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!

Wooden Hell - Flossmoor Station Restaurant & Brewery

Not Rated.
Wooden HellWooden Hell

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

147 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 147
Reviews: 88
rAvg: 4.53
pDev: 9.27%
Wants: 580
Gots: 8 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Flossmoor Station Restaurant & Brewery visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

GABF 2006 Strong Barrel Aged Bronze, Woodford Reserve Barrel Aged Barleywine

(Beer added by: mcallister on 04-29-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 147 | Reviews: 88 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of genefruit
5/5  rDev +10.4%

genefruit, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of Kaydogg
4.13/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thank you very much Dan!
couple oz pour

A. Pours brown rust color almost a bronze. no head on my pour

S. Spicy sweet smell almost like a cookie of some sort, bourbon, vanilla, and oak.

T. pretty complex stuff, Subtle sweetness with characteristics of bourbon, spice, oak, a touch of vanilla. Low carbonation. Decent body but i feel its too thin.. I wonder if this is starting to move past its prime.

O. Overall the beer was excellent...no doubt
live up to the hype? Gonna have to say no. Again maybe this beer is starting the down hill trip. Dare I say I prefer Mother of All Storms...I dare. Thanks again for this rare treat..

Kaydogg, Oct 31, 2011
Photo of RodneyX
4.9/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had to give up half my cellar to land this one, let's hope it's worth it.

It pours a little red amber color with just a tiny bit of head. Smell is sweet, the barrel is great barrel with bourbon that has calmed down over the years. The taste is just a stunning example of a bourbon barley wine. Vanilla from the barrel is there but it is not too much. Good brown sugar. Drinks quite smoothly and I was sad when the bottle was exhausted. Will now start search for second bottle.

RodneyX, Sep 14, 2011
Photo of seeswo
4.38/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Cam!

Pours a nice light brownish color with a very minimal tannish head. Smell is really nice - well integrated bourbon/vanilla/oak and caramel malts. A touch of toffee and caramelized brown sugar. More reserved, balanced and integrated than in-your-face. The bourbon in the taste is absolutely perfect, with strong identifying flavors or vanilla and oak, but not over-the-top or dominant over the base barleywine flavors of caramel, brown sugar, toffee. Unfortunately, this is the sad part of this review. This particular bottle had clearly started to descend. The oxidation was past the peak of aging for a barleywine, and as such, the base barleywine flavor had begun to retract from what I imagine it would have been a year ago. While the barrel still carries this beer nicely, and the flavor still comes together pretty well, this is definitely not a beer I would keep aging if I intended to drink it at some point. This is made even more substantial of a problem due to the relatively thin body in this beer, such that there is a combination of thin body and thin 'barleywine' flavor that will eventually make this beer mediocre at best. That said, this beer is very good right now, extremely drinkable and really shows off the best of barrel aging (bumping the taste to 4.5 from 4.0 based on this).

seeswo, Aug 26, 2011
Photo of brew3crew
4.55/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Cam for this once in a life time tick. When he texts you "get over here now or you will regret it forever" just do it,

A-maroonish in color with no head whatsoever. Looks very inviting

S-bourbon vanilla and oak melded perfectly together

T- follows the nose almost perfectly. Very rare.

M-medium body and oh so smooth

O- this has held up remarkably well and is a very good beer. I tried to take the rareness out, but that is very difficult

brew3crew, Aug 26, 2011
Photo of ColdPoncho
4.58/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Well, thanks for this Cam. Even though you did serve me Hellshire telling me it was Wooden Hell. My memory of this beer is forever tainted with onions. Notes/memory from tonight

A - Clouded dark reddish brown body, with no head by the time I got to it. Very nice color, however.

S - Lots of bourbon, some light notes of wood and vanilla, and a good dark fruity aroma. It's a good smell without a doubt. Not sure I'd ask for more.

T - Well, This is pretty good. Again, I think the bourbon is the strongest thing here, but with a nice balance of caramel and toffee malts. My notes are mostly for the Hellshire and I didn't get too much of this one, but it was just really well balanced, very good malt profile.

M - Nice and thick and smooth. A touch dry. Really quite good.

O - well, this is a good beer. I'm not sure how it compares to the hype, since all I really know is that it is hyped, but not necessarily what the hype is all about. Definitely one of the best beers I've had, but when you get into that upper tier, nothing really blows anything else away.

