igneous1 (1535) - Davenport, Iowa, USA - NOV 12, 2004
2003 bottle. clear deep reddish/brown color, decent tan head...fairly short-lived. nose has a modest amount of alcohol, and is loaded with buttery toffee. flavor is essentially the same, with notes of an extremely subtle smokiness. quite sweet, full-bodied, very little bitterness or alcohol presence in the flavor, moderate oak notes....reminds me a great deal of Thomas Hardy’s Ale....very well done. bb (9268) - Alamo, California, USA - NOV 9, 2004
Bottle. 2003. Beautiful ruby-brown color with a thin beige head. Sweet malt aroma, with some raisin, fig, and date. Raisin, dat, rich caramel malt flavors. Some alcohol wamring. Just enough hops. This beer has a rich, deep flavor. Great barley wine with a bit of a fruity flavor. Wonderful complexity. Shag (3001) - Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA - NOV 9, 2004
2003 VINTAGE - Wow damn this is good! Hoo Hah! It pours a brownish red with a rather large head. Most barleywines Ive had thus far bend themselves either too sweet or really hoppy. Well this one finds the happy medium. A nice cherry, vanilla, raisin, molasses, and almond flavor. It hides the alcohol extremely well. This one manages to find balance despite the high ABV. So there it is my favorite barleywine right now. Awesome! lilannie (384) - Adamstown, Maryland, USA - NOV 2, 2004
UPDATED: MAR 18, 2005 2002 vintage
DrGonzo (625) - Somerville, Massachusetts, USA - NOV 1, 2004
Aroma: brown sugar, carmel, some red grapes, alcohol, wood, coco
Appearance: dark brown, cream head, some lacing
Flavor: brown sugar, carmel, burnt malts, spices, some wood/barrels, slight hop scent
Palate: very smooth, slightly bubbly, dry--slightly hopped-carmel aftertaste
2004 vintage, tasted 3/18/2005
Aroma: 6/10--dog food, some mustiness, and wood scents
Appearance: 4/5--dark brown-red, small head, some lacing
Flavor: 6/10--sweet dog food flavors, some hops, light dark fruit flavors, and some molasses
Palate: 2/5--smooth with dry-hoppy bite. Weird dog food aftertaste
Overall: 14/20--lots of room for improvement, needs to age.
2002 Bottle. Pours a rusty orange brown color, with a slight off white head and lacing. Aroma of brandy, vanilla, minimal hops, malts and more malts. If this was generously hopped they’ve really mellowed out at this point. Massive malt body, thick, like chewing caramel; alcohol is prominent in the flavor. Refined, soft palate, with some burning, but overall very warming. At times rivals the complexity of Belgian strong ales, but at other times is just an assault of malts. This is one to sip and enjoy.
biermonk (265) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - OCT 24, 2004
what a barleywine!! This is a dyn-o-mite offering from yhe folks at North Coast. Big malty sweetness that was ousted by the huge hops of this one. Truly great beer. Alcohol is suprisingly understated in the taste...I am impressed. DYCSoccer17 (3697) - Woodland, California, USA - OCT 19, 2004
2002 Bottle. Aroma is very fruity, vinous, berries, nutty woodsiness. Chocolate maltiness in the nose as well. Nice aroma. Pours a hazy muddly amber/mahognay color with a yellowish head which disappears rather quickly. Start is a little thin and slightly bland turning to huge amounts of vinousness along with a very noticeable alochol burn. Roasted malts in the very finish with some slight chocolate hints. A decent barleywine, but not what I think of when I think of a barleywine. FROTHINGSLOSH (7796) - GREENSBURG, Pennsylvania, USA - OCT 19, 2004
UPDATED: JAN 19, 2007 I have become quite fond of this one. Sampled from a 12 oz brown bottle this beer pours a cloudy red-brown color with a very small tan head. The aroma is malty and has elements of molasses and ripened fruit. The flavor is malty and dominated by molasses and caramel notes. There is some ripened fruit in the undertones. There is some alcohol burn, but not nearly as much as you would expect given the alcohol content. A subtle note of bakers chocolate comes in as it warms. Lovely Loddeer (171) - USA - OCT 16, 2004
UPDATED: NOV 19, 2004 Damn! Now we’re talking. First off I did not check the alcohol content until after I drank this. I was stunned when I saw this was 11.4%. I never even noticed since I was really blown away by how smooth, gentle, and warming this ale was. It has incredible depth and really has one of the best sweet malt tastes I have had. I feel this blows away Old Rasputin. Also, it has great smell and apperance. An excellent choice, I am extremely pleased, this was an awesome ale. BeerandBlues2 (13313) - Escondido, California, USA - OCT 16, 2004
2003 Bottle...Hazy copper with a thin tan head, some fair lacing at the brew line. Sweet roasted malt aroma with a creamy caramel nose. Sweet malt flavor with a dry alcohol finish. Warm and medium to full-bodied creamy palate.