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This brew pours a deep amber, almost brown, color; it's a bit hazy and displays a tan, frothy head with great retention. The aroma is massive, with toffee, alcohol, and American hops showing grapefruit characteristics that serve as a warning for what's to come. The beer starts off with big caramel sweetness and wonderful plum notes. Then, a wall of citrusy hops appears and overwhelms the palate -- think imperial IPA dipped in toffee. It finishes sweet with a long-lasting hop bitterness and a lingering toffee sweetness, a combination that impresses your senses. Overall, this barleywine is a wonderful homage to the spirit of West Coast brewing: appreciating the tradition of the style while making it all-American. Aging this beer up to three years won't hurt a bit: The hops will dissipate, but the beer's complexity will more than make up for that.


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