Vac (2445) - San Diego, California, USA - JAN 12, 2005
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours with a deep amber-brown body topped by a thick off-white head with lots of lacing. The aroma is slkightly sweet yet bitter with oaky notes, bready notes, a touch of fruitiness, and some caramel. The flavor is bitter and salty with a slight sweetness, oaky notes, a touch of bread and a little caramel. Full bodied, smooth and warming.
wnhay (722) - Princeton, New Jersey, USA - JAN 12, 2005
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: FEB 26, 2005 Very dark brown pour with a creamy head that actually looks similar to the Westvleteren beers. Looks good in a Westvleteren glass. The aroma is very bready, with wine, caramel, vanilla, malts and citrus. The alcohol presense is already in the aroma. The taste is very bready, in addition to the things in the aroma. This is probably the breadiest beer I have ever tasted. The mouthfeel is actually my favorite part of this beer, because I can feel the spices on the roof of my mouth. Impressive stuff. I think I like the Victory Horizontal a little better.
Nate (3827) - Indiana, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 8, 2005
4.5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Oak and vanilla, alcohol, sweet caramel malts, banana and brown sugar. Hazy oaky brown liquid with thin tan lacing head. Heavy watery body with medium carbonation. Starts rich and malty, with oak and vanilla, caramel, neutral fruits. Alcoholic warming, mild hops. Nice dry finish and light bitter end. Rich and tasty, smoooth. Nice barley wine.
Hairofthedog (419) - San Diego, California, USA - JAN 7, 2005
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Bananas and dark fruit w/ an alcohol sweetness on the nose... Caramel, dark fruit sweetness w/ bananas and citrus notes in the mouth. This beer poured a deep brown w/ orange highlights, thin head and thin lace. Minor effervescence w/ full body and well-rounded mouthfeel. Ah, yeah. Thanks to IDrinkAle for this one.
Drew (2411) - Kent, Ohio, USA - JAN 4, 2005
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
A New Yearís Eve brew, 12/31/2004. First impression - big, huge, gi-gundus BOURBON aroma - surprisingly not too much alcohol - more of the "essence" of bourbon and vanilla, oak, sweet cherries, malt. This deep burgundy brew absolutley coats my mouth and throat with sweet boubon soaked cherries covered in chocolate and toffee. At times, the alcohol becomes a little rough - I may set another bottle aside for maybe just a few months and see what happens. "Jim Beam does the Hand Jive with Bo Diddley"
rajendra82 (1011) - Alpharetta, Georgia, USA - JAN 1, 2005
4.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
This 22 oz. bomber was shipped as part of the BIF X-Mas package by shippos. I saved it for the grand finale of the experience. When I poured the beer into a goblet, it had a deep red color, and a clear body. A fizzy one inch thick head formed while pouring, but soon dissipated to a quarter of its original size. The aroma was relatively mild, and reminded me of toffee, pears, powdered cocoa, and vanilla. The taste was divinely mellow with oak aged vinous dry notes shining through each sip. The malt presented itself as raisin, cherry, raspberry, and subtle hints of dark chocolate. The mouthfeel was medium thick and a bit prickly. The alcohol was very boozy and hot, detracting from being able to down this one quickly. For those of you that can get this, Iíd recommend some ageing in the bottle for additional improvements.
jimmack (1223) - Nutley, New Jersey, USA - JAN 1, 2005
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Hazy, dark amber color with a small off white head. Aroma of the bourbon definitely stands out, with traces of wood. Flavor is again dominated by the bourbon taste, but you can make out some malt sweetness and a touch of vanilla. I can appreciate the quality, but Iím not much of a bourbon drinker.
joeec5 (204) - bayonne, New Jersey, USA - JAN 1, 2005
3.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bourbon oak aroma. Flavor is bourbon, wood, buttery. Alcoholic finish. This bottle was apparantly off as i was told by jimmack04 who i shared it with that his previous bottle was better. Ill try again though i never really like strong bourbon flavors.
JorisPPattyn (8916) - Ursel, BELGIUM - JAN 1, 2005
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Dark reddish-brown; good foxy yellow, creamy head, slightly irregular. New oakwood, much vanilla with grapey aroma and white chocolate. Very almondy flavour, peaches, bitter almonds and marzipan, more vanilla. Sharp bitterish taste, not quite in balance with the sweet chocolate underneath. Wood, but stripped viciously. Sharp MF, full bodied, outspoken slickness. Indeed, imagine marzipan made with bitter almonds... New Bourbon casks, OK, but this has eaten through them. And I never drink Bourbon anyway - some Lagavullin, please...
badgerben (4722) - Blaine, Minnesota, USA - DEC 31, 2004
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: MAY 28, 2010 Original Rating, December 31, 2004: Deep red color with a thin head. Aroma definitely of bourbon with a bit of barley. The taste is again dominated by bourbon. There seems to be a bit of the "winter spice" array (nutmbeg, cinnamon, etc) in here. A slightly sweet arrival of barley. Very good, but being slightly out of balance keeps it from being legendary in my book. 8/4/8/4/17 Re-rating, May 28, 2010: Murky brown/orangish color with no head. Dry, chalky aroma with apple and brown sugar. Strong vanilla taste. Definitely spent time in the barrel. A lot of time. Light fruitiness. Moderately malty, light earthy hops. I think the barrel obliterated the beer.