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RATINGS: 452   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.57/5   EST. CALORIES: 345   ABV: 11.5%
Measuring between 10 and 11% ABV, depending on the year, this barleywine was Real Ale's first seasonal product. It is uncharacteristically smooth for this style of beer, as it is created with five different kinds of hops. It also displays a rich malt character, and the healthy portion of hops gives it a distinctive dry and balanced finish. Sisyphus Barleywine Style Ale, weighing in around 480 calories per 12 ounce serving, is not for the faint of heart. Makes a great nightcap!

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
sloth (2756) - Ceciltucky, Co., Maryland, USA - JAN 29, 2005
Small offwhite head, fair retention and laceing. A hazy copper colored beer. Fruity, hoppy nose, light breadyness. Body is med/full. Caramel malt up front, medium sweet, raw hop flavors, some astringency, mildly acidic. Heavy citric flavors with a big malt backing. Fairly dry finish. Not sure what it is but i got a certain funkiness outta this brew, a tangyness that just did,nt appeal to me. Thanks to kaggie97 for the trade!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
arjoseph (642) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JAN 29, 2005
UPDATED: MAY 27, 2008 Re-Rate. 2007 bottle, courtesy of fly. Obtained as part of Secret Santa, summer 2007. 12 oz. bottle into Pizza Port pint glass. Pours with a large stiff foam head, the bubbles struggling to the surface after the pour, presaging a viscouls mouthfeel. May sound wierd, but I swear I smell brett in this; itís a gueuze-y, sour flowery smell, which might mean this is infected (but maybe not in a bad way). Other smells lurk beneath: some sour apple, caramel, and light sugars. First impression: weird. I have no idea what to make of this, but it doesnít taste bad. If all of these things are intentional (rather than some happy infection accident), I have to say that this beer is intriguing. Almost instant alcohol burn in the nose coming up from the throat is replaced by a wash of sugars (cane sugar, powdered sugar) on soft but vibrant carbonation. Then, thereís fruit: fruitcake, maybe some grape, honeydew melon. Feel is definitely firm and viscous, almost syrupy, and the most characteristic barley-wine thing about this beer that I can pick up. The finish belies brett qualities again: dry, but also spiderwebby, with a sourness thatís like unspiced apple cider and cherry skin. West-coast hops are tangy and bitter in the finish and play around the crisp yeasty and acidic notes there. This is kind of freaking delicious, but I donít trust it. Maybe they are using some special fruity hops that impart this character, but itís too much like a gueuze for me to think itís not brett. Actually, it tastes a lot like Russian River Supplication. In the end, whatever the motivation, this is interesting and tasty. Keeps a thick fluffy layer of head throughout; murky dark orange in the glass. 8/4/8/4/16 = 4.

Original Rating. GABF 2004. Kind of paltry for a barley wine, especially one with this alcohol content. Iím surprised i couldnít sense the alcohol despite the weak flavors. Pale brown in the glass with not much head to speak of. Dirty raisins and a little dark chocolate pureed and then diluted with 2 parts water. Disappointing. 7/3/7/3/13 = 3.3.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
goldtwins (4320) - Nesconset, New York, USA - JAN 21, 2005
2004 Another thanks to CaptainCougar. Poured a hazy orange. Mostly malty aroma with notes of caramel, brown sugar, and piney hops. The flavor was big and malty.Long sweet finish with a bitter back bone. Warming sensation.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
RateandPillage (426) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - JAN 21, 2005
2004 bottle. Pours slightly murky orange with a decent off-white/light orange head that fades quickly. Hoppy malty aroma with hints of fruit. Very much hop bitterness on the palate. Lacking malt and kind of dry for a Barleywine. Alcohol warmth much more apparent than other Barleywines.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
KAggie97 (3529) - Ugly, Hot, and Humid Spring, Texas, USA - DEC 22, 2004
UPDATED: OCT 27, 2010 2003- Nice malty bite with every sip. Improves as it warms. Good drink.

2004- For what it is, itís a lackluster effort. Not worth the price. If it was a little cheaper, it might be easier to drink.

2005- The best Sisyphus Iíve had. A nice balance of malty sweetness and hopsy tartness make this one a real treat, especially after a long day hiking Enchanted Rock.

2006- Unavailable.

2007- Aroma of cheddar and celery; deep amber color that features a nice, white head that fades too quickly. Flavor is biscuts and malty peach, raisin, with a bitter aftertaste. A year off shows, guys; much too hot right now. Aging will do it some good.

2008: Makes up for the 2007 misstep. Huge raisin soaked in alcohol with a burly strawberry syrup finish. Nice biscuit tones keep it from being too sweet. Well-balanced.

2009: Nice balance but slightly leans toward the hoppy side. Iíd like more alcohol burn and malt.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
biz82 (1328) - austin, Texas, USA - DEC 3, 2004
Big thick chewey pour with floaters and zero head. A bit light for a barley wine. Good strong caramel aroma with a bouquet of fruit- pear and apple and apricot. Strong yeast and bread aroma also. Big body with a nice silkiness and a bitter finish. A little lacking in malt flavor. Somewhat rough overall. Definately would improve with age. Better than last year.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Indra (2711) - Overland Park, Kansas, USA - NOV 21, 2004
2004 bottling. Undeniably strong, sweet, sugary, malty aroma, some brown sugar and citric, fruity hops with lighter notes of dried apricot, pineapple, toffee, doughy yeast, peppery alcohol, pine resin and flowers. Impressive deep orange-copper hue, lightly hazy with a slight, fine head and stippled lace pattern. Flavor profile is sweet and fruity to start, some turbinado sugar, golden raisin and pear, becoming hoppier, lightly spicy and bitter with touches of grapefruit before the languid, warming, alcoholic and very well balanced finish. Palate is lightly syrupy and smooth, body is decidedly quite full. Powerful and impressive.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Pailhead (6249) - Plymouth, Michigan, USA - NOV 8, 2004
Bottle: Malty banana bread aroma with some hops and slight nose of alcohol. Pours a mostly transpaerent orangish-amber with a small white head that diminishes quickly. Nice malty caramel, banana bread, fruit, and raison flavor. A touch below moderate hops in the finish. Slight alcohol is noticeable, but for the most part, very well hidden. A very nice barley wine.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Ernest (7124) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - NOV 1, 2004
Head is initially small, frothy, off-white, mostly diminishing. Body is hazy medium amber. Aroma is lightly malty (cookie), heavily hoppy (resin), with a note of sherry. Flavor is moderately sweet, moderately acidic, lightly bitter. Finish is lightly sweet, moderately acidic, moderately bitter. Medium to full body, watery texture, lively carbonation, moderately alcoholic. This one just didnít appeal to me at all...a very American (i.e., hoppy) barleywine, albeit fairly well balanced in the mouth. Fairly hot.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Crosling (1864) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - OCT 28, 2004
Cheers to Fly for procuring me a bottle of this rare Texas barley wine. Moderately aromatic, floral, fruity and quite lively with a nice equal balance between malt and hops along with a bouquet of apricot, pine, dough, more dough and baked bread. Rich malts (caramel, raisins, fruits) combine with a healthy hop level (pine, apricot, grapefruit, lemon, herbs) which leads into a superb, dry and lingering bitterness. After a quick vibration in the mouth, like a cell phone, more flavor consumes my palate. Itís more of an apple/butter toffee flavor. Very well hidden alcohol. Creamy, coating mouthfeel. Iím a sucker for a good barley wine and this one did it for me. Thanks again Fly.

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