aracauna (3138) - Georgia, USA - OCT 13, 2003
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Calling this an I.P.A. is ridiculous. Everything about the flavor says barleywine. It has that characteristic buttery fruit aroma common in barleywines and it was surprisingly not hoppy given the name. Sweet and alcoholic and definitely best in small doses. It was odd to look at it next to the 60 and 90 Minute. The 60 was by far the palest but the 90 seemed just a hair darker than the 120 and had a better head.
Drew (2411) - Kent, Ohio, USA - OCT 12, 2003
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
My 1200th rating, so maybe I should drink 10 of these? Have to thank Tom for bringing some back from KY for Rockinout and myself. Aroma was awesome - floral, hops and sweet malts - only the alcohol could keep it from being perfect. Appearance was glowing golden and mostly clear - no head, and lacing was nice, but as expected, clear like jellyfish. Palate is unbelievably thick - almost syrupy like a liquer, but eventually reminded me more of brandy. Taste was pine and grapefruit hops, but actually the sweet sticky malts took precedence with the hop/alcohol combination providing bee stings of pleasure along the sides of the tongue. After the swallow, it was all alcohol breath, as if I just did a shot of "hop schnapps". As it warmed it gained a very woody flavor and aftertaste. It was tempting to drink this too fast, but in the end, this is a 2 hour 12oz bottle, complex and enjoyable from start to finish. Will aging it change it? we'll see, I've got some set aside.
unclebleen (620) - California, USA - OCT 10, 2003
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Almost copper, amber color. Off-white head and lacing. Lazy bubbles float to the surface. Very, very piney, the smell is great. First hit with major bitterness. But, mellows wonderfully on the swallow. Alcohol is present but masked (unbelievably so). Never had a beer like this but really enjoyed it.
mkobes (2141) - paramus, New Jersey, USA - OCT 9, 2003
4.7 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: NOV 14, 2003 For me this would be more of a barley wine. Its a very strong beer. High in alcohol but not noticable in the taste. Very hoppy. Dark orange in color. Very good beer and its pleasant to drink. Very good beer to drink in the winter. Its will really warm you up.
JorisPPattyn (8018) - Antwerpen, BELGIUM - OCT 1, 2003
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bright red-orange. virtually no head. Nose: hops - what else? but also a smell of pizza-crust - and alcohol! I get some Maillard, it seems. Strange - but first taste impression is sweet! Bitterness lurks at the edges. The balance - with such settings ) is incredible! Very rich mouthfeel, oily, nearly syrupy but not syrupy-sweet - makes me think of EKU 28°, the alcohol included. If anything blows me it is the balance of this ogre, where I was expecting an over-the-top Westcoaster. Nothing of it. GREAT!
Murphy (1759) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - SEP 26, 2003
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Good strong aroma. Shamless amount of alcohol, they didn't try to hide it nor could they. Hops are there for a second, then ethanol rolls them over. Certainly unique. Not for "responsible" drinkers!
ericnixon (740) - Portland, Oregon, USA - SEP 21, 2003
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Wow! 1/2 of a 12oz bottle (thanks Volgon!). I was expecting to get hit with the giant mega hoppiness that's found in Smuttynose's Big A IPA, or Stone's Ruination...but that wasn't the case at all. It was wonderfully smooth and well-balanced. Ok, it might have been hopped like a mofo, but it was so perfectly crafted that it didn't assult me with overt hoppiness. An amazing sipping beer.
egajdzis (5385) - Spring Mount, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 20, 2003
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: OCT 27, 2005 Poured a dark orange color with a small sticky head. Sweet candy sugar, and slighty hoppy aroma. Had a very sweet initial taste, almost like candy, then the alcohol burns your throat on the way down.
Ernest (6319) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - SEP 19, 2003
2.7 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 11/20
UPDATED: APR 1, 2008 Bottle.
Head is initially small, fizzy, off-white, fully diminishing. Body is hazy light
amber, bottle conditioned.
Aroma is lightly to moderately malty (cookie), moderately hoppy (resin, grapefruit, apricot), with notes of alcohol and tomato juice.
Flavor is heavily sweet, lightly acidic, lightly bitter. Finish is
moderately sweet, lightly acidic, moderately bitter.
Medium to full body, syrupy texture, lively carbonation, heavily alcoholic.
Surprisingly simple, uninspiring, and harsh.
Jayb0 (1048) - Cherry Hill, New Jersey, USA - SEP 16, 2003
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: JUN 10, 2014 I think it’s gone 30 minutes too far. slight film riding an amber colored beer. Lacks the florals of many IPA’s, aroma is more citrus and malt. Surprisingly sweet throughout. Hop bitterness and vinous qualities mingle but for me the beer seems to have competing flavors as opposed to unity. Still, a noble attempt from this great brewery. I’d love to try a bottle five years from now...
Draft 6/2014: This beer has become crazy-hard to get although I’m still not convinced it’s really worth it. The 90/75/60/61 are all more enjoyable. having said that, I liked it better than memory served, and it has gone through changes. Thick, syrupy, a bit too sweet throughout, but nice fruity hopiing, vinous, oddly chocolatey as welll. Fun every 10 years or so :) Upping +1 aroma, +1 palate, +2 overall.