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Review by Lum on 11/04/09  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
86 3 11 17 4 8 0
Thanks go to my favorite foul-mouthed southern Brotha' for this one... Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you - cvstrickland.

Out of the bottle and into the glass. A slow seductive pour shows this one to be of a burnt burgundy color - perfectly clear, with soft carbonation on the rise, the bubbles slowly make their way ever upwards from the bottom. Thin almond colored head takes place, and slips away quickly. I just love the immediate lacing a good Barleywine leaves on the glass - and this one has it.

The nose is fantastic! Maybe it's just me and my overwhelming love/fascination with English Barleywines... but this is a dandy. First: Malt. Sweet inviting MALT. Hints of tobacco and licorice... stronger notes of vanilla, brown sugar and toffee. Perhaps some dark dried fruits as well - figs and raisins. Towards the tail end, there is a nice balancing citrus bitterness to this - orange zest and grapefruit pith - just for balance mind you. Despite this aspect, this is still very English oriented. I could nose fuck this all night....

Taste is somewhat of a let-down following the nose. Very grassy... almost hay like. Still, not bad... I just had hopes of something astronomical after nose quaffing this for ten minutes. There is a solid hop bite to this, more than the nose lets on... but I am diggin' it. Not as sweet as the aroma led me to believe, but there is some spicey sweetness to it - very mellow like, but that caramel spine IS there... but overwhelmed by the bitterness/grassy taste. The tobacco aspect remains very true to the nose, which is very important, IMO, when sippin' an EBW. Very nice. I really wish I could pull more vanilla/anise/toffee/caramel/brown sugar from this... but I can't.

Listing towards full in body... smooth, sticky yet very dry and abrasive mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. The mouthfeel showcases the ABV of this creature... very evident here, nice and warming - Perfect.

I had such high hopes upon the pour and sniff test... then the taste let me down drastically, and the mouthfeel was off somewhat.
HOWEVER, I did thoroughly enjoy this, and would again. This "EBW" was right on target 'till the taste... which somewhat reminded me of a 6 month Bigfoot - not a bad thing what-so-ever, but just not conducive of one calling this an English Barleywine.... but enough nit-picking.
A good sipper, tasty and fit the bill for what I was wanting. Again, Duck-Rabbit does NOT let me down.
Chuck, keep sending 'em... you know I love 'em.

Served In: Bottle