unixweb (237) - Sherman, Texas, USA - MAR 21, 2002
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 17/20
Didnít know what to expect from this one at all. Aroma is sweet, almost like molasses. The head is very small, almost nonexistent in my glass, but the color is a nice deep amber. The taste is totally intense---sweet, almost cloying at times, with lots of malt and some hops too, but not as much as I expected. In that respect, this reminds me more of a concentrated Fullerís Vintage rather than something like Old Foghorn. In other words, I wouldnít know this was a barley wine unless someone told me. I expected much more hops here, especially given the commercial description. I love the taste, but yet I donít. To be honest, it reminds me of cough syrup---the strong, alcohol-based kind. I donít mean that in a bad way, believe it or not. In this mixture, it works, at least to a large extent. There isnít any really hoppy bitterness in this except a brief, sharp moment before the alcohol takes over and numbs everything. It only becomes sweeter as it warms, and a bit more viscous. I like it...alot...or maybe itís the alcohol talking from the bottle I just finished, but I definitely have not tasted anything quite like it before. An acquired taste, to be sure.
nstal (237) - Houston, Texas, USA - MAR 21, 2003
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
had this on tap, very nice. very very dark. great abv. malts definitely dominate this beer, but time to time that's good.
beerheart (237) - Erie, Colorado, USA - AUG 19, 2007
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
I am growing to enjoy barley wines. This is one of the finer ones Iíve tasted.
Eberndt (235) - - SEP 29, 2013
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
2013 bottle poured. Very dark and murky color. Tasted a little syrupy with some sort of fruit undertone.
Dan269605 (235) - Rocky Hill, Connecticut, USA - NOV 16, 2013
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Dark orange, almost crimson pour with a rocky two and a half finger beige head that dissipates rather quickly. Thereís more carbonation that I was expecting, looks great in the glass. The aroma is a sweet malty bomb, big dark fruit esters, brown sugar, dark bread, sweet chocolate and of course alcohol booziness. On the tongue, I get big dark fruit flavors like fig, date, berries, cherry, caramel, slight citrus and chocolate in the back. I definitely taste and feel the alcohol, but itís not in an unwelcome way. Good complexity and something quite different from a lot thatís out there. North Coast are pioneers and one of the more under appreciated breweries out there.
dhlesq (233) - Thousand Oaks, California, USA - OCT 11, 2005
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
2004: Aroma of cotton candy, toffee, fig, citrus. Appears ruby-brown in color with a thin brown head that dissipates very quickly. Flavor is malty sweet with fruit and bread notes, very bitter on the finish, and with an overpowering taste of alcohol; I should have heeded the label and laid it down for a longer period. Palate is thick, chewy, and appropriate. Overall, this beer is greater than the sum of its parts and worthy of any cellar.
Spelt (232) - East Kingston, New Hampshire, USA - APR 28, 2012
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
This was the 2012 Otsuchi commemorative bomber. Aroma of molasses, apples, raisins and a hint of cotton candy. Gorgeous clear garnet beer with thin tan head. Medium to heavy sweetness. Strong but well placed alcohol. What a phenomenal collection of flavors in the finish. Raisin, molasses, leather, pipe tobacco, brown bread. Wow! The very full body is balanced by a fairly effervescent carbonation.
CarlJonas (231) - LinkŲping, SWEDEN - AUG 26, 2011
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
2010 vintage. Smells and looks a little like stale Coca Cola only browner. OK, that might be a bit harsh, thereís also notes of liquorice and chocolate, in fact it reminds me a lot of a milk chocolate coated sweet liquorice candy that is somewhat of a personal favourite. The taste is wondrously complex registering all over the tongue. Compared to when I had it a year ago, Iíd say some of the alcohol sweetness has worn of leaving more space for the other flavours to shine through. And although I liked it a lot then I like it even more now.
leeburg (230) - Juneau, Alaska, USA - JUN 30, 2009
4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
2008 vintage, red-auburn with a moderate tan head. Love barleywine noses, and this was a nice potpourri. Like a fruit stand inside a flower shop, plus generous hops and barley. Flavors were thick, sticky sweet and strong, nicely balanced and followed the aroma profile. Alcohol was not as whelming as I thought 12.5% would be, and it didnít feel like it was destroying my enamel the way other barleywines sometimes do.
666seth (229) - California, USA - JAN 17, 2002
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
hmmm... I was sort of surprised to begin with but got used to the sweetness and bitterness as well as for the low carbonation/high alcohol. I wonder how it develops after storing it a while (which they recommend). My guess would be that it will loose a little bit of its sweetness and may get even stronger in alcohol (depending how much of that sugar will get fermented). Worth trying it.