walter (359) - Staunton, Virginia, USA - OCT 26, 2005
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
22oz Bottle. Didnít know quite what to expect out of this and was pleasantly surprised. Poured (snifter) a glowing orange amber, perfectly clear, luminous. Nose is hoppy, very similar to the Big A, and fantastic light sugary wheat malt. Flavor follows-- nice full body but seemingly thin/clear, with a great balance between the tangy/citrusy hops and soft wheat grain. Not at all cloying the way some barleywines can be, this is quite drinkable though easily savored over the course of an evening. As it warms it only gets better, again a testament to its fine balance. Canít say enough about this one, just a really finely crafted ale. Simple, unpretentious, delectable.
SwedeDog (364) - Windsor, Connecticut, USA - OCT 25, 2005
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bomber ... obviously, itís a Smutty Big Beer. Pours hazy and orange with a nice fluffy head atop, which is easily recaptured with a slight swirl. Astringent and metallic aroma at first, but quickly gives way to a sweet fruitiness, almost like a tripel. Hoppy, sweet and astringent mouthfeel at first. As it warms, the flavor takes off. Pineapple upside-down cake is the first thing that comes to mind. Banana, candi sugar and an alcohol warmth make this seem like a Belgianís take on a Barleywine. Itís a little hot now, but it should really come into itís own after a year.
braudimusprime (75) - Boston, Massachusetts, USA - OCT 24, 2005
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
A more subtle riff on the barleywine style, and warmly welcome. Deep red/brown color, smooth mouthfeel, taste of sweet malts and vanilla. A little íbrighterí than a barleywine, perhaps--easier to drink but with a strong alcohol presence too.
TheBeerGod (5500) - Newport News, Virginia, USA - OCT 23, 2005
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: OCT 24, 2005 Bottle. Pours a muddled blushing amber with zero head. Only some miniature bubbles on the surface. Nose is wheaty and hoppy with lots of citrus notes, hints of alcohol, sugar, ripe fruits, and caramel. Taste is very fruity (plums, tangerine, raisins, cantaloupe) and sweet with lots of alcohol, wheat, caramel, and hops. Seemingly milder than I expected it to be, hop-wise. Body is sticky with light alcohol warmth, mild carbonation and some smoothness. Finish brings forth a bit more hoppiness, lots more fruit (larger tangerine, melon, plums, hint of grapefruit), caramel, alcohol, wheat notes and some light earthiness. Nicely done! This should round out after a year or two.
argo0 (11972) - Washington DC, USA - OCT 22, 2005
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
(22oz bottle) Clear amber body with orange-tinted off-white head. Aroma is moderately sweet, caramel, plum, wheat, light turpentine. Taste is sweet, plum/raisin, caramel, some grapefruit, light vanilla. Finishes with some alcohol warming. Medium body, not as thick as most b-wines due to the wheat -- quite easy drinking given the ABV.
ryan (3186) - Beltsville, Maryland, USA - OCT 22, 2005
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Pours amber with small white head, diminishing. Aroma is dark fruit and bananas. Flavor is very fruity, bananas, raisins, some hops. Full bodied, slightly syrupy.
desurfer (1246) - Melbourne, Florida, USA - OCT 21, 2005
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Pours a hazy orange/amber with a thickly packed beige head. Aroma is intriguing; thereís the rich, alcoholic maltiness of your typical barleywine, but with a distinct twang of wheat. The first sip is surprisingly thin; itís not as dense as the aroma suggests, although thereís more than enough alcohol burn in my throat to back up the boozy nose. Itís dominated by dry, bitter, almost sour hops, with an underlying sweetness playing second fiddle. The finish is sticky sweet with lots of lingering alcohol. This is a nice, young, brash beer, but could probably use some cellar time to smooth out the bumps and lend it a mellower character. Itís good, but could be better. Iíll drop a bottle in the cellar and get back to it in a year or so.
jefcon (1472) - Arlington, Virginia, USA - OCT 21, 2005
3.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 15/20
Caramel and gold color, fairly glossy in the glass. Aromas are tart lemons and a spice backing of nutmeg and maybe cinnamon. Because the palate of the wheat-based wine is thin, it cannot hide its alcohol as well as a barleywine. As a result, it is quite an astringent beer, and it produces a bit of a pucker from the hops and alcohol up front. Sweet throughout, with some grapefruit. In addition, the alcohol never warms. I found myself wishing the beer was a bit more hopped. It definitely mellows as its temperature rises. A nice, different winter brew.
cvillebeer (134) - Charlottesville, Virginia, USA - OCT 20, 2005
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
First off, I like Smuttynose- my bias is clear. The aroma is typical barleywine, alcohol, hops, malt, fruit. The mouthfeel is a bit lighter than a traditional barleywine, which I like- still thick, but not quite as syrupy. The flavor is malt and hops up front, sweetness and fruit and a bittersweet finish. I donít detect anything that shouts "Wheat!!!", but it is a well made barleywine-style ale. I got another to cellar, we shall see. Well done again, Smuttynose.
axilla (962) - New Providence, Pennsylvania, USA - OCT 18, 2005
3.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Pour looks like a regular barleywine. Syrupy brown/orange body with a thick beige head. Aroma is apples, green grapes, and honey. Flavor is different fruits, carmel, mollasses, dirt/minerals with a musty wood and alcohol finish. Definately got better as it sat. Not a big fan.