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Leon | Cigar City Brewing

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
95
world-class
66 Reviews
THE BROS
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LeonLeon
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing
Florida, United States | website

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 13.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by macrosmatic on 09-16-2012

BEER STATS
Reviews:
66
Ratings:
503
Avg:
4.36
pDev:
8.49%
 
 
Wants:
626
Gots:
84
For Trade:
7
User Reviews
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Reviews: 66 | Ratings: 503
Photo of CuriousMonk
4.59/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a cloudy amber color with a small beige head. Aromas of brandy, figs, dates, oak, brown sugar, caramel, and white raisins. Flavor of brandy, pralines, dates, pecans, toasted and caramel malts, and brown sugar. Medium-bodied, with a malty, boozy mouthfeel and mellow carbonation. What a wonderful treat and would love to try this again many times too!

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Photo of Jeffo
4.46/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle of this one from urwithdave. Thanks man! Appreciate the set of beers.

From a 750 into a snifter
Bottled 7 September 2012

APPEARANCE: A darker brown pour yields a 1 finger, medium looking, off-white, khaki colored head with decent retention. Head quickly fades to a slight wisp and bubbly ring. Bistre brown body with lower levels of carbonation. A ring and touches of wisp remain until the end but leave no real lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Brandy on the nose with some great caramel and toffee notes, as well as hints of oak and vanilla from the barrels. Some red fruits, cherries, with some nice dark chocolate as well. Dark fruits like dates and grapes come into play as well. This is very bold and wonderfully complex. Phenomenal.

TASTE: Brandy up front with lots of caramel and toffee sweetness. Some sweet dark fruits like dates and raisins through the middle before a big burst of boozy and barrel flavors at the swallow. Bold and lingering finish of brandy, oak, hints of vanilla, dark fruits and cherries covered in bitter, dark baker's chocolate. Spicy alcohol lingers as well. Very complex and interesting, starting out with sweet and fruity flavors, then finishing with a boozy and barrel forward profile. A hint of bitter, dark chocolate works some well-measured balance into the story as well.

PALATE: Medium body with medium levels of carbonation. Not quite creamy enough, slightly pricky perhaps, and goes down a bit rough with a burn at the swallow. Finishes sticky and some heat lingers long after the swallow. Smoothened as it sat, ending up alright for the style.

OVERALL: Outstanding! Much like many in this style, the feel could be a little fuller, smoother and creamier for top marks, but that is a minor complaint. The nose on this one was as good as it gets, and that translated into an absolutely fantastic taste profile as well. This is one of the best BA barelywines out there. Again Cigar City shows me that we were just meant to be. Well worth checking out if you get the chance. This is one I'd love to drink again at some point. Cheers again for the brews urwithdave. World class.

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Photo of EgadBananas
4.13/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a dark manogany color, with a yellowish finger of foamy head. The aroma is somewhat fruity, with hints of alcohol, figs, oak, caramel, and dates.Theres somewhat of a sugary taste, plums, raisins, other dark fruits, mingling with a smooth woodsy note, touches of booze, and a fruity brandy note. It's full bodied, rich and creamy. Drinks quite well despite the ABV, which adds character, rather than making It daunting. Quite a nice drinking Barleywine.

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Photo of Ahappyhiker2
4.24/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A- Brown/dark brown, decent amount of carbonation present

S- Vanilla, sweetness from the brandy, caramel, malt, a little bit of booze. The aroma is a bit fruity, maybe from the apple brandy barrels, not sure but it's really interesting. It isn't sweet like a traditional barleywine would be.

T- Again it's sweet, but it isn't overbearing. The brandy flavor is such a nice compliment to the slight booziness cause of the higher ABV. I definitely taste some apple, albeit I was looking for it. Definitely some vanilla presence in the taste as well. It's really smooth, drinks well.

M- Perfect amount of bubbles on the tongue, not too much. Like I said it's very smooth.

