SkyinBrian (430) - Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - DEC 27, 2004
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
aroma of carmel, alcohol and faint hops. mellow taste, nutty, full bodied. some fruity character as it warmed up a bit.
footbalm (1219) - Western Minneapolis Suburbs, Minnesota, USA - DEC 25, 2004
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
1996 bottle courtesy of Sven.Pours a dark honey with no head but still very active with carbonation.Had little fizzies the whole time I was drinking it.The aroma of thisbrew was very complex as at first I thought this was caramel then I found it to be sweet and malty,maybe fruity.Taste,lovely to be drinking,sipping actually,a brew this old that was this delicious.Rich in body and sweet and malty.The ABV wasn’t that apparent to me.
NobleSquirrel (3438) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - DEC 24, 2004
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
I wouldn’t call this red, exactly. Appeared more the color of cognac. Had a nose that smelled strongly of alcohol, chocolate, and caramel. The taste was similar, though very English in character. Which is not surprising given the brewery. Not as much alcohol in the mouth as the nose. Caramel and roastiness and chocolate are evident. Overall, a nice enough experience
waveman352 (178) - Saratoga Springs, New York, USA - DEC 23, 2004
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
7oz. bottle. Poured a redish amber color with a medium white head. Very yeasty smell. When you took a big sniff you could defiantly smell red wine characteristics because of the strong alcohol. Very heavy bodied. Whiskey like in taste which is very interesting. The finish and after taste are quit watery which is surprising for such a thick beer. Really good overall.
csbosox (1229) - Prairie Village, Kansas, USA - DEC 23, 2004
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: SEP 9, 2009 7 oz bottle. 8.2 ABV. New Belgium, snifter-type glass. I let it sit at room temp for 30 minutes because my cellar is 41 degrees right now. Reddish brown color, little head that dissipates quickly. The carbonation gives it a nice hazy head that reforms. Nice lacing. Malty aroma, honey, floral hops, spiced nose. It smells great and wafts up to my nose as I type. Taste is sweet fruity initially then goes into beautiful hops flavors. Initially honey, brown sugar, cloves, and spice. The hops are floral, citrus peel. The hops give it a nice backbone and make it non-cloyingly sweet. The finish is dryish and flavorful. The mouthfel seems a bit thin. My only regret is that the bottle is so small and that I only have 5 left! I prefer this to the sticky-sweet British barley wines. 9/4/8/4/17 4.2
2004 7oz "nip" bottle @ 8.2ABV. I always new the time would come when I would be out of the ’04 OF bottles. Tonight is the last bottle, this one with 5 years of age on it. This bottle was stored in a cellar that fluctuates quite a bit. In the hottest part of the summer the bottles are looking at 75° and in the coldest part of the winter, they are seeing freezing ྾°) temps. I would imagine the nip bottles would age faster in this format due to the thermal mass and the amount of headspace relative to the volume of beer. I took the bottle right out of a 70° cellar to try the beer. The beer feels cool to the touch, but it could easily be at cellar temps at the moment. Served in a DT chalice. Mild oxidation (good oxidation, no cardboard or anything like that), sherry, dark caramel, wood, rich dark fruits and toffee in the nose. Amazingly enough, there is a thin head sticking around and swirling around like a lava lamp. The mouthfeel is substantial, but the finish is clean and way too easy to drink. The taste is dark caramel, dark fruits, toffee, sherry, wood and alcohol with a mildly hot and bitter finish, something that might not be overly apparent if the beer was served 10-15° cooler. The age on this beer is very complimentary, there is still so much of what made this a great beer, but also some positive aging characteristics. On thing I am sure of is that the beer might not have been able to be aged for another couple years in these conditions. 9/4/8/5/18 4.4
mds (2250) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - DEC 21, 2004
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: DEC 22, 2004 small bottle obtained from AJ’s Fine Foods in Phoenix. murky amber colour with no head whatsoever. Powerful citrusy hop aroma, sweet raisins along with other dried fruits. the flavour is similar to that also. it’s very malty and I didn’t feel that there was enough hop character to even it out. warm alcohol feeling. dry finish. my first of the style. I bought another bottle that I’ll age for a little while to see how it develops.
boto (1951) - Granby, Connecticut, USA - DEC 14, 2004
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
7 oz. bottle: This one pours a hazy amber color. The head was about non-existent, with just some lingering bubles around the edges. Caramel, dark fruits and maybe a hint of smokiness to the nose. A silky taste to it, sweet, matly, with hints of the fruits. Maybe a hint of alcohol. The sweetness lingers. Very nice!
nigos (631) - Ipswich, Suffolk, ENGLAND - DEC 13, 2004
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Dark cola like hue with a thin light brown head. Toffee and liquorice nose with a strong fruity kick. Cognac like taste with toasted malt and dark fruits. Sweet and sappy on the palate with a long fruity after taste. A fantastic barley wine.
TheBeerCollector (633) - Woodstock, Georgia, USA - DEC 9, 2004
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
A very good barley wine. Too bad it’s in such a small bottle. Rich, complex, warming and smooth. This beer is a great example of the style.
meathookjones (245) - Sterling, Virginia, USA - DEC 7, 2004
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
This was from this year’s teaser size 7oz bottle. This poured out a dark mahogany color with a quickly fleeting light tan head. After the head was down to a few random bubbles coating the top no significant lace was present during its consumption. The aroma is of a slightly sweet fruity malt nature with a bit of alcohol emerging after warming. Sweet fruity malt is the main component of the taste with dark fruits showing and a slight earthy tone as well. There is enough hop inhere to give it a good balance and keep this from being an overly sweet barley wine. A full and creamy mouthfeel is what you’ll get with this as the warm coating fruity covers with every sip. Fairly drinkable with a not so strong alcohol presence and a pleasant taste. Overall a good barely wine but it could defiantly be more complex and flavorful bringing it to a great barely wine.