jdjuice (500) - Kumamoto, JAPAN - DEC 10, 2005
2004. Wow. This is ridiculously rich and flavorful. Pours opaque brown with tan head. Nose is syrupy toffee, roasted malt, with a strange almost saltiness bit that is unique and works fantastically. Tasting overwhelms your mouth with new flavors, finishes with a bit off alcohol. Perfect beer for winter. HogTownHarry (6925) - Toronto (Harbourfront), Ontario, CANADA - DEC 8, 2005
Bottle (12oz - 2004). Poured murky deep red-umber with a small light brown head. Lovely BW aroma, masses of rich malt (roasty caramel, sweet but thick), fresh citrus-juice hops backing it up, plenty of mossy yeastlight wood resins, alcohol lurking the the weeds - the word that springs to mind is "fresh." Taste - wow that grabs you - the malt and hops burst out of the gate but the smooth alcohol blows past them and heads straight to my ears - this one is balanced, strong and blended, one of the nicest-drinking barleywines of my admittedly limited (12-16) experience. Mouthfeel is creamy, a bit flat (normal for the style), decent body, smooth yet complex - and although this has a pretty long linger, it’s not bitter at all. This should be a top-100 beer, in my opinion. Terific. gferd (99) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - DEC 2, 2005
From the brewery that bings you Old Rasputin, here is another example of excellence in brewing. The taste is very complex, hops, fuit, coffee. A full flavoured barley wine. acertain (249) - Seattle, Washington, USA - NOV 27, 2005
OK. That’s it. I’m not trying any more barley wines. I’ve tried three top ones from rate beer, and I haven’t liked any of them. To each his own, I guess. larsga (7542) - Oslo, NORWAY - NOV 27, 2005
Tan, creamy, medium head. Clear brown body with a red tinge to it. Aroma very like sherry with hop notes; firm and sweet. Deep, sweet, complex taste of caramel and sherry with coffee and licorice notes, quite bitter throughout. Round, oily mouthfeel. Aftertaste is bitter and roasty. Some alcohol heat. Lingers in the mouth. Excellent! Have put one in the cellar; really looking forward to tasting it in a few years.
ivan9856 (192) - Arlington, Virginia, USA - NOV 17, 2005
The 12 oz. bottle is labeled 2004. It pours with a clear dark amber body, and a large, tight tan head with average lacing. Aroma is rich caramel and floral hops, with a touch of alcohol. Palate entry is honey sweet, with mid-palate flavors of beef broth, caramel, toffee, raisin, cherry and fruit esters like ripe banana. The is a nice well-hopped finish with slight alcohol warming. Very good. soulrefugee (46) - Illinois, USA - NOV 17, 2005
Mmmmmmmm, good. This one is distinctive, and it also has a real nice kick! Rich, malty. and sweet, but not in a cheap or brash way. Kind of like a barleywine, but not quite as sweet as I remember the barleywine at the pub of the hotel where I stayed in England, but. I consider this brew just as classy and enjoyable to drink as whatever it was I drank those nights across the pond. This is about twice as strong in alcohol as the average beer or ale, but the alcohol taste is well integrated in a pleasant way with the wonderful flavor of the drink. BillyM (151) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - NOV 13, 2005
Cloudy amber/brown - opaque in the middle and clearing around the edges. Alcholic fruity aramel aroma. Taste follows. Alcohol-caramel-smoky-malt mixture with fruity (raisin) undertones. Butterscotch mouthfeel - rich and coating. Alcohol remains strong throughout. Mixes well with other flavors, but definitely a sipping beer, and a good one at that. madcow75 (426) - Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, USA - NOV 12, 2005
UPDATED: MAR 2, 2006 Bottle. Pours murkey, swamp water like brown. Thin off white head that diminishes to nothing quickly. Aromas of sweet fruits, melons and caramel. Tastes like caramel and lots of sweet fruits, raisins and apricots. Very sweet and sugary. More chocolate as this warms. Alcohol is well hidden initially but more prevalent when warms. Finish is dry and bitter. Fairly smooth beer, tingles my lips, but they are chapped a little. Decent, but not what I was expecting from this barley wine.
I wanted to give this a second chance, but I just don’t like this beer, way too sugary. I like a bigger hop presence in barley wines and I’m not getting that here. Way to sugary and heavy. lamas (1639) - Washington DC, USA - NOV 11, 2005
2003 bottle courtesy of CharlesDarwin. A muddy caramel brown with a smallish, golden British khaki head. Aroma is of figs, plums and butterscotch. Medium to full-bodied and quite soft. Raisins and plums in the taste along with candied sugar and butterscotch. Some oak and prunes in there too. A dry, hoppy finish. This is my second North Coast beer. Both have been very overrated.