Kinz (3711) - Glen Allen, Virginia, USA - AUG 22, 2003
3.5 AROMA 3/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
A beer with complexity and a sense of style, lacking the overt brashness of the usual DFH product. Quite impressive in its restraint, really. The aroma was shockingly almost absent, as I almost sucked it into my nostrils trying to catch a whiff. Odd. Appearance was a nice deep amber, head faded sort of quick and complete. The taste was tremendously well balanced, a fine barley wine, sweet, but finishing dry, a hint of maple on the tongue, no overt hopiness to speak of. Not what I was expecting, but a fine beer that speaks to the skill of the brewer.
tkaufman (128) - Lewis Center, Ohio, USA - AUG 19, 2003
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Rich and malty through the nose and into the palate. A very thick and flavorful brew with complex balance between malt, caramel, hop bitterness, and treacle or maple or some sugary madness. A very good brew.
Libeerian (209) - Garner, North Carolina, USA - AUG 18, 2003
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
The aroma is malty with hints of alcohol and maple. The flavor is a complex of spicy, malty, earthy and a few others I can't quite put my finger on. One of my favorite Dogfish Head beers.
Beloved Beer (278) - California, USA - AUG 11, 2003
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Can't go wrong with dogfish beers. This one was typical of dogfish. It had a lot going on and it all worked.
DYCSoccer17 (3603) - Woodland, California, USA - AUG 10, 2003
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: OCT 10, 2009 Pours a dark copper like a traditional Pale ale. The head is very tiny and I had some diffculty getting some head :P The little I got dissipated rapidly. I can smell just a tiny hint of the maple in this drink. Hmmm...I need another taste to guage this one...the start is sweet with hints of the maple and maybe some vanilla, the middle is very hoppy and alcohol flavored, while the finish is sweet. This beer is quite carbonated, and doensnt really hide the 11% that well.----re-rate 10/10/09-----Aroma has some pitted fruits and definitely some juniper/ray present. Quite sweet in the nose. A little ethanol is present retronasally. Transparent amber body with a pretty frothy off-yellow head. Good lacing present. Sweet, caramelly start with some floral hints and definitely some smokiness in the middle. Not too much, but enough. THere is also some gin-like juniper characters. Finishes with a bit of a warming alcohol burn. All in all, this beer is reflective of my initial rating. I certainly don’t detect as much maple as I initially did.
Shagnasty (130) - Rochester, New York, USA - AUG 7, 2003
2.6 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 10/20
UPDATED: NOV 18, 2003 *I've never had a Barleywine before this. I was completely shocked by this brew, and not ready to try it.
I'd rather sit at home with a box of shitty wine, some Bacardi 151 and a bud, than drink this again. Not a fan of the style at all, and for $4 a bottle, to make me want to vomit I'll pass. Decent head, no lacing. Nice color. Putrid taste , that finishes like hard rum and bad wine mixed with no resemblance to any beer I've ever had. I definitely was not ready for this brew. I'll give it another shot when I get a few more beers under my belt.
jbak (111) - Torrington, Connecticut, USA - AUG 5, 2003
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: MAY 5, 2005 2005 - Only slight differences, brew is quite clear now and the head is nearly non existant
Even the aroma smells so complex so that I cannot describe,mostly malty and alchohol, with some oak and vanilla. Color is a slightly cloudy brown amber. Head pours rather thick but dissipates very quickly with some lacing. Mouthfeel is quite heavy, but the moderate carbonation offsets that a bit. Maple syrup dominates the flavor with touches of everything including the kitchen sink. Almost no aftertaste, which is quite different for a barleywine. Damn!! I love barleywines, especially from a brewery like DFH!!
DrGonzo (625) - Somerville, Massachusetts, USA - AUG 3, 2003
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Pours a slightly hazy orange brown, with little carbonation. Aroma has alcohol, buttery vanilla, barley, citrus, and cherry. "Vast" is a great word to describe the flavor, it's all over the place yet amazingly well balanced. I found vanilla, maple, and oak (like on the label), plus cherry, raisins, merlot, hint of smoke, intense sweetness by way of the maple syrup I assume, birthday cake, bit of alcohol. Has an almost chewy dark bread feel, soft bubbles. The warmer the better on this one I think, close to room temp perhaps?. Could be a nice dessert. Yet again Dogfish Head goes off the hook with another mega-complex brew. Beautiful.
happy4hops (376) - Bel Air, Maryland, USA - AUG 2, 2003
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: MAR 12, 2004 Great barleywine.Very light aroma out of the bottle.Once poured it is quite a light color compared to other BW but...It has a great amber/brown color with pretty little cyclone bubbles at the bottom rising.Great lasting brown tinted head.Nice creamy lace.Tastes very smooth(maple/vanilla/barley/hop bite/some smoke in there.The mouthfeel is stellar smooth.The last batch I had of this(10/03)seemed to be infected(sour and spritzy)Way too sweet as well.I like the olde school better these days.
hoppygrrrl (104) - Albion, Michigan, USA - JUL 27, 2003
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
This Dogfish Head is an incredible barley wine! It has such a refined aroma and flavor! Zingy and creamy; burnt notes of caramel, raisins, and spice; cakey but not yeasty. Absolutely delicious, and now one of my favorite desserts!