Drew (2411) - Kent, Ohio, USA - FEB 25, 2004
3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
You're gonna need a chainsaw to get thru the red wax that this bottle was dipped in. A whole lot of effort for what amounted to be a very boring barleywine. Light golden body, short head, some lacing. Aroma was sweet and hoppy. The thinner body was a little sweet and couldn't stand up to the bitterness and alcohol burn. I've had this aging for 6 months - it must have been really rough when it first came out. As much as I like hops, I have to say this one was way off balance.
kujo9 (1095) - North Ridgeville, Ohio, USA - FEB 20, 2004
2.9 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 10/20
2003: Wow, surprisingly light colored for a BW style, it's a light amber color, but the off white head doesn't stick around long. Has an herbal/grassy hop aroma to start and a general light maltiness. Alcohol is apparent in the aroma which may be the source of the light fruitiness, but the ester level of this is low IMHO. Well balanced and hop flavors to start, maltiness is just there to balance the hops, and is lightly grainy, and has some alcohol flavor. Finish is pleasantly bitter and and piney hop flavored w/ a clean aftertaste. Also surprisingly light bodied for a BW, more of a light medium, alcohol is warming, and carbonation is low. I'm not terribly impressed with this one. It's thin all the way around. I've liked other Left Hand brews, but this one is definitely not a favorite. There's about 15 BWs that come to mind that I'd rather have.
JasonG (776) - Salt Lake City, Utah, USA - JAN 30, 2004
3.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
reddish orange color, very little head. Aroma has grapefruit notes, slightly malty, a touch of spiceyness. Flavor is a bit sour, malty, with a touch of caramel. A nice barleywine, but not as complex as the best.
beeriodic (61) - Longmont, Colorado, USA - JAN 9, 2004
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
750ml bottle: poured with no head. Very light orange in color. Spicy, floral, citrus aromas. Smooth mouthfeel, with some density because of the gravity, but lighter on the palate than a BW would imply. Sweetish flavor that goes dry in the finish, with some complex peppery, orange flavors. Alcohol snuck up on me, so I'd be hurtin' if I finish the whole thing in one sitting. A nice change from the big, hoppy BW's.
fraternie (958) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - DEC 28, 2003
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Golden body, little head. Thin body for the style. Sweet citrusy aromas, some spice. Smokey, spicy malt of orange flavors. Burnt, nutty notes, crisp, dry finish, very little hops. ABV very well covered. Dominant burnt orange notes, fairly complex, a very good brew from an underrated brewery. Malt could be a bit more flavorful I suppose.
Darkover (1532) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - DEC 5, 2003
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
2003 Vintage: The top of the bottle was coated in plastic and its a bitch to get it open. I cut my thumb trying.
Clear orange/light amber color with a big beige head. Aroma of caramel malt and a little hops. Flavor of mild hop bitterness is pretty balanced by the maltiness. Pretty smooth and drinkable. Alcohol is well hidden.
Jokes (1453) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - NOV 29, 2003
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 13/20
Light copper colored body with a thin, white head despite an agressive pour. The aroma is light and thin. Bitter hops of pine and citrus, sweet caramel and noticable alcohol. While not being watery, the body is surprisingly thin. I thin, this really needs a body that has more to it. The flavors are simple and similar to the aroma. A sweet, malty body and light citrus and pine from the hops. The alcohol warms as it goes. Not exceptionally complex or bitter. Maybe it's just that I'm used to Bell's Old Ale and Behemoth, but this didn't really do much for me. Perhaps my perception is skewed by my lack of true previous experience, but I would stay away from this, especially for $10 for a bomber. Are you kidding me? For this?
flemdawg (554) - Rowlett, Texas, USA - OCT 19, 2003
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
The first beer at the Ft. Wayne event, as well as my first barleywine. An orangeish hue, with a small head. Slight hint of hops in the aroma. Hoppy and citrus in the flavor. Pretty good, but then again, I have nothing to compare it too.
thedm (5281) - Fort Wayne, USA - OCT 19, 2003
3.8 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Fort Wayne event. The first brew of the day with Silphium who arrived first. This brew poured a medium sized head of fine to large sized mostly lasting white colored bubbles that left beihnd a transparent softlyt carbonated orangish colored body and a fair lacing. The aroma was mildly hopped. I found its mouthfeel very smooth for a barley wine and this favct makes it a good transistion brew for the inexperienced to have as thier first barley wine. It hafd a mild afterbite and a very mild hopp flavor mixed withother spices and doughyness.
Silphium (3191) - East Lansing, Michigan, USA - OCT 19, 2003
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
And so the day began at thedm's Fort Wayne tasting. Hey, a wax-topped bottle! Pretty impressive. The beer wasn't so bad itself. Poured golden-amber, with a sparkling off-white/light tan head. Floral, spicy hops aroma, with some caramel and bread. Rather light flavor for a barleywine, with some caramel flavors, spicy hops, and sweeter fruit as the beer warmed. Rather thin-bodied, with alcohol evident in the aftertaste. A rather unique barleywine, although certainly not in the top echelon.