BarleyBob (18) - West Chester, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 9, 2007
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
I sampled the 2007 vintage. It poured a dark brown color with a thin, off-white head. The aroma was a wonderful mixture of coffee, brown sugar, chocolate, and caramel. The taste was almost all malt with the above flavors, and almost no discernable hop flavors. With the high alcohol content and the very sweet flavors, this ale was almost too intense for me right now. This is a brew that should mellow out and improve with age.
vferg (17) - Livingston, New Jersey, USA - FEB 19, 2008
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
2002 bottle. Considering how strong this beer is during the first few years of its life I would have to say after 6 years in, this flavors finally comes through. The malt finally took the lead with a huge jump in flavor and finally overpowered the alcohol that always seems to make this beer so unenjoyable.
nja (17) - San Francisco, California, USA - JUN 7, 2004
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Vintage 2003. Beautiful dark cranberry color; took it outside to look at it under the sunlight. White head with lace. Aromas of blackberry, raisins, caramel, and whiskey. Huge mouthfilling flavor of roasted malt, slightly sweet and bitter. Incredibly long finish of roasted malt and scotch. Fantasic.
angolajones (17) - Angola, Indiana, USA - DEC 15, 2006
4.1 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Heavy alcohol taste. My first sip, I told my wife I really liked this beer. My last sip I wasn’t having the same reaction. The alcohol is definately present. It is a complex beer. I had the 2005 edition. I will try it again.
xCENOTAPHx (17) - Grandview, Texas, USA - AUG 10, 2008
3.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
2004 vintage. Dark ruby color. Tan head with lasting carbonation. Aroma is sweet and sticky like pomegranates. Flavor is spicy sweet chocolate with intense alcohol warmth. Good beer, but not worth the price.
blaheath (16) - Missouri, USA - OCT 5, 2009
4.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Dark amber in color, light carbonation with aromas of dark roasted/nutty malt, plums, raisins, and earth. Taste is med/full bodied, oily/syrupy, mineral, wood, apple, raisins, dates, burnt sugar, maple, slight oxidation, toffee, and a long, sweet finish. Recommended.
dicemanstl (16) - Seattle, Washington, USA - DEC 26, 2011
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Very dark amber pour, almost no head. Fruity nose, great sweet barleywine taste. Not too boozy tasting, especially for the abv. Light mouthfeel, dark fruit on the back end.
xuhuckit19 (16) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - MAR 12, 2008
2.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 12/20
The high alcohol content is very evident with this beer. very little was done to incorporate other subtle tastes with the alcohol. It is very in your face and not really my thing.
Marcmo (16) - Illinois, USA - FEB 18, 2002
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
I would expect more hops from a California beer, such those that are blasted at you in Big Foot Barleywine-Style ale from Sierra Nevada, but I can forgive North Coast for this because they already brew some wonderfully hoppy beers. This beer could also use some more yeast flavors -- some additional esters could make this beer more interesting.
BeerIndustry98 (15) - , California, USA - AUG 28, 2008
3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
Poured out and settled with a deep dark amber brown color and a flat head. Aromas toasted malt and sweet syrup become present however the taste differs. There are sweet banana and roasted malt notes that are subdued from the overwhelming alcohol presence. Has an Imperial IPA or barley wine quality with a very thick body, sticky mouth feel and a toasted finish. Although it has a slightly unpleasant medicinal taste as well between the first sip and finish. I’d prefer North Coast’s “Old Rasputin” over this one.