DarkElf (3035) - 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.
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
Snojerk321 (2960) - San Diego, California, USA - DEC 25, 2009
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
On Cask @ Hamilton’s. Pours a deep cloudy caramel brown with a creamy off white head that left some nice lacing. Nose starts with citrus and herbal hops, then gives way to vanilla, toffee, caramel, oats and candied dark fruits. Flavor is quite sweet with tons of caramel and toffee. Finishes almost cloying sweet with faint booze. Overall a pretty killer Barley Wine, very unique.
Hophead22 (2879) - Redlands, by way of Wisconsin,, California, USA - APR 14, 2013
3.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Tap at the brewery. Rating #34. This smelled awesome, unfortunately the flavor wasn’t up to the level of the aroma, still very good overall though. (2681)
willblake (2654) - Bel Air, Maryland, USA - MAR 1, 2005
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
02.19.05 Tap at Toronado BWF Dark, muddy, and flat looking. A touch funky on nose but flavor is all goodness. Pear, prune. Mega hops trying to fight big alcohol result in a decent balance. Stylish, vanilla. Apples cooked in sugar water. Numbing. Pretty cool, but way over the top.
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 FUCKIN’ percent...I am willing to wager that in about 1 year, this is the best beer ever made...or close.
jazz88 (2564) - San Francisco, California, USA - NOV 14, 2006
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Tap @ Toronado 2005 barleywine festival. Golden amber color with a foamy tan head. Nice oak, strong caramel, with a rich full body (but avoids syrupy).
50belair (2488) - Florida, USA - NOV 14, 2014
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
On tap at the brewery. Cloudy amber pour with a white head. Sweet malty aromas with an emphasis on honey and apricot. So sweet, almost overly so, with loads of honey and caramel malts. Apricot undercurrents. Good body and mouthfeel.
snoworsummer (2455) - baltimore, Maryland, USA - DEC 6, 2014
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Draft at the brewery. Pours opaque orange copper with a a fizzy off white head and decent lacing. Tastes thick and very sweet, like sugary raisins, plums, dates, with an earthy and slightly boozy aftertaste. Light body and low carbonation. Smells like dates, raisins, and sugary, malty alcohol.
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.