ColdPoncho, Aug 26, 2011
Photo of Urbancaver
4.68/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Side by side with sheol

Both pour a rusty hazy brown. Yellowish tint. Almost no head. Smells incredibly smooth and vanilla heavy. Some nice oxidation and raisiny notes. Tastes similar. Vanilla heavy. Some light oak notes. The beer is incredibly well balanced. The oxidation is very nice. Definitely much smoother than sheol. Very rich thick mouthfeel. Low carbonation but still bubbly and enjoyable. Overall this is definitely one of the best beers I've ever had.

Urbancaver, Aug 25, 2011
Photo of BeerAndBourbon
4.53/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A. Pours brown with orange moving into yellow at the edges. A wisp of a tan head.

S. Lots of beautiful bourbon, brown sugar, vanilla, and oak.

T. Much less hoppy than the base beer, but has a nice spiciness. Subtle sweetness with characteristics of brown sugar, oak, a touch of vanilla.

M. Dry woodiness with low carbonation. A nice body with only a touch of syrupy body. I could use it just a touch thicker.

D. Supremely drinkable. A nice balance of sweetness and spicy bitterness.

BeerAndBourbon, Aug 25, 2011
Photo of jimjim123
4.9/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark reddish brown color with some tan foam and decent lacing. Awesome aroma of bourbon, oak, vanilla, caramel, and brown sugar. Flavor is more of the same, with a great sweet caramel/toffee malt background, brown sugar, bourbon, oak, vanilla, and some dark fruits. Amazing palate - smooth creamy, and a little syrupy with medium-full body. Overall this is a phenomenal beer.

jimjim123, Jul 29, 2011
Photo of scottfrie
4.88/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Holy hell it’s a Wooden Hell! A huge thank you to Chad for sharing his bottle. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a dark woody brown with a thin dark-tan head that faded into a bubbly collar.
S: Complex notes of raisins, vanilla, warming alcohol and a bit of dark fruit come to my nose.
T: Vanilla, toffee, milk chocolate, barrel spices, earthy hops, and spicy bourbon are easy to pick out. This beer is smooth as hell. It’s also has a subtle sweetness and a touch of warming alcohol in the finish.
M: Really creamy and smooth without an oily or greasy mouthfeel. The body is thick and the carbonation is low.
O: This is one super complex brew and just amazingly complex and smooth. Wooden Hell definitely lives up to the hype. Thanks again for sharing, Chad.

scottfrie, Jul 22, 2011
Photo of jampics2
4.65/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big huge thanks to Paul AKA Dr. Gonzo for the bottle share at our pre-DLD tasting. I got a few oz's and my wife was nice enough to give me most of her pour too. Served at generally room temp into a snifter.

This beer looks nice in the glass. There's a great color - a mixture of copper, amber, chesnut and garnet swirled and decadant looking. Next to no head,- no, make that no head, but that's OK considering the ABV and time spent in the barrel. I'd like for a bit of foam, even a soapy bubble or two, though to make this look less dead.

The smell is intoxicating! There's a huge barrel presence that is expressive and really savory. I get notes of oak, a touch of tannin, some bourbon, and a hint of vanilla atop a nice bed of caramel, burned sugar, toffee and a touch of oxidation. Aside from the bourbon, there's no booze in the nose. Very close to perfection but could be a bit bolder.

The taste is equally impressive. This has aged like a champion and is smooth and silky. The typical Barleywine notes of caramelized sugar and dark fruit start the experience with some sweet notes. Then, the barrel transitions the brew from basic to brilliant. A touch of brown sugar and maple is eclipsed by bourbon and oak. There's a touch of vanilla and just a hint of booze that pairs well with the mild hop bitterness. Some mild oxidation gives sherry notes to the sweet finish. Any rough edges have been sanded by time. This is one giant progressing flavor experience, not separate little bits here or there. On second thought, impressive is weak - this is fantastic!

The mouthfeel knocks me back down to Earth a bit from the high of the flavor. The beer is medium bodied but could have just a bit more heft. The carbonation is just a touch high as well. I'm in love with Kuhnhenn's BA Barleywine and, sure, it's a 15% but has just a certain feel I wish was present here - slick and syrupy but not still and slimey. But the hint of booze at the end is held in check and this finishes well.

Overall, there's not much to say other than this is a worthy beer. I'm not sure it's worth the huge auction prices or trading half a cellar, as there are a few (MOAS/TPS and Kuhnhenn BA BW) that are more easily obtained and just as good. But I highly encourage everyone to find someone as cool as Paul to share a bottle with you! Thanks again for the chance to try a brew I never thought I'd cross paths with!

jampics2, May 17, 2011
Photo of ktrillionaire
4.75/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured up by the awesomeness that is Bryan Shimkos at pre-DLD festivites.

