jayme9874 (756) - Hamburg, New York, USA - SEP 28, 2002
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Almost bright copper colored. Very thin head thats just a film over the top with some sticky lace. Nose is challenging, lots of bready malt, lots of other elements, just very understated, cherries, caramel, dirt, peach and others. Thick with the same huge/bready/dough malt I found in nose, underlying and soft flavors of sweet, dry fruit, alcohol esters, mildly syrupy in nature with molasses and caramel building in the finish. Hop presence is there but just an afterthought. This is huge stuff but its soo mellow and balanced. Alcohol is warming but not a distraction or a sore thumb. It adds character to this beauty. Reminds me of an aged harvest ale, not sure why but those are the memories this is invoking. Excuse my profanity but this is fucking delicious. If there was more of a head and I had a better sense of smell, I may have my "perfect 5" beer here. Thank you Trap!
beerguy101 (5253) - Newark, California, USA - SEP 28, 2002
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: JAN 15, 2003 retaste 1/15/2003. Have mellowed and gained complexity with age. Medium brown color, small head.Aroma is very malty. Very malty, full-bodied, full flavored ale. Very nice hop malt balance. Malts are sweet, roasted caramel. Mouthfeel is full, round and nearly chewy. Has a definite high alcohol taste to it (10.5%) Finish is smooth. Aftertaste is malty, slightly bitter. Could use some bottle aging. North Coast recommends at least a year of bottle aging. Re-taste again in a year, that is if I have any left. Still have 2 bottles left in 2003. Need to buy some 2002 quick.
jsquire (3313) - St. Marys, Ohio, USA - SEP 27, 2002
3.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
2001 vintage -- Deep copper color with a lasting whispy head and strong sherry/alcohol notes in the nose. Very creamy mouthfeel. Sweet caramel, fruit juice flavors that blend and balance better as the beer warms up. Finishes with strong sherry flavors and you can feel the alcohol. It seemed a little young and I look forward to trying it again next year.
raindog (560) - Evansville, Indiana, USA - SEP 25, 2002
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: MAR 3, 2004 Re-Rate:2001;This is great! Pours bigger head than expected that has formed a ring down to the last drop. Excellent,complex,malt profile is helped by the subtliness of the fuggles.Together they are a perfect blend.Excellent flavor.Alcohol hid for awhile but could not stay hidden.The alcohol burns the nose as it warms.My favorite usa english style BW.
VA Homebrewer (525) - Portsmouth, Virginia, USA - SEP 5, 2002
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
2001 Vintage. Deep hazy bronze color with a smallish head that doesn’t stick around. Aromas of plum, alcohol, raisin, malt and hops. Enticing nose. Very vineous with flavors of tannic red grapes, prunes, soft malt and earthy hops all blending together superbly. Mouthfeel is thick, viscous and the beer lets just enough of itself hang on your tongue after you swallow. Not even close to cloying. Finish is mildly bitter. Extremely good.
Jake Barnes (456) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - SEP 2, 2002
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
A very sweet barleywine when had young. Very vinuous although i could see it becoming more so with age. Overall i think this should be aged at least two years before drinking. Still pretty good young though.
gbzia (195) - Cedar Knolls, New Jersey, USA - SEP 1, 2002
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Great malty flavor, with a mellow alcohol presence. Noticable but not overpowering hops, great color ... had after diner; a great finish.
obxdude10 (1964) - Limerick, Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 24, 2002
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Dark copper in color, nice soft lacy head, lots of hops in the aroma, very well balanced, lots of hops in the flavors as well, spicy aftertaste, great brew
Brewmaster (168) - USA - AUG 8, 2002
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Thirst and desire to rule the light.
For crossing heavens a futile fight,
Bound to storm our minds wave,
Fervent to sail in deserts of mist
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.