mickblueeyes (106) - Knoxville, Tennessee, USA - JAN 28, 2003
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
This red ale boasts a thick golden brown head that doesnít dissipate. The nose is aggressive and boasts its vegetal, leafy, green hops. The palate has an interesting contrast between the extreme citrusy notes and the sweet, malty notes leading to a conflicted palate, which resolves itself in the bittersweet finish. This is a very aggressive style.
bluemeow76 (693) - Lewis Center, Ohio, USA - JAN 28, 2003
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Dark orageish red, thin head. Hoppy, fruity, spicey and sweet. Not too bad.
TheBeerGod (4675) - Newport News, Virginia, USA - JAN 28, 2003
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours a gorgeous bronze with a hint of red. The head is fluffy and a tan-white mix. It quickly recedes. The first sniff reveals a strong hop base. Further wafts also reveal the alcohol and some candy-ish notes. The taste was hoppy and slightly bittersweet. The alcohol really stands out. Finishes smooth but a little dry. Definitely recommended trying. I had a 2003 bottle but I will be buying more and definitely storing some.
uhorpheus (215) - houston, Texas, USA - JAN 27, 2003
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Another nice beer. Very strong and tastes it, this is the kind of beer that you know will destroy you. Small head but enduring. Very hoppy, bitter aroma, similar to Avery Hog's Heaven.
TheTsunami (162) - Queen Creek, Arizona, USA - JAN 27, 2003
3 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
2003 version.Poured a deep red with nice full white head. Nose was very floral with a slight hint of citrus. Then the first taste. Overpowering hops. All grapefruit flavors. Can't wait to see if this ages well as I have 5 more bottles.
tkaufman (129) - Lewis Center, Ohio, USA - JAN 27, 2003
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
2002 version pours a nice dark amber with a solid white head. Aroma of hops kicks you in the face. First tasting smacks you over the head with hop bitterness, but this mellows as the beer goes on. Actually finishes slightly malty and well balanced. A good barleywine.
Brodie (540) - Blowing Rock, North Carolina, USA - JAN 26, 2003
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
I usually think barleywines are too sweet and malt-heavy, but I really like the balance on this one. Hoppy aroma of pine and grapefruit. Rich maltiness in the flavor, but well-balanced with hop flavors and bitterness, with the overall balance leanings towards the latter. Big full mouthfeel. Very satisfying.
brownalegirl (199) - Fountain, Michigan, USA - JAN 25, 2003
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
The often raging wildfire of pine overwhelms me here - I prefer the rounder, fruitier foghorn to this monster. Though they have many of the same qualities, this one is just too raw for me.
foduck (328) - Denton, Texas, USA - JAN 25, 2003
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Much better warm than cold. Tried it cold first, grapefruit hop bitterness dominates. The intense grapefruit got to me. Drank some warm later however and the maltiness is finally detectable. I favor Avery's Hog Heaven over this. I think this would be something that needs cellaring.
Frank (2189) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JAN 24, 2003
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: FEB 21, 2005 Whoa. You canít taste the 9.6% ABV but you can feel it. Extremely tasty. Lots of malt like a barley wine, lots of hops like an IPA. Beautiful dark garnet color with a thin but resiliant head. A bit of fruit in the aroma. The stong malts are up front and the hops are in the finish. This beer kicks my ass six ways to sunday. My only complaint is that the hop bitterness is a bit too stong. Iím aging the remaing four beers in my six pack and Iíll be back in a couple of months to let you know if that doesnít mellow things out a bit.
For the record, I have tried vintages back to 1991 of this (in 2005). I like it best fresh and aggressive but itís truly wonderful at about five years old. After that, it starts losing life.