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 (2593) - 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.
YogiBeera (2448) - New Jersey, USA - MAY 1, 2004
3.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
On tap at the Blind Tiger Ale House, NYC - April 2004: Malty and hoppy- tart - big body. Malt and hops in the nose too. Smooth - very nice. Brown colored with a nice head leaving laces on the glass.
cquiroga (371) - Tujunga, California, USA - APR 25, 2004
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
4/25/04. Poured out of 22 oz. bottle, bought at Hi-Times Wine in Costa Mesa, CA 4/23/04. Pours a bright orange-amber with pale, dense, cream-colored head that lingers in a thin whisp. Aroma is sweet and dense, reminding a bit of the Old Horizontal but maltier and darker. Flavor has a sharp hop character that matches nicely with the bite of alcohol and the rich caramel malt. Very full, silky mouthfeel before the alcohol hits. Finish is very long and a bit prickly, almost Double IPA-ish but with much more malt. This is one damn fine beverage, and I think it'll age nicely as the flavors meld together a bit more. It already has plenty going on, but I think it'll take on a whole new level of complexity as it sees a few more years.
drinkbeer (281) - Redondo Beach, California, USA - APR 24, 2004
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
A big beer not to be taken lightly. Slaps you around a bit with the hops, but the malts come and and turn this into some pretty sweet stuff. Little carbonation as in all good barley wines. Very relaxing and contemplative drink that is meant to be sipped.
cherr (162) - Rochester, New York, USA - APR 23, 2004
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
This is an excellent beer. The color is brown with a nice head. The beer is very full. The taste is initially of nice malt similar to their IPAs. The finish is nice and hoppy. Overall excellent beer. Not overwhelming like some barley wines.
jonwell (104) - Huntington Beach, California, USA - APR 22, 2004
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Good stuff... First one I've had of the new recipe. Bottle, ~50deg F by the way.
You can smell it as soon as the bottle is opened. A very fruity/citrucy/hoppy scent. Pours beautifully amber and clear, with a decent head for a BW. Taste is kick-your-butt right up front with sweet malts, a whole mess of hops, citrucy flavors, grapefruit alcohol and spicy! Definately a warm beer, the 10% packs a real kick on the way down. Very enjoyable to sip on for a looong time. Highly recommended. :)
mortimer (8) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - APR 20, 2004 does not count
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
This slightly foggy, amber beer had a small, frothy off white head, which quickly faded away. The aroma was heavily hopped, slightly sweet (maybe grapefruit) and the scent of pine was also apparent. The flavor was a little bitter, presumably because of all the hops. Again could detect a sweet citrus flavor. Its finish had a moderate alcohol burn. However, I noticed that as the beer warmed, the alcohol aftertaste diminished and I was left with a more pleasant beer to savor. Personally, if I am going to drink a Barley wine I would prefer the English styles, such as Thomas Hardyís or JW Leeís. If, however, you prefer extremely hoppy beer, go for this one, you may enjoy it.