A - It pours a sappy maple-amber hue, and is capped with a polite film of wispy tan micro-froth.

S - Excellent nose; I immediately think of the candy confection called 'turtles'. Notes of toffee, caramel, buttery oak, hazelnut-chocolate and vanilla are astonishingly integrated.

T - My biggest impression is that of mild surprise: despite the candy-like elements of the nose, the flavor is not terribly sweet, given the style. It is more like a collection of sweet-type flavors, expressed with unusual reserve. The relative dryness afforded by the wood makes for sublime and delectable complexity. In addition to the continuation of 'turtle' notes found in the aroma, there is an added impression of maple syrup, and freshly charred wood barrel which seems distinctly apparent.

M - The feel is silky-smooth and softly carbonated, and is quite nice. But it still can't hang with a good JW Lees.

O - Fantastic beer, justifiably esteemed.

ktrillionaire, May 06, 2011
Photo of Lunch
4.55/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Matt (Huhzubendah) happened upon this bottle and figured that we might as well give it a try. Shared generously by Matt at a recent tasting at his manor amongst a fine goddamn group of freaks and noblemen.

Well...goddamn...I never thought that I would get a chance to try this beer as I had written it off long ago. I honestly did not go into this tasting thinking that this would live up to the hype that rarity tends to create. Luckily this guy was very wrong.

As I poured the beer into my Cigar City snifter, I was greeted with a rich aroma of bourbon and some sweet caramel malt. The beer was a beautiful dark caramel with some golden hues. More head than I expected (this is always a good thing...am I right or am I right?). The nose also showed notes of toffee and wood and was very rich and extremely complex.

The taste was certainly wonderful and there was not a hint of oxidation which was also a surprise. Alcohol was certainly minimal and never impeded the flavor or drinkability. Shit is nice as the kids say. Loads of malts with rich layers of caramel, toffee, oak, vanilla and wood. Bourbon and a candied sugar surrounds the flavors.

A very full bodied adult beverage that is slightly syrupy and sticky with a perfect carbonation. This was a great experience and about goddamn time that Huhzubendah brought something tasty to a tasting (just kidding...but not really)

Thanks again Matt for sharing this rare treat at one of his epic (I don't legitimately use this term) tastings and I must say that I'm still a little hard.

Lunch, Mar 22, 2011
Photo of drabmuh
4.58/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Whoa, bottle opened by Huhzubendah at his place this weekend with some other fine beers. Poured into a wine glass.

There are some beers that you don't think you are going to ever sample or get, and then through some unknown mechanism of karma or generosity or both you find yourself holding a glass of Wooden Hell with a few other guys. It was an awesome experience and great night overall. Also, WH is the best barleywine I've ever had.

Beer is pretty dark brown, mostly clear with a thin off white head of small bubbles, not much retention but it leaves some lacing behind.

Aroma is very impressive. Sweet, sugar, caramel followed by some liquor / bourbon aromas. Some oakiness and mild vanilla. Very inviting aroma.

Beer is medium bodied, not very carbonated on the palate, overall the lead off is this nice candied flavor that fills the palate and balances the beer well with the mild bitterness at the finish. The early midpalate is a liquory / bourbon flavor that fills out the beer without making it boozy, really drinkable. Very balanced, very great. Even my wife liked it when she took a sip and she doesn't like barleywines at all.

drabmuh, Mar 21, 2011
Photo of mdfb79
4.95/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

From 03/19/11 notes. HUGE thanks to Huhzubendah for sharing this one; thanks Matthew, never thought I'd get to try this one! Served in a tulip.

a - Pours a somewhat clear medium-brown color with one inch of off white head and very light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of caramel malts, bourbon, oak, vanilla, and some sweet molasses or sugar. Light oxidation evident but doesn't take anything away from the smell. Absolutely amazing smell.

t - Tastes of vanilla, caramel malts, oak, bourbon, tofee, and syrup/molasses to sweeten the taste a little bit. Again, the taste is amazing and perfect for a barleywine.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. The body is super smooth and creamy, and no real hotness from the bourbno at all. Felt like I could have drank a whole bottle by myself, and would want to.

d - I was a little afraid that this one wouldn't live up to the hype, but it really did. I enjoy barleywines quite a bit and love MoaS, and this one was much better in my opinion; it's one of the best beers I've ever had. The smell and taste were such a great combination of caramel, vanilla, and bourbon, and the mouthfeel was perfect. Very glad I got to try this one.

mdfb79, Mar 21, 2011
Photo of Thorpe429
4.63/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A ginormous amount of thanks to Huhzubendah for sharing this bottle. Served in a Bruery tulip.

