blankboy (7689) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - DEC 11, 2005
Magnum at ’December at DougShoemaker’s 2005’ -- courtesy of ?. Vintage 2004. Pours a murky reddish-brown with a small fizzy off-white head. Wonderful aroma of big fresh citrus hops followed by sweet malt, alcohol and dark fruit. I love the smell! The flavour (one word: DELICIOUS!) also starts big with the hops then a sweet fruity taste follows and finally some malt, sugar, spices and smoke. The alcohol is warming and just right for a 10.5% beer. This beer is so complex and definitely one of the best Barley Wines I’ve ever had the pleasure of having. At a tasting where I rated 32 beers this was the beer of the night. Fantastic! Schroppfy (2360) - Łódż, Warsaw, Poland; Michigan, Ohio, USA - DEC 10, 2005
What is there to say about this classic? Definitely piney, but bitter in other ways (bitter vegetable greens in the best way!). Sweet bready malt. Hefty, especially with the yeast pour, but remarkable in it’s solidity given that it is 11.5%. Andre sent this and I say Yeah! Crockett (1117) - Southampton, Ontario, CANADA - DEC 5, 2005
Magnum sample (bottom end). Pours murky brown with lots of sediment. Thin tan head. Piney nose with brown sugar, burnt butter, booze and wood. Sweet and laced thoughout with chocolate, berry tart, butter, raisins, cake and wood. Sour milk. Big and bold. Unfortunately I had the bottom of the bottle which had some rather large tobacco sized sediment. None the less the flavours of whiskey and toasted barley prevailed. Quite delicious and I wait for a sample, somewhere near the middle. auerbrau (3203) - Ithaca, New York, USA - DEC 4, 2005
UPDATED: APR 28, 2009 2004 On tap at Barley Johns. Extremely soup murky red, like a glowing early morn Northern California fog. Wow, wicked aroma. Incredible bright fruit wicks, with mellow west coast-esque hops jumping with lime zest, fresh orange and a touch of lemongrass. This all mingles with some rounded fruit notes, including fruitcake and mellow brandy and figs. The aroma is wholly unrestrained. Flavor is equally astounding, with a symphonic three phase series. It starts with a shallow resiny grass hop a la IPA, but then gracefully morphs into a rich, sweet candied fruit movement with pears, apples and a touch of hazlenut. Finally, it crescendos into a credibly creamy run, with figments of vanilla and creme fraiche. Palate lingers of resin, pine and floral, all fresh off the tree. Completing this symphony full circle. This has got to be one of the most amazingly rounded barleywines I’ve ever savored. Whole, deep, complex, exhilirating and inspiring. I’m holding back from a 5, only because the hops come on a little strong in the palate and it could use some more spice and heavy malt sweetness. badgerben (5187) - Blaine, Minnesota, USA - NOV 30, 2005
Tap at Barley John’s; 2004 Vintage. Mud red color with no head. Aroma of caramel and toffee. The taste keeps those two followed up with a strong hop bitterness (Cascade?). Kind of a syrupy finish.
mreeves (276) - Sammamish, Washington, USA - NOV 28, 2005
Bottle, 2005. Unlike other gushing Hair of the Dog beers I’ve had, this one is virtually uncarbonated for some reason, so I have to give it low marks on appearance. Everything else about it, though, is excellent as I’ve come to expect from HOTD. Deep golden color, nice malty and fruity flavor with a decent amount of hops to balance things. Sticky and satisfying. acertain (249) - Seattle, Washington, USA - NOV 27, 2005
Unfortunately, I wasn’t logged in when I wrote up more verbose comments, and it didn’t preserve them. In brief, I’ve decided I just don’t like the flavor of barley wine. If you do, you should probably ignore my rating.... DrGonzo (625) - Somerville, Massachusetts, USA - NOV 25, 2005
Bottle, 2004. A dark brown with light ruby tints, thin and quick white head. Heavily hopped aroma, with some caramel laced pine cones swimming in cognac. A body of molasses syrup, dried plums. Endless depth and class, a flavor which escapes vocabulary and transcends the world of beer. A masterstroke in the art of barleywine. fordest (2470) - Santee/San Diego, California, USA - NOV 21, 2005
2003 12 oz bottle. Thanks Kramer17801 for this bottle. I know I would never be able to age a beer like this, I would not have the control not to drink it. Murky Brown with a very nice head. Lacing lasted forever. Aromas of dark fruit, cherry and plum. Molassas in fthe flavor to accompany the fruit and the alcohol heat. Very tasty Barley Wine. Sammy (12210) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - NOV 19, 2005
2004 edition thanks to Joe McPhee. Not as amazing an experience as the 2001 edition perhaps because of youth. Creamy orange and pienapple and well hopped out in front.