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 (2804) - 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. beervana (781) - Libertyville, Illinois, USA - FEB 23, 2006
(02.21.06) 12 oz brown bottle purchased from DiCarlo’s, Mundelein, IL. 11.4 % ABV. 2005 release. Pours clear red with a consistency like light maple syrup. Small white head. Soft carbonation. Caramel, sweet malt, and dried fruity (raisin?) esters on the nose. Full bodied ale that starts with notable malt sweetness and toasted malt/caramel/dried fruit (raisin?) flavors. Smooth with light sharpness (carbonation?) in the mouth. Finishes with light malt fade. Definite alcohol warmth. Very malty and sweet-tasting but not cloying at all. Delicious malty beer that’s suitable as a night cap or as a dessert beer after a meal.
CMUBEERMAN (457) - - FEB 23, 2006
’04 release...Pours a nice swampy amber color with pretty no head. Aroma is very creamy and sugary...some thick fruity sweetness. Oh...this has something to the taste that I’ve never had in a beer before. There is a lot of sweet malt and fruity flavor...as well as some hop bitterness towards the end. There is a really woody character to this brew and I’ll classify my surprise from above as something to do with this...like a highly finished wood...not quite chemically, but something along those lines. The mouthfeel is very light for its appearance...but it is still intensely creamy...I know I can’t explain it. I’d very much like to try a ’03 and an ’05 after having this brew.
Tons of carmel. jake65 (4000) - Meridian, Idaho, USA - FEB 21, 2006
Poured a very clear rusty red with a small tan head. Aroma of malts, nuts, and alcohol - kind of brisk. Not really what I expect for taste, kind of thin, some caramel, nuts, sour, and more alcohol. This was the 2005 vintage, perhaps an aged batch would have suited me better. jgeiman (27) - Brooklyn, New York, USA - FEB 21, 2006
12 Fl oz. dated 2004: pours cloudy brownish-red with a very minimal yellow-beige head which disappears quickly. Heavy malt aroma with some nuttiness, caramel, slight hints of raisin, and a whiskey burn. More than a little port wine going on here. To me the body is pretty thin with strikingly present carbonation. The moderately sweet taste turns to a strong alcohol burn- also very much like a tawny port, but without the body to support the intensity of flavor. Ends on burnt caramel with a sweet that lingers. Maybe I just don’t like barleywines, but I wasn’t that into it. Of interest: I accompanied the beer with some salty aged cheese at the end, and for some reason, it became more effervescent and smooth as a result. frankenkitty (2014) - Oak Lawn, Illinois, USA - FEB 14, 2006
2004 Vintage Pours a near-opaque, rich ruby/vermillion with nigh a head except for a thin, white halo. Juicy, caramel aroma, mostly malts with a lick of alcohol and plenty of dark fruits and caramel. (Intoxication intensifies exponentially as it warms.) "Oh my," I actually proclaim as I taste this one. Rich and wooden with the alcohol seriously penetrating, the flavor also finds vinous notes, deep veins of caramel and sweet baked goods... it’s like being a child again, finding delicious treats in the strangest of places! A thick, syrupy, warming palate rates a "4" until I take into account the soft shroud of drunkeness that blankets me. Perfect.Numenor (871) - Richmond, Virginia, USA - FEB 12, 2006
Gene, you can keep your Old Horizontal... I’ve found a BarleyWine worthy of my time ("floor-malted Maris-Otter Malt" my ASS).
<font size=-4>Purchased at <a href=http://www.ratebeer.com/Places/ShowPlace.asp? Liquors, Chicago, IL 60638<font size=-1>
Perfect coloring for a Barley Wine. Nice lemony head to this beer. Excellent aroma consisting of malts, hops and citrus flavoring with heavy sweetness. Supreme taste consisting of fruits and malts. Great ending, one of the better barley wines I’ve had.