The pours yields a moderately-dark brown elixir that borders on copper and seems to shine. There is a nice half-finger head that forms after the pour, sticking around for a bit of time. A few slight rings of lacing stick to the glass as it goes down. The nose is absolutely phenomenal. Just wow. It starts off with a strong showing of caramelized sugar and is then followed up by very, very smooth notes of bourbon and the accompanying oak and light vanilla. Slide notes of oxidation carry over well and fit right in.

Flavor is ridiculously good. The strong notes of caramel and brown sugar push to the front and meld beautifully with bourbon undertones. Really quite smooth. A bit of sweetness fades into very light amounts of alcohol alongside fine bourbon. Very mild oak presence pairs with a decent amount of vanilla. The mouthfeel really makes this beer. It's uber-smooth with just a touch of alcohol warmth. Age has treated this beer really, really well.

This was an incredible experience, and huge thanks go out to Matt for sharing this with us. This was perhaps the best barleywine that I've ever had, and I was supremely happy to share it amongst a fine group of friends. Cheers.

Thorpe429, Mar 20, 2011
Photo of Huhzubendah
4.85/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A huge thank you to David for hooking me up with this rare gem. I shared with this with a few good buddies yesterday.

Served in my Cantillon tulip.

The beer appears dark brown and mildly hazy. Crimson and sunburst highlights are evident as the light peaks through the liquid. It's slightly hazy but certainly not opaque, as one can see through the body to some degree. The head measures approximately a quarter inch and leaves some good lacing on the glass.

The aroma is fabulous, with scents of sugary caramels and candies, vanilla, oak, malt, and bourbon.

The flavor is exceptional. Vanilla and oak meld beautifully with a light bourbon note. Sugary sweet caramel tones are amazingly tasty. This is one of the only barleywines I have ever had that has a prominent sweetness about it, yet would never become cloying. Brown sugar and malt flavors are supremely enjoyable.

Wooden Hell really shines in the feel department. Ridiculously smooth, this beer goes down effortlessly. Alcohol content is an afterthought. The aging process could only have assisted what I'm certain was an already terrific beer.

Overall, the best barrel-aged barleywine I have ever had and one of the best beers I have had the pleasure to taste.

Huhzubendah, Mar 20, 2011
Photo of Arbitrator
4.43/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chilled bottle into a glass. Generously shared by nerd to celebrate my, uh, nerdy accomplishment. Thanks, Mike.

A: Pours a hazy, dark chestnut body that is essentially opaque in my glass, though it appears clearer in smaller quantities. It's capped by a beige head, 1 finger in height, with decent retention. No lace, and there's only a small bead on the beer when all is said and done.

S: A well-integrated nose of vanilla, bourbon, caramel, and brown sugar. There's a small element of oak, along with something spicy that the three of us feel is similar to Coca-Cola. I suggested cardamom, which isn't quite there; Ted suggested ginger, which isn't it either. Intriguing for sure.

T: While the initial blast is a melange of sweet flavors, ranging from caramel to brown sugar and maple, the taste eventually becomes defined by vanilla and bourbon. The odd thing is that it's not imbalanced in that direction. It's nicely contrasted by a small hop bitterness, which becomes more apparent in the aftertaste, coupled with the small spice (cardamom? ginger?) that we picked up in the nose. The overall effect is reminiscent of honey (somewhere, alfrantzell recaps a Black Xantus). Small, sherry-like notes of oxidation. I see why Mike is in love with this beer.

M: It's quite smooth. The carbonation supports the body just right. While it showcases a number of sweet flavors, it carries enough contrasting bitterness to buoy the experience.

D: I don't give rare beers high scores willy-nilly, but I think this earns it. I like it substantially more than Central Waters Bourbon Barrel Barleywine and Pelican Mother of All Storms. It's not worth destroying the cellar for, but it's a well-crafted beer that shows what well-integrated barrel flavors can do to an English barleywine.

Arbitrator, Mar 08, 2011
Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.35/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to a ton of people who traded with me for this one. I consider myself very lucky to be able to open and share one of these and still have another to cellar if I wish. 4oz. pour from a 22oz. waxed and capped bomber into a brandy snifter. Shared at a tasting on 2/19/11. Reviewed from notes.

