Oristo (67) - Orinda, California, USA - JAN 25, 2003
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Wow. Nice red brown with long lasting tan head. Medium strong, malty nose. The Hops are nice and strong aand counterbalance the powerful toasty malt. Love that alcohol burn but it would be lovely to get this experience in a lower ABV beer. I'd drink a ton of it!
MartinT (7307) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - JAN 16, 2003
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: MAY 17, 2005 Shimmering hops randomly explode in a minuscule hail of citrusy fire onto the crackling caramel heartwood...A faint garlic smoke blanket slowly emanates like a sleepy genie seeping out of his comfy urn...This beautiful bonfire is lighter and more Scotch Ale-like than the 1999...4.1/5
A 5-year-old bottle shows perfumy hand lotion and floral brightness as its most obvious constituents...Malt sweetness has dropped and wooden, resinous hops are still obvious...3.6/5
PhillyBeer2112 (2473) - Oviedo, Florida, USA - JAN 14, 2003
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: FEB 4, 2004 Sampled Christmas 2002. This beer is aging wonderfully. Nice caramel and fruity aroma and flavor, with herbal and spicy hop notes, and a med bitter finish. Balanced and smooth. It just disappears from the glass. Nice dark amber color with full head, long lasting, and heavy lacing left in the glass.
Update Feb 2004: This beer may be passing its prime. I tend to like these at 2-3 years, and as its approaching 4 years, I'm getting an increase in sherry notes, a slight tang, and expectedly reduced hops (but still present). Fruity esters are still apparent. Still, I'd say to start drinking these up now.
papajohn (1248) - San Diego (Mira Mesa), California, USA - JAN 2, 2003
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle #72749 sampled 1/02/03, my first review of 2003: Pours a beautiful amber/copper color with a fluffy white head. Tiny bubbles rise to the surface. The nose is brandy like. Flavor: Start is syrupy sweet caramel, toffee and a little harshness from the alcohol (sometimes I like it a little rough around the edges) much like a barleywine, finish is smooth and sweet with a slight hop bite. Lingering mouth watering aftertaste. Warms your face as well as your tummy.
jaymobrown (1586) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - DEC 28, 2002
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle 63614. Side by side tasting with the í99 and í01 vintages. Personal favorite out of the three. Flavor tastes more like a barley wine with robust and dark wood tones. The alcohol is present, and gives it a thicker palate overall.
jazz88 (2509) - San Francisco, California, USA - DEC 25, 2002
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle #53,865 (shared with Nuffield). Deep amber with a tan head. Dark fruits, plums, and raisins. The flavor is a touch harsh from the alcohol but far better than the 2001 I had the day before.
Nuffield (3541) - Roseville, Minnesota, USA - DEC 25, 2002
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle 53865. Raisins... Lovely English Strong Ale, warming.... Sticky, but not as sticky as other Fullers vintages Iíve had, it seems. All the classic elements are there, a little woodiness in the flavor. Good beer...
Racegoer (351) - Indiana, Indiana, USA - DEC 23, 2002
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: MAY 15, 2004 Crisp, sweet taste, and the alcohol in the finish, This is a quality beer.Looks great in the glass with its glowing Amber color,fills the nose with a wonderful smell,I will be getting more of this, and only hope to be able to cellar some of it.Bottle #32627.... Run, don't walk and get some of this !2nd Rating Christmas Eve-Eve (2002) Bottle #35238 I see my buddy marinaro500 might have had bad luck with a 99 bottle, are they going bad ? This 2000 bottle says drink before end of 2003.Its a Barley Wine, and a damn good one, complex,strong and full of numerous flavours. funny look how close my bottle # is to FlemishChar only 300or so bottles off and many miles apart.deeply complex and a superb belly warmer,bottle was asleep in my cellar for over 6 months. sweet, full of orange,malt, a unique spice, truly a Winner, glad I have 3 bottles left, just wondering what their peak is, Spring,Fall , or Winter of 2003, Highly Recommended !
JoeM500 (1902) - Crown Point, Indiana, USA - DEC 23, 2002
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bigger alcohol, bigger flavor than the í99. tasted side by side.
DaSilky1 (2606) - San Diego, California, USA - DEC 5, 2002
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: FEB 22, 2003 # 64507 a lost pond hiding in forests of reds, oranges, and browns..lathering cream climbs the sides of the glass..volcanic atmospheric eruptions of cherry, licorice, chocolate and exploding crunchy rasberries...tasting orchards, candy stores, and ice cream parlors..