omnivore (270) - San Francisco, California, USA - JAN 27, 2004
3.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
2003 Vintage: Pours a nice deep woody brown, with a thin, quickly evaporating head. Very crisp aroma, malty and alcoholic. Hits the tongue with a broad malty taste that springboards into a broad caramel and alcoholic taste that evaporates into a creeping hoppiness that leaves the roof of your mouth puckered and wanting more.
Gusler (2653) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - JAN 11, 2004
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
The beer pours from the 12 ounce bottle a somewhat hazy orange-amber color with the head pythonic in size, creamy in consistency and a toothsome light tan color, as it slowly dissipates the lace forms a thick veil to obscure the glass from prying eyes. Nose is sweet malt, light hints of fusel alcohol, caramel, quite crisp and fresh; a pleasant beer to sniff, start is ambrosial, rich in malt with the top moderate to full in feel. Finish has a unsparing acidity, the hops quite pronounced in their spicy bite, somewhat bitter and dry aftertaste, a quite nice barleywine, and Mad River a long time favorite Brewery.
ClarkVV (4353) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - JAN 10, 2004
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: NOV 11, 2004 2003 bottle 9.5 abv. First off, what a color! Almost a purplish burgundy. Drab brown olive. Wow. Good medium dark yellow head, quickly disippating. Smells of lots of fresh hops, background of barley, more barley and some alcohol. Also has a nice light balsamic vinegar hint in the aroma. Slight hint of dark, yet dry fruits. Mouthfeel is smooth, oily and barely carbonated. Big, complex hops body, that is almost full bodied, dry hoppy taste but has a nice medium dry roasted/caramel malt balance. Wonderful ripe prune/plum/concord grape vinous flavor. As hoppy as this is, it still retains a dry, barleyesque flavor reminding me of English barleywines. Very balanced, a touch too hoppy if anything. Moderately complex finish, currants, raisins and more barley and hops. This definitely grew on me 200% from first sip to last. I want more!
Gromit (479) - Port Orchard, Washington, USA - JAN 1, 2004
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Very nice; my first experience with this beer or brewery.
Pours a thick brown color with minimal head and no lacing.
Smell is of a typical Barleywine with a bit more alcohol than normal, but nice none the less.
Taste is, well, rich and rather complex, but nothing great. Definate malt presence as well as darker fruits.
Mouthfeel is very nice with a strong mineral feel adding to the thickness. Overall it's pretty good; the mineral mouthfeel sets it apart from most others making it worth seeking out.
travise (3) - Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 26, 2003 does not count
2.1 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 8/20
This ale is the worst "barleywine" I've ever had. Pours with virtually no head & minimal lace. Floaties are visible. Smells like a strong cider. Tastes a little sweet and sour at the same time. Hard to put down. Didn't enjoy. 8% abv.
egajdzis (5622) - Pennsburg, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 9, 2003
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
2002... Poured a red/amber color with a small, very little to no head. Difficult aroma to detect, but when noticed, hops, fruit and alittle alcohol. This was different than most barleywines that I have had. Malty mouthfeel, taste was very quick, and it basically misses something in the middle. It started off fizzy, turned into a liquid smooth as water, finished malty and alcoholic. Not what I am looking for in a barleywine, but it was a smooth drink.
TheBeerGod (5598) - Newport News, Virginia, USA - DEC 1, 2003
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
2003 vintage. Pours reddish brown with a small tan head. Nose is hops, sweetened malt, and light spice. The tongue is hops but has almost an orange taste to it. There is also definite malt and more spice, seemingly cinnamon(?). There's some bitterness in the mouthfeel and during the finish but it's nothing overwhelming. The alcohol doesn't seem to be too much in the forefront either. Very easy going barleywine. Got a couple extra to age.
GreatStelle (363) - Chico, California, USA - NOV 21, 2003
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Ok I don't like barley wines but I'll give this one a shot. Nice hoppy and malty aroma. Taste is very malty and hops do provide a nice balance. Very spicy. The ABV is alive and well in this one. Sorry I just don't like this. Although I have had worse.
Perkeo (322) - Portland, Oregon, USA - NOV 14, 2003
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
2003 vintage- darker than some, dark brown I suppose, with little to no head. Plums and orange peel in the nostrils, rich and full on the palate, with a weird bitterness that tastes like one o' them Anchor holiday beers, like some sorta exotic tree sap. Better than it was when they put some sage in it 7 or 8 years ago...man that stuff was stanky!
Cobra (1100) - - NOV 8, 2003
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
2002 batch. 12 oz. stubby brown bottle. I don't know why I bought another Mad River product, seeing as how everything else of their's I've tried so far stunk, but I decided to try this. Poured out a murky, cloudy brown color, with no head at all. I mean none. A slight ring of bubbles was all I got out of this bottle. Aromas of higher alcohols, lots of malts, some caramel, but that's not all. I smelled some piney, resinous, grapefruit hops as well. Tasted ok, but nothing special as far as barleywines as concerned. Finished kind of hoppy. Coats the tongue with a syruplike consistency also.
I've had better barleywines in my day.