KingPinHead (390) - Des Moines, Washington, USA - DEC 3, 2002
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
8/13/02...Batch #41: Hazy bright orange-gold color--thick, rocky head...Marvelous aroma of floral citrus and hops (with a little candy thrown in). Malt sweetness is first in the flavor door, followed by that Demon Alcohol and a multifaceted wall of hops and spice. Finish is tangy/sweet and cozy warm...Body is, of course, full, but does not feel heavy. Delivery is exceptionally smooth for such a potent elixer. This is simply (complexly) wonderful stuff...Re-Rate 12/01/02...Batch #43: Wonderful glow to this in the glass---with a huge, puffy, sea-foam head...Taste and palate impressions very much as before...This is just top-rate...Marvelous!
DaSilky1 (2606) - San Diego, California, USA - NOV 22, 2002
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: FEB 22, 2003 (#41) as the glass was held to the mid-july sunset of blended shades of orange & silky clouds it was lost merging into the skyscape...head was a frozen pond alive with reflections...thick genuine vanilla ice cream treading in rich homemade cream soda filled the air subliminally expressing its malevolence...a feast of authentic italian cannolies, rich toffees, and fruit covered belgian waffles drowned in freshly whipped cream...Fruits merging with fruits...Strawberries into raspberries into peaches...randomly transforming and finishing with ambrosial ruby red grapefruit ice cream
stephen (308) - California, USA - NOV 20, 2002
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
This beer definitely needed to age and mellow. Tasted a like a cross between a wheat wine and a tripel. Beautiful head and appearance. Some apple flavor along with slight clove and mild maltiness. Metallic fruit finish. OK flavor. I was expecting more flavor and aroma character from a beer made with 10 hop varieties.
urbnhautebourg (997) - Annapolis, Maryland, USA - NOV 18, 2002
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
UPDATED: MAY 30, 2006 Re-update: I will "touch the rating". Pretty basic, intense barleywine is my latest impression of this. Update: Please explain. Perhaps my memory is not so good, but my first sample of this was something like the best Belgian trippel Iíve ever had. I have sampled a more recent vintage and it is like a sparkling barleywine. Almost equally good, but totally different. I wonít touch the rating. But Iím mystified. Old: I canít understand why they call this a barleywine. Mine was more like a trappist ale. The most beautiful lasting, sticky, rocky head Iíve ever encountered. Tremendous candy pils malt aroma and flavor. This is everything I want out of Belgians, but never get. First rate.
fly (1392) - austin, Tejas, Alabama, USA - NOV 1, 2002
4.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Living in Texas has limited my ability to sample this to all of three times. Each one a savored moment. These guys most certainly know what theyíre doing. Beauty in a bottle. Wish I could try it on draught - or just again. Some people go for it just based on the strength, but it is so much more than just that.
heykevin (1272) - Decorah, Iowa, USA - OCT 28, 2002
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Batch 5, Sampled 10/28/02. Surprisingly pale. Goregous billowing head that mantains an attractive head throughout the entire beer. Great feeling carbonation, tiny bubbles. Some alcohol on the nose and in the first few sips, as well as a sleek sweet maltiness and very attractive hopping. Not a ton of hop aroma, but what is there is really nice. Bits of sherry show up now and again. Beguilingly moreish. Each sip dries your mouth out just enough to demand another. World class.
Murphy (1759) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - OCT 18, 2002
4.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: MAY 30, 2004 Had this from the tap. My impression was basically apples. Lots of apples. Sweetness doesn't overpower, and the alcohol is well masked. It's no Adam, but right up there. Rerate 10-18-2002: This beer is fantastic, it should be up there with Adam. Sweet, fruity taste with alcohol notes. I had the chance to try this after it was aged in oak, and it was great. Hair of the Dog is an amazing brewery. Rerate 9-6-3: How this manages to be so smooth, I'll never know. This surprises me because of how hoppy/alcohol filled it tastes. ReRate 4-04: I've had so much of this stuff, and every time it's great. Great fruitiness from this barleywine. Body is just perfect- not like syrup but very full and to style. A unique barleywine and one of my all time favorite beers.
erway (1004) - Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA - OCT 13, 2002
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Phenominal, the words "earth-shattering" come to mind. Very full with lots of caramel flaor. Very deceiving in alcohol content.
PhillyBeer2112 (2473) - Oviedo, Florida, USA - OCT 13, 2002
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
Batch 36, Sampled October 2002. Strong fruity and piney aroma. Orangey notes. Intense sweet port like flavors up front, but quickly followed by sharp resiny hop flavors and a super-bitter finish. Alcoholic fizzy palate. A little overwhelming with the hops.
Volgon (2763) - Manchester, New Hampshire, USA - OCT 12, 2002
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JAN 6, 2004 Bottle, batch #36: If drinking all evening at the GABF does one thing, it makes you want to drink more beer, because it ends at 10PM in a town where bars close at 2AM. Dark yellow color, with excellent lacing. Aroma contains sweet malts, and light fruit. Lightish mouthfeel, but still robust. Ends with a complex sweetness.