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 (1513) - 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.
GermanBrews76 (678) - Richmond, Virginia, USA - FEB 1, 2003
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Deep Amber color, thin tight white head. Hoppy, sweet fruity&floral and alcohol nose. Nice bite! Rather acidic, berries and alcohol all around the mouth, very fruity and tart.
mpbro (132) - Stanford, California, USA - JAN 30, 2003
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
What a cool brew! It's not a "barley wine" per se; if I had to classify it, I'd call it a double IPA or American Strong Ale or similar.
Spongy, golden head, medium-sized, medium bubbles, lumpy, lacy, partially receding.
Deep amber color, slightly hazy.
Aromas of syrup and floral hops, though not over the top with either.
Very malty, with some, but not too much residual sweetness. More of a spicy maltiness (cinnamon), not the thick "watermelon" I remember from most barley wines.
Quite bitter, though commensurate with malt. Meaty, with a lovely, persistent effervescence to cut through the syrup and give a creamy mouthfeel.
Light, but noticeable citrus/spruce, and quite yeasty. All-in-all, a complex, wonderful beer.
zborgerd (187) - Illinois, USA - JAN 29, 2003
3.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: NOV 7, 2003 Definate smell of hops (what American beers don't have it?) and it is noticable upon first taste. Unlike a strong IPA though, the sweety, malty taste of this ale really balances out the flavor. This is a beer that'll really warm you up, but despite its richness tastes surprisingly refreshing. Finishes off with hints of grapefruit (cascade hops probably) and a slighty bitter orange rind buzz on your tongue. Age this baby for best flavor.
hoorayforbeer (105) - Denton, Texas, USA - JAN 29, 2003
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Dark red with a nice head to it. Strong citrusy hop presence followed by rich sweet malt. The hops fade into a bitter grapefruit aftertaste that lasts through the maltiness. Gets better as it warms, but the grapefruit is still there.
mickblueeyes (106) - Knoxville, Tennessee, USA - JAN 28, 2003
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
This red ale boasts a thick golden brown head that doesn’t dissipate. The nose is aggressive and boasts its vegetal, leafy, green hops. The palate has an interesting contrast between the extreme citrusy notes and the sweet, malty notes leading to a conflicted palate, which resolves itself in the bittersweet finish. This is a very aggressive style.
bluemeow76 (693) - Lewis Center, Ohio, USA - JAN 28, 2003
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Dark orageish red, thin head. Hoppy, fruity, spicey and sweet. Not too bad.
TheBeerGod (5223) - Newport News, Virginia, USA - JAN 28, 2003
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours a gorgeous bronze with a hint of red. The head is fluffy and a tan-white mix. It quickly recedes. The first sniff reveals a strong hop base. Further wafts also reveal the alcohol and some candy-ish notes. The taste was hoppy and slightly bittersweet. The alcohol really stands out. Finishes smooth but a little dry. Definitely recommended trying. I had a 2003 bottle but I will be buying more and definitely storing some.