BBB63 (6200) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - MAY 29, 2005
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
2004 bottle: Pours a wonderful rusty hue with a small but lasting beige head and outstanding lace. The aroma has overtones of piney and floral hops, bready malts, grapefruit and orange rind, woody and peaty esters, and a hint of aromatic pipe tobacco. The taste starts as expected with a heavy handed dose of bitters (taste really fresh versus many barley wines) and equally large biscuity malts. Sugary and fruity tones add depth of palate. The finish is ripe with clove and pepper and some notes of peat. The palate feel is about perfect, sticky and aggressive with becoming over-the-top. The alcohol is warming indeed but is part of the experiance not a dominate factor. I agree after the fact with Cornfield that this is closer to an IIPA or at least an American Strong than Barley Wine, but see it aging into a worldly classic brew. I will say I am blown away by this, shock and awe doesn’t begin to announce my feelings at this point. GET YA SOME!
whaleman (2178) - North Wales, Pennsylvania, USA - MAY 17, 2005
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: MAY 18, 2005 Vintage 2004. Fizzy beige head and a mahogany body. Great aroma of tropical fruit, papaya, and a cookie malt quality. Flavor is malty with notes of brown sugar plus pronounced citric and stone fruit hop qualities. Medium-high apparent sweetness. Has properties of a sweet liqueur... with hops. A distinct barley wine and another great beer from HOTD.
Terminus (3297) - Las Cruces, New Mexico, USA - MAY 16, 2005
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
bottle-one of the highlights from the tasting in the NM mountains just east of Albuquerque. pours a cinnamon hue with a beige head-rocky and nice looking. Aroma rings out simcoe hops, which is very unique for a barleywine! I love it! Big hoppy flavors that were pretty sweet, citric, tropical fruits and caramel notes from a good malt base. some alcohol heat in there as well (as it should for that high of abv). long hoppy finish with a malt base. I want a bottle to consume for myself!
Cornfield (5570) - Oak Forest, Illinois, USA - MAY 9, 2005
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
This is a hophead’s kind of a barley wine. It pours a hazy brown color with an explosive tan head that caused me to loose some of this excellent beverage to spillage. The aroma has a solid base of caramel malt, but that’s soon buried under intense pine, herbal, and grapefruit hop scents. The caramel insists on intruding on the flavor, but the hops again dominate, making this perhaps a tad too one-dimensional, but so full of the hop bitterness (and the sturdy ABV) that I enjoy. I’d like to get some more to cellar, but I almost fear to do so, knowing that it will gain character at the expensive of this marvelous hopfest. This is more like a BIG IIPA than a barley wine... at least at this stage of its life.
Dough77 (821) - Aurora, Illinois, USA - MAY 9, 2005
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pour was slightly hazy amberish color. Nose full of caramel, hops, pine, with a nice touch of malty characteristic. Wish I had this side by side with the older batch’d bottle I had.
Saarlander (1686) - Saarlouis, GERMANY - MAY 9, 2005
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Poured dark amber with a head that lasted for a while, maybe 10 minutes, with nice lacing. Hops dominate on the first smell, and are present at a good rate. Fruity, piney, fig, raisin, apricot..Nice.
Pailhead (5193) - Brownstown, Michigan, USA - MAY 5, 2005
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle: Strong hop grapefruit and pine hops with moderate mint presence and light caramel in the aroma. Pours a very deep and dark amber with minimal transparency and orange hilights along the edges of the glass. Off-white head has decent retention. Lots of caramel throughout with fruit up front and an excellent hop finish that really blends well. Hoppy aftertaste lingers for a little while. A very slight raisin lingers in the background at the beginning. Very nice. Thanks again to wolhfs for picking up some very fine brews while in Oregon.
Kasteelfreak (341) - Fallbrook, California, USA - MAY 2, 2005
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bursting with aroma while pouring. Color is like darkened, melted butter. Small to medium sized bubbles make up the rich, rocky, frothy, off-white head. Give it a swirl here and there and it will last all night. Very luxurious. Aroma is like hot melted caramel with some added butter. A slight bit of boysenberry and grape juice can also be detected. It envelopes the mouth with a creamy, yet grainy feel. Figgy/plum flavor base with a myriad of supporting nuances. Buttery toast with sugar, leaf, caramel, and a bakers chocolate-like flavor that is hard to describe. Leaves a long lasting grainy, malty coating feel all over the mouth. Alcohol presence is perfectly balanced. Very complex.
DrunkenWeasel (224) - Portland, Oregon, USA - MAY 1, 2005
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours redish amber with a thick white head. Smells of barley but not very strongly. Good taste but not as intense as other barley wines. Smooth syrupy feel to it with a nice sweet aftertaste.
TAR (2518) - Lafayette, Colorado, USA - APR 26, 2005
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Crimson in color. Hallmark mountainous foam condenses to a meringue consistency. Enticing bouquet of fresh pine, mandarin oranges, and bready malts. Replete with plasticy phenols and sugared-strawberry esters. Brisk, expansive carbonation with a texture of suede. Immediately peppery with plasticy phenols. Secondarily bready, with a brash hop underlay segmenting the slippery fruitiness. Sweet brandy flavor steadily builds, which, along with the overripe grapefruit flavor, overpowers the extremely bright, albeit short-lived, resinous hop burst. Dab of grainy toast cuts some of the syrupiness. Finishes cleanly-dry with alcohol and deceptively hoppy, as well, with citrus rind bitterness slicing its way through the clingy sweetness. Burps produce chlorine-accented phenols and piney hop flavors. An expectedly-unique take on the style from HotD, but this won’t bode well in the cellar, due to the feisty phenolic airiness. Which is a shame, as this [batch] was to die-for only a few months back. Based on potential, this is phenomenal.