Smacky (71) - San Clemente, California, USA - JUN 24, 2003
Incredible. This beer will kick you in the head if you're not careful. The nose is potent, exuding powerful hops and a forward maltiness. The color looks intense, as it is a deep, ruby copper color (if that makes sense). Lots of fruity ester in the nose presage an intense, full flavor profile: malt, a melange of hops, some interesting fruit (bing cherries, berries) and chocolate. A very interesting drinking experience. Two 22 oz. Old Boardheads will send you over the falls. mardermax (71) - santa cruz, California, USA - MAY 11, 2004
22 oz bottle: pored into a tuplip glass. poured a nice deep amber color. the head started large, but quickly faded into oblivion. smells like apricots, alcohol and malts. no hops really, which of course saddens me. tastes malty, fruity and nice. soooo mellow and smooth. not a hint of alcohol. delish. shaeffbser (70) - Vail, Colorado, USA - JUN 6, 2003
red copper colorwith malty, fruity, berry aroma. malty tangy taste. Alcoholic, med carbonation palate. great beer. arhythmt (69) - Alabama, USA - SEP 28, 2004
The place to start if you haven’t tried many barleywines before; try to locate an aged bottle (particularly the 1999 vintage). Three types of malt and four hop varietals make this an incredibly complex brew. Best when slightly warmer than refrigerator temperature. Smooth but with a firm malt flavor, almost no head (as is expected), some raisin and brown sugar essences. gabbledbabble (60) - Loveland, Colorado, USA - FEB 15, 2005
Whizzang, fizzang, fizzizle, drizzle -- fizz gone. Quite reddish. Looks dryish. Not so thick. Smells like fruitcake ala brandy. Mingled citron. Maraschino cherry nose. It looks a little oily up close. Hit me.
Wow, and Yeah. Froot cake. Dried pears. Pecan sandies. Hermits with big fat and plump thompson raisins. Lay it on me. Layer it on me. Alcohol is masked, veiled, which means it is thinly disguised. It’s pretending to hide. There’s sharpness all about. Delish.
feedmec00kies (49) - New York, New York, USA - SEP 18, 2006
what puzzl said about sharing and verticals and whatnot.
05: smells like brown sugar, vanilla, a tiny bit of washed-rind (aka stinky) cheese, maybe some olives. tasted strongly of hops, and a bit like buckwheat honey. makes me think "greener" in comparison to the ’03. 6/4/5/4
03: pretty different; the word i thought of was "darker", when comparing it to the 05. now the smell is overwhelmingly like washed-rind cheese (like the chimay cheese where the rind is washed with beer i had a week ago), with some soy sauce. 03 tastes almost sickeningly sweet, with buckwheat honey, dark fruits, soy sauce, washed-rind cheese, and a little like lucky charms-type marshmellows.
i wish i could have tried an 04, since i think a balance between the two would have been best. otherwise, i’m not too sure i’m a fan. millerclmb (44) - Boulder, Missouri, USA - JUN 25, 2004
Incredbile color in this 2004 bottle. It is almost brandy like in appearnce. Very smooth with almost no head. Looks like wine. Clean well balanced taste. Not as sweet as many barleywines. I taste cherry, and cognac hues. I prefer a little more bite...this is so smooth. Probably much better with a cigar and a little choclate after a meal. Definitly taste this one with food. Not a good one to taste first. ultracake (42) - salem, Oregon, USA - SEP 8, 2009
22 oz of the 2008, i feel bad giving this a lower rating but it just didn’t shock me. Bitter finish but over light flavor. Nothing bad about it just nothing exciting. cantchangeit (39) - Oregon, USA - MAY 26, 2010
This beer was really good I enjoyed drinking it and would buy it again because it was so pleasant. RickS95 (36) - Evansville, Indiana, USA - NOV 20, 2008
Poured a nice tan head. Dark caramel/coffee in color; dark but appeared cloudy or unfiltered, just like I like it.
Smell of hops and spices. Kind of neutral mouthfeel which surprised me given the 91 IBUs.
Good lacing. Finish is definitely bitter, but not as much as you’d expect from such high IBU level. The bitterness was chased away in the finish by the warming 9% alcohol, which stayed with you well beyond the aftertaste.
This beer was a handful. With a 22-ounce bottle, I didn’t really need to drink anything after this.