mjmurphy2 (85) - Madison, Wisconsin, USA - NOV 7, 2002
One of the best high alcohol brews I have had. Mouthfeel was stellar, full but not syrupy. Persistent head. Mild smoked flavor, which I usually don’t like but here was quite pleasant. Aroma, though, was sour and skank nasty. Still, overall a quality beer. MissingSmithwicks99 (13) - Fairfax, Virginia, USA - NOV 7, 2002
After reading other reviews, either I purchased a "bad" bottle or I am way out of practice. This ale pours thicker than an icecold mead and the alcohol taste was equivalent to a glass of Scotch. I love Dogfish Head but this one was not for me. duff (5484) - Copenhagen, DENMARK - NOV 7, 2002
Maple, Vanilla and Oak!!! Like it says on the label. Beautiful amber-red colour, Sweet malty nose, with some raisins, maple, and some peppery alcohol. A sipper, no doubts about that. Quite sticky, sweet, malty, raisiny, maply, vanilla, some light smokyness, with some alcohol bitterness, touch of hops, touch of pepper, with some oak towards the finish. Very heavy and complex, with a round mouth covering palate, can be a bit too sticky at times, but i’ve come to expect that in many barley wines i’ve had, and accept that its a character of the style, its just a matter of counter-acting the stickyness with some body and complexity, so it isn’t one-dimensionally sticky, this does it quite well. Lots of other characteristics to make the stickyness easier to bare. beerslayer (753) - New Jersey, USA - NOV 5, 2002
This is a really good barley wine. Complex Sweet and woody flavor. For 11%abv the alcohol was not overbearing. urbnhautebourg (997) - Annapolis, Maryland, USA - NOV 4, 2002
UPDATED: JUL 5, 2003 Cherry, oak and vanilla on the nose with a touch of booze. Same in the mouth, but with more pronounced woodiness and a hint of raisin. Alcohol's presence is felt and its welcome is not overstayed. As big as this beer is, I find it to be tightly wound with generous flavors. Overall, not unlike a fine whiskey. Top drawer.
amx1970390 (480) - Southampton, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 3, 2002
A Barley wine that pours with a head! But it does not last long, aroma is winey, very nice except for the vanilla tone are a little much. freekyp (2330) - Thomasville, North Carolina, USA - OCT 29, 2002
Sweet, raisiny, spicy, smoky character. Strong alchohol content bt doesn’t overwhelm the taste. Too distinctive to eat with most dinner meals. CaptainCougar (7133) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - OCT 28, 2002
UPDATED: FEB 18, 2004 2/18/04: This has been aged for a year and a half. Pours a clear copper color with a thin off-white head. Rich, sweet, and complex aroma of raisins, caramel, and hoppy bitterness. Body starts candy malty sweet and one-sided, but quickly gains the support of the alcohol and underlying bitterness. Hints of pine, toffee and strawberry are all present, working together to mask the alcohol. Aging has greatly helped this beer become more complex and balanced.
10/28/02: Golden ruby color with a complex aroma. Lots of hops, malt, maple, and raisiny fruitiness permeate the nose. Very syruppy and perhaps a bit too sweet. The finish is pretty dry, but lacks bitterness. Definitely an interesting concoction. Drew (2411) - Kent, Ohio, USA - OCT 28, 2002
First - appearance - copper/amber - looked very thin, like a liqueur or brandy. few bubbles, little disapearing head. Taste was huge and warming. maple and vanilla were predominant. didn’t really taste the alc. a very fine barley wine. DavidP (1748) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - OCT 26, 2002
This beers looks really amazing in the glass with its deep copper color, but it’s less impressive out of the glass. The flavor is overbearing, tasting like a bitter maple syrup. I drank this one by itself, perhaps some accompanying food would have helped tone down the flavor.