TheBeerLover (1026) - DC Metro Area, USA - FEB 16, 2006
4.9 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
Barley wines are usually 7-12% abv with some examples going even higher. Old Numbskull clocks in at a mighty 10% abv, and you might indeed be feeling like a numbskull, if you donít be careful with this one. Know your limitations, and know when to say when with a beer this potent. Old Numbskull is a very traditional British inspired barley wine, and it pays tribute to the British classics, but with American/West Coast flare, is bolder in hop character and alcohol content than most British examples. This beer is brewed with imported Marris Otter and Crystal malts from the UK. It is then hopped with imported British Fuggles, then dry hopped with Mt. Hood and Centennial hops. Old Numbskull Barley Wine Ale pours to a beautiful, ruby red color, with virtually no head, and a soft carbonation. The nose on this beer is very inviting, with fragrant herbal and citrus hop aromas ,paired with aromas of plummy estery fruit, sweet malt, hints of pipe tobacco, and peppery alcohol. The palate is lush and full on the tongue with a multitude of complex flavors. Sweet malt, caramel, toffee, and butter scotch, marry with flavors of plum and peppery alcohol. Old Numbskull finishes with more complex malty and estery fruit flavors, then ends with some citrus hop bite, and a warming alcohol burn that lingers. This is a wonderful, relaxing, sipping brew, perfect as as a cocktail after work, an after dinner drink, or a nice beer to sip and relax with a good book or movie. It would work well with a number of rich deserts as well. Retailing for $10 a bottle, it is a very good value, and as stated, this beer can, and will improve with age.
PullMeABeer (203) - Phoenix, Arizona, USA - FEB 14, 2006
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Draft @ Papago. The Draft pour was much darker black than the bottle pour which was more on the orange amber side. When I first got a hint of the aroma of this beer I was overwhelmed with the anticipation of getting to taste this wonderful brew. Wonderful fruity notes and spiced hops jump out of the glass. Flavor is wonderful bitter chocolate, mild but rich coffee notes, the perfect blend of woody spiced hops to balance the mildly sweet notes. Rich and very satisfying. The alcohol mixes perfectly in this beer to create a world class barely wine. I was just blow away but how much I enjoyed this beer. Will drink and peruse this beer again and again.
BeerPrince (1701) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - FEB 14, 2006
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Medium brown colour with a small off-white head. Sweet light roasted malty aroma with a hint of caramel and alcohol. Flavour is brown sugar, fruit, pine, sugar candy and strong bittering hops. Nice alcohol, brown sugar, and long hop finish.
ABUSEDGOAT (2416) - California, USA - FEB 11, 2006
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Reddish brown body with a small head. Aroma is spicy and citrusy hops, and the usual malt base. Flavor is the same, and itís an interesting BW in that itís medium bodied. Nothing watery or heavy here. Very drinkable. Dry finish.
Saarlander (1686) - Saarlouis, GERMANY - FEB 9, 2006
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
2003 vintage on tap at Stuffed Sandwich. A nice dark pour, Malty, but the alcohol jumps out at you, not in a bad way, very warming, Iím sure its mellowed abit, a great beer, canít wait to try the barrel aged, but If its equal to this one, Iíll be happy.
rajendra82 (979) - Alpharetta, Georgia, USA - FEB 5, 2006
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
This bomber came into my possession during a recent stop at Hi Time Wine in Costa Mesa, while I was traveling to California. The presentation was handsome, with the green Champagne style bomber being adorned by silver neck foil, and white and blue lettering.
As I poured out the contents into a tulip, a classic looking barleywine emerged. The color was garnet amber, with a clear body, and a sparse head. Carbonation was rather low, and the head died down to long legged lacing. Aromatically, the west coast hops were not as prominent as some of the other examples of the style. The smell was balanced, or some would even say driven, by the malt, with a musty sweet odor evoking more English examples. Deeper breaths however clearly indicated the presence of piney American hops.
Taste was deliciously sippable, with the initial impression being made by sweet and caramel malt until the citric hop oils literally took over. Finish was peppery and pungent. The beer felt sticky and a little coarse on the palette (which was undoubtedly due to a young age). I can see this one aging quite nicely, but alas I only bought this single bomber. Drinkability was good despite the intensity, since I like the characteristics it possessed. Not the epitome of the style, but a very good example.
madcow75 (426) - Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, USA - FEB 5, 2006
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle. Pours murky reddish brown color with a thick,fluffy beige head that lasts. What initially comes to mind is a cItrusy hop aroma, but a lot more. There is some caramel and alcohol as well. This smells like it is going to be a beast. Taste is the citrus hops at first, but then it mellows with caramel, toasted marshmellow and honey. Finishes like bittersweet chocolate. The alcohol is really present too, especially as it warms. Fairly easy drinking brew. Best for the style Iíve had thus far.
GG (2332) - NorCal, California, USA - JAN 31, 2006
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Damn, there are a lot of things going on with this beauty. The aroma was nice, definite notes of hops were there along with a whiff of alcohol. But the aroma is not what makes this a great drink. Sharing this one with my brother, the appearance looked something akin to sparking apple juice albeit darker. Definite carbonation going on there. Taste was strong, notes of a sherry or an aged whisky/sherry combo was nice. The burn was there of the 10% but not overpowering. What was suprising was the amount of hop to it at the end, which put a great twist on things. Glad I waited this long to finally try out one the best barleywines Iíve ever had!
walleye (1080) - Sterling Heights, Michigan, USA - JAN 23, 2006
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
from the bottle. poured amber with a light tan head that left a small amount of lacing. aroma, alcohol, malts, orange, raisins, sweet pineapple, and other tropic fruits, honey. flavor I hope it taste as good as the aroma, a nice blend of fruits and chocolate the alcohol kind of takes a back seat, honey, malts. a nice bitterness and dryness. glad I have another one in the cellar
heykevin (1281) - Decorah, Iowa, USA - JAN 22, 2006
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Boozy aroma, rum and raisins as well. Rich thick bodied maltiness. Moderate bitterness. Alcohol is a bit showy, but otherwise well made and enjoyable.