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Great - Alpine Beer Company

Not Rated.
GreatGreat

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

431 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 431
Reviews: 140
rAvg: 4.51
pDev: 9.09%
Wants: 1,173
Gots: 69 | FT: 8
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: 431 | Reviews: 140 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of HalfFull
HalfFull

California

4.43/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served into a wine glass from a capped bottle. Pours a deep brown with deep mahogany highlights. Clear and with a thin and fleeting cap. Vinous on the pour like a Cabernet, yet with a light ring.

Nose of oaken wood and whiskey. I realize that a relatively flat pour fits this pour well. Though one sided this brew is quite interesting in that all your typical barleywine notes are buried beneath the barrel. Crushed by the oak and rendered insignificant, yet allowing subtle influence nonetheless.

Flavor offers subtle notes of wood and charcoal and cherry. Yummy should you prefer the barrel, and yummy regardless.

A very barrel forward approach given the style which settles out to offer a port like quality and improving in complexity with warming.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2010 07:31:26 | More by HalfFull
Photo of Xul
Xul

California

4.65/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark brown with amber highlights. No head to speak of, save a light ring of bubbles circling the glass and a smattering of tiny bubbles in the middle due to the nucleation point in the glass.

S: Bourbon and oak provide the first noticeable aroma, but are hardly overpowering. The base beer comes through strong with caramel, toffee, molasses, vanilla, some light tobacco, and dark fruits.

T: Amazing...the bourbon comes in at just the right level, subtle enough to not overpower the beer, but strong enough to add depth. The caramel, toffee and molasses base swirls around in the background as vanilla and dark fruits play out over it. The dark fruits are especially stronger than in the nose, with figs and dates really coming through. Finishes sweet, as one would expect, with a linger aftertaste of brown sugar and vanilla. I hesitate to give 5s too often, but wow.

M: A touch on the thin side, but tremendously smooth with a good amount of carbonation to hold it up.

D: The booze is remarkably well hidden and it goes down way too easy.

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2010 05:07:39 | More by Xul
Photo of PeprSprYoFace
PeprSprYoFace

California

4.65/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at stone brewery. 4oz serving says it's %15 and not the 14 here.

Pours a deep red with no head at all and no lacing.

Aroma of lots of dark fruits and caramels with a nice bourbon aroma. This is a sticky one for sure.

Taste is excatly as it smells. Sweet toasted sugars and dark fruits with a very nice strong bourbon flavor. Sooo tasty.

Mouthfeel is good. No complaints.

Overall a GREAT beer. Can't wait to get some bottles of this when it comes out again

Serving type: on-tap

05-19-2010 03:00:34 | More by PeprSprYoFace
Photo of ArrogantB
ArrogantB

Colorado

4.13/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle which I was lucky enough to receive from my cousin, love that guy. I split this with two other friends because lets face it, its is strong as hell. My buddy said teh first whiff was like dog-food or rather a dog treat and it did remind me of snausages or soemthing. Luckily as it opened up it smelled like tootsie rolls, very nice and sweet. The flavor was pretty delicious like more chocolate and tootsie rolls, not much wood or spirits but it definitely had a kick of heat on the back end. Very nice barleywine but four ounces was plenty for me. Keep up the great work Alpine!

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2010 18:01:39 | More by ArrogantB
Photo of JohnGalt1
JohnGalt1

Idaho

4.4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Footbalm pulled this one out of his cellar to share with the Boise Peeps a while back... I couldn't tell with a cursory once over, but Eric says this is the first bottled batch... very cool!! The first batch was a whale of mine for a long time and may have to step back up into those shoes.

I got one of the first pours and it shows deep reddish orange... very clear.. nice tan head.

nose is amazing and only shows hints of EtOH on the finish.. plently of caramel... maple... vanilla prior.. very rich.

flavor has a good oaky tannic aspect that adds a nice drying quality amidst all the malts... vanilla bean with some almonds and toffee.... plummy dark fruits.. maybe some hints of oxidation that mesh well with the overall product....

big body for sure... carbonation seemed restrained as it should be... a very slow sipper.... SAS said this bottle was his favorite after the Veritas.

Seems like a blown out of the water English BW.

