EddieG (168) - Palos Heights, Illinois, USA - FEB 21, 2004
3.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Its hard to dis' a nice beer because it clearly misses its style. So I didn't. The beer is good, hoppy with decent malt body, good aroma and fairly complex with tobacco and citrus notes. However, it anin't a barleywine per se. I also don't want to fall into the trap of calling it a "disguised" IPA which is IMHO a bullshit way of lumping a beer into a category based upon one inability to critically differentiate between a beer and proper style. However, the beer is missing the residual sweetness from the typical crystal, Special B (or whatever its replacement is called) biscuit and other malts which typically lend a BW its charater and complexity. With thta said, I still enjoed this beer.
egajdzis (5116) - Spring Mount, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 21, 2004
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: JUN 3, 2004 Poured a dark copper color with a yellowish, off white head and nice lacing. Sweet citrusy fruit, watermelon, berries? and bubblegum aroma. Bitter fruit taste with a lingering aftertaste. Citrus and hops all over this one, though balanced nicely with malt, burning alcohol feeling on the way down.
MAP (1133) - Lakewood, Ohio, USA - FEB 20, 2004
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Not a lot of barley in the aroma, very very sweet, citrus and a smell you might expect form an american strong ale. Color is a copper orange with a lacking head. Now as far as the flavor, It doesnt fit too well for a barley wine for me. The barley could perhaps be a little more robust at first, but it does leave with an interesting mouthfeel that isnt quite what you would expect from the intial meeting.
Drew (2413) - Kent, Ohio, USA - FEB 18, 2004
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Sweet flowers and hops in the aroma - mouthwatering. All malt tastes are up at the front of the tongue - sweet candied fruit. A peppery hop comes in at the middle and obliterates all sugar (yeah, i like that!). After awhile, the palate gets rough - a little too much alcohol burn. I do like the lighter palate - keeps it from getting cloying. One to age and try again in 6 months.
Gromit (479) - Port Orchard, Washington, USA - FEB 18, 2004
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
This beer truly rocks, but like many Stone offerings, it's not exactly to style. Not that this is inherently a bad thing, it's just hard to compare it to most others fairly and give it numerical scores.
I've been cramming Tax II all night (section 304 for anyone who cares) and I'm on call tomorrow, so I wanted something that would not only reward my time spent studying but also knock me out so I could get some sleep since I'm on call for class here in a few hours. This definately does the trick.
Pours an orangish amber (not quite copper, but damn close) with a huge head that leaves a nice lace down the glass.
The aroma first noticed is alcohol, almost to a fault. The second pour from the bomber mellowed quite a bit and it smelled more like a Barleywine, with hops and malt. But I'm noticing a candy smell, almost like gumballs.
Taste is astringent and too strong of alcohol. I'm sure it'll mellow with age and it wasn't as apparent when cold. Aside from that, complex malts with a definate citrus-hop bite are predominant with caramel and apricot presence.
Mouthfeel is nice and thick with a cleansing carbonation and hop bite. Overall this is very nice and will only get better with age. I hope I can make it back to the store to pick up a few more of these before they run out.
papajohn (1248) - San Diego (Mira Mesa), California, USA - FEB 17, 2004
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: JAN 27, 2007 My 100th Palestrong: Rich amber color with a fast fading off white head. Aroma is sweet (apricot) and lightly citrus hoppy. Flavor starts rich and candy sweet with over ripe fruit (apricot and mandarin orange) balanced nicely with a light hop bitterness and finishing with a light orangy tang. Smooth texture. 11% ABV well hidden in the taste, but brings a little warmth to the face.
unclebleen (620) - California, USA - FEB 16, 2004
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: FEB 24, 2004 Pours a crystal clear orange color with rosy and orange hues when held to a light. Small frothy light brown head with minimal but beautiful lacing. Carbonation is light but adequate. Aroma is hops, bubblegum, fruit, floral, citrus and some light malt notes. Flavor is very nice which mirrors the aroma characteristics, which is sweet fruit intermingled with floral hops. Also detected a nice sourness to the beer, like the tartness of a green apple candy. This is one of the more bitter barleywine I've tasted. Nice syrupy body with a perfect dry alcohol finish. I really enjoyed this beer. Very unique. Need to buy more of this one. Good beer that kept me guessing.
JohnC (3000) - Mission Viejo, California, USA - FEB 16, 2004
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
On draft: Clear burnt orange color with on off white tan head, this year's OG has a definite hop presence in the nose and flavor with the malt taking over. I found this to be extremely drinkable.
The problem I'm having is that this is far more like a Strong Ale than a barleywine. It lacks the overall maltiness of a barleywine, imo. I thought it tasted great, but was more in the genre of AB & DB that stone offers
snowtiger (106) - Brighton, Colorado, USA - FEB 16, 2004
3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Very hoppy nose with not much malt, which is pretty much what the rest of the beer is like. Pretty light in color for a barley wine but yet it is still sweet. I think age will help this beer.
Ernest (5864) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - FEB 15, 2004
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
UPDATED: JUN 11, 2011 Bottle. Head is initially small, frothy, off-white, mostly diminishing. Body is medium to dark amber. Aroma is lightly to moderately malty (caramel, cookie), lightly to moderately hoppy (apricot), with notes of dried tropical fruit (mango, papaya), tangerine, alcohol. Flavor is heavily sweet, lightly acidic, lightly to moderately bitter. Finish is moderately sweet, lightly acidic, moderately to heavily bitter. Medium to full body, watery/syrupy texture, lively carbonation, heavily alcoholic. Starts off relatively promising with a very fruity/estery nose, but itís too boozy and watery and stark in the mouth to be as much pleasure to drink. Not bad, but needs work.