TAR (2802) - Blue Ridge Mountains, North Carolina, USA - MAR 24, 2003
UPDATED: APR 2, 2003 Translucent rosin. Bubbles struggle to find their way to the top in this viscous liquid. Soft, mellow barleywine-like aroma with a huge bready, toffee malt base alongside notes of honey, flowers, spiced rum, vague citric zest, pine sap, and fig. Disappointingly only a trace of wood. Slightly syrupy. Gentle, yet slightly sharp carbonation. First sip yields pure bitterness and miniscule complexity, if any. Lemon rind, mild caramel trace, and astringent honey dipped pine cone. Very little evidence of any malt structure. Numbing alpha acids, raw hop cone, medicine, and phenolic notes become apparent long after the swallow. This would be more pleasant if the walloping, Chinook-like bitterness was toned down. I’ll see how my other bottle fares with about twelve months age behind it. I expected this to show more character, with its being oak conditioned and hugely hopped. I'm quickly growing bored of these uninventive, redundant hop juices. Jake Barnes (456) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - MAR 14, 2003
(RAF 03) Insanely hoppy. Reminiscent of a hoppy barleywine. Big alcohol prescence. A bit much. JoeM500 (1909) - Crown Point, Indiana, USA - MAR 6, 2003
RAF'03- Big hoppy monster. Piney, grapefruity, even appley and peary. The alcohol was strong along the entire trip. Nothing there to balance it on any level. I bet the couple wearing the hop-head head covers loved this one!! jsquire (4662) - St. Marys, Ohio, USA - MAR 5, 2003
Out of the bottle this beer was hazy orange with a minimal head and a nose of fresh, piney HOPS. Pinching HOP bitterness, with lots of orange rind, lime and pine resin flavors. I found this to be a one dimensional beer. HOPS. Its not a bad one dimensional beer, but it is annoyingly unspecial. (HOPS) DaSilky1 (2608) - San Diego, California, USA - MAR 2, 2003
cask (RAF): flat transparent copper with a malty aroma joined by some alcohol, english hops, and coconut tan lotion..flavors were brown sugar, orange, flowery hops turning resiny in the aftertaste..the mouthfeel was sticky sweet..grassy too..
cb (810) - Roeland Park, Kansas, USA - MAR 2, 2003
RAF - Cask. Aroma and taste are very sticky, almost cloying. Crazy-strong, the outrageous hoppyness made me wince for some reason. They were trying to make a statement with this one and succeeded. fraternie (1030) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAR 2, 2003
Aroma is sweet but malty, reminiscent of a barleywine. Sole caramel notes in the malt. Alcohol seems fairly present in the malt but finishes smoothly with a nice hoppy flavor. A bit dry. Overall a very good IIPA. Jokes (1455) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAR 2, 2003
Cask RAF. This was a pretty nice strong ale. Pours a nice amber/orange color with minimal head. The aroma is surprisingly malty with little hops. Caramel, malty and soft fruits. A little orange , raisin and a hint of smoke. weusebio (69) - Portland, Oregon, USA - FEB 28, 2003
Malty, fruity and biting. Beautiful color in the pour that makes you want to cream in your pants. The aftertaste is a bit strong, but overall a fantastic barleywine. Murphy (1759) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - FEB 21, 2003
Great. Lots of big malty taste, with a great full body that fills the mouth. Hops are well balanced. As for fitting the style, they have failed. No big hops anywhere, but that's ok because this beer is the shit. Very good. Complex. Try it.