DarkElf (3062) - La Jolla, California, USA - DEC 25, 2016
25-Dec-16 (12-oz bottle, 2003 release: Obtained 15-Apr-05 in trade with Eyedrinkale, thanks Mike!)madmitch76 (25009) - , Essex, ENGLAND - JUN 23, 2016
Well, what better way to celebrate a Merry Christmas than with a 19% ABV Barley Wine that’s been aged for 13 years. The cap pops off with nary a carbonation hiss. It’s dark-brown in color with almost no head forming whatsoever, but that’s fully expected for what this is. The nose is very powerful with savory and rich aromas of prune, chocolate-covered cherries, soy sauce, grilled (and slightly burnt) meat, honey, maple syrup, and molasses. It’s equally potent and eye-opening on the palate, where intensely sweet flavors of prune, raisin, dried cherries, dark chocolate, molasses, brown sugar, syrup, and malt extract are somehow matched by the umami character of soy sauce, cooked meat, and mild char, plus a touch of dark-roasted coffee. Wow, this is really potent stuff. The alcohol is evident from the mouthfeel, but there’s no sense of burn or fumes, nothing that makes me suspect the ABV other than the sheer concentration and incredible viscosity. In many ways, I’m reminded of a Ruby Port, and indeed this 12-oz bottle of beer is like drinking a half bottle of Port. It’s beyond just full bodied; more like syrupy and sticky, yet it’s not cloying because of the savory, slightly bitter and charred character to help balance the intense sweetness just enough. So does the moderate acidity, but it’s not sour at all, more like the necessary, balancing acidity in a Port wine. Carbonation is low, but it’s not fully flat, but given the style, weight, acidity, and ABV, just a touch of carbonation is all you need. Overall, this is one damn impressive beer. So many of these sweet, ultra-high gravity beers are nearly undrinkable because the ABV is very hot and the sweetness isn’t balanced through bitterness or acidity. And like a good Vintage Port, there’s no noticeable oxidation after more than a decade of bottle aging. Today is definitely a Merry Christmas after drinking this incredible gem.
15th January 2016Theydon_Bois (19805) - Hazlemere, the lower Xhitlerns, Buckinghamshire, ENGLAND - JUN 12, 2016
That’ll be me 20K then @ ChrisO’s. Hazy deep amber beer, no head. Palate is slightly viscous with very mild carbonation. Sweet malts, caramel. Spice. Vibrant ripe fruits. More spice. Touches of molasses and soy. Aniseed and spice. Viscous gum numbing finish. Full on and bloody spicy, alcohol spicy. Feisty old beer!
Bottle split at Kenny 20K, thanks to the man of the moment, 15/01/16. 2003 bottle.
Rich chestnut to mahogany brown with no head.
Nose is soy sauce, oxidised notes, earthy malt spill, toffee, nutty.
Taste comprises sweet’n’sour vibes, spice, light smoke, toffee fudge, oxidised underbelly.
Medium + body, fine carbonation, warming booze kick in the close.
Ok for age but oxidisation has taken hold ... a few sups was enough. Leighton (21511) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - FEB 22, 2016
Bottle shared during Ken’s 20k tasting. Big thanks to the madman himself for sharing this beast. Vintage 2003. Pours clear, deep amber-brown with a light, bubbly-foamy head. Big ripe fruit and toffee aroma - it’s still smelling good. Heavy sweet flavor, with assertive boozy kick, light smoke, bread, ripe fruits. Full bodied with fine carbonation. Hot finish, but fairly smooth overall and pretty well rounded, with further notes of rich and ripe fruits, and chewy toffee. A really fun beer. It has held up well. mR_fr0g (12579) - Hertfordshire, ENGLAND - FEB 17, 2016
Bottle shared at the Kenny 20K mega monster tasting. 15/01/2016. Many thanks to Kenny for this one. Caramel brown / reddy coloured pour with a loose light tan head. Aroma is warming alcohol, solvent, dark toffee, liquorice, Flavour is sticky sweet, toffee, apple, dark toffee, liquorice, honey, some minty. Palate is sweet and sticky, moderate carbonation, oily, minty.
The_Osprey (8216) - Richmond, Greater London, ENGLAND - FEB 7, 2016
Bottle shared by Ken at his 20K tasting at Chriso’s. Thanks! As ’Bos Vintage Ale 2003’, 19%. Black with a red hue, no real head. Aroma is molasses, redcurrant, meaty sugars, OXO. Body is oily and smooth, low carbonation. Taste is tangy rhubarb up front, dry spicy booze with a nice salty ashy finish. Quite an interesting flavour. Has held up well at 13 years old. fonefan (49575) - VestJylland, DENMARK - JAN 27, 2016
teorn88 (7682) - Rimini, ITALY - JAN 22, 2016
Bottle 12fl.oz. @ [ madmitch76 - 20K Tasting ] - chriso & Boudicca House, London.
[ As Bos Vintage Ale ].
[ Vintage 2003 ]. Clear dark red brown color with virtually no head. Aroma is moderate malty, bread, caramel, oxidide, dark fruit, alcohol, light soy sauce - dark dried fruit. Flavor is moderate to light heavy sweet with a long duration, bread, madera - raisin - dark fruits, alcohol, dark malt. Body is medium to full, texture is oily, carbonation is flat, finish feel is light alcoholic. 
33cl bottle shared at Kenny’s 20K celebrations @Chriso’s, thanks to Kenny. It pours a dark copper color with a minimal bubbly head. Aroma is filthy full of sweet molasses and soy sauce with artichokes and raisins. Taste I cloyingly sweet with notes of artichokes white chocolate vanilla and booze. Medium bodied with soft carbonation. Overall, ok Scopey (14992) - Croydon, Greater London, ENGLAND - JAN 17, 2016
Bottle big thanks to Ken, shared at his 20K tasting. It pours clear darkest brown with no head whatsoever. The nose is rich, oily, meaty, oxidised, soy sauce, umami, brown bread, rivita, Eccles cake and treacle. The taste is rich, oily, dark fruits, jam, fruit compote, Eccles cake, big boosty alcohol aspect, toffee, umami and blackcurrant jam with a warming finish. Full body and oily, chewy mouth-feel. Slick, rich and warming. Fun to try. harrisoni (18820) - Ashford, Kent, ENGLAND - JAN 15, 2016
Bottle at Madmitch 20k tasting. Clear brown amber. No head. Oily soy sauce. Some heat. Some raisin. Like sweet fruit. Like sweet wine. OK. Sweet but a bit of fun.