Gromit (478) - 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.
erway (1004) - Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA - DEC 12, 2003
Pours a deep amber color with a great deal of dates and malt in the nose. A very deceptively strong ale. No, 9.1% is not that strong for the style, but if you serve this below 5oF you would never guess that its a strong beer until you got done with it. Very lightly hopped for an American Balrey Wine. Wonderful malt flavors remind one of J.W. Lee's with only one drawback,... this has only been aged for 3 months. Grassiness and green apples are present in the palte. This should be aged for at least another 6 months. kyzr (1596) - Montana, USA - DEC 7, 2003
2003: Light aromas of dried fruit. Deep color with very little head. Flavors of sour apples with a bitter finish. Needs to stand for a few years. harlequinn (2744) - Tacoma, Washington, USA - NOV 12, 2003
2003 - This was extremely tasty, very light in the aroma, mouthfeel and taste, still very young and green. Would be exquisite in a couple of years when aged. A beautiful ruby color, with a rocky tan head. Marvelous malty flavor, that is nicely sweet and lightly bitter. A very warming barleywine. Good ol' Fred Eckhart. belgianhomebrew (645) - Acworth, Georgia, USA - NOV 10, 2003
2003 - Nice subtle malt aroma. Malty backbane with a good balance of bitterness. Still a bit young. This beer should age quite well.
OldGrowth (3665) - the Containment Area, North Carolina, USA - OCT 9, 2003
Draft: Molasses/raison/ABV. Roasty malt, sweet kinda mediciny. Slight syrupy, some linguring bitterness. A little roasted in the finish also. Good, not great. Lost some on the nose. JorisPPattyn (10072) - BELGIUM - OCT 1, 2003
(draught - 1 yr. lagering) Deep red beer; brownish, slight head. Very fresh nose, but subdued. Slight impression of piney hops. Taste is bitter, but with a lot of roasted/dark malts underneath the hops. The lagering seems to have very little done for the beer - there is a winey touch but the bitterness its too oppressive to give it a real chance. Very well bodied, oily, slick feeling. Still, to watery-thinnish texture for an aged Barley Wine. I would expect more. Sham (1844) - Seattle, Washington, USA - SEP 6, 2003
Cask conditioned. Pours a deep amber with nice light brown head. Some aplle/fruit flavor in the nose. Slightly sour grape flavors. Average barleywine cb (810) - Roeland Park, Kansas, USA - SEP 4, 2003
The marketing on this brew is truly amazing. Slap a pretty label on it, stress the 11th batch...it just disappointed me. The aroma was a bourbon/Southern Comfort blend. Extremely thin mouthfeel as well, especially for a barleywine. Flavors of brown sugar, apples, oatmeal and yes, bourbon. PorterPounder (8286) - Tallahassee, Florida, USA - AUG 18, 2003
Has a pleasant port-like aroma and appearance - light ruby colored. Not much of a head. Sweet, malty flavor with some hoppy undertones - sweet but not cloying - goes down smooth. the 9.1% ABV is hidden very well - would make a good belly warmer in the winter.