hotstuff (4403) - Indiana, USA - JAN 4, 2006
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle 32 of 240 thanks to Sprinkle at the Indy gathering. Light tan small head that was mostly lasting, fine-small bubbles, sparse lacing, transparent, no visible carbonation, and an orange hue. Sweet, caramel and alcohol nose. Flavor was malty sweet, hoppy and vinuous. Vinuous palate. Medium-full body.
JCW (1277) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - DEC 30, 2005
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: MAR 12, 2007 Well made barleywine, very similar to the regular, but some of the barrel aging is apparent. While I’m at it Thanks Herbjones, you have made many of great trades with me, but more than that you have been a good friend. Orange color, small off white head, Aroma is woody, by that musty, slightly bourbonish, fruity(peaches and apples) and malt, like a medium pale or munich malt. Flavor is balance bourbon doesn’t knock you over, but it there, malts are sweet but not overly, hops are pretty much absent, but for a big beer(especially those that aren’t supposed to be hoppy) that is pretty much to be expected. Syrupy sweet finish.
thedm (5139) - Fort Wayne, USA - DEC 25, 2005
4.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
This bottled brew from Mike Sprinkle at the 2005 Indy gathering numbered 32 of 240 poured a small sized head of frothy fine to medium sized mostly lasting off-white colored bubbles that left behind an unnoted lacing. The body contained no carbonation, was semi-transparent and golden brown in color. Its aroma contained notes of caramel malts hops and was very nice. Its mouth feel is initially tingly with a lingering tingly palate. Its flavor contained strong caramel malty hoppy notes and was very tasty. An excellent brew well recommended!
sprinkle (114) - Arcadia, Michigan, USA - DEC 20, 2005
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: FEB 5, 2006 Hazy red straw in color, not much head but lace sticks nicely. Sweet,deep hoppy nose and rich and hoppy in your mouth, with a decent amount of alc. present but not overpowering. Vanilla,oak comes on initially and on the finish. Good Finesse for such a big beer. Going to have to bump this rating up after having the ’02 WOW!!! The wood tanniins really should through and this is still a baby...blew the ’04 away!!
atpayne (615) - Zionsville, Indiana, USA - DEC 15, 2005
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Botttle 32 of 240 at the Indy gathering, thanks to Sprinkle. Cloudy orange with a little head. Aroma is bitter but not overpowering. Alcohol and a bit of oak character also in the aroma. Sweet malts and a woody flavor and a realy strong hop bitterness which has a chalkyness on the finish. Still has a fresh hop feel, but I think some of that comes from the alcohol seeming to kick up the bitterness with a bite. Despite this bite it still has quite a nice smooth barrel influenced finish. I want to check this one out in a while.
jsquire (3738) - St. Marys, Ohio, USA - DEC 12, 2005
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
2004 Bottle 32/240. Thanks to Sprinkle for this bottle (and thanks to whomever sent it to him). Murky orange color with a fine beige head that left nice lace. Buttery caramel nose with wafts of alcohol. Lots of oak, vanilla and caramell sweetness. Warming alcohol on the exhale. I think the barrel overtakes the underlying barley wine. Very nice beer, but the barrel does not give the same wonderful compliment to the Old Numbskull as it does to the Speedway.
hippie4beer (162) - Indianapolis, Indiana, USA - DEC 12, 2005
4.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Bottle. #32/240. Thanks to SPRINKLE for sharing this. Pours a hazy chestnut color with a thin head. Aroma of Alcohol with a smokey nise finish. Flavor is hugley hoppy with a creamy woody flavor with an alcohol finish. Not too complex, but a definately a treat.
bb (7510) - Alamo, California, USA - DEC 8, 2005
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
UPDATED: NOV 13, 2006 Bottle. #208/240. Rich amber beer with a thin light beige head. Bourbon notes in aroma - strawberry, sweet malt, and alcohol. Strng bourbon flavor with some vanilla and oak. Some fruit. Noticable alcohol. The bourbon just overpowers everything and is way too much in your face. There’s a good beer underneath, but its being hidden by the bourbon. Tasted in a side-by-side comparison with the regular Numbskull, and this one tasted more of alcohol and had much less complexity.
Schultsc (572) - San Diego, California, USA - DEC 4, 2005
4.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: SEP 25, 2008 2002 Vintage. Incredible. Everything that makes regular Old Numbskull outstanding is here as a foundation for an even more evolved, profound beer. Highly complex aroma, richness, and bitterness with added bourbon and wood character from the barrel, along with vanilla, caramel, subtle red fruits, and style-appropriate oxidation. The level of complexity here is beyond comparison. It’s like various layers of the beer are decomposing to form new flavors and aromas while at the same time revealing still more levels waiting beneath. This beer rewards careful comtemplation--philosophising even. Very intellectual. Very special.
chilehead (186) - Laguna Niguel, California, USA - NOV 30, 2005
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Super, super good! We had bottle #95/250 released this year. A wonderful beer. Tasted this alongside several other alesmith brews and some big barleywines and this really stood out as a winner. I cant’ wait to try the other bottles I have over the next 10 years.
Nose is of oak and butterscotch. Barleywine forwardness is mellowed and softened, nicely rounded by the aging it’s gone through. Caramel and tawny notes, a beer you could slosh in your mouth for minutes before swallowing. Disclaimer: non-BA Old Numbskull is one of my favorites, so I was destined to really love this beer.