dorkasaurus (15) - Madison, Wisconsin, USA - FEB 14, 2003
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
wow...I shouldn't even be rating this now but its killer. I'm talking about the 2003 but all bottlings back to my first in 1995 have been similar. Huge, hoppy and robust. Full of flavor with a long finish and no complaints. This beer is steady. At 9.6 it should burn but it doesn't its just lucious.
notalush (4856) - Denver, Colorado, USA - FEB 13, 2003
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: FEB 15, 2003 OK, I love hops and all, but does Seirra Nevada have to put so many into ALL of their beers, regardless of style? The hop character is great in their pale ale and celebration ale, but it ruined the stout for me, and it pretty much ruins this one for me, too. It has a fruity, almost vinous aroma, with hints of alcohol. The flavor has some malty, sticky sweetness, with some fruity esters, but the hops kick the crap out them, steal their lunch money, and force them to hide in the background. I think this will be great with some age, if the hop character mellows out, but my young sample isn't all that great. [re-rate, original: 3.4] Alright, after some consideration, and several additional tasting, I must appraciate this beer for what it is, and not penalize it for what it is not. I am quite the hop head, and this has hops out the wazoo, and it has enough malt to satisfy the malt lover as well, so it is really the best of both worlds. I need to pick up SEVERAL more six packs, some for drinking, some for aging, because I know this will be great for years to come.
robertjm (773) - Albany, California, USA - FEB 11, 2003
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JAN 31, 2007 I really love this stuff, but have to warn you if you don’t like hops, DON’T buy this beer. There’s malt in there too. Dark carmely color. Wonderful aromatic head. UPDATE: Tonight I broke into my beer vault and opened a six year old bottle (vintage 2000) to see how it aged. Wow!! Carbonattion was that of a fresh bottle. In fact there’s still foam there several minutes later. What’s really interesting is the pronounced hop bitterness has really mellowed out and the pronounced flavor is that of chocolate and roasted malts instead. Much more raisiny. Reminds me of Old Nick, one of my other favorite barleywines!!
UPDATE: Tonight I tasted a bottle of 1998 vintage I had stowed away. Hops are mostly there in the aftertaste with a wonderful malty taste to begin with. This stuff just keeps getting better with age!!
Zach Diesel (906) - Sisters, Oregon, USA - FEB 11, 2003
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
strong hoppy aroma, looks awesome, sticky and super hoppy with some lasting bitters and a nice masking job on the 9.6%
pint4pint (4) - USA - FEB 8, 2003 does not count
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
A lateral tasting of six years - 2003, 2003, 2003, 2003, 2003, & 2003. Found the 2003 to have a nice floral aroma from the Centennial & Cascade hops. While some may find this to lack balance, I enjoy the malt sweetness that lies just beneath the wall of hop bitterness that creates a symphony for me. I roll a bit across my tongue and get a slightly salty note, followed by an ever changing bitter evolution. Some grapefruit, but some nuts and plum. Acidic, but in a way that begs me to just kep sipping. You like lacing? This will stand right up there with any Belgian. Some disagree with the barleywine nomenclature. I know that it certainly isn't like any of the English that I've sampled, but being that I tried this prior to sampling any other - I am left thinking this must be the place. And on to the next 2003 - After one I notice that this seems all the smoother. The bitterness has subsided a tad and I detect a bit more fruityness. Much easier to quaff and he glass grows from half full to half empty and I don't feel the least bit pessamistic. Now for the 2003 - This is really good stuff! I could grow to like this. The movie I'm watching is suddenly eimbued with a meaning I never suspected. A glow comes from the screen and the world feels right. Think I'll try that bottle of 2003. The neighbors better mind their own fucking business. I can listen at any fucking volume I damn well please. Yeh, time to try that bottle of 2003 that I've been waiting for. Why is this glass so goddamn sticky? pOuR thE sHiT in My lAp if I feEL likE iT. I sAid this was gOod, DO you HEAR mE? Gunna try that last bottle Of 2003 that I've cellared alL of a week. Cops betTer stOp bAngiNg. I'll show WhO"s GeTtiNg TheiR AsS KicKeD. I caN't FucKing driNk wiTh cuFfs on AssholE! You SpILL Y gODDAmN bEeR AND iT's all oVeR.....
papajohn (1249) - San Diego (Mira Mesa), California, USA - FEB 8, 2003
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: NOV 10, 2007 2003 Expedition: Pours a rich cherry brandy color with a medium tan head. Sweet, hoppy nose. Flavor: Sweet burnt caramel start then a quick hop bite and a sweet citrus finish. Smooth, velvety palate. Warms the face as well as the tummy.
2004 Expedition: Same song, second verse.
jgb9348 (4737) - Arlington (Pentagon City), Virginia, USA - FEB 7, 2003
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Dark brown in colour, fast-fading head. Great thick pour. Nice smell...very strong too! Insanely thick-bodied taste and a great full flavour. Very strong maltiness and a strong hoppy flavour which goes perfectly with the beer! 2003 vintage.
monkeyman (57) - Alabama, USA - FEB 7, 2003
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
01/24/02 bottling date. 1-03 tasting: Very seductive and smooth; toggles between gentle (yes, gentle!) hops and big maltiness. Nice head at the one-year mark; can't wait to try out my '01s!!
Darkover (1517) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - FEB 6, 2003
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: FEB 18, 2006 Vintage 2003: Reddish brown, medium head. Strong hop aroma. Very malty and thick. Long bitter finish. Like a malty IPA
FlemishChar (224) - Virginia, USA - FEB 3, 2003
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Smells of hops and alcohol. Color is dark red/bronze, with a sizeable, creamy head. Taste is aggressively bitter, with a fresh acidity and a long finish, balanced by sweet, plummy malts. Alcohol is very noticeable. Very similar to Double Bastard, but not as complex.