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RATINGS: 1451   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.03/5   IBU: 96   EST. CALORIES: 330   ABV: 11%
COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Bottle conditioned.
Caramel and toffee notes abound in this deep copper-colored American Barleywine-style ale alongside toasted malt and a hint of ripe dark fruits. Old Numbskull showcases malt sweetness, intense American hops, and an aggressive bitterness. Extremely well-balanced, the full-bodied mouthfeel and assertive hop profile leads into a deceptively smooth finish. Old Numbskull can be enjoyed now or laid down for years to come.


3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
mjg74 (2950) - La Mesa, California, USA - MAY 8, 2006
Bottled. Pours a syrupy dark ruby color. Sticky sweet hoppy aroma with a fair amount of maltiness. Some candy notes. Thick mouthfeel. Dark roasted flavor right up front with some dark fruitiness. Somewhat bitter hoppy flavor. A touch of alcohol. Warms going down.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Bartzilla (597) - La Mesa, California, USA - MAY 7, 2006
Pretty good. Thick. Sweet. Burnt lavender branches. Reconstituted fig leaves. Reminds me of the time I woke up in the bushes with my wallet gone and blood all over my shirt. Juliet swears she had nothing to do with it. Yeah, right. This stuff is strong, powerful and delicious. Could stand to see a few more hops in the mix, but then it wouldn’t taste as traditional as it does. I could dip a banana in this stuff.

3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
SoLan (1550) - Florida, USA - MAY 6, 2006
Ugly, glowing, brown pour with a modest, frothy, tan head. Nose of toasty caramel/toffee, sugary dried fruits, a nice, resiny hop presence, and a touch of yeast and alcohol. Same flavors meld nicely as it warms. Toasty, slightly alcoholic finish. Full, balanced body. Very nice barley wine.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Ratman197 (12654) - Arvada, Colorado, USA - APR 30, 2006
750 ml bottle poured a clear copper with a small amber head. Aromas of mango, pear, carmel, a bit of spice and a hint of wood. Palate was medium bodied and dry. Flavors of bread, a hint of oak, some earthiness and spice with a dry lingering semisweet finish.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
OhioDad (2492) - Hilliard, Ohio, USA - APR 26, 2006
750 ml bottle pours bright amber with a short offwhite head that fades pretty quick to a film but laces from there down. Aromas of big caramel malts, some raisins, cherries, and also some definite grapefruit and pine. Flavor holds pretty true to the aroma. Nice smooth flavor with just a touch of spice on the finish. Quite a hoppy barleywine. Balanced well though. Just a touch of the alcohol is found in the finish but it is covered quite well. Somewhat bitter and dry at the finish. Palate is sweet almost sticky but smooth and easy to drink for something so large. Alesmith is such a great brewery..

4.3
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
0o9i (439) - Reno, Nevada, USA - APR 19, 2006
UPDATED: DEC 3, 2007 Tap @ brewery, 2004 edition. Amber color, off-white, medium head. Caramel and fruit dominate the aroma. Yeast and brown sugar are lurking: "sweet and sniffable." Medium/full body with foamy carb--dry, mouthwatering. Malty flavor with caramel and fruit, grapefruit rind, pine, roasted malts--warming! Light alcohol flavor, but it’s throughout the flavor, a striking undertone.

12/3/2007 2005 Bottle.
Cloudy, amber body with a thin-but-persistent ring of lace. The aroma is rich and complex, with toffee, caramel, crystallized malts, a roastiness backdrop, vibrant notes of dark fruit, lots of fruity esters, and some honey on the tail end. The mouth is full with almost no carbonation, yet it does not come across as wet, syrupy, or unpleasant, but as lightly dry. Flavor is dominated by fruits: a rich plumb flavor, light prune, a touch of berries; lightly roasty, carrying into a mildly bitter finish of dried,dark fruits, grapefruit rind and caramel. The alcohol is extremely well hidden and by now above 10%, being present in lovely esters, caramel, and a bit of hard alcohol (like a rum) long after the beer has left the mouth. Very unique brew, bearing consistency only with its heritage (its creators). It ages beautifully, and it is a wonderful treat to have an Alesmith ale once again. I will return to San Diego sometime soon...I hope. Let it warm, let it sit, then enjoy it. The esters come to life; the aroma becomes wondrous, and the beer is simply lovely.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
JorisPPattyn (9131) - Ursel, BELGIUM - APR 17, 2006
UPDATED: APR 24, 2008 Orange-red beer, small yellowish head. RIch vinous & brandy-like nose, with lots of C-hops and cake-like malts sustaining. Orangezest aroma. Cakelike malts, drenched in brandy are here again, seriously checking the USA hops onslaught. Some laurel, cinnamon and other spices. Terribly perfumey. Very liqueurish MF, fiery MF but not aggressive. Good one, "Big" in any sense, but making up for a pleasantly sipping beer.
Vintage Old Numbskull Amber-copper colour, small rim. Brandy nose, hops, caramel or toffee. Brandy-chocolate bar, more coffee. Very oily and slick, alcoholblast. Very chocolatey beer with lots of alcohol. 7/4/8/4/16 3.9/5

3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Philip (436) - Illinois, USA - APR 17, 2006
Enjoyed on the night of Rob’s barleywine tasting. One of the more overrated barleywines of the evening, imo. On the nose, its solidly aromatic with the typical barleywine notes of fruit and malt. More vanilla and caramel on the palate with some solid flavor dimensions, but nothing overwhelming. Hops is a bit too assertive for my liking. Okay, just not a 4.09 beer.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Birdiebeagle (958) - Perkasie, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 10, 2006
Bottle Pours a light brown with red tints. Has almost no head. Has a good sweet aroma with a good mix of hops. Looks sort of flat with a slick texture. Has a bold duration and a good strong finish. A nice amount of bitterness. I would call it medium bodied. A very smooth drink with a touch of dryness. Very complex, it keeps my mind jumping and changing. This is one you just have to try for yourself and make your own judgement. After the 750 I decided I liked it.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
frankenkitty (1991) - Oak Lawn, Illinois, USA - APR 10, 2006
Pours a sticky deep ruby/vermillion with a light sediment-haze. A thin head is quickly a cream-colored halo. Aroma finds funky yeasts, wood & wine, powdered grape drink and golden raisin. Syrupy mouthfeel precedes a thin, astringent finish while the flavor is that of a fruity white wine with honey sweetness amidst the vinous flavor.

Note: I was hoping to share this bottle with my wife, but she took a pass after a small sample, leaving the rest of the 750 for me. I must say that this beer lives up to its name when sampled in such a quantity (and situations like this are part of the reason why it’s taking me so long to hit 1,000 ratings... sorry Gene).

<font size=-4>Purchased at <a href=http://www.ratebeer.com/Places/ShowPlace.asp? Liquors, Chicago, IL 60638 (Phone first.)<font size=-1>


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