guzzler67 (1502) - Hanover, Maryland, USA - NOV 25, 2003
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Color of merlot wine. Minimal head with light lacing. Sweet, malty aroma. Well carbonated, spicy taste with a distinct hop presence. Sweet finish.
LordHedgehog (144) - Westminster, Maryland, USA - NOV 20, 2003
4.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
(2003 version -- according to Jim, the brewer, the hops change every year)
Complex enveloping aroma, with many competing scents but definate sweet tones. A whole field of malt and hops just in the scent, and they don't let up when you start drinking it. This year's brew was 10.5% ABV, but the alcohol didn't show through (until I tried to walk afterwards). The flavor is strong enough it attacks your mouth, hitting the front, back, and sides all at once. A burst of flavor that stays with you for awhile. Like many barleywines, I find it hard to describe the intense flavor except to say that it's, well, intense. An excellent brew from DuClaw!
scraff (2121) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - JUL 24, 2003
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: NOV 14, 2005 Re-rate - 11/11/05 - Fresh batch on draft. Dark shimmering copper and crimson, ultra slow rising bubbles, thick creamy lightly tanned head. Best aroma yet of any batch made. Complex notes of pink grapefruit, pineapple, caramel, and brown sugar, with lighter notes of pine and apricot. Hop bomb flavors of fresh citrus, light pine and earth up front, hop assault continues throughout with some tropical notes, and finally a sweet toasted caramel toffee malt flavor brings it all together late. Full bodied and slick, light carbonation, drying bittersweet finish. Awesome stuff....
jeffc666 (1984) - Fairfax, Virginia, USA - JUL 23, 2003
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: DEC 3, 2004 This is good stuff. Nice deep dark red-amber color. Very aromatic. Floral hops and malt. Smallish head. The tastes are amazing, good malty character with a not overwhelming hop flavor. It zings your tongue with its alcohol and you fell the after-effects in the aftertaste. Excellent example of this style. Yum-yum.
Update: I was able to try two vintages side-by-side: 2000 and 2001. The 2000 has aged nicely. The hop bitterness has really subsided. The 2001 still had a good dosage of hop flavor and was better overall then the 2000 vintage.
Holdwine (1077) - Beertimore, Maryland, USA - DEC 17, 2002
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Great Barley Wine! Top of the list at a recent seasonal fest. Sweet up front. Too easy to drink as the high alcohol is cleverly masked with maltiness and portly notes. THen a nice dry hoppy finish slides in to make this a very memeorable quaff.
hopscotch (9163) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - DEC 2, 2002
4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: JUL 26, 2006 Growler... This beer rocks!... Thanks to Wendy for picking up a growler in Belair, MD. I thought I would never taste this great brew. The aroma is very malty and sweet. Notes of spruce, perfume, milk chocolate, yeast, port and brown sugar and fruit...and this just in... ALCOHOL!!!
Beautiful beer. Crystal clear ruby hue. Very small, white, creamy head. Fully diminishing. Very malty and sweet up front, with bursts of caramel and sherry. The hops balance things out with good bitterness. Warm alcohol and slightly pungent on the backside. Full-bodied with lively carbonation. Oily mouthfeel. Long, malty, lightly bitter, tart, dry finish. World class brew! Good going Jim!