apoptosis (1317) - Denver, Colorado, USA - MAY 26, 2003
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
This barleywine is highly impressive! Caramel and fruits in the aroma, but the flavor is filled with hops and fruits - an interesting combination, usually only found in the California beers. Dark copper color, lacing around the sides of the glass. I can really feel, although not taste, the alcohol. It's deviant, because it really sneaks up on you. Many floaties. A bitter bite to the finish balances it out. Not too sweet like many barleywines.
notalush (5234) - Denver, Colorado, USA - MAY 24, 2003
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: OCT 6, 2007 Whoa! This is a pretty extreme barleywine. Dark ruby, with huge floaties - very sweet and malty aroma - flavor is agressively hoppy, like many west coast barleywines, and the sweetness the beer brings is not cloying, like many extremely sweet ones - flavor is very complex - chocolate, plums, raisins, caramel, and lots of other flavors I can’t identify right now - thick and rich - a king among barleywines - kalamazoo may yet make my trip to the midwest worthwhile.
duff (5484) - Copenhagen, DENMARK - MAY 23, 2003
2.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
UPDATED: JUN 12, 2003 didn't know what to make of this. Noticable flavour, spicy hops, caramel, some nectary kinda peachy notes, quite bitter. I think these flavours could have worked well in moderation, and it could have done without the raw alcohol that pops out right at the end. If anything it lacked balance and texture, definitely not boring, lots of flavour.
deprogram (115) - Renton, Washington, USA - MAY 22, 2003
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: MAY 28, 2003 12 oz. bottle It smells like oak bark and raindrops and tastes like liquid sun combined with lightly toasted barley. Of course... I may just be intoxicated. Nevertheless - the thickly opaque density of this grain wine, the iridescent golden head, the burning afterglow - this is a truly fine beer.
eczematic (1321) - Adelaide, AUSTRALIA - MAY 22, 2003
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
spicy/citric american hops, sweet toffeeish crystal malt, peach-lychee-woodiness, heavy bitterness, raw alcohol - shitloads of each of these elements which looks good on paper, or on computer screen, but they don't blend together in a nice homogenous texture - maybe too young? who knows. i can see why people here are going "WOW ZIP ZANG ZOWIE" and so forth from the sheer attack of flavour here, but i don't think it is a beautiful thing. thanks to the big duffer again
EddieG (169) - Palos Heights, Illinois, USA - MAY 21, 2003
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
WOW! As I continue my venture into the dark, forboding recesses of the style known as barleywine, I am continually surprised by the depth of my experience in each beer. From hopped up holy shit!!! to whoa... thats fine, there is useually very little in-between. This is a pefect balance between the two ends of the spectrum. This beer is hopped, which, IMHO, is an absolute necessity for hte style. However, the malt complexity is beyond description. Caramel, Special B and Brown malt prevail, yet a slight astringency is well placed in this beer. The beer pours a deep mahogony red wiht a slightly beige or cream head. The aroma is well balances between hops and malt. The is evidence of alcohol, but not so pronounced as to throw off the karma-like balance. Hold on, I need another. There we go!!! This beers bitterness is unbelievably masked by the complex and in your face malt layers. Burnt marshmwllows come to mind. I need a night to sleep on this one. Will rerate in the morn. May be my fave!!!
cb (810) - Roeland Park, Kansas, USA - MAY 18, 2003
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: AUG 31, 2003 Prominent fluffy, khaki-colored head. Very sweet honey butter aroma with a hint of brown sugar. Rich roasted wood aroma. Maple, raisin and strong hop emphasis that deepened and increased in complexity as beer warmed. Extremely tasty.
clvand0 (350) - Lexington, Kentucky, USA - MAY 4, 2003
3.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 13/20
This beer poured a dark orange/brown color with a medium tan head. The aroma reminds me a lot of grapefruit for some reason. The taste was very good - I usually do not enjoy Bell's beers, but I have to give this one a thumbs up. The 10.2% alcohol is very well masked and it is quite easy to drink. I will have this one again.
proc (342) - Dearborn, Michigan, USA - APR 4, 2003
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Man, what a beer. Pours out to a cross between a cloudy apple cider and what could pass for liquid caramel. Very slight, light brown head. Taste is very complex. Fruit-like taste, with plums and raisins present and caramel as well. I am not a huge fan of barleywines as their drinkability is tough due to being such big beers, but this one is an exception. You could have several if you wanted to. This is a unique offering from the rest of the Bell's line. The yeast profile is different. Delicious.
thedm (5028) - Fort Wayne, USA - MAR 29, 2003
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JUN 4, 2003 This brew had a strong fruity alcohol aroma. When poured, this brew yields a small light brown head of small and medium bubbles with a cloudy dark brown semi-transparent color. It had a strong initial bitter taste that settles into a cacophony of tastes.