bmanning (142) - Holly Springs, North Carolina, USA - NOV 7, 2005
2004 bottle. Pours dark amber with a thin brown, quickly dissipating head. Very sweet, caramel and brown sugar aroma with a strong smell of plum jelly and black cherry. Taste is like a cross between a beer and a fine sweet red wine. Tastes of raisin, plum, caramel, toffee, with brilliant grassy and floral hopes notes and an oaky, earthy taste as well. Suberb balance between the malt and hops with a great spicy quality. It feels perfect in the mouth too. Velvety smooth, creamy, and goes down warm. An excellent beer that I will definitely have again. natrat (66) - Ucluelet, British Columbia, CANADA - NOV 6, 2005
2004 reserve. Poured beautifully, rich woody amber colour with a thin, but tight head. Extreme lacing, probably from the high alcohol. Fantastic aroma, like good scotch and molasses. The mouthfeel of this beer is incredible, smooth and full...creamy, too, like drinking....well, cream. Full flavour, tasting a bit like those rumball pastries at the bakery. A truly phenomenal beer. On a side note, we threw it onto the alcohol analyzer, and it came out at 11.877 %. Mmmmm, belly warmer. yayforbeer (753) - Orange Park, Florida, USA - OCT 29, 2005
12oz bottle 2004 vintage. Pours clear amber brown into the St Bernardus goblet. Skimpy fizzy head disappears instantly due to the high abv. Sweet malty alcoholic aroma. Flavor is much the same. Like sipping brandy, and its definitely a sipper. Not a beer that is easily quaffed. Reminiscent of the Dogfish Head WWS. Its good as is, but still has a few rough edges that a couple years aging will smooth. Excellent and sure to get better with age. $11.99 for a four pack at Broudys, Orange Park FL. Ughsmash (7508) - Pewaukee, Wisconsin, USA - OCT 28, 2005
UPDATED: OCT 16, 2007 2003 Bottle. Pours a fiery deep reddish-burgundy with a minimal layer of beige head (mainly a ring around the edges). Thick pour. Sweet, malty nose with heaps of dark fruits (sugar plums, prunes, & raisins), English-style hoppage, and caramel. Reminded me a bit of Harvest Ale. Thick and chewy on the palate, allowing the multitude of flavors to envelop and enslave my helpless tastebuds! Massive caramel and pruney sweetness provided a great base for the mildly bitter grassy hops, oak, molassess, toffee, and alcohol that were also present. Long, sticky, and warming finish of sugar plums, caramel, and alcohol. Tremendous brew! fluids (364) - Massachusetts, USA - OCT 28, 2005
2000 bottle thanks to Blake! Poured much darker than expected.. clear coppery-Port color with a loose layer of tan head and large bubbles on the ring. The aroma picked up lots or rich caramelization and deeper vinous notes with some apparent warmth and some herbal/medicinal notes present.. deep, rich, and enjoyable. The flavor had bunches of rich caramel and toasted barley accented by dampened herbal bitterness.. warm, rather boozy finish. Tasty stuff! Medium-bodied (lighter than expected) and syrupy on the palate.. warm, peppery alcohol on the finish.. still really strong, but smoother than the newer bottles.
Caramel taste however the alcohol is not entirely blended so you hit into it after you taste the beer. A nice barley wine though.
StewardofGondor (1934) - Washington Heights - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - OCT 28, 2005
2004. Mostly translucent and rusty copper in color with dancing large cloisters of tan acting as the head. Aroma is supercharged with cherry vats, cinnamon, fig extract, Hot Tamales, prune skin, oak batter and black cherries. Flavor encasement begins with an incredibly balanced composure of thick concord grapes, cherry pits, red currant and boysenberry syrup. Smooth oak vat traits furthers the balanced rendition. Rich fruity esters perpetuate golden raisings sitting in raspberry vinaigrette. Cyclical and unison as it rolls around the palate, mimicking a sucking nature on the taste bud receptors. Balance is achieved to-a-tee, finishing with cordial cherries basking in bourbon Manhattans. Fulkrum78 (175) - Knoxville, Tennessee, USA - OCT 27, 2005
I tried this in a bottle in Atlanta. Very good stuff though a little on the sweet side. Very drinkinable, but definitel notes of the acohol in it as you would expect with this big of a beer. I’d get more of it if I could! GarethYoung (1111) - Glasgow, SCOTLAND - OCT 27, 2005
[bottle at LCRBM] Aroma is dark and sugary, spiced, sherry. Full creamy mouthfeel. JoshuaB (476) - Detroit, Michigan, USA - OCT 26, 2005
Pours a deep murky brown/red, maybe some sediment. Very little tan head. Smells of huge amounts of sweet caramel malt, dark fruit, and some alcohol. No hops. Interesting. Taste initially is a huge blast of the aforementioned malts. Damn. A good mix of dark fruits come into the mix, mostly raisins and plum. Alcohol is noticeable, but not overly so. Begins sweet, finishes somewhat astringent, probably due to the alcohol. No hops at all, which is defintely different from all the other barleywines Ive had. Dont know the age of this beer. Almost reminds me of a dopplebock in some qualities. Only drawback was a slight metallic taste on some sips in the beginning. Vastly better than Behemoth, cheaper and more readily available as well. Tejas (1006) - Dallas, Texas, USA - OCT 25, 2005
Murky brown appearance. Aged for a year. This is much better now than when it was fresh. Flavors have blended together and the rough edges are gone. Lots of flavors going on. The most dominant is chocolate and some cognac flavors too. Drinkability isn’t that great though. Still pretty sweet and too much alcohol.