Gratitude | East End Brewing Company

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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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 640 |  Reviews: 243
Photo of MrVonzipper
4.06/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to DarthKostrizer for this bottleshare. 2010 bottle number 1410of1500
Deep caramel color. Surprisingly no carbonation/head. For a year old beer that's odd. Poorly conditioned?

Smells is fantastic. Rich sweet caramel.  Touch of orange zest. Candy. Screams orange caramel candy. Love this. 

Flavor is very nice and pleasant but not as spectacular as anticipated. Nice caramel apple like flavor along other rich fruit, but not the deep and dark fruit like most barleywines. Nice sweetness but not too rich and sweet.

Smooth creamy viscous. Very low carbonation, But really nice for this beer.

Overall it's a real nice beer but not what I was expecting. I was expecting a little more depth in character for the limited 1500 bottle release. Also, Top 3 coolest bottles ever produced.

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Photo of waltersrj
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 Vintage (thanks Mages64).

Pour: Hazy, dark orange/amber, cloudy, and with an initially bubbly, carbonated tanned head which turns into a loose film around the glass' edge.

Nose: Marmalade, caramel, muted citrusy hops, figs, toffee and slight sherry like oxidation.

Taste: Figs, rich sherry, slight cardboard oxidation, toffee, muted citrus hops, rich caramel malt, slight alcohol and slight hints of orange marmalade.

Mouthfeel: Slightly oily, moderately carbonated, and lightly velvet like.

Overall: Great barleywine. I'd love to compare to a fresh one but this is fantastic. Great lacing, great taste and nose. Overall a fantastic brew.

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Photo of rudzud
3.91/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled at a private tasting.

*2009 Blue Wax Vintage*

A - Nice creamy head sitting atop a good clear burnt orange hue.

S - Nose somewhat faded, little carmel malts, little vanilla, also some light spice.

T - Nice dark fruits and more of those sweeter carmel malts. Some slight bready malts, not getting much hops.

M - Nice and creamy, the big ABV is hidden nicely!

O - Overall this was a pretty good beer. I just think it lost a little with this year. Perhaps this is when its in its delicious transition phase.

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Photo of Brez07
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle split last week. 2009 vintage via Davolebomb (Stanley Cup BIF)

A: After some discussion, landed on the color of this being burnt sienna. Pour left a 1 finger cream head that slowly receded. Good lacing on the parts of the glass where I drank

S: Lots of breaded malt. Some light spice late. Also some phelonic notes but not bad considering the age already on this. Sublte vanilla and caramel

T: Sweet dark fruit, fig/prune and raisins. As I drink, it becomes more of a citrusy fruit while still maintaining some of the fig flavor. Good balance of bready malt but fruit is the prominent aspect. Some caramel. Brief lingering hop bitterness after each sip. Hint of sweet chocolate in the finish

M: Medium bodied, but very close to full. Carbonation was enough to notice, very appropriate. Overall rather smooth with a very slight dryness

D: This is my first time having this beer, however based on reviews I'd say another year would have been the time to open it. This would give a little more time for the hops to dissappear completely and to get more continuity from the fruit and malt. That being said, glad to finally land this one as it is a very enjoyable barleywine

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Photo of mulder1010
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Biglite351 for the bottle
2009 Vintage

A-- Poured a thick reddish orange color with a hue to it. At best a half finger of off white head and settled to film through drinking. Lots of spotty lacking through drinking. Minimal carbonation showing. Excellent packaging.

S-- Orange marmalade and fresh strawberry jam. No hop presence in this at all, as the malts have totally taken over on this. Good nose. Sweet and sticky.

T-- Strawberry jam, Carmel, orange marmalade, and a bit of bread. Sweet and sticky taste but not over the top in either area.

M-- Smooth, coating, sticky, and long lasting flavor. Scary how balanced this was and that the 11.2% was very well hidden. Started getting flavors of apricot jam towards the end.

O-- Brilliant! From packaging to the end this rocked. Reminded me a lot of some of the better desert wines available here and the flavor characters. Well hidden ABV, easy to drink and full of thick jammy flavors. Going to have to trade for more of this.

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Photo of MrKennedy
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle thanks to mulder1010 for cracking open this 2009, blue-wax bottle. Certainly the best packaged beer i have come across!

Appearance of the liquid itself, lives up to expectations. A creamy head of off-white foam craters on top of a base beer that has a amber-red appearance with some glow to it. Very impressed with this!

