochefort10nh, Nov 18, 2011
Photo of psuKinger
2.75/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

22-ounce bottle, aged (I can't find a printed date, but I know it's been in my fridge for probably almost a year, and I have reason to believe it may have sat on the shelf at 6-and-Save for a while as well based on the discounted price) and poured into a standard pint glass. The fine print up by the nose of the bottle indicates that it may have already been aged before bottling, as well, so who knows how old this brew is.

A: Pours a darker shade than I would have expected. A dark shade of Ruby-Red. It's giving off a little bit of a *fizz* on the pour, so it's not completely flat, but virtually no head forms at all.

S: Big, sweet, earthy, and boozy. Almost like a sweet cordial/bourbon mix.

T: Taste follows the nose. This is a big beer. Lots of sweetness, with maybe a touch of cherry? Big and boozy, with some *woody* flavors to it as well. I don't know/think that this was "barrel aged", but maybe it was? I pick up on some caramel, as well, probably from the malt bill.

There's a lot of cherry here. And I'm a big fan of cherry beer (my rDev's for Kasteel Rouge and Bell's Cherry Stout speak for themselves). But there's something about this particular cherry flavor here that isn't working for me. It's almost medicinal, like cough medicine. It's not HORRIBLE, but for a reason that's difficult to explain, I'm not digging it the way I do so many other beers that have a touch of cherry to them.

There's virtually no hops to be found in this glass. I don't know if that's because none were there to begin with or if they've dissipated over the ? months/years of aging, but it is what it is. I don't think *hops* would work here the way they do for Flying Mouflon, anyway.

M: Mouthfeel is below average here. For such a big beer, with the kind of sweetness that it has, it's rather thin and watery on the tongue, and doesn't finish with as much of a coating on the tongue as I'd like.

D/O: I didn't find this beer to be terribly drinkable. Over time this became like drinking a boozy-cherry-toffee bar. It's not in balance at all, and is just too sweet for me. The cherry flavor also tastes *artificial* to me. With no help from anyone else, I didn't finish this 22 ounce bottle myself. Life's too short, and I eat/drink too many calories as it is.

Overall, just not a very enjoyable experience.

psuKinger, Nov 05, 2011
Photo of smerrell
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: resembles root beer in appearance- the head disappears quickly, cloudy and brown

Smell: rasins and dates

Taste: roasted maltiness. Toffee notes and dried fruits- cherries, dates

Mouthfeel: bright attack and a long sweet finish. Even at 10.5%, you can't detect the alcohol

Overall: this is a pleasant barley wine that is not overpowering and would likely be a good introduction to the style. Aging this one might be a very good idea.

smerrell, Oct 29, 2011
Photo of surprenant1138
3.68/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a deep mahogany with almost no head and decent lacing. Aroma is of cherries, oak, hops, barley, some chocolate, vanilla, and a hint of a tobacco smell. Very boozey smelling. Mouthfeel is slightly heavy, but tolerable. Taste is of pretty much all of the aroma, and a good amount of booze. However, sometimes, it feels slightly watered down. I prefer a few other barleywines, but this one at least passes.

surprenant1138, Oct 11, 2011
Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.73/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz-er from Consumer Beverages in New York. This was the random brew from my New York beer haul; I mostly bought this for the label and the price - never heard of Mendocino before.

Poured into a goblet. Black cherry juice in colour, leaves a half-inch of thick head, which leaves a thin ring after a few minutes.

Nose is malty, quite rich, good caramel and fruit notes. Fresh bread and just a touch of hops as well. Smells like a sweet barleywine.

Sweet, bready, good malty base, with that boozy brandy character I always feel in barleywines. Finishes dry and with a mild peppery taste.

Thick-bodied, smooth, mild to low carabonation, slightly booziness.

While not the most complex of barleywines, it's a rich and enjoyable sipper. The peppery taste was a nice addition. However, it almost got to the point of cloyingly sweet; my wife and I had trouble finishing the bottle.

JohnnyBarman, Sep 05, 2011
Photo of Cylinsier
3.98/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22

Pours a deep cloudy brown with a cherry glow when held up to light. Yellowish white head dissipates to lacing.

Smells of rich caramel, cloves, cinnamon, apple, molasses and oak.

Tastes rich as well, caramel and molasses followed by cinnamon and apple and the mildest hint of piney hop without any real bitterness.

Feels thick and syrupy with a mild carbonation on the tip of the tongue.

Very delicious but also rich and potentially cloying, not something to drink a lot of or drink quickly. A little boozy as well. A good treat for fans of English Barleywines (which this tastes much more like despite being called an American BW).

Cylinsier, Aug 17, 2011
Photo of Thickfreakness
4.47/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Poured with a fervor into my DFH signature glass (for those that don't have one of these... I suggest it highly!!!) A beautiful cherry/mahogany brew sits still as an almost sunburst head floats quickly upon it... and then fades away. Nice traces of sticky lacing drip and drool everywhere.

