DavidP (1747) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - JUN 24, 2003
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: NOV 13, 2004 2002 bottle. Reminds me of drinking a warm yeasty bread with some fruit mixed in that was baked in a wooden pan. Thereís a sharp woodiness that detracts from the beer, but overall itís very smooth for its alcohol content.
Notes from another 2002 bottle, sampled 11/13/2004:Buttery malts, alcohol, and peppery spice in the aroma. No one flavor realy sticks out in the flavor, I guess this is what "rounded" means. Big flavor: prune, and subdued piney hos. Stomach-warming alcohol.
loweredsixth (946) - Clovis, California, USA - JUN 18, 2003
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: NOV 30, 2003 Rerate - 11/30/03:
Funny, this time the color was a very murky brown with an orange (!) head. At first I thought maybe this had gone bad, but it smells and tastes fine.
Rerate - 10/13/03:
Basically same score as last time. Since then I've had a couple more bottles and both times the head lasted all the way through. Also, I picked up some strong watermelon in the aroma and flavor.
Original rating - 6/18/2003:
Absolutely beautiful glowing clear garnet color...amazing. At first, there was a medium thick beige head, but once the beer warmed a bit the head was completely gone...no trace of it at all. The aroma was heavy on the plums...very sweet, alcohol, caramel. The flavor was very much on the sweet side...wood, dark fruit. The aftertaste was pure alcohol for many minutes afterwards. Tiny bubbles in this one...tingly feeling on the tongue...not too harsh...very soft.
Silphium (3190) - East Lansing, Michigan, USA - JUN 13, 2003
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JUN 30, 2003 (2002) Old Stock Ale, worth a poem?
I smelled your sugar and candied fruit
Enough alcohol to give my ass a boot
Your red body topped with a thin creamy head
Beckoned me to walk where few had dared tread.
Just a sip I begged, crazy-eyed and sweaty
I undressed your flavor and also Nurse Betty.
Bready malts, candied fruits, caramel too
The only thing missing was syrupy goo.
A fine barleywine you are, I admit
Anything less than a "4," I'd be a hypocrite!
Aging would hide your alcohol barbs
But for now I'm entranced by your sticky sweet carbs.
A very nice barleywine, clearly among the best in the style. Hops are not noticeable to any degree, but I am a big fan of sticky, sweet malts in these barleywine bruisers. Excellent.
apoptosis (1317) - Denver, Colorado, USA - JUN 7, 2003
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: FEB 25, 2006 Smells thick and heavy and sweet, like a strong barleywine - raisins and plums present in the aroma, but less fruity in the flavor. More caramel. High alcohol presence. Oh! So heavy! Dark reddish brown, no head. Somewhat roasty; sweet, syrupy finish. A little thin in the flavor, but it may age well, so my rating may change with time.
notalush (5513) - Denver, Colorado, USA - JUN 6, 2003
3.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
 This is an odd barleywine. It shares a lot of characteristics of a doppelbock - the big maltiness, the caramel flavor - but it also has the fruity esters of a barleywine - I was surprised by the almost total lack of hops considering this is a west coast brew - the alcohol could be masked a little better, but the sweetness is perfect, not even near cloying - this isn't great, but I suspect with some more age it might get close.
happy4hops (376) - Bel Air, Maryland, USA - MAY 29, 2003
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: MAY 30, 2003 Nice slightly transparent dark reddish.orange brew.minimal head and some lace.Smells malty/plumy/slightly chcolate taste w/ a twang of alcohol.Nice and smooth on the palate The best barleywine I've had thus far.Much more balancd that an overly hopped bigfoot.11.4% well hidden w/ a nice slightly roasted chocolate tease that helps it out a lot.Nice finish.The bottle smells like a desert-like treat once fully settled into this top notch barley...wine
ThomW (35) - USA - MAY 24, 2003
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
More of a barley wine than an ale. Strong alcohol taste but not bad over-all. Nice dark color.
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 (2679) - 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.