Schultsc (572) - San Diego, California, USA - MAR 13, 2005
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: MAY 12, 2005 Very hoppy in true Stone fashion, not surprisingly, for a barley wine which balances out the alcohol very well. Not nearly as dark as I was expecting--deep bronze--along with a lighter mouth feel too. Great offering from Stone--will warm you up to be sure.
Kevin (2007) - Colorado, USA - MAR 9, 2005
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
tap. nice orange and amber with a tan head. aroma of sweet syrup and malt with a strong citrus. alcohol notes. syrupy mouthfeel. alcohol flavors with a strong vanilla raspberry hint. woody malt with a potent strong hop finish. lingering pepper notes. chocolate and caramel mingle nicely, very warming.
kujo9 (1090) - North Ridgeville, Ohio, USA - MAR 8, 2005
3.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 14/20
2005 22 oz bomber: No head w/a lightly hazy medium amber body. Thin lacing of white around the top of the beer, and wells up light beige when swirled, but it doesnít last. Piney & citrusy(lemon) hop aromas. Also seems a little woody w/ hints of alcohol; Light bready malts w/ hints of caramel and fruity citrusy hops. Very well balanced w/ toasty malt flavor, caramel, and piney flavored hops. Sweet up front, but the finish is lightly bitter and aftertaste that is citrusy, resiny, hop. A little alcohol sweetness, but overall not noticeable. Full bodied, well hidden, slightly warming alcohol. Low carbonation and overall very smooth & thick. This one seems more well balanced than O.G.ís in the past. Well made and drinkable now, and it seems like it will age very well.
mjg74 (2428) - La Mesa, California, USA - MAR 2, 2005
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
2005. Pours a reddish orange color. Aroma is a little sweet and fairly malty. Some citric aroma is present. Flavor is quite hoppy. With a maltiness to mellow it out a little. Alcohol seems to be masked quite well as I canít taste any. Bottle reads 11.26%. Very ready to drink.
MI2CA (1340) - Noblesville, Indiana, USA - MAR 1, 2005
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: MAR 30, 2006 Winter 2005 release one year later 22oz - Aroma is alcohol and hops with a touch of carmel. Appreance hasnít changed from original rating. Flavor is the opposite of aroma with the carmel being dominate, alcohol follows, then the hops. It is very smooth with a warming effect but not the burn I remember from the freshy. A year has been nice to this one.
Original rate date 3/1/05 score: 7/4/7/4/16=3.8
Winter 2005 release 22oz bottle - This is a sharp and hoppy barleywine with an aroma to match. Hops, malt, carmel with an alcohol bite. Great looking reddish brown with quickly dissipating off-white head and spotty lacing. Flavor is lasting bite of hops, alcohol, and carmel malts. Iím sure a year or two will make this an awesome brew.
Gachupines (745) - USA - FEB 25, 2005
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pretty aggressive flavor for this barleywine. Strong hop flavor persists from first taste. Malt balances it out a little bit, but that bitterness lasts. Gets a little sweeter as I continue drinking, but overall for someone who wants a pretty bitter taste. Personally, Iíd try this one again.
highalphafan (18) - albuquerque, New Mexico, USA - FEB 21, 2005
3.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
2005. Comparitive analysis: By recent yearsí standards, Iím not as happy with this one. But then thatís why we age I suppose. The pour was flatter than recent vintages and the aromamuch less hoppy. Palate thick and oily as usual, but not as complex in the flavor department. Sort of candylike like an Avery brew. Weíll see, Iíll go back for more.
johnyvt (158) - West Hollywood, California, USA - FEB 20, 2005
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: FEB 21, 2005 22oz, 2005 bottle. Smells heavily of butterscotch and hops. Sweet and malty start. Really thick, oily hop taste. Definitely needs time to age and blend flavor. Right now itís a little harsh and not as complex as I imagine it will be eventually. Still, the balance of both intense sweet and biter taste makes it drinkable and worthwhile. Will try to age a bottle and rerate.
frylock (1135) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - FEB 20, 2005
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
2005 Vintage 11.26% ABV: Bright redish brown with a medium sized off-white head. Malty, caramel aroma with a hint of tart cherries. Caramel and toasty malts, followed by a good dose of hops, some pine notes. Rather bitter finish.
0o9i (436) - Reno, Nevada, USA - FEB 19, 2005
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JAN 27, 2007 Jan 2007, bottled.
Lovely malts, very floral hops, a touch of fruity alcohol, lots of dark fruits, brown sugar, sweet-dark bread, and a measured dose of honey on aroma. Malt dominated and lovely. Giant head with beautiful rings of lacing. Mouth at start was flat, fullish, and unimpressive; however, now that this stuff has sat and Iím near the end, itís creamy carb, and a lightly dry finish. Flavor is dark fruits, toasty, honey, lightly pollenated, fairly well balanced (on the hoppy side, which I enjoy) and nice. Maybe they read these things because they hid the alcohol. heh. Very tasty, but not outstanding. I should have bought another bottle...
2005 Edition, bottled. First comments: will put hair on your chest. This stuff needs to be put away for 1-2years and it will be much more "friendly," although a beer of this caliber will never be truly friendly. Here we go! Poured clear and on the brown side of amber, maybe chestnut in color? I think chestnut works as itís not quite so dark as walnut and a lovely color. Good sized, creamy head, dough colored. Fantastic, thick lacing in rings and splotches. Aroma...well, before I tasted it, I knew the bottle should have sat at least until this fall before even a sampling, but itís too late for that. =] Initially pungent and alcoholic, the pungency is revealed upon further evaluation (as you middle your inhalation) to be mostly of some concentrated hops with aroma of grapefruit rind and the meat of an orange. Also noticeable is yeast up front like a moist, slightly undercooked and still warm center to a wheat loaf of bread. The yeast is an overcoat to the whole aroma. The undercoat is a cloyingly sweet malt presence in brown sugar; slightly honey, slightly molasses. Despite being powerfully aromatic, itís nearly well balanced--a bit on the sweet side...but then again, it is a barley wine. *ahh* Mouth is...unique. Itís tremendously thick and has so much malt that it SHOULD be slimy and syrupy; but, there is light carbonation throughout the mouth to just keep it dry enough to silence any complaints before you swallow and then itís comfortably dry. As I continue to drink, it may well become VERY dry. Could definitely use more carbonation, although what it has are tiny but "poppy" bubbles and those are unique as well...fun, but still kind of syrupy//watery. Flavor...well, fumes come out my nose as I drink this--no joke. Itís like eating a mild version of chinese spicy mustard, but the fumes are hops and alcohol! Thatís reason enough to sip for me. =] Tastes mildly like hop oil, very bitter; grapefruit rind and orange with orange rind head up the front and pine fills in the back. Malts are honeyed and sweet, but pathetically dominated. Alcohol is not overly obvious, but thereís no questioning that this stuff is loaded: from flavor to the warmth of stomach to the hoppy alcohol clinging to the back of my mouth. Overall, Iím saddened to say that this is far more complex than I can accurately speak on for the flavor as of now. There is some yeast, brown sugar, juniper, dark bread--thereís a lot here, but the beer is so young that itís not really itself yet. Right now itís a stomach ache in a bottle. Aroma is nice, appearance is lovely; mouth is impressive considering how thick and "loaded" (malts + hops + alcohol) and the flavor is complex, but horrendously underdeveloped. 2 years aging recommendation. English style malt profile and mouth; American flavoring. Stone still amazes me with their beers--complexity, power, creativity--but this one isnít a favorite among Barley Wines. Just has a flavor profile I donít love and itís so harsh: hide that alcohol!