harlequinn (2744) - Tacoma, Washington, USA - SEP 1, 2004
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
This is still a great brew that will continute to be even greater 5 or 6 years from now, although I have to say I enjoyed the previous vintage a little bit more, this is still going to rank in as one of my favorite barleywines of all time. A deep hazy amber color, that hades into a deep rich brown color with little to no head. A big hop aroma just a before, with a huge malt character, this one has a little bit more of a peaty chocolate taste than I remember, and slightly nutty, like a scottish or english strong ale would have. Excellent!
beerinmarch (2830) - Washington, USA - AUG 30, 2004
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
UPDATED: NOV 30, 2004 2004 Just when i thought this brew couldnít get any better the 2004 vintage is released. Not only is this brew absolutely amazing now, this thing could be aged for an even better taste, if thats even imaginable. Incredible hop aroma just attacks you as you open the bottle, must be all those dryhopped simcoes or something, there is also some nice spices and a faint fruitiness. The added hops to this years batch just really added to the taste and I will have to pick up more of these brews to cellar for a while.
2003 This brew is truely amazing. A dark red/brown color with a nice tan head that leaves decent lacing. The aroma is very well balanced with some sweet caramel malt and a nice light hop backing to it. Flavor has tons of roasty malts, caramel and almost a faint smokiness in the after taste. By far my favorite NW xmas brew.
3fourths (7530) - Boulder, Oregon, USA - AUG 28, 2004
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: SEP 26, 2012 2005 - fresh
When properly poured itís clear dark orange and cedar colored. Extremely strong bouquet of grassy fresh hops and tree sap. Sweeter malt nose than previous years. More of a homebrew funky malt flavor, almost a little spoiled... very different from 2003 and 2004 - which I prefer largely over the 2005.
2004 - fresh
Murky dark brown and copper with a large fluffy tan head. Very sharp malt nose with pine, tree bark, sap, caramel, loads of honey, and a some hops. Very roasty flavor and a toasted bread and nut note that stands out... along with some hazelnuts and some birch. Really, really fantastic... this is an amazing beer, even this young. I have an 03 and an 04 saved, and I canít wait to see how they behave in the cellar.
brewshthereen (316) - Oregon, USA - AUG 12, 2004
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
2003 EDITION: I wanted to hold on to this a bit longer, but the bull dog on the bottle barked and growled to be opened! Sharp and peppery aroma. Some molasses and toast in the nose. Strong flavors for sure. Alcohol, molasses, raisins and cherries. The strength of the alcohol is at every sip. Powerful brew indeed. I still like adam better, but this is a clearly well made barley wine. Much more complex as it warms up. This dog wants you to relax and enjoy.
ontario102 (794) - Boise, Idaho, USA - AUG 5, 2004
3.5 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
2003 vintage bottle: This has a pretty sweet, floral aroma with definite bread and cookie involved, and a very slight sour milk smell that actually blends pretty well; the flavor is bitter all the way through, with a quick, sweet and tart, phenolic background, and a sharp, spicy, herbal hopping; the palate is a tad astringent after a bit; overall, itís quite a nice, complex brew with a beautiful hop profile and adequate balance.
5000 (5613) - Hardened Liver, Washington, USA - JUL 19, 2004
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle pours a rich cloudy caramel, fine bits float about, large fluffy light tannish head, with fairly sticky lacing. † Aroma is of sweet caramel, light hops, a bit of fig/date, with emerging alcohol as it warms. † Flavor doesnít show off the caramel, but I do pick up orange peel or grapefruit rind, slightly bready, with a nice hop bitterness. † Fairly thick mouthfeel, smooth palate, goes down rather easy too at 11.5%. † Finishes with a lingering hop bitterness, slightly sweet, slightly malty, but surprisingly no alcohol. † This is one killer Winter offering... I look forward to the 2004 version for sure!
Probiere (992) - Iowa, USA - JUL 15, 2004
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
This was nice. It came from a trade and the cap had shifted in the box. I lost about half the bottle, but squashed the cap on with tape and stuck it in the fridge. Over 24 hours later, no noticeable oxidation, and adequate carbonation, so here goes: Nose: very earthy, bitterish, metallic, herbal, maybe juniper? Not TOO appealing but not offputting. Hints of malt are there too. Appearance: Thick murky brown, nice head. Not overcarbonated, most likely b/c of the cap mishap. Taste: Malts underlied with much hoppy flavor. Bitter, herbal, ashy, slightly unbalanced, alcohol is noticeable even when warm. There is a skunk outside my open window. Goes straight to my head. The alcohol, not the skunk. Pretty good, but I gotta say I prefer Adam. THANK YOU INDIANA_RED!!
11026 (1772) - Alabama, USA - JUL 7, 2004
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
2003 bottle. Poured a deep russet color with a tannish/khaki head. Thin head persisted throughout. Very malty aroma, raisinish. Taste of sweet malt, slight alcohol. Hops come into play and make presence noted. Slightly piney. I think it is slightly overcarbonated, but a damn fine brew. Kudos.
JoeMcPhee (8055) - Toronto, ON, Ontario, CANADA - JUL 2, 2004
4.3 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Very dark copper/brown colour with a ruby tint and a long lasting, very creamy-looking yellowish head. Sticky lace. WOW! The description of the beer just doesnít do the complexity justice. Gorgeous sweet malty aroma, with cookie dough, caramel, vanilla, chocolate, and brown sugar. Also some notes of spice, wood, and I definitely get a hoppy aroma, but it isnít really piny or floral as I come to expect from hops. More of a vinous, herbaceous character. Flavour is also delicious, immediately you are hit by the huge malty character, molasses, soy sauce, dark fruits, which is then followed by spice, some herbal/medicinal hops and an very long, warming, finish. Enough bitterness to let you know itís there, but definately isnít overpowering. Iím just pissed that I only picked up one bottle of this stuff.
lilannie (384) - Adamstown, Maryland, USA - JUN 22, 2004
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Aroma: very spicy, malty, cinnamon, woodiness, minerals, strong alcohol scent, and bark
Appearance: golden brown, bubbly, lacing, and off-white head
Flavor: strong cream flavor, slight chocolate, and coffee (like an Irish cream coffee flavor), sharp spiciness--like ginger snaps, strong alcohol flavor, and brown sugar
Palate: very smooth and creamy, slight burning aftertaste--from combination of alcohol and strong spiciness. Really thick, coating the inside of the mouth. Lots of body and character.
Overall: great winter seasonal--really warms the body. Would be nice to enjoy outside in the snow.