mullet (849) - Melbourne, AUSTRALIA - JAN 5, 2006
3.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 12/20
2004. Clear ruby-tinged brown, but itís really more brown than red. Great yellow head. The aroma screams pinene and toffee like seemingly every US beer I have lately. Some strawberry jam and buttered toast (as opposed to strawberry jam on toast, obviously thereís a big difference there.) Tastes way hoppier than I expected, though itís really just quite a harsh bitterness that is very much apparent from the get-go and kinda spoils the whole thing. There are some other subtle, piney, hop flavours but itís quite light in both body and malt. Thereís a fair bit of alcohol in there too, but itís really all about that pine. Tastes young and a bit simplistic, but still an enjoyable enough drink.
grant (842) - Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA - JAN 11, 2006
2.8 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 11/20
Rating is for the XII. Clear, ruby brown with moderate, transient head. Black cherry, brown sugar, molasses and wet grain are exhibited in the aroma. The aroma suggests that the beer will be rich and sweet, which is contradicted upon the first sip. The flavor has surprisingly light, sunny malt notes with cocoa and some dry caramel. More than anything, there is massive hop bitterness underpinned by some fairly assertive piney attributes. The bitterness really dries out and overwhelms any residual sweetness that might be left in the beer. The alcohol level is well hidden. Residual bitterness leaves the mouth puckered for a long time, but not in that good Bigfoot sort of way. This is more coarse and unrefined - unwelcome. Too dry and conspicuously low on hop aroma for my tastes.
DenverLogan (823) - MileHi, Colorado, USA - NOV 20, 2013
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Iíve had this many times over the years, including on tap at the Toronado in San Francisco years ago when they tied for the bronze. In front of me is a 12 oz bottled that says best before 1/29/14.
Pours a rich brown with large brown head and lace. Aroma of rich malts and earth. Medium carbonation and significant moughfeel. Flavors of malt balls, caramel, baking chocolate, leather, straw hops, carob. Overall big and bold with a significant smoothness through until a slightly bitter chocolate, dry finish.
jw0406 (814) - atlanta, Georgia, USA - NOV 11, 2014
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
15th anniversary bottle pours a black color with a small head. Aromas of oak, dark fruits,. Full bodied, probably a year or two past itís peak.
HughConway (805) - Washington, USA - MAY 16, 2011
3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 10/20
17th Anniversary. Pours brown, little head. Slight hop/malt aroma, taste of thick hops and malt and sweet. Classic barleywine.
AlabastorJones (805) - San Francisco, California, USA - MAR 27, 2007
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
bottle from utah liqour store haahahaha this state is stupid... (XIII) Thin yellow head, brown mirky golden body with a sweet syrupy alc nose, strong dry finish, woody and warming, sweet and tangy, standard barley wine, but exta-ordinary for being from utah i suppose
yalnikim (800) - Wellington, NEW ZEALAND - OCT 11, 2009
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
10/10/2009. XVI Anniversary. 12oz bottle. Brilliant lambent cherry red with a tight off-white head. Malt and alcohol meld well in the mouth, giving off a hints of a well doused Christmas cake. Clean ferment - very American - and hops are certainly there but are rather muted (and donít shout any descriptor other than íhopí at me). Dry bitter finish. As I get into it the bitterness really comes through, and itís drier than a Canterbury plains in the summer. Nice beer, and itís superbly well made, but is a little too clean and dry in the finish to make it the pleasant sipper Iíd want at 10.4%.
ontario102 (794) - Boise, Idaho, USA - NOV 12, 2005
3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 12/20
Sampled as XI (2004), Bottle: Heavy grapefruit and citrus aroma, hints of butterscotch and pears, distinct floral hopping; thin and dry, substantially bitter and rough throughout; simple malt profile heavy on carmelized toffee and hotly alcoholic flavor (1 yr old?!?) ; harsh and unrefined.
Luvystypotables (789) - Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA - DEC 15, 2013
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 19/20
Great head good lacing. Sweet aroma of barley and a hint of yeast. Smooth balanced taste of bread, barley and hops with a slightly bitter sweet palate.
elnadeau (786) - Laguna Niguel, California, USA - JUN 8, 2004
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
X 2003 10th anniversary bottle. Dark brown-amber, hard to see through, very nice head that dissapates and laces. Malty candy-citrus alcohol hops aroma. Begins malty, somwhat sweet and then astringent with hops alcohol in a bitter finish. Not as complex as one expects a top-notch BW to be, a good effort though.