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Great - Alpine Beer Company

GreatGreat

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
99
world-class

381 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 381
Reviews: 137
rAvg: 4.5
pDev: 9.33%


Brewed by:
Alpine Beer Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  14.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
The base of this beer was available at a couple of festivals as a barleywine named "Good". The remainder of the batch spent several months aging in fresh Jack Daniels barrels and became "Great".
Available in limited release at the brewery only

(Beer added by: xlperro on 03-01-2005)
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Ratings: 381 | Reviews: 137 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Alieniloquium
Alieniloquium

Florida

4.14/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Murky brown amber. Small khaki head. Not much going on after a bit.

Smell - Brown sugars. Fruity specialty malts. Bourbon. Raisiny. A hint of hops, maybe?

Taste - Bourbon much stronger. Still very sweet. Brown sugar. Sweet and raisiny. Oaky in the back end.

Mouthfeel - Heavy and sweet. Medium low carbonation.

Overall - Reminds me of JW Lees. Not a ton of bourbon, but it does allow the base beer to shine.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2014 02:39:05 | More by Alieniloquium
Photo of zac16125
zac16125

South Carolina

4.7/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

12oz bottle into a snifter
2013 vintage

A big thanks to socalbrewlvr for sending over this long time want in a trade!

A: Pours a very dark brown, with reddish hues when held to light. Tan colored head builds, but not even enough to cover the entire surface, as just a ring is formed around the outer edge. Leaves only a trace patch of lacing.

S: Aroma is heavy bourbon along with sweet dark fruits and caramel. There are some cocoa notes, as well as vanilla and faint oak from the barrel. I also get some boozy ethanol.

T: Incredible right from the first sip. Lots of sweetess, with candied sugar and a huge caramel/toffee presence. There are also some rich dark fruits, like dates. The bourbon notes aren't strong, mostly on the finish, with a bit of oaky-vanilla. There is a subtle hop bitterness, but this certainly drinks more like an English-style BW than an American-style BW (which is a good thing in my book).

M/D: Very smooth, carbonation appropriately low, a bit chewy. It has a whole body warming sensation. Maybe a touch syrupy, but the ABV is non-existent, and drinkability is great.

O: Fantastic beer. One of those rare beers that I take the first sip, and literally say "wow". Easily in the top handful of barleywine's Ive ever had. Well worth the wait. A must try. Thanks again socalbrewlvr!

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2014 01:29:02 | More by zac16125
Photo of Jeffo
Jeffo

Netherlands

4.53/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle provided by Vanlingleipa recently and drunk last night while breaking in GTA at Doopie's place. Cheers!

From a bottle into a snifter
Vintage: 2013

APPEARANCE: Pours a small, medium looking white head that quickly recedes to a bubbly ring only. A hazy mahogany red in color with no real carbonation evident. A light ring remains until the end but leaves no real lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Wonderful nose. Bourbon, oak, coconut, some caramel and toffee sweetness, with lots of fresh maple syrup over the whole thing. Really decadent.

TASTE: Very flavorful again. Bourbon, oak and lots of maple syrup sweetness the whole way through. A touch of spicy alcohol at the swallow, then a big and lingering finish of bourbon, maple syrup, coconut and caramel sweetness. No heat lingers at all. Could use a little bit of bitterness as balance, but this is decadently sweet and delicious. Desert in a bottle.

PALATE: Fuller body and medium levels of carbonation. Creamy on the palate, goes down great and finishes sticky on the palate. No bite or heat at all; the 14% is nowhere to be found. Impressive.

OVERALL: This was outstanding. Awesomeness in a bottle. The flavor could use a touch of bitterness to help balance the overwhelming sweetness, but in small doses, this isn't an issue at all. I'm also surprised this was just aged in Jack Daniels barrels and there was no use of maple anything in its creation. Wonderfully flavorful and decadent with an impressive, non boozy feel to go with it. A real treat. Thanks again Vanlingleipa. Good times Doopie!

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2014 08:44:29 | More by Jeffo
Photo of brother_kenneth
brother_kenneth

Virginia

3.89/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2013 vintage bottle, poured into a snifter glass. The beer pours a typical dark brown with little to no head at all. In fact, it is almost still. Nose is predominantly bourbon, with some nice dark dried fruit and caramel. Not quite as impressive on the aroma as I had expected. Taste is a follow-through on the nose. Had high hopes for this one, and it is good, but not King Henry good. The mouth feel is essentially flat and thin. Fairly standard, if mild, flavors for the style - bourbon, wood, caramel, figs, etc. Super sweet, with some hints of oxidation. Ultimately, it is lacking all the way around when compared to some of it's peers. Don't get me wrong, I like this beer, but considering the hype, there are far better examples of the style out there (King Henry, Blendiculous, etc). Drink 'em if you got 'em, because this one probably won't age well.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2013 21:15:36 | More by brother_kenneth
Photo of errantnight
errantnight

California

4.69/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Dark amber with just a smidge of head.

