Serve in Snifter


on tap

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RATINGS: 1455   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.94   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 306   ABV: 10.2%
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A barley wine with deep amber color, the brandy of ales. This beer has vintage character and will mature in the bottle at cellar temperature for years.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
ClarkVV (3891) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - MAR 22, 2003
UPDATED: OCT 27, 2004 I wasnít overly impressed with this beer. Expected a lot more. 2002 Bottle. Seems like it was unbalanced, too much sweetness, needs a touch more bitter hops. Granted it maintains a a port wine-like flavor. Not a bad barley wine, though it just dosent stand out from the better ones out there, in my opinion. 7/21/03 on tap at Ashleys in Ann Arbor. Gave it another chance, somewhat better than I recall, though it still seemed a bit monotoned (sweet caramel) and unadventurous. Had a sweet alcohol burn flavor up front with some cherry and other fruit notes, and a grainy malt flavor followed. A good beer, but there is still something missing, sure this is made well, but it lacks any unique character that I look for in barleywine! Maybe third time will be the charm. . . Third time wasnt the charm 2003 bottle. Still a solid beer, but nothing jumps out at me. I would drink it given the choice, but not go out of my way. Ok trying it yet again, head to head with Bigfoot, I can appreciate the slightly better balance and less cellar time needed (bigfoot is almost undrinkable when itís young). Sweet, fairly simple, but good.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
brewbandit (312) - Marietta, Georgia, USA - MAR 18, 2003
Great aroma with lingering head. Rich amber color and solid malt flavors with good hop bitterness. Very nice!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
humulus (339) - Salem, Missouri, USA - MAR 18, 2003
UPDATED: MAR 19, 2003 This is a damn good barley wine. Pours thick, cloudy and with a great head. Upon opening the bottle, the aroma fills the room with a rich, luxuriant fragrance. It has just the right amount of sweetness and is followed by a hoppy singe to the back of the tongue. Great mouthfeel and musky/fruity overtones. Overall, delicious and potent. Good job Bells!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
Uglyradio (791) - Greenville, South Carolina, USA - MAR 18, 2003
Pours a dark, cloudy amber color with a small, lingering off-white head. It has a big, malty aroma with a touch of hops and alcohol. Full body with little carbonation, the flavor is thick and syrupy with sweet malts. The hops kick in a little in the finish, but there is also a nice lingering sweetness of plums and raisons. Wow! One of the best American barley wines I have had. The alcohol is well hidden and despite its big flavor the beer is quite drinkable. Outstanding!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Brewso (238) - Mt Kisco, New York, USA - MAR 5, 2003
Found a six-pack for $7.99 which I thought was a bargain considering that these are often sold as individual bottles for $2-$3. This is a barley wine that must be allowed to warm in order to appreciate the complexity. The beginning was sweet and hoppy, but as it warmed the poles of sweet and hoppy gave way to a spectrum of fruits and spices. The appearance is gorgeous and the alcohol is powerful.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
jbrus (4992) - Delft, NETHERLANDS - MAR 5, 2003
Ripe apple, raisin and a hint of port in the aroma. Red brown color, off-white head, good lace, little hazy. Starts sweet and full. Than hopbitter with raisin but still full, almost syrupy. Very hoppy beer, especially for a barley wine. Long lasting finish, bitter, dry and some alcohol burn. Great and suprising!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Terminus (3214) - Las Cruces, New Mexico, USA - MAR 3, 2003
RAF bottle sample 2/28/03 well, this was definately right on par with what i was expecting-huge malt front and middle-lots of fruit tones and spices all over the place-subtle but present hop finish. Definately a very good brew, but i really like my barleywines hoppy.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Silphium (3160) - East Lansing, Michigan, USA - MAR 1, 2003
This barleywine starts with a rich, bready aroma and a thin, off-white head. The body is amber-colored and rich, with a clear and sharp hops presence. I like this one because it balances the hops well with bready, fruity malts that begin to dominate the palate as the ale warms. Compare this to Sierra Nevada Bigfoot (very hoppy) and Dogfish Head Immort Ale (sweet and malty). Third Coast Old Ale is sort of a "tweener" between the Sierra Nevada and Dogfish Head versions of barleywine. Pick this one up if you can find it!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
Frank (2728) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - FEB 24, 2003
UPDATED: FEB 12, 2005

2000 vintage sampled 02/05: Not nearly as expressive as when fresh. Just big and thick, well hidden alcohol. Iíd like to try a vintage aged maybe just a year or two to compare. By five years, itís definitely losing life.

Original Rating: Barley wine is not for the weak. It is a pleasure reserved for an elite few--for beer-geeks and other assorted nonconformists and intellectuals. Who else could revel in the opaque reddish brown color? The massive, rocky head and complex lacing worthy of the finest hand-worked masterpiece? What kind of a madman would subject his palate to mind-numbing malts and body-rocking hops? I will and I shall revel in the hint of melon peaking out from behind an aroma of sweet malt and piney hops. My toung will swim through this viscous brew, pausing but a second to notice the fine carbonation and get stuck in sticky molasses and caramel. I welcome the alcohol into my stomach and praise it for itís bold nature before initiating conversation. "Hello good sir. Wonít you stay a while?"

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
igneous1 (1492) - Davenport, Iowa, USA - FEB 23, 2003
deep brown with a thick creamy beige head that lasted the whole glass. aroma is of citrusy hops with a sugary sweetness to it, caramel-like. flavor is similar with a slight metallic quality to it.

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