morebier4me (140) - New York, USA - SEP 14, 2002
.................................................. TheBeerLover (1027) - DC Metro Area, USA - JAN 24, 2006
I have been fortunate enough to have visited The Pilsner Room down along the banks of the Willamette River, in the beer loving city of Portland, Oregon. The Pilsner Room is the restaurant/bar attached to the Full Sail Brewery. The full line of Full Sail beers flow freely, along with a slew of other Oregon/PNW/ and from beyond beers. Nothing beats the experience of tasting brewery fresh beer straight from the brewery, literally only a yard or two away from the taps. But there are some beer styles, that actually will improve with some age. Full Sail Old Board Head Barleywine is one such beer. I purchased a number of their 98 and 99 vintages in bottles, and brought them home for future consumption. This is one incredible barleywine, one worth the trip to Portland.
Old Boardhead pours to a beautiful, bright, garnet color, with a faint tan head, and a very soft carbonation. The nose on this beer is just fantastic. Big hop aromatics marry with peppery hints of alcoholic strength, and sweet malt aromas. The palate is a very firm malt body of pale and crystal malt flavors. Sweet malt flavors of "fresh bread", a touch of vanilla, and some estery fruit coat the tongue. The mouth feel is full, rich, and luscious. This beer finishes with more sweet malt up front, then dries with citric, piney, hop bitterness and a warming high octane burn. Old Boadhead comes in at 10-11% abv, this is a potent brew.
I’m sampling the 1999 vintage here, and the hop character is more pronounced in aroma and flavor but mellows with more age. In the 1998 vintage, more malt character seems to come through. Which ever vintage you try, Old Boardhead is one of the finest barleywines on the market today. This beer is a rare and special treat, it is extremely hard to find outside of the PNW. This beer is perfect on a chilly fall evening, or to be sipped as a night cap. I wouldn’t pair this with food, but if one chose to, this would be the perfect foil to creme brulee broowater (10) - Washington, USA - JAN 30, 2012
2011 bottle on 01/27/2012. Biscuity, malty, caramel, dough, butterscotch, golden, clear, minimal head, light sweetness, lightly sour, thin feel, light body, long finish, simply AWESOME, can’t taste the alcohol, very well balanced with the hops. Shadallion (534) - Sacramento, California, USA - FEB 20, 2002
The quinessential American barleywine. This one has it all: deep malt flavor, lush body, powerful hop finish, and swirling complexity throughout. Let it age a year or two, and you'll see what I'm talking about. Re rate: Just sampled some of this elixer that was brewed in 1995, and it's even better with 7 years on it! My pick for best barleywine at the Tononado Barleywine Festival. Verne (263) - Enumclaw, Washington, USA - MAR 13, 2003
This must have been the beer the beer that Benjamin Franklin was talking about “beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy’
It’s a big beer 01 vintage and I love the smell, fruit, and malt, some flowery hops. All that and more in the taste. The very best
legion242 (2348) - Richardson, Texas, USA - SEP 5, 2001
A phenominal beer. These were brewed on 6-30-97 and then bottled 10 months later. Very round in flavor and warming and yummy yummy yummy. jcalbi (380) - Medford, New Jersey, USA - JUL 25, 2002
Vintage 2001-Brew date 12/2/1999. Deep auburn hue with a quickly disappearing french vanilla head. Aromas of vanilla, oak and alcohol. A myriad of subtle peppery spices with notes of butterscotch. Alocohol is quite well concealed but becomes evident on the noggin within a few minutes. Also a hop bitterness that becomes apparent in the long relaxing finish. A well constructed barleywine. YogiBeera (2569) - New Jersey, USA - MAR 3, 2003
Mmmhh, this Barley wine is sheer lunacy. Apple and cinnamon, very fruity flavorsome. Nice creamy layer of a head on this warm amber nepenthe stroked by soft bubbles. Apples and grapes are alternate in the taste, spicey - peppery with cinnamon tones and also malt. Medium bitter finish. Smooth and silky with a lingering taste accompanied by soft undertones of acohol this slides down my throat and my brain get's torpedoed with the song of "you want more, you want more!" It warms your stomach right away, well balanced though complex. Thanks a lot ecrivich! ChillCoat (1029) - Concord, California, USA - OCT 1, 2006
’98 Vintage Drunk in 2006.
Poured by John Harris himself- I don’t know if it was from a bottle or keg, I forgot to ask.
Clear copper color ivory head. Nice aroma, scotch, tobacco, vanilla, must, pipe tobacco, oak. Sweet, woody with fruity mustiness. You can taste the alcohol but it’s not too hot. Oranges and bourbon.
S_Side_Smitty (776) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - APR 26, 2013
Pours cloudy brown with a minimal tan head. Aroma is raisin, molasses, sweet malts, light chocolate, and a little age (2012) - something very rustic about the aroma. Taste is off the charts good - heavy sweet malts, molasses, and carob up front. Then it slowly tranforms into a mellow earthy bitterness. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. My idea of a barley wine!