Shag (3000) - Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA - DEC 12, 2005
This was in KPs rating whore cooler. Awesome! We had to fight Aracauna for it as he trying to keep it for himself. Anyways a murky orange appearance. This tasted very similar to those orange-cicles I used to get as a kid. Very creamy and sweet. This one isnt too complex but it tastes really good. Magjayran (1378) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - NOV 29, 2005
2005 version poured from a bottle. Pours a dark red color with a small white head that sticks around for awhile. Tangerine and grass aroma with very little alcohol and maybe a faint caramel. Obviously a very young barleywine as the hops absolutely dominate the flavor. The alcohol is fairly noticeable and a sweet finish somewhat balances this one out. I liked that it was more bitter than most barleywines I’ve had and I wonder if I won’t end up enjoying this one more fresh. ross (2146) - weddington, North Carolina, USA - NOV 27, 2005
2005 harvest. dark red color. taste is sweet and somewhat hoppy. smell is grassy, fruity, sweet, and a hint of alcohol. based on the ratings i was expecting this to be a not so good beer. turns out, i kinda liked it. it was very smooth and should age very well. not a bad beer at all, and certainly not deserving of the lower rating. YourDarkLord (1800) - Urbana, Illinois, USA - NOV 18, 2005
A modest little barleywine, it pours out copper with a brief tan head. Grapefruit, orange zest, cookie dough, with traces of alcohol. Medium to full bodied and smooth. The flavor leaned to the sweet side with some bitterness following in the end. AlabastorJones (814) - Seattle, Washington, USA - NOV 6, 2005
apricot per-hops, milk dark brown/thin head, w/ yeasty settlement colonizing on a certain quadrant, well balanced, dry woody finish has this coffee table and thou beer, super hoppy is the cup before me
and dank is it as well
11026 (1772) - Alabama, USA - SEP 6, 2005
2004 bottle. Pours a deep amber color with some opacity, color turns more of a dark red to orange when backlit. Nice long lived light tan head leaves fair lacing behind. Fuller bodied. Somewhat coating. Aroma is sweet and fruity, some light bananna? with alcohol lurking around somewhere. Flavor is initially sweet and fruity, alcohol factors in towards the middle and finish. Very decent hop bitterness in the finish which lingers. Middle portion of the beer just seems to fall flat on its face. Decent. DrunkenWeasel (224) - Portland, Oregon, USA - SEP 6, 2005
Pours amber with almost no head to it. Smells of barley and nuts. Taste is sweet and bitter like it should be but nothing special. Aftertaste isn’t as complex as it should be just being short lived and just like the intiial taste. Still nice though, love the label of the beer. BeerLimey (2154) - California, USA - SEP 1, 2005
04 Harvest Opaque reddish amber appearance, modest head fromation. Malty, sugarry, caramel nose with intriguing herbal notes. Grapefruit citrussy hops make the first impression but don’t last. Turns to a caramel suggarry malt flavor, slightly dryish towards the ends, dry figs. Hoppy grapefruit comes back again towards the end. Overall pretty disappointing. BBB63 (6557) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - AUG 26, 2005
UPDATED: JAN 11, 2008 RERATE from the last of my 2002 bottles and shared with Tom: Age has done this well, more balanced with a bit of classic olde school oxidation. Increase my rating from a 2.4 to a 3.4 total score.drismyhero (815) - Tacoma, Washington, USA - AUG 20, 2005
2002 Harvest and served in my small GL snifter:
A rich amber hue but there is some floating yeast veins as well, minimal head and zero lace, some oily tears. The nose develops a heavy malty character of caramel and rye bread along with spicy and earthy hops. Minor fruity esters as well mostly based upon ripened apple and apricot. Moderate phenolic nature runs in conjunction. Sweet malt and sugary base with some fruit undertones and a peppery bite. In the end however, this barley wine falls face first without ever exciting the taste buds. The feel is equally short and not very inviting, just seems to just sit there and do nothing, boring to say the least. Mad River has some good brews, this is not one of them.
2002 Harvest: A fairly complex barley wine without the sharp alchohol or intense sweetness of many of the same style. Distinct cereal character with a nice bready nuttiness and a soft chocolate finish. The beer borders on watery as it warms, but stays mostly solid and very tasty. All around good - great ruby color with nice head retention, mellow but still fairly complex aroma and a palate that is comparable to the top barley wines out there.