Smacky (71) - San Clemente, California, USA - DEC 5, 2004
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Wonderful. Cannot believe this beer is not opaque for all the malt they must use to obtain double-digit alcohol content. Dark orange-brown with a tight head, this brew smells of pine oil, limey esters, slight banana, and malt. Rich, very hoppy with a rather noticable amount of alcohol, this is a strong ale drinkerís barleywine.
meathookjones (245) - Sterling, Virginia, USA - DEC 3, 2004
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
22oz bottle with the standard stone look and gargoyle to ward off all the impurities. Pours a thick and hazy darker orange color with a good sized off white head that almost flowed out of the glass. The head retention was surprisingly good as it stayed about half an inch high through the consumption of this beer and left a nice lacing that slowly fades as you drink it. The nose had sweet malts mingling with citrus hops to form a well-balanced and appetizing aroma. A touch of alcohol comes out as it warms as well. Malty sweetness starts the taste off before the hops takeover to give it a kick. The finish is dry, with a slight hint of warming alcohol and a nice bitterness as well. Very thick mouthfeel that is rich warming and lasting. For a high alcohol beer this is very drinkable remind me of old horizontal how easy it goes down. Excellent stuff defiantly recommended, another top notch brew from stone.
jimmack (1223) - Nutley, New Jersey, USA - NOV 29, 2004
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Clear amber color with very little head. Sweet aroma of malt, caramel and alcohol. Initial big hop presence, followed by a sweet malt, caramel flavor. Alcohol is very noticeable. Very good now, should be excellent in a couple of years.
joeec5 (204) - bayonne, New Jersey, USA - NOV 28, 2004
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: NOV 30, 2004 aroma very inviting with sweet malt.raisins,and grapefruit. Taste somewhat balanced for a new barleywine. Hops and alcohol round out the finish while sweet and citrus start off each sip. getting a good buzz from this doesnt hurt its rating either.
BCAR (222) - Naperville, Illinois, USA - NOV 28, 2004
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
frothy head with dark gold/orange transluscent ale. hoppy aroma is present with a nice malty element as well. bitterness is forward which surprised me. i havenít had an aged barley wine, but can only assume this would mellow with time. alcohol is well hidden until i stand up. i liked it, but expected a little more.
Odeed (1798) - Bakersfield, California, USA - NOV 26, 2004
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: MAR 13, 2006 orange/amber body with not much head.smells of cherries,citurs,and cotton candy.flavors of grapefruit,sweet malts,and some hops at the end.pretty good but i bet some aging would help.
2005 BOTTLE RE-RATE:same color with a bit more alcohol in the smell.much of the same taste,again,this needs aging.
2006 LIMITED EARLY RELEASE:orange amber body with a nice creamy off white head.aroma was prunes,bubblegum,and grapefruit.first sip was very balanced with hops/malts.then an aftertaste of grapefruit,and bubblegum.the alcohol is more hidden in this years release.this is pretty good fresh but i bet a year and it would be superb.
ChazyRPh (583) - Chazy, New York, USA - NOV 18, 2004
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
2004 bottle...Mostly clear copper pour with a medium white head. Aroma is vineous, malty and hoppy...kinda complex. Sweet to start, also get a quick kick of hops. middle mellows a little, the end holds a lot of hop presence. Not surprising from Stone, however, if this was able to sit in the cellar a couple of years, it may be volumes better.
ClarkVV (4346) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - NOV 15, 2004
2.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 11/20
UPDATED: AUG 16, 2007 2004 bottle. Pours a warm toned orange/light marmalade color. Hint of sediment in there and a good white head. Aroma of dry nutty hops, lightly bitter. Damp forest soil, some very dry toffee. Dough and grainy malt. Flavor is dry, nutty, bitter and thick. Even though I didnt have the patience to age this, it quite clearly needs it as this one is just a bittersweet monster right now which has had no time to let any complexities emerge. This is like a super-amped up version of their pale ale. Good potential, though I must admit, I miss the caramelly sweetness and tons of munich malt dosent a great barleywine make, but thatís just my preference. Rerate 04 draught A bit more lively mouthfeel than I remember and even some light tropical fruits and juicy citrus. Not nearly as malt heavy and purely bitter hops burn, but it still needs a lot more time.
Way too much for me still. Heavy, heavy bittersweet malt, with a fair amount of acidity and alcohol showing through. No relief in sight, especially as highly bitter hops hit the palate. Pleasant texture, but thatís not going to do much when itís mountains of sugar, breadiness, bitterness and alcohol on top.
giarcsr (104) - San Diego, California, USA - NOV 11, 2004
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Had 2004 edition of this at OíBrians in SD. Aroma wasnít anything amazing, and it seemed pretty opaque for a 10% barleywine, but it has a solid flavor to it, all the barleywines Iíve had have been improperly balanced between flavor and the taste of the alcohol, this one seems to get the formula right and has a solid balance of flavor balanced by the alcohol taste. I would say itís one of the better barleywines available.
Steib (613) - Queen Creek, Arizona, USA - NOV 9, 2004
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
The aroma makes the hair on my neck stand out. Big bold sour plum alcohol, its definitely hit and miss. Always a great light reddish-golden color. On and off flavor. Hints of caramel, dark fruits and bittersweet. The sweetness can be too overbearing, mouthfeel not as smooth and mellow as comes with aging. Ends with a nice finish though.