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 (2345) - 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 (4011) - 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 (1133) - 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!
Hopistotle420 (1178) - Amherst, Massachusetts, USA - FEB 24, 2004
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Ruby brown. Citrus, floral, estery alcohol nose. Brandy, cognac like. Sweet chewy caramel and dark fruit malts. Cherry, vanilla, wood, rounded sweetness, medium bodied, with a perfectly balanced, hopped to the top finish. A very nice brew, as far as I am concerned.
piscator34 (2178) - Winnipeg, Manitoba, CANADA - FEB 23, 2004
2.1 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 8/20
I didn't really like this at all. I suspect that it's just me not really liking barley wine. Sort of a cloudy red-brown colour, with practically zero carbonation. A powerful smell of alcohol and fermenting apples. Very boozy and heavy in the mouth. Maybe I just don't understand this style?
Enniskillen (2044) - Salinas, California, USA - FEB 21, 2004
2.7 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 11/20
Perhaps it's just me hating on the Barley Wine, but I just did not like this. Alcohol seemed to be exentuated not hidden. Little carbination, Whiskey taste to it.
radiomgb (2544) - Peterborough, Ontario, CANADA - FEB 20, 2004
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Reddish brown in colour. Aroma is citrusy, nicely hopped, fair amount of malt and some alcohol. Flavour was sweet, some caramel, malty and a fair amount of alcohol. Finish is smooth, slight alcohol burn. Thanks Steve.