O- This is a great unique example of a barrel-aged barleywine. The apple/fruity flavor is such a nice compliment to the vanilla and other notes that I was expecting. Surprise, surprise, I still prefer King Henry, but this is right up there with Barrel-Aged Hi-Fi Rye in my book. My first barleywine from Cigar City, and definitely not a disappointment.

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Photo of WillCarrera
4.47/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Hunahpu Day 2013, served in a plastic cup. Reviewed from notes.

A- Pours a murky dark brown/mahogany color, topped with a wispy khaki head.

S- Sweet, rich aroma, loads of caramel, vanilla, sweet, bready malts, apple brandy booziness and oak.

T- Sweet and rich. The sweetness is smooth and mellow, has a nice blend of caramel, vanilla, apple brandy, bready malts, a lot of raisin and dark fruit, and a bit of brown sugar and spice. The apple brandy flavor is mellow and sweet, has a nice oak flavor towards the finish.

M- Full-bodied, thick and sticky feel, has a mild boozy warmth.

O- An awesome barleywine, really delicious and easy drinking, this is very worth seeking out.

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Photo of spicelab
3.63/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle with huge thanks to mulder1010. Shared at Feb 26 tasting.

Deep treacle with a modest saffron coloured head that retains well, falling eventually to a decent film and collar.

Out of the gates it's pungent ethanol and sharp apple brandy barrel notes, before stewed fruits, dried strawberries, bark, acetone and hints of diacetyl poke through. Good but significantly marred by booze.

Flavours show a bigger base beer presence. Decent notes of caramel eclairs, figs and muscatels, but not a lot else.

Suitably full and syrupy, with light prickly carbonation and some booze heat.

Good but not outstanding. Might benefit significantly from a year or two in solitary.

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.29/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Hunahpu pour #2. Murky brown with kahki cream head. Aroma is awesome. Vanilla, sweet brown sugar, apple, biscuts. Flavor is like nothing i have had. Cotton candy, toffee, biscuts, and vanilla in the flavor, super duper sweet as it sounds. Medium heavy mouthfeel with low to medium carbonation. A bit sweet and that sweet lingers for a good while. So glad I got a chance to try this one, and sharing 8 oz. with one other person was plenty. Pretty rich.

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Photo of jaasen64
4.43/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle poured into HF stemmed glass, consumed right after King Henry. Notes from our barleywine tasting a few weeks ago.

A- Pours a reddish brown with a slight brownish mahogany head that recedes fairly quick leaving some soft spotty lacing and oily alcohol legs. Very similar in appearance to Cognac Church on a Hill.

S- Apples, a bit of brandy (not overpowering), some oak, raisins, figs, and underlying dark fruits, sweet malts. I actually liked this aroma better then King Henry, I felt like it was slightly less boozey.

T- Apple Brandy notes with underlying well-balanced flavors of toffee, dark fruits, oak, figs, raisins, finishes with more apple brandy. Fairly sweet, a little bit sugary, and very well balanced. The barrel adds a nice integration to the beer giving it a nice apple brandy flavor without dominating the beer too much or making it seem overly boozey.

M- Smooth (although not as smooth as KH), low carbonation but decent for style, very easy drinking, booze hidden amazingly well.

O- I wouldn't say this quite stacks up to KH, but overall in my opinion it's probably the second best barleywine I've had. It's not quite as smooth or complex as KH and KH beats it in almost every category except aroma. I felt like Leon hid the booze a little bit better in the nose. Overall I believe this is a world-class barleywine from CCB that is definitely worth checking out. Luckily I still have a bottle left, I hope to revisit this in the future.

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Photo of ehammond1
4.65/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle (2012)

Thanks for opening this with me, JealousChalice!

Dark brown, murky body with a quickly dissipating off-white head of small, creamy bubbles. Leaves dots of stick down the glass. Rich, shiny, and pretty.

The aroma is spectacularly rich and complex: brandy soaked dates lead the way, along with layers of caramels and toffees, mild wood presence, and chocolate-covered sun-dried cherry. Lovely.

