Gratitude | East End Brewing Company

242 Reviews
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Brewed by:
East End Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
A limited edition Barleywine Style Ale, brewed in November in the American tradition and hand packaged to specially commemorate the anniversary of the brewery each year.

Gratitude Wax Colors:

2005-Red Wax
2006-Orange Wax
2007-Yellow Wax
2008-Green Wax
2009-Blue Wax
2010-Indigo Wax
2011-no wax, blank cap (Flatitude)
2012-no wax, "12" on cap (Flatitude)
2013-Violet Wax
2014 - red wax, label made to look like paper

Added by beergeek279 on 12-23-2005

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Reviews: 242 | Ratings: 636
Photo of charlesw
2.35/5  rDev -45.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Light hazy orange color. Really thick - you can tell by just looking at it and seeing how slowly the bubbles rise. Tiny head. Beautiful bottle! They must have used too much of the wrong kind of wax on the cap - it was really difficult to get it off.
Smells like English barleywine - sweet prunes and alcohol. Tastes kind of like English barleywine only WHOA that aftertaste is just wrong. Spicy bubblegum. It's like they used T-58 to brew this. Bleh. No hops detected. Wet cardboard in there, too. Whoa.
Too thick, sweet, undercarbonated.

Suggestions if trying to make it American: mash a degree or two lower, use a different yeast, add a little color, pay more attention to splashing after fermentation, balance the sweetness with a lot of bitterness.
If trying to make it English: use a different yeast, pay more attention to splashing, add in small amounts of other grains to increase the complexity.

But, hey, the bottle, man, beautiful!

Edit: 2006 edition sampled end 2008. Who would have imagined that barleywines weren't meant to be aged?

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Photo of Crosling
2.55/5  rDev -40.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Burgundy colored beer with a super thick, densely creamy head that lasts really well. Some nice elements in the nose (a touch of smoke, apple, grapefruit,) but it's mostly very unpleasant, shows a lot of oxidation, dullness and even a light manure note. Flavor is very dull and oxidized, with cardboard notes and a light note of manure. Has a pleasant caramel-like sweetness with some fruit notes. Not crazy about aged American barley wines as I think they tend to oxidize too quickly and this is another example that validates my opinion. Not enjoyable, basically a drainpour.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.03/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle at PPRBSG09. What a pretty bottle!! Pours a murky light brown with a tan head. Aroma of lots of sweet caramel malt. Flavor of sweet, sticky malt and butterscotch. Too heavy and sticky for me, ugh. Unfortunately, looks are deceiving in this case...

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Photo of m1ked
3.17/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

At the Brazenhead 20th ann cask fest..

A- Pours a nearly flat looking garnet mahogany brown. There is a ring of large bubbles that are popping and quickly disappearing. Looks unimpressive at best. let's hope for more on the rest.

S- man this is not going well, I get a light touch of madera, cherry sweetness. but that is me swirling and getting my nose 2mm from the beer and inhaling long and steady...i mean I am really trying here.

T- OK we got something here, some rich sherry & faint cherry, caramel sweetness, with a close tannic bitterness bite....with a lingering chewy sweetness.

M- I am afraid that this cask has been tapped for a while, as there is 0 carb going on. Otherwise a medium-full bodied beer with some lingering chewiness.

D- I feel as this is a poor example of this beer as I had the opportunity to have a battle of this brew w/ DoggNate back in the day...the only reason I remember is the paperwrapped bottle... luckily I remember enjoying it much more then...despite my harsh ratings...this is a good beer... just not here & today.

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Photo of oline73
3.23/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had this on-tap at Capone's during the Black Friday event. Poured into a snifter. This was the 2009 vintage.

Appearance: Pours a murky reddish brown with no head.

Smell: Very sweet with some caramel and dark fruit notes. There is a mild unpleasant smell that reminds me of sweat.

Taste: Very sweet with lots of caramel flavor and some dark fruit. There is some warm alcohol, but it is quite smooth. The sweat from the smell doesn't show up at all.

Mouthfeel: The body is quite thick. There is no carbonation and the finish is a bit chalky.

Overall: I was pretty underwhelmed by this one. It is a good beer, but It didn't live up to the hype for me. The smell was a bit weird.

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Photo of tr4nc3d
3.5/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2009 blue wax vintage

Poured this into my snifter

The appearance was that of an amber color with a tan one and a half inch head. Great head retention that leaves a small island in the middle and scattered lacing.

