jazz88 (2676) - San Francisco, California, USA - NOV 12, 2002
UPDATED: JUN 15, 2008 Rating #1 Brewed on 12/2/99 (Reserve 01) and rated on 11/12/02 (8 5 9 4 19 -- 4.5). What a feast! Dark amber color with a solid light-brown head. The aroma has malts, cider, alcohol, raisins, and grapefruit. This stuff will knock you back a couple of feet! The flavor is sweet and acidic with dark fruits. It coats your mouth like nectar. Rating #2 Brewed on 5/22/02 (Reserve 02) and rated on 6/15/08 (7 3 7 4 17). A dark murky brownish amber color with a laced tan head. The aroma has apricots, raisins, caramel and noticeable alcohol. Smooth (aged well), bright flavors with citrus, grapefruit and loads of caramel. This one will probably never live up to the dream first bottle in 2002, but it is still quite nice. GermanBrews76 (680) - Richmond, Virginia, USA - NOV 3, 2002
bitters on palate last forever. strong, sweet fruity presence with definite tones of flowers. somewhat spicy on the finish. Definitely needs some time to gain some complexity and some depth. the head was gone almost immidiately though. Going to cellar a couple for the next few years! Zach Diesel (906) - Sisters, Oregon, USA - NOV 3, 2002
strong nearly belgian aroma, very red, serious hop presence, syrupy sweet with some grassy notes BillKismet (4041) - Seattle, Washington, USA - NOV 2, 2002
Expecting to be let down by this highly rated barley wine, this beer suprisingly lived up to its vaunted status. Reddish amber hued with a cream head that dies almost instantly, it is blessed with a beautiful ambrosic seraphim aroma of sugar candy cherries and crystal malt--with an oaken quality as well. Aged for about a year (the ’01 concoction), the hops were subdued and this beer was excellently balanced and consistend throughout. The alcohol was masked almost entirely and the port like qualities were well appreciated. A subsequent knock on this beer is that, though it has richness of aroma and flavor, it is uncomplex--analagous to san miguel dark lager in this matter alone. This beer did not mix well with my red wine basil sauce pasta--but this cannot be considered much of a knock. Despite, and in spite, of its high rating--I found this to be a superbly crafted offering that deserves its accolades. MaxPower (961) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - NOV 1, 2002
2001- Clear brown color, earthy sweet aroma, thick and malty a great barley wine.
gbzia (195) - Cedar Knolls, New Jersey, USA - OCT 18, 2002
’99. Good subtle flavor with some spices; lots of orange. The flavor hides the alcohol lever quite well... an easy drinker. HoppedHead (106) - seattle, Washington, USA - OCT 18, 2002
Pours amber/orange, with low carbonation, coupled with the huge hop body makes this a smooth sipping ale, Alcohol really warms you up. Easy drinking for such a big beer, excellent plavor dominated by malt, but very well hopped. argo0 (14127) - Washington DC, USA - OCT 14, 2002
(reserve 99) Cloudy orange with small light tan head. Floaties at bottom of pour. Big hoppy aroma -- citrus mostly. Plenty of malts there too, some sweetness. The flavor is sweet and rich. Sweet rich flavor --tastes like they kept adding the malts well past the point of sanity. Also some kick ass hoppiness. The aftertaste is involuntary shudder alcohol bitter burn. Definitely a sippy, not a session, beer. PhillyBeer2112 (2820) - Oviedo, Florida, USA - OCT 13, 2002
UPDATED: MAR 25, 2006 Brewed 11/10/98, Bottled 1999, Sampled October 2002. Intense fruity orangey, apple, and date aromas plus spicy hops. Hazy orange-amber with small fading head. Strong and sweet; fruity with alcohol, smoky and herbal notes. Warming balanced finish. Intoxicating. Low carbonation and quite smooth. Outstanding.KingPinHead (390) - Des Moines, Washington, USA - OCT 13, 2002
Score based on this sampling.
2003 sampled in 2006: Appealing dark honeyed odor. Medium foaming head, light haze from yeast. Fruity and spicy with persimmon.
Ar8, Ap4, Fl8, P4, O17
2005 sampled in 2006: Lighter golden color. Resiny and citric hops more apparent. Minty. Refreshing. Solid bitter finish. Ar7, Ap4, Fl8, P3, O17
Reserve 01: Pretty deep red-amber color with a moderate creamy head...Aroma is malty sweet with a slight tang and the presence of that Demon Alcohol which comes across attractively medicinal. The sweet malts dominate the bottom while a steady hop dryness rides atop---slight woody quality adds texture...The finish is full-rainbow: a little sweet, a little dry---and that warm burn in the very back...Good balance for such a substantial brew---very rich but not syrupy---exceptionally fine mouthfeel...I think I’ll get a couple of more of these to put away for a while...This is also an exceptional value for the dollar...