Sobchak (131) - Skagen, DENMARK - SEP 5, 2005
2004 Vintage. - Deep amber colour. Aromatic nose, with notes of demerara sugar, chocolate and dates. Very smooth mouthfeel, but the taste does not keep the promises you get from the nose. Obviously beers like this tend to improve with further ageing, and i think it has some really great potential if left for another couple of years......... Philip (436) - Illinois, USA - SEP 1, 2005
2003 Vintage. All the standard notes of a decent barleywine (e.g. caramel, brown sugar, toffee, some butterscotch), but nothing to write home about. The palate was thinner than anticipated, nothing like J.W. Lees or T. Hardy. Some fruit notes such as bing cherry and red plum compliment the standard flavors. All in all, decent, but very much overrated imo. BeerHawk (1810) - Huntsville, Alabama, USA - AUG 28, 2005
UPDATED: MAY 4, 2008 2004 Bottle: Dark amber color with a tinny head that dissipated in seconds. Smells of fruit, cherries, and black liquorice. The taste was hoppy with some malt in the background. Like the smell, fruits and cherries with a light alcohol taste. Somewhat reminded me of cherry Nyquil at first. Nice thick smooth body that I imagine would be wonderful on a cold winter day. 7-3-8-4-16;
2005 Bottle. Dark amber with a thin off-white head. Sweet aroma of dark fruits and malts. The flavor finds fruits and a chocolate malt background. Light alcohol detected. Medium to full body 8-4-7-4-16
Ratman197 (15204) - Arvada, Colorado, USA - AUG 28, 2005
Bottle 2001 vintage poured a clear gaenet with an amber head. Aroma was vinous with dark fruit, brown sugar, and a hint of dark chocolate. Palate was rich, thick and a bit oily leaving nice Brussels lace behind. Flavor was vinous with plum, molasses, and cocoa wiyh a warming bitter finish. Pringles68 (28) - Audubon, Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 26, 2005
ugh, are all North Coast brews this strong??? this one was like Cherry Robitussin on speed... another cough curative, sinus clearing, throat burner but with a strong fruitflavor that made it slightly better than Old Rasputin but not much. ouch.
thegreenrooster (4512) - St.louis, Missouri, USA - AUG 14, 2005
Pour is a very murky brown with a small tan head. Aroma is of dark malts with a bit of hops in there. Flavor is strong and earthy. Its a very musty, leathery and dark fruits. Alcohol wallops you in the end and maybe a bit to much. Tasty and different and deffinatly a sipping brew. NYHarvey (2153) - New York, New York, USA - AUG 13, 2005
2004. Caramel, malt and alcohol aroma. Amber and headless. Alcohol isn’t noticeable taste wise, but it does burn the throat and you taste some hop dryness. Still i don’t get a lot of flavor in this. It’s thick and it has a great feel in the mouth, but it doesn’t have much flavor to comment on. Decent enough, but I wasn’t blown away. AndrewM (126) - Waco (Buckle of the Bible Belt), Texas, USA - AUG 10, 2005
UPDATED: JAN 20, 2006 2003. Pours a deep brown with a small head that dissipates quickly. Great aroma of classic "ale". It screams "ale". It’s quite good. Mildly bubbly, but that’s probably held back a little by the ’thickness’. Has a great coating mouthfeel, a dry finish, and a great overall flavor. Nice alcohol warmth. A definite ’buy again’.<P>Update, 1/20/06, 2002 Bottle. Chocolate flavors really come through in this batch. Thick and murky. This one is quite a bit more subdued than the 2003 version. Very pleasant, very drinkable. One of my "craving" beers. tobias (208) - West Chester, Ohio, USA - AUG 9, 2005
2002 bottle: pours a cloudy deep auburn mahogany color with very little head. the aroma is of burnt caramel with some oaky red wine qualities. the flavor is also of burnt caramel and chocolate. has a sort of dry sherry like finish. i feel like the 2003 was a little better. but this is overall a nice and balanced beer. jefcon (1921) - Arlington, Virginia, USA - AUG 7, 2005
2004 bottle. Beautiful auburn in the glass with a bit of tan head. Slight aromas of caramel and whisky, with the addition of Fuggles hops and a deep plummy fruit nose. Vinuous and bracing, with a light enough palate that belies the smack of alcohol. The flavors in this beer are complexly laid down, and the whisky, vanilla oak, and fermented apricot hop profile will only improve with age.