The flavor is just as nice as the aroma, and this one ranks up there with my favorite barrel-aged barleywines. It combines an incredible drinkability (in small sips) with the best characteristics of the most divine, rich, luxurious desserts. Layers of dates and dark fruits, brandy, chocolate, brown sugar, and wood. The alcohol is in the background, but a complementary addition. Long, lingering chocolate finish. Very, very nice.

Medium to near full in body with low, oily, decadent carbonation. Luscious and luxurious.

Flawless.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.34/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

From 02/09/12 notes. Traded for this last month, shared with a few friends. Poured into a wine glass.

a - Pours a hazy mahogany brown color with one finger of medium tan head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of brandy, caramel malts, oak, toffee, green apples, dark fruits, raisins, toasted malts, and some whiskey almost. Brandy is sweet and strong up front, but really nice. As it warms more comes out, like some vanilla. Awesome nose.

t - Tastes of brandy, caramel malts, vanilla, oak, toffee, cream, raisins, figs, dark fruity malts, apples, some burnt and toasted malts, some molasses and sugar. Again, quite sweet, and more vanilla. I liked the nose a little better, but this is still a great taste.

m - Medium to full body and low carbonation.. Body is smooth, thick, and creamy; really nice. Brandy is certainly there but didn't feel like a 13% ABV.

o - Overall I had had a fresh 2012 bottle of MoaS the night before, and while I preferred MoaS to this (to be fair, MoaS is one of my favorite BA barleywines), this was really great and just a step below it. I think the nose is amazing on this beer and it definitely got better as it warmed up. A little hotter and a little sweeter than MoaS, I would love to have this one again and think aging it a few months would probably lead to it being even better. One of the better Cigar City beers I've had...definitely seek it out.

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Photo of maximum12
4.1/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Honor to Prince Moose3285 one more time for sending one more fine-looking CC beer up the long pipeline to Minnesota; so jazzed to open this one up. 750 ML bottle split with my lovely wife.

Pour is fairly quiet with minimal carbonic activity, turbid brown with a touch of red. The nose brings pleasantness - huge notes of brandy & vanilla, accompanied by caramel & general sweetness. Hearty-emoticon.

Leon. Tons of lovely caramel inundate the dike: there's enough caramel to feed starving masses. The brandy really accentuates the caramel, & adds another dimension of sweetness on top. As it warms, it opens up. In the primal wood there's also molasses, toffee, light fruits, & hopefully no halberds. The mix is exquisite. And easy to sip.

OK. Have to confess I'd rather have Church on a Hill, either version, than Leon - but this is still an excellent beer. Mike - you are a saint. Let St. Peter know you have an excellent reference if he asks.

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Photo of oline73
4.11/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a tasting snifter. We had this as a part of the blind BA Barleywine tasting.

This one pours with more of a red hue than most barleywines. The smell is sweet and a bit fruity. There is a good balance between bitter and sweet in the flavor. This one had more balance than most of the other barleywines we had. I'm getting some caramel and dark fruit along with heat from the barrel. The alcohol builds towards the finish. I'm going to sit on my bottle and see how time treats this beer.

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Photo of standardcherry
4.68/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Shared with a friend. Poured into two snifters.

A: Pours a dark brown/red color. Nice foamy head and nice lacing.
S: Amazing caramel/fruity smell that I assume is from the apple brandy barrel.
T: WOW! Great caramel maltiness and fruity flavors. Apple-like accent in the flavor. Caramel, toffee, burnt sugar.
M: Rich body, thick and creamy. Extremely smooth.
O: Extremely good beer, would love to have a few more of these.

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Photo of woosterbill
4.47/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle into a 25cl Duvel tulip. Huge thanks to Tony for sharing.

A: Murky medium brown body; 1/2" superfine tan head. Ok retention. Solid.

S: Spicy, chocolatey, spiritous. Vanilla, brandy, caramel, and lightly leafy bitterness. Excellent.

