TheBeerGod (5633) - Newport News, Virginia, USA - DEC 30, 2002
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: APR 9, 2005 Somewhat hoppy. Brown in color and translucent. Taste the hops, bubblegum or candy, and some fruit and spice throughout. Possibly a slight floral taste as well. Not as strong tasting in the alcohol department as I would have expected. Powerful nonetheless. Definitely worth trying and recommended to barley fans.
RERATE: Vintage: Bottled on Jan 06 01. Clouded rust. Small tan head. Nose is more creamy rich malt now than hops, however, the hop profile is still there, albeit diminished. Toffee, citrus fruits, cotton candy, alcohol, and hints of honey. WOW! Taste is mostly caramel, sweet creamy malts, strong sugary notes, alcohol and mild hoppiness. Body is surprisingly mellow and leaning towards syrupy. Light alcohol warmth and a mild lingering stickiness. Finishes with light alcohol and hops followed by more toffee, sugar and creamy malts. I REALLY liked this but it seems to be hitting its peak even though itís only 4 years old.
MikeF (538) - Cleveland, Ohio, USA - DEC 30, 2002
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
A hoppy, but more caramel-like nearly buttery aroma. Up front, very maltly, nearly creamy tasting finishing slightly more hoppy.
Waughbrew (18) - Portsmouth, Rhode Island, USA - DEC 27, 2002
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottled 11/15/2002. A beautiful red color with a small off-white head. Very nice aroma, with hops of course but maltiness and some alcohol too. Rather sweet, very smooth. Lingers for a long time. Recommended.
Drew (2411) - Kent, Ohio, USA - DEC 25, 2002
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Evening: 10 p.m. - 12/24/02 - the skies of Northeast Ohio are clear. 12/25/02 - 7 a.m. - Our daughterís awake, ready for daddy to assemble the toys that Santa brought, and thereís 8 inches of snow in the driveway. So begins our Christmas day - we travel and visit and eat and deliver presents and eat and visit and eat and drive and eat and, finally arrive home safe and sound. I immediately grab this Old Horizontal (thanks V) and assemble more toys. Burnt orange - very clear - but bottle conditioned. Sweet fruits, strong yet gentle hops. This is 11%, but I donít taste any alcohol at all. Thereís not much more to say, this is by far the smoothest, most seductive barley wine yet.
amx1970390 (480) - Southampton, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 21, 2002
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
I am in love! This is great! Wonderful hop aroma and taste, balanced well with malt and fruit (peaches and citrus) By far the best Barleywine I have had. A 2nd only to World Wide Stout as my current favorite American beer. But this is 1/3 the price of WWS and more drinkable.
ToadMan (559) - Washington, Washington DC, USA - DEC 19, 2002
3.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Rich hoppy aroma, strong taste of barley, hops and lots of alcohol. Some vanilla and fruit undertones, but the alcohol was just too dominant.
Holdwine (1135) - Beertimore, Maryland, USA - DEC 18, 2002
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
I marked this higher because of what they were trying to do. Maybe I got into an uneven keg, but the alcohol was overpowering. It was not masked as other barley wines have done, but right there burning all the way. Yes, it looked nice, and I could tell there were fruity undertones just rying to get out. But they were trapped.
apoptosis (1317) - Denver, Colorado, USA - DEC 17, 2002
4.6 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
This beer is incredible! The alcohol is masked very well by the sweetness, and it smells like candy. Very complex and extremely delightful.
notalush (5449) - Denver, Colorado, USA - DEC 17, 2002
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: AUG 11, 2006 [edit - this beerís quality has suffered a great deal in recent years - hold on to those older bottles as long as you can] A deep, ruby red color and slight lacing make this look like any old barleywine.....but it most certainly is not! The aroma is mildy alcoholic, but mostly dominated by what I can only describe as ícandied fruit,í if that makes sense. There is a subtle hop and alcohol presence in the flavor which is enjoyable on these long winter nights (but the alcohol is very well masked). The most dominant aspects of the flavor include a heavy malty sweetness, and a deluge of fruit flavors (black cherries, grapes, raisins, and possibly strawberries), which combine to make this my new favorite barleywine. The fruit and sweetness stick around in the finish for an astounding length of time after you swallow (if your donít brush your teeth, the flavor could probably stick with you for weeks). Storm King is my favorite Victory beer, but I think this brew will make me call that title into question.
slimjim (106) - New Jersey, USA - DEC 17, 2002
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
This is my favorite of this style. Deep amber, sweet malty. Enough hops to satisfy. DELICIOUS! Victory does it again!