Pigfoot (2268) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - JAN 19, 2004
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Appearance: gorgeous deep crimson hue, with tawny edges, solid creamy tan foam, well-retained.
Aroma: glorious! Hugely vinous, strong grape, cherries, berries, potent alcohol already peeking through the nose, full caramel tones as well.
Taste: lovely fruit factor, thick, full body, lingering finish, malt is magnificent here, and hops have thoroughly laid back in the course of the past year. Great cognac-y feel, brandy tones lay thickly on the palate, flavor is absolutely sublime. I can't think of any flaw or any problem in the brew, it's as magical and impressionable as any other, in a class of it's own. Mind you, I've been a fan for many, many years, and have yet to be let down.
Drinking further in, the taste is sweeter, candyish, but still mixed with large, boozy content. Fruit is complex and when mixed with lush malt and alky-hol, this is one excellent comfort against this incredible January cold.
I hope to save more, and build my cellar better. Perhaps I need to buy a case, when the '04 shows up!
DrGonzo (625) - Somerville, Massachusetts, USA - JAN 17, 2004
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
2001 edition on tap. Has that Sierra Nevada hop aroma (a good thing). Full body, well balanced with a sweet aftertaste, sort of a bigger maltier version of the pale ale. Great.
cquiroga (371) - Tujunga, California, USA - JAN 4, 2004
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: FEB 15, 2004 2/15/04. Poured out of 12 oz. bottle, bought at Stuffed Sandwich in San Gabriel, CA 10/5/03. 1997 Vintage. This bad boy pours a dark, rosin-colored amber brown with only a trace head. Lots of coarse bubbles lining the glass, but only a hint of lacing. Holy nose!!! Rich, dark malt and deep caramel, hints of molasses and still very fruity, raisiny, sweet, and decadent. Flavor is strikingly sharp, very deeplly raisiny, bitter and dark with burnt malt complexity. Very mouth-watering and punishing. Very little trace of the sweetness in the nose, except for right up front. Smooth, medium-full body that veils, unleashes, and then soothes the fury quite well. Caramel malts come back a bit on the long finish. warming and resiny finish, drying and a bit chewy, even twiggy. A bit harsh overall and maybe TOO ass-kicking for me on this particular night, but still damn hard to stay away from-- what can I say?? 10/4/7/3/16/4.0
11/22/03. On tap at O'Brien's in San Diego, CA 11/22/03. 2003 Vintage. Slightly opaque, dark amber body. Dense, creamy, light tan head with very nice, somewhat blotchy lacing. Dark malt and robust hop aroma. Surprisingly bitter, twiggy and woody flavor. Very nicely frothy, heavily carbonated mouthfeel to offset the potently bitter hops. Finish is long and mostly bitter hops, nice enough to keep you going and malty enough to make you linger awhile. Medium body feels just right. Very nicely balanced but leaning toward Double IPA characteristics for a barley wine. Still, an extremely solid barley wine. 8/5/8/4/17/4.2
Ratings above reflect averages of the two scores.
Kinz (3713) - Glen Allen, Virginia, USA - JAN 3, 2004
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: FEB 19, 2006 Draft, 2002 version, 1 year in the can! Dark brown, reddish highlights, some fading head. Nose a shot of alcohol and massive hops. Strong, fruity maple syrup malts meld with fruity hops and a balancing bitterness. Itís a beautiful thing. Sampled the 1999 in 2006 at the first Richmond "gathering," courtesy of a previous Secret Santa. Caramel and molasses dominated, but there was still a flourish of fading pine hops on the end. This has lasted fabulously. Scores wouldnít change a bit.
Oakes (15292) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - JAN 1, 2004
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: FEB 23, 2012 2009 vintage, 3 years old: Muddy dull amber. The aroma is bright and hoppy, with orchard fruit accents. The hops are bright on the palate, but with lots of chewiness and bitterness as well. I donít know if it has improved, but this bottle has held up quite nicely under adverse conditions. Enjoyable stuff.
Old rating: I have to say Iím surprised I never bothered to rate this on Ratebeer before now. Iíve certainly had it enough times. Cloudy dark amber with a thick, rocky head. Rich hoppy aroma - wood, orange - with abundant caramel. Drips with rich, tangy hops, and has a sticky maltiness from that caramel malt (too much of it, really). These elements duke it out for control of my palate. Sometimes one wins, sometimes the other but itís always an intense and pleasurable experience.
pobenohne (504) - Northern Liberties, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 31, 2003
3.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
2003 bottle. Extra appearance point for the label. Extra aroma point for cascade hops.
Alas, tastes too hoppy (after a night of belgians). Still, great hops, great malt, and one big heavy AMERICAN beer. A fine way to end a night.
GEOBRAU (188) - Mesa, Arizona, USA - DEC 28, 2003
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle: the desciption nails it. It caught me off gaurd with the overpowering flavors. by the end of the bottle I appreciated it much more.
blatz (138) - Palm Beach Gardens, FL, Florida, USA - DEC 27, 2003
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
The only barleywine to have -- powerful -- I should put a warning on my beer fridge to consult me before opening -- most of my beer novice friends just can't handle it. The traditional SN hop taste followed by a powerful kick of malty backbone. Very fruity, but I do detect a little overbearing oily bitterness from the hops? I love to pour this in a snifter and read on a cool night. Its what we work for, right?
harlequinn (2744) - Tacoma, Washington, USA - DEC 25, 2003
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
This is by far one of the best barleywines that I have ever had. The aroma is extremely fruity with a bit of a sharp cheese smell. The taste is slightly oily with a liquid vitamin kind of mouthfeel, no head at all, just pitchblack in the appearance. Lots of dark fruits, with a very balanced and full bodied flavor. Very warming and satisfying, I wish I could get a case of this.
hotstuff (4839) - Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA - DEC 21, 2003
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: MAY 9, 2008 Draft at Coasters Brewpub. The head of this beer was average size and white with fine-large sized bubbles that were mostly lasting. The body was softly carbonated and hazy with a light brown hue. The nose was comprised of caramel, citrus and hops. The flavor was bitter and hoppy with a hoppy mouthfeel as well. The lacing was excellent.
2008 Edition Bottle on 5/9/08:Nose was malt, floral hops, and caramel. Ditto for the flavor along with some bitterness. Mouthfeel was fairly smooth and medium bodied. Quite tasty, nicely done and worthy of a try.