EdPaulsen (117) - Rochester, New York, USA - MAR 8, 2004
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
one of the better american barley wines, like the old horizontal. definite american hop presence, but balanced. a nice syrupy and alcohol taste too. too bad it comes in such little bottles and is generally overpriced.
ZepolK (102) - South Side Montebello, California, USA - MAR 7, 2004
4.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Aroma is malt, fruit, citrus and candy. Very rich and flavorful with mild hints of hops and toffee. Very tasty and quite smooth for a barley wine. Outstanding across the palate, and the alcohol is very well hidden. The only complaint I have for this one is the price. At .42 per ounce it's quite expensive considering you can get Big Foot for .13 per ounce, or Old Victory at .19, it may not be worth the price. Also what's up with the 7 oz bottles? Seems like a marketing scheme to make more money, anyway it really is a great barley wine.
Brodie (540) - Blowing Rock, North Carolina, USA - MAR 6, 2004
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
This beer presented a pleasant change at a recent barleywine tasting. Aroma of spicy alcohol and malt, with hint of cough syrup, sherry, and dried fruits. Dark red amber in color, minimal head. Flavor is sweet, with complex layers of malt and alcohol revealing themselves in each sip. The nice thing about this barlwywine is that the malt and alcohol complexities stand out on their own, not needing mounds of hops to cover the aroma and flavor. Smooth, warming, and thoroughly enjoyable.
lilannie (384) - Adamstown, Maryland, USA - MAR 6, 2004
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Aroma: strong alcohol smell, followed by a bit of carmel and chocolate malts and bitterness.
Appearance: murky orange
Flavor: quite hoppy but smooth, with chocolate, earthy/wood and delicate fruit flavors. light hop aftertaste (not too overpowering).
Palate: compared to the smell, it was very smooth (i was expecting a sharp alcohol taste which disappeared in the tasting). slight aftertaste, see above.
Overall: generally, i found it to be quite refreshing. not too overwhelming like some barley wines and not too light or watery. very good combination and a very drinkable beer. be warned the alcohol sneaks up on you.
Cobra (1100) - - MAR 3, 2004
4.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 20/20
7 oz. pony or nip bottle. We call them ponies in these parts. A cryptic 3DJ date code on back of the bottle. Poured out an exceptionally clear, dark amber color, just like a shot of George Dickel #12. Exact same color. A little fizzy at first, then it settled down to a fine lacing around the sides of my glass. Aromas are of bananas, fruity esters, rum soaked dark fruits, like dates, raisins, and prunes. Earthy, sweet smelling, and enticing. Tastes are of a rummy nature. Sugary, earthy, alcoholic, slightly musty, like Grandma's basement, and very malty. The hops are subdued in both aromas and flavors. Warming right away. I can feel this beer fogging my brain after only a few small sips. Alcohol comes through towards the end, only to be smoothed over by the rich maltiness. Wonderful, absolutely wonderful beer. Great stuff. I wish I lived in San Francisco. This beer is enough to make you pack your bags and head out west. I can almost smell the salty air of the Pacific ocean now. This is truly what barleywine was meant to be. Rich mouthfeel, smooth, creamy, and alcoholic. Excellent drinkability. Makes me wish I'd bought a 6 pack instead of a single.
Good things do come in small packages. This is proof incarnate.
rudolf (2344) - Buffalo, New York, USA - MAR 3, 2004
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
Candi sugar, floral hops and dark fruits in the nose. Small head, copper body. Rich malt & hops w. warming alcohol and port. Amazing mouthfeel.
MullMan (1099) - New York, USA - MAR 2, 2004
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: APR 17, 2004 pours deep amber with yellow edges, reddish from a few angles. not at all cloudy. no head (bottle pour to a goblet) and some oily drops instead of lacing. pleasant gentle fruit notes, like fresh zested citrus. low carbonation as it should be, with great balance and strength. hop dryness, sweet malt. alcohol is well hidden. great stuff!
FlacoAlto (3881) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - MAR 2, 2004
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle 29 December 2003, Sampled February 2004
Pours a reddish copper color that is lightly hazy, and is topped by a tan head. Aromas of alcohol, restrained hop floral, and sweet malt. The hop nose is made up of grapefruit, orange which is perhaps the strongest, and a bit of raisin. This beer is thick, though not overly so: sweet, though not sticky. There are definitely some hops here, they are one of the more dominant flavors, but it is in a very good balance with the sweet caramel malt flavors. Finishes with a bit of a hop bite bitterness. The taste is made up of alcohol, orange, sweet malt, caramel, pine, hop nectar, and biscuit/ bready notes.
The grandfather U.S. Barley Wine that spawned the American variety. Very restrained compared to many of the brash youngsters, though ground breaking and even explosively flavorful in its day. Funny that now a days this beer shows a sophisticated and balanced restraint in its marriage between malt and hop. The nip bottles are the perfect size for this beer.
Sammys (428) - Portland, Maine, USA - FEB 27, 2004
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Excellent beer, had it on tap at Lucky Baldwin's in Pasadena, CA. Huge head that slowly dissapates the wonderful malty/hoppy aroma. This brew is a little less of a hop showcase than say Bigfoot, so the malts come through more prominently. My comment to a friend at the time, when he asked for a description of it, was "what Port is to wine, this is to beer."
IslandHaole (1100) - Mililani, Hawaii, USA - FEB 27, 2004
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Deep orange, or what was the name of that funky color crayon, Burnt Sienna? Yes, like that, just a slight rim of a tan head. Pine tar and grapefruit peel with nuts, (hazelnut/walnut) tones. Like a fruit cake soaked in whiskey, liquefied, strained the aged in a barrel. This is the result. Sweet and warming up front with a floral middle and a nice hoppy bite that follows. This is sheer delight. I had to drive through a snowstorm for two hours to get this, Only picked up 3 bottles but snow or not, I'm going back for more!