Smell is of sweet malt, some strawberry jam and marmalade. Complex, not overbearing, yet distinct, this is quite good at bringing out its key components.

Taste is jammy and has a touch of the marmalade to it. Nice and clean and drinkable even for the size of the beer. Sweet malt comes forth later on as well.

Mouthfeel is quite good, filling, big and a touch creamy as well. Body well suited to the style.

Overall a very good barleywine and one that i'd seek out more often. Thanks to mulder1010 for opening this equivalent of beer porn. Lovely bottle, lovely contents a nice, warming, rich and flavoursome barleywine.

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Photo of levifunk
4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle graciously shared by seeswo during an evening of greats. unfortunately i didn't seem to write down much.

a - caramel brown pour. tan head.

s - fig and caramel. smells like a well aged barleywine.

t - very mellow flavor. slight note of hops remains. brown-sugar sweetness and dark fruits

m - not syrupy at all, but very thick and sweet.

overall - obviously it was quite a treat and a good beer. however, for what i imagine it would require to obtain, I'm not sure i'd go for it again.

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Photo of homebrew311
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled an '08,'09, and '10 at a tasting. The following review is of the '09 since I feel this was the best vintage of the three.

Bottle 184/1500

A: pours a deep ruby red, nice clarity, nice velvety head with good retention

S: huge sweet and fruity notes come first- dark cherries, grape, follwed by more rustic notes of leather and earthiness

T: the taste begins very sweet with notes of caramel and molasses , cherry and candied fruit comes in the middle followed by herbal notes and notes of wildflower honey. There's a ton going on here, very interesting.

MF: full body leaning towards the sticky side of things

O: All three vintages of this brew are delicious. This beer seems to be the type that will bring out different flavors at different points of aging.

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Photo of ShanePB
4.37/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A vertical of Gratitude graciously shared by Al aka petesuphi at the Inaugural "Imminent Liquidation Bottle Share" event. I was fortunate enough to try samples of each vintage present, poured into a sampler glass.

Red waxed vintage 2005.

A: A hazy body glistens in the glass, displaying it's deep orange and copper colored body. Very minor off white head is present that is gone rather quickly and leaves some slick residue in and on the glass.

S: Full of sugary sweetness. Figs, caramel corn, toasted toffee and a very strong malt base. It's overwhelmingly caramel in flavor, extremely bold and pronounced. It sort of smells like a sweet liquor rather than a beer.

T: As with the nose, this beer is damn sweet but insanely balanced. Sugary dark fruits, raisins and fig are easily detected but swiftly balanced by a sweet caramel malt base. The inherit sweetness to the beer never really goes away; instead seems to change throughout the tasting. The finish turns into a smooth butterscotch flavor with some residual sweetness lingering around for a bit.

M: Modest carbonation, medium to full bodied for being so mellowed out in the bottle. It's slick and smooth across the palate, and doesn't leave much dryness at all.

I really can't thank Al enough for breaking out the '05 to '09 vertical at the event. It was wonderful to get to sample all the vintages that I otherwise would have never been able to try. Easily one off the best Barleywines I've ever sampled. In complete disclosure, the '05 was my favorite followed by '07. An outstanding series from East End.

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Photo of yeahnatenelson
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2007 Vintage - sampled as a part of an '06-'10 vertical, June 2011.

Appearance -- Pours a toffee brown hue with a wispy white head. Lovely color.

Smell -- Incredibly aromatic, full of candied dark fruit, caramel, and a modicum of residual hop character. Rich, very pleasant.

Taste -- Rich and flavorful, again brimming with dark fruit and toffee. While the hops have certainly receded, there is still a noticeable presence - scarcely any bitterness, but still with flavorful aromatic quality. The fact that there was still some hop character left is what put this ahead of 2006 for me.

Mouthfeel -- Full-bodied with milder carbonation. Damn near perfect for the style.

Overall -- Four years seems to be the sweet spot for Gratitude. Incredibly well-integrated and mellowed, but still with enough of a hop presence to keep it interesting. 2006 seemed to lack depth and tasted dull in comparison, and 2008 was still overly hoppy and the malt was not quite fully developed.

And for what it's worth, here is my vintage ranking:

Grand Cru blend
2009 -- 'goofy' stage, big time.

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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 Jazzcrop
4.55/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tastes are medicinal toffee, oaky tastes, toasted malt, smoke, booze, flaked barley, hops, dextrose, soy, an aged beer, amber malt, oranges and spice. Smell are booze, more booze, toasted barley, strong beer, oak, rye, steel, shirt zest, light fruits and pie. Definitely a sipper.

