ElGaucho (2286) - Minnetonka, Minnesota, USA - APR 2, 2003
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: FEB 8, 2005 2005 version. Perfect, hoppy aroma. Red body with yellow hues on edges of bottle. Light tan head. Beautiful lace. Rich and hoppy flavor. This is a wonderful beer as always and clearly better than both the Great Divide Old Ruffian and the Stone Old Guardian. 2003 version. Ar:8, Ap:5, Fl9, Pa4, Ov19. Has some of the typical Sierra Nevada aroma, though not as strong or hoppy as I would have expected for a barley wine. Beautiful in appearance; deep red with thick, tan head, leaving excellent lace. As the brew is poured, this brew slowly settles to the top as the high original gravity makes this a thick beer. If I could give Big Foot more points for appearance I would. Flavorwise, this is SNPA on steroids. Very sweet and hoppy, like a BW should be. Has the Sierra Nevada signature finish. Surprisingly drinkable for a barley wine. An outstanding effort.
ConiseurofBeer (242) - Downingtown, Pennsylvania, USA - MAR 29, 2003
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
A very drinkable barleywine. Good malt flavors with a good amount of hops. Very enjoyable drink!
Crash (532) - Macomb, Illinois, USA - MAR 27, 2003
2.2 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 9/20
Just not my speed
jskendzel (602) - Washington DC, USA - MAR 24, 2003
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
2002 on tap: Wonderful hop aroma with lots of piney notes. THis beer packs a lot of punch but there are many complex flavors to savor. Needs some time to age but still I didn't cringe too much when attempting to drink this one.
belgianhomebrew (646) - Acworth, Georgia, USA - MAR 22, 2003
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Big hop aroma. Nice malt flavor with a big hop bite. These definitely need to age about a year before getting into them.
edden (925) - cow- lumbus, Ohio, USA - MAR 22, 2003
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
3/17/03: bottle. nice, thick, frothy, light tan head. deep ruby color. some lacing. malty and lots of hops. bitter finish. as this beer warms there is an elevated evidence of an orange flavor and an increased alcohol taste.
trubucho (20) - PAKISTAN - MAR 21, 2003
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
2003 bottle ... i love to have my non-beer-drinking friends try this beer to see their face when those insane hopps kick in ... definitely good for aging ... alcohol is well hidden ... i think of the beers ive had this one has the largest transition from nose to finish ... makes it very fun to drink, especially since every step is full of good flavors
Probiere (992) - Iowa, USA - MAR 18, 2003
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
2002 bottled. Egads! It's huge. Awesomely overbalanced. Nose is flowery, hoppy, and sweet. Alcohol mildly evident. Inhale hard and you get. . .mangoes. Yes, mangoes. I was rather surprised. Nice body, malty in the mouth, pleasant burnt malt/coffee aftertaste. Alcohol complements rather than overpowering. Only problem was the bitter swallow. Malt was overpowered too quickly. Can’t say I enjoyed that part. Other than that, a treat to drink. But for the price, I will be cellaring my next bottles and hoping for a 100% enjoyable experience. Was going to wait on this one but I drank it anyway; I wanted to see for myself. An enjoyable experience but not what I’m looking for.
Dougal (130) - Escondido, California, USA - MAR 14, 2003
2.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
2003: Hoppy, alive with tartness and maltiness. Pours a rish reddish color that sets the mouth to watering. Indications of fruits on the palate but they are overtaken by the sheer intensity of the hops. Malty textures don't seem too present in the mouth due to over hoppin of the beer. Not the best barleywine out there and designed for hop heads who like'm rough. This batch is too young to be consumed properly.
baobubba (455) - Starkville, Mississippi, USA - MAR 14, 2003
3.9 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Hoppy sweet aroma: pine, resin, clover, grass, applejuice, light cotton candy, touch of bread. Sweet with a side tongue twang, quite bitter with a bit of roast on the finish. Bitterness gets stronger with each sip, unless you sip it quite slow.