CaptainCougar (7129) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - DEC 8, 2002
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: MAY 7, 2006 Batch #44 sampled on 5/6/06: Pours a barely hazy copper bronze with a sticky-lacing slightly over-carbonated airy white head. Aroma has lots of sweet caramel malt and light fruits. Body starts with a fizzy, sticky earthy caramel sweetness revealing some light fruity complexity and lots of warming alcohol toward the thinner finish. Definitely not as good as I remember.
Batch #43 sampled on 1/18/04: Has a huge forthy, thick cream-colored head with large clumps of lace. Aroma has some light fruit, sugary caramel malt and a touch of alcohol. Tastes fairly complex, but a little too sugary and not as balanced as the more aged editions.
Batch #22 sampled on 2/20/04: Pours a hazy light copper with a minimal thin ring of head. Sweet oxidized caramel and toffee aroma. Body is syrupy sweet and dry with some hop bitterness still present in the finish. Good complexity and balance. This has aged quite well Iíd say.
Batch #36 sampled on 12/8/02: Wonderfully balanced sweet aroma. Deep golden colored with tiny bubbles of carbonation. Sweet, syrupy full mouthfeel with an initial alcohol bite, but a subdued finish. Definite warming effect. A great barley wine.
jayme9874 (756) - Hamburg, New York, USA - DEC 4, 2002
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
A hazy deep golden. Thin but lasting head and nice lace. Nose of sweet honey, slight tropical fruits, rye, pepper, hop resin, citrus, alcohol and others. Smooth bodied, almost thick, flavors of pineapple, rye, alcohol, myriad of hop flavors (alot of pine sap), spices galore, creamier as it sits. Damn fine brew, interesting, warming, weird and satisfying. Thank you ecrvich.
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.