TheBeerGod (5568) - Newport News, Virginia, USA - DEC 25, 2004
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle. Pours copper with a timid tan head. Nose is strong wood, bourbon, some odd multigrain notes, vanilla, and spice. Taste is sugary with big alcohol notes, more wood, light spice, fruit, and some candied flavors. The body itself is medium with mild alcohol warmth. Finishes with alcohol, vanilla, more spice, brown sugar and wood.
CamdenD (1113) - Madrid, SPAIN - DEC 25, 2004
3.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Haven’t had the Blithering Idiot yet, but this is a nice brew. Wonderful aroma of pine, whiskey, and, well, more whiskey! The taste is a bit sweet for me, like a cheaper bourbon, but still very nice. Well done and different!
badnewsbeers (2312) - Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA - DEC 25, 2004
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
a nice cherry red appearance with a quickly diminishing medium head; aroma of psices and sugars and STRONG IN BOURBON...same with the flavor (spices galore, sugars, some hops, and BOURBON) good aftertaste
Silphium (3188) - East Lansing, Michigan, USA - DEC 25, 2004
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Secret Santa beer #9, sent by Jason (Dorwart). Fiery orange-red body, medium cream head that left nice sheets of lacing. Wacky aroma, mostly a combination of intense bourbon notes (oak, vanilla) and Weyerbacher’s strange yeast strain that adds notes of circus peanuts (artificial banana) and candy corn. Huge bourbon flavor (this is really hot!), candy corn, caramel and brown sugar with a nice oaky spritzy finish. The body’s substantial enough to carry the bourbon, but this could definitely be aged a bit. If you want to clean the senses, though, ...
Sickboy282 (1115) - San Diego, California, USA - DEC 24, 2004
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours a deep amber hue with a small, frothy, halo of a tan head with decent lacing. Aromas of a little oak, raisins, and roasted grains. Mouthfeel is medium to full-bodied and very smooth/buttery on the palate. flavors of chocolate, a little citrus twang, a little burnt taste with a great balance of bourbon barrel flavor. Very unique flavor and very easy drinking, but as others have said, this one does need some age. At least one year and this may be the most brilliant barleywine out there.
robertsreality (2460) - Minnesota, USA - DEC 23, 2004
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Dark Red Coloring With White Head. Alcohol, Malt and Bread Dough and Oak Aroma. Very Nice Barley Wine....Malt and Bread Dough Notes...Oak and Bourbon Notes Come Out on the Tongue. Nice Warming From the 11%, but Not Overbearing, Instead a Very Nice Balanced Barley Wine. Could Drink This All Winter...
CaptainCougar (7133) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - DEC 21, 2004
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Ruby brown copper with a thin off-white head. Aroma is full of mostly bourbon oak and some caramel toffee. Starts with mild toffee sweetness with much more dry bourbon oak flavor toward the finish. Not as balanced as some oak aged brews can be. Still hides its alcohol well, but I prefer the non-barrel-aged version of this. Thanks to Cornboy for the trade!
michael-pollack (4960) - King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 20, 2004
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: FEB 4, 2010 2/4/10: Draught at Capone’s (2007 Vintage): Tastes of bourbon, oak, and vanilla. Delicious.
1/23/10: Draught at Capone’s: Sweet aroma of oak and bourbon. Poured amber/orange in color with a medium-sized, creamy, off-white head that diminished but lasted throughout. Cloudy. Sparkling. Tiny particles throughout. Very good lacing. Flavor is lightly sweet. Tastes of alcohol, Belgian yeast, and bourbon. Medium body. Average texture. Average carbonation. Sweet, bourbon finish. 11.1%ABV is quite noticeable throughout. 6/4/7/3/14 = 3.4
12/20/04: Drought: I have a cold, so aroma was likely diminished. Smelled sweet and bourbony. Poured a ruby-brown with no head and no lacing. Tasted of bourbon, and pretty much only bourbon, but it is not nearly as unbalanced as the Heresy. Overall, a little too much alcohol flavor for me. 4/3/7/3/15 = 3.2.
pjk33 (390) - Sligo - Curllsville Heights, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 20, 2004
2.2 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 8/20
Bottle. Great look on this label. Poured a cloudy creamy striped brown color with a nose that is sweet malt and almost like whiskey. Now I know why smelled like whiskey... that’s about what it is! Tastes like a creamy bourbon with a strong, strong bite on the back of the throat and tightly concentrated carbonation. This gets creamier as it warms. Not much head, and I poured this directly into the bottom of the glass. Finishes very high on the palate and has a big alcohol burn. This beer is certainly interesting, but much too harsh to call it a beer. This is not a barley wine as far as I’m concerned, it is a malted whiskey! You really should probably try it, but it’s not a great beer in any way. I am very surprised that this beer is as highly rated as it is. If I want bourbon, I’ll buy Woodford Reserve.
goldtwins (4320) - Nesconset, New York, USA - DEC 20, 2004
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Poured a clear golden ruby color with little head formation. Aroma was very strong bourbon and vanilla. Flavor of bourbon and alcohol. While it is pretty tasty I can’t find the barley wine other than a malty base. Silky medium bodied and a bitter finish. Nice warming sensation in the throat.