AceOfHearts (1374) - Mountain View, California, USA - JUL 30, 2002
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Clear, dark reddish amber. Very nice shade, made me think of a gemstone. Sweet, complex aroma: winelike, sweetness, grapes. Similar in flavor to the smell, plus some maple notes. Holy God!! 11.4%!? I had no idea until 3/4 of the way through. They hide the alcohol pretty well, but at the same time, it seems to do good things to the flavor. Long, nice aftertaste. An excellent brew.
Ernest (5864) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - JUL 25, 2002
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
UPDATED: AUG 7, 2010 2010 bottle.
Head is initially small, frothy/fizzy, light brown, fully diminishing.
Body is dark amber.
Aroma is lightly malty (caramel, cookie), lightly hoppy (flowers, apricot), with notes of alcohol and peach.
Flavor is heavily sweet, lightly acidic, lightly bitter.
Finish is moderately sweet, lightly acidic, moderately bitter.
Medium to full body, watery/syrupy texture, lively carbonation, moderately to heavily alcoholic.
2007ís batch was dull enough that I didnít bother with the 08 or 09 batches. 2010 still shows no improvement. Very little aroma, and the mouth experience is rather watery and boozy
kumite56 (468) - Cordova, Tennessee, USA - JUL 13, 2002
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
A little too sweet but in general a good beer. Heavy malt with distinct molasses taste. Noticible alcohol content.
Indra (2527) - Overland Park, Kansas, USA - JUL 12, 2002
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: DEC 15, 2003 2001 bottling. Pours with an almost inexistent head but a slight amount of visible effervescence. Deep garnet color, mostly clear. Some light alcohol and some surprisingly delicate, sweet malt fruitiness in the aroma. Fairly sweet flavor as well overall, with some nice caramel and toffee, brown sugar and a somewhat sticky yet effervescent mouthfeel. Finish sees the hops at last, and I've discovered I have somewhat of an affinity for the Fuggles hop variety. This is a good barleywine, but I have a feeling it would turn into a great one if laid down for a couple of years or so, allowed to attenuate a bit further. At this point in time, it seems to lack that overwhelming complexity that I am so fond of. Still, it's a very classy brew and I did enjoy it.
Update: 12/15/03. Same 2001 vintage, but seems to have developed profoundly vinous characteristics. Bitterness has also, unsurprisingly, diminished somewhat, revealing some tobacco and red grape aspects. Palate has smoothed out nicely. Does seem to have mellowed and become better integrated for it over the 2-year span.
NeroFiddled (105) - Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 8, 2002
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Vintage 2000 - Deep ruby, almost brown in color with a solid cream head which leaves a thin Brussels lace. Intense aromas of caramel, dark fruit and sherry. Very port-like in flavor with a rich sweet malty taste and a well rounded bitterness. An extremely soft and rounded palate. The alcohol is cloaked very well but shows some presence in the finish. Intense.
ravidesai (940) - Bombay, INDIA - JUL 3, 2002
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
big complex barley wine. dark ruby brown colour, beige head. aroma of caramel , plums and cognac.
deep sweet malty taste, well rounded palate and a stroongf alcohol presence in thge aftertaste. makes a good after-dinner beer.
fraternie (797) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JUL 1, 2002
3.9 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: FEB 7, 2010 Strong brandy/fruity aroma that had me expecting greatness. The beer is good, but not in the league of Third Coast Old Ale or Behemoth by any means. Fruity malt that develops into a sort of burnt caramel finish. This huge beer is amazingly well balanced, as none of the alcohol seems to come through in an overwhelming manner. However, the flavor of the finish was just a bit off. Better as it warms, and hopefully even better with another year or two under its belt. Time will tell.
Retaste, 2/10: Headless and pours thick after over seven years in the cellar. Sweet caramel malt with banana fruit undertones has held its own over that time, finish is smoother and alcohol is covered well, a bit of residual sugar lingers with a hint of smokiness.
austinpowers (2827) - New York, New York, USA - JUN 16, 2002
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Another great solid brew from the folks that brought us Rasputin Imperial! Very flavorful, but a tad cloying in its sweetness.
Davhgbrew (719) - Coconut Creek, Florida, USA - JUN 15, 2002
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Dark red, almost brown color with a large creamy off white head. The aroma is very sweet/malty with slight alcohol and bready. Palate is thick,smooth and creamy. The hops in the middle smooth out the initial sip, and the it finishes crisp(compared to the other barley wines Iíve had,) and isnít too sweet which I love. The 11.4 abv% is well masked. I would describe this one as a good introductory barley wine. Very nice.
joet (1990) - Santa Rosa, California, USA - JUN 14, 2002
4.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Vintage 2001: Oh man... the feel is incredible. Very soft, light effervescence with brandy flavors suggesting dark cherry, maybe a bit of straw. Warming for certain. A touch of phenols enhance the experience. The finish is easy, soft fruit despite the obvious helping of hops. Perhaps it gets more aromatic with age. Improves not only with warmth but airing. Iím going back for more...