shadey (1846) - Nashville, Tennessee, USA - DEC 20, 2004
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: DEC 21, 2004 #400. Muddy reddish brown. Head is a smooth creamy lasty froth. Quite attractive. The aroma is spicy hops. Delicious combination of sweet malt and cleansing hop finish. Equisite barley wine.
jeffc666 (1984) - Fairfax, Virginia, USA - DEC 16, 2004
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: JUL 8, 2005 (2004 12 oz bottle enoyed with great relish while listening to Mercury Revís Deserterís Songs on July 8 2005). Deep dark copper body topped by a dense, forever lasting, creamy, manila head. Glass lace is stunning with its intricate layered sheets. Looks absolutely fantastic. The aroma is lovely, hop laden, driping with dark fruit and caramel. The flavor is also fantantastic. Perfectly matched buckets of hops, even on my year old sample, and sugar, fruit, caramel. The palate is so soft adn full. The 11.5% alcohol never even shows up. This is one of the best American Style barley wines I have ever had. Simply stunning on all levels. Alan Spints rocks!
Hab40oz (242) - Grants Pass, Oregon, USA - DEC 16, 2004
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Pours a dark cloudy reddish brown, aroma is of fantastic fresh simco hops, the taste is amazing, Iíve never had a Barleywine with such depth and amazing hop presence, starts sweet and spicy, the body is very smooth and sweet, but well balanced with the hops, simply a great brew, you guys rock!
argo0 (11168) - Washington DC, USA - DEC 10, 2004
4.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
(2003 bottle) A slow pour successfully fit it all into a pint glass to reveal a beige head atop an otherwise clear garnet-brown body filled with tendrils of "smoke." As consumed, the "smoke" merges with the rest of the fluid into a murky mixture that leaves lovely lacing. Aroma is sweet, caramel, plum/raisin, grapefruit, some chocolate, pine, mint, alcohol, light smoke. Taste is sweet, chocolate, raisin/date, caramel, grapefruit, pine, some woody vinousness, light smoke, mint. The full body reveals the alcohol, but holds it very well, never letting it take over the beer. Light carbonation, resiny/sticky. Perfect for sipping. HotD has made a tremendous American-style barleywine, one they can show off with pride. Would that I could obtain this beer readily, or, at the very least, I had brought more bottles back with me from Portland.
ClarkVV (3766) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - DEC 9, 2004
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
2004 draught @ Redbones, 12/2004. Brilliant appearance! Deep ambers, bright oranges, soft yellows and light mahogany all swirl about in a heavily transluscent sea of viscous liquid. Large, creamy, sticky, lasting beige head. Not only does it leave behind sheets of sticky lacing, but the liquid itself coats the glass and is slow to let go. Aroma showcases a moderate yeastiness (lightly musty earthy tones) a good dose of residual sugars, and plenty of sweet brown malts. Lots of chocolate, prunes, light wininess and perhaps a touch of wood-like smoke. Hops are quite restrained on the nose, with just a touch of bittersweet notes coming through. Flavor begins with a huge caramel-toffee sweetness. Heavy cream, meets milk chocolate. Lightly bitter hops notes dance on the palate through the middle of the body and then come alive on the end, providing a soily, fresh and moderately spicy hops finish. Simcoe hops add some juicy bittersweetness. Notes of pine sap mix in with the caramel and chocolate. Some deep, overripe fruit notes make themselves known as well in the middle. Candied orange, dry plum, and faint notes of dark berries mixed with an oily, lightly dry roast. This beer seems to have it all, in some form or another. It certainly is a sensory rollercoaster. The hops bitterness on the end seems to be a bit disjoined from the heavy sweetness up front, but this is no doubt due to the extreme youth of this beer. Moving on to the body, it is quite simple to describe: Full, creamy, viscous, thick and chewy. I would be lying if I said the extra full, chewy body didnt remind me, at least for a brief moment, of Dark Lord. Itís huge, powerful and very sweet, but highly flavorful. Certainly this beer will even out over the next year or so. Alcohol is also well masked, making only somewhat of a presence after the beer has warmed, and then, only on the very end.
Sham (1845) - Seattle, Washington, USA - DEC 2, 2004
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Dark mahogany with some ruby edges nice creamy head and some stringy lacing. Sharp notes of bitter and piney hops. Strong caramel malts accompany this with just a hint of the spicy herbalness. There is a touch of fruitiness througout. Figs or another dark fruit. Raisins maybe. Cinnamon and after a bit there is a touch of woodiness there. The flavors are surprisingly balanced. The malts come in pretty heavy but bitter and piney hops push it back into place. There is a bit of a sourness going on about and along with the heavy malts, which are comprised of caramel and roast, there seems to be almost a vinous quality. The dark fruits from the aromas are there, but not as prevelent. Thick beer, a film coats the mouth and lips where it touched. It trails off into a full malt profile with a strong bite of alcohol and bitterness at the end.
JCW (1274) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - NOV 30, 2004
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Over carbonated again, urgh. Frothy brown head. Brownish red color hazy. Aroma is very sweet and very piney. Flavor is so sweet it is over bearing to me. Thick syrupy body. Finish is bitter up front and sweet as candy from there on out.
Syd (920) - Waconia, Minnesota, USA - NOV 27, 2004
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
2004 Vintage. Holy crap... Iíve never seen such a nice pour into my Belgian tulip glass. It pours a slightly hazed deep red amber with a monster head that sits tall and proud and leaves behind lace, lots of lace. I am half way down my tulip, and there are stalactites of foam that hang from the top of the glass... The aroma is of very fresh hops and some deep caramel. The flavor seems to hit like a tsunami, but at the same time has progressions that are as gentle as ripples on a smooth-as-glass pond that has been awaken with a pebble (very continuous and analog, not disjoint at all; blended, well suited). Malt sweetness, fruits of all sorts, chocolate, roast, fresh hops that dance on the tongue, there is so much going on in the flavor department... The palate is rich and Belgian like in the cleansing nature. Did I mention warming? No, I did not. It is warming. Wow, this is one fine Barley Wine. This is world class. Thanks Becky for hauling this from OR. Thanks Alan for making such good beer.
frylock (1135) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - NOV 27, 2004
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
2004 vintage. Hazy muddy mahogney color, with a creamy dense off-white head. Super fresh hop aroma with notes of caramel and brown sugar. Light sweetness, some caramel flavor, citrus and some light toast. Very enjoyable barleywine, that is big on the hop flavor. I would love to try some aged.
zach8270 (3175) - Henrietta, New York, USA - NOV 24, 2004
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: DEC 6, 2008 [12 oz. bottle] Deep and dark amber color with a thick tan head that seemingly lasts forever. Full and rich aroma of malt, pine, grass and some sweetness. Very potent flavor of sweet malts with a very strong alcohol middle and a sweet finish that lasts and lasts. Very warming and creamy. What a barley wine should be.