BrianO (138) - Ambler, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 9, 2004
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: FEB 10, 2004 Bold in all aspects. Aroma is strong and sweet yet balanced with american hops. Flavor is robust with malt yet the bitterness quickly follows to yet again balance the bold attack. Alcohol is just enough to make it difficult to take big swigs of this fine brew. Extended aging?? I'd rahter not, this beer is so fresh right now, I think that it would lose some of its umph if drank next year. Smelling it is like opening up a hop bag and taking a wiff. It doesn't need to mellow, it needs to be drank. I was shocked at how good this was. 2004, by the way. I don't know how this beer isn't rated higher.
bu11zeye (12363) - Frisco (Dallas), Texas, USA - FEB 9, 2004
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: APR 12, 2005 (Bottle, 2001) Pours a deep copper color with slight haziness and a thick frothy head. More bountiful aroma , creamier mouth feel, and richer flavor compared to 2004 vintage (side-by-side). Definitely worth aging!
(Bottle, 2004) Pours a deep mahogany color with a thick white head. Has a hoppy aroma with a light scent of malt. Has a good rich and hoppy flavor.
Sham (1845) - Seattle, Washington, USA - FEB 8, 2004
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Dark mahogany pour. Huge rocky head and nice lacing. Aroma has qauite a bit of hoppiness to it. Malts come through as well. Some fruits are present. Strong hop flavors with a nice malt backing. Fruit is more apparent here. Mostly citrus. Big malt body with a tangy palate that finishes strongly bitter. Very interesting. I'd like to see how it ages.
SiddFinch (155) - Pen Argyl, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 7, 2004
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
2003: Opened it straight from the fridge. I was shocked at how harsh this was. Very bitter and the alcohol not hidden at all. Let it sit for about twenty minutes and it began to settle down. A little hoppier/bitter than most barleywines but overall, very good. It has that signature Sierra Nevada flavor to it that would have allowed me to guess what it was even without a label. I have a few more that I'll store away for a year. I think then, it will have a great deal of potential.
Kasteelfreak (341) - Fallbrook, California, USA - FEB 5, 2004
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: MAY 15, 2005 Tastes a bit like Double Bastard. Itís definately hoppier than most barley wines, but I donít think it should be called an Imperial IPA due to the heavy malt sweetness. The color is a beautiful ruby-amber-red. It pours nicely with a white head that lingers for a while. The aroma has a good caramel character to it, but is a little weak. Notes of alcohol are in the aroma as well. Taste is caramely sweet with just a little tartness to it. Not much apricot to it. finishes kind of dry with a lasting hoppy coat left on the back of the tongue. Mouthfeel is crisp and lacks creaminess. Itís young, but still very good.
HighGravity (926) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - FEB 4, 2004
4 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
(Bottled on DEC/13/03) Bigfoot 2004 is bottled in 2003. I feel that the term barley wine is a misnomer for this beer, because this beer truly is an Imperial India Pale Ale. I poured ever so gently and the beer looks marvelous in my glass. The nose is not overly expressive, but does let your senses know that your palate is about to be attacked by hops. The palate is full and very hoppy, with abundant nuances of earth and tropical fruit. The finish is my favorite part off the beer because it never dies; the hoppy flavors just never stop. The only thing lacking in this beers is aroma hopping. I really fancy the beers relative dryness for its weight.
OldGrowth (2982) - the Containment Area, North Carolina, USA - FEB 4, 2004
3.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle 2004: ok nose Sweet, pine, carmel, toffee, IPAish type nose. Orange red color. Small to no head. Piney carmely, orange and alcohol in flavor. Burnt, sticky finish. Very drinkable, alcohol well hidden overall.
SpringsLicker (3266) - 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 (8699) - 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.