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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 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
CaptainCougar (7129) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - NOV 6, 2002
UPDATED: AUG 31, 2013 ~2003 bottle sampled on 8/31/13: I found this hiding in the back of the cellar after roughly a decade of sleep. This one has a label with a space for a batch number to be listed, but no batch number. There is a neck label. Pours with light carbonation forming a small ring of off-white bubbles around the rim of the glass. Has a sweet chocolate brownie nose with hints of toffee and light fruits. Body still has good viscosity and fine carbonation with a healthy dose of bittering hops, still alive and well. Finishes smooth and bittersweet with only mild oxidation throughout. This has definitely aged well and makes me sad that it was my last bottle of this vintage.

2003 bottle sampled on 4/18/06: Clear dark ruby mahogany color with a thin-lacing wispy off-white head. Aroma is richly caramely malty with nice dark fruit complexity and some aged, lightly oxidized character. Starts with a good sugary caramel sweetness and a complex balance toward a slightly warming, but smooth flavorful finish. This is really starting to resemble an English barley wine close to Thomas Hardyís.

2003 bottle sampled on 5/24/2004: Nicely balanced caramel and hoppy body. Smooth sweet and complex, a nice barleywine that I prefer fresher.

2002 bottle sampled on 7/19/2003: Pours a dark ruby with a thick fluffy and lacy head. French bread and cookie dough aroma with some buttery notes and of course hops. Thick sweet, butterscotch body with lots of IBUs and a dry floral hoppy finish. Decent complexity throughout, but lacks some balance. Doesnít mask its alcohol as well as it could either. Still, a very good barleywine.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Drew (2411) - Kent, Ohio, USA - NOV 4, 2002
wowee, what a warmer! At first this seemed very malty, but trying this again, I noticed how hoppy it is - strong grapefruit. The malts are strong though with hints of caramel and maybe some kind of fruit not as strong as plum or prune - maybe fig? well, whatever, I donít feel like thinking about it too much, just sip this and enjoy!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
JohnC (3000) - Mission Viejo, California, USA - NOV 1, 2002
big thanks to DankbreweredDank for this one. Opaque mahogany color. Malty, w/ hoppy along the way. This is a true winter beer, a real belly warmer

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
AceOfHearts (1375) - Mountain View, California, USA - OCT 24, 2002
Deep ruby-red/brown color, nice foamy head. Okay, folks, the smell of this stuff is incredible as you pour it - grapefruit, nectarine, alcohol, dark malt. Minimal hops come up in the beginning of the flavor but are quickly repressed by maltiness - hints of caramel, rather complex. A must for all barleywine lovers.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
bubslang (438) - Kentwood, Michigan, USA - OCT 7, 2002
Excellent barley wine, beautiful aroma of chocolate malt, nice smooth mouthfeel caramel type of taste, with hop bitterness kicking in along the way, the perfect beer to warm your belly on a cold evening, Excellent

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
JoeM500 (1902) - Crown Point, Indiana, USA - OCT 6, 2002
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.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
aracauna (3030) - Georgia, USA - SEP 29, 2002
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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
Jfishback13 (275) - Royal Oak, Michigan, USA - SEP 24, 2002
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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
urbnhautebourg (997) - Annapolis, Maryland, USA - SEP 23, 2002
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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
jayme9874 (756) - Hamburg, New York, USA - SEP 21, 2002
(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.

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