belgianhomebrew (645) - Acworth, Georgia, USA - FEB 3, 2003
1999 - Alcohol definitely comes through in th aroma, with a touch of malt. Body is not very balaced. Not the greatest, but still drinkable. kmeves (1098) - Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin, USA - JAN 28, 2003
Has a certain tartness that is offset by a sweet finish of dates and raisins. Very cloudy orange color. Alcohol could be hidden a bit better. Not the greatest Barleywine I have ever had, but it is very drinkable. fraternie (1030) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JAN 26, 2003
Strong alcohol aroma, somewhat smokey. Sweet aroma. Malt begins with a pleasant sugary/tart/bubblegum flavor, and then quickly falls off to hell. Balance is lacking in almost every definition of the word. The brief initial malt flavor is too quickly overtaken by and overwhelming alcohol presence. Finish is cloying and excessively dry--I felt like I had cottonmouth after only a few sips. A true example of what a barleywine should never be. jskendzel (602) - Washington DC, USA - JAN 22, 2003
2000 edition on the label, but advertised as 2002: very sweet aroma and an orange/amber color with some sediment. Very very sweet and a strong alcoholic nose to match. Dates and raisins in the flavor along with some bready, yeasty contributions. Overall enjoyable. TAR (2802) - Blue Ridge Mountains, North Carolina, USA - JAN 4, 2003
Millennium edition; 6.3 oz. nip bottle: Bland graham cracker aroma with underlying notes of seaweed, dried tropical fruit mix, heavy alcoholic vapors, artificial strawberry cereal, toasted cardboard, light marshmallows, and olives. Only a trace of foam. Unattractive hazy peach juice liquid. I'm almost scraed to taste this. Silky and syrupy palate; medium carbonation. Yet, surprisingly interesting and somewhat
tasty flavors emerge, full of bitter green vegetables, olive, and strange pale maltiness. Olive and stale bread flavors linger for far too long. Did I mention the burning alcohol alongside the peculiar meatiness? A severly unpolished organic barleywine, which only appears to have worsened with age. This brewery has too much potential to release such an unquality product.
Jokes (1455) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - DEC 31, 2002
2000. Nothing exciting here. Pours a murky golden brown with no head. Aroma is intensely sweet with a touch of dry bread. Flavors start sweet, almost honey-esque and finish with a large amount of hops. There's plenty of both malt and hops, but no balance. Not too great at all. CaptainCougar (7634) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - DEC 15, 2002
UPDATED: JAN 22, 2003 Rerate: 2002/Millenium Edition - Light strawberry aroma and flavor. Slightly sweet and mellow. Not your typical barleywine, but very drinkable and hides its alcohol well.
1999 Vintage - Strong sweet, malty, alcoholic aroma. Absolutely no head even with a vigorous pour. A rather large chunk of yeast sediment fell to the bottom of my glass, but I don't mind. Reminds me a lot of a vintage English strong ale. Caramel malty notes with a touch of sourness and an oily palate. This is very mellow for being 10% ABV. Smooth and complex and one of Lakefront's best offerings. The 7 oz. bottle is cute, but restricting. npdempse (934) - St. Petersburg, Florida, USA - DEC 13, 2002
2000 edition, tasted 12/02. Nose is sweet, toffee like, with obvious alcohol and some nuttiness. Vaguely salty scent as well. Rather an ugly murky yellow brown with nearly no head. Flavor is quite sweet, with a bit of bready malt flavor. Huge dose of bitter hops. Warms with a wash of fusel alcohol in the finish. Fairly two-dimensional flavor, between the sweetness and the intense hopping, characteristic of what can go wrong with an American barleywine. JPDIPSO (6298) - Wauwatosa, USA - JUL 6, 2002
UPDATED: MAR 29, 2003 RERATE '02 Sample - Very cloudy amber with chunks of white yeast and only a small ring of small bubbles on the edge. Strong alcohol with a hint of malt aroma. Wow, this really lacks. Lacks flavor, lacks body, lacks finish. What happened?
Tenth Anniversary Edition Rated at 4.2 - The aroma hits you from the time you crack the cap. Minimal head. Dark orange amber color with only a few small floaties. Aroma of dates, dark raisins, toffee, and hint of oak and tobacco. Quite sweet throughtout. Flavors include, but not limited to: dark rum, brandy, toasted malt and dark fruits with a touch of pepper. Very smooth finish. Bitterness helps cut some of the thick qualities. Alcohol is very well hidden. can detect it in both the aroma and while drinking, but it never really shows its head. With a start of 29 Plato that's quite impressive. I'm saddened, but yet relieved(considering the strength of this one) the bottle is only 187 ML(6.3 oz.). muzzlehatch (4975) - Beloit, Wisconsin, USA - DEC 13, 2001
UPDATED: JAN 12, 2003 Dec "01: 1997 bottle drunk December 2001. Color: deep red, bit murky with some obvious sediment; no head at all. Nose: invitingly wine-like, with some hints of oak, banana and mango (and alcohol!). Flavor/palate: whoa, incredibly powerful, thick, viscous body, with massive fruitcake/rum/banana tones and powerful malt presence. The thickest, most potent libation I"ve had since SA Triple Bock, but much more pleasant and drinkable. ABV must be north of 12%, but the sweetness, body and complexity really help to restrain the alcohol presence. A stunning, stunning barley wine, the best offering I"ve had yet from Wisconsin"s (America"s?) best brewery. 9/5/10/5/20:4.9 total
Jan "03: Millenium edition. Hazy light amber with lots of sediment, small ring of a head. Nose very sweet, candied-fruit-like, malty, very slight floral bitterness. Flavor: hugely bitter and alcoholic at the front, warming in the middle, bitter and dry in the finish. Really seems incomplete and poorly blended; ah for some bottles of the 97 again! THAT was great beer. This rating is an average of the two; hopefully the 2000 will improve on further aging! 8/4/6/2/12: 3.0 overall.