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Photo of Chriscrundwell12
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 2009 bottle with blue wax top, into a snifter.

A- Very low carbonation, very small head, red brown amber appearance
S- Sweet, caramel, bourbon, oak, malts, spice, oak.
T- Very complex tasting beer, sweet, malty, caramel, toffee, hints of vanilla, really delicious, would be a nice desert beer, nice oaky woody notes, dark fruits, bourbon notes as well.
M- Medium mouth feel, sticky, sweet, sugary, low carbonation, nice and smooth as it goes down.
O- Very smooth and tasty barley wine, complex with a lot of different tastes going on. Well balanced,I recommend this one for any barley wine lovers out there.

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Photo of BeerAndBourbon
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A. Pours a beautiful brown with amber and orange in the edges with a small creamy tan cap.

S. Orange, caramel, and some honey.

T. Strong caramel backbone with honey, vanilla, and toffee.

M. Thick and luscious body with a nice light carbonation.

D. Great. First Gratitude I've been able to try and I really like it.

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Photo of Urbancaver
4.37/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks seeswo for this treat!

Pours a very dark brown with an orange tint. A good amount of head hugging the rim. Smooth and thick. Very rich and thick. A very nice malty spicy nose. Tastes smooth and malty. Sweet, rich, thick, and very spicy. I love the flavour profile. Can taste a touch of oxidized flavours but they sit nicely with the brew. Nice thick mouthfeel. Overall a very solid brew. I'm glad my first experience is a 3 year aged bottle.

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Photo of mltobin
4.17/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010 bottle, poured into a small wine glass.

The appearance is a dark brown color with an off-white head. Its` smell has plums, caramel, some hops too, enticing overall. Gratitude tastes sweet with toffee, more plums, brown sugar, but also has malt and hops present. MF is full, rich, it is a one to enjoy over time. This is a very good barleywine from a relatively small scale brewery.

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Photo of corby112
4.46/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From notes:

2007 vintage. Pours a deep dark mahogany/chesnut brown color with a thick, frthy two finger light beige head that has excellent retention, slowly fadig into a lasting cap that coats the glass with large chunks of soapy lacing.

Sweet malty aroma with subtle spice, booz, dak fruit and earthy hops. Leathery with hints of caramel, toffee and biscuit as well as some plum, fig and raisin. Faint earthy hops and peppery spice add to the nose. Sweet alcohol bit doesn't smell too boozy considering it's 11.5%.

Creamy, chewy full body with an excellent balance of leathery and sweet malt, booze, dark fruit and earthy hops. The mouthfeel of this beer is onenof the best I've encountered in the style. Slightly earthy with lots of sweet malt going off hints of caramel, toffee, hazelnut, rye and biscuit. There are some earthy hops balancing thing out especially in the finish whichns long, dry and slightly bitter. Very well balanced and extremely quaffable with faint hints of dark fruit, especially plum and raisin. The alcohol sweetness is there but it isn't hot at all and the high ABV is excellently masked making it deceptively drinkable. Highly recommended!

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.55/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Year three, yellow waxed bottle 785/1500

Appearance - pours a muddy iced tea color. The head is about two fingers tall and has a cool peachy mocha color. Very creamy, very sticky, very cakey. Holding at a full finger for a while, nice feed from below.

Aroma - a medley of fruit. Orange, mango, peach, all kept in check by some good biscuity malt.

Taste - a tasty breadiness to the malt, almost rye-like with some spiciness. The sweetness of the grain plays well with the citrusy hop remnants. The flavors on this side are indistinct but tasty, maybe some bitter orange. The swallow brings on some late and light coffee notes as well as some mild bitterness. Warming abv on the finish.

Mouthfeel - very smooth and silky, low key but present carbonation. Solid body.

Drinkability - an excellent sipper and a sincere toast of Gratitude to the guys of BCC who made my first trip th the Upper Gauley fantastic. Thanks to PaulMPap for hooking me up with a most memorable brew to put the finishing touch on a most memorable weekend.

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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 BierGartenok
4.77/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

WOW, I cannot say enough about this beer. Vintage 2008 sampled at a tasting for El Joebo..RIP brotha.

A: Deep brown to golden color

S: Malty goodness, feed bag and vanilla. Caramel hints and plum fruit notes..excellent

T: Sweet and tasty..Malt comes through big and is balanced great by the hops.