Thanks a bunch Eric... I appreciate that you remember after all this time to bring this up to share.... pretty badass.

4.5/4.5/4.5/4.5/4

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2010 07:21:53 | More by JohnGalt1
Photo of emmasdad
emmasdad

Colorado

4/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle (with great anticipation) a deep garnet hue, with ruby highlights and absolutely no head. An absolutely huge and wonderful nose on this one, with the expected bourbon, along with vanilla, brown sugar and molasses. Flavors of bourbon, toffee, caramel, vanilla alcohol. Very syrupy and hot, with a somewhat cloying mouthfeel and a huge bourbon presence. A very good beer, one that could take some time in the bottle.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2010 05:24:13 | More by emmasdad
Photo of pmccallum86
pmccallum86

Minnesota

4.6/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark golden brown color, very murky looking. Not much in terms of head but very appealing in color.

Big, really big. Lots of oak and bourbon in the aroma. Tons of burnt sugar and roasted malts come through. I cannot wait to try this.

Taste is of rich malts and burnt sugars, bourbon comes through and a lot of oak as well. Somewhat of a hot finish, but it goes down well. Toffee and caramel, this beer has a lot of sweet tastes. Very good barleywine, thanks to mothman for letting me try this. I would surmise this is the epitome of a bourbon barrel aged barleywine.

Mouthfeel is big, full, thick and creamy. Medium carbonation, the finish is a little hot, but it seems to finish well.

Given the ABV this is a very drinkable beer, a top notch barleywine which I would like to drink more of in the future.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2010 17:57:07 | More by pmccallum86
Photo of mothman
mothman

United Kingdom (Wales)

4.58/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into old guardian snifter.

Pours hardly any head. However there is a ring of foam. Very slight lace. Color is a mahogany brown copper.

Aroma: Massive bourbon oak. Vanilla with a very nice fall flavored spice. The oak is dead on. Tons of malt; caramel and toffee flavors. Burnt sugar. Very solid.

Taste: Rich and malty. Toffee and caramel. Bourbon, oak, and vanilla. Very warm. Burnt sugar with some sweet notes. This beer has a very slight amount of alcohol showing for the high abv. Tons of malt with little hop showing. Great bourbon flavors blending this beer together.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and rich. The carbonation is a little lower, but it really works well with this beer. It has a fairly large body. It is ends sweet and malty, relatively clean. After discussion with my homie Pete dog, I notice the bitterness of the hops. I am glad he picked up on that as it is an American Bwine.

Overall, a very solid bwine. It is big, smooth, and drinkable. Lots of flavor and the bourbon barrels really tied the beer together to make it complex, yet drinkable. I am glad I had a chance to try this one. Very solid.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2010 17:55:10 | More by mothman
Photo of portia99
portia99

Massachusetts

4.3/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle received in trade with srandycarter. Thanks! Poured into a Dogfish Head signature glass.

A - Pours with an ever so slight yeast murkiness in a gorgeous dark amber brown color with reddish tinges to it in the right light. No head forms at all, but a nice thick collar of tan color and a steady stream of bubbles rising up off of the laser etching in the bottom of the glass. This is tempting me to take that first sip.

S - Yeasty and very bread dough-like in aroma...smells like fresh dough before going into the oven. Some malty, caramel, molasses aromas, sweet bourbon in a sorta heavy way...almost like a bourbon reduction sauce. Alcohol is also quite noticeable in the aroma too which isn't surprising given the 14% level here. Overall, a heavy, almost syrupy impression from the aroma.

T - Taste is quite sweet overall. Up front is caramelized sugar, toffee, molasses in a mixture together that blends with the bourbon. Bourbon doesn't have heat to it, just nice flavor added, some vanilla and alcohol flavors. Bready malt and yeast flavors kick in to round things out. Hops do not add any flavor character, just a touch of bitternes, although I think the bourbon edge does more to balance this than the hops do. Good flavors, somewhat unique...a bit heavier, deeper than others of the style. I want to say that there is a smokiness to this, maybe a bit of the char off the barrels.

M - Very thick and syrupy in nature. Mouthfeel is extremely full with only a light carbonation to liven things up. Flavors here are heavy and the body complements this. Smooth, sticky, mouth coating and extremely viscous. Overall heavy but a really nice sipper all around.