S- Vanilla, caramel, dark currants, fresh cut figs, licorice, raisin bread, dark chocolate covered cherries, and hints of citrus peel and grapefruit. Sugar coated nuts, burnt wood and maple sap.

T- Caramel-Licorice spicy apple... dried figs and cherries. Vanilla, roasted pecans, toffee and honey. Nice notes of bitter citrus linger. Brown sugar buttered popcorn. Really nice and warming flow of alcohol.

M- Sticky, gooey, and dripping with notes of caramel-citrus goodness. So tongue coating and wonderfully syrupy!!! Vanilla-Orange Blossom honey. Love the citrus pop, caramel sweetness, and sticky honey goodness this brings to the table.

O- This is a fantastic, and way under-rated Barleywine! You can feel it change as it warms up! Gets stickier, citrusier, and deliciousier!!! LOL!!! All kidding aside... for $4.49/22oz., this should be rated WAY higher than it is! It's not hoppy enough to be an American BW, yet not quite sweet and sugary enough to be an English BW... perfect balance, and so friggin' delicious! I know where I'm going tomorrow! Back to my local to buy the rest of what they have!!!

Thickfreakness, Aug 06, 2011
Photo of mdcrouser
3.63/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Beltstrap brown, with rough edges of exposed orange. A cake batter tan head in two fingers thick.

Boozy on the nose, with dates, carmelized sugar, and a bit of spice.

Boozy continues with big sweetness - exceptionally warming, with unique honey, waxy chocolate, rolled tobacco. and a hint of cinnamon. Greenery hoppy backbone. Pretty sure I could melt my way out of a snowdrift with this one - feels every bit of the ABV.

One of those beers that with my mouth closed, I exhale broadly, pushing remnants of the beer across the roof of my mouth. Incredibly smooth - nicely carbonated, closing dry and sticky.

Too sweet for my tastes, but a good beer nonetheless.

mdcrouser, Apr 25, 2011
Photo of garbercury
4.28/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to my buddy Joe from Mendocino Brewing Co. for this 2008 aged version...Shared with him on visit...

A--Reddish orange hue, not a ton of carbonation.

S--Nice toasted oat and barley, malts.

T--Enjoy this especially because the sucker mellowed nicely, leaving a smooth finish without much hoppy bite.

M--A little thin but fine.

D--Creeper for sure, shared but one serving was more than enough...Recommended.

garbercury, Dec 17, 2010
Photo of bootlegger1929
4.1/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First review! Hopefully get more into doing this to go along with my beer blog..

Bought this bomber from D's in Pittsburgh. Poured into a unibrou trippel glass. Poured a deep red in the glass with a 2 finger off white head.

Smells of sweet fruits and dark malt. Little bit of a sherry smell as well. Alcohol was masked in the nose by the sweetness. Came off as a little too sweet for my liking in the smell.

Tastes like the smell but there's enough bitter flavor to mask the sweet, which I liked. Finished dry enough to want to take another sip.

Mouthfeel was pretty thick and smooth. Again pretty nice.

Drinkability is good so far. But I have a third of the bomber left in the bottle still. I don't anticipate finishing this will be a problem. Decent brew but I still prefer brooklyn's barleywine and English styles in general.

bootlegger1929, Oct 25, 2010
Photo of wschmit
3.73/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bomber into pint glass.

A: Slightly viscous pour cascades into a large, frothy, rocky tan head that pops itself out quickly into sticky, patchy lacing. An overall impressive head for something so boozy and old.

S: Classic barleywine nose: bourbon, caramel, vanilla, alcohol; raisin dominates up front, with a hint of bitter malt in the end.

T: Not as good as the smell, but not bad. In fact, the sweetness of the nose is muted in the taste, which I find appealing. The malty opening flows into a lingering, enjoyable bitter finish. Good and dry, actually--refreshing for the style. This does have some age on it, however--a good thing. Could use some more complexity, though.

M: Not too thick, and not too much alcoholic burn, plus decent carbonation make for a pretty nice feel.

D: Pretty high, for 10.5 abv. Not as good as, say, Owd Engwish or Olde School, but certainly quaffable.

wschmit, Oct 06, 2010
Photo of dudemuskie
4.05/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a small snifter.

Appearance- slightly hazy, deep amber with reddish/orange highlights. Very little for foam and/or head retention. Appears to have very low CO2. Thin off white ring for foam lingers.

Aroma- Rich juicy malty notes, nuttiness, burnt sugar, floral. Deep caramel and slightly grainy notes pop as it warms along with a soft floral/earthy hop character and a sticky toffee aroma.

Flavor- Big malt flavors similar to aroma. Rich mouthfeel, nearly chewy. Big rounded malty body with little CO2 to interfere. Clean bitterness quickly enters palate to help balance with earthy/herbal bitterness. Some warming alcoholic notes that intensify as beer warms. Long lingering finish with big warming sensation.