A ton of toast and malt with warm, vanilla toffee on the nose.

Huge, rich, full. Flavors of candy caramel with light vanilla and coconut. Hints of cherry and mincemeat, rum and sherry.

Unctuous. Stands out among the very best barrel aged barleywines, or barrel aged beers, I've had.

Serving type: on-tap

12-11-2013 04:22:17 | More by errantnight
Photo of BullBearHawk
BullBearHawk

Illinois

4.45/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a snifter. 2013 batch drank on 11/22/13.

Smells incredibly sweet with the dark fruits, (raisins, prunes, figs) caramel, toffee, oak, malt and a slight boozy scent. Taste is a lot of malty, whiskey barrel and oak up front with caramel, toffee being prevalent and a slight taste of sweet dried fruits. Appearance was very dark brown with very little head that faded away quickly.

Overall a very good barleywine from Alpine that is sweeter than most and best enjoyed as a sipper to relish in all that flavor. Very sweet at first but this beer gets better sip by sip and is definitely worth seeking out.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2013 07:28:36 | More by BullBearHawk
Photo of kevanb
kevanb

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle, generously shared by Eorwar at our Barleywine tasting, poured into a Hair of the Dog Tasting glass.

The beer pours a deep amber color, hues of caramel brown, fairly sludgy, with no head or lace to speak of. The aroma is of heavy brown sugar, caramel malt, toffee, stone fruit and fig, with some light vanilla and just a touch of woodiness. The barrel is very light on the nose, and the base beer is very prevalent. The flavors are much more dynamic, lots of brown sugar and molasses dominate the tongue at first before a lovely charred presence from the barrel swoops in bringing out vanilla, oak, bourbon, toffee, stone fruit with some lingering caramel flavor. It's quite the experience, beautifully melded with no signs of alcohol heat at all. The body is slick and oily, almost no carbonation but it certainly doesn't read as flat, it coats the mouth decently and finishes richly and sweetly.

Verdict: A very delicious Barrel Aged Barleywine from Alpine and certainly the first non IPA I've found to be a home run from them. The alcohol is hidden expertly well and the flavors are quite sensational, a beer that lives up to its name.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2013 23:13:56 | More by kevanb
Photo of ironchefmiyagi13
ironchefmiyagi13

New York

4.79/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

My other bottle I brought to a tasting event last night. This has been burning a hole in my cellar for the last month and I am so glad I finally get to crack this puppy open.

The only other amazing English Barleywine I have had is King Henry, and it was 2 years old and probably one of my top 5 favorite beers. This beer just vaulted itself into that category.

Holy fuck does this hit you in the aroma. 14% my ass, this smells like liquid raisins soaked in high end whiskey. Figs, Plums, prunes and raisins all mesh together to give this beer such a rich aroma. I could not tear my nose away form the glass. One of the best nose I have ever experienced. Would have loved a little more chocolate or coffee to compliment and offset all the juicy dried fruit, but I am not complaining.

Lol, you have to be kidding me with this flavor. How is a beer this smooth? And when I say smooth, I mean in the sense that it glides over your tongue like a sip of cream. Coats every inch of your palate in rich, syrupy sticky goodness. In my opinion never got too cloying, but definitely rich and viscous.

Honestly, one of the best beer of the year for me and top 10 all time. So damn good. I am very happy I traded for this puppy.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2013 17:43:56 | More by ironchefmiyagi13
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

4.3/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle pour at Woodshop 8 held at The Hermosillo in Los Angeles, CA.

2013 vintage.

Pours a hazy dark brown with a foamy beige head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, caramel, toffee, bourbon, and wood aromas. Taste is much the same with caramel and toffee syrup and bourbon flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of woody bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with a really smooth bourbon presence in the flavor that makes this one very easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2013 16:38:26 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of notchucknorris
notchucknorris

California

4.85/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: Pours a chestnut brown color without much of a head at all. The few hints of carbonation that pop up quickly disappear.

S: Warm and inviting notes of toffee, caramel and bourbon. Cola, raisin skins, vanilla and some oak as well. There's a touch of booze here, but it's far from overwhelming.