Aroma consist of all malts here with the likes of caramel, brown sugar, toffee, cedar, plums, dates, oak, vanilla, cherries, raisins and baked brown bread.

The taste starts off with a slightly tart acidic sweet taste with the likes of candi sugar and caramel. Following is a dark fruit taste with cherries, dates and plums and finishes with toffee and a dose of hop bitterness.

Medium bodied with average carbonation. Sweet aftertaste lingers in your mouth for quite a while.

Overall I thought this beer was a little too much on the tart sweet side and I have tasted better barleywines.

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Photo of ptykozoon
3.58/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

First off, badass packaging. Unique and interesting, this beer looks well loved.
Looks like a burnt toffee orange, almost red. Bubbles peppered around with good lacing, not much head.

Orange, subdued hops. Not too strong.

Grapefruity hops, hints of caramel.

Light and crisp mouthfeel. 11.5 is a surprise. Sticky finish

Good barleywine. Nothing outstanding, i'll age one and see what happens.

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Photo of thagr81us
3.62/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks goes out to JackTheBear for sharing this one during the One Year Anniversary of My Wreck Tasting! 2010 Vintage! Served from bottle into a Crooked Stave ‘Crooked Line’ tulip. Poured a hazy red-orange with a half finger off-white head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. There was no lacing evident throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, caramel, caramel hop, and earth. The flavor was of sweet malt, caramel, caramel hop, earth, and wood. It had a light feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a pretty decent brew. Nothing with the exception of the aroma really stood out to me on this one. While the aroma wasn’t really complex at all it was still fairly well balanced and inviting. I just wish the flavor would have followed suit much closer. The flavor wasn’t bad by any means, but it definitely wasn’t one of the best from the style that I’ve had. Worth trying if you get the chance, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to do so.

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Photo of kbutler1
3.62/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle. From the most recent batch and sampled blindly along with 7 other barley wines. Poured into a sample glass a slighlty murky amber orange color with zero head, and by zero head I mean this thing was flat as a pancake. The nose is unlike any of the others we had in this sampling as it had more pronounced raisan, dark fruit, and banana characteristics in the aroma than any other. Some spice as well. At first I didn't know what to think as flavors of dark fruit, banana, spice, and slightly warming booze hit my palate. After a while, I find myself rather enjoying this and wonder how much better it would be if it had some carbonation. Medium mouthfeel. Some lingering bitterness and finishes a little dry.

This is one I will have to re-visit again though and give another chance to see if our bottle was just under carbed.

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Photo of jegross2
3.65/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewing Gratitude from East End Brewing Company out of Pennsylvania.
Score: 86

Blue wax (2009) vintage bottle served in a snifter and enjoyed on 08/13/12.

Appearance: Pours a murky dark brown, slightly orange color. The center is mostly brown and the outer edges are an orange caramel color. I cannot see through the beer, but I can see the shadow of my hand on the other side of the glass. There is a thin layer tan of head off the pour. Below average, oily lacing with decent retention. Nothing pretty, but nothing ugly. 3.5/5

Smell: Fruity caramel, oak, vanilla, raisin bread, and sweet malt. No booziness whatsoever. Very nice. 4/5

Taste: The taste is almost entirely dominated by a fruity malt flavor with a sweet caramel backbone. Super malty with a little bit of vanilla on the midpalate that disappears by the finish. There is a little brown sugar flavor too. The maltiness is kind of "musty," and the fruitiness is very prominent throughout. 3.5/5

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, low carbonation. Olive oil-like mouthfeel and very malty. 3.5/5

Overall: I remember this being better when I drank an indigo wax (2010) version at Dark Lord Day this year, so maybe, being an American barleywine, the 2009 blue wax vintage is
at an awkward phase in its life where hops are entirely gone but the beer's barleywine qualities have not yet matured into their complexities. From my experiences with Behemoth, I am guessing this beer is better fresh (or, more accurately, that I would enjoy it better fresh). The 2009 version I drank was not worth $25.

Recommendation: Hop heads should seek out younger vintages, while barleywine nuts should seek out older ones or keep aging their blue wax 2009 vintage bottles.

Pairings: Raisin bread.

Cost: $25 for a 750 ml bottle.

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Photo of kscaldef
3.66/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2009 vintage, split into tulips

A: Attractive garnet body with a dense one-finger head. Decent retention receding to a thick layer of foam.

