aaronh (201) - McMurray, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 30, 2003
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Hazy orange-copper color beer pours with a minimalist tan head that quickly fades to a thin ring along the edge of the glass. Strong fruit and alcohol aroma smells mostly like plums. Perhaps a touch of hops in the nose as well. The taste is very hoppy, much more than the other barleywines I've had. Also unlike the others, this one is not overly sweet. Reminds me more of a robust, powerful IPA than the sweet barleywines I have become familiar with. A bit more fruitiness and sweetness shows after a few more drinks, but this is an amazingly balanced beer. (even the "Hop burps" are both sweet and hoppy!) Very nice bitterness on the finish. Can't quite place the type of hops, but it tastes like possibly Liberty or Cascade. The mouthfeel is not as syrupy thick as others. While this hurts my mouthfeel rating a bit, it elevates the drinkability. Even with the high ABV, I could drink several of these. Really a great winter warmer.
Falconseye8 (542) - Evans, Colorado, USA - SEP 29, 2003
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: SEP 30, 2003 First Barlywine. My Impression: Bitter, Bitter, Bitter. Not bad after that. Very drinkable once you get past the Bitter part. Interested what others have to say regarding this one. 2003 version.
y0cola (361) - fremont, California, USA - SEP 28, 2003
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: FEB 10, 2004 2002: Awesome barleywine with a great bitter-sweet, plum taste. so good that i thought i literally saw bigfoot at the end of a 6 pack and a few other sierra nevadas.
grease (42) - Reno, Nevada, USA - SEP 17, 2003
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Very American barleywine, but not inundated with the curse of Cascade hops (grapefruit). Quite consistent from year to year. Unlike a British version, this beer leans heavily to hops, but still has a strong malt backbone.
Syd (920) - Waconia, Minnesota, USA - SEP 17, 2003
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: FEB 26, 2008 2001 Vintage: Bottle pours a hazy copper color with very little head and some spotty lace. The aroma is malty and well pronounced hop. The flavor is well rounded with a malt that coats and a hop that bites well. Overall, this is a good one from my cellar. 1999 Vintage: Had this one during the migration of the site... As I remember - and it is difficult due to the strength of the Foot, it was perfect and aged very well. Of all the Barley Wines, this is now tops on my list. Update - Had the 1998. Stick with the 1999. The 1998 had aged too much into a strange (strong) brew. 2008 Update - This is the best I remember, aged or fresh. The aroma is much more fruity and the flavor is fresh, but not harsh. 2008 rules.
mullet (849) - Melbourne, AUSTRALIA - SEP 16, 2003
3.9 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: JUL 4, 2004 2003 Vintage. Amazing heady, hoppy aroma. Lots of alcohol carrying the citrusy (mandarins!), floral and slightly pine-needley aromas right out.
Nice and clear with quite good head retention for such a gravity. Head had a green tinge, presumably from all the hops.
Flavour starts out sweet and malty then quickly gets very hoppy. I love the malt character - very strong, but not sweet or underfermented. Hop flavour is great and bitterness is VERY long but was kind of harsh to the point of really affecting my enjoyment of the beer. Hopefully with a bit of time this bitterness will mellow. I have 4 more bottles and will keep them until next winter.
A year later:
This beer has changed a LOT. Hops in the aroma have really dropped out a lot - pine needles are still there but the citrus has gone.
Malt shows a lot more - very toasty and showing lots of different layers. It's almost sweet with the bitterness balancing nicely but nowhere near the aggressive attack it was initially.
It has certainly taken a number of "aged" flavours on - and I was rather concerned how a beer that had travelled across the world in someone's backpack would age - but it certainly doesn't ruin it. There's a tiny bit of sourness in the flavour, but the malt has really come to the fore in a very nice way. If I were to change the numbers, I'd probably decrease the aroma score and increase flavour (but I won't.)
PS. HTML is cool
thehoff (595) - Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA - SEP 2, 2003
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: NOV 20, 2003 Holy Crap. This is a mother of just getting wasted. Nothing to enjoy except that feeling of pure drunken stupor. Very hoppy but not all that great except for the alchohol. Not bad but I dont think that it is anything great.
ChazyRPh (582) - Chazy, New York, USA - AUG 30, 2003
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
This is 2002 vintage...Pours a hazy garnet red, with moderate head. Aroma is of fermented fruit and others that I am not gifted enough to figure out. Wow, this kicks you in the pants. A lot of hops, bitter feel, with definate alcohol on my tongue. There is a familiar taste to finish, but for the life of me I cannot put a finger on it. Not a bad or great beer for me.
DYCSoccer17 (3302) - Woodland, California, USA - AUG 30, 2003
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: FEB 3, 2007 (08/30/03) 2002 Vintage, 6 oz sample shared with my brother. Pours a hazy dark copper with a beautiful moderate 2-3 cm head that lasts a good while--a beautiful beer. The aroma is a fruity one, but I can honestly not put a finger on which fruits its may be. Maybe some apple? The start leads with some fruitiness, but is then followed by a rush of bitterness, that is not the most pleasant. This guy is 9.6%, and is very tasteable. Im not so sure how much I like this one.------- 2003 Vintage: Pours a hazy mahognay color with a beautiful 2.5cm off-white head. Aroma is sweet and fruity--rather pleasant. Start is slightly fruity with a yeastly component in there. Finish is dry smoky and very bitter. There might be some coffee/chocolate in the finish as well. Almost too bitter at the end. Honestly, I prefer the 2003 vintage to the 2002 vintage. This is much more mellow and more drinkable than the 2002. I would probably give the 2003 a 14/20 rating.-------& 2004 bottle. Pours a transparent mahogany with a 2cm light tan head thats quickly dissipating. Aroma is sweet, malty, fruits, and some caramel. Start is bitter and hoppy followed by some floral maltiness. I taste some chocolate in the finish. Very acidic feel. aroma 8, app 5, taste 6, palate 3, OA 14.
BückDich (5464) - McCall, Idaho, USA - AUG 28, 2003
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Deep ruby burgundy with foamy head & average lacing. Traditional young barleywine aroma, sweet and dark fruits collide while the hops play as scorekeeper. Malty background is the playing field. Very detectable flavors, this feels almost half way in between arrogant bastard and double bastard with it's malt & hop profile. Sweet fruity bitterness, delicious, I want a vintage one now!