Sham (1845) - Seattle, Washington, USA - DEC 21, 2003
3.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: NOV 19, 2004 2004 vintage
Dark murky mahogany. Light tannish head that reduces quickly into a filmy layer on the surface with a ring of head on the side of the glass. Aromas of caramel (crystal) malts and some piney hops, though light. There is a touch of spice there Iím not willing to put a finger on. Wow, big malt flavors. Roast and caramel stand out. Bittering hops are crazy. Touch of alcohol there at the end. The beer has a rather thick body that cloys to the mouth. Warming alcohol fills the belly. Finishes malt and fiercely bitter. This could age for awhile and Iíd be happy.
Pours a very dark ruby with a large frothy head with nice lacing. Hops, spice, fruit and malt in the aroma. Very interesting. Wheat and malts. Caramel and fruit as well in the flavors. Very creamy body and a full body. Nice barley wine.
VAYankee (334) - Virginia, USA - DEC 14, 2003
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
2002 vintage. Cloudy mahogany appearance with very small beige head. Strong aroma consisting of grapes(wine) and other assorted fruit - and also toffee. Nice sweet flavor of fruit and caramel malt with a strong alcoholic presence followed by a mild dry malt finish.
matta (1140) - Tampa, Florida, USA - DEC 12, 2003
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
I have aged no beer longer than this one, 9 freaking months; that’s an eternity by my standards!!
Looks so mouth-watering piled into my tulip glass… The body is a perfect mahogany color, rested firmly atop is a caramel colored head, thick and tantalizing! A nose of toffee, caramel, watermelon, honeydew, cantaloupe, apricots, raisins; do I have the entire cornucopia yet?
Wow, the palate is firm and reminiscent of molasses, really nice. Roundhouses kick of alcohol and dark fruit sweetness. A repeat of a once enjoyed 15-year-old oak cask aged bourbon, splendid. I hit upon notes of black berry preserve and Canadian molasses, gotta love this Barley Wine!
Less hops, more malt, if it brings the buzz it’s not my fault!
CapFlu (4680) - Victoria, British Columbia, CANADA - DEC 11, 2003
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: MAR 18, 2007 (Bottle) 2002 Vintage. Pours a medium, almond head and a mahogany body. Nose of malt, grape, red wine and plum. Smooth, malty, whisky and berry. Good!
whaleman (2178) - North Wales, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 8, 2003
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: APR 25, 2005 2002 vintage. Clear garnet-bronze color body, medium-high carbonation, and silky beige head that dissipated completely. Great aroma of vanilla, raisins, caramelized buttery malt, maple, and scotch with significant alcohol in the nose. Flavor is initially shocking because the flavor is very unique. Taste is very good and difficult to describe but suggests candy corn, caramel, cinnamon, cola and cigars except the sum is better than all of those things. This is a rich, malty, high alcohol barley wine. Very good stuff. Seemed young, even for a two year old vintage; some extended cellaring would definitely be wise. 2003 vintage was equally as nice.
Rastacouere (6148) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - DEC 6, 2003
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
2yr old bottle. Amber body with ruby tones, small fading head rapidly becomes a memory. The aroma is pretty complex like any respectable barleywine, but definitely more on the malt side. Brown sugar is obvious and is of pleasant company to figs, peaches, alcohol and an all-around complex fruitiness. Taste is an infinite malty deepness that is only restrained by a tad too much alcohol presence for my liking. Syrupy apricot and sweet peaches. The aftertaste is fresh like I had brushed my teeths with an alcohol flavoured toothpaste. Medium bodied and full-flavoured. Just a little too sweet/cloying to be among the greats of this world.
Nexxus (261) - Apple Valley, Minnesota, USA - DEC 6, 2003
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
2002: A clear ruby/amber with a thick creamy head - which is relatively long lasting. Aroma of caramel, molasses, peach, dark fruit, honey, and burnt sugar. Medium thick syrupy palate that coats the mouth and has a nice alcohol warmth. Slightly vinous. Nice sweet dominating toffee, burnt sugar and molasses flavor with peach, dark fruit and spices in the background.
invalid (302) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - DEC 3, 2003
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
wow, this beer is pretty big. it's quite a surprise that it pours with a nice head that chooses to stick around. Dark brown beer. Tastes thick and warming, a chocolate flavor jumps out. very sweet flavor.
jgb9348 (4942) - Arlington (Pentagon City), Virginia, USA - DEC 3, 2003
3.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 13/20
Dark copper colour with strong ruby highlights and a thin light brown head. Aroma of pineapple, raisins, pit fruit, cherries, caramel, alcohol and bubble gum. Medium to Heavy-bodied; Sweet initial flavours turning into an alcoholic burn and then a spicey dry finish. Aftertaste shows a lot of alcohol and not much else. Overall, nose and appearance are great, but too much alcohol and not enough other flavours are noticeable in the taste. I bought this twelve ounce bottle from Norm's in Vienna, Virginia and sampled it on 23-November-2003.
OberonTheifEMT (56) - Ferndale, Michigan, USA - NOV 30, 2003
4.1 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
2002 vintage. Wonderful mahogny color with little head to speak of. Aroma of dried fruit, undoubtedly due to the heavy malt presence. Perfect level of carbonation. Quite warming indeed. Wonderfully bitter, with an excellent rich malty finish. I bought two of these by accident, though I don't think this will be a mistake I regret