AceOfHearts (1374) - Mountain View, California, USA - FEB 15, 2004
Bottle. Fizzy, reddish-amber. Strong-fruity aroma. Thick pour, a bit effervescent looking. Grapefruit and Chinook hoppish-tasting, quite strong and challenging. Sour, especially in the finish. Decent. jeffc666 (1984) - Fairfax, Virginia, USA - FEB 6, 2004
(Vintage 2003) - What we have here is a gorgeous garnet body topped by a fluffy tan head. Glass lacing is very nice. Much more head than you typically see on a barley wine. The aroma is very fruity: cherries and plums mainly. There is also a good amount of sweet caramel and a tad bit of roasted malt. The flavor is also very fruity, yum, lots of plum with cherries lingering in the back. Not much sweetness and a medium amount of bitterness. Body is full and creamy. A bit different than the typical barley wine, but a very nice beer none the less. TChrome (1472) - North Richland Hills, Texas, USA - FEB 3, 2004
Beer pours a reddish amber with a off white head that mostly dissipates. Aroma is rather restrained with notes of alcohol, hints of malt and hops. Flavor is good but doesn't have the depth of the great barleywines. Nice maltiness with good hop bitterness to offset the malt, just not near enough depth to get the juices flowing. AlabastorJones (814) - Seattle, Washington, USA - JAN 31, 2004
An intense brew, but a mild barley wine, sweet malty nose, hints of caramel and roasted malts in the flavor, alcohol enthused finish, the body isnt extremely thin, but its not as strong as I'd like it to be, end. Slick (1969) - Thief River Falls, Minnesota, USA - JAN 28, 2004
Nice brown/ruby color,small off white head that faded quickly but left a small lace behind.The aroma was malty and sweet with maybe a slight metallic smell coming through,light caramel.Nice flavor of malt and fruit with a decent hop presence and the alcohol coming through in a mild amount.Nice light body with a good malt hop after taste and light finish.Decent and fairly drinkable brew,that is well worth trying just for the non-heavy feeling that alot of Barley's tend to have.
bitter (1136) - Henderson, Nevada, USA - JAN 26, 2004
bottled into a pint glass: dark rich color, large bubbles not a alot of carbonation. sweet smell alcohol and hops. very strong ....9.1%abv and you can tell their not trying to hide it from ya. a good barley wine , but i like bigfoot better. drismyhero (815) - Tacoma, Washington, USA - JAN 24, 2004
I've had this a few times but somehow have never got around to rating it. This beer has always been very solid, not too flashy but solid. Thick carmel notes mix with some great oak characteristics to give this a fairly good mouthfeel throughout the alchohol, which is strong. Medium hop level, but enough to make it interesting, aroma seems to be a true reflection of the flavor. This delivers as a barley wine should, and remains faithful. willblake (2654) - Bel Air, Maryland, USA - JAN 7, 2004
Strong, pungent aromas and flavors of alcohol and overripe fruits, like sweet and sour caramel and fig. Nice rich color matches the syrup-like texture. I agree with the others that this might mellow over time, but I didn't love it enough to cache it. Certainly appreciate the high ABV in a cheap-ish beer in cold, cold, MT. MilkmanDan (1943) - Eagan, Minnesota, USA - DEC 31, 2003
Deep ruby. Candy, taffy, fruity, powdery sugars. Not well masked, strong, sweet, peachy/fruity. Sugars last too long. Gromit (479) - Port Orchard, Washington, USA - DEC 20, 2003
So I bombed an exam and needed a beer. I picked up one that called me by what I felt like: Old Nucklehead. The high alcohol content should help calm my nerves and allow me to sleep so I can start cramming for tomorrow's final.
Oh yeah, about the beer...
Cool bottle with a nice story. 2003 bottling on this one. "...[D]ouble the amount of malts and hops." Pours flawlessly and a beautiful head that leaves a very nice lace.
Smells great. If you didn't read the label, this is when you realize this ain't no 3.2 beer. Spicy malt makes its way through the alcohol scent.
The taste is great, but man can you taste the alcohol. It's almost like someone spiked it with a nice vodka. Bigfoot by Sierra Nevada does a much better job masking this content. This, IMO, is the only thing holding me back from giving it a *much* higher rating.
The only reason it didn't get a higher rating in drinkability is, well, by now you know.
If you don't mind the taste of alcohol, you will absolutely love this barleywine. I think I'm going to pick up a few bottles and cellar it for a while to see if I can get it to mellow a bit. Otherwise, this is world-class.