DarkElf (3033) - La Jolla, California, USA - DEC 5, 2004
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
(Draft: 2004 Strong Ale Festival, Pizza Port in Carlsbad, CA. Day 1, Beer 3) I had the honor of tasting this at the brewery several weeks before this festival, before it was "ready" for its debut, thanks Pat! And what a successful debut it is! Right out of the gate, a strong aroma of lucioius ripe canteloupe grabs you. What a unique and amazing nose. Some smoke develops later, but itís hard to tell in these tiny taster glasses. It tastes very fruity and sweet, and the moderate hoppiness provides nice balance, not trampling the fruit. Alcoholic for sure, but doesnít seem anywhere close to 17%. Smooth, rich, coating palate with no alcohol burn. Light amber color. Small off-white head has good retention, maintaining the same level until the beer is gone, and depositing a fair amount of patchy lacing, pretty impressive for such a high alcohol beer. Just an outstanding barleywine, especially for such a baby, and Iíd like to do a side-by-side session with some of my favorite barleywines to see where this one stands. Probably near the top.
beerguy101 (5287) - Newark, California, USA - DEC 5, 2004
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JAN 1, 2007 Tasted at the 2004 Pizza Port Strong Ale Fest. Orange gold color. Small head. Aroma is citrus, oranges, brown sugar and a hint of oak. A full-bodied barley wine. Malts are fruity and sweet,citrusy wuith hints of oak. Caramel flavors all over the place. Crisp and clean. There is no real evidence of the 17% alcohol. Nice BW. Will be AWESOME with some aging. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly sweet.
2x Barrel Aged Good
On tap at OíBrienís. Pours a medium amber color. Small sized white foamy head. Aroma is brown sugar, wood, bourbon and molasses. Medium to full bodied barley wine. Malts are caramel, with lots of brown sugar, some oak and lots and lots of bourbon. Very smooth tasting. There is a touch of alcohol bite, but it is really subdued for the 14.1% alcohol. A very dangerous beer, hides the alcohol very well and it nice and smooth. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly sweet.
cquiroga (371) - Tujunga, California, USA - DEC 5, 2004
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
12/3/04. On draft at Pizza Port Strong Ale Fest in Carlsbad, CA 12/3/04. Pours a caramel yellow, lightly hazy. Excellent, creamy, dense pillow of a head with very good lacing. Aroma is of caramel and nougat, mostly nougat like a Three Musketeers candy bar. Super hot hop bang in the flavor, hugely potent with alcohol. It doesnít seem like 17%, I guess, but it DOES seem like itís going to kick your ass. Finish is dry and stinging, harsh and merciless but actually quite controlled. Some filthy sharp twigginess in the finish with almost a "briar patch" dark vine flavor. Big bitterness with medium-full body and some almost chunky nuttiness. Gimme some Good in 3-4 years, and I bet itíll be amazing.
herbjones (742) - Orange, California, USA - DEC 5, 2004
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Draft @ Pizza Port Strong Ale Fest 2004. Excellent beer. Dark amber brew that has unbelievable balance. Good hop presence but not overbearing. Full mouthfeel, malty with just the faintest hint of bitter orange in the background. Highlight of the fest for me.
Vac (2445) - San Diego, California, USA - DEC 5, 2004
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
This huge beer pours with an orange-amber body topped by a medium thick head with some lacing. The aroma is sweet and full of caramel with a nice maltiness and a touch of alcohol, as well as, some nougat notes. The flavor is very similar with a bit more bitterness and a little more alcohol showing through. What a great beer. Full bodied, tingly on the tongue and warming.
DaSilky1 (2606) - San Diego, California, USA - DEC 4, 2004
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: MAR 9, 2005 Hazed orange color with a nice frothy but wet head...sweet candy, grapefruit, christmas cookie, and resiny aroma...Extremely smooth mouthfeel..with candy flavors of grapefruit, ribbon candy, and slight vegital notes...its slightly sticky, but its 17 FUCKINí percent...I am willing to wager that in about 1 year, this is the best beer ever made...or close.
SG (465) - Valley Center, California, USA - DEC 4, 2004
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: DEC 5, 2004 Enjoyed at Pizza Portís Strong Ale festival. Too dark to get a good look at the color. Everything looked dark amber. Overall this beer had some pretty interesting characteristics. Guess what, the alcohol was definitely up front in the flavor. Slightly acidic and sharp on the tongue with a nice amount of hops. I wouldnít have guessed it was 17%, but then again I would not expect a beer to be above 10% normally. This beer is better than "good," itís very good. It needs a little more complexity for great though. I hope I have a chance to try this again sometime. Somewhat of a novelty.
JohnC (3000) - Mission Viejo, California, USA - DEC 4, 2004
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
on draft, strong ale fest, pizza port carlsbad december 2004
For 17%, the alcohol is well hidden. This is a killer barleywine