CE619 (81) - san diego, California, USA - AUG 13, 2002
4.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
incredible. although it varies from year to year, this beer is consistently awesome. when fresh, the hops leap from the glass, inviting the drinker in, only to experience the rich, sweet malty backbone of this beer, which is highlighted by a citric hop flavor and a drying, warming alcoholic finish. in aged versions, the abundant hoppiness is replaced by a more restrained toffee like maltiness. excellent either way
jazz88 (2613) - San Francisco, California, USA - AUG 10, 2002
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: APR 19, 2008 Bottle 8/10/02. Redish color with a creamy off-white head. Fruit aroma and flavors. Notable cherry and spice flavors, but not a complex barley wine. Re-Rate 2003 vintage on 3/12/03 (8 4 7 3 16): An amber color with an off-white head. A vinous, wood, dark fruit, hoppy aroma. A strong wood element to the flavor with plenty of hops.
Bottle of the 2008 sampled on 4/18/08 (6 4 7 3 15). A reddish brown color with a tan head. A strong viney hop, floral, and malt aroma. Rough, bitter, and dry on the palate. It packs a punch and leaves a dry bitter malty-sweet aftertaste that definitely carries the heat of the high abv.
rauchbier (3668) - Isle Of Beer, Lincolnshire, ENGLAND - AUG 9, 2002
3.9 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: AUG 23, 2004 Bottled, bought at GBBF. 2004 version. Ruby red, thin white head that soon disappears, low gentle condition. Excellent peppery hop, spicy sweet malt and fruity berry aromas. Heavy malt body with touches of roast barley but with a developing harsh hop bitterness that suggests I should maybe have left this bottle a few years to mature. Overpowering hop becomes unbalanced in the finish. A little too hoppy for a Barleywine IMHO.
rmalloy (199) - los angeles, California, USA - AUG 5, 2002
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pretty good. Smells of honey and hops. Tastes pretty basic--bitter hops and honey sweetness. Pleasant but unremarkable.
Murphy (1759) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - AUG 3, 2002
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 11/20
I am also of the opinion that this beer recieves too much hype. Starts with a nice sweet taste and finishes bitter with alcohol hints. The finish seemed to dry out my mouth and kill my taste buds. Not quite my boat, but if you like really bitter stuff, try this. Beautiful dark amber color though.
raindog (560) - Evansville, Indiana, USA - AUG 3, 2002
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: MAY 29, 2009 Re-Rate:Drank 2001 other night and it had lost some valuable flavors.Could be a weak vintage?2002 seems to be a bit bigger. (2002)Appearance is what you would expect some rare ruby to look like.Head as tall as Johnny Appleseed.Aromas of just utter LOVE.HOPS(centinial&cascade) are still growing out of the glass.The so sweet malt is so defined the alcohol is totally masked.The MALTS,HOPS,and slight alcohol taste as if they are one.Not the most complex malt taste but very tasty.
Inveigler (371) - Ferndale, Michigan, USA - AUG 1, 2002
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
2001 Reading through other reviews, I must admit that I don’t see why this beer warrants such a stir. I was hoping for something a little less dry. Not as sweet as many barley wines I have tried. The alcohol warmth was wonderful, however, and the lingering tongue tingles amazing. There are a lot of barley wines I like better, but this is overall a decent beer.
nstal (237) - Houston, Texas, USA - JUL 24, 2002
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
One of the few barleywines i can get around town. Hides the alcohol very well. Smooth transistions.
Ringo (963) - Loveland, Colorado, USA - JUL 24, 2002
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
A good, but not the best, barley wine. I used to think it was better, but the new crop of barley wines has surpassed it in flavor and in strength. It is too bitter, in the Old Crustacean way that ecrvich mentioned. I wouldn’t go as far as giving it a 2.7, but there are many better barley wines out there. Due credit is given for being a pioneer though.
Ernest (6749) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - JUL 22, 2002
3 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 11/20
UPDATED: MAR 16, 2013 2013 bottle. Head is initially average sized, frothy, off-white, mostly lasting. Body is clear dark amber. Aroma is lightly malty (cookie), lightly to moderately hoppy (grapefruit, resin), moderately yeasty (dough), with a note of alcohol. Flavor is moderately to heavily sweet, lightly to moderately acidic, lightly to moderately bitter. Finish is lightly to moderately sweet, lightly to moderately acidic, moderately to heavily bitter. Medium to full body, velvety texture, lively carbonation, moderately alcoholic. Sadly, the aroma is mostly raw yeast. I’m not exaggerating. Every sniff I took, the strongest note was always vitamin B. Rich in the mouth, as expected, but it’s really pretty dull overall. I cannot fathom why this is such an icon of the style. Maybe you have to age it 5 years so there’s more cardboard odor, I don’t know.