JCW (1274) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - FEB 6, 2003
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: OCT 23, 2003 Very dark in color. Malty taste with some bitterness. This is not my favorite barley by a long shot. I do think it would benefit from aging, but for right now I think it is a little harsh (acidic) on the finish.
Re-rate: 10-22-03, I don't know if it mellowed or I have, or I had a bad bottle, I've had several bottles of this since the one that I rated and I really like it. Big malt, vinous, consider it almost an Olde Ale. Sweet finish Excellent barley.
BückDich (5464) - McCall, Idaho, USA - FEB 2, 2003
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Aroma is chocolate malt and sweet fruit, hints of bitter malt and hops. High carbonation with a large retentive head, dark blood red color with suspended yeast. Complex flavors, large overtones of alcohol with a bitter malt finish, palate not as barleywine as some. Dry on the palate with a sweet refreshing finish. A very good barleywine compared to others i've had, full of flavors and not much alcohol.
krisbierjaeger (844) - dolores, Colorado, USA - FEB 1, 2003
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
a cauldron of micro-particle studded witche's elixir, a bubbling plum-rouge cloudy murk with edges of ochre-brown like german mustard. looking down on the head you'll see a wispy weather pattern of cirrus clouds spiraling out from a weak line of thunder storms, all very thin and the color of safari slacks. indeed, not much head, nor does it require much in the way of visual blandishments, because the aroma is so strong you can almost hear it roar, it bends your nostril hairs like divining rods. there are stuffed persian saddle bags of dried fruit and teas from the orient, exquisitely arromatic brown sugar brandies, or perhaps bourbon holiday cookies concocted by a crazed alcoholic baker. no concealing or apologetic masking of alcohol here: this is a thoroughly adult libation, a ship-christening blast of glorious intoxicants wedded to vintage port wine full-palette sophistication. it's alive and redolent in the celebration of the fifth great ingredient of beer: alcohol! sweetness and bitterness are everywhere at once, like a multi-front blitzkrieg flavor onslaught, yet pacifist in it's palettery proclivities: kindly carbonation is the conduit to distribute saturating flavors, dominated by angostura bitters and raisins. a huge beer that kneads your tongue like a turkish masseuse with indelible bravado.
Racegoer (353) - Indiana, Indiana, USA - JAN 31, 2003
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Thanks Raindog,Thick full lacing,aroma of slight alcohol and floral . Heavy and sweet, bananas, caramel,extremely malty, reminds me of a subdued JW Lees, smooth and rich. This is in no way in the class of a Old Horizontal or Behemoth as they are so much more in a defining way crisp, clean and clear.This still is a sweet and rich BW, easy to drink and enjoyable, a top 50 ?, Not really in my opinion but still recommended and enjoyable.
bigbish (533) - California, USA - JAN 29, 2003
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
What a suprise, another great brew from Bell's. I dark amber color, with just a little head that sticks around. A strong aroma that is very pleasing. This beer packs a punch! A mouthful of malty goodness balanced with some hops. A true explosion in your mouth. A new favorite!
brownalegirl (199) - Fountain, Michigan, USA - JAN 28, 2003
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
A surprise to be sure. I don't usually like high abv beers - they have a chemical-alcohol nature that is off putting. I don't usually like high blown hops, either. But in this case the amazing malt (fruits and caramel) just keeps giving and the other stuff accents, rather than gets on my nerves. Amazing beer.
Gunshy (479) - Ohio, USA - JAN 26, 2003
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
This beer poured a very dark amber color and formed an off white bubbly head that left circular lace. The aroma was of malt, caramel, raisins and hops. The flavor was of malt, caramel and chocolate. It had a medium body and a slightly bitter finish. I was sorry that they had already run out of this at the brewery when I was there. Another winner from the fine Bell's(Kalamazoo Brewery)crew. My only wish is it was a little easier on the wallet.
mjmurphy2 (85) - Madison, Wisconsin, USA - JAN 19, 2003
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 14/20
The alcohol is very well hidden behind an almost overbearing toffee character. Hints of licorise and plums. Aroma is pretty subtle for a big beer. Seems like a pretty decent barleywine to me, but not my favorite. It just seems a little to unbalanced.
hopscotch (9161) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - JAN 17, 2003
4.6 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: NOV 28, 2005 This beer rocks!
How do I love this beer? Let me count the ways.
#1 The aroma - Wow! At room temperature, I can literally smell this ale from five feet away. It"s chock full "o" stong, sweet fruit (something I can"t identify, but possibly medley of fruits and berries such as apricots, guava, strawberries, apples, bananas... hey, that’s it... a Strawberry/Banana Smoothy or a county fair Caramelled Apple). Also, in the nose is at least an acre of rich barley malt and yeast.
#2 - The appearance is a crystal clear deep copper hue. The color of a freshly minted Penny. Large, rocky khaki-colored head. Mostly lasting with excellent lacing.
#3 - The flavor is very malty and moderately sweet up front with blasts of caramel, toffee and toasted nuts. Bananas, strawberries, warm alcohol and a nice hop bite await on the backside.
#4 - The palate is full-bodied with a thick, creamy mouthfeel and lively carbonation. A long, acrid , nicely bitter, alcoholic and dry finish. One last explosion of caramel and fruit at the far end.
Let me count the ways I love this beer? How about eighteen ways... as in an overall score of eighteen out of a possible twenty?
Thanks go out to RainDog for this excellent brew and my resulting buzz.
tkaufman (129) - Lewis Center, Ohio, USA - JAN 14, 2003
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
The beer pours a deep red with a soft head and a powerful aroma of floral hops. Tastes of licorice, caramel, and malt sweetness combine with many others in this complex brew. Hard to put this brew down even though it’s a powerful one. An excellent barley wine.