belgianhomebrew (646) - Acworth, Georgia, USA - MAY 21, 2002
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Nice amber color, with quite a bit of yeast. Definitely the lightest barley wine I have had. Aroma has a light sweetness to it that doesnít really prepare you for the huge body. Nice bitterness balanced by the 10% alcohol. This is a true winter warmer.
mwsf (360) - San Francisco, California, USA - MAY 12, 2002
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Started with the glass about 50°F, ended at around 68°F. This beer is much better at the warmer temperatures. Started quite bitter and unbalanced with strong alcohol flavor. As it grew warmer, the malt came more to the forefront and nicely balanced the hops. Alcohol flavor changed to a nice warming. This is a great Belgian-style strong ale. Itís a Belgian barleywine the same way Gulden Draak is sometimes referred to as a barleywine. The rye gives it an interesting subtle twist. Great head, nice darker golden color, very full-bodied and creamy, quite sweet. Itís a winner.
joet (1919) - Santa Rosa, California, USA - APR 29, 2002
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
UPDATED: AUG 13, 2004 Amazing. Absolute perfection. The best beer I could possibly ever imagine. I got plums and candy sugar, creamy, honey, some cookie, and a big etoh whallop. Very pleasing and it's definitely something to quaff slowly and with smoke or food. The hop mix is truly perplexing. Chewy and delicious. A gorgeous beer. 65 IBUs in as many ways and flavors -- from floral to earthy, pine and herbs. I keep thinking about this one.
BeerLimey (2154) - California, USA - APR 19, 2002
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
I see itís classed as a barley wine here, but in my tatsing notes I wrote íDuvel meets Bigfootí (I just loved the concept of all those Godzilla movies). This is no moster but an extremely relaxing yet quaffable golden ale. Strong hop bitterness in the finish pairs well against an initially brief biscuity malt that just returns into the aftertaste. A little grapey sourness in the finish is by no means unpleasant in this very well crafted multi-layered brew. I almost forgot to mention the deeply aromatic, spicy, perfumy aroma. Another world class brew that can sit in the Hair of the Dog trophy cabinet alongside Adam.
Suttree (4452) - Knoxville, Tennessee, USA - APR 4, 2002
4.6 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: DEC 18, 2004 Similar to a Belgian Duppel style, but a bit drier. Lots of secondary flavors lurking around, too. Rerate, Dec 04. Batch #9, which would make this one about 6 years old. Seems a little off, like the hops were aged completely out of the picture. Jucy, up front, grape and cherry, the earthy undertones, with aother musty basement flavors. Nice, but seems almost TOO mellow. Maybe at its best when it is a bit younger. My score os for the fresher batch, this would be in the 3.7-3.9 range
maxhits (172) - Pico Rivera, California, USA - MAR 29, 2002
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
This beer is rich and aromatic. This gold-caramel colored ale pours with a light amount of carbonation and produces a modestly sized, thick cream-colored head that will lace your glass as you drink it down. When pouring, do so slowly and carefully to keep the yeast sediments at the bottom of the bottle from emptying into your glass. Now then, stick your nose into the glass. One whiff will fill your sinuses and senses with honey and hops.
This is a 10% alcohol by volume ale. (I sampled batch No. 36. Hair of the Dog Brewing changes batch numbers after every 5,000 bottles produced.) This beer is bottle-conditioned and has a long shelf life. No íborn on dateí is needed for this beer. According to Hair of the Dog, its beers ícan be stored at room temperature (50-74 degrees F) and will continue to mature in the bottle for several years like a fine wine.í
This beer combines honey sweetness with hop bitterness. FRED is rated at 65 IBUís (International Bitterness Units). This ale is very bitter. Compare this to a Belgian ítripelí style ale, Corsendonk Abbey Pale Ale, which is rated at 30 IBUís.
MilkmanDan (1943) - Eagan, Minnesota, USA - MAR 7, 2002
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: MAY 14, 2003 5/14/03 Rerate: I am apparently an idiot. Didn't like this first time, found it pretty amazing on a further sample. Beautiful sweetness at the end, lovely big hops throughout, just very good. Incredibly rich and creamy. Considerably upping my rating. Original rating: An extremely ambitious yet far, far too busy brew. Has a massive head of very tight bubbles that lingers. Dark golden color with plenty of floaties (there's more residue in the bottom of Hair of the Dog beers than anyone else's). Scent is malty and somewhat sour and minty(?). Flavor is sweet and sugary, with plenty of ginger and spiciness. The finish is overly peppery and quite hoppy, for a dry finish. Simply put, they tried to do too much with this beer. It goes from sweet to sharp very quickly. Good, yet unbalanced as heck.
jskendzel (602) - Washington DC, USA - MAR 1, 2002
3.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
This beer has great head retention. The color is a golden/orange hue. The beer is very effervescent. The aroma is so strong that I could smell this beer from a foot away. The aroma is somewhat malty. The mouthfeel is full and this beer is chewy. A bitter taste punctuates the flavor profile, and is complimented with an alcoholic tinge. Fred warms the stomach. The aftertaste is fruity and reminiscent of apricots. As the beer warms this sensation grows.
omhper (17456) - Stockholm, SWEDEN - FEB 24, 2002
3 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Pale. Very sweet. Bitter. Raisin and toffee flavours.
ChrisBeest (43) - Corvallis, Oregon, USA - FEB 18, 2002
2.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 2/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 5/20
Iíd rather drink lighter beers...this was my first Barleywine, and I always say Iíll try anything once, but I never said Iíd try it again.