davesarman (159) - Waconia, Minnesota, USA - NOV 24, 2004
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Slightly malty, more hoppy aroma. Dark brown color. Spritzy carbonation, thin tan head. Toffeeish flavor. Malty profile. Root beer like finish. A bit spicy for me, more like a Christmas type beer than a barleywine. If this would be labeled a Christmas beer I think I’d like it more. I just had Bell’s Batch 6000 before this beer, and this pales by comparison.
Dickinsonbeer (5075) - Hoboken, New Jersey, USA - NOV 20, 2004
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Pour is dark amber/light brown with a fading head. Aroma is pure sweet caramel malt with only a hint of hops. Flavor is almost cloyingly sweet with touches of caramel, honey and a hint of chocoate malt. Not enough hops in this barleywine for my liking.
hotstuff (4408) - Indiana, USA - NOV 17, 2004
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle. Poured a very small tan head, sparse lacing and a reddish brown hue. Malty, licorice, port, sweet, and alcohol aroma. Flavor was sweet, chocolate, malt, hops and somewhat syrupy tasting in the end. Mouthfeel was sweet, smooth and dry. A medium-full bodied barley wine.
badgerben (4630) - Blaine, Minnesota, USA - NOV 12, 2004
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Deep, dark red color, going on black, with a very thin head. Very strong, but sweet, malt aroma. A little grainy, but malt and raw barley are predominant. Quite sweet. It strikes me as very raw; there is not much protection from the alcohol. It could use some time to settle, but good even right away.
RichJ7 (1175) - Cullman, Alabama, USA - NOV 10, 2004
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Deep amber in color with a very thin, almost non-existent tan head. Aroma of strong malt and maybe a little licorice with a touch of brandy. Flavor is malty with a dark fruitiness ... unlike some others, I can definitely taste the alcohol here. Silky mouthfeel ...spicy, dry finish. Very nice barleywine, but not quite as balanced as I had hoped. Still, very flavorful and pleasant.
JCapriotti (1379) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - OCT 27, 2004
3.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 10/20
Reddish brown/mahoganey, thin soapy off-white head. Not a bad aroma. Quite nice, actually. Chocolate, woody and citrusy hops, maybe some black cherry and other sweet fruits. Flavor is way too sweet. I don’t like overhopped barleywines.. but this is just too much on the opposite end. Sweet sweet chocolate, licorice. Some citrusy hops linger in the finish. Nicely smooth on the tongue though. I love the aroma, and want to like the taste... just can’t get over the sweetness.
desurfer (1253) - Melbourne, Florida, USA - OCT 20, 2004
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Pours a nearly opaque violet/brown with a small, sparse tan head. I hate to rip off the commercial description, but the aroma is full of licorice and chocolate, with little alcohol present for a 10.5% beast. Flavor is super malty, with similar tones as the aroma, but the malt bill really comes through. This is loaded, very sweet and rich, coating my entire mouth with caramely goodness. Finishes dry and sticky. The alcohol is never very much present. Good stuff!
BeerandBlues2 (10833) - San Diego, California, USA - OCT 18, 2004
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Dark brown with a very thin tan head. Caramel and malty aromas with a licorice and hop nose. Buttery malt and caramel flavors with a dry licorice end. Warm and dry palate.
hershiser2 (1448) - Charlottesville, Virginia, USA - OCT 5, 2004
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
dark.... small creamy head. Smells of licorice. Tastes like something... can’t place it. Thick and sweet and coating.
Pigfoot (2268) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - SEP 25, 2004
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
The paleolithic pooch who takes montstrous strides on the label, courtesy of gonzo cartoonist Ralph Steadman, gives a clue to the potential damage wrought by this gargantuan brew!
Color is a deep, dark burgundy, with no head to speak of, though one appears as I pour, it doesn’t last for a second. Aroma is exactly what I look for in a barleywine, and then some! Profoundly heady and powerful, full of grape/wine associations, as well as plums, raisins, licorice, cognac, and port. Mouthfeel is full, rich, and intensely warm and rewarding. Sweet and spicy hoppiness abounds on the palate, along with a full dimension of maltiness. Wonderful chew in the texture, and hugely alcoholic! Drinkability? One a day, and slowly, savoringly, so I pull back a bit on points. Towards the end, it gets a bit syrupy, tasting almost like cough medicine. Is this Jagermeister in my mug, I wonder?
Among the top 5 American barleywines, but, frankly, we’re a bit spoiled, they are so many top-notch versions. And the best acheivement from this brewery, so far!