S: Rich plum, fig & brown sugar. Slight metallic and overripe/rotting vegetable notes.

T: Bready / cakey malt structure with lots of raisin and prune. Sweet; a real dessert beer sipper. Once my tongue adjusts to the sweetness, some burnt toffee is also detected and occasional metallic flavors.

M: Thick and viscous. Low carbonation.

O: Interesting and unique barleywine, but drinkability is hurt a bit by the sweetness and heavy body. Wows initially, but over the course of an hour sipping the beer, there's plenty of time to pick up on flaws which are masked in the first impressions.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.68/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2010 - Blue Wax

Pours a hazy amber to orange-ish color with a small off white head. In the aroma, dark fruit and a hint of licorice. In the taste, dark fruit, licorice, and a small caramel like presence. A smooth and medium to lighter bodied mouthfeel, with a semi dry plum and caramel like aftertaste. Hides the alcohol with big dark fruit, with a nice caramel like stickiness.

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Photo of paco1029384756
3.68/5  rDev -14%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 bottle.

Pours a turbid brown color with a few bubbles that could hardly be considered a head.

Scent of strong caramel, faint grassy hops, sweet fruit, and a hint of chocolate. Smells more like an English Barleywine than an American one, but it is still pleasant.

Taste of caramel, faint, but sharp hops, a hint of dry oak and some alcohol in the finish. I was expecting much more from this, which is probably why I find this a bit disappointing.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and oily with a small bite of carbonation.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.7/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a medium amber color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of toffee and caramel malt with sweet malt base is enjoyable enough for style. Taste is also dominated by medium sweet toffee notes with some caramel malt and a sweet finish. Body was about average for style with good carbonation with no apparent alcohol. I must admit that while this beer was satisfying it was definitely below my expectation - no dry fruit or interesting ester.

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Photo of nhindian
3.7/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle poured into a large snifter. Popped open in celebration of my graduation from Penn State on this day!

2010 vintage (Indigo wax), bottle #93/1500.

A - Pours a muddy mix between dark orange and brown, hazy with almost no visibility. A 1-finger, light tan head accumulates after a slow build-up, without much carbonation activity. It looks a bit still. Not a whole lot of lacing either; rather, thick bubbles slowly slide down the glass mixed with some alcohol legs.

S - The first thing I noticed about the nose is that it is pretty highly hopped for the style. It starts off pretty sweet, full of caramel, but abruptly shifts focus to hops. Orange peel and pine are the main notes I'm getting here, and it also has some slight hop spice to it as well. A little bit of alcohol rounds out the aroma at the end.

T - The taste is interesting due to the near excessive amount of hops in this. After my first sip, this almost comes across as an extreme East Coast (D)IPA that has a ton of hops but is also balanced with a supportive malt backbone. As the nose would suggest, it starts off fairly sweet, bringing the familiar toffee and caramel, but there's also a dark fruit component such as grapes that wasn't so apparent in the aroma. The hop spice is also more prominent, giving off a rather spicy, dry bite at the back end. The oranges and citrus are the main hop components here, as well as pine resin. The alcohol returns here, coming off as slightly solvent.

M - Mouthfeel is moderately heavy-bodied with low carbonation. This definitely ranks up there with one of the stillest barleywines I've had, and mixed with the bold flavors and above-average body, makes it a little bit syrupy despite the dry finish. I would've liked to see a little more carbonation out of this, as it's only a few shades away from flat the way it is now.

D/O - Drinkability is moderate. Honestly, I was a little bit let down by this bottle. After reading other reviews of various vintages, it seems that this is the most aggressively hopped version, so I'm hoping some time in the cellar will tame the hops and smooth out the alcohol on this. It's still fairly young for a barleywine of this magnitude, so I will be holding onto a few bottles of this to crack later. But if you have any of the 2010 laying around, I would recommend sitting on them for a few months at the least.

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Photo of Wetpaperbag
3.7/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Orange Wax

A- Caramel amber color with a thin layer of head. Nice lacing that clung like spider webs all over the glass.

S- Lots of complexity going on, caramel maltyness, toffee, molasses and dark fruits such as dates and figs.

T- I was a bit let down by this. It was good don't get me wrong, but I think I over hyped it for myself. There was nice honey flavor, combined with a brown sugar and molasses flavor. But it was a bit too sweet for me. I also felt that it was trying to be a hoppy barleywine but at the same time was trying to be an english styled barleywine and couldn't make up its mind.

