BeerRules (243) - Houston, Texas, USA - JAN 27, 2006
05 bottle. Gigantic aromas of caramel, a bit of vanilla, honey, and alcohol. Taste is pretty much cloyingly sweet, fruity, also a bit of toastyness and big alcohol presence. Mouthfeel is quite coating and full, with moderate carbonation. This tastes good, but the overwhelming sweetness makes this hard for me to drink, and hell no Im not gonna pour it out. pstorvik (60) - Tennessee, USA - JAN 25, 2006
2004 - bottle at 55 F. Pours with smallish beige head leaving no lacing and mostly disappearing within 1 couple minutes. Incredible aroma of dried fruit? apples? Caramelly goodness for sure. Flavor is rich malt with plenty of sweetness. Alcohol is quite apparent. Enough bitterness to counter the sweet but not overly apparent. Nice warm think mouthfeel. I’ll be picking up some more of this to lay down. Aquilo (651) - Berkeley, California, USA - JAN 21, 2006
I love the color - a dark red-orange. The smell is wonderful. I forgot to make notes of the smell, because I was so eager to taste it. Plenty of sugary, fruity smells. Pomegranite. Apples. That sort of stuff. It tastes very sweet. Caramel and orange blossom honey. Smooth and silky. A wonderful after dinner beer. oldno7 (137) - Spokane, Washington, USA - JAN 18, 2006
UPDATED: NOV 24, 2009 2004: Pours a dark copper with no head. Has a strong aroma of maple, brown sugar, malts and fruit. Flavor is rich in caramel, malts apple, bourbon and fig. Very smooth and extremely well balanced with much complexity. One of my favorite BW’s. bfeldmann (1050) - Wilmington, Delaware, USA - JAN 17, 2006
"2004 Light amber color with almost no head mabye 1/8 inch, left no lacing. Rich creamy malty sweet smell. Tasted fruity and raisin some hops bitterness. Smooth thoughtout the beer alcohol. Nice after food beer good to sip."
ABUSEDGOAT (2760) - California, USA - JAN 16, 2006
2003 bottle. Reddish brown body with no head. Aroma would probably be a lot more hoppy fresh, but there’s only a bit of them after 2+ years. Mostly malt dominated with caramel flavoring and some darker fruits. Also some sort of bourbon (or something related) aroma in there as well. Hard to put into better words, but this reminded me of a typical American style Barley Wine with some Thomas Hardys mixed in. Finishes sweet... and got a lot better as I finished the glass... but still never thought this was amazing, but certainly enjoyable. RedHaze (371) - Where the hell am I?, Nebraska, USA - JAN 12, 2006
UPDATED: MAY 12, 2009 2004 vintage.
Pours a brownish/red with a half inch off-white head that quickly fades away to a thin ring that leaves a decent amount of lace. Pretty nice considering the high abv.
Smell; dark sweet cherries and a little bit of apples, rich chocolate and caramel. There’s also a presence of alcohol in the nose that mingles pretty well with averything alse.
Taste; the rich caramel malts jump out with the initial sip, but then the darks fruits kind of slide in there without being overly sweet. The alcohol has a presence in the flavor, but it’s not biting or overwhelming. The year this has had to sit has mellowed out the hop bitterness quite a bit without developing any off tastes from oxidation. Mouthfeel is full bodied and chewy. Drinkability takes a bit of a hit with such a high abv.
A very enjoyable sipping beer, that I would highly recommend.
jmuhops (669) - Winchester, Virginia, USA - JAN 9, 2006
Pours red/amber with a mid-sized off-white head. Very malty aroma--toffee, caramel, and toasted bread. Interesting flavor. Starts as a classic English Barley Wine (sweet and smoky, with some dry tobacco flavors), but ends with a bit of a hop bite. The main aftertaste is dry, smoky, and malty, but there is some bitterness from the hops. Good. mike4aker (27) - USA - JAN 6, 2006
Reddish-brown- very strong alcohol aroma. Rich flavor with a very malty finish. Surprisingly easy to drink for such a high-gravity beer. SDalkoholic (2393) - Linda Vista, California, USA - JAN 4, 2006
Vintage 2004 bottle: Pours a transparent mahogany color with a thin layer of beige colored head. Aroma has faded from what i imagine it smelt like during its release in 2004 but a decent amount of malt still remains along with notes of raisin, chocolate, and fig. A surprising palate that still feels sticky and alive with carbonation. The flavor is still strong with huge malt backbone and melted caramel in addition. Flavor also shows sign of chocolate and raisin perfectly combined together exactly like Nestle does it with their Big Chunk. Also find a a light syrup of some kind that im unable to defne. Aftertaste is both a sweet and rich finish that i’m sure i will remember for a long time to come or to be remembered if i find a 2005 Old Stock 2005 edition.