raindog (560) - Evansville, Indiana, USA - JUL 23, 2003
2003:Dark oarnge.Fizzy head leaves good ring. Candyish,fruity aroma. Mainly malty aromas. Mouthfeel is thick,but a tad on the watery side.Decent fruity,sweet,slightly bitter flavors.Good mellow carbonation makes smooth.Finish is sweet,woody,and slightly crisp.Overall, a pretty decent BW. Shadallion (534) - Sacramento, California, USA - MAY 19, 2001
A decent introduction to the barleywine style, but lacks the complexity and depth of bad boys like Bigfoot and Full Sail’s Old Boardhead. Crash (532) - Macomb, Illinois, USA - FEB 1, 2005
Dark head with off-white head. Really good smell but, I couldn’t pick anything out. Yet another I tried because of the name. AlchemistZ (493) - Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA - DEC 17, 2004
2003:Bright majogony in color with a thin, tan head. Aroma of cherry Kool-Aid (TM) and molasses. Flavor of concentrated sugar, very dark fruit, and higher alcohols. Overall, a light character which I do not like in a barleywine. There should be some power even if it is the velvet hammer (i.e. Thomas Hardys pre-O’Hanlons). Quite dissappointing but this should get very, very interesting with age. 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.
baobubba (454) - Starkville, Mississippi, USA - MAR 14, 2003
UPDATED: MAY 24, 2003 A barley wine for the masses. Aroma of fruit, faint cinnamon and vanilla, faint yellow cake, touch of bubble gum, grapes, and roasted malt. Semi sweet flavor with a touch of brown sugar. A little over carbed, not sweet enough, and simple... peter (445) - Normal, Illinois, USA - MAR 28, 2006
Very exemplary appearance. Aroma of wildflower honey, pine sapplings and heat. Palate is quite hot and slightly sticky. Flavour is strongly camerlized sugar with a chalky finish masking fruit pits. Lightly oxidized. Jamesthebrit (421) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - MAY 11, 2014
Aroma of bubblegum grape. Yes grape bubblegum.
Looks nice. Dark hazy red brown, nice creamy tan head.
Taste is sweet. Boozy. Malty. Gummy.
Palate is heavy. Boozy. Smooth.
Overall this one sort of misses the mark for me. With that huge grape gum note that’s all I can think of. An ok beer but not amazing. Hoser (387) - Cowtown, Alberta, CANADA - JAN 7, 2007
UPDATED: FEB 24, 2007 The year of the knucklehead I had was the year with Fred Eckhart on it. Bought this at Topper’s Market in Helana MT. Well made, complex and nothing out of this world. Page 82 of Michael Jackson’s Great Beer Guide and only 450 of 500 Classic Brews to go. lilannie (384) - Adamstown, Maryland, USA - MAR 25, 2006
Aroma: musty, floor cleaners, some citrus fruits, and brown sugar
Appearance: murky brown, little carbonation, little lacing
Flavor: musty, brown sugar, sweet alcohol, some plums, red grapes, and weird chemicals
Palate: smooth, slightly bubbly