jtw (1153) - farmington, Michigan, USA - JUL 17, 2004
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
2003 bottle. phenomenal aroma of sweet and sour. licorice and raisins balanced with bitter hops. deep garnet color complex flavor of mostly caramel, hops, and alcohol. finishes very clean with a superb balance. very good beer!
robertsreality (2460) - Minnesota, USA - JUL 16, 2004
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
2002 Dark Amber Coloring. Small Head. Smells Like a Barley Wine....Smells like Ass-Kicking!
willblake (2654) - Bel Air, Maryland, USA - JUL 10, 2004
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
07.10.04 2003 bottle courtesy of Tom Baker (Heavyweight Brewmaster). Tom was excited to share what he called one of his favorite beers and I could easily see why. Pretty mahoganey color and massive, tan, creamy head. Body is velvet soft and smooth. The Maris Otter is an interesting choice; the beer has an underlying peat quality that surprises the palate. Sugary, long, and rich. And assertive bitterness that helps close the deal. A real beauty, it reminds me somehow of J.W. Lees.
HopsOrDie (687) - New Lenox, Illinois, USA - JUL 10, 2004
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Pours thick and syrupy. Low carbonation and no head to speak of on the dark brown body. Aroma has hints of raisin and alcohol. Flavor is sweet with an alcoholic kick in the end. Not a lot to brag about in this one.
pobenohne (504) - Northern Liberties, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 1, 2004
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: AUG 8, 2005 12 oz bottle. Cleanly fermented, full-bodied yet dry, boozy beer. Kind of disappointing when compared to Pranqster and Old Rasputin. This ale, while true to the style, just seemed lacking in character. I was hoping for an Imperial Old Peculier.
R after sampling draft at the Brewpub in Ft. Bragg: 2004 vintage, absolutely out of this world: creamy caramel, easy on the salt, a bit boozy, but still out-of-this-world and over the top barley wine.
0o9i (439) - Reno, Nevada, USA - JUN 22, 2004
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
2003 Vintage, sampled on June 22 and probably again later in the fall. Pours a nearly clear amber color with minimal head and no lacing. After glass is tilted, a dozen or more bubbles with amble slowly out of the beer, making a pleasant sound and fun to watch. Aroma is uplifting and mouthwatering; smells of fruits and roastiness much like a big, sweet stout, but has definite maltiness and alcoholic character to the point of smelling like a fine spirit to be taken in a snifter glass like brandy or cognac, which would be my weapon of choice, but a tulip is the best I have. The beer is HUGE, very alcoholic, very sweet and fruity, some mild mead flavor with a dry, mouthwatering and sweet and bitter alcoholic finish. Much like a cognac and something that probably shouldnít be taken in 12oz servings as it is bottled. At the brewery they do 6oz servings for a reason, I think. Mouthfeel is dry on the finish. Harsh bubbles like a stout only very small, crackly and almost not there. Full bodied. Lovely like a poisonous flower.
radiomgb (2686) - Peterborough, Ontario, CANADA - JUN 20, 2004
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
2003 Vintage. Deep ruby in colour. Aroma had some caramel, hops and light alcohol. Flavour of alcohol, hops, caramel malts, quite sweet. Medium body. Finishes with a huge alcohol burn, warming and lingering. Still too young. 8/4/8/3/15 - 3.8
2001 Vintage. Orange amber in colour. Aroma is a lot more noticeable then in the 2003, more malt, still quite hoppy, lots of caramel and some peppermint. Flavour was very smooth, creamy, minor alcohol, lots of hops and a slight sweetness. Large body. Finishes long with the alcohol bite not nearly as prominent as in the 2003. Thanks for sending this beer to me many months ago redlem. Overall score is for the 2001.
duff (5484) - Copenhagen, DENMARK - JUN 14, 2004
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle, 2003 vintage. Lots of different flavours in this one. Caramel, raisin, with some banana-y esters, piney hops, with some spiceyness and alcohol in the finish, intense full bodied barleywine.
civforprez (229) - Galesburg, Illinois, USA - JUN 9, 2004
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
2003 vintage. Pours a deep red color with little head--but lasts. Aroma is sweet-of licorice, caramel, and malt. Flavor is of licrice, malt, and maple. As it warms, alcohol a little more noticeable but so is the maple. An excellent brew.
heemer77 (5290) - Urbandale, Iowa, USA - JUN 8, 2004
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: MAR 7, 2010 Rerate having tried a couple of 07ís from March of 2010. Possibly, it was my storage, but this beer has hit a wall. I will not age past two years again. Older ratings follow. Ok, new rating with an í07 vintage in 2009. This is just an amazing brew with lots of toffee and caramel. Perfect for again a couple of years. Just great. Vintages from 2003 and 2002. The head on this one sticks around forever. Lots of lacing and a heavenly dark red body make this about as attractive a barley wine as I have seen. The taste is oak, bourbon, brandy, cherries, toffee. I also detect notes of pepper and smoke (scotch). Alcohol was tasted as this warmed. I had trouble pulling out the aromas. I smelled brandy, scotch and some raisins. Overall, a nice surprise. I have enjoyed every North Coast brew I have tried.