atpayne (615) - Zionsville, Indiana, USA - AUG 25, 2004
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 14/20
2003 Bottle. Thanks to 123456green for this. Lighter than I expected. Dark orange to very light brown with little head and a golden glow. The aroma is biting, sour, bitter and full of aging fruits. There is also almost a soapy character to the aroma which is unique, but a little unexpected. Large feeling and character. Its smooth sharp bitterness at the back of the throat gives it a lightness while a noticable alcohol presence sits fully at the front of the toung. This was a very unique feeling and finish. As it warms up some spices become noticable as well.
CaptainCougar (7133) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - AUG 9, 2004
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle 2003, 10.7% abv: Pours a murky copper brown with a thin off-white head. Aroma is bold and hoppy with lots of caramel toffee and some alcohol. Starts rich and lightly syrupy with a smooth and mild sweetness. The floral hoppy bitterness seems a tad subdued, most likely from a year of aging. The sweetness and bitterness are well balanced though and the alcohol hidden fairly well. This could use a little more complexity and maybe a little more sweetness toward the dry finish, but this is a nice barleywine nonetheless. Many thanks to TChrome for this one!
5000 (6599) - Hardened Liver, Washington, USA - AUG 1, 2004
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle(2003) pours caramel, small milk-froth like head, with soft carbonation and spotty lacing. Lovely aroma of butterscotch, caramel, and malts. Fairly sweet, slightly buttery, with a wierd White Grape juice as well. Forwardly hoppy on the tongue, slighty malty/bready, but no big sweetness as I had smelled prior. Slight alcohol warming as it goes down too. FInishes with a huge hop flavor, reminiscent of Old Crusty. Great example of a PNW Barleywine, but I prefer mine a bit more malty and a bit sweeter. Still, not bad, albeit a bit rough. Thanks goes out to TChrome for the trade!
cquiroga (371) - Tujunga, California, USA - JUL 31, 2004
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
2/21/04. On draft at Toronado Barley Wine Festival ’04 in San Francisco, CA 2/21/04. 2003 Vintage. Pours a murky light caramel color. Large head that lingers, cream-tan in color. Aroma is of butterscotch, light caramel, and faintly of cattle feed. Yeah, seriously. Sharp piney hop flavor but not really much alcohol considering the percentage. Round malt sweetness. Medium-full body, creamy and effervescent. Finish is sharply hot, very long but a bit strong. Interesting play of carbonation and sharpness. Could mellow to something great with a little time.
jeffc666 (1984) - Fairfax, Virginia, USA - JUN 14, 2004
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
2003 Bottle - Slightly cloudy orange with a very nice dense light tan head. Caramel malts and bitter hops rule the show. The flavor is quite nice, caramel with lots of hoppy bitterness. Very well put together. Full body. Very nice and very drinkable. Thanks to argo0.
argo0 (12818) - Washington DC, USA - JUN 13, 2004
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
(2003) Light copper with small beige head. Aroma is sharply bitter grapefruit, some herbal, wort. Taste is grapefruit with solid malt backbone. Finish is grapefruit/herbal hoppy with medium alcohol. Medium-full body. Damn this is a fine barleywine. Many thanks to fly.
grat (432) - ST. Louis, Missouri, USA - MAY 31, 2004
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: JUN 30, 2004 Re-rate, 2003 Vintage:
It had been sitting on the shelf of the Whole Foods here in Austin for more than a year. OHHH MY!! This is significantly better than the 2004. Much lesssteric and much more full of hops, yeast and barley flavor. The pour is excellent. Not much head, in fact just a small atoll at the edges of my glass. Nose has a minty freshness to it, at least it is as abrasive as mint is and just as sharp. Next comes the typical citrus and pine that the 2004 had. Also present is swiss cheese. All of these aromas are much more crisp, much more defined and much more palatable this time around. Taste is considerably of brown sugar, pine and grapefruit, especially however brown sugar. Find this brew. Buy two. put a straw in one and drain it as fast as you can and cellar the other.
For all of the hatred this beer gets, I really liked it. Very copper colored and not much of a head. Smells like vanilla, bourbon and rubbing alcohol. The nose could use some work. This brew had been sitting on the shelf for nigh on 4 months maybe 5 so it’s had a little time to mellow out. Flavors are lovely. Whoever below pointed out the over ripened fruit was dead on. Hints of bourbon and vanilla just like the nose only without the astringency on the forefront. Salt as well is prevalent. Mouthfell is excellent. Coats like cough syrup. Good brew. Buy 2. Drink one cellar the other.
wunderbier (1434) - Tampere, FINLAND - MAY 22, 2004
2.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 6/20
12 oz bottle, goblet. Grain, nutty, caramel and sweet dark bread malt (H); grapefruit hops (M); apricot, peach, brown sugar, toffee and a hint of hazelnut. Yeah, I guess that sounds pretty good, but it comes across sickeningly sweet like over ripened fruit. Deep ruby-peach body with an amazing, eggnong white, creamy, well lasting head. Extrememly sweet, moderately acidic flavor becomes a heavily sweet, moderately bitter, moderately acidic finish with a husky, astringent aftertaste. Heavy body, creamy texture, flat carbonation. The bottom line is: WAY too sweet, acidic...tastes like over ripened fruit...just makes me reel.
Rockinout (966) - Kent, Ohio, USA - MAY 6, 2004
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
2003 bottle. Cloudy glowing golden-orange color. Caramel, gets sweet from midway to the finish. Nicely hopped, rich. Thanks again fly.
wulfhere (217) - Billings, Montana, USA - MAR 21, 2004
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
This beer is a bit too hop-forward with all of the acidic character that you'd expect. a nice malt presence with molasses, caramel, soice & clove, but overall, a yeast and acidic presence thateads me to believe that the beer could use a year or more to age.