M- Good mouthfeel, solid for the style with light carbination that helps the beer along.

D- Was fairly easy to drink, but the sweetness was too much for my tastes.

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Photo of Overlord
3.7/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Shuggy!

Pours a ruddy, kind of unfiltered looking brown. Small tan head that quickly vanishes.

Smells ... sweet. There's some brown sugar, some candied fruits, maybe some dates ... and caramel with sugar.

The flavor is uber-sweet. Whoa. This is an American Barleywine? Very little hop content, and what there is, is more on the sweet citrus side than anything else. Brown sugar, candied fruits, just plain ol' dark fruits, almost a sort of oxidized (should a beer this young be oxidized?) rum, sugarized caramel, a hint of pancake batter with syrup ... it is sugary.

Syrupy mouthfeel.

Not too sure what I thought of it, actually. It is so sweet and complexit almost makes me think of a Belgian quad moreso than a barleywine, though maybe it's just the lingering effects of the sugar talking. Took a good few hours of zombie killing in Left 4 Dead to work through the bottle. The oxidation and hints of wet cardboard were a bit offputting.

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Photo of crookedhalo
3.73/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Well, I purchased this bottle less than a week ago. It was delivered to the seller chilled, then stored chilled, and after purchase kept chilled. So, after the storms today, I returned home after work to discover that the power had been out for about an hour. I phoned the power company and the computerized lady voice told me that power might not be restored until tomorrow. I decided to eat almost everything in the fridge and to reluctantly tackle this brew instead of lettiing it it warm and cool again.

It poured up a nice medium copper with really creamy tan colored head that provided a lot of stickage. Aromas included a hefty dosage of Maris Otter or some 2-row, plum skins, faint mineral notes and tropical fruits like kiwi and papaya, and a decent hopping level. Tasting revealed a pleasant scorched malt taste with a light smoky feel to it. Some esters of peach and bubblegum mixed ito the malt sweetness. Some significant fusel acohols going on, Finish is lightly bitter and astringent. The only drawback is the off-presence of a slight medicinal, burnt rubber sort of taste, kind of plastic-like. Mouthfeel was really good, thick without being syrupy, and the carbonation was spot-on with a subtle presence. Overall, a pretty nice barleywine that I wish I could have sat on for a while longer.

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Photo of ffejherb
3.78/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On cask at Zeno's on 4/5/08.

A - Ruby colored body with some amber tones and 1/2-finger of bubbly, eggshell head.

S - Extremely malty nose with hints of citrus fruit, cane sugar, alcohol and soy sauce.

T - Interesting mix of sweet cotton candy, alcohol, burnt bready malt, juicy citrus fruits and even some dark "pit" fruits. Extremely complex flavor.

M - Medium body with smooth, creamy texture, perhaps a bit watery. Mild alcohol burn.

D - This is a sipper for sure. Very complex brew with a mild sweetness that doesn't detract from the overall drinkability.

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Photo of SpdKilz
3.82/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A big thanks to Nikki (sirotan) and Carly for busting this out last weekend. Cheers! 2010 Indigo Wax vintage.

Appearance – Pours a still murky brown color reminiscent of unfiltered apple cider you can buy in the fall. Zero head to speak of – just a bit of small bubbles come up. The beer appears to be flat...

Smell – The aroma is actually similar to cider as well. Apples, caramel and toffee, vanilla, and a musty earthy aroma.

Taste – Spot on to the aroma. Citrus consisting of orange and apple, lots of melted caramel flavors. The vanilla and barnyard must finish up the sip. Not much else here...

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied, creamy, very low carbonation.

Overall – Not what I was expecting to be blunt. An interesting barleywine with no alcohol heat or flavors to speak of. Oddly I wanted to warm it up a bit like cider, haha. Wish it had some more carbonation. Have another 2010 in the cellar I’ll sit on for a few years to see how it changes.

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Photo of bamadog
3.83/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this in a trade what feels like forever ago. I've been sitting on this for almost 3 years, can't wait anymore! Review is from notes taken on 9/7/2012 and poured from the bottle (2009 vintage, bottle number 1029/1500) to a snifter.

