Nuffield (3666) - 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 (8893) - 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 donít 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 (7746) - 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 DFHís 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 doesnít 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 thereís 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, Iíll try laying some down for another year, but I have a hunch itís at its peak.
Schroppfy (2360) - Łůdż, Warsaw, Poland; Michigan, Ohio, USA - JAN 6, 2003
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: AUG 16, 2003 Brandy city...sweet, highly alcoholic malt presence, some Scottish feel in there (a bit smoky). Vanilla rising...then potent! Whew! Pretty tough for me to figure out past the high gravity, but it is good. Merci beaucoups, u-frere.
Zach Diesel (906) - Sisters, Oregon, USA - JAN 5, 2003
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
a 2002 bottle from whole foods in portland, bright ruby color, sticky alcoholic cherry a tad too light in body but nice long lasting hoppiness
mixamatt (427) - San Francisco, California, USA - JAN 4, 2003
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
2000 bottle from the Toronado.This beer was a chameleon that night.Brown sugar, apple,pear aroma.Medium dark chestnut appearance.Flavors of strong hops,malt,dark fruits and alcohol at first, then gave way to mellowed flavors of chocolate,oak and cherries with a softning, lingering, herbal bitterness at the finish.Tried one on tap.It had a more hoppy flavor with a hint of coconut.Definately worth aging.
herbjones (742) - Orange, California, USA - JAN 3, 2003
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 17/20
2002 bottling.Initial impression is a brown pour but, held to the light this is a pretty ruby colored gem.Malt and alcohol is very evident in the nose. First sip reveals a nice hop presence and a body that is a little thinner then I expected from a 11.4% brew.Will be laying some of this down for a year or two and see what happens.