A: Standard pour yields an clear, amber colored brew with no head and no lacing. Nice legs though. A bit dissapointing but considering the age and style, not unexpected.

S: Very subtle overall. Sweet brown sugar, molasses, caramel, and some toffee notes. Slight bit of booziness here and there that sprinkle the other flavors rather than masking them. Not the most aromatic but very enticing and appropriate.

T: Opens very subtle brown sugar, caramel, and molasses that comes in step by step. Incredible balance and each and every flavor that surfaces complements the whole experience perfectly. Honey with a subtle, amber-maple, sappy hop bitterness towards the end. Brown sugar and toffee notes at the finish with a slightly accented tickle of booze. Aftertaste is sweet but very quickly gone.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Oily and slick in the mouth with a slight tickle of booze and bubbles going down. Heat is present but it's complementary the whole way and never overwhelming. Slightly spicy finish with a clean, almost evaporating aftertaste. Very nicely done.

D: Is this beer worth the hype? Yes. Absolutely, one of, if not the most subtle and balanced barrel-aged beers I've had to date. Having said that, is this the best english barleywine I've ever had? Probably not... with The Perfect Storm edging it out slightly. Still though, if you're lucky enough to come across this, you're in for a real treat. An astoundingly well crafted beer.

SpeedwayJim, Feb 20, 2011
Photo of callmemickey
4.7/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed January 2011.

A: Dark chestnut brown body, Thin khaki skim. Light soapy lacing.

S: Rich malts with a pleasant underlying sweetness. Brown sugar, caramel, toffee, hints of sherry, booze, bourbon, and vanilla. Quite the complexity with subtle interplay between the aromas.

T: Absolutely wonderful... I get quite a bit of brown sugar and caramel up front with a restrained faint bourbon, oak and vanilla. Nice maltiness that delivers a boat load of flavor without overwhelming the palate.

M: Smooth, medium-full bodied. Sweet, but not cloying finish with a hint of bitterness.

D: One of the best barrel aged barleywines out there... easily.

EDIT: I've had a few pours from bottles since my official review. They have been showing some signs of oxidation.

callmemickey, Feb 13, 2011
Photo of GRG1313
4.33/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

While I have over 3,500 personal reviews, this is my 500th review on Beer Advocate. Figured I'd make it a "special" review.

Thus, thanks to Jer for sharing this one at our Whale tasting at his housewarming party. I'm going to do this review like I've never done...I hope no one is offended.

"Wooden Hell" - take the best bottle of whiskey you've got, maybe a big 23 year old Pappy's. Mix in a gang full of rich molasses, fresh brown sugar, thick rich carmel, bitter and sweet toffee, big dark chocolate, perhaps a bit of fruity scotch, some rich roasted coffee and then just reduce the hell out of it. The sweet, malty, rich, thick, wonderful extract that's left?...that's Wooden Hell. Wow.

GRG1313, Feb 05, 2011
Photo of Jmoore50
4.47/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Finally acquired this one through a great trade. A thank you has to go out to this trade, you know who you are. One of the beers that I have been wanting to try since joining BA.

The beer pours out a cloudy, murky, hazy brown color into my tulip glass. It still has a great level of carbonation and produces a khaki tan head that sticks around for a minute or two. No lacing but alcoholic legs coat my glass once I start working through it.

One of the best smelling beers I have had of late. Sweet notes of caramel, lots of vanilla, toffee, and sweet bourbon barrel. A also noticed a bit of raisins and plumbs in the smell, delicious.

Well it is a very good beer. Burnt caramel, vanilla bean, chewy toffee, honey, and a nice bourbon booze. I could pick up some dark fruit and molasses, all really sweet. The grain bill has turned into a great aged barleywine, and with the barrel producing some great vanilla and bourbon flavors this thing is delightful.

A nice creamy mouthfeel that still owns a great carbonation. It is not overly sweet, and once a taste has been taken the bourbon brings an enjoyable heat to the table.

A thick beer with loads of flavor make this one a sipper. It opens up a bit once it sits out for a while, bringing out some of the more subtle fruit and barrel flavors.

Now, with all of this said I do have some opinions on this beer. I think it is at it's peak right now because after tasting it I couldn't notice anything specific that would benefit from aging. It is not overly hot, the barrel is integrated perfectly into the beer as a whole. Still has a great carbonation that, if lost, would hurt the beer exponentially.
I have had a better barrel aged barelywine, and it was in my hometown. Great Basin Brewery made an Old Fitz Barleywine earlier in 2010 that was a few notches better than this. Lower bottle counts and national acclaim from the GABF push this beer to new heights.