D - Hmm, tough call. Alcohol is quite high at 14%, which is a real impediment to drinkability, but the alcohol seems to only add flavor and character without the heat that I would expect (a definite plus). Mouthfeel is rich and full - pretty much a thin syrup. A sipper all the way, and I appreciate the decision to put this in 12oz bottles...this is absolutely the perfect serving. Trying to put down a bomber of this would be enjoyable, but hard work.

This would really be a quite expensive (and debatably a waste of this beer) marinade, but I think reducing this down a bit and using this as a marinade and/or barbecue glaze would on beef, steak tips especially, maybe chicken too would be absolutely amazing.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2010 22:26:11 | More by portia99
Photo of alcstradamus
alcstradamus

Washington

4.68/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark, murky brown pour with only a small sliver of head. Pretty much as expected.

The aroma is a pounding assault of caramel and bready malts. Oh man, this is GREAT (!). Some pine resin, vanilla, and boozy heat round it out. My first impression is that this beer is going to be right up my alley.

First sip and it appears that I am correct. Although this the bottle label calls this a "barrel aged barleywine" I think the American Strong Ale category suits it best because to me it is a cross between an English Barleywine and a Wee Heavy. And it is decadent. Rich caramel and biscuity malts engulf the mouth with full flavor. I'm picking up notes of cocoa powder, toffee, and vanilla which is surely the byproduct of the barrel aging treatment. My throat and belly burn from the high ABV, and the noticeable heat does serve as a reminder that you need to sip on this beast and resist the urge to chug.

The body is full and carbonation is low. The alcohol burn is a bit of a detractor.

Drinkability is extremely high in the sense that I would purchase this again in a heartbeat, but I have to dock this a bit simply because I am already worn out after less than 6 oz.

Overall this is a world class beer in my opinion. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2010 22:48:42 | More by alcstradamus
Photo of Mora2000
Mora2000

Texas

4.22/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to kaiser81 for sending me this beer.

Pours murky brown with no head. The aroma is caramel, brown sugar, some alcohol, oak and bourbon. It is very sweet. The flavor is vanilla, maple, alcohol and brown sugar. Medium mouthfeel and low carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2010 05:15:33 | More by Mora2000
Photo of jjayjaye
jjayjaye

New York

4.85/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Notches darker than the norm...pour a deep mahogany amber color with a shallow off white head that fades quickly without leaving much lacing behind. The smell is unique aggressive and amazing! I'm overwhelmed by the complexity...initially comes across with that classic corny butterscotch then an intense maple syrup over Aunt Jemima Eggo waffles or the revelation that an easy way to kick up a pancake batter is to add a dash of vanilla extract follows. Light carbonated, the mouth feel is full bodied with a creamy smooth texture and chewy character...Full flavored, the rich sweet characteristics of the nose are mirrored in taste and enhanced nicely by the body. Maple pancakes with vanilla accents and black licorice, caramel and dark fruit experience. It all lingers quite nicely. The 14% ABV is extremely well integrated. A booziness is present and expected, to some extent in this style. Highly recommended!

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2010 02:58:28 | More by jjayjaye
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

4.7/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Azurelimits for breaking this out at a recent tasting.

A: Pours a fairly-bright dirty copper with a tiny whisp of a tan head.

S: Very rich bourbon alongside some caramel, toffee, sweet malts, and alcohol (although not nearly as much as would be expected from a brew of this alcohol level).

T: Lots going on with the bourbon beautifully complementing the sweet maltiness of the base beer. Some nice woodiness as well as loads of caramel.

M: Medium body with a low level of carbonation and moderate booziness.

D: Very delicious. Not extremely complex, but just done so incredibly well.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2010 01:03:54 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of DmanGTR
DmanGTR

Florida

4.18/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A big thanks to Joe (steelersxl) for sharing this at his tasting. Review from notes on 1/30/10

A - Poured deep amber, ruby/garnet highlights in the light and no head. 4.0

S - Wow there is lots of bourbon and lots of caramel here. It's like Emeril went BAM with bourbon in this barleywine. Touch of dark fruits and vanilla too. 4.5

T - Very much like the aroma, there is plenty going on here. Everything you could want in a barleywine, plus the bourbon. Pretty sweet too, nearing the cloying department but it just barely toes the line. 4.5

M - Somewhat slick and chewy. Big body here. Very low to no carbonation. 3.5

D - Very good. The alcohol is obvious but for its abv, it drinks very well. 3.5

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2010 19:23:38 | More by DmanGTR
Photo of MikeBuff
MikeBuff

California

4.43/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz btl poured into a Bruery tulip glass, from BA member JerryBullfrog

A- Pours a darker amber color with no head even with a more aggressive pouring.

