SoLan (1550) - Florida, USA - AUG 1, 2005
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
2003. Hazy bronze/copper. Off-white head bubbling and oozing like its alive. Aroma is somewhere between a weiss and a lambic, complex and difficult to describe. Strong wild yeast and wheat flavors, sour with a bit of malt character, some subtle flavors of wood and banana, very complex. Full, creamy body perfectly carbonated. Truly unique, truly excellent. Severely underrated at 3.6.
Schroppfy (2360) - Łódż, Warsaw, Poland; Michigan, Ohio, USA - JAN 25, 2003
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
I'm back from beer heaven (Mike's American Ale house, 1/24/2003). The only keg (only 5 gallons) of this year's vintage was tapped at 7:35 pm...I had been in the bar for only a short time, and the place was already packed. Occupancy: 47, real life...???. Everyone knew me, it seemed, because they had heard that I called earlier in the week to make sure the keg was on. I'm glad I did! I talked to both brothers about the recipe...it is *exactly* the same (as the same as can be, given different yields that vary a bit from batch to batch), with the exception that instead of being aged with oak chips, half of this year's vintage is stored in whiskey barrels and the other half in wine barrels. The resulting products are mixed before bottling. The beer is 11% ABV.
I had two 8-oz portions; the first was the second pull from the keg and the second was near the last. They were identical. The first thing that you notice is that there is almost no sedimentary yeast presence at all, and the entire liquid is clearer, cleaner, and thinner than last year. Still, one can find all the vanilla and hefe flavors found in the other version, but there is a tad less sugar and a more winey flavor. The Scottish earthiness is nearly gone (you can still get it when the beer is colder, but when it warms the vanilla and banana and alcohol shine). A delightful beer, absolutely wonderful, imbibed with a bar full of the most knowledgeable beer people I have met outside of RateBeer.
egajdzis (5169) - Spring Mount, Pennsylvania, USA - MAR 11, 2004
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
2003 - Poured a hazy bright orange color with a nice medium sized white head that really lasted and left nice lacing. Aroma of citrus fruits, banana, some vanilla, and yeast. Spicy citrus, banana taste, slightly tart, some alcohol in the finish. I have finally tasted a barleywine that will be refreshing in the summertime!
Cletus (6322) - Connecticut, USA - DEC 30, 2007
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
2006 edition. Pours amber with slightly more carbonation than the 2000. Smells of lots of citrus and wildflowers as well as some bananas and clove like character. Tastes citrussy and more sharp than the 2000. Finish yields some minor but present bitterness. Great and unique beer!
WeeHeavySD (3359) - San Diego (Hillcrest), Oregon, USA - FEB 17, 2008
4.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
2005 Vintage, Black label served in a riedel snifter shared with my girlfriend Cyn. This has been sitting in the cellar long enough that I have no clue who sent it, so to you I thank you. For some reason I thought this was older than it is, but I’ll live with it. Pour orange with a sediment filled body and a tan head. Nose is sweet with hints of all kinds of intriguing fruits. Taste is full of citrus and all kinds of really crazy interesting flavors. I really like this, its sweet, robust and hard to pin down. My girlfriend made a good observation that I confirmed and after drinking this I found the same thing, there is a really nice sourness here that makes me up my rating. Its yummy sour and full of alch but well hidden.
andyhite (308) - Murfreesboro, Tennessee, USA - FEB 21, 2011
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
2009 Vintage. fizzy off-white head, quickly dissipating. dark amber hue. rather light for a b’wine. aromas strong with caramel, belgian-esque yeast, malted winter wheat, and unripened dark pitted fruit. this is truly one of the most unique noses i’ve found. taste is lighter than most b’wines, but incredibly delicious. not nearly as strong of a sweetness, but more on the smoothness side. dried apricots, lite maple syrup, and some near-doppelbock flavors arising on the back end, followed by a noticable yeastiness. finishes clean, malty, fruity, and with a medium body. i think this is the perfect beer for near-spring in TN. right beer@the right time. I recommend this highly. ...and to think that i picked this up purely on a whim @Binny’s on the South Loop...
superspak (2123) - Michigan, USA - JUN 25, 2011
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
375 ml bottle into snifter, 2010 version, gusher bottle, the cork blew off after I uncaged it. Pours extremely cloudy reddish orange color with a huge 3 finger fairly dense off white head with great retention that reduces to a fairly thick lacing cap that lasts. Some decent lacing is left on the glass as well. Aromas of huge banana, apricot, and clove notes, with a bit of spice, caramel, and oak in the background. Nice strong and interesting aromas. Taste of huge banana, apricot, clove, and wheat; that leads to a decent amount of caramel sweetness, and finishes with some honey, oak, and a bit of spice. Lots of complex flavors going on here, with great balance. No decent amount of bitterness was noted. Alcohol is expertly hidden for 11.3%, none in the taste and a very slight warming well after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied. Very smooth drinking, but still quite a sipper. Overall, this is just an absolutely outstanding wheatwine, I would definitely have it again.
austinpowers (2826) - New York, New York, USA - FEB 9, 2004
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Hope you're digging my photo of this beer (upper left). This beer's a winner, in my book. Orangey color with a tufty white head. Aroma of oranges and Belgian yeast - terrific. The flavor is a tad sweet with some tang, citrus, a touch of pepper and other spices. The woodiness is muted, but present from the year of oak aging - it adds depth. Sourness is lightly present, but the whole flavor package comes together well in a complex, drinkable way that makes for an enjoyable brew! This doesn't betray its 11% abv at all - remarkable. Not so much a barley wine as it's perhaps closer to an eisbock. Very well executed.
raindog (560) - Evansville, Indiana, USA - FEB 14, 2004
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: APR 10, 2004 2003: Very hazy,dark orange. Pillowy head,settles and leaves nice lace. Dry herbal hops,spicy yeast,fruity malt,oak barrel aromas. Juicy,thick,palate..yet creamy and soft. Starts tangy,middle is spicy,malty(fruity,sweet). Wood and alcohol just add more complexity,as they are tastefully present. Finish is hoppy,very fruity,lightly spicy. If not better than past years,just as good. A excellent beer I look forward to every year.
DRAFT,2003: Much thicker,and flavorful than bottle,if it's possible. Lots of banana,caramel,oak,in flavor in aroma. Delicious.
scraff (2121) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - MAR 26, 2004
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Overcast murky orange with a huge fluffy white head. Aromas of white pepper, fuzzy fruit, vanilla creme, lemon, and fresh baked bread. The taste covered all of the above, but add a hint of oak, banana,and and a small shot of bubblegum. To say the least, this is one complex piece of work. High carbonation, medium to full bodied, and a tangy dry finish. I could drink this all summer long. Thanks again TAR!