M: Full bodied covers the palate completely, goes down smooth, slight alcohol flavor present in the finish

O: Just an Amazing beer dedicated to a great guy and great Beer Advocate!!.

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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 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 Florida9
3.95/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2008 Bottle: 94/700
- - - -
A: Slightly cloudy deep brown. Forms a very thin film of head. Appears flat.

S: Sweet scent of caramel, toffee, and vanilla. It was almost as if this one had seen the inside of a barrel at one point, though I know it never has.

T: Lightly sweet, caramel malt and honey. Alcoholic on the finish.

M: Full bodied. Low carbonation. A bit hot on the finish.

O: A great barleywine.

2009 Bottle: 184/1500
- - - -
A: Slightly hazed out orange in color. Forms a thin tannish head that quickly faded to absolutely nothing.

S: A rather odd and unappealing scent. Smells of stale orange juice.

T: The odd smell of orange juice comes through in the taste as well. Honey, peach, fruits. Sweeter than the 2008, yet slightly tart.

M: Medium in body, but on the lighter side.

O: I didn't care for this vintage very much.

2010 Bottle: 649/1500
- - - -
A: Deep, yet bright, orange in color. Forms a well carbonated, light white head that reduces quickly to a filmy surface coating.

S: Hoppy, much more hoppy than the 2008 and the 2009, though I imagine this characteristic would fall off with some more age. Sweet. Slightly herbal and a bit floral. Orange blossom.

T: Again, a lot more hops in this one as compared to the other two. Much less complex than the other two vintages. Sweet caramel malt. Citrus and floral hops.

M: Medium in body, though the heavy alcohol seemed to thin it out a bit. Carbonation was on the light side, but still heavier than the other two years.

O: I enjoyed this one for what it was worth - almost a borderline triple IPA or something of that nature. I imagine with age, this one will mellow out and develop a bit as it certainly lacked the complexity of the previous years.

Overall: Very surprised at the vast differences between the vintages. While I was expecting some variation, each of these beers presented quite differently, much more so than expected.

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Photo of Vdubb86
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter

Thanks to Florida9 for the '08 & '10
and thanks to TMoney2591 for the '09

This was a 3 year vertical, and since not one of them tasted like any of the others this has to be broken up and there can be an average of the '08, '09, and '10. There will be 3 micro-reviews instead. Before we get started I felt that the '09 was the better of the 3, but all of them were really really good.

'08 Bottle #94/700
I've written that this was the darkest of the 3 in color, but I don't really recall that being true, though with no evidence to counteract that I'll have to give it the benefit of the doubt. The aroma and flavor combinations are rather interesting. There was definitely some anise used in the brewing of this batch. If it was used in subsequent years, it's nowhere near as noticeable as in the '08. I also detected an odd chive like grassy spice that almost gave it a baked potato like spice character, it was odd, and no one other than myself tasted it so take that for what it's worth. It finished with a nice sweetness and it was all tied together with a overriding vanilla tone. Really a good beer.

'09 Bottle #184/1500
This was more caramelized and sweeter than the other varietals of the same beer. I think I truly enjoyed this beer best among the vertical. There was a rich butterscotch and toffee flavor to it that worked so very well with the mellow vanilla in the background. There was also a strong honey flavor making it so sweet and awesome. It was truly a taste sensation.

'10 Bottle #649/1500
At this point it was rather the most disappointing of the 3 it had a bready yeast like quality to it still. I assume that it would probably improve with age. It had a regular barleywine like quality too it and I actually found it to have very little on spicing and complexity yet.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.27/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a tulip glass.

Big thanks to Florida9 and therealnomayo for making this mini-vertical possible!

We tasted the three most recent Grats ('08-10) side-by side, and I decided to let the '08 review do the talking for the group (I felt it was the best of the three). Bottle #94/700.

It pours a swampy sienna topped by a minor bit of off-white foam. A small population of minuscule floaties waltzes through the glass. The nose comprises potato skin, chive, toffee, light vanilla, graham crackers, honey, alcohol, cardboard, and oak. The taste holds notes of maple syrup, orange peel, orange zest, toffee, buttery caramel, honey, and chocolate. It all comes together in a very rich melange of tastiness. The body is a hefty-leaning medium, with a very light moderate carbonation and a nearly chewy feel.

Overall, and I speak for all three bottles here, this is a damn fine barleywine, something I can see wanting to enjoy again in the future. Very much so. Get some!

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Gratitude from East End Brewing Company
4.28 out of 5 based on 640 ratings.
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