Gunshy (479) - Ohio, USA - JAN 26, 2003
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
This beer poured a nice deep red amber color and formed a nice foamy off white head that subsided quickly and left a small amount of lace. Some carbonation is present. An aroma of malt, caramel and fruit. A flavor of malt and fruit with some of the alcohol present as well. Not bad for a barleywine, but probably could use some cellaring.
Drew (2413) - Kent, Ohio, USA - JAN 22, 2003
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Dark ruby red, with little head or lacing - appearance is actually quite still, but first few sips are quite carbonated. There is such a nice malt presence here - dark and fruity and chewy with an almost "burnt" sweetness. Of course it's backed up with a wonderfully balanced hop. The big flavors are cherry and toffe, soaked in a bit of unknown liquor. Now, just try to lay some of this down for a year without touching it - maybe keep it in your parent's basement under lock and key....
michael-pollack (4960) - King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 20, 2003
2.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 2/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 7/20
From a non-barley wine person... Pours and looks great, but is way too malty for my tastes.
Sickboy282 (1115) - San Diego, California, USA - JAN 15, 2003
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: FEB 12, 2004 I was a little dissapointed with this one. I love their imperial stout and stout, and I was hoping to fall in love with this but it's missing something. This is more of a scotch ale more than a barelywine. The flavor, is, well, not that great. You'd expect more from this brewery, or maybe I just had a bad bottle.
Rerate- This is an awesome beer. I think the first time I had it I wasn't prepared for it's gandeur. Complex from start to finish. This is the perfect beer for when you're not sure what beer style you want.
Nuffield (3612) - Roseville, Minnesota, USA - JAN 14, 2003
3.2 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
2002 edition. Pours like Coca-Cola, a big but rapidly diminishing head, heavy carbonation (large bubbles) all over the inside. Weak metallic aroma, whiffs of malt and the slightest note of grape. Slightly oily, slightly sticky, yet a bit thin all things considered; the cola-like carbonation on the palate is lost early on. Flavor is the strong suit here, full and rounded across a range of English strong ale qualities with a bit of Scottish ale in there. Spicy notes--growing with time to be a sharply biting presence, hitting the tip of my tongue as it goes into my mouth and making me shout "whoa Nellie!"--more metal, and a biting alcoholic flavor. Some beers hide their alcohol well, but this one does not. Perhaps this is a beer that simply cannot be had this young--it is decent drinking, but it is not a masterpiece by any stretch.
hopscotch (8459) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - JAN 13, 2003
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
This is a great beer. I have rated this beer. I don’t know why it no longer appears as a beer that I have rated. Not gonna do it again right away. So go with my score and the verbiage from the brewer and other Ratebeerians. If you enjoy other barley wines that I have rated highly, this one will certainly not disappoint.
MartinT (7482) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - JAN 11, 2003
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: MAY 12, 2007 (2-year-old, 2000 bottle)...Luminous burgundy curtains of caramel waltz the northern hemisphere as plum and date satellites slowly trace their way through...A creamy treacley powerflux transmogrifies the lower end to rich hop sheets and sweet, crunchy biscuits...A true beauty of an aurora beerealis, courtesy of hopsrus...4.5/5...
(2-year-old, 2001 bottle)...Dusty date clarity in alcoholic vapor muscularity...Lovely, brown rum insularity transforming into sugary, berry vascularity...A marvelous companion to DFH’s Immort Ale...4.2/5...
(2-year-old, 2004 bottle)...The nose is rather shy, but does announce fruity caramel, and candy...Body is round, but somewhat rough, alcohol hitting the back with a splash...Some herbal hop bitterness is left, but doesn’t offer much complexity...A fine sipper still, but nowhere near the complexity and succulence of the aforementioned vintage, to my tastes...3.6/5
1-year-old 2005 vintage: 3.8/5
1-year-old 2006 vintage: 4.3/5. Young and already wow.
hoorayforbeer (105) - Denton, Texas, USA - JAN 9, 2003
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Poured dark reddish-brown. Very hoppy aroma with undercurrents of sweet spices and malt. Tastes great. Hops and a huge dose of barley and spices (I agree that there’s licorice in there). Very nice, big beer.
Trappistenbier (49) - BELGIUM - JAN 9, 2003
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
My tastebuds are well surprised this time. This is top-quality beer and it comes from the States. The creamy foam head which appeared instantly when pouring out is from a very rare one and stayed longer than I would expect from an American beer. Nipping the beer shocked me in the way that I was just drinking some kind of siropy liquid. Such a dense mouthfeeling. Incredible. This is cough-sirup and a real treat. First thing I noticed when I taste was a kind of liquorice taste. Sweet malty, alkoholic (11.5%!!!), a total lack of carbonation which was really not a shame, nice balanced hops and before I noticed my glass was already empty leaving some kind of dark sirupy film in the glass. I already had the marvelous Old rasputin Imperial Stout from the same brewery, but Jezus, this is pure magic !!!!!!!
DavefromChicago (201) - Illinois, USA - JAN 6, 2003
3.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
2001 edition. Pours a sloppy pondwater brown...OK, wait a minute, lets call it cloudy reddish-brown, with no real head formation. Immediate fragrance is of chocolate cookies, wet concrete, yeast and molasses. Very malty, sweet and chocolatey. Smooth and mildly carbonated. Finish is good - hops noticeable but not overbearing. Big, nice brew - I can go either way with these English-style barley wines and strong ales but this one is real nice, I’ll try laying some down for another year, but I have a hunch it’s at its peak.