S- The nose of this beer is mellow with a sweet background, no really prelude to what you are about to experience.

T- This is really where this beer shines, the first taste you get is a sweet malty taste. As soon as you swallow you get coco, nutty and oak/vanilla flavor. This lingers for a while in the most enjoyable way. The 14% is integrated to a point where I would not believe it unless I saw it on the bottle.

M- The mouth feel for of this beer is prefect. I got a little worried when I poured and saw no head I expected a flat beer but it complemented the sweetness of this beer and allowed the after taste to show.

D- This is a great sipping beer, I am glad I had to pleasure to try this. It has great complexity and is such a great beer, grab this while you can.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2010 07:06:20 | More by MikeBuff
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

4.43/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From notes

A: The pour is a deep, dark amber color with some nice ruby highlights and no head.

S: An amazing nose to this beer: plenty of vanilla, brown sugar, caramel, toffee, and whiskey. All the things you'd expect from some quality -bal aging.

T: The flavor is just as enjoyable as the aroma. Lots of sweetness in the form of caramel and brown sugar with a hint of butterscotch and molasses. The vanilla and whiskey come through nicely here, providing a bit of warmth as well.

M: The body is quite full with very low carbonation and a definite warming sensation.

D: This beer has indeed earned it's name. Quite a *great* beer that I'd love to have again. Yes, I know it was an awful joke.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2010 19:27:59 | More by womencantsail
Photo of nickd717
nickd717

California

4.88/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Toronado barleywine fest 2010. This'un'll be my 600th rating here on BA.

Pours a clear dark reddish-brown color with minimal head and lacing.

Aroma is really incredible: vanilla, oak, caramel, and bourbon. Smells really, really good.

The flavor, however, is a whole other level. So much going on there. The base barleywine is amazing, and the -bal aging adds a whole other element to it. Some crazy flavors in this one. Caramel, toffee, rich vanilla bean, oak, bourbon, sweet cake batter, marzipan, almonds...just a lot to it.

Full bodied with soft carbonation and an incredibly smooth and creamy mouthfeel.

Drinkability is through the roof for a -bal aged beer of this strength. This was definitely best of show for me. Just incredible. Possibly the best barleywine I've ever had. I can't believe this beer isn't in the Top 100.

Serving type: on-tap

02-17-2010 21:37:15 | More by nickd717
Photo of MiScusi
MiScusi

California

4.63/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared with me by JRhode and JessetheHutt. Thanks guys!!

Pours a clear caramel brown, not much of a head, just some lacing around the sides. The smell explodes with molasses, brown sugar, and whiskey. The taste is rich and sweet. Powdery sugar, and a sugary burnt marshmallow finish on the back of the palate. Although it's a comopletely different beer, the explosion of sweetness and the specific sugary aspect to this was SO similar in my mind to Black Tuesday. It was really amazing. For a sipping beer Alpine did a great job here.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2010 01:03:47 | More by MiScusi
Photo of paco1029384756
paco1029384756

Illinois

4.4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep burnt caramel color with a minuscule head.

Scent of caramel, sweet bourbon, oak, a touch of brandy, sugars, grain, and faint alcohol. The alcohol is surprisingly hidded in this wonderful aroma.

Taste of strong sugars, caramel, sweet bourbon, oak, earth, nuts, and light alcohol. Strong and complex, not nearly as overpowering as I was expecting.

Mouthfeel is smooth and heavy bodied with a very light carbonation, excellent.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2010 00:02:32 | More by paco1029384756
Photo of Kegatron
Kegatron

Pennsylvania

4.38/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a snifter. Big thanks to srandycarter for a bottle of this in trade.