T: Opens with a rich wave of caramel, toasted brown sugar, toffee and light bourbon. Booze soaked raisin, chocolate, light plum and a slight woody dryness. Mouthfeel is slightly oily and slick, never becoming too heavy. Really hard to find much of the 14% here. To me, this is the best barleywine I've ever had. Amazing stuff.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2013 02:18:43 | More by notchucknorris
Photo of frizzzle
frizzzle

California

4.99/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Picked this up at the brewery on release date.
Poured into a tulip glass, the smell on this is amazing! Smells hot with sweetness.
Pours a nice dark almost deep burgundy color, little to no carbonation.
Taste is amazing, slightly thick texture, very smooth and nice semi sweet taste. I can't taste 14% alcohol. This is very well balanced. The smell and taste compliment each other. I thought about trading some bottles, but after drinking 2 so far, I've decided to keep the rest. This beer is awesome, best barleywine I've had. Alpine beer company, thank you!

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2013 21:03:01 | More by frizzzle
Photo of EliotRosewater
EliotRosewater

California

4.73/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Purchased directly from the brewery today (10/9) and consumed same day. When I got home one of the bottles had some foam around the cap. So I drank that bottle. Take that for whatever it's worth.

A - almost no head during pour. Very little lacing. Beautiful dark brown to almost black.

S - first thing that hits you is the bourbon character along with strong vanilla, oak, caramel and molasses.

T - excellent caramel to almost burnt sugar. Mild alcohol presence. Vanilla. Bourbon. A bit of dark chocolate-like, pleasant bitterness towards the end. Initially comes off pretty sweet but is balanced by the bitterness and alcohol. Very complex.

M - very nice, thick, somewhat viscous mouthfeel with minimal carbonation but just enough. Aftertaste is lingering and amazing. Mouthfeel has never been a major factor in a beer for me before but this is off this charts.

O - what an amazing beer. I keep going back to smell the beer but the actual taste and mouthfeel on this sucker is unreal. This thing doesn't need any age on it at all, it's ready to drink now. So smooth and layered.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2013 03:03:26 | More by EliotRosewater
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

4.04/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks again to jzeilinger for opening this one with me. This poured out as a nice hazy brown color. The head comes and goes rather quickly. No real retention or lacing on this one. The beer smells sweet like caramel with a bit of barrel aging on the nose. The hops are a bit hidden on this. The taste of the beer is also sweet with a subtle bitterness in the finish, flavors of caramel and toffee in there with a minimal bitterness. I was hoping to get more of the JD barrel flavors from this but wasn't able too. The mouthfeel is smooth, very dangerous because it's easy to drink. Overall it's a good brew, really happy I got to try it.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2013 16:16:40 | More by Knapp85
Photo of tarheels86
tarheels86

California

3.85/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

355mL at Woodshop 7. Pours a flat, muddy, lighter amber. Low to zero carbonation. Nose is savory with soy, truffle, shitake; sugared carrot, smoke, salt. Taste is salted caramel, honey, truffle oil, dense toffee. Palate has some heavy tannic structure to near paper. A little too thinned out and over oaked. 7/23/2012 8/3/8/3/16=3.8

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2012 20:12:47 | More by tarheels86
Photo of cosmicevan
cosmicevan

New York

4.83/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

1,000th review!!! consumed on 7/28 at a kicka$$ BA Barleywine tasting (thanks a ton to mike for hosting and dave, dan, and others for your generosity). the 1000th review should be the BA Old Ruffian (and great should be 1001), but frankly Great was the highlight of afternoon for me (above wooden hell) so i'm going a bit out of order since Great deserves this honor.

a - like many of the BA Barleywines tasted today, somewhat lifeless brown with no head.

s - smells...well...GREAT! perfect sweetness with toffee and caramel mixed in.

t - FANTASTIC! wonderful toffee. some booziness but perfect integration and amazing balance. just a perfect match between this beer and the barrel it sat in.

m - full and rich. finish is sublime. full bodied and drinks like a dream.

o - overall, great is GREAT!!! had this one side-by-side with king henry, wooden, hell, BA HiFi batch 2, BA Old Ruffian and this was my clear favorite.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2012 01:57:12 | More by cosmicevan
Photo of siege06nd
siege06nd

Virginia

4.88/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Generously shared by billab914 many moons ago. It wasn't a big bottle, and I appreciate him sharing it with me when he could have just as easily had it himself.

