jgb9348 (4276) - Arlington (Pentagon City), Virginia, USA - OCT 18, 2004
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Hazy burgundy coloured body with a dense tan head. Aroma of pit fruit, light caramel and malt. Full-bodied; Super sweet taste of caster sugar, pit fruit, caramel, toffee and cherries. Aftertaste shows pungent sugars and a good toffee overture. Overall, a nice treat to sample. Many thanks go out to Phil (Haddon90) for finding this and picking this up at the bar! I sampled this 500 mL bottle at Toronado in San Francisco, California on the second day of 10-June-2004...our first was spent in Sydney, Australia.
dwyerpg (4257) - Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - MAY 3, 2007
4.7 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Had this in conjunction with 99, 00, 04, and 05. This was my favorite. Lovely woody aroma. Nice and chewy. No head. The flavor is sweet and chewy but not overly thick and alcoholic. Lovely caramel and sherry characters.
Pailhead (4232) - Brownstown, Michigan, USA - MAY 12, 2009
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle: The aroma consists of caramel, fruit, apple, and light chocolate. It pours a slightly hazy amber with a moderate large bubbled off-white head. The flavor starts with caramel, light chocolate, and fruit. The finish has a hint of apple and oxidation. Light-medium bodied with a slightly thin mouthfeel and mild carbonation.
maniac (3581) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - MAR 2, 2011
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle at the 5th Annual Richmond Industry Gathering on 11/28/2010 courtesy of Mike. Cloduy amber body with a small white head. Sweet honey and fruit aroma. Sweet fruit, caramel and honey flavor. Medium full body with moderately low carbonation.
ClarkVV (3579) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - AUG 24, 2007
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle shared at BCTC on Saturday night, 7/21/07
Another fine appearance, Iím tempted to give it a 5, and probably should. Maybe I will come back and change that. Iíll have to have it again. Whatís in an appearance score, anyways? Medium-sized light light beige head fades to strong cover with ample lacing. Clear, copper-garnet color, still plentiful carbonation.
Ahh, much better than the 97, with less massive sweetness and more complexity. Seems like itís closer to the 1999, though it dosent have the ester profile and light tartness of that one. This one seems more toasted and woody, with some earthy, almost scratchy malts that carve out a path for the sweet, residual sugars to slide delicately down the back of the throat. Or not so delicately, actually, as they are in quite high number by the end of the glass. But the somewhat papery oxidation notes, which were surprisingly more prevalent here than in the 97, and earthy, yeast notes give some balance, if somewhat blandly.
More straightforward cherry, date, peach and vanilla without the spiciness of the hops that you can find when these are still young. Itís been so long since Iíve had the 99, Iíll have to revisit and see if itís as good as I remember, because I dont remember it being this sweet and, rather, simple. Still, a delightful after-dinner cordial (almost) and like Glouglouburp says, somewhat of a barleywine. Regardless, you canít deny this stuff is incredibly well-malted. Iíd like to see a stronger yeast signature out of it, but then, even Fullersí well-attenuated, fresh cask ales do not have much house character. The woodiness and toastiness is nice though. Thanks to Ebay for the bottles (which I got a LONG time ago).
SledgeJr (3577) - Omaha, Nebraska, USA - JUL 29, 2004
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
In the bottle at the 2004 Crescent Moon Vintage Beer Tasting. Amber to pink in color. So buttery. High in esters. Fruity and bulbus. I should start buying these up and aging them. They get graceful.
Nuffield (3536) - Roseville, Minnesota, USA - OCT 28, 2002
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Bottle No: 19570, drunk 28 October 2002 to celebrate the birth of my second child (and first boy). Happy Birthday Aidan John Edward Schmidt! This was a fabulous beer--better than my recollection of the famed 1999 vintage. Pours with the kind of head that I generally donít like--a little bit loosely constructed and quick to diminish. Enchanting aroma, with raisins, caramel, and woody notes, with some slightly fresher fruitiness anticipated in a hint of grape. The flavor is the great unifier: something to put an end to squabbles over "hops vs. malts"--malts are obviously apparent, but the fuggles(?) come out clearly and cleanly. Sweet aftertaste, but firmly in balance. I just canít wait to take my next creamy, full-bodied mouthful and as a result Iím drinking it too fast! My warning to slow down is the alcohol which keeps rising through. It is a warmingly alcoholic flavor, however, quite unlike the ugliness found in some alcoholic flavors. There are complexities all over the place to take oneís mind off the alcohol, including the sense that there are some autumnal fruits in here (grapes, and black currants) not to mention the caramel, like some strange concoction (caramel-dipped currants soaked in port wine) that you might find on offer at a century-old fall festival in some out-of-the-way New England town. It all works so well. Iím over the moon about this beer and my son. A toast, to Aidan!
beerbuzzmontreal (3490) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - MAY 17, 2005
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours a murky amber color with no head. Aroma and flavor of doughy yeast, rockets candy, mild alcohol and maybe lavender. Light to medium body, creamy mouthfeel, soft carbonation.
jackl (3444) - Charlottesville, Virginia, USA - SEP 14, 2012
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle @ THE Barley Wine Tasting. Huge thanks to Ken for breaking out this rarely-found vintage! The pourís deep brown with a small off-white head. The nose is raisin, brown sugar, some prune and newspaper. The taste is oxidized rum raisin ice cream, more dark fruits and heaps of brown sugar sweetness. Jammy body. Drinkable but clearly past its prime! If youíve still got a bottle, donít wait to open this up.
Beerlando (3342) - Orlando, Florida, USA - MAR 3, 2008
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Courtesy TheCheeseMan. 10 years old! Bottle #27359. The cloudy, muddy, medium-brown body with a thin bubbly edge really isnít much to look at, but who cares when youíre talking about a decade old brew as nice as this one. The aroma shows sweet caramel malts, sweet dark fruits, brown sugar, and copious amounts of vanilla. This one smells like Tahitian vanilla beans have been steeped in the dark liquid all this time. The flavor is quite sweet, with caramel and brown sugar malts showing strong. There are still some flowery hops left within, which is surprising given its age. The medium-full, syrupy body is well carbonated and smooth. Good stuff. This has aged incredibly gracefully.