unclebleen (620) - California, USA - JUL 26, 2004
I really liked this barleywine, which is not one of my favorite styles. Attractive pour at the brewpub and inviting. Aromas are vinous and sweet. Flavors are ever so slightly sour with caramel and toffee plus hop power. Body is rich and decadent. This is really great IMHO...a top tier barleywine. Drew (2411) - Kent, Ohio, USA - SEP 20, 2004
2003 bottle #011. Aroma is cherries, plums, roasty malt - thick fat aroma, dust, alcohol, chocolate. Dark ruby red body, very little head, lacing is nothing but a red tint sliding down the sides of the glass. Taste is thick and vinous - very winey when paired with the strong sweet malts. Behind the fruit comes roast and chocolate, drying hops and a dash of alcohol. I'm left with the taste of a cherry charms blowpop sticky on the roof of my mouth. Andrew196 (1902) - Katy, Texas, USA - FEB 18, 2003
I had this beer on cask in downtown portland and it was by far the jewel of my west coast roady. It had a dark ruby red color. The initial taste was very creamy and winelike and ulimately finished with fruity, yeasty perfection. Well masked alcohol too. Cask-conditioning made this beer totally awesome! Ringo (963) - Loveland, Colorado, USA - APR 13, 2003
THIS is a barley wine. Not like that grapefruit juice that I just reviewd from HOTD. This is a thick, rich, malty brew; it's like a less strong Thomas Hardy's or JW Lee's. Good stuff! 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.
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. Pigfoot (2268) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - SEP 5, 2004
2003 edition, with jovial, beret-bedecked Fred Eckhardt raising a glass to us from the label.Appearance: in the light a clear, perfectly rich, bright garnet out, out of the glare, it approaches plum, with a terrifically plush, creamy, eggnog-colored head.
Aroma: potent and sweet, complex, awash with associations of dark fruits, cherries, grapes, but with a wicked, roasted kick. Deep, dark, divine.
Taste: fierce, but friendly, hops, big, matched well with lush, solid malt, mmm, tasty. Full-bodied, long, happy finish, with the alcohol not asserting itself immediately, but ringing in by 1/3 of the way through. Although, at "mere" 9.1%, it doesn’t rope-a-dope you like certain bodacious barleywines, Victory Old Horizontal, just of the top of my head...and that’s a good thing, for certain. A full-flavored, warmly textured, utterly delicious bw that caresses it’s way into your heart, rather than blundgeoning into your braincase.
PhillyBeer2112 (2850) - Oviedo, Florida, USA - MAR 25, 2006
A 1999 bottle, sampled 2006. Some pleasing oxidation apparent in the nose, a little sherry and cardboard. Smooth and caramelly flavor. Earthy and rustic finish. Surprisingly nice and mellow, easy drinking. Age has done this one well. Some fig starts to show as I get into it. Nice clearish dark amber colo, nice lacing. harrisoni (18578) - Ashford, Kent, ENGLAND - OCT 24, 2006
On tap at Bridgeport, Portland. Deep chestnut with beige thin head. Perfumed hop aroma on top of a strong alcohol, gorgeously fruity barley wine. Beautifully perfumed aroma, then this lovely fruity malt base (red fruits), strawberry and then a great dose of hops. Syrupy alcohol Some alcohol too. I had this and the Rogue Old Crustacean on same evening and difficult to split them. braznadian (59) - Washington, USA - DEC 16, 2012
This is No.13. Pours a dark amber with a thin tan head that recedes to an outer ring. Smells very nice. Got hints of pine resin, spruce and even some faint banana. Intense flavors. Bittersweet with a strong alcohol finish. banana, amber, clear, frothy, tan foam, Very bittersweet flavor. Intense. Starts sweet, then a sort of bitter fruit flavor. Strong alcohol finish. Thick feel with average carbonation. Definately a big beer with alot going on.