ZepolK (102) - South Side Montebello, California, USA - DEC 6, 2003
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Batch #50. Heard a lot about this brewery but never got the opportunity to try one of there brews, until last night. Wonderful aroma of hops, citrus and apricots and a mild lingering of yeast. Cloudy golden orange with a huge head that really lasts. Flavor was very smooth and clean. Good balance and complexity with flavors ranging from citrus and peach to malt and sourdough bread finishing with a nice hop sting. Very appealing to the palate with mild hop and citrus sting. Alcohol was very well hidden, considering the 10% abv. A great example of what a Barley Wine should be. Highly recommend this one.
mreeves (275) - Sammamish, Washington, USA - DEC 1, 2003
4.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
An amazingly complex and wonderful beer. Vigorous carbonation, head lasts forever. An extremely unique flavor, defies categorization. Excellent balance of malt and hops, with a Belgian flavor from the bottle conditioning. I guess barleywine is as close as one can get to this beer. Possibly the best beer I've ever had.
y0cola (361) - fremont, California, USA - NOV 29, 2003
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Huge head, biggest i've ever had on a beer. It had a fiery red color and smelled prominently of plums and berries. Tastes like different berries and fruits with hints of whiskey that linger in your throat. Nice and complex.
BierBauch (784) - Cape Coral Waterfront Wonderland, Florida, USA - NOV 27, 2003
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Batch #46 12oz. Bottle
This brew poured a cloudy dark gold looking like apple cider and a huge merengue like towering head. Took awhile for the head to die down. Aroma of sugary sweet delicious malt and fruity overtones remind me of a Belgian ale. Mouthfeel has a crispness unlike most barley wines I've had. Flavor is again, more like a Belgian Strong ale in my opinion. Sweet malt, candy sugar and fruit. Heavy lacing. Overall a really nice Thanksgiving warmer.
whaleman (2178) - North Wales, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 25, 2003
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JUL 17, 2005 Cinnamon-hued body with thousands of minute particles, a massive frothy head, and thick silky lacing. Aroma of strawberries, nutmeg, bubblegum esters, candy sugar and alcohol. Smell is reminiscent of a Belgian Ale, a dubbel specifically. Flavor is surprisingly chocolatey and also includes rich malt, fruit, spices, and vanilla bean. Strong floral hop presence provides a nice medium bitterness that is rounded by some mild sourness. This is a wild and complex brew that evokes many qualities. Very nice and tantalizing.
jsquire (3736) - St. Marys, Ohio, USA - NOV 20, 2003
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
Batch 44 -- First off, it took a long time to pour this into a glass for all the foam. HUGE foamy head with sticky lace and lots of carbonation on the tounge. Dark sweet candy sugar nose. Very sweet but well balanced beer. Tastes of candied oranges, peach jolly rancher, buttery toffee with a slap of bitter grapefruit rind in the finish. Strong, syrupy beer. This is a huge barley wine and a delicious beer.
Reid (2078) - Salem, Oregon, USA - NOV 12, 2003
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Ok after many a year i decided to take the plunge and purchase one of this breweries beers ( had feared the inconsistancy and the high price..being Scottish).
Says this is a "Golden Special Ale".
Ok lets see..
WEll its a good looking beer but doesnt look very "golden" I poured it into my Chimay goblet and its lovelly amber/ chesnut brown hazy beer..with a gorgeous creamy large off white head..as usual the goblet channels a steady flow of carbonation up the middle of the beer..very attractive brew!
The beer has a very strong aroma but its curiously balanced..between the lovelly malts and the hops ( there are apparentlly 10 different kinds in this!
A very nice warming ale to taste starts with a rich creamy sweet maltiness progresses to about three different kinds of bitterness through to the alcoholic warmth at the end,
Smooth and creamy on the palate with a great alcoholic warmth.
This was a very nice brew indeed..drinkable..well yes if you like to sip..and I do as it is the end of the night..be careful with this..10%..take it sloww and easy
Rastacouere (6159) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - NOV 10, 2003
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JUL 26, 2005 I don’t quite remember the batch number, but it was not more than a couple months old. The appearance is stuff of legend, bottle-conditioned with sediments floating in the snifter, beautiful cloudy amber body and a HOTD’s HUGE off-white head, rocky, sticky, like a snowy mountain chain. Aroma is mostly complex stages of hops, it’s easy to believe there are 10 varieties, there’s the big american C hops character combined with the refined English ones. Very relaxing to sniff on and ultra-complex, like a touch of vanilla on fresh citrus (grapefruit). In mouth this dances on the tongue, nice effervescence, creamy, full-bodied, complex maple malt sweetness and an obvious balancing yeastiness. This is a delicious big generous beer. Long Life HOTD. Tasting this with my buddy MartinT, we came to the conclusion that given the choice to pick only 2 beers from a same brewery to have an infinite supply of, HOTD with Fred and Adam would probably win over quite anyone. *High-fives Jazz88*
A re-sample of an aged bottle (batch 36 in october 2004) proposed a terrific alcohol hiding job and far more subdued hoppiness. I was not quite able to appreciate all the hop garden/maze in there as well as the first time, but it remained just as adorable. I would have raised the score higher if it weren’t for the feeling that this is actually so sweet in a maple syrup kind of way that it becomes hard to finish the bottle. Definitely a beer you feel you could drink fast, but that you must drink slow to enjoy fully. World-Class.
ultraspank (867) - Alverca, Lisboa, PORTUGAL - NOV 5, 2003
4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Found a few bottles of this at Tarkington's in Downtown Indy's Circle Center Mall. Enjoyed this brew in my MIGHTY HAMM'S goblet! I'm sure that the fine folks at HOTD Brewing would be most pleased by my choice of stemware for their fine brew. Anyway, this brew pours a dirty murky amber with pale melon highlights and floating yeast mothers despite my best attempts at proper decanting. The thin fizzy white head is fully diminishing with no lacing. The robust nose is alcohol, oranges, peaches and cream in oatmeal, flowers, and as the brew warms raisins and dates can be detected. The flavor is sweet, spicy, warm and tangy. The long floral finish is rounded out by a splash of dried fruit. The full dry body is fizzy and finishes chalky. The ABV hits hard.
TChrome (1447) - Bedford, Texas, USA - NOV 2, 2003
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pretty potent, but am concerned my bottle had a problem. Beer poured a ten inch head into a 12 oz. glass. Had to split the bottle between two glasses. Aroma is excellent, pinapples, malt, and alcohol. Appearance is attractive, though mine was too foamy. Light brown with off white head that is fully retained. Lots of lacing. Flavor is well developed barley wine. What a great style and this is a good example. Some hop bitterness with very pleasing malt sweetness. This is a well balanced complex ale.