ChillCoat (1029) - Concord, California, USA - OCT 3, 2005
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
bottled ’03. Dark red/ bourbon color. Smallish ivory head. Sweet, malty aromas with notes of brown sugar, plums and caramel. Thick mouthfeel. Tons of toffee notes as well as malt, alcohol, dark fruits and even a bit of hop bitterness. Even at two years old this is a little sharp, but still fantastic.
AlchemistZ (493) - Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA - OCT 2, 2005
4.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
2003 Vintage: A red-hued, brown head on a deep-colored, reddish brown body. Strong barleywine aroma. Saturated Saturation. As much of everything as possible. It is not layered in complexity, but in-your-face to the point I feel if they added one more pound of malt or one more ounce of hops the beer would collapse upon itself. Flavor is not like the aroma entirely. The high alcohol lightens and elevates the palate, making it dangerously drinkable (it is not a hot alcohol though). The beer is big malt with just some acidity and hop flavor balancing but mainly on the roof of the mouth. This leads into hops and malt flavor equalizing but competing with the unyielding, drying, mildly astringent alcohol then finishing with the taste of a fresh baked, molten, chocolate brownie. This is a summary of my overall impression of this beer, but it does not do it justice. Every taste from the glass changed like a chameleon with new complexities rearing their head then repressing themselves with the next taste. My best analogy would be that of a perfectly grilled hamburger where all of the components: cheese, lettuce, tomato, and burger, are all in perfect balance but maybe the next bite the cheese is just a little thicker in that spot but it still tastes wonderful...wonderful but different. A great way to finish the evening.
TheBeerOrg (2145) - Louisville, Kentucky, USA - OCT 1, 2005
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: OCT 6, 2005 2004 bottle. Pours brown with dark reddish hues. Fully receding tan head. Sweet sticky aroma of dark fruity phenols, oak, spice, caramel, bourbon, with rich maltiness. Taste is sweet, toffee, maple, quite alcoholic. Quite intense. Sadly, this beer is still too young to be considered a masterpiece, there’s plenty of alcohol warmth. Still, even fresh it is a fine sipping barleywine. This beer would be incredible once the alcohol mellows out a bit. I might have to start a vintage collection.
richlikebeer (838) - Easton, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 25, 2005
3.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
an ’04 bottle, shared with Kevin, first thing i noticed is that i could smell the ABV. beyond that was a sweet caramel, cherry and grass blend coming off a dark amber pour with pretty much no head whatsoever.flavor matched the aroma almost exactly, unfortunately, that means the abv came through as well. some more time in the bottle and i think this would be outstanding, but in the condition i had it in, it was still a little hot and the flavors werent robust enough to cover that, reducing it to just very very good.
Magjayran (1378) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - SEP 16, 2005
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Surprisingly red in color, I just knew this beer would be darker. Thin head dissipates quickly. Lots of alcohol and some dry fruit in the nose. Too much alcohol in the flavor with some fruit and a horribly metallic finish. Definitely needs more aging. I’ll probably re-rate in a year or so.
kbjames (244) - Utah, USA - SEP 11, 2005
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
THis is one really really good beer. A bit underrated on this site I think. A great mouthful, with lots of flavor, taste and at 11.4 ABV it packs a full punch. This is Noth Coasts best offering in my mind. I would highly recommend this beer to anyone.
Quintana (5) - Winchester, Virginia, USA - SEP 8, 2005 does not count
3.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 11/20
Sampled out of a bottle in a pint glass. Need to get a nice snifter for my barley wines/strong ales. As strong ales go, way too much alcohol in the taste. Aroma a nice hearty mix of heavy malt, raisin, spice and some fruit and a lovely dark amber color. Mouthfeel and taste too much like a smooth bourbon that brings this score way down (it is still beer after all...). Really looking forward to this one and a bit let down by the harsh flavor of overpowering alcohol that dominated what cold have been a sublte boquet of goodness.
DougShoemaker (3147) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - SEP 5, 2005
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Aroma is malty, caramel and butterscotch. Ruby with a small toffee head. Taste starts with a full malty profile, then enter those lovely hops, impressively followed by almonds. Medium bodied, extremely well balanced, bitter and dry. Fantastic! Thanks mds!
Sobchak (131) - Skagen, DENMARK - SEP 5, 2005
3.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
2004 Vintage. - Deep amber colour. Aromatic nose, with notes of demerara sugar, chocolate and dates. Very smooth mouthfeel, but the taste does not keep the promises you get from the nose. Obviously beers like this tend to improve with further ageing, and i think it has some really great potential if left for another couple of years.........
Philip (436) - Illinois, USA - SEP 1, 2005
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
2003 Vintage. All the standard notes of a decent barleywine (e.g. caramel, brown sugar, toffee, some butterscotch), but nothing to write home about. The palate was thinner than anticipated, nothing like J.W. Lees or T. Hardy. Some fruit notes such as bing cherry and red plum compliment the standard flavors. All in all, decent, but very much overrated imo.