A. Pours a very cloudy, very ruddy light brown, ever so slight copper tinge. Absolutely zero head and lacing. Expected a little bit more punch from such a high class barleywine. I gotta admit, it looks pretty lackluster.

S. Wow, a caramel and vanilla bomb. Thick, warm caramel chews, loads of brown and green raisins dipped in cream, chocolate, coconut, vanilla, cinnamon, maple. Unbelievably complex bouquet here. An experience in and of itself. Spec-freakin-tacular.

T. Oh hell sweet yes. Caramel, vanilla, bourbon soaked raisins, chocolate. Alcohol is incredibly well-hidden. I'm also getting a lot of maple syrup. Incredible.

M. A little hot on the back end, but it is decadent and highly complex. Full bodied and chewy. Super rich and absolutely delicious.

O. I'm not the biggest fan of American Barleywines (I much prefer their English brethren). That said, Alpine Great blew me away. This was an absolute treat.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2012 23:51:54 | More by siege06nd
Photo of Reagan1984
Reagan1984

Massachusetts

4.2/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Alex (Masterski) for providing this in trade. Served in my Portsmouth Brewery Snifter.

Literally no head, no foam and no lace on the beer. A brown amber deep color.

Aroma is sweet of brown sugar, some bourbon and caramel. Not as much vanilla as some. The ABV is present and some alcohol is noted.

The flavor has many of the same components. Brown sugar really comes to mind along with some honey and yes bourbon. There is a sweet caramel that works nicely with the heat of the alcohol. Not too “HOT” which I don’t like, but more warning and inviting.

Pretty bold body, but not syrupy. Very subtle carbonation. It’s there, but barely.

Very, very good beer. Not among the elite of the bourbon barrel barleywines but certainly a treat to enjoy.

As always, thank so much Alex.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2012 01:15:07 | More by Reagan1984
Photo of FosterJM
FosterJM

California

3.98/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1166th Review on BA
Bottle to Triple Karmelit
12 oz

Thanks to BdubleEdubleRUN for this one.

Shared with GuruDel, JazzPatel, MrHirschybar & BdubleEdubleRUN

App- A medium caramel brown with some soft ambers and brown and maybe a touch of sliding bubbles. Zero cling as well.

Smell- It's a pretty good BW note. Its aromatic with soft vanilla, malts and some booze presence. The whiskey notes get lost to me.

Taste- A good and malty caramel citrus flavor. A bit prickly but I didnt get most of the barrel notes. A well layered beer with nice vanilla beside it.

Mouth- A lighter medium with a light creamy medium carbonation level. Nice caramel and oak flavors.

Drink- A very good BW, but just not up to par with some of the heavy hitters we busted out last night.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2012 23:06:22 | More by FosterJM
Photo of woosterbill
woosterbill

Connecticut

4.9/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle (therefore from '09, I believe), courtesy of millerbuffoon, shared at tasting and poured into a medium-sized Duvel tulip.

A: Clear, brilliant copper body with just a handful of coarse tan bubbles. Great legs, spotty lace. Very nice.

S: Gigantic, amazing and hugely enjoyable aroma of sherry, vanilla, bourbon-soaked raisin, oak, and toasted caramel. Really rich, really complex, and perfectly aged. Wow.

T: Follows the nose - rich malts, dark fruits, sweet toffee, vanilla oak, and some heady leather. As it warms, some delicious sherry oxidation shows up. The finish is bittersweet and warming, with the 14% showing up with some smooth warmth and pleasant tingling. Incredibly delicious - this might be my favorite Barleywine...ever.

M: Full body, moderate, creamy carbonation, and light stickiness. Excellent.

O: This beer's name is an understatement.

Thanks again, Miller!

Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2012 20:52:50 | More by woosterbill
Photo of barleywinefiend
barleywinefiend

Washington

4/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a murky brown color with a small tan cap that fades quickly

S: Caramelized brown sugar, toffee, faded hops, bourbon and some booze

T: Bourbon, maple syrup, caramelized sugar, toffee, faded citrus hops, dark fruits and some wood Earthiness

M: Big body, lower carbonation

O: Unsure which vintage I sampled but I felt this beer was falling off and peaking already

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2012 15:38:31 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of BarrytheBear
BarrytheBear

Wisconsin

4.78/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Courtesy of the generous jpmclaug..thanks friend!

12 oz bottle shared with madtowndmb1.

A murky rusty brown into a tulip.

Uncannily, the smell of this beer is the essence of southern style pecan pie. It's as if the good folks at Alpine bottled Thanksgiving dessert. Really a great smelling beer.