Pours a deep amber/near brown color, with a finger of light tan foamy head. This fizzles down pretty readily, with just a thin looking retention around the edges, but this still leaves a decent little amount of spotty lace down the sides of the glass. Yeah, I would say that the Bourbon and Barleywine have married each other quite nicely in the aroma. I'm getting caramel, butterscotch, burnt molasses, a little bit of plum and fig, and sweet, sweet, notes of vanilla. This is mostly sticky sweet in the nose but I'm also picking up some underlying roast, smoke, and even a touch of char from the barrel. Some lighter but still bright smelling green tannic character hangs on the edges of this, actually helping balance out some of the sweeter tones. There is some beefy warmth present as well but it mostly serves to add some thickness to the flavors.

The taste is pretty much on the same page as the aroma. Notes of caramel, toffee, smoky molasses, some dark cherries and plums (which REALLY emerges as this warms), and an underpinning of char and roast all at the forefront here. Some hops do tickle the rear of the profile but what absolutely makes this; is the silky sweet flush of butterscotch and vanilla flavors across the backend, where in mingles with some deep woody dryness. The mouthfeel is full, thick, chewy, and viscous, just coating the tongue and lips with warm sticky liquid. Speaking of the warmth, that is exactly the way that this stays. Warm but never overly hot, which is very hard to believe with a 14% ABV on this. Pretty spectacular feel, with this coming off much more like it's in the 10% range.

This was some pretty impressive stuff. Wonderful melding of flavors here between the beer & barrel; and the feel and drinkibility on this were pretty awesome for the size. I'd love to tuck a few more of these away for cellaring, as this is one that's only going to get even better with time.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2010 21:02:52 | More by Kegatron
Photo of pwoods
pwoods

Ohio

4.1/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Thanks to Fred at Beverages4Less. I hope this bottle was taken better care of than the Nelson and Expo Hop that you sold me.

12oz. brown bottle poured into a GLBC Christmas Ale snifter.

A: Pours a murky brown with orangish amber tinting in the light. Pours kind of thin. A rough pour gets about a 1/4 inch of spritzy head that dies immediately... I'd assume this spent plenty of time in the barrel. No lacing but some oily streaks.

S: Healthy dose of bourbon but even more massive is the huge dank barrel presence. Lots of earthy, dank oak. Some vanilla and molasses sweetness, maybe some pure maple syrup notes. Very woody. Listed as an American BW but I get great aged English Barleywine notes. The bourbon becomes even more potent as it warms.

T/M: Yow. Lots going on here. Plenty of bourbon along with some stronger alcohol complexity and a very satisfying warmth. More of the light molasses and maple flavors, some vanilla sweetness, caramel, toffee, dark fruits etc. Some faded hops, but I still don't know about American BW. I get loads of rich, alcohol soaked dark fruits as I swallow. I also get a sharp sweetness after I swallow, which is a minor flaw that is somewhat covered up by everything else that is going on. Body is actually pretty thin, which is my biggest complaint. It's only about medium light, which seems pretty far off the mark. Carbonation is light, which fits the style well, but doesn't do a hole lot with the lighter body. It actually reminds me of sipping a bourbon or scotch.

D: Massive ABV and a bit of a mouthfeel issue. Pretty damn tasty, though. If you're looking for a 'kick you in the teeth' beer, then this fits the bill very nicely. If you're looking for something complex and subtle... well this could still be for you because there is plenty to find, but the mouthfeel issues really hurt what they were trying to do and turn this from what could have been an absolutely stunning beer to a, still respectable, tasty treat.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2010 06:05:14 | More by pwoods
Photo of Overlord
Overlord

California

4.6/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Hophead84 for giving me a bottle of this most excellent beer.

Pours a rich orange-ish amber-y color. Just a few wisps of bubbles here and there and the barest hint of a crust of foam (that vanishes as rapidly as my optimism towards life did when I reached puberty).

Smells glorious. Rich butterscotch, toffee, caramel, and dark fruits notes along with a hint, just a hint, of citrus. And bourbon, too, of course. A luscious brown sugary bourbon.

Phenomenal flavor. More toffee, more butterscotch, bourbon, notes of oak/wood that ripple along the deep, enticing flavor. It's a sweet beer, but there is a tang of hops to it ... not much though. The fruits and deep brown sugary malt really blend together fantastically, and the bourbon just tops it all off.