I am so glad that I got to try this once allusive beer.

Jmoore50, Jan 17, 2011
Photo of womencantsail
4.33/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Jer for sharing this one. So glad to finally have tried it.

A: The pour is a dark amber, almost chestnut, color with a thin tan head.

S: Pretty much what I was expecting/hoping for in the nose. Lots of vanilla and bourbon along with brown sugar and dark fruits. A slight oak not, but there's some nice chocolate oxidation taking place.

T: Quite sweet with lots of caramel, brown sugar, and toffee. Plenty of bourbon and vanilla are present as well. I get some wood and dark fruit here, along with a bit of warming alcohol.

M: The body is medium with a low to medium carbonation that is quite smooth on the tongue.

D: This was surprisingly easy to drink, but I guess that's part of what makes it so good. You can pick up the oxidation, but it's not to the point of detriment at this point.

womencantsail, Jan 13, 2011
Photo of Overlord
4.18/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to Jerz for hosting an awesome tasting (and for opening this!) and for so many generous beer connoisseurs who made the event possible.

Pours a translucent-along-the-edges mahogany brown. Glows amber orange along the top. Almost no head, just an off-white crust. Very attractive beer.

Smells like supple bourbon, vanilla, brown sugar notes. A hint of woodsy sherry-ness. Hmm. Very nice aroma.

The taste is a large brown sugary vanilla bourbon oak presence, but it's a bit oxidized. Some really prevalent sherry notes in there. As I sip my 2.3 oz., the brown sugar becomes more and more noticeably, and a bit of earthy nuttiness shines through. A sticky, thick beer without much carbonation.

Really happy to have had a chance to try this. If I could have only checked off "M," my personal "get" list would have been nearly complete.

Overlord, Jan 11, 2011
Photo of JAXSON
4.93/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This review will probably read like a book, but this is one of the few beers I've had that merits such description.

Bottle, summer 2009:
22oz bottle, thanks Bryan! Nose is super malty, with a plethora of raisins and some dark chocolate. Bold, rich flavor really dominated by that malty raisin character. A nice, stoic presence. Creamy and full in the mouth. Approaches a slightly-aged Hardy's Ale in it's sweet malty character. Reminds me the most of Bullfrog Oak Aged Old Toad. Paired with some pineapple, the sweetness is allayed. Bourbon comes through in the finish, and more so as it warms. Nice and really bold, but not as lush and balanced as I had hoped. -- 4.0

Bottle, July 2010:
Pour is medium chestnut, somewhat red around the edges. head settles to a nice beige ring with spotty lacing. Nose is big and pungent. First impression is of heavy malts and bourbon. A nice tobacco, aged leather quality really shines. Of course dark fruits like figs and raisins. Flavor is initially quite sweet, but the sugars are tempered by the oak and bourbon. A bit short and spicy in the finish. Really complex and enjoyable flavor profile. My main knock on this right now is that the body is a tad thin, which keeps the flavors from carrying through as they might. So many things going on -- the heavy malt, bourbon, spicy oak, dark fruits, and tobacco. Impressive English style barleywine here, made so complex through the barrel aging. I think it's a bit better than it was last summer. -- 4.4

Bottle, November 2010:
Pours clear dark red with a small head. Large, sticky malt, base beer really comes through compared to the Brandy and Bourbon Old Stock which were sampled right before this. Light and vibrant yet large and full. Sweet lighter fruits, almost a red apple sweetness. Baked goods and a vinous kiss of plum. So much more nuance than even the best bourbon barrel barley wines I've sampled, some right beside this. Huge body, sweet, endlessly complex. As it opens more a touch of maple syrup and a bit of pine sap come out.

Having tried it next to a bunch of other barrel aged barley wines and old ales made it clear how good this is. It didn't just assume the character of the barrel and become washed out like so many do, even good ones (Old Stock Reserves). It was somewhat in the American style as that pine sap and maple became more distinct. The sweet apple quality was incredible and like nothing I've had in a barley wine before. Some people have compared this to Perfect Storm and it might merit consideration, but having them back to back, this just destroyed it. I'm not trying to "suck off" this beer so much but it really was one of the top 3-4 bottles I've ever had and it seems to keep improving with time.

JAXSON, Dec 09, 2010
Wooden Hell from Flossmoor Station Restaurant & Brewery
100 out of 100 based on 147 ratings.