Taste deviates quite a bit from the smell. Light vanilla segues into a boatload of toffee and caramelized sugars. The barrel is very light and shows up as coconut and wood on the finish.

Overall, this is a really nice barleywine that carries barrel aging that way I like it. The base beer is truly the showcase here. In my opinion, all too often, the barrel overwhelms and swallows the base beer in a bb barleywine. In this case, the base is the star and the barrel lays a gentle subtle layer the melds wonderfully. Not big, brash, or boozy. In fact, if this beer truly clocks in at 14%, it's a gem. Subtlety and grace, thy name is Great.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2012 15:49:15 | More by BarrytheBear
Photo of stakem
stakem

Pennsylvania

4.05/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle I acquired as an extra in a trade quite a long time ago. My apologies to the generous person deserving of the mention. Shared with friends and poured into mini snifters. This brew appears a clear amber color with some faint bubbles and a ruby to orange coloring around the edges. Leggings of alcohol slowly creep down the wall of the glass after a swirl.

The smell is almost candied with sweet hints of toffee and vanilla. Some oak is evident that brings out a tannic woody quality that lasts inside the nose and mixes with some herbal indications thy minorly form into something that is medicinal.

The taste is sweet with toffee-like maltiness. Boozy with alcohol that blends well into a toasty grain flavor that gets contrasted with an herbal quality and woody notes from the barrel aging. This brew is drying on the tongue despite the initial residual sweetness. The drying effect leves a bit of oxidative quality lingerin in the mouth. A light bitterness and herbal flavoring turns to wood and back to toasty sweet grain in the finish.

This is a bold brew with a solid inclusion of alcohol. It is full bodied with a light level of carbonation. Super easy drinking for a big bold brew that isn't hiding it's abv level. It was well put together and enjoyable. I wouldnt mind having it again for comparison purposes with others in the style. It really isn't totally fair to make this comparison but considering the lack of availability and inflated asking price of this brew nowadays I'd much rather take some gratitude.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2012 20:40:38 | More by stakem
Photo of kingcrowing
kingcrowing

Vermont

4.05/5  rDev -10%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a sampler.

Pours a hazy amber golden color with n head at all. Nose is sweet and malty, a bit oxidized but not too bad.

Taste is a bit oxidized but still sweet and malty. Some diacetyl as well. Slight bitterness and a crisp finish, its quite tasty but a bit good.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2012 17:15:18 | More by kingcrowing
Photo of billab914
billab914

Virginia

4.83/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter. It was pretty still with the only traces of a head being some bubbles towards the edges of the glass. It had a great looking, deep, dark caramel color to it though. I loved the color and the stillness of it worked for me given the style and abv of 14%.

The aroma shows a lot of caramel and toffee right off the bat. I get some excellent flavors out of the barrel component with woody oak and vanilla notes really coming out. The bourbon is a little more reserved but gives it some excellent complexity. I started to get a little more dark fruits with a little leather as it warmed. Alcohol is noticeable, but not much for being 14%. Fantastic aroma, everything came together pretty perfectly in it.

The taste has some very good caramel, toffee, brown sugar and dark fruit notes to it throughout. The barrel aging gives it more of the oaky, vanilla flavors with the bourbon being again pretty reserved but also very smooth and flavorful. I get some bitterness in the finish providing some great balance to it. As I drank it I started to get a little chocolate coming out in the finish as well. Some alcohol heat in the finish, but not bad at all for the size of it.

The mouthfeel is pretty heavy and a little slick. Carbonation is very low. The mouthfeel felt pretty perfect for my tastes. At 14% and almost no carbonation it drank a little like a good bourbon.

Overall, I absolutely loved this beer. It definitely lived up to the hype for me. They got such a great balance between the barrel and beer characters and both of them together were just awesome. The low carbonation, high abv combo really worked well for me as well. Extremely flavorful, smooth and relatively balanced beer. At it's size and strength it's definitely a sipping beer, but it lived up to it's name for me. It just may be a new favorite of the style for me.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2012 16:06:53 | More by billab914
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
JoeyBeerBelly

New York

3.8/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2009 vintage 12 oz. bottle served in a snifter.

L - clouded reddish brown liquid with no head at all.

S - bourbon, brown sugar, vanilla, and a hint of alcohol.

T - toffee and vanilla upfront with vanilla and bourbon on the finish.

F - medium bodied with a slick feel.

O - a decent example of the style but maybe a bit too much abv.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2011 22:57:50 | More by JoeyBeerBelly
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Great from Alpine Beer Company
99 out of 100 based on 381 ratings.