Dangerously drinkable, nice juicy/thick mouthfeel.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2010 18:11:31 | More by Overlord
Photo of HopHead84
HopHead84

California

4.58/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1/24/2010

Bottle received in a trade with ArthurPendragon. Thanks man. Poured into a snifter, the beer is dark brown with crimson highlights and a small head.

The nose is very rich, with notes of dark toffee, brown sugar, butterscotch, vanilla, caramel, and prominent bourbon. The dried fruit character is similar to figs, dates, prunes, and perhaps plums. A faint nuttiness is present. I've not encountered anything else like it. Very unique and very nice. The 14% is well hidden. Intoxicating. A light oxidation quality is similar to sherry. Rich and unabashed.

The flavor is even richer than the aroma, if that can be believed. Big boozey bourbon notes are in communion with caramel, brown sugar cookies, butterscotch, toffee, molasses, vanilla, dates, figs, plums, and prunes. The combination of toffee and nuttiness is not unlike peanut brittle. Sherry-like oxidation is graceful. The alcohol is very well hidden in the bottle. I didn't find that to be the case with the draught version. Bow before this beast. I think 6oz would be a perfect serving size, and I have double the number before me. I definitely should have split this with another. This is very well done. Seek it out.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2010 06:33:44 | More by HopHead84
Photo of younger35
younger35

Minnesota

4.35/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Received this brew from JessetheHutt in a nice little trade. I loves me a good Barleywine, especially when they're barrel aged. Drank from my Ithaca Excelsior tulip.

Appearance- Pours a dark crimson brown with a fairly small off-white foamy head. A small collar remains the entire beer but not a spot on the cap. No lacing what-so-ever as well.
Smell- Intensely rich and super pungent as the barrel is wonderfully noticeable and full of goodness. The brown sugar and caramel are abundant as is a light oak and vanilla. Almost fruity as well with a dark cherry and cranberry like aspect along with a bit of raisin. The oak is just chocked full of vanilla and woody goodness, damn it smells good. Can't wait to take a sip of this bad boy.
Taste- Just as intense as I was hoping for as the vanilla and wood ooze out of this beauty. The caramel and toffee are ridiculously intense but thankfully not sweet. A few bourbon notes make their way through and as they mix with the alcohol it gets slightly warm. Some cherry and dark fruits are more than abundant as well as a bit of cola and tree bark. Something slightly medicinal and root like but honestly it's just so intense and so much going on, it's just part of the beer. The finish is full of caramel and vanilla and a touch of alcohol.
Mouthfeel- Thick and rich with a nice full bodied feel and light slick carbonation.
Drinkability- Really freaking good Barleywine. But saying that, the 14% is rather noticeable after a while. I like how the beer is super intense and chocked full of caramel but not sweet. A little bit of time will definitely help things and now I wish I would have traded for two. Thanks much Jess!

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2010 01:54:02 | More by younger35
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.8/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Jesus this was good. I had been wanting to try this one forever, and many thanks for getting it in the white whale BIF. Served chilled and poured into a 6oz snifter, this one was enjoyed on 1/16/2010.

The pour was deep, dark brown, with no light penetrating it at all. Small head forms on top, just thin bubbles really before it settles back down and just lightly rings the outside of the glass throughout the rest of the session.

Aroma is the most intense thing i have come across. Rich butterscotch and toffee notes, huge buttery sweetness just rolling and tumbling through the air. Sublime. Warming brings out nice notes of vanilla and wood that seem to subtly filter through the air. The delicate butterscotch flavor seemed to be neverending. Sweet nectar of the gods here. Smooth, delicous perfection, this is nailed beyond what I could have imagined. simply sublime.

Overall this is better then I could have hoped for. A superb version of a barrel aged barleywine. The vanilla and toffee notes from the barrel are perfect, mellow and subdued are the orginal hops from the beer, instead a sultry, sweet, and superb flavor have come forward. If every barrel aged beer I have is like this I would be a happy man.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2010 01:21:34 | More by mikesgroove
Great from Alpine Beer Company
99 out of 100 based on 431 ratings.