raindog (560) - Evansville, Indiana, USA - MAR 7, 2004
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: MAR 13, 2004 Glowing oarnge. Very,creamy,head. Very hoppy(resin,perfume)aroma,with loads of sweetness. Very creamy,big body,a bit stinging from bitterness. Sweet malt flavors with hops in the mouth and finish. Finish is soft,with lots of hops,and brown sugar,sweetness. Creamier than past years,with better head and retention.Be it a bit young,good BW.
TheBeerGod (5263) - Newport News, Virginia, USA - MAR 7, 2004
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours a reddish orange with a foamy tan head. Aroma is very hoppy but with a certain amount of sweetness embedded in it. Taste is also very much laden with sweetened notes but has a hoppy and piney characteristic that is definitely dominant. The finish itself is much more pleasant than expected. It's mild and sweet and a contrast to the hoppiness present in the taste. There's some bitterness during the finish but it's much less abrasive than I thought it would be. Very good beer, but I think it should age a little before being consumed.
AlabastorJones (805) - San Francisco, California, USA - MAR 6, 2004
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 14/20
Looks like dark ice tea, thin ring of head, alcohol not present in the nose but very much so in the flavor, sweet malty aroma, smooth mouthfeel, sweet carmalized fruit flavor, hop bitters in finish, a job well done.
BückDich (5464) - McCall, Idaho, USA - MAR 6, 2004
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Shimmering auburn color with a nice persistant white head and light lacing. The aroma is very spicy with a great balance of hops (amarillo?) and some sweet candi/caramel malt. The flavor is also well balanced with only the feeling of the alcohol coming through, not the taste. This is a very smooth barleywine, I like the changes they've made to this beast.
DarkElf (3033) - La Jolla, California, USA - MAR 2, 2004
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: MAR 4, 2004 Notes for earlier vintages suggest that earlier versions were better and rated higher; The style of this barleywine is more sweet and fruity and less malty than others, though previous notes indicate it is sweeter now than in past years, and once again quite bitter; The light smokiness of previous years is barely detectable, perhaps only imagined; Moderate bitterness initially becomes progressively more dominant in the finish; Sweet, fruity nose matches the flavor; Palate is moderately thick and syrupy; Orange-amber in color and clear; The off-white head is smallish on the pour, but maintains a thin layer; Small bits of lacing on the glass, but largely is missing
whaleman (2178) - North Wales, Pennsylvania, USA - MAR 2, 2004
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Brassy-orange body with noticeable viscosity. Initially dense white head dissipated more rapidly than expected. Suprisingly malty sweet nose of lightly toasted caramel, maple syrup, wood, and hops. Flavor is like candied hops. Distinctly different from previous vintages (as billed). Profile intially strikes me as more English than previous renditions of the Guardian. However hop intensity, which didn't seem so assertive at first, builds with each sip and gradually takes over. But I think this vintage will lay down faster and peak sooner than others. I predict one year for maximum quality here. To be continued in 2005...
BigBastard (668) - L.A., California, USA - MAR 1, 2004
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Huge hop aroma, just like a bouquet of fresh hops. Massive hop bite in the taste, some grapefruit, pine. Mouth puckering bitterness, with a surprising, semi sweet finish. I'm going to let one age a bit, but still a helluva barleywine!
atpayne (615) - Zionsville, Indiana, USA - FEB 28, 2004
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: MAY 15, 2005 04’ Sampled in unison with the ’03 vintage. This one is a very clean looking light gold color with an army of slowly rising bubbles that feed the head for quite a long time. Aroma leans toward a hoppy smell. The first taste is dominated by a piney hop flavor with a saltiness that lingers. It is not as full as it’s ’03 companion but hides the hint of alcohol better than the ’03, even though it is slightly higher in volume. It’s not as good as ’03, but is still a great beer.
’04 again (March 2005)- Very distinct grapfruit bitterness was the one thing that stood out in my mind this time, and there was also a somewhat salty character. In addition, when the alcohol kicked in and started to mix with the hops, I got a taste similar to gin... there seemed to be juniper character.
2005 Quick thoughts on my first sample of the ’05. Standard look and a fairly strong hop aroma. Full of malt but lots of bitterness dominates at this point. No score change.
Schroppfy (2360) - Łódż, Warsaw, Poland; Michigan, Ohio, USA - FEB 28, 2004
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Some salty maltiness and ruinous piney hop action. Pepper. Lighter in body than I supposed, less effervescent that some. Very very good.
kaospunk (8) - seattle, Washington, USA - FEB 28, 2004 does not count
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours a dark, hazy orange color with little to no head. Aroma is sweet, malty, and full of hops. The taste is intense...again malty and just chock full of hop flavor. Another fine Stone brew.