GreatStelle (363) - Chico, California, USA - SEP 8, 2003
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Batch # 50. Tons of flavor and this packs a punch. A nice foamy head. I thought a "golden special ale" would be light. This is anything bit. Some Caramel flavors and nice toasted malts at beginning. The finish is bitter and wonderfully hoppy.
Slick (1969) - Thief River Falls, Minnesota, USA - SEP 7, 2003
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Batch 41 Nice dark golden color,Large foamy head,the aroma was sweet and hoppy with a fruit tone to it and fairly spicy,with the taste being nice and sweet with a little alcohol coming through but not enough to hurt the other flavors of fruit,spice and hops.This is certainly different from the Barley Wine i'm used to but it is fantastic and well worth seeking out for trying.
Syd (921) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - SEP 6, 2003
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: JAN 3, 2004 What can I say but another Hair of the Dog bottle of rocket fuel. It has a deep golden color with a nice head. The flavor has a good dose of alcohol but is quite well balanced with hops and fruit flavors. The body is thick. It will keep me buying...
BückDich (5464) - McCall, Idaho, USA - AUG 28, 2003
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Hazy golden color with a TALL head and excellent lacing. This looks very light for a barleywine. Hoppy aroma with citrus notes, ESP aprichot. Flavor has detectable alcohol, orange, hops and yeast. Dry and bitter palate, big hoppy finish.
SG (465) - Valley Center, California, USA - AUG 21, 2003
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: OCT 10, 2003 Batch #47. Huge frothy head and a nice golden color. A nice sharp aroma of hops and spices. Complex hop character and a nice flavor that is sweeter than I was expecting. A pleasant aftertaste lasts forever and I can feel the alcohol in my throat. Some fruity and spicy flavors also emerge. A truly excellent brew.
PorterPounder (5875) - Tallahassee, Florida, USA - AUG 18, 2003
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Aroma, sweet molasses, fresh citrusy fruit and Christmas spices. Appearance - head looks exactly like a root beer float - took at least five minutes to settle! Has a cloudy, murky brown appearance - lots of floating sediment. Flavor - like sweet toffee. The alcohol is evident but not overpowering at all. More dopplebock sweetness to it than a Barley Wine in my opinion. Good, thick mouthfeel. Overall, an excellent beverage.
seven7dust (11) - Missoula, Montana, USA - JUL 26, 2003
4.6 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Great Beer, great to drink and have a good time. Flavor isn't as good as Adam, but still a great beer.
drinkbeer (283) - Redondo Beach, California, USA - JUL 26, 2003
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
12 oz bottle. This is a very very good ale. I couldn't believe the head on this bad boy. It was sudsy and fluffy and took up about 2/3 of my westvleteren glass. It stuck around awhile as well, having a constant inch of fluffiness floating on top of the hazy brown liquid. The aroma is FULL. Peach, pear, alcohol fills the nostrils. The taste is COMPLEX. It actually changes as you drink it. At the begining the hops came through more than the malt, then I noticed the fruit tones more, and near the end I was getting this awesome spike of sugar on my toungue with a nice dry finish. I would buy this again in a heartbeat.
jeffc666 (1984) - Fairfax, Virginia, USA - JUL 23, 2003
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: DEC 3, 2004 Fred is labeled as a "Golden Special Ale". At 10% abv and using 10 different hop varieties I would agree that it is indeed something special. It was also a nice golden color as promised by the name. My bottle possibly suffered some shaking at some point in its life as the head was out of control. It took me 5 minutes plus to pour the thing. Even then it took a wee while before it abated enough to even think about drinking it. Aroma was nice, I could smell those hops as well as a generous helping of malts. Taste plenty of hops, a good round malt nose. The bottle had a nice layer of yeast sediment in it proving that this is a bottle conditioned ale. At 10% abv I was worried that it might be a little bit harsh, but it was not at all. The bottle copy says that the beer is made with 10 different hop varieties from 5 different countries. I believe it, the hop complexity is amazing. There are very floral hops in there (cascades?) as well as some traditional European hops (Saaz?). Regardless of the exact ingredient list this is a beer well worth seeking out.
BillKismet (3412) - Seattle, Washington, USA - JUL 12, 2003
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Nice orange amber with a perfect head that rimes the beer nicely. Very fruity aroma is reminiscent of two better barleywines (Port Townsend Barleywine and Pyramid 500 year old Ale). The flavor was moderately complex, leaning decidely towards a candy orangish with an accompanying slight sourness. Syrupy smooth with a light bitter finish that dissapears momentarily after each sip. Alcohol is balanced well. Another fine Barleywine for the PNW.