duff (5484) - Copenhagen, DENMARK - JUL 10, 2002
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
A very hoppy, spicy barley wine. Amberish appearance, with, little lasting head. Full bodied, slightly syrrpuy texture, very smooth. sweet at the start, with bittering hops on the finish, quite a nice fruit flavour, reminds me of fruit cake. Bit of licorice in their as well as a bit of pine needle. My favourite barley wine SO FAR.
ClarkVV (3892) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - JUL 10, 2002
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
UPDATED: MAR 24, 2006 Bottles and tap from 2002 onwards. It is elegant in its simplicity. Round, floral/malty taste, with not too much hops. The aftertaste is amazing as well as the big, medium-full body. i would drink this beer on tap over most others. Plenty of warm malt, some chocolate, dark plums, plenty of raisins and some light vanilla. Dry cherries. Rerate. After trying harveys elizabethan and a few other barleys and trying this over and over, I still love it, but it just isnt that complex. . .at least not yet. Im going to cellar a few bottles for a long time and see what happens then.
Havent had this in a while, picked up a couple 2004 bottles to try. Don’t get too much different from what I’ve noted of old, but the feeling I get is that this is an overall lighter beer than I thought, body-wise, or maybe just an off-year. Seems to go down very easily, with somewhat of a short finish. Still a spectacular flavor profile, and I’m not asking for it to be a monster, but just needs a little more oomph and chewiness perhaps. Dropping the rating a few points overall.
’05-’06 draught Very underwhelming nose here is just a ubiquitous c-hop with deep, caramel and munich-like maltiness. Fairly strong, but unwaveringly monotonous. The flavor is again strong, forceful even, but it’s just thick, near-syrupy caramel/caramunich malts with bitter hops and an almost dry, salty toffee and peanut brittle sort of flavor. No elegance and barely, if at all, balanced. Dropping it a number of points. Appearance was even lacking, head was only moderately retained at best, no lacing. As Ernest says, who enjoys acid/astringency?
YogiBeera (2464) - New Jersey, USA - JUL 9, 2002
3.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: JAN 1, 2006 Malty barley nose with hints of honey, wonderful red amber color. Flavor fruity and malty - nice kick on the roof of the mouth, but something is missing. It is like pivo says somehow unbalanced
RERATE 2005 - Vintage 1995 for the 10 year old Vertical Barley Wine tasting: Medium carbonation, small head that diminishes fast. Chestnut brown color. Intense roasted malt and coal cellar nose . Earthy taste - like a fresh digged up mound. Also Blackberries, some weak chocolate. Thin - goes bye fast - but still a classy one!
pivo (2556) - GERMANY - JUL 9, 2002
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Fruity nose and hops come through a little. Ruddy-brown color with no head. Sweet dark malt up front and a gritty finish. Complex and mouth filling. Long profile that trails off slowly. Something slighty unbalanced about it, but still very good.
cranesareflying (50) - Evanston, Illinois, USA - JUL 5, 2002
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Beautiful reddish chestnut brown color, a fruity malt bouquet, a truly delicious rich, roasted malt flavor, with molasses, butterscotch, and a slightly sweet mild fruit, a lingering burnt caramel, malted finish, it’s unexplainable why it comes in these small 7 oz bottles, but it’s a terrific beer.
jazz88 (2550) - San Francisco, California, USA - JUL 5, 2002
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle. A wonderful mahogany color. The flavor is sweet, fruity (cherry), and has smooth rich caramel. The palate is sticky and syurpy. This is much more restrained than the Bell’s Third Coast Old Ale.
swamptours (28) - Romulus, Michigan, USA - JUL 5, 2002
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Very nice indeed. Quite smooth for a barley wine. I will be drinking more of this one very soon. Yummy!
belgianhomebrew (646) - Acworth, Georgia, USA - JUL 2, 2002
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
BIG BARLEY WINE - little bottle. Great balance of hops and lots of malt. Mellows quite nicely with age.
MaxPower (961) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - JUN 24, 2002
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: FEB 8, 2003 2001 vintage pours a deep clear dark amber-copper, small creamy off-white head that doesn't last long, sweet fruity aromas of apples and pears. Sweet and malty like a good barleywine, sweet slick finish, very smooth and full bodied with a full and syrupy, creamy mouthfeel, very complex and very smooth.
Gusler (2653) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - JUN 21, 2002
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Re-rate 06/21/02: Been a while since I sampled this ’Big-O-Beer’. Deep amber in color, the head generous and beige, the lace in sheets that clings to the glass, Nose is bubble gum, sweet, malt and a bit citrusy, and a hint of alcohol also noticed. Sweet front, the top medium, the finish is tart, dry, acidic, nicely hopped and the high ABV gives a nice ’Warm’ feeling in the tummy.