TAR (2503) - Lafayette, Colorado, USA - MAR 16, 2004
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
2002 vintage: Cloudy crimson. Cakey light tan ring. Chewy toffeed malt aroma with punctual alcohol. Slight oxidation brings out the sherry notes amidst the fig sweetness. Touches of wax, dried plums, beets, and sugared malts. Vague tropical fruit esters help deter the alcohol. Velvety carbonation. Liquid leather mouthfeel. Brief black cherry flavors and Crystal richness are outmatched by the alcoholic warmth. The alcohol continues to heat up and pretty much ruins this lovely malt combo and overemphasizes the bushy hop bitterness. Rich sugared malts assist the light Munich tang. Pine needle bitterness continues to push through with ease while accompanying the woody, leathery malts and medicinal underpinnings. Spiny hops and sugared malts punish the palate long after the swallow. Alcohol tries to dry it out and reduce some of the sweetness, but the medicinal notes return and coat the throat alongside the piney hops and sugar-doused plums. Not bad, but it’s a bit of a trainwreck in the mouth, due the malty, medicinal sweetness.
fly (1417) - austin, Tejas, Alabama, USA - AUG 10, 2003
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
This takes me back to the amount one uses for rating. Had it the other day at a tasting and thought it was "just good". This time I had an entire bottle (12 oz.) and really, really enjoyed it. From the same friend and trip, so I imagine it is the same age. Bottle has four years written on one edge, but I couldn't detect a marking that idicated which year - ?? Not that it matters other than thinking at the tasting it was more hop dominate and this time that it was just fabulous in being so rich and ful and malty and NOT too sweet or excesively hoppy. Okay, if it DID have just a teensy bit more bitterness I sure wouldn't complain, but don't want to suggest messing with what I like. Balanced to my liking. Loads of rich dark fruit. Could drink this one until I pass out, which at 11.25% doesn't seem all that hard.
AceOfHearts (1375) - Mountain View, California, USA - JUL 26, 2003
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle. Amber, dark, small head. Lots of malts, hops, lots of everything! Somewhat sparkly but a little bit bland flavor. Wet cardboard flavor. Thin on the mouthfeel, a bit disappointing in the finish.
joet (2188) - Santa Rosa, California, USA - JUL 26, 2003
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Damn good and a special occasion beer for certain, CRUSTY with hops, piney and rounded herbal back, the hop mix feels broad and softened with some definite bright aromatic elements, creamy, carmelly, beautiful, I want some darker notes.
Aubrey (3442) - Bellingham, Washington, USA - FEB 8, 2003
3.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Hazy amber-apricot colored. Foamy head. Intense nose! Flavors were complexly odd and curious though: malty-sweet, alcoholic, milky and fruity. Smooth and soft palate, almost watery, with a very low carbonation level. Alcohol hidden incredibly well! Seemingly subdued in flavor, not in alcohol.
Ernest (6262) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - FEB 7, 2003
3 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 11/20
UPDATED: JAN 25, 2004 2002 bottle. Head is initially small, fizzy, light brown, fully diminishing. Body is hazy dark amber, bottle conditioned. Aroma is moderately hoppy (resin), moderately malty (molasses, cookie), hint of smoke. Flavor is moderately heavily sweet, moderately acidic, moderately bitter. Finish is moderately sweet, heavily acidic, heavily bitter. Medium to full body, velvety/creamy texture, lively carbonation, lightly alcoholic. Too citric for me (but otherwise acceptably balanced), and the aroma strikes me as primitive and crude.
Ringo (963) - Loveland, Colorado, USA - JAN 15, 2003
4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
A nice tasting barley wine. The cloyingly flat mouthfeel causes a loss of points, as does the thin head and absence of much lace. But overall, this is still a pretty damn good barley wine. 11.25% not noticeable, or else I"m just becoming immune. Smells wonderful too. Bottom line: if I were you, and I saw this beer, I would buy it.