hezron (612) - Viroqua, Wisconsin, USA - APR 21, 2005
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 13/20
Poured a clear amber color with a normal off-white head. Aromas is hoppy with some sweet brown sugar and caramel. Flavor is sorta sweet, some plum flavor but then it has a grassy hop aftertaste, weird for barley wine. Palate is on the watery side. It was ok, but I don’t think I’d try it again. 180ml bottle, best by 1/06.
johndoughty (4630) - cheslyn hay, West Midlands, ENGLAND - DEC 22, 2004
3.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 14/20
This looks the part-a powerful golden apperarance that dares you to drink it. Quite sweet and obviously strong its one for dark, cold winter nights.
SilkTork (5468) - Southampton, United Kingdom, Hampshire, ENGLAND - AUG 16, 2004
2.3 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 9/20
Pasteurised bottle. BBE Nov 04. Purchased from Utobeer, Borough Market. Sam Smith’s don’t do much of this. And I can see why. I mean, I know I’m not a fan of Barley Wine, but we don’t exactly have a Thomas Hardy’s Ale here. Colour is nice - a warm glowing bronze - but when compared with - say - Thomas Hardy’s Ale, it looks a little pale and anaemic. And that’s the point - this is not a beer to compare with something decent - this is a beer to compare with Whitbread Gold Label and Banks Barley Gold, and other strong pasteurised beers with Gold in the name. There has been no attempt or desire to make this for people who really care what the beer tastes like. This is marketed at old men who like a strong "nip" now and again.
Aroma is alcohol and rocket fuel. Plastic. Damp cardboard. Cheap biscuits. Boiled veggies. Sugar. Tinned water. Banana flavoured candy. Taste is cheap and nasty. I give up: There are smells and flavours here, and they are what would be expected of a cheap barley wine. The stuff is drinkable. But it's not good. Nuff said.
Spiesy (2338) - Sydney, Greater London, AUSTRALIA - MAY 31, 2004
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottled. Dark golden colour with large course bubbles rising to the top. Strong alcoholic aroma with some finesses; asparagus, boiled cabbage and complex hop aromatics. Strong alcohol flavour and mouth feel. Really burns and should be given due respect. Back off team, this beer can stick up for itself. Purchased from The Maltings in York.
JorisPPattyn (8920) - Ursel, BELGIUM - DEC 20, 2003
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Pale amber-orange, ever so slight haze; 1 cm yellowish head, dissipating. Alcoholic nose, cognac-like; bit of liquorice, raisins. Severe alcoholic taste; again sweet
raisins/sultanas flavour. Bitterish-herbal palate. Somehow, I think higher alcohols too. Mouthfeel warming-burning alcoholic. This is a serious strong ale. A severe, brandy-like beer, not fruity in the least. The nips are a strong hint how to treat it. But, not very exciting neither, hence the low overall rating.
Hildigöltur (5105) - København, DENMARK - OCT 25, 2003
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Best before July 1987! Sweet honeyish mead aroma. Strong flavour with smoked notes. The finish has a coffeeish dryness.
jsquire (3985) - St. Marys, Ohio, USA - MAR 2, 2003
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Urine yellow out of the little 180ml bottle with little head and a sweet banana smell. Heavy caremel sweetness with some subtle hop notes in there. Tastey beer but it sure didn't seem like a barley wine to me.
rauchbier (3709) - Isle Of Beer, Lincolnshire, ENGLAND - OCT 14, 2002
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottled. Yes, Sam Smiths make a barley wine but it is quite hard to find and only comes in small nip bottles. Amber coloured with almost no head and a moderate condition. Big aromas of peardrops and butterscotch along with an obviously alcoholic kick, syrupy malt and more alcohol in the mouth and a long lingering alcoholicly warming finish.
Oakes (14101) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - JAN 24, 2001
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bronze colour; whiskeyish nose; some light lowland malt flavour; touch of acidity as well; light chewiness of malt and a hard body. Seems a little confused.