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overall
94
70
style
Serve in Snifter

bottling
unknown

on tap
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RATINGS: 147   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.54   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 338   ABV: 11.25%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Our biggest beer by far, Old No. 23 revives an English farmhouse brewery tradition of making a strong ale to set aside for special occasions. Our version, while tedious and time-consuming to brew, rewards the connoisseur with an ale that has the depth and complexity of a good brandy or single malt scotch. Massive quantities of malt and hops, a long aging time and limited availability make this a special ale worthy of its reputation.


3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
TAR (2503) - Lafayette, Colorado, USA - MAR 16, 2004
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.

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
fly (1417) - austin, Tejas, Alabama, USA - AUG 10, 2003
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.

3.6
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
AceOfHearts (1375) - Mountain View, California, USA - JUL 26, 2003
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.

3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
joet (2188) - Santa Rosa, California, USA - JUL 26, 2003
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.

3.4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Aubrey (3442) - Bellingham, Washington, USA - FEB 8, 2003
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.

3
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 11/20
Ernest (6262) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - FEB 7, 2003
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.

4
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
Ringo (963) - Loveland, Colorado, USA - JAN 15, 2003
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.


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