JoeM500 (1902) - Crown Point, Indiana, USA - OCT 6, 2002
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Probably a very young sample, as it seemed watery at the front. Alcohol nose was the dominant feature. Oaky and strong. didnít seem complex at all. A decent, strong barleywine that kept me warm in the chilly, hop-covered Bellís Beergarten, but not as good as I expected.
aracauna (2925) - Georgia, USA - SEP 29, 2002
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours deep brown with a stiff egg custard-colored head that fades slowly. Great big huge malty aroma starting with chocolate. Grapefruit peel hops join in. Flavor adds in some toastiness. Thereís a real earthiness there in the malt and something that hints of smokiness. It finishes with the thin bitterness of the hops and alcohol.
Jfishback13 (275) - Royal Oak, Michigan, USA - SEP 24, 2002
4.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Excellent beer!! Iím really impressed. 6.99 for a six pack and one of the best beers that Iíve ever had... the downside... they confused it with Bellís Third Coast Ale... the price is like twice that. : ( The alcohol seeps in and has quite a kick to it. The original flavor is oddly smooth and makes me think of caramel.. .and Bellís. Excellent, excellent choice. It can put a little whoopiní on your gut, but this is one of my favorites.
urbnhautebourg (997) - Annapolis, Maryland, USA - SEP 23, 2002
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: SEP 17, 2003 Update: It has been nearly 10 years since I've had this one. THe beer that inaugurated my 21st birthday with is still great. The nose has huge noble barleywine fruit: berries, pineapple, really everything, but with restraint and balance. One of the finest aromas I've encountered. The falvor is nearly as good, but doesn't have quite all that fruit (though every 4th swallow or so you'll swear it's there). Finishes extremely bitter, but not overly dry. It simply does not need to be that bitter: the malt is well enough in check. Notwithstanding the foregoing, I would consider this a classic.
Old: This was my favorite beer for years, but unfortunately no longer available in my area. Incredibly big beer with pine, citrus and tropical fruit, tobacco and berry notes and deep, full bitterness. I can still remember the flavor exactly seven years on. I celebrated my 21st birthday with this one--my first legal beer. Well-chosen, I thought.
jayme9874 (756) - Hamburg, New York, USA - SEP 21, 2002
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
(re-rate) Deep amber/copper with a bit of haze. Nice creamy head with a huge nose of malt,boatloads of caramel, fruity and alcohol esters. Thick bodied and creamy, huge sweet caramel like malt profile, grainy and earthy qualities. Piney hops complement the hugeness of the malt wonderfully. Alcohol hit provides some added character and balance to this tasty barelywine. Flavors are upfront and intense but always remains balanced. One of the better ones out there.
jsquire (3228) - St. Marys, Ohio, USA - SEP 18, 2002
4.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
This poured out of the bottle with a thick, fine tan head that lasted the entire glass and left strong lace the whole way down. The color was deep copper and the nose had a huge malt sense with a sour tinge and lots of alcohol. The initial taste is a dark sweet with burnt caramel and molasses tones. All the malt is accompanied by a floral hop bitterness that perfectly balances the malts. This is my new favorite barley wine. Definitely worth hunting down and I will be cellaring some if I can avoid drinking it.
gbzia (195) - Cedar Knolls, New Jersey, USA - SEP 16, 2002
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Great flavors, fruit, aged, nice hops. Have some still aging and will rate again.
slinkymello (137) - Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA - SEP 9, 2002
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bells is so damn nice... especially since itís so damn accessible. Fairly drunk when I had this one on tap, which isnít fair... but lord it was quite wonderful. High quality barley wine... wasnít ridiculously malty, yet had that nice soothing, warm sweetness that was reminiscent of grape, caramel and slight cherry... aged fruit perhaps... whatever it is, itís damn good and you should all try some. Very good on tap... I will rerate once I try it when Iím not already drunk.
herbjones (742) - Orange, California, USA - SEP 7, 2002
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Dark amber pour with a 1/4ítan head. Not as malty or sweet as some of the barley wines Iíve tasted lately.Or maybe this one is just balanced better.Definately a good one though.THANKS to Indra for getting this one to me!
MrDick (335) - San Francisco, California, USA - SEP 7, 2002
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
A smokey barley wine with complex flavors. Caramel, oak, and honey goodness. Iím looking forward to purchasing more and cellaring.