Dixen (1465) - Flagstaff, Arizona, USA - AUG 14, 2005
Bottle @ RBESG2005. Huge notes of very woody malts, some alcohol, lots of sweet candy. Hazy brown to amber body, small white head. Strong and quite sweet flavor, loads of dark fruits, ends slight alcoholic. TBone (18552) - Pori, FINLAND - AUG 14, 2005
Bottled @RBESG’05Pernille (518) - Copenhagen, DENMARK - AUG 14, 2005
Nut brown, not much head. Smokey, woody, some cheesy notes. Full-bodied. Licorice, oaky notes, barley. Liquerish palate. Good barley-wine, but why so high-rated, hype?
Bottle RBESG. Tastes like malty, syrup candy. Very flavorfull, very smooth. Holds a lot of different flavors. Some bitterness, some sourness. Spices and lots of sweetness. ClarkVV (6961) - Boston, Massachusetts, USA - AUG 9, 2005
Bottle number 37/100 big thanks to MI2CA for the bonus in our trade a while back. Shared with Eyedrinkale on 8/5/2005.Styles (2016) - Lincoln Park, Michigan, USA - AUG 1, 2005
Pours a thick, opaque, dark, dark brownish-black body, with a huge head formation, that is not that long-lasting, though there are bits of lacing down the glass. Smells of rich, green, bitter, mega-hoppiness, thick, salty, bitter roast and dark chocolate. Rich, heavy caramel sweetness. The flavor, personified, is like a thick, hot, humid night with heavy, stifling air and no moonlight. Good lord, this is one of the most powerful, richest, just all out massive beers I’ve ever had. Huge hops bitterness (and a weird dill-like note), salty, thick, rich black malts, massive caramel and bitter baker’s chocolate. The body is awesome, even at 3 years of age, it still shows no signs of aging, while the carbonation is low, with a creamy and sticky consistency (which really saves the palate score, as this stuff demonstrates no balance). Alcohol is hidden as in regular Old Numbskull (seems to be variability on alcohol apparency looking at other ratings). The barrel aging is not overdone, which is another impressive aspect. Just enough to add some character without dominating the beer (though in actuality, it would take a lot to dominate this monster).
What do I think??? I hate it and can’t even drink my half of the bottle, but then, it’s no surprise, as this aint my thing. Do I think it’s all hype?? No, not really hype as much as peoples’ preference for big, rich, hoppy beers. And that’s cool, this is a barleywine after all, as EDA says. I’ll try this one again in about 5 years, I should like it more then, as I really think it’s a well made beer, just ridiculously unbalanced/young at this point.
Courtesy of BBB63, bottle 92/225. Pours dark cloudy amber with nice white head, that fades to film. Aroma is loaded with caramel and mollasses, a little fruit and only faint bourbon/oak. Flavor is once again all sweet malt with lots of residuel sugar, and a huge alcohol kick in the finish. First time I have actually enjoyed the alcohol presence in a beer. Hard to believe this is only 10% though.
IPFreely (1470) - Sanborn, New York, USA - JUL 26, 2005
Bottle 157/225 courtesy of DYCSoccer17. Murky amber color, thin tan head. Aroma of maple and caramel, also plenty of booze. Flavor bludgeons you with sweetness and alcohol. Palate is thinned out and completely one dimentional with alcohol. The things that make the original Numbskull a stellar beer (the hops, the subtle alcohol, the balance) have been completely erased and replaced by this mostrosity. HYPE!!!! BückDich (5477) - McCall, Idaho, USA - JUL 22, 2005
Bottle sampled @ RBSG 05’ (Montréal) Grand TastingChazyRPh (583) - Chazy, New York, USA - JUL 18, 2005
Light murky color, an average sized off-white head and decent lacing. Nose of aged caramel, a bit stale with lots of sweetness and aged hops present. The flavor has strong bourbon notes and a hit of acidity that made me cringe, it’s still not the beer I was hoping for. Maybe a bit much hype? The finish isn’t balanced with flavors going back and forth, couldn’t really decide what it wanted to be when it grew up. My notes say "strong, rancid, no smoothness" but I thought I’d shine it up a bit for the audience.
2005 RBSG - 2002 courtesy of DYCSoccer17. Dark brown pour, aroma is vineous, oakey. Noticable bourbon flavors, smooth, vineous. Quite delicious. Alcohol is still fairly evident, however this is extremely smooth. axilla (962) - New Providence, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 15, 2005
UPDATED: MAR 6, 2006 Side by side with the O.N. Poured a dark brown body with a small off-white head. Aroma is nutty with carmel and bourbon. Flavors are quick bourbon with carmel malts, nuts, oak, alcohol, and a subtle hop finish. A very good BW. DYCSoccer17 (3714) - Woodland, California, USA - JUL 14, 2005
Bottle RBSG05 157/225. Aroma is slightly bourbon-like with some vinous and peppery notes. The barrel is apparent in the nose. Hazy copper/amber color with a tan/yellow head. Boozy to start with some bourbon and vinous notes. Nice and smooth with some alcohol to finish. Like the regular Old Numbskull, this finishes quite hot as well. The barrel doesn’t really add or retract from this beer, although it does give it a different flavor. Kind of like the difference between Yeti and Oaked Yeti. Either way, this didn’t really live up to the extremely high expectations for me.