T: Follows the nose, sweetly and wonderfully. Great balance of barrel and malt. Delicious.

M: Creamy medium-full body. Great.

O: Wonderful beer. Really complex, and impeccably balanced. I expected it to be much more of a sugar bomb than it was.

Cheers!

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Photo of Etan
4.31/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml into a snifter.

A: Pours a hearty auburn color with a small beige head.

S: The nose is very sweet, with big notes of candied apple, brown sugar and grapey sweetness, melted marshmallow and vanilla.

T: The taste is drier, with notes of caramel and lightly bitter hops, vinous glucose and some pleasant booziness from the brandy, vanilla. The tannic sweetness is cut by the hoppiness of the base beer.

M: Thick-bodied, moderate carbonation, sticky feel.

O: A very good barleywine. You can tell that the base beer was pretty hoppy, which I think works with the beer.

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Photo of jmarsh123
4.52/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours vibrant deep red with a finger or two of creamy white head. Good retention for a high ABV beer and good lacing.

Lots of toffee aroma as you would expect along with a nice boozy fruit character from the barrel.

Flavor is sublime. Sweet english barleywine flavors are there including lots of toffee and fig although the sweetness is both cut and enhanced by the apple brandy. Adds a different layer of fruitiness while also adding a dose of alcohol heat to smooth out the overall profile.

Full bodied and creamy with medium low carbonation level.

Super smooth well made beer. It was well balanced enough that it never got too sweet or too boozy despite copious amounts of each in various individual sips. Maybe not the very best BA barleywine I've had, but in the tier just below it.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.4/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

massive thanks to totorpanda for the in person swap after a great tasting. enjoyed from a humidor series tulip.

a - brew poured a stunning maroon that settled into the glass an almost black. there was a generous finger and a half of off white foamy creamy head that hung out for a while (much more than i expected for a BA beer). nice streaky lacing.

s - great english barleywine caramel with some nice brandy barrel giving it a nice fruity kick.

t - WOW! now that's what i'm talking about! great english barleywine flavors of nutmeg and caramel with a really smoothed over barrel that carries a sangria like fruitiness.

m - rich and full flavored. thick, but creamy. has the body of a belgian from belgium.

o - overall, REALLY good. is it as good as people say? well that's for you to decide, but this is certainly not just hype without backup. super duper tasty and SUPER smooth.

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Photo of Bung
4.42/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml. Thanks to CJS for this one. Dark rusty amber pour, just a ring and some wisps of off white head. Just sticks a little to the snifter.

Aroma, Apple, vanilla, caramel. Big. Some oak/barrel.

Taste, Toffee, toasted brown sugar, caramel, yellow raisin. Apple is just a nice accent. Earthy woody notes.

Thick and coating. Slightly lower carb prevents this from being quite creamy. A little warming, but not overly so for the abv.

Quality stuff. Reminded me a ton of the North Coast barrel aged Old Stock. Similar price point to that would prevent me from buying/trading for another. But a must try once.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to starrdogg for opening this one. Served in a Cigar City snifter. The nose carries a pretty strong aroma of apple brandy with some nice sweetness coming from that. Malty sweetness with faint fruit and caramel comes behind that. Flavor is a bit too barrel heavy, but still quite nice. A bit of booze, but not too much for a 13.5% beer.

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Photo of dtmets84
3.53/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my three floyds teku glass.

A: Dark brown with a light fluffy brownish red hue.

S: Smell of a light apple not much compared to apple brandy huna

T: Taste is mediocre.at.best. You get a minor hint of the apple brandy but really is not coming through. Also comes in with booze booze and more booze.

O: A tick is a tick but the rarity and taste dont match.

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Photo of Anonymous1
3.62/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Mark for sending this one along! 750ml bottle split with a friend.

A: Dark caramel. Undercarbonated, minimal head, not much retention. Think a slightly thinner version of maple syrup.

S: Amazing! Smells like a hard cider, sticky sweetness on the nose, gotta love that apple brandy smell. I could just smell this beer for days.

