Jokes (1453) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAY 25, 2004
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Hazy, golden red body with a creamy, white head. Fruity sweet aroma full of citrus, tart berries, pine sap, caramel, a touch of toffee and a little warming alcohol. The body is fairly moderate in thickness but has small, tight bubbles that stick to the glass. Good flavors that start sweet with the malt before becoming intensely bitter. Hoppy as hell that finishes with a bitterness that really makes the tongue curl. Alcohol makes its way into the finish to warm the ming, body and soul. Another strong Barley Wine from the folks in San Marcos.
RichJ7 (1175) - Cullman, Alabama, USA - MAY 24, 2004
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Very nice. Poured a deep, rich ruby red with nice subdued carbonation. Aroma is wonderful: raisiny, sweet. Syrupy on the palate with a sweet, rich flavor. Iím a sucker for barleywines, but this is definitely one of the best Iíve had.
JonR888710 (999) - Cochabamba, BOLIVIA - MAY 22, 2004
3.9 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Ruby-amber body with just a tinge of cloudiness. Medium head of white froth. Smells wonderful, but unusual for a barleywine; it is much like the stone IPAís and Arrogant Bastards - pineapple juice, raisins, sweet ruby red grapefruit and sugars. Taste is huge, syrupy and sweet. Begins rather bitingly, alcohol is present throughout. Sweet malt (pineapple, pitfruit), bitter hops (roasted coffee) work and transition in lockstep. Normally a barleywine goes sweet to bitter, this flavor is all at once - genuine, crafty and delicious. Aftertaste is sweet and bitter, fades into a yeasty, dough-like ending.
Cornboy (424) - Eastampton, New Jersey, USA - MAY 20, 2004
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Copper pour with medium lacing. Very hoppy aroma immediately present. Alcohol very noticeable in the taste. Hops, grapefruit rind, slight malt come through strong. Slight malt/alcohol finish. This one needs to rest for some time, a little too raw at this point in its life.
Syd (920) - Waconia, Minnesota, USA - MAY 8, 2004
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle pours a light copper with a large off white head and plenty of lace. The aroma is of fresh smelling hops and sweet white grape and apple juice. The flavor is grapefruit, malt sweetness, pine, ale fruit notes, and very nice. The palate does not overwhelm, but holds up to the strong flavor profile. Overall, this is a very nice Barley Wine.
gerdy555 (163) - Ohio, USA - MAY 8, 2004
3.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
pours golden brown with a large off white head. aroma is fruity apples mostly, and hoppy, with pine needles. flavor is hoppy, and of grapefruit with a strong alcohol flavor. this beer is strong though not sticky like many other barley wines. however I prefer the previous old guardians to this one. maybe aging will do this one well.
Darkover (1512) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - MAY 7, 2004
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Clear amber color with a small beige head. Aroma is sweet, malty, caramel, fruit and hops. Flavor of caramel malt and hops. Finish is long with a tangy hop bitterness.
mardermax (71) - santa cruz, California, USA - MAY 7, 2004
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: MAY 13, 2004 22 oz bottle: the aroma really grabs you at first. Smells floraly, hoppy, malty, fruity, and wonderful. The head is small, but itís extremely creamy and swirly. beautiful deep, deep golden color. The alcohol is hidden behind a multi facited of hops, fruits, malts and buttery goodness. I like this brew because itís quite, quite hoppy and malty. I feel similar tastes, aromas, and finishes from both IPAs and american strong ales... quite an experience.
CaptainCougar (7129) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - MAY 6, 2004
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: JUN 17, 2007 2007 vintage sampled on 6/17/07: Pours a hazy dark copper bronze with a frothy thin light tan head. Aroma of fresh citrusy grapefruit hops and sweet caramel malt. Body starts sticky sweet and caramely with a big, biggering hoppy presence toward a drier, warming bittersweet finish. Iíd prefer this with a little more aroma and flavor hops and not as many bittering hops, but then Iíd probably taste the alcohol more.
2005 vintage sampled on 9/28/05: Pours a dark copper with orange tiint and a big, frothy off-white head with greenish hues. Aroma has a very nice balance of sweet caramel malt and piney hops. Body has a good, sweet malty and hoppy balance, but doesnít hide the alcohol anywhere near as well as the Old Horizontal I just had. This will probably be pretty good after a few years of aging, but even six months has little effect right now. Needs more of a silky smooth, viscous palate as well.
2004 vintage sampled on 5/6/04: Pours a rich copper bronze with a thick and well-lacing white head. Aroma is a bounty of sweet caramel malt and floral hops. Body starts syrupy sweet, turning more bitter and lightly fruity toward a finish that masks the alcohol very well. All the flavors of a great barleywine are there, but they just donít seem to mesh together as well as they could. A little more balance and more subtle bitterness, and this could be improved. Still a nice barleywine, but I expect a little more from Stone.
Indra (2591) - Overland Park, Kansas, USA - MAY 4, 2004
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Powerfully hoppy aroma, some peppery alcohol, sugary malt and citric fruitiness, with notes of spice, pine, light brown sugar, orange, tangerine, grapefruit, and some very faint toasty graininess as it warms. Deep red-orange color, dusted with sediment, the head a slight ring of fine bubbles. Flavor profile is massive and intense, beginning with a large dosage of spicy hop flavor and bitterness, becoming maltier, sweeter and fruitier by midpoint and with a drying finish that sees the hops firmly reestablishing their presence amidst the potent, warming alcohol. The body is quite full, mouthfeel is smooth and seemingly befitting. I must add to the litany of comments suggesting this be laid down for a couple of years, I can definitely see further and better flavor integration down the line, although it is certainly a fine West Coast Barleywine as is.