SDbruboy (1864) - San Diego, California, USA - JUN 12, 2005
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle - of course, #123 of 225. Pours clear, dark, ruddy amber with a small off-white head that diminishes mostly but leaves some lacing. The aroma of this brew is complex and delicious, very fruity, plentiful malts, with scents of over-ripe apricot, orange and fig, along with pronounced oaky notes, hints of bourbon and an assertive turpentine and pine hop scent. The alcohol becomes much more pronounced in the aroma as it warms becoming a predominant feature at room temp. The flavor is rich and sweet with a huge fruity maltiness, more oak and bourbon, alcohol and the hops occuring as aged and candied grapefruit rind. Mouthfeel is full and almost syrupy with a gently creamy carbonation. Iíve been saving this one for a while and itís indeed, quite a treat!
BBB63 (6543) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - JUN 11, 2005
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle #92 provided to me by Joe and shared with Kuhnhenn shindig ratebeerians: Murky orange hue with a lasting small fizzy head and some lace. The aroma has salty and peaty notes, light oak, piney and spicy hops, clove, and wonderful oxidition and old ale esters. The taste starts with a big WOW of spicy and bitter characters supported by a moderate sugary and subdued oaky note. A touch fruity, but more akin to orange zest than grapefruit. The finish has a bite of bitters, salt, and alcohol snap. The feel is oily and lush with enough power that you know itís a Numbskull at heart. Worthy of itís place among the panthon of world-class beers. Glad to have shared this, sadly it will not be with the RBSG gathering.
Pailhead (6377) - Plymouth, Michigan, USA - JUN 11, 2005
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: AUG 24, 2006 Bottle: Courtesy of BBB63 at Kuhnhennís. Bottle #92. Nice malty banana bread, caramel, bourbon, wood, and hop aroma. Pours a cloudy amber with a small off-white head. Lots of caramel up front. Banana bread seems to be covered up by the bourbon and woodiness. Hops are also rather subdued due to the barrel aging. Not as present as the aroma suggests. Bourbon is the strongest in the finish. Flavor seems to show more signs of age than Iíd expected from a barley wine brewed two years ago. Very nice.
csbosox (1229) - Prairie Village, Kansas, USA - JUN 4, 2005
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: JUL 21, 2009 First of all, thanks to Hopscotch for the bottle! 750ml bottle. 2002 vintage, #179/225. Shared with Heemer77. Pours dark reddish/orange with no discernible head. The aroma is all barrel aged; bourbon, vanilla, lots of oak. The flavor is initially brown sugar, honey, and semi-sweet malt. The mid-taste is barrel-aged flavors and it is somewhat hot with some dark sugar tastes, but mostly barrel aging. I have only liked a few barrel aged beers, I find that the barrel aging takes over the flavor instead of complimenting it, this was no exception. Still a good beer, but I would probably rather have the non-BA version.
beerslayer (753) - New Jersey, USA - JUN 3, 2005
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Thanks to JoeeC5. This is a great Barley Wine. Caramel, Malt, and woody flavors. Finishes clean, smooth, and dry.
heemer77 (5289) - Urbandale, Iowa, USA - JUN 1, 2005
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: AUG 16, 2005 I was pleasantly surprised when csbosox pulled out bottle 179 of 225. We agreed that the barrel aging was the dominant characteristic. The body poured a dark amber with a little bit of cloudiness. The aroma was the typical bourbon barrel aging with vanilla and oak. There was also roasted peanuts and a little citrus, but they were dominated by the barrel aging. I also detected a hint of cinnamon. The taste was sweet oranges with vanilla and a little salt. There is a coppery chocolate finish. The body is very thick and coats the mouth. This is slightly lactic. The entire package was underwhelming and comes together in a strange way. I tried this again, courtesy of MrFacto. I stand by my previous rating.
willblake (2654) - Bel Air, Maryland, USA - MAY 25, 2005
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
05.22.05 2002, bottled 2004, 136/225 thanks to JoeeC5, Jimmack invitational. Beautiful brew, and Joe is a real gem for sharing this with the crew. Aroma is quite woody, musty, decadent. Thereís certainly an AleSmith house character, Iím starting to realize. Velvet body is soft, smooth, and so so long on the palate. Gorgeous. Despite its age, this beer is still damned hot. Lots of alcohol presence even though itís not all that high of an ABV (10%); the alcohol does seem to be integral to the role that the wood has brought to the scene. The extra smoothness of sweet cream and honey-butter that oak have brought to the table are kept in check by the peppery, numbing heat of the resurgent alcohol. Flavors are full of brown sugar, some candied fig, light leafy bitterness. I get something earthy, too, sort of detritus-ish, but that might be my imagination. If nothing else, this beer deserves some bonus points just for being so interesting. Thanks a million for sharing this one, Joe!
Lou18 (1353) - West Paterson, New Jersey, USA - MAY 25, 2005
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
bottle provided by JoeEC5 at the jimmack invitational, 20002 I believe. Left very good lacing. Strong flavor, dominated by the alcohol, with lots of accompanying wood, sour lasting after taste. Most excellent. The warming on tasting this was immediate. Lived up to the hype!
richlikebeer (838) - Easton, Pennsylvania, USA - MAY 24, 2005
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
bottle provided by JoeEC5 at the jimmack invitational...an engulfing nose packed with sweet wine/bourbon tones, and a slight smokiness, along with sweet caramels and a bit of citrus. a deep amber body topped with a creamy white head contains the rich flavor that starts out with some citrusy hops, slight vanilla tones, and the underlying sweetness of bourbon. the flavor fades off into the sweet caramel malts with just the right amount of bourbon backing again. aftertaste is smooth and exemplifies the perfect balance of this brew, which was a silky full body that ends with just a hint of spices and a slight warming sensation. thanks joe for another brew i thought i would never find that lived up to every bit of talk around it.
Jeppe (2631) - Brooklyn, Alabama, USA - APR 19, 2005
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Traded with JohnC just after it was released!! Thanks a lot John!!
A hazy amber golden beer with a thin tan head. Sweet malt and caramel aroma with fruity and sugary notes. Quite sharp and milder than expected, but nice! Warming alcohol flavor, sharp and sweet with malty and oaky notes and hints of bourbon. Really tasty, but not an outstanding barley wine!