Appearance: Pour is a murky, caramel brown/mahogany; starts with a pretty impressive full finger, very light tan/off-white head with decent retention; fades to a thin, full cap and thick ring around the surface; body is very murky as already mentioned, not opaque, but you can't see anything through it; nice, pretty swaths of lacing are left sliding down the glass in, quite frankly, pretty cool patterns. Very pretty.

Smell: Smell is delicious -- makes my mouth water just sniffing it; lots of deep and rich malts that have a touch butterscotch/caramel to them; some flavorful hoppiness blooming in the back, slight citric presence to them, perhaps even floral.

Taste: Interesting, kind of musty, actually; I feel like it may be past its prime, but it's still good; while the hops are present in the nose, they're faded, a little thin and papery in the mouth; malts are very sweet, almost a little sickly sweet sweet, and syrupy. Again, it's good, and even though I believe beyond its best, it's still better than 90% of the otherAmerican Barleywines out there. Slight touch of alcohol lingers with the swirling sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Body is smooth, syrupy and oily slick; carbonation doesn't have much going on for in the body of thicker malts, so it comes across a touch flat, but not entirely so.

Overall: I'm kicking myself for playing the waiting game a little too long -- I have to wonder if even a few months may have made a significant difference in the overall quality. Definitely still a great beer, and it's got a heavier body with a big ABV, so it's not something any one is going to plow through. It won't be easy, but I'll find it within myself to drink the whole thing down.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.85/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On Tap for Capone's annual black friday event, which is always a doozy, but the outcome is worth it's weight in gold. Gold, Jerry, Gold!

Gratitude comes to me looking confrused because there is no head up above to protect the lucious liquid in the glass. There is a swirl of foam here and there but nothing that I can call a cap, or even a sparse cap, no lacing obviously. Smell is a bunch of fruit dipped in caramel. Apricots are up front with some plum, fig, and yes some alcohol. This is the 09' vintage by the way. Taste is superb but this loses something off the tap. A big malting causes for a big display of caramel. I did not pick up the werthers quality that I found in the bottle. Sweet caramel sided with apricot, plum, slight apple and cherry, figs, fruits, you know what it is. Yes, the alcohol pokes it's ugly head out but it does not distract from the beer, I think it boosts it's flavor profile some. The feel seems a bit thinner than out of the bottle, it's a big medium feel that is slick and leaves some fruit and alc. on the tounge afterwards. Carb is there but seems tame. All in all, I prefer my gratitude out the bottle, but it's no slouch off the tap as well. I drank my glass with ease. Thanks Matt and Bill for making this happen.

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Photo of mothman
3.85/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

09 Blue Wax

Pours 1/2 figner of beige head. Good retention with some lace rings. Color is a burnt amber copper.

Aroma: Rich and malty with notes of caramel and toffee. Dried fruits. Kind of sweet.

Taste: Mich like the nose except more sweet and flavorful. Lots of dark dried fruits. Raisins and plums stick out a lot. Very malty as well. Bready, caramel, and toffee.

Mouthfeel: Sweet and smooth. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends a little dry.

Overall, a decent barleywine, but nothing crazy. I expected a little more after seeing all the high scores. Still enjoyable, however.

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Photo of zdk9
3.87/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Caramel colored, slight head. Stirs of lacing.

S- Nice strawberry, sweet orange. Caramel.

T- More caramel in the taste than the smell. Just a hint of citric acid.

M- Sweetness sticking to my mouth.

D- This is a good beer, but I can't say it really sticks to my tastes, but it's good. Kind of a butterscotch beer.

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Photo of alpinebryant
3.87/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Review 400! '10 bottle poured into Bruery Tulip

No hiss when opening the bottle, pours a still caramel color with a tiny white head / dusting.

Smell of pear, caramel, fresh almonds and a nice dosing of cascade / citrus hops. Strong dosing of two row malt, some belgian yeast aroma.

Taste of a very sweet barleywine. There is a lot of cotton candy, sweet dark fruit in the form of plum, and roasted caramel. Hop presence is pretty strong. Plenty of citrus and floral aromas mixed in with the strong malt backbone. Slight nail polish flavor to it, it could use some time to mellow out and lower the booze flavor.

This is a very good barleywine. It is always tough to live up to the hype but this is not overhopped for a one year old barleywine and is pretty well rounded and smooth. Medium mouthfeel and absolutely no carbonation. The carbonation that is there simply keeps it from tasting stale.

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Gratitude from East End Brewing Company
4.28 out of 5 based on 636 ratings.
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