Aubrey (3356) - Bellingham, Washington, USA - FEB 24, 2002
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: JAN 14, 2005 I was so happy to finally find & sample this puppy, & I didnít mind paying $7.30 a bottle (itís well worth it): As dark as a moonless night in the forest. Alcohol wafts through the nose gently. Dark tan head... fades quickly, but who cares. Mouthfeel is soft, smooth and velvety. Complex flavors swirl across the tongue; itís almost hard to pick them out because there are so many. And as soon as one comes up, itís quickly smothered by another. Intense fruit flavors surface about 3/4 the way into a swig. Prune? Raisin? Plum? Grape? Probably all, and then about 30 other forms of exotic fruits mixed in for good measure. Finish is very lasting and rewarding... and it only builds more and more the further down the glass you get. Warming in the throat... sweet, and port-like. A little cloying, but at least itís filled with flavor... so it coats your throat with a íflavorfulí stickiness. Lip-smacking vanilla is a bonus. High alcohol melds unbelievably. So drinkable. Undeniably very enjoyable. 2003 VERSION: Shiny and as black as a beetleís back with an oil-colored edge. Thick and heavy-bodied with a really heavy warmth. Heavily sweetened coffee clings to the tongue while a roasty and smoky residue clings to the roof of the mouth. Some burnt flavors drift up the nose. Chili pepper hotness slowly cascades down the throat. Some acidic sensations tingle the gums. Very complex and flavorful, but on the verge of being too sweet for me. Alcohol tamed out the sweetness a little, though. Classic beer and another one for aging, but I still think I liked the original batch a little better. 01 AGED until 04: Hops faded away mostly. Sweet, dark fruits exuded, such as sugared prunes and raisins. Had a mead-like sweetness to it. Just a hint of bitterness. Very warming, but alcohol was still hidden well. 2004: Silky, motor oil texture. Soft, but very intense, caramel flavors burst out of every crevice in the mouth. Rich, dark chocolate velvet. Light notes of vodka-soaked prune. Throat-warming numbness. Probably my favorite 18 percent year.
argo0 (11094) - Washington DC, USA - FEB 6, 2002
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: AUG 15, 2007 (8/15/07, 12oz bottle, 2003 release) After five-and-a-half years, itís finally time to re-rate the first beer I rated on the site. Given how limited my description was for such an unusual beer, itís actually well past time. Small brown head atop brown-black body. Aroma is moderately sweet, roast, coffee, chocolate, caramel, some burnt, vinous, light molasses, raisin, surprisingly light alcohol. Taste is sweet, molasses, vinous/raisin, caramel, some chocolate, roast/coffee, light anise. Some alcohol burn. Full body, sticky with low carbonation. As I observed back in 2002, "Sure thereís an alcohol flavor, but nothing like what youíd expect with this much alcohol."
JFGrind (1777) - Glenside, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 2, 2002
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
The alcohol content is off the charts yet the beer is very drinkable. Dogfish should be very proud of this beer and its worth going out of your way to sample.
jcalbi (378) - New Jersey, USA - JAN 25, 2002
4.6 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Amazing beer. Thick and black, like chocolate syrup, nice head. Aroma of an old fashioned New York Egg Cream. Alcohol hits you on the first sip but settles in nicely. Flavors of rich chocolate, cocoa and a hint of hazelnut(?). A beer to be sipped and enjoyed. Has the appearance of a stout but the flavor of a barleywine.
The Friar99 (222) - Wisconsin, USA - JAN 10, 2002
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
THE BEER BARON (275) - Wisconsin, USA - JAN 10, 2002
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Overwhelming flavor rush. Wow, this beer has some kick. Pretty good flavor. Quite an exceptional beer.
omhper (18350) - TyresŲ, SWEDEN - JAN 4, 2002
4.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Black. I mean black hole black. Vodka nose, but after that you forget that it is ridiculously strong. Tons of malt. Roasty and pappery flavour. Increadibly balanced. Hats off!
adamlau (76) - California, USA - DEC 23, 2001
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Searched for and tried this beer after seeing it listed as one of Ratebeer.comís íTop Beersí. Coffee-like aroma that wafts from the bottle and from the glass. Heavily roasted coffee aroma with chocolate under and overtones. The most alcoholic brew I have ever had and one where the taste of alcohol was very well masked. Very complex palate that seemed to change flavors with every mouthful. A bit bold for me right now, but I see where this brew is coming from. Served up after dinner as a dessert sounds good to me. Iíll try it again in a few weeks.
Toiletduck (20) - Philadelphia, USA - DEC 21, 2001
4.9 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
First of all, please donít judge the legitimacy of this rating based on the small number next to my name. Iíve tried hundreds of beers but this site is new to me.
Secondly, this is by far the best barleywine Iíve ever had (albeit very expensive). Extremely smooth and balanced for 18%abv. The aroma reminds me slightly of a fine brandy or port, and the sweetness lingers somewhat through mid-palate. Gets better with every sip, probably because one needs time to adjust to its strength and complexity. Dogfish Head is now my favorite American Brewery. Phillyís not too far from where itís made, so we get it fresh every time.
Kodos (200) - USA - DEC 16, 2001
4.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
Best Barley wine ever! If you can get it, do so....Unbelievably balanced. See the other ratings, they pretty much say it all!