rajendra82 (978) - Alpharetta, Georgia, USA - NOV 19, 2004
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: MAR 24, 2006 This bomber (accompanied by a second Ė making this a pair of doubles) came to me courtesy of clvand0, as part of a great trade.
The beer was poured into my usual goblet reserved for strong hoppy beers of this kind. The pour looked dark reddish amber in color, and the initially creamy head soon died out to a thin layer of bubbles, and stick lace patterns.
The aroma was very alcoholic, with a good dose of strong piney and grassy hops thrown in. Mild is not the word that came to mind when my nose approached the rim of the glass.
The taste was very hot and sweet, with caramel, raisins, pine tar, grapefruit rinds, and tobacco juice coming to the forefront. There was a bit of rubber like off flavor, but I attribute it to the greenness of this bottle.
Sticky and full on the palette, the aftertaste was strangely vacant. Warming alcohol content set my ears ringing after each sip. And a sip is about all I could take each time my lips touched the rim of the glass. At this point in time the beer is not very drinkable, but in a few more years, it ought to be a thing of beauty.
Itís been nearly a year and a half since I acquired this bomber via trade, and I read today that this beer tastes best at this age. My palette has evolved quite a bit since the last time I tried this one. It is time to find out if this beer has undergone some evolution as well.
The beer came out the traditional color of barleywine, which to me is burgundy with a touch of orange. The first pour was clear, and had a one finger thick head with remarkable staying power. Carbonation in the underlying beer was gentle looking but steady. The aroma was multilayered malts with vanilla, hazelnut, toffee, and chocolate. Not many hops were detectable using the nose. The taste was amazingly complex as well. Flavors of chocolate, oak, black pepper, raisins, and mandarin orange were found in each sip. The mouthfeel however was a little pricklier than I remembered. Radiating warmth was felt in the belly, letting the alcoholic strength numb away all angst about letting this sit in a warmer than recommended cellaring closet. I can see this one going a few more years along the ascending path. Unfortunately no more bottles are left in the cellar to test the theory. Time for a Chattanooga beer run soon I think.
AlabastorJones (810) - Seattle, Washington, USA - NOV 19, 2004
3.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
not for the faint at heart, ruby/brown body with a thin slightly laced white head, alcohol is upfront, very warming, huge mouth presence, roasty, hardcore to the last drop, piney-dry finish.
rudolf (2343) - Buffalo, New York, USA - NOV 18, 2004
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Meaty aroma. big malt but I donít know how to describe. Hoppy, smoke (?) maltalcoholhop bomb. Donít know if I could drink a lot but a little is good. Tingly alcohol finish. Fruity, apples, brown sugar.
jonwell (104) - Huntington Beach, California, USA - NOV 18, 2004
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
I was in over my head. 2 on one is never good odds, what was I thinking? Itís likely that I wasnít thinking at all. You slip one, the other is waiting to plant one on your jaw. Best you can do is run. But Iím too much of a coward for all of that... much more comfortable to sit here and take my beating. It has to stop eventually, doesnít it?
turbo (1271) - Arizona, USA - NOV 17, 2004
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JUN 22, 2005 Bottle poured a dark brown/dark red amber with a thick heavy foamy head.
What can you say about the aroma!! strong hoppy malty kickin ass!!
Flavor is AWSOME strong on the hopps strong on the alcohol! I could feel it running through me as I drank and as it warmed up it got even better!!
This is an awsome sippin beer for a cold night.
garrison (792) - Cin. city, Ohio, USA - NOV 17, 2004
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
From a 22 ounce bottle - This is a perfect beer... it poured a dark mahogeny color with a low, fine tan head and an exileratingly spicy boquet.
With a full, round mouthfeel and a lasting, complex palate. Damn it, this was worth the $4.99 a bottle price!
Kevin (2154) - New Mexico, USA - NOV 17, 2004
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
bottle from Tchrome, thanks a lot man. pours a luscious red with a lingering tan head. aroma is fruity and sweet with an alcohol and hop touch, my esteemed colleague Lumpy says it is cantaloup and i agree. taste is dark fruits and joy, i detect grape, citrus, caramel, chewy earth notes, sweet malt is present but this is a celebration of hops first and foremost. alcohol finish that makes me enjoy the flavors even more. damn this is tasty, i want, no, i need more.
Lumpy (1802) - Carrollton, Texas, USA - NOV 17, 2004
4.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle. Nose smells strongly of Pecos cantaloupe. Flavor is amazing-first and foremost it is bitter on the finish. Now, having said that, there are so many freakní flavors going on here that I couldnít even begin to describe: hops, sweetness that is not over powering, fresh fruit, apple, citrus, burbon/wood, and alcohol. Wow. I like this a whole lot more than I was expecting. This is outstanding. A hop headís dream.
Quyntarious (33) - Ohio, USA - NOV 16, 2004
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: FEB 12, 2007 2004 bottle over a year old. This has mellowed so well, the alcohol bite is gone and itís so pleasant to drink.
beerinmarch (2830) - Washington, USA - NOV 16, 2004
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
This years release was much better than last years in my opinion. But then again, this beer is never a let down. Tons of thick sweet malt in the aroma, citrus fruit, pineapple, and a enough hops to satisfy even the craziest hop head. Pours blood red with a light tan head, looks amazing in any glass. Taste has a powerful malt kick, a bit toasty and fruity, then a big blast of hops to balance this monster out. Very crisp and dry finish.