Volgon (2763) - 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. I’m 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 (322) - 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 it’s cleanliness, but with a definite ale fruitiness and complexity. Would love to do a vertical tasting someday with all the vintages...Hope it doesn’t meet the same fate as Thomas Hardy’s 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.
Davhgbrew (948) - Seattle, Washington, USA - AUG 1, 2002
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Sweet malty aroma, dark red w/ a whispy brown head. Palate is full w/ moderate hops, and sweet fruit in the middle. Alcohol and hops in the finish. Great warming beer that would be great to come home to in the winter. I this one better as it warmed up. Nice brew!