FlacoAlto (4045) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - DEC 23, 2005
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
2005 release, Sampled December, 2005
Pours with a frothy, one finger thick (at most), pale tan colored head. The beer is brilliantly clear, ruby red color that has lots of bubbles rising slowly through the thick viscous body. The aroma is quite sweet and fruity up front; redolent of tropical fruit notes as well as peach, apricot, pineapple, mango, hints of kiwi. It is an odd mixture, almost like a tropical fruit cough syrup; though it is actually interesting and even nice. The aroma ends with a hit of spicy alcohol, which clears the sinuses a bit.
The taste is quite sweet as well, and at first does not seem quite so fruity as the aroma, but towards the end the tropical fruit notes really start to kick in. Peach, and apricot are prominent, but there are also notes of mango, definitely papaya, and hints of lychee. The finish is really where these tropical fruit notes start to get funky; they definitely remind me of some type of cough syrup, or perhaps even childrenís aspirin. The finish is solidly bitter of course, but it is also joined by that lingering, sweet medicinal note.
This is really quite a bit different than the last time I had this (in 2004), then it did not have the tropical fruit notes. My guess is that the hop bill changed on this. The tropical fruit notes are not bad, in fact they make the usual hop character quite interesting, but it is the medicinal notes in the finish that is a bit distracting. I do have this to say for it though, it is quite interesting!
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Silphium (3190) - East Lansing, Michigan, USA - DEC 23, 2005
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Thanks to Blake (1FastSTi) for this bottle. Hazy orange-red body, medium light tan head. Big piney hops aroma (as expected), toast, and caramel. Huge, thick mouthfeel, with sweet, syrupy caramels, toast, and dark fruits toast taking turns with the strong piney, grapefruit rindy, earthy hops in dominating the palate. Warming alcohol finish. This is an intense, sweet, in-your-face American barleywine that delivers big time, especially in the flavor and palate departments. Worth sipping from a snifter, or guzzling from the bottle, for that matter.
badnewsbeers (2312) - Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA - DEC 23, 2005
4.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
a BIG thank you to silphium....this was a gem...beautiful cherry red appearance with minimal off-white head...aroma is initally a slam of hops, citrus and grapefruit notes....flavor is AMAZING...a huge inital offering of cherry flavors; add spice, other fruit notes, caramels, and a great aftertaste of mild hops and subtle bitterness....perfect smooth palate....THREE FLOYDS RULES
BrockLanders (780) - Panama City, Florida, USA - DEC 20, 2005
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: JAN 15, 2006 Bottle courtesy of JCapriotti....popped the cap on the bomber and took a whiff...sweetness, a little hoppy, but definitely fruity. Wife says it smells like tanning lotion. Letís hope thatís as close as we get to that! Deep reddish amber pour with a small off-white head. Aroma is all over the place...itís very fruit-hop laden...interesting. Flavor is right up our alley. Big bitter hop edge tagging right along with caramalt flavor, and how about that alcohol belt to the head...sheesh. Makes me think of a way over the top impy IPA, but not exactly. Finishes extremely bitter...as it warmed in my glass and I sniffed I couldnít help but think of pineapples. Maybe thatís just me. Iíll have a few bottles to sit for a while just as a test to see how they age, but not because I expect to like it more...this stuff is damn fine right now. I bit brash and "in your face", but Iím guessing thatís how the brewer wanted it. Thanks Jason....and thanks Matt for hooking me up with more of this beast!
Papsoe (25069) - Frederiksberg, DENMARK - DEC 20, 2005
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
(Bottle 65 cl) Very dark, clear amber - almost like bourbon - with a tiny, off-white head. Extremely floral hop aroma - you almost donít need to taste this brew, you can sit for a looong while simply sniffing and enjoying the fantastic aromas. Full-bodied with a shipload of malt and caramel. The aroma hops also leave quite some bitterness, but itís never overpowering - even for my palate. A truly great brew. 031205
MiP (14562) - SÝnderborg, DENMARK - DEC 20, 2005
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: FEB 25, 2007 Bottle. Very strong fresh, spicy hop aroma. Hazy red/brown colour, nice stable light brown head. Flavour is very nice, powerful with some teaishness from the hops. High bitterness, along with the alcohol burning my throat a bit.
SkyinBrian (430) - Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - DEC 19, 2005
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
maybe ive just been drinking mostly hoppy stuff lately, but this didnt seem as harsh as some recent reviews. yes, there is some alcohol presence, i found this to be farily smooth for how big and sticky this beer was. it will be interesting to taste this when it gets a little age on it.
mkobes (2142) - paramus, New Jersey, USA - DEC 18, 2005
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
22oz waxed bottle. RLB YEHA-05. Poured a deep orange in color with no head. Hoppy and sweet aroma. Piney and citrusy. Light malt presence.Sugary sweet and hoppy flavor. Caramel notes. Very hot Finish is hot and sweet. Ok. Needs some time.
Murphy (1759) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - DEC 17, 2005
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours a nice glowing grapefruit color, hazy. Barely any head, slight lacing. Aroma is mostly hops- resinous, piney, lime. Brown sugar as well. Taste starts with a large dose of brown sugar with traces of molassis. Sweet, sugary but fairly well balanced with fruity hops. Solid earthy bitterness. Finish is sweet, fruity, lasting with noticeable toasted malts. Nice soft mouthfeel. Whatís great about this beer is the delicate balance- nothing dominates, unless you have an aversion to hops.
whaleman (2178) - North Wales, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 14, 2005
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
NJ, Pocono, Philly YEHa!í05. Deep amber body with some noticeable viscosity and a thin filmy off-white head. Appealing range of citrus and tropical fruit hop aromas but also smells quite resinous. Alcohol is also quite apparent in the nose. Flavor is not exactly bad but was too rough and out of balance. Hop profile is like sucking on tree bark, the bitterness is coarse and harsh yet the residual malt sweetness seems quite high, and the impression of alcohol is elevated and hot. May just need time for the hop flavor and bitterness to soften and the malts to open up and provide some integrating balance. As a young barley wine, this wasnít especially pleasing. I preferred the small sample that I mixed with a dash of New Glarus Belgian Red. Long sought after, I wonít say Iím disappointed but rather be optimistic instead and say that a re-rate is pending circa 2008 if the beer gods grant me the opportunity.