jbak (111) - Torrington, Connecticut, USA - MAR 14, 2006
2005 bottle. Pours a nice deep reddish amber color, slightly cloudy. Medium tan head that dissipates quickly into a constant thin head with very little lacing at all. Aroma is quite oaky with a bit of alcohol and a little raisin and prune.as well Very smooth up front, just a bit of sweet malt. The carbonation is noticable in the mouth feel, leading to a nice silky body. The aftertaste is got quite a an alcohol bite, leaves you puckering a bit even if it finishes quickly, seems a bit young but this got better as it warmed as well. Not much of an alcohol burn, just a twang and then it was gone. mdi (573) - Nebraska, USA - MAR 12, 2006
12oz bottle. 2001 bottling. Poured into snifter with a nice tan head...that fell leaving just a thin collar at the edges...first impression in the aroma is alcohol...I let it sit for about 10min and come back...carmel, brown sugar, cherries, blueberries, woodiness all appear in the nose...very subtle carbonation with a rich silky body. About as good as a barley gets in that department I think...Sweet finish, but not overdone...this is a mellow beer at this age...I can’t recall(no notes) on what I thought of it younger, but I really love its mellow mix of fruitiness and malt...with a touch of earthiness and wood. What age has done blends right in and amplifies this beer’s character...very luxuriant. No alcohol burn either. Excellant. Too bad its so strong! Definately something to savor. thebeertourist (5189) - Oslo, NORWAY - MAR 12, 2006
2005 bottle at T.H. Brewster. Hazy, reddish-brown colour with a nice little beige head. Delicious fruity, port-like aromas. Raisiny. Noticeable alcohol. Intense fruity flavours, with a lot of raisins. Sweet, but good balancing bitterness, ending dry. Warming alcohol, full-bodied, medium carbonation. A wonderful barley wine. theshocker (329) - Marietta, Georgia, USA - MAR 10, 2006
Dark, deep red. A minimal tan head which fades quickly. The aroma is plum, pear, raisin, molasses. Thick, chewy. Winey flavor, raisen stands out. Surprisingly smooth. Sweet, brown sugar, cinammon, cloves, chocolate. Very complex. Some bitterness in the finish but overall underhopped for my taste. Great for sipping after dinner. henrikb (1263) - Aarhus, DENMARK - MAR 5, 2006
2004 bottle consumed 3/2006 – Very deep warm fruity sweet port-like nose, lots of elements to it: red berries, rhubarb, warmer elements like caramel, too (and a little oxidation); The body is very, very well balanced, full and thick, with great carbonation (the 11,4 % is very well hidden); The finish is a little bitter, quite malty sweet, very big and very long, with fine coffee, berries and milky chocolate. Great Beer!
Sregnar35 (1030) - Rotterdam, New York, USA - MAR 5, 2006
This is a good barleywine to finish off a good night of drinking. 03 vintage. Color was very dark brown-red. Aroma of dried dark fruit. Flavor very complex, msany things going on. Cognac, yeast, dried fruit, and strangely jerkey. GeneralGao (3614) - Iowa City, Iowa, USA - MAR 2, 2006
12 oz bottle. 2004 vintage. Poured an attractive clear deep amber color with foamy off white head. Aroma is enticing...molasses, raisins, alcohol, grape candy, and bourbon. Every now and again I get a whiff of spruce trees. Flavors are similar, but more grape candy and less molasses. Again with the raisins. Warm alcohol, slick and vinous. Carbonation is on the low end. Delicious. iowaherkeye (2703) - Ocean Beach, San Diego, California, USA - MAR 2, 2006
UPDATED: FEB 24, 2008 Rerate. revisiting the 2005 vintage. Hazy brown with a small beige head. The aroma has quite a bit going on. Up front is sherry, raisins, scorched caramel, tobacco, crackers, and light spicy hops. Flavor was much the same with some added booze soaked cherries and chocolate sauce. Dry chocolatey finish with bitterness around a 3. Full body with low carbonation. Lovely beer--I can’t wait to try the 2005 alongside the barrel aged versions. Old rating follows.12oz bottle 2005. Pours a cloudy amber brown with small tan head. Aroma of raisins, alcohol, sticky pine, and sweet caramel malts. Taste follows aroma pretty well, with a mild bitterness in the finish--midway through the bitterness is stronger but the malts bring it down well. Considering this beer is still "new," it isn’t mildly carbonated. Will age well. 8-4-8-4-17--4.1 GreatLibations (1854) - Last Supper, Arizona, USA - FEB 27, 2006
UPDATED: MAY 2, 2008 2008: Score 3.2- a cold pour produces a two finger head that slowly dissipates to a silky canopy and a fluffy ring. A deep copper amber color spills forth creating aromas sweet and herbal. Full nectar w/ good carbonation creating a soft almost creamy texture. Nice! Fat, decadent, and malt driven w/ pounds of deafening sweet molases and caramel w/ a slight bitter up from a peach pit factor. Stone fruit weigh in heavily w/ not much of anything else but some herbs. The finish is cloyingly sweet.
2007: Score-3.4 / Pours deep dark amber w/ a full, semi creamy froth. Head retention is good w/ decent lacing. Aroma is weak and all I detect is fresh pine greens. Full nectar w/ ample mellow yet explosive residual effers. Alcohol right upfront w/ a sweet malty backbone. Not a complex brew at all. Theres the caramel, cherry fruit, peach nectar, and fresh pine. The finish is bittered moderately w/ a peachpit component and leaves a little alcohol on the tongue. Very warming and potent. *****
2006: SCORE 4.1 / Pours deep dark amber w/ a shallow froth. Aromas of sweet malt, aged plumb and cherries. Full nectar w/ ample mellow residual effers. Flavors are strong, rich, and sticky sweet w/ a peach pit bittering. Secondary flavors of brandy, tobacco, oak, black cherry, ripe plumbs, caramel, green apricots, citrus rind, celery, and more. Finish has a lingering bitterness that overcomes previous flavors. Not balanced. Alcohol flavors are present. This one will benefit from aging. Very complex. I see the potential but it’s miles away sonny.
2005: SCORE 3.9/ A golden color on the pour with full nectar. Rich, sweet, and creamy. Light in color for it’s genre and real easy to drink. Not as complex as I’d expect from these guy’s. Nice ballance and ready to go. Alcohol is dangerously well hidden . kook (2033) - Perth, Western Australia, AUSTRALIA - FEB 24, 2006
LCRBM: Sweet grapefruit and caramel in the nose. Suprisingly plesant and smooth, not offensive. Brown in colour. Sweet yet not cloying. Dry hop finish. Good stuff.