PWalk (337) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - MAY 27, 2005
Poured into a wine glass at the brew pub the Phantom had me right from the start. The aroma was of fruit but not necessarily dark. Instead it had almost a citrus feel to it. Flavor was sour at first cleansing that palate for what was to come in the way of sweet caramel goodness and alchoholic burn. I meant to grab a growler of the stuff and wax it up for posterity as this beer will one day rule the world if opened. Dickinsonbeer (5074) - Hoboken, New Jersey, USA - MAY 9, 2006
I had the newest vintage (2205 or 06?). Apparently this vintage is one of the cleanest and most rounded, at least thats what the menu said. Pours a deep amber, slightly hazy, and a thin creamy beige head. Aroma is sweet with caramel malts, fruity esters, dried fruits- apricot, raisin etc. Flavor is nicely sweet but blaanced with fruits, caramel, toasted malts, and subtle in the hops. Well rounded mouthfeel and finishes lightly sweet with a touch of bitterness. Very nice overall- I wish I remembered to try some of the vintage phantoms in bottles. Next time! goldtwins (4320) - Nesconset, New York, USA - SEP 25, 2006
04/05 Blend. This just keeps showing me that I prefer a nice rounded and aged English BW over an American style. Favorite style for sure. Poured a hazy dark amber color with a small off-white head. Thick sweet malt in the aroma and flavor with caramel and fruity notes. Nice and rounded with good balance between the sweet malt and the high alc. I am sure the blending is the cause of this. Alcohol taste stays hidden. The effects of it do not. ;) CaptainCougar (7133) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - MAR 20, 2007
UPDATED: DEC 17, 2007 ’05 vintage bottle sampled at the brewpub on 12/3/07: Transparent deep copper amber pour has a thin coating of effervescent white head. Sweet earthy dark caramel malty nose has some aged oxidized complexity and light fruity esters. Starts with a rich, sticky caramel malty sweetness and some fruity brown sugar and raisin complexity toward a slightly warming finish. A nicely aged barleywine.
JB175 (1665) - Bucks County, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 24, 2008
04/05 blend sampled on 9/20/06: Pours a slightly hazy copper amber with a thin, wispy off-white head. Semi-sweet, toasty caramel aroma has a nice, light fruity character. Body starts with a semi-sticky sweet caramel and fresh grapefruity hoppiness. Nicely-balanced and well aged. A good barleywine.
2005 Vintage Bottle poured into a small snifter - Reddish color with almost no head. Aroma is thick with cereal, sugar, and faint citrusy hops. Flavor has a nice sugary, malty-cerealish taste with a faint hop flavor and dark, vinous fruits throughout. Mouthfeel is really nice with a slight alcohol burn that creeps pleasantly up the palate. Pretty good, though the “vintage” price hurts the pocketbook a tad bit.
alobar (3879) - Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 20, 2010
Possibly one of the most flavorful barleys I’ve ever had. Pours a reddish copper color wit no head. Powerful and pleasant aroma of caramel and dark fruit. Flavor of dark cherry, caramel and just a touch of hops. Super enjoyable! Great beer! mkobes (2142) - paramus, New Jersey, USA - APR 18, 2004
Known as Mcglynns Ghost. Wow. Sticky malty flavor.Caramel flavors. Deep brown in color with a thin head. Served in a snifter. Enjoyable. egajdzis (6693) - Pennsburg, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 22, 2005
2003... Poured a deep purple color with a thin, light tan head that left no lacing on the glass. Aroma of chocolate, raisins, toffee, dried fruits and port. Taste was sweet and fruity, more toffee and caramel, with light hop bitterness and alcohol in the finish. afireinside96 (923) - Mountville, Pennsylvania, USA - MAR 1, 2010
2009 vintage on tap at the brewpub. Cloudy brown color with a thin khaki colored head. Sweet smelling with notes of toffee, butterscotch, grass, and prune. Big chewy mouthfeel followed by a tsunami of flavor. All of the aroma notes were present along with a little chocolate and fig. Oily and coating with a very long finish. This was one very tasty barleywine. Sammy (12610) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - MAY 15, 2005
80IBU, this is a biting hoppy barleywine. Flavorful and sour, reminding me of other wonderful brewing accients like Cuvee de Tomee. Opaque red, chestnut colour, with mocha head. Seductive aroma of musty fruit sourness. Floral, spicey, sharp biting.