AceOfHearts (1374) - Mountain View, California, USA - JUN 8, 2002
3.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Very clear amber and exceptionally weak head. Nice aroma, candylike with notes of caramel. The flavor was a bit too overpowering though, I didnít think that this was nearly as good as the other top 10ís.
ClarkVV (4058) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - JUL 9, 2002
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: AUG 10, 2007 2001 bottle. Consumed fresh. wow! what a beer. tastes like blueberry pie with alcohol in it. Great amounts of barley make this a rich meaty beer. What a great color, the color beats foghorn and bigfoot i think. Deep red/ almost magenta. taste stays with you, and is neither too cloying nor overpowering. yummmmmm. 9/4/10/5/19
2003 bottle. Fresh. Oh ya, been way too long. Amazingly rich flavor of sweet barley, rich fruity alcohol esters. Great english toffee flavor with tons of complexity. Lovely grain-like alcohol/cognac mouthfeel and flavor. I absolutely love this, but then English-style barleywines are my favorite. 9/4/9/5/17
Jan. 2004 bottle 14 months old. Slowly working on trying the different vintages. I look forward to trying this beer, as it has long been one of my favorites. However, the 2004 didnít really do it for me. Still a good pour, bottle conditioned, nice head and all. The flavor was way too forceful, it seems like they have amped up the hops bitterness in recent years, or perhaps this bottle is still far too young. Whatever the case, the flavors seemed blunt, and overbearing, lots of hops, sticky, strong caramel malt. Aroma of strong alcohol, yellow candied fruits, sweet toffee. Rather uninspiring, but hopefully just too young. Looking forward to the 2002 bottle I have in my cellar. 8/5/8/4/15
Dec 03 2004 bottle Consumed 8/3/2005. Incredible masking of alcohol, which is puzzling, as it seems rather filtered. NO sediment whatsoever left in the bottle, and only a slight haze to the body. Though it still looks a lovely auburn-magenta. Aroma, however, had soily, resinous hops, dry earthy malt, brown bread and light toffee. The aroma was not very intense after only 1 year. Flavor was a bit of a let down as well. Itís even and drinkable, with a good integration of malt and hops, but the malt gets rather boring, the finish is way to quick. Too much filtration on this beer now. Caramel and toffee, with some yellow fruits, bitter hops and low carbonation. It was good, though I think itís gone down hill lately. 7/4/8/4/15
Dec 2005 bottle consumed on 6/22/07
18 months old and not too bad, I gotta say. Pretty much the definition of the American barleywine and still with quite a bit of bitter, citric, leafy hoppiness. The nose seems rather crudely yeasty, with dirty notes and a dull, bland, vitamin-like note. But the malt is bready and caramel-like, with minimal roasty/toastiness. Fruity hops and caramel dominate the beer. Light alcohol, not too bad for its size.
A real hard, woody, bready feel to the flavor, with low carbonation, light chocolate and mostly tons of hard caramel. Bitter hoppiness, green and leafy tending mostly citric. Still that liquerish finish, not as smooth as it was, with too loose a carbonation and quite decadent. Respectable, and one of the first of its kind, but whatís with that dirty yeast nose?? I dont even know how Iíve calculated my overall score at this point.....
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.
beerslayer (753) - New Jersey, USA - MAR 5, 2003
3.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Vintage 2000. Im sure I'll be rating this one again because this doesn't stand to the previous ratings. This barley wine seemed to be unbalanced flavor wise.
omnivore (270) - San Francisco, California, USA - JUL 26, 2003
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 16/20
Poured a ruddy gold with a sweet an hoppy aroma. Flavored bitter and buttery with a bitter leave. Not bad. Not bad at all.
shadey (1977) - Nashville, Tennessee, USA - MAY 15, 2004
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: FEB 11, 2006 #100 Redish pour with a thin white head. Smell of fruit. Smooth over the tounge. Decent level of alcohol in the taste. Lasting alcohol aftertaste. Good overall, and for 11% I bet I will be happier after than I was at the begining.
Dark red, mellony color. No head. Aroma is slightly sweet but more bitter. Good amount of alcohol in both aroma and flavor. Body is very full and raspy hops.
Philip (436) - Illinois, USA - SEP 7, 2005
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
2004 Vintage. Frankly, Iím surprised to see this barleywine being awarded such a high place, when I find Thomas Hardyís and J.W. Lees to be much more appealing. In the color and somewhat in the nose, this is a barleywine. On the palate, the hops hit you like a IIPA. Thereís some of the stereotypical caramel and toffee notes, but absent is the malt backbone to offset the hops. Iím not bothered by the alcohol, but the hops I found excessive. Having said that, I recall enjoying my last 2002 bottle seemingly more back in April (before I rated on RB), so perhaps this just needs time to balance.
ryan (3186) - Beltsville, Maryland, USA - OCT 16, 2005
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: FEB 8, 2008 Dec 14, 2004 bottle. Pours murky brown with large chunks of yeast and a thin, fully diminishing, off-white head. Aroma is citrus hops and caramel. Flavor is initially resinous pine hops, this gives way to spice, caramel, toffee, and dark fruit. Finish is long and fruity with warming alcohol and a bitter finish. Medium/full body. Texture is smooth with soft carbonation.
Dogfish120 (143) - Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA - JAN 16, 2006
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle: Think maybe my bottle was old or had some oxidation. Not exactally a barleywine style to the books, but decent none the less. Big hop nose, which was a surprise, small creamy head dissipated quickly. Fruity, malty beginning with hoppy finish, not much complexity. Okay
bfeldmann (1049) - Wilmington, Delaware, USA - FEB 27, 2006
3.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
"Hmmm ho hum on this one. Typical barleywine. Poured a brown with red edges little head. Aroma was malty with hops coming in stong. Flavor was a little citrusy maltym Mouthfeel was to think for my licking. "