Jokes (1453) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - NOV 23, 2002
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: JUN 16, 2004 Vintage 1999 bottling 12/4/2002: 8 4 8 5 16 Ė 4.1
Bottle #73224. Pours a nice deep amber/red color, with a slightly off-white head. The aroma starts with sweet malts and moves to light piney and perfumy hops. Light and clean in the mouth. The flavors are very well balanced, starting sweet with malt and a touch of alcohol. A medium bodied finish with a nice dose of hops to balance. Well done, indeed. I still don't feel like I have a grasp on this style, but this has certainly been my favorite so far.
Vintage 2000 bottling 11/23/2002: 7 4 8 4 16 Ė 3.9
Bottle #63534. A nice dark red/orange body with a tight, full head. Flavors of soft fruit, caramel, malt/cereal, and a touch of hops. The alcohol is present but not over-powering. A nice balance makes this beer pleasant and enjoyable.
Vintage 2001 bottling 2/6/2003: 8 4 7 3 16 Ė 3.8
Bottle #07301. Pours a bright ruby color with a thick, off-white head that quickly retreats to a thin line. The nose has dry cereals, cherry, whisky, honey and a bit of sourness. The flavors have decent balance, with a nice malt start and acceptable hop bitterness in the finish. Not the best of the Vintages, but with some more time, it could be.
Volgon (2761) - Manchester, New Hampshire, USA - NOV 17, 2002
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: OCT 6, 2004 10/04: two years later and this bottle is a gem. Clear light ruby with a small-bubbled head. Rich dark complex sugars. Lightly, but expertly hopped. I'm guessing that this will be good for at least another 10 years. 11/02: Bottle # 52889: Pours clear dark orange with a big head. Sweet dark fruit aroma with a bit of plum. Starts sweet and ends dry. My favorite brew from England.
FlemishChar (224) - Virginia, USA - NOV 10, 2002
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle no. 38234. Beautiful sweet malt aroma. Huge, cream colored, dense head. Deep copper cast. Wonderfully complex, with spicy, biting, whiskeyish malt sweetness, peppery alcohol bite, and finish like that of brandy. Beautiful.
Prostman (1077) - Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 8, 2002
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
This is a very good ale. Nice soft mouthfeel and very deserving of the high rating.
softale (188) - Michigan, USA - OCT 6, 2002
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
No. 41723. Clear amber color. Head was pretty impressive even with a total "soft" pour. Nose is very yeasty and malty with a hint of whisky. Taste is sweet up front and ends with just a little bitter kick. This beer can be described as thick, kind of like a barleywine on the palate. Iím impressed with this ale overall.
Uglyradio (791) - Greenville, South Carolina, USA - OCT 6, 2002
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle No.47955.Looks, smells, and tastes like the 1999 I tried two days ago. Copper color with an off white head, wonderful maltiness and just a tad bit of alcohol in the flavor. Damn fine English ale.
kmeves (1098) - Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin, USA - SEP 18, 2002
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle 32033: Pour is cloudy and produces a gray head. Aroma is nutty. Initial flavor has a hint of plum and spices which transforms into sweet malty aftertaste. Not much different from the 1999 version although the former is a bit more flavorful.
Ringo (963) - Loveland, Colorado, USA - AUG 27, 2002
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Tastes like the 99 to me, so I gave it the same score. Again, I think it tastes like a barley wine.
Perkeo (321) - Portland, Oregon, USA - AUG 17, 2002
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
A wonderfully balanced strong ale, starting to take on a nice brandy like aged character...superb malt backbone, all most lager-like in itís cleanliness, but with a definite ale fruitiness and complexity. Would love to do a vertical tasting someday with all the vintages...Hope it doesnít meet the same fate as Thomas Hardyís vintage ale.
MaxPower (961) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - AUG 4, 2002
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Dark amber color, creamy foamy head, malty sweetness with a nice hop bite.