A: Very cool color, very dark brown with ruby red tone when held to the light. Foam is tan, and lasted surprisingly lone for a barleywine.
S: Dried fruit and caramel, and soft malt in the background. It's aroma is inviting yet subtle.
T: First impression is that it's not as aggressive as I thought it would be. However, subsequent tasting reveal more complexity. The fruits come through apricots and raisins, then a nice toffee, a touch of alcohol. Don't really get the bourbon, just some woody tastes, and very faint vanilla. Really low thickness for the style, in my opinion.
O: More complex than I originally thought. It's always been a style that's been confusing to me. This brew isn't overly asserterive, and has some nice fruit and toffee notes, poured on top of some booze.
Pours dank but clear. An inch of tan, frothy foam coats the liquid and has nice staying power. Lacing is thick and somewhat clingy.
Aroma is dried dark fruits: plum-like in nature. Toffee malt stands out but that is about it. Vanilla and wood notes find a way, subdued.
Taste is a repeat of the nose but with amped up vanilla and wood; especially towards the finish. A good hit of bitterness in the end balances the malts. Toffee is there but not as sweet since the dried fruits seems to corral.
Medium body with light to medium carbonation. Dries the palate thoroughly. Hints of booze.
A solid beer. Nothing seems to be over done. A two year old bottle has good balance between bitter and sweet. Think it could be hot if young. Easy to get since it is year round. Enjoy!