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Lakefront Beer Line Barley Wine (1997-2005)

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RATINGS: 121   WEIGHTED AVG: 2.87/5   EST. CALORIES: 300   ABV: 10%
Copper in color, Beer Line is the first organic barley wine brewed in the United States.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
diirkbko (1) - - DEC 10, 2011 does not count
Disclaimer: I am the recipe designer, and was the head brewer at Lakefront when the original vintage was made in 1997. I still have 20 bottles that have been properly stored (Closed case, stored in a cool basement.). Virtually no sediment in any bottle. Still carbonated. I only rated this beer to get my comment posted so you could have the vintage date. However, Lakefront continued to make this beer after I left in mid í98, and according to employees was made with a modified recipe, so you may have a different vintage. The original recipe had a 5 hour boil to reduce the volume by nearly 50% of the sweet liquor collected from the sparge. All I know is that the vintage I have is still a tremendous brew according to those I have gifted recently. (iím sober now.)

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
dwyerpg (5683) - Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - MAY 9, 2008
I am very surprised by the low low scores of this. My bottle didnít have any funkiness or astringency to it. Just a simple barleywine with some molasses and sweet characters throughout. A lot of chunks in the bottom of the bottle. An average barley wine to me, maybe a little on the low side.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
redlem (1306) - Ohio, USA - JAN 5, 2004
2000 bottle. A deep whiskey color, minimal head. A strong heavy sweet caramel fruit aroma. Wow, this needs to be sipped. A silky mouthfeel. Taste of sweet malt, vanilla. Slightly bitter. This has aged very well. Great after dinner drink.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
frankenkitty (2007) - Oak Lawn, Illinois, USA - MAR 5, 2007
A gentle pour off the tiny bottle brings forth some yeasty chunks into the dead, hazy, whisky-colored beer in my glass. Mild stickiness apparent upon swirling. Caramel is strong in the aroma with light, peaty smoke and roasts, mild fruit and delicate ABV. Tasting finds a sweet, woodsy, alcoholic nectar... crossing that line from a beer to something much, much more. I am simply confounded by the low percentile numbers above.

<font size=-4>Sampled at <a href=http://www.ratebeer.com/Events-Detail.asp?Eve Vintage Beer Fest 2007</font>

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
muzzlehatch (4840) - Beloit, Wisconsin, USA - DEC 13, 2001
UPDATED: JAN 12, 2003 Dec "01: 1997 bottle drunk December 2001. Color: deep red, bit murky with some obvious sediment; no head at all. Nose: invitingly wine-like, with some hints of oak, banana and mango (and alcohol!). Flavor/palate: whoa, incredibly powerful, thick, viscous body, with massive fruitcake/rum/banana tones and powerful malt presence. The thickest, most potent libation I"ve had since SA Triple Bock, but much more pleasant and drinkable. ABV must be north of 12%, but the sweetness, body and complexity really help to restrain the alcohol presence. A stunning, stunning barley wine, the best offering I"ve had yet from Wisconsin"s (America"s?) best brewery. 9/5/10/5/20:4.9 total

Jan "03: Millenium edition. Hazy light amber with lots of sediment, small ring of a head. Nose very sweet, candied-fruit-like, malty, very slight floral bitterness. Flavor: hugely bitter and alcoholic at the front, warming in the middle, bitter and dry in the finish. Really seems incomplete and poorly blended; ah for some bottles of the 97 again! THAT was great beer. This rating is an average of the two; hopefully the 2000 will improve on further aging! 8/4/6/2/12: 3.0 overall.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
FlacoAlto (4152) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - SEP 28, 2004
Nip (6.3oz) bottle Millenium 2000 release, Sampled September 2004
Pours a hazy copper color with no head and no visual sign of carbonation. The aroma is thick of aged malt characteristics, I get notes of sherry, toasted malt, alcohol, caramel, and the aroma I associated with the crust of a well made, fresh artisinal crunchy crust bread. This one has a wonderful aroma, it has none of the over-oxidized notes, and keeps me intrigued enough that I spend a couple of minutes just smelling this beer before my first taste.

The taste is thick, a bit sweet, with what seems to be a citrusy-herbal hop component up front, which is a bit surprising given its age, so perhaps is just the aged malt complexity. The finish is lightly bitter, with a drying fresh bready-toasty character to it. There is definitely a twang in the middle of this beer a combination of rich malty notes and citrusy-herbal character that just enlivens this beer. It is of course quite flat, but this beer is strong and rich enough that this does not seem to be missing at all.

This beer has just aged so well and gracefully, I canít even imagine what it tasted like to begin with.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
StewardofGondor (1934) - Washington Heights - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - FEB 14, 2005
I cut a deal with a lady at Lakefront to give me a bottle of this (available by request only at the brewery) for 2 brewery tour tokens. Poured a thick, cloudy orange. Contained sulfites. Small, off-white head with tiny bubbles popping off the top. Smelled of sour green grapes, wheat and barley. Tastes rich. Oak like characteristics and tart cherries. No trace of alcohol in the taste but it catches up on you about 10 minutes post consumption. Iím not a regular connoisseur of barley wine, but Iíd say that this concoction is a quality offering by the lords at Lakefront.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
shigadeyo (3635) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - NOV 19, 2008

<b><i>Millenium 2000 Special Edition</i></b>

<b>11/16/2008</b>: After reading through some of the reviews, I very carefully poured this beer and managed to get as clean as a pour as I believe possible. This beer looks like apricot-colored syrup while pouring and then has a ruddy, nearly opaque, walnut-colored appearance in the the glass. There is hardly any carbonation left at this point. Beer Line Barley Wine Style Ale has a sweet, caramelly, and highly alcohol-ladden aroma that is very much like a nice mead. Sweet, creamy caramel explodes in the flavor along with dates, well-aged fruit, lightly citrusy hops, and dried apricots. The alcohol is warming and not dominate in the flavor at all. It is nowhere near being astringent, rather it is very well integrated with the other flavors and carries brandy or cognac-like qualities. This full-bodied beer is smooth, creamy, and mellow. This beer has aged remarkably well and I don’t think that this beer can get any better. It is simply excellent right now!

<i>6.3 fl. oz./187 mL punted bottle (50 IBU, Unfiltered, 29° Plato) from Belmont Party Supply in Dayton, Ohio. Rating #113 for this beer...</i>

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
CaptainCougar (7133) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - DEC 15, 2002
UPDATED: JAN 22, 2003 Rerate: 2002/Millenium Edition - Light strawberry aroma and flavor. Slightly sweet and mellow. Not your typical barleywine, but very drinkable and hides its alcohol well. 1999 Vintage - Strong sweet, malty, alcoholic aroma. Absolutely no head even with a vigorous pour. A rather large chunk of yeast sediment fell to the bottom of my glass, but I don't mind. Reminds me a lot of a vintage English strong ale. Caramel malty notes with a touch of sourness and an oily palate. This is very mellow for being 10% ABV. Smooth and complex and one of Lakefront's best offerings. The 7 oz. bottle is cute, but restricting.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Bockyhorsey (2628) - Mesa, Arizona, USA - OCT 18, 2005
Aromas of Alcohol, earthly farm field of barley. Body was a murky copper color with some active floaters in the glass. Small white head also. Flavor was sweet and syrpy and alcohol. Not over bearing although. If you like barley wines you should try this one.

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