BierBauch (784) - Cape Coral Waterfront Wonderland, Florida, USA - MAY 21, 2003
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: OCT 1, 2003 I've had a few different brews from North Coast and although a good brewery, I don't think they stack up to others in Cal. like Stone, Alesmith and Bear Republic to name a few. This is a good example of a barley wine with all the classic characteristics such as the sweet alcohol nose and rich malt flavor. Very even throughout but nothing outstanding. Perhaps this bottle (2001) might smooth out if cellared. Will have to wait and see.
PhillyBeer2112 (2611) - Oviedo, Florida, USA - MAY 20, 2003
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
2002 bottle sampled May 2003. A really outstanding beer. A dark ruby red with no head, still quite attractive. Rich fruity aroma with plums, dark malts, earthy and spicy notes from the hops. Flavors were similar, with dark fruity malts propping up a full near syrupy body with just enough carbonation. Herbal and earthy hops provide contrast. Pretty strong stuff and deceptively so, the alcohol was well masked, and one 12 oz bottle of this put me to sleep. Still young, but already drinkable and shows promise for aging well.
JasonG (776) - Salt Lake City, Utah, USA - MAY 18, 2003
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Ruby red color, with a very slight tan head and very nice lacing. Aroma is very malty, with caramel and vanilla undertones, and just a slight note of citrusy hops. Flavor is sweet and malty, caramel notes, with a very dry alcoholic finish. Palate is very nice . . . thick, but not syrupy. Overall an excellent brew.
elnadeau (786) - Laguna Niguel, California, USA - MAY 14, 2003
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: DEC 8, 2005 2002 bottle. Very dark ruby brown, thin head. Enticing aroma of dates and/or raisins and other fruits, toasty (or sort of burnt) caramel, hops and of course alcohol. The clever trick offered by the brewer here is that this attempt at making a very strong, bold, full-bodied version of this complex style is accomplished without assaulting you and sternly testing your conviction; IOW itís surprisingly drinkable *for a Barley Wine*. All the elements are there but restrained or subtle compared to some other examples. Very enjoyable to savor on a cool evening.
Dorwart (2425) - Robbinsville, New Jersey, USA - MAY 7, 2003
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: JAN 6, 2006 (2002 Vintage) Thin light brown head which lingers around for a while. Not much carbonation. Thick sheet of lacing. Excellent color of deep, dark mahogany. Wonderful, complex aroma with hints of spice, plums, alcohol, caramel, toffee and other aromas. Wow, letting this warm up before drinking really brings out the alcohol presence. Very warming. Rather thick and syrupy. A little on the sweet side. Reminds me of drinking NyQuil. Flavors not as complex as the aroma but notes of caramel and light fruit. Finish is smooth and creamy and coats the mouth. Bit of bitterness present. Not a brew for the weak of heart and definately not a brew if you are looking to quench your thirst. More like a brew that can substitute as a good sleep aid.
Ok, so I have left a bottle or two of the 2002 vintage lay around for a bit longer. Origionally rated this in may of 2003. Wow, is this stuff developing into an absolutely amazing brew. Everything mentioned above and more (except for the NyQuil). Flavor has become more complex but is still overpowered by the alcohol a little. Smooth as can be. Still a little sweet but oh so delicious. Rerate up for this gem of barleywines.
lunaticharness (183) - Torrance, California, USA - MAY 7, 2003
3.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
wonderfully scented - very sweet, but the taste is less than desirable - a strong very wine like alcohol taste to it, definitiely not what i had in mind when i bought this, give you a nice warm feeling really quick, but only if you can choke it down
iwantalambic (1478) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - MAY 4, 2003
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
2002 Bottle: Pours a dark ruby brown with a thin, yet thick beige head that lingers around the rim. Full bodied aroma with lots of raisins, caramel, sugar, brandy/alcohol and a pine of piney hops that is full of possibilities. . . The flavour is lacking the complexity I was expecting from the great aroma. . . there is some very nice sugary/alcohol malt, with some softer fruit notes, but not much else. Overall very solid brew, but its not Third Coast Old Ale.
Dogbrick (9183) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - APR 28, 2003
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JUL 3, 2006 2005 Bottle: Not much different about the 2005 batch, sampled in July 2006. Same notes/scores.
2004 Bottle: This yearís is every bit as good as the last one I had. Deep brownish-red color with a very thin beige head. Very thin lacing too. Rich aroma of caramel, malt and fruit. Full-bodied with hearty malt, caramel and nut flavors. Roasty character with the alcohol peeking through periodically. The finish is long and sweet, with a nice hops bite. Another winner!
2002 Bottle: Pours a dark brown color but held light throughout the glass. Thick and foamy beige head and nice lacing. Aroma is strong malt and alcohol, with lesser portions of hops and fruit. Rich bodied and it tasted somewhere between a Scotch Ale and Barley Wine. Excellent blend of malt, vanilla, alcohol and caramel. Finish is all malt and tart fruit. Good beer.
erway (1004) - Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA - APR 27, 2003
4.9 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Refuse to give a perfect score. 2001 bottle. Very nice head for such a potent ale. Unfiltered and dark ruby. This is more in the style of an english BW than a west coaster. Very similar flavor to the '99 Fuller's VA, but I liked this more cause of the strength of abv and of flavors. As it warms figs and caramel become very apparent. I can't think about it anymore cause I don't have any left and I'm starting to cry!
jaymobrown (1723) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - APR 19, 2003
4.4 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
2001 sample. Strong, strong alcohol and caramel flavors. Terrific nose with an amazing array of malt flavors from caramel, chocolate and leather. Nice hop balance. I would like to get another just to smell it.