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 (596) - 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 (583) - 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 (3329) - 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!
sudsmeister (64) - Colorado, USA - AUG 20, 2003
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: SEP 27, 2013 First time I have ever paid $12.00 for a six pack with twist off caps. Beyond that, it was quite a surprise! This is an exquisite brew. It is dark, tasty and strong. A fine "barleywine". The head is unbelievable; remnants of it stuck around until the last swig. Be careful that you don’t pour it too fast!
Update 2013: What has happened? The Bigfoot is now in a four pack at the same price and was only available for a couple of weeks here in Colorado. Must have been either a very good year or a very bad year.
GreatStelle (363) - Chico, California, USA - AUG 19, 2003
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
fantastic example of a great barley wine. Has an earthy pine flavor as do many sierra nevada beers. Has a nice caramel flavor and rest beatifully on the palate. Just when you think it's too strong the citrus flavors come to the rescue.
haddon90 (1470) - Denver, Colorado, USA - AUG 13, 2003
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: FEB 14, 2004 Bottle 2004 vintage. Fairly decent I thought. Amber/red color with a minimal tan head. Hops, fruit, and spice in the flavor. Very well hopped. Thick palate. Strong finish as well. Quite enjoyable.
kwoeltje (2232) - Manchester, Missouri, USA - AUG 7, 2003
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
2003: slightly red amber brown with tan head. Hops aroma. Flavors of oranges/apricots with hints of spice. Don't really notice the EtOH. Strong hops finish.
lunaticharness (183) - Torrance, California, USA - AUG 5, 2003
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
very nice barley wine, nice spicy flavor with a good hop backbone, prolly one of the easiest barleywines to drink