The beer pours like a flat cider. Clean, orange-gold coloring with no head or even any signs of carbonation. Even with 11.5%, there was no lacing or anything that coated the side of the glass.

The smell is sweet and has a slight suggested fruity nose to it. Some toffee and caramel come through, and there is the smallest bit of booze hanging in there. There is a slightly off aroma of band aid, but it isn't largely part of the smell and doesn't kill the beer.

The flavor is very sweet and not the least bit alcoholic. Just as expected, the body is quite thin and low in carbonation, if there is any carbonation present at all. The flavors from the nose are there. Caramel, toffee, maybe some vanilla, and the fruity hints that made their way through were actually of some weak apple. The majority of the flavor is the sweetness from the malts and otherwise lifeless. Upon drinking, the flavor rushes in but leaves almost as quickly with very little to no aftertaste.

For an American Barley Wine, I expected something packed with hops and an overly sweet backbone, and definitely something that would be able to stand up against some time in the bottle, but this proved to be a bit different. I think this barely wine would have been better enjoyed fresh, or within the year of receiving it.


Our CELLARED series aims to explore the world of aging beer and sharing the effects of time in the bottle. Bottles have been kept away from light and at temperatures between 44-60 degrees. Individual experiences may vary depending on storage environments.

Posted on December 5, 2014 .