BeerCritic


Schlafly Reserve Oak Aged Barley Wine Style Ale (2007)
Schlafly Oak Aged Barley Wine Style Ale

Schlafly Oak Aged Barley Wine Style Ale

Style and Glass: Barley Wine Style Ale, Snifter
ABV, Volume & Calories: 10.2% in 25.4 fl oz. estimated at 400C
Purchased at: Canal’s Hamilton for $11.99

Aroma: Oak, whiskey, alcohol, heartburn, smoke, and tobacco. An exhilarating aroma, and just being around it seems a little bit like a spicy barbecue is nearby.

Visuals: Packaging is a bit precious, but well done, and meets the need for specialty presentation. Body is an angry deep hazy red under an almost white long lasting head. Freshness and quality are evident from the way the body acts. Lacing is sticky and thick. Beautiful.

Taste: licorice, smoke, spices, and oak meld at the front, the middle has a deep slow burn, and the finish is almost all hops with a sweet malty undertone. An amazing brew. The oak really gives this BWSA a depth and flavor that I find pretty unique. Barbeque sweetness and smoke is welcome. This should be had with some blackened chicken and spicy curried potatoes. This would be great with Indian cuisine.

Palate: Smoother than you’d expect by far. Very oaky, woody, and crisp. A bit sour, puckers after a moment. Finish is warm, delicious, and strong

Overall: I love this, but I’d love it more playing against some savory and spicy flavors. Delicious.

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Eel River Triple Exultation Old Ale

Style and Glass: Old Ale, Snifter; English Pint
ABV, Volume & Calories: 9.7% in 22 fl oz. estimated at 400 C
Purchased at: Super Saver Pennington, NJ for $6.99

Aroma: nice, heady, whiskey, oak, wood, musk, dust

Visuals: nicely packaged, rose colored glasses, iced tea, quite hazy, long lasting tan head, rocky, frothy, thick sticky lace.

Taste: whiskey, unbalanced, mostly malt, little hops, alcohol in front, warming, bright, heavy.

Palate: delicious, warming, smooth, like a thinner 120 minute IPA, medium finish.

Overall: Enjoyable. Good winter night brew.



Founders Backwoods Bastard

This is the bourbon barrel aged version of Dirty Bastard, which I enjoyed very much. Oak aging usually does not add a lot for me, though I’m endlessly interested in the way it alters the flavor. This brew comes in at 9.2% ABV in a 12 oz bottle from Joe Canal’s in Lawrenceville, NJ for about $2.50 a bottle and 200 Calories.

The color is beautiful. A deep ruby red, almost opaque. Good lacing with a thinner but persistent light tan foamy head.

The aroma is sweet, oak, and tea. Alcohol is present in the nose. Lots of leather, and the aroma is quite strong.

The flavor is mostly whiskey. Very penetrated with the oak aging. Good finish, smoky, dark and burnt. A superlative scotch ale. Founders knows how to do it right.

The palate is prickly — lightly carbonated and long lasting. Very dark, intense flavors. A very well done brew.

Overall, I like this quite a bit. Better, IMHO, than Oaked Arrogant Bastard which does not balance the aging nearly as well. I’d have this again. Not a favorite, but I simply prefer heavier stouts.



Uinta 15th Anniversary Barleywine

I picked up a 6 of this brew on spec at Super Saver Pennington for about $11. It’s 10.4% ABV in 12 oz. I poured it into a snifter as per the style.

Beautiful deep ruby with a static tan head and beautiful lacing. Viscosity seems a bit light, but no worries.

Aroma is wine, oak, whiskey, figs, and cherry. Wonderful to inhale. Sweet on the intake.

Taste has a nice hoppy bite to balance out the very malty base. Acrid, stays on the tongue towards the front and the back. Mold, roses, and peaches. Burnt. Old cherries. Very nice. Very well done, nicely balanced and tasty. Fruit on the palate. Lingers nicely.

Like a sponge. Very dry. A mouthful of flowers. long wonderful finish.

It’s very nice. I’d love to have it again. It’s a bit on the pricey side, but definitely worth it.



Weyerbacher Heresy

Style and Glass: Imperial Stout; Snifter
ABV, Volume & Calories: 8% in 22 fl oz. estimated at 400 C
Purchased at: Jack’s Wine Sense, Ewing, NJ for $4.99

Aroma: nice, wonderful, permeating, oak, liquor, tannins, rose, whiskey. 10 out of 10.

Visuals: medium high design, black, oily, thick tan head, great, sticky lace. 5 out of 5.

Taste: expertly balanced, heavy malt, heavy hops, heavy strength, heavy craft. 10 out of 10.

Palate: high quality, sandy texture, long chocolate finish. 5 out of 5.

Overall: It’s almost a crime for me to have beer this good for this price. This is a fantastic, affordable, high quality treat, I’ll have it again for sure, a new favorite, high value, expertly crafted. About the only thing I don’t like about the whole experience is the cheesy graphic on the label. 20 out of 20.