SpringsLicker (3253) - Tennessee, USA - FEB 2, 2004
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
2003 This has really smoothed out since I first tasted it 10 months ago. This is a slightly hazy orang-amber beer that struggles to show any surface foam whatsoever upon pouring. The aroma is bready, almost obscured from the grapefruit hoppiness that is still powerfully present as it approaches it's first birthday. At this point all flavor aspects have mellowed considerably, producing a smooth, creamy body that just coats the tongue lightly as it goes down. Check back next year, but I can't imagine it getting much better.
NeonLX (261) - Wisconsin, USA - FEB 2, 2004
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
2004 edition, from the bottle: My first impression was of some kind of ultimate IPA--the aroma promised extreme hoppiness with great pine & citrus overtones, on top of a malty earthiness. Poured into a glass, I saw a slightly cloudy, darkish red brew topped by a full creamy head. Initial taste was of overwhelmingly rich malt with a sudden whack of hops. Smooth and creamy mouthfeel. A pronounced bitterness lingers long after swallowing. Probably the fullest-tasting beer I've ever had--it manages to be almost achingly sweet and supremely bitter at the same time. Marvelous stuff.
3fourths (8634) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - FEB 1, 2004
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
UPDATED: JUN 13, 2012 2001 - aged 3 years: Clear amber and with a light tan head. Wine-like aroma of grapes, sweet oak, cinnamon, nutmeg and mint. Resin oak flavor, thinner than 02.
2002 - aged 2 years: Head is a creamy medium tan, darker than a fresh 2004. Smell is alcohol, creamy plum and apple, very sweet and musty, but has a very nice aged quality. The hops have aged and opened up, giving this the perfect barley wine aroma. Big and frothy caramel evident, some roasted nuts and plums and some smoke. Awesome really. Biting hops and alcohol in the finish, which tingles the tongue with a mellow smoke and orange residue.
2003 - aged 6 months: Nice dark amber color, with a nice light brown head. Smells like plums, with a very strong, full aroma that almost chokes the nose. Very woody, earthy flavor, which nips the tongue at first. Alcohol taste comes through easily, like a few whiskeys Iíve had. After being aged for 6 months, the hop profile is much smoother and the alcoholic bite is not as bad.
2004 - fresh: Sweet citrus hop aroma with the Centennial apparant as a really sweet orange aroma. Syrupy thick, though not as thick as 02 and not as creamy. big biting hops overpower everything else in this one (fresh 04, been on the store shelves for 1 week). Other than the sweet tangerine and grapefruit hop flavors and a small wood flavor, I canít get much else... this one needs some time.
2005 - fresh - bottle and draft ratings
Appears darker than I remember previous version, but since this was had on draft at a beer bar, that probably plays a role. Regardless, it looks beautiful: dark plum colored body with a foamy tan head. Beautifully pungent hop nose, full of sweet cherries, plums, bubble gum sugars and candi sugar. Has the usual intense hop bite of a fresh Bigfoot, although, like other years, itís still not fully developed. Woody and nutty flavors are noticed in this, which go particularly well with the overtones of plum and caramel. I have to say that the 2005 is my favorite vintage (fresh) so far, I canít wait to see how it ages.
5000 (6300) - Hardened Liver, Washington, USA - JAN 31, 2004
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
2004 Bottle pours a brownish red with a substantial cream colored head. † Head is lively, lacing is adequate, body is thick. † Carbonation moves ever so slowly from the bottom. † First things noticed would be the sweet hoppy aroma, as well as the usual floral bouquet. † Initial taste is of bittersweet carmel and pine. † Mouthfeel is warm and smooth. † At the end you begin to get a bit more of the sweet floral flavor, as well as a mild alcohol finish.   At 9.6% ABV, this one packs a Whallop!† A very unique beer indeed!
auto (163) - California, USA - JAN 31, 2004
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
2004 edition-- dark red and brown golden color. it had a tangy aroma and a white head. there's a great drawing of bigfoot and two guys drinking on a log in the woods, under the bottle cap.
bigbeersrule (113) - USA - JAN 30, 2004
4.4 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Had a chance to do a vertical tasting of the 03 and 04 on draft at my favorite beer establishment, Papago Brewing. The 04 being new was more crisp than the 03 but I liked the smoother 03 better. Warning: Do not drink this beer unless you love hops.
Wheatsheaf (104) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - JAN 29, 2004
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
2003 edition. Rich mahogany with a small, off-white head, mostly diminishing but leaving some nice lacing. Aroma of cherries and some alcohol, yielding more citrus and pine notes as it warms. Thereís a hint of sweetness up front, but the highlight of the medium-full body is the hop character. Grapefruity and moderately astringent, with some initial pepperiness that quickly mellows. Nice, long, hoppy finish. Quite enjoyable.
ztrvz (218) - st paul, Minnesota, USA - JAN 29, 2004
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: FEB 9, 2004 1999 sampled 1/29/04. medium brown amber color. there's plenty o carbonation in this bottle. smells like a hoppy barleywine. nice and sweet... very well balanced with a dry bitter finish that lingers forever. tastes like caramel, nuts, tree bark. this is a very enjoyable beer. especially after being out in -10F weather for the past 6 hours. after half of this beer my face became RED HOT.
1998 sampled 2/9/04. holy monkey! i notice quite a difference beteweent the 98 and the 99. this is much smoother, sweeter. almost silky. is there alcohol in this? this beer tastes great... the bitterness has been toned down a bit.. the sugars saturate my mouth and leave it watering between sips.
AleDrinker (1089) - Sunnyvale, California, USA - JAN 27, 2004
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Lost of hops, lots of malt, lots of alcohol. Lot's of everything. This beers a bit over the top.
jsquire (3756) - St. Marys, Ohio, USA - JAN 25, 2004
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
On tap at the 2004 Great Alaska Beer and Barley Wine Festival. I have had many vintages of this and it is always good, but it is even better in a keg. Murky orange with a blooming hop nose. Great balance to this beer with very citrus hop notes jumping off a strong malt foundation. Probably the easist barley wine to get and a good representation of the style.