dhlesq (233) - Thousand Oaks, California, USA - OCT 11, 2005
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
2004: Aroma of cotton candy, toffee, fig, citrus. Appears ruby-brown in color with a thin brown head that dissipates very quickly. Flavor is malty sweet with fruit and bread notes, very bitter on the finish, and with an overpowering taste of alcohol; I should have heeded the label and laid it down for a longer period. Palate is thick, chewy, and appropriate. Overall, this beer is greater than the sum of its parts and worthy of any cellar.
tennisjoel (1326) - Rochester, Minnesota, USA - OCT 10, 2005
3.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: MAY 9, 2007 Rerate: 2006 vintage. I notice this yearís vintage is stronger ABV at 13.25%. Deep red pour with a minimal head. Strong raisin/plum aroma. Port like. Sweet flavor. Alcohol is well hidden. My only complaint with this vintage is that I prefer more hops to counter balance the sweetness. A very fine representative of the barley wine style, even if the beer is a little on the sweet side.
Original rating (11-2005): 2004 vintage. Very rich flavor. Sweetness hits the tongue immediately. A barley wine, canít be mistaken. Reddish color. Small head. Can definitely taste the alcohol. Not like it is unexpected. Caramel flavor. Better as it gets warmer. A good solid overall brew.
Total Score: 4.0
Dogfish120 (143) - Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA - OCT 6, 2005
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle.. nose is fruity withl oads of malts and hops, Thick cloudy dark amber with a little head. Warming alch. presence but well rounded. Awesome brew.
TheEnemy (564) - Chicago, USA - OCT 4, 2005
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
12-oz bottle, 2004 vintage
This tastes like a quality double or strong Belgian ale masquerading as a barleywine. As a beer, itís quite nice. Its aroma is malty, slightly alcoholic and classic Belgian-yeast-nutty. Lightly roasted malt, Belgian-like yeast nuttiness, medium hop bittering and a smidge of alcohol round out the flavor profile. Not much fruit notes for a barleywine. Fairly substantial palate. Pours a clear copper-brown with thin white head. Except for the "old" in the name, I never would have figured this to be a barleywine.
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 í03. 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, thereís 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 í04 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. Iíll 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.