bombshelter (349) - San Francisco, California, USA - MAY 5, 2005
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
bottle from brickskeller. aroma: pine, booze.
look: clear light gold (lighter than i expected for a barleywine).
flavor: wow. caramel is the boat, and piney woodsy notes ride along, as well as a hint of the alcohol content. still, the 15% is very well hidden. not one for pounding, but very good.
Inveigler (371) - Ferndale, Michigan, USA - MAY 1, 2005
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Nice crystal tangerine color. Very herbal aroma with some noticable hops and soft pillowy yeast tones. A little thinner than I would expect at the alcohol level -- the hops donít really work with this, but somehow I donít mind. An enjoyable brew.
dirkules (629) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - APR 18, 2005
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Thick pour like swirling rootbeer and a sticky aroma like rancid orange and sugarcane. Earthy flavour without any sort of overbearing hops. The malts smooth out all of the effects of the heavy alcohol content. This is a definite improvement on the WWS from 98. Cheers DFH!
axilla (962) - New Providence, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 14, 2005
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
03 bottle-Pours a hazy orange/brown color body with a small white head. Aroma i very sugary. The favor is a lot like an apricot with sweet carmel drizzled on it. A ittle alcohol in the finish but itís very well hidden for 15%. A bit better than I expected. Aged very well.
Gorbalev (3000) - Ontario, CANADA - APR 12, 2005
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
2003 Vintage, Bottle, Beer Bistro. Tried this one along with a 1997 Rogue Old Crustacean. This poured lighter in the glass than the rogue, almost an apricot orange with an orange tinted small head. Aroma was interesting - alcohol, sweetness with fruity notes and even a little spice. Initial taste was a little bottle - tinged I found. After that faded though, the taste was very strong with more bitterness than the rogue, and also more sweetness. The big difference for me was the earthy quality this beer had - there was something almost organic tasting about the whole package which was quite nice. I still think this had some rough edges to it, and the bottle taste was unfortunate (especially when the 97 rogue didnít have any at all) but overall, this was a fine sipping Barleywine.
paul9639 (116) - New Hampshire, USA - APR 10, 2005
3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 10/20
My least favorite offering from Dogfish. The pour was thick and had very little head.The aroma was of alcohol and carmel, with a hint of dried fruit. The taste was sickly sweet with a strong alcohol overtone. If you let this beer get to room temperature, and you can distinguish it from turpentine, you are a better man than me. I will probably truy again to confirm my dislike.
frankenkitty (2006) - Oak Lawn, Illinois, USA - APR 4, 2005
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
12 oz. bottle poured a medium honey-orange body with a small, off-white head. Dried fruit in the aroma along with alcohol and banana. Potent sour apple flavor, with a sweetly malted end. Syrupy, clingy aftertaste that held a caramel fruitiness... and a bit more of that tongue-warming alochol.
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Boutip (5795) - Gatineau, Quebec, CANADA - APR 4, 2005
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: MAR 10, 2008 Bottle: Poured a light brown color ale with a medium head with medium retention. Carbonation is above average for a barley wine and body is a bit thin for the style. Aroma consisted of dates and figs with strong malt. Taste is quite enjoyable with some sweetness (but not too much) balance well against the malt and hops. Finish is slightly dry with some subtle water, which did disappoint me. Alcohol is not really discernable. Overall, I guess this is a good barley wine but I had some better one.
Re-rate 2008 (fresh bottle 2007): A bit more complex (dry fruits) then last time around but some alcohol phenols were discernable which I didnít appreciate.
ElJefe (553) - Rochester, New York, USA - APR 1, 2005
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Hazy amber with a white head. They arenít kidding about the dayes and figs - they are all over the aroma and flavor of this brew. Earthy, slightly yeasty finish. Very sweet. Great for in front of a fire on a cold winter day.
drismyhero (815) - Tacoma, Washington, USA - MAR 29, 2005
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
I was not quite as blown away with this barley wine as many others here. The malt is clearly top notch, a definite trait of the brewery, but the alchohol here is the most prominent flavor, giving the caramel in the alcohol a heated edge that makes it slightly unpleasant and dulls to the senses. Some mild hops provide some contrast, but once the sweetness from the malt subsides, your left with varnish and bourbon. Now once you can zero out the beer at the high ABV, it is possible to enjoy the bready yeast and doughy grains, but it takes perseverance and a clear head.