kujo9 (1094) - North Ridgeville, Ohio, USA - APR 3, 2003
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Lasting slightly off white head on top of a very light amber body. Aromas of slight alcohol, oak and raisins initially; even the vanilla as the bottle suggests, but the maple seems to be more of a faint woody as oppposed to maple syrupy. Caramelly and raisiny in the flavor, woody, but seems to be missing the vanilla flavor from the aroma as well as the oaky flavor. Woody does not necessarily mean oaky, the woody flavor is probably from the maple syrup. Also very alcoholic tasting, which sort of give it a hot, not warming mouthfeel. Very full bodied with a smooth texture, and carbonation is subdued which makes this a very drinkable beer. Although the hot mouthfeel would suggest moderation since it's probably from higher alchohols and would probably contribute to one banger of a headache.
LoveCaissa (873) - Copenhagen, DENMARK - MAR 24, 2003
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Magnificent deep red colour. Excellent complex aroma with plenty of malts, oak/vanilla, and perhaps some ripe berries. Flavour is great too: sweet (maple syrup) with a long, dry bitter finish that also has a slightly smoky touch. A bit too sweet for an absolut top rating, but surely my favourite barley wine.
Terminus (3342) - Las Cruces, New Mexico, USA - MAR 18, 2003
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
well, i dont know about this one-i love barleywines, but i really like ones that have tons of hops(avery, SN, three floyds), but these malty/fruity ones dont really agree with me for some reason. For the style, this brew is very much what it is supposed to be, but the barleywine category should be broken into 2 different categories.
Frank (3299) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAR 10, 2003
3.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: NOV 1, 2003 Definite earthy notes in the aroma along with some slight hints of fruity sweetness. Thin head with spotty lacing. Cloudy orange amber. Though I can't smell and alcohol, I definitely taste it throughout. Front is spicy. Citrus and maple come out in the middle along with some woody notes and a hint of peach. Sticky mouthfeel. Low carbonation. Low hop presence with some lingering sweet and sour notes in the finish. There's a lot of subtelty I'm missing in this review. This beer is brewed with such an original recipe that a lot of these flavors are new to me. I gotta give the good people at Dogfish Head a bonus for creativity though. Interesting and tasty, if a bit harsh around the edges. Would probably benifeit from aging or (I never thought I'd say this) lower ABV.
Dickinsonbeer (5075) - Hoboken, New Jersey, USA - MAR 8, 2003
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Actually not as dark as some barley wines and a slight head which fades rapidly. Smells of vanilla and alcohol mix with some malty background. Flavors of oak maple syrup and lots of mmalt although there are too few hops. This is well done but I prefer many other barleywines over this.
badgerben (4598) - Blaine, Minnesota, USA - MAR 7, 2003
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: MAY 24, 2012 Original Rating, March 7, 2003. Holy canolie. Pours a dark amber, massive head on mine. You can certainly smell and taste the alcohol in this one. Itís hard to distinguish some of the flavors. Itís certainly better than other barley wines Iíve had, as the alcohol isnít all you taste, but itís too hard to distinguish what else is in it. 8/4/7/3/16
Re-rating, 5/24/2012. Wow, what a fantastically descriptive review that was, 9 years ago. Red cap, ballpark of í09 vintage. Dark brown color with a medium head. Aroma of vanilla and burnt sugar. Fairly smoky flavor. A bit woody and astringent. Dry. Probably had a couple too many years on it, but still delicious.
boto (1953) - Granby, Connecticut, USA - MAR 4, 2003
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: DEC 21, 2010 12 oz bottle: This one pours a fairly clear, darker copper color. There was a good sized beige head on it. The nose is good. I get a big whiff of dark fruits and definitely some sweetness to it. Caramel, vanilla and maybe some maple to the nose. The taste is also quite good. Caramel, hint of sweetness, woody, fruits, and a slightly bitter finish. Alcohol is hidden well. Very nice!
clvand0 (350) - Lexington, Kentucky, USA - MAR 4, 2003
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Be prepared for this beer because it's a strong one. It has a huge, bold flavor that only somewhat masks the 11% alcohol. The aroma was very pleasant and inviting with some fruits lingering in it and the head was small with little lace. This beer is very expensive, but worth trying just for understanding the complexity of the flavors.
omnivore (270) - San Francisco, California, USA - MAR 2, 2003
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
The aroma was bright and appley. The flavor was very mellow and flat but not flat in a bad way. Not overpowering... rather even.
Nuffield (3819) - Roseville, Minnesota, USA - FEB 28, 2003
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
I was really torn by this one. On the one hand, I was loving the bold and nicely textured flavors, everything from raisins to vanilla to maple--so apparent in the aroma and so sharp in the mouth (a bit of hoppy bitterness too). On the other hand, I was really disappointed with the acid alcohol character--burning, sharp, so unrepentently alcoholic. It was as if they couldn't keep the devilish side of the barleywine down while they maximized the heavenly side. It was not thin to my taste at all--lovely feel, sticky, sweet, luscious...only flawed.