Eyedrinkale (3213) - Astoria, New York, USA - DEC 14, 2004
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
SD Strong Ale ’04. Murky orangish color with a slighly foamy head. Aromas of light peach, caramel, and sugars. Taste is more of the same. Sticky sweet flavors of tangerine, piney hops, caramel, oak and cocoa. I never would think this was 17% at all. This is going to be a monster.
DrunkAsASkunk (847) - Lynnwood, Washington, USA - DEC 8, 2004
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
This beer was sampled at the San Diego Strong Ale Festival 2004. This beer poured a slightly cloudy but definitely orangey color with a think white soapy head and an active degree of carbonation. Moderate lacing would be seen out of this beer. The aroma was very nice with a slight hint of alcohol, malt, brown sugar and other sweetnesses. The flavor progressed into a full bodied, oily mouthfeel which was full of brown sugars, malts, oak with a bittering hoppy finish, but not overly dry. It began to give off a strong citrusy flavor right toward the finish as it warmed, but it only added to the sweetness of the beer. Well rounded and good balance...could do well when aged..very little presence of the 17% so this is VERY scary!
Sickboy282 (1115) - San Diego, California, USA - DEC 8, 2004
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: DEC 9, 2004 ***I have been informed that this brew hasn’t been aged in the casks.... this is just a preview....so hopefully the beer to follow will be mind blowing.***** will probably bring this beer a little down rating-wise, but this was a little bit of a dissapointment. Sure it was 17% and you can’t really tell, but as far as flavor goes, this seemed to be a little too young. LIke a fine wine, this brew, which was aged in Jack Daniels casks, needs at least another year to be as complex as is should be. Flavor was mild with a slight bitterness, but as with the olde school barleywine, will blossom.
hopdog (9940) - Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 7, 2004
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
On tap @ the San Diego Strong Ale Fest. Poured a medium to dark, hazy golden color with an averaged sized head. Aromas and tastes of brown sugar, malts, and fruits. Sweet. Wow, 17% - I wouldn’t have guessed that at all. This was my last tasting on Day 1 and picked a very good beer to close it with!
Hairofthedog (419) - San Diego, California, USA - DEC 5, 2004
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Caramel and hints of pine and brown sugar permiate the nose. Caramel apples and soury fermented fruit in the mouth. The beer was really woody. Rich golden brown w/ good head on the pour, but only slight lacing. The mouthfeel was creamy and tingly on the back of the tongue. Very nice.
DarkElf (3050) - 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 it’s 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 doesn’t 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 I’d 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 (5338) - 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 O’Brien’s. 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 doesn’t seem like 17%, I guess, but it DOES seem like it’s 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 it’ll 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.