TAR (2627) - Marshall (Asheville area), North Carolina, USA - JUL 20, 2002
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
(2001, 12 oz.) Aroma is comprised of what reminds me of a hybrid English-American Barleywine. Mushy, fruity, jammy, chocolatey malts meld with piney, tropical, and earthy hops. Also slightly airy, phenolic, and musty notes. Eye-burning hop vapors. Creamy, tan foam which abates into a non-sticky ring. Muddy maroon without the clumpy yeast pour. Brash, dry, hot-spicy bitterness grabs ahold before malts get a chance to strut their stuff. Raw hop-leaf bitterness lingers for, what seems like, an eternity. Just enough malt structure to justify this as a Barleywine. Yeast pour adds...nothing. These dag-gone hops would cut through poop if they were given the chance. Comparable to swallowing cough syrup, in a good way. Burning flares down the gullet last a few minutes. This is way intense. Flavors do not approach complexity, but with an over-the-top Willamette-Golding astringency, like this, it doesn’t have to be. Nothing will satisfy your hop craving if this does not. Although I really know nothing about cigars, I believe this Vintage would pair extremely well with one to cool things down. I expect this to turn into nectar with a few years of age behind it. This is the true, undispisputed Alpha King of the world. My only beef is: Why isn’t this available in six-packs? For those of us who want to age and contrast the previous vintage. A case of this stuff would do me well. Warning: this may cause nausea. You may need a friend, or enemy, to help you put this thing down.. I nearly did. This is way too young, but who cares?
Murphy (1759) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - JUL 20, 2002
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: FEB 8, 2004 Didn't really like this one. Taste was somewhat harsh, and didn't sit well in the mouth. Alcohol goes straight to the dome. ReRate: 1998 bottle, consumed Feb 2004. Great red color. Excellent barleywine aroma. Really smooth, very drinkable.
jskendzel (602) - Washington DC, USA - JUL 18, 2002
3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Citrusy, alcohol notes evident immediately. Dark red in color and presents with a thick, rich head. Chinook, possibly Cascades in this brew. To be honest, i had this one before, during, and after dinner because it was SOO strong! A little too much alcohol to be really enjoyable and at times overwhelming with the hops. Calm it down and it will be much more enjoyable.
Northernbrewer (151) - St. Paul, Minnesota, USA - JUL 13, 2002
2.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 9/20
Let’s face it hopheads, some beer really can be too bitter and this is one of them. Copared to a well hopped barleywine like Bigfoot this one misses the point. Part of it is that there is also some bitterness from the malt and the brewers seem to have failed to take that into account. Any beer with this much malt will probably taste good in time, it just may take more years that I’m willing to give it.
Gusler (2653) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - JUL 12, 2002
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: MAY 13, 2003 Ah, an “Old Crusty” in a 12oz. Bottle a site for “Old Tired Eyes”. The head Bunyanesque in size, the consistency creamy, the color a winsome light tan, and as it evanesces, the lace left behind a glutinous sheet to smother the glass. Fusel alcohol, sweet malt, caramel fresh and robust the nose, start is thickly malt, sweet to the point of distraction, the top is full and rich to the palate. Finish has a ferine bite from alcohol and the hops ignominious in their spicy bite dry as a desert bone, God how I “Love” this “Mona Lisa” of the brewer’s art.
swamptours (28) - Romulus, Michigan, USA - JUL 2, 2002
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
A little too intense in the alcohol. Not too bad but I wouldn’t want to drink this everyday.
21iceman40 (1735) - Grafton, Wisconsin, USA - JUN 29, 2002
3 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
This was a bit harsh, kinda like a combo of jim beam and OE 800. Couldnt really taste the flavor over the alcohol. Put simply, just too much octane for me.
obxdude10 (2244) - Pottstown, Pennsylvania, USA - JUN 23, 2002
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Didn’t keep all that great of a head, nice hazy dark amber color, very rich, malty, intense flavors, bitter aftertaste, very nice brew
Zach Diesel (906) - Sisters, Oregon, USA - JUN 16, 2002
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Definately intense as well as the hoppiest barleywine I’ve had by far.
Ernest (7209) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - JUN 15, 2002
1.9 AROMA 3/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 6/20
Head is initially small, frothy, off-white, fully diminishing. Body is murky dark amber, dense particles of all sizes, bottle conditioned. Aroma is heavily hoppy (citrus - grapefruit, resin), lightly malty (caramel), with a note of alcohol. Flavor is moderately sweet, moderately bitter, moderately acidic. Finish is heavily bitter, heavily acidic. Medium to full body, syrupy texture, soft carbonation, moderately astringent, moderately alcoholic. I love really hot salsa, but salsa with nothing else going on but fire is pointless. That’s what this is...fulfilling the popular bloodthirst for hops and alcohol with no other purpose. This is, to me, ridiculous, but each to his/her own...