austinpowers (2831) - San Francisco, California, USA - NOV 1, 2002
As murky and unclear as Bill Clinton's testimony in the Paula Jones trial, this "barleywine" is actually a helluva lot like a kriek lambic, as others have pointed out. Sour, but with complexity and fruity undertones. Hard to tell apart from a George Gale ale, frankly, and I think they've done a great job with it. Sufficiently sweet that the sourness doesn't overwhelm you. The alcohol is amazingly well-hidden! dins (266) - Texas, USA - DEC 17, 2001
Thick and cloudy with a nice dark reddish color. Nice initial head, rapidly dissipates. Lambic sourness with cherry notes. I'd guess about 8% by mouthfeel. Dry finish. Nice. Heat99 (56) - Austin, Texas, USA - DEC 18, 2001
Really strange brew...considering I didn't know it was a kreik lambic when I drank it. Very dark and red with slight cloudiness. Tasted more like a very carbonated wine than a beer. Almost as carbonated as soda. Its definitely a sipping beer. And a very fruity one at that. Took me a while to drink. I had it sitting in front of a fire watching some Christmas specials. Cheers, and happy holidays! Andrew196 (2015) - Katy, Texas, USA - NOV 25, 2002
Aroma of red wine. What really got me is how the head and the SOUND of this beer was like soda water....really fizzy. Alcohol was masked well but the taste was too tart, especially if they wanna call it a barleywine. AceOfHearts (1374) - Mountain View, California, USA - FEB 24, 2003
This poured and fizzed like inviscid Coke...no, Pepsi. It smells like a combination of vinegar and cherries, and that's from a foot away from the pint glass...no joke. As I raise the glass to my handsome face, I detect slight brandylike aromas that are actually attractive, until my attention is distracted by the murky-brown appearance that the beer has around the edges. It's like an otherwise good-looking chick with an ugly mole on the side of her face that you just can't ignore no matter how hard you try. And this is all before I taste the stuff. The flavor is of somewhat rotten cherries, I did not like this at all. Weak mouthfeel that comes as expected from the inviscid pour. The label says "not for the weak" ...they should add "not for those who have a tongue either".
Lumpy (1802) - Carrollton, Texas, USA - JUL 13, 2004
UPDATED: JUL 14, 2004 Bottle. A ring of bubbles on a rusty brown bottle. Nose is fruit and malt. My reaction to the first taste-"holy f**k, who spllled vinegar into the vat"? Flavors of dried cherry, raisin, malt vinegar, and sugar come out. The mouthfell hurts-this is way, way too acidic. WHat is the pH? 3? 4?. That plus the high carbonation is a lethal combination. The finish is awful-acidic and malty. In all honestly, this isn’t realy bad, but it is by no means good. It tastes too damn much like straight malt vinegar. legion242 (2348) - Richardson, Texas, USA - DEC 22, 2002
Terribly out of balance. Everyone reports the sourness and there is no other barleywine that I have tasted that had an intentional sourness. Quality control issues are most likely the problem here. I am just hoping these aren't bottles left over from last year! Aroma was actually quite inviting. fly (1487) - austin, Tejas, Texas, USA - NOV 14, 2002
Sorry, I find it hard to believe this is actually an intentionally sour, lambic like effort. It says NOWHERE that it is in this style. I've been wrong plenty of times in my life, but this reminds me of the time that I bought a bottle of Young's SLA that had gone so far off that if I had been given it in a blind tasting I might have thought it was indeed Belgian. Thumbs down for me. Didn't like the sourness. Could only think of potential contamination or being out of date. Apologies if I'm wrong, but I still don't care for it. Nuffield (4202) - Roseville, Minnesota, USA - JAN 24, 2003
True cola appearance, except for the caramel colored head which blossomed and then sank within a matter of seconds. Decent aroma--woodiness as a dominant quality, with a hint of spice and sweet malts. But on tasting, this was Cantillon-meets-Texas. So sour!...what is going on here?! Even drinking more, I couldn't get myself to stomach it. It was a drain-pour, through and through. Texas drinkers aren't exactly the world's most open-minded folk, and Great Grains isn't winning any converts with this effort. Walt (2449) - Austin, Texas, USA - NOV 9, 2004
Poured brown and flat with minimal tan head...smell is of feet, alcohol, and metal...taste is similiar to loose stool...thin and sour with hints of aluminum, tin, and what;s that?? definately some magnesium...what is wrong with this? Drain...here I come!!