Nearly two years since I tried this on-tap for the first time, this is a 12 oz bottle sampling, bottled on 03/30/06. Part of my haul from my recent trip to Lexington, KY, USA, I seem to remember it was around $8 for the 12 oz single from Liquor Barn.
First of all this seems infinitely different to my original, on-tap serving from a couple of years ago. While that beer was really just like a strong DIPA, this beer drinks much higher in the alcohol stakes, and seems much less like an DIPA and more like a super-liquor laden bomb!
First impressions are all about the aroma. It is BIG. It’s all sweet hops, soaked in mild liquor. I get huge amounts of figs, brandy and plums and it is exceptional. After I have recovered from the nose I can get a good look at the beer. Mid-orange body, nice rocky head and some lacing but not as huge as I was expecting. A surprisingly large amount of persistent carbonated bubbles rise from the bottom of the Sweetwater Pilsner glass (not pictured here).
Amazingly sweet and alcohol laden, but for me it’s still good. I’d bet that many would be put off by the combo, but to me it screams decadence. Even I like to drink this WITH a glass of cool water next to me. MUCH less hop presence than I remember from the tap a couple of years ago, this version seems a lot less bitter and more like an English Barleywine – not the American version of a BW with silly hop presence, but the original version with mega alcohol and sweetness. It reminds me of a Gold Label from years and years ago.
This is currently a vicious alcohol experience, but remains amazingly drinkable. I’d imagine that many would hate this, but for me it’s an extraordinary beer. Of late I have been a little underwhelmed by DFH (perhaps because they set the bar so high), but this reminds me of their greatness.
A GREAT beer.