T: After smelling such an incredible beer, the taste was actually a bit of a letdown. Rich caramel malts, toffee, followed by the apple and oak. Overly Boozy, the alcohol is not hidden in this one. A hint of vanilla, but then on the back end there are notes of acetone that aren't entirely pleasant.

M: Full bodied, chewy and syrupy sweet. Very solid. I was surprised by the thickness of the mouthfeel considering it looked a bit thinner during the pour.

O: This was a very unique experience and I'm glad I got to try it. I've never had any of Cigar City's other Apple Brandy offerings, but I'd imagine they'd be better integrated with a Zhukov or Hunahpu.

I guess it was worth the tick, but I don't plan on seeking one out again.

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Photo of stakem
4.03/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks go to BA sendsilk for hooking me up with this. Poured from a 750ml into a matching CCB snifter. The brew appears a dark mahogany to brown with a yellowish stained khaki head about a finger strong that fades back to a creamy layering across the top supported by rising bubbles of carbonation. The fading cap leaves strings and spots of lace sticking to the glass. It is interesting how creepy and slow the bubbles move through solution and collect at the surface. When held to the light, this brew shows some lighter brown and almost orange to yellowish hints around the edges that are quite clouded.

The aroma is burnt sugar like caramel and molasses with a solid amount of raw woody inclusion. The brandy is present with an accenting fruity alcohol component that integrates well with the maltiness of this brew. There is some vanilla character here smelling almost like toasted marshmallows with a candy sweetness that mingles with the raw woodiness in an enjoyable yet different way. It is a good smelling brew, it just doesn't "wow" me like some of the other barrel aged goodies coming from CCB do.

The taste is sweet with a fruity inclusion of brandy that melds into burnt sugary flavors of caramel and toffee. Some of the barrel flavors come forward here with a hint of vanilla and some herbal hops are present with the solvent alcohol to bring things back into perspective. There is a flavor mid-palate almost like apple skins but it finishes with an ester and fresh fruited taste. As it warms up, the alcohol brings out more of the herbal hops and a bit of tannic dryness of raw oak that imparts almost a flavoring reminiscent of strong tea but coupled with something along the lines of molasses.

This is a full bodied brew. It is thick and sticky with a moderate level of carbonation. The alcohol is not hiding here despite plenty of residual sweetness and malt character. CCB has been knocking barrel aged beers out of the park (this is nothing new) but most recently I gotta give the nod to the cognac versions over this brandy. Still a mighty fine brew, if you have the chance you should get your hands on some.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.04/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Wowcoolman for sharing this one at drewone's tasting.

Pours a murky brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, dark fruits, and brandy. Taste is much the same with an alcohol kick and a woody finish. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer but I think it smells better than it tastes.

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Photo of jeonseh
4.47/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled shared at NWI Tasting Group Meetup - December

A - Dark brown with a lot of haze. No head with a little foam on the side

S - Strong nose with vanilla, caramel, brandied dates and other dark fruits, and a strong whiff of apple brandy

T - Apple brandy stands out well is this beer. There is also sweetness with caramel and vanilla in the middle. Get a nice oak presence in the finish as well as a slight alcoholic character

MF - Thick and syrupy that goes well with the sweet and dark fruit flavors. Slight astringent and oak in the finish

O - Big, sweet barleywine that really showcases the apple brandy presence which added a nice finish and complexity

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Photo of starrdogg
4.47/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy dark reddish brown with a small white head. Smell is excellent, the vanilla from the oak is prominent, and it has a great hint of apple as well. Flavor is also very nice: oak, vanilla, and apple stand out and it is finishes with some earthy roastiness. It isn't nearly as sweet as most brandy aged beers and tastes more like apple bourbon. It's very well balanced and quite smooth given the ABV. Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied with nice carbonation. Overall this is a damn tasty BA barley wine.

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Leon from Cigar City Brewing
95 out of 100 based on 66 ratings.
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