Mouthfeel- Loads of residual sugar in this brew leave the lips a bit sticky, but the healthy dose of herbal hops give a great balance. Quite hoppy/bitter, but not like American versions (very little citrus) as this falls more in line with English barleywines with herbal/earthy/floral hop flavors/aromas. Low-moderate CO2, warming alcohol, nice balance.

Overall- A great English style barleywine with rediculously rich malt flavor and excellent balance from English hops. Alcoholic strength is definitely evident and slightly limits drinkability, but not overwhelming. Would like to lay a bottle of this down for a year or two just to see how it does, but its drinking nice the year it was bottled!

dudemuskie, Sep 08, 2010
Photo of drpimento
4.4/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Quite nice. A more subltle barley wine. Poured a medium sized, light tan, foamy, frothy head that settle out after a bit and some lace. Color is a very nice, clear garnet with red highlights. Aroma is dry and bitter malt with hop. Flavor is similar to nose but has some sweetness behind the up front bitterness. Body is full yet soft. Carbonation seems to work well. Finish is pretty long and like flavor plus a strong alcohol factor. This could sneak up on you.

drpimento, Aug 18, 2010
Photo of LordAdmNelson
3.3/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Nice look to it, ruby amber brown with an inch of off-white head that leaves a little lacing. Smell is largely caramel and syrupy notes, a bit of toasted malts and some spices (cinnamon?). Taste is boozy and malty, raisin, caramel, syrup, toast. Light mouthfeel, near flat--it could use a little more carbonation. An OK drink, this one follows the English Barleywine style better than the American Barleywine. Booziness definitely cuts the drinkability on this one.

LordAdmNelson, Jun 08, 2010
Photo of Amalak
4.35/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My friend, who aged this for a couple years, brought over a bottle.
A--It's almost gelatinous. Brownish red in color with a good head and lacing.
S--It has a nice sweet scent, caramelish. One of the better scented beers I've had in a while.
T-- This is a malty brew that has been aged to perfection. It has a nice tart aftertaste. Very smooth, sugary mixed with alcohol.

Amalak, May 28, 2010
Photo of TCHopCraver
3.98/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared on 5/3/10 with TCGoalie. Thanks for bringing the bottle, pal.

A: A light mahogany to red is the color of this big barleywine. There is no head but the white ring around the edge of my oversized wine glass. The small dotty lacing is thin and does not stick.

S: I smell brown sugar, caramel, and musty cellar. This is an interesting must smell that reminds me of something I don't feel comfortable naming on BeerAdvocate (wink, wink, nudge, nudge).

T: This has a buttery, creamy sweetness that really appeals to me right now. Flavors I pick out are brown sugar and cream soda, with just a hint of a hop presence. To me, this is the Platonic ideal of a barleywine. It's not the best I've had, for sure, but it articulates the idea of the style.

M: Talon has a medium to full mouthfeel with a decent hop bitterness that dries the palate at the end of the sip.

D: Good. I would certainly have another if I was craving a solid, characteristic barleywine.

TCHopCraver, May 15, 2010
Photo of TCgoalie
4.08/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Notes from 5/3/10.

The look of this beer is average for a barleywine. Reddish caramel color with minimal head and no lacing. The appearance is nothing exciting, but I don't feel like it is missing anything either.

This has a classic barleywine scent - caramel malts, bready, a buttery quality but the difference is that this is extra musty. It is like the beer has been in a dingy house soaking up the smell. I like it.

The taste starts with a lot of caramel malts and leads to a brown sugary bready taste. The sweet barley and subtle hops meld at the end very nicely. Good balance.

The mouthfeel is medium, I've had bigger as barleywines go. It is satisfying, not too much, not too little.

The drinkability is good for a barleywine...not too syrupy and not too thin. Solid.

TCgoalie, May 05, 2010
Photo of asabreed
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber sipped from a wine glass.

Appearance: A deep and darker red with mild haze, possibly from the yeast. Mud-white head that bubbles nicely, leaving some off-white craters on the side of the glass.

Smell: Big fruit punch aromas, cherries, chocolate, maybe chocolate-covered cherries, some strawberry, and some citrus from the hops. Chocolate comes out more as it warms. But a lot of fruit punch and good fruit esters and nice sweetness dominate.

Taste: Like the aroma, big juicy fruit punch flavors, along with cherries and strawberries. Good citrus from the hops. Chocolate grittiness and nice earthy bitterness at the end of each sip.

Mouthfeel: Undoubtedly big-bodied, with enough punch and carbonation to keep it less-than-cloying.

Drinkability: Very solid for a Barley Wine, and probably my favorite Mendocino beer. Wish I would've gotten another bottle. I think it was only around $5 too, which now seems like a steal for this. Wonder what some age would do too.

asabreed, May 04, 2010
Talon - True Style Barley Wine Ale from Mendocino Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 238 ratings.