nstal (237) - Houston, Texas, USA - MAR 21, 2003
had this on tap, very nice. very very dark. great abv. malts definitely dominate this beer, but time to time that's good. Eberndt (235) - - SEP 29, 2013
2013 bottle poured. Very dark and murky color. Tasted a little syrupy with some sort of fruit undertone. Dan269605 (235) - Rocky Hill, Connecticut, USA - NOV 16, 2013
Dark orange, almost crimson pour with a rocky two and a half finger beige head that dissipates rather quickly. There’s more carbonation that I was expecting, looks great in the glass. The aroma is a sweet malty bomb, big dark fruit esters, brown sugar, dark bread, sweet chocolate and of course alcohol booziness. On the tongue, I get big dark fruit flavors like fig, date, berries, cherry, caramel, slight citrus and chocolate in the back. I definitely taste and feel the alcohol, but it’s not in an unwelcome way. Good complexity and something quite different from a lot that’s out there. North Coast are pioneers and one of the more under appreciated breweries out there. beeratarian (234) - cleveland, Ohio, USA - FEB 19, 2010
2009 on draught at the Brew Kettle. Pours a medium reddish brown with a slight haze. Aroma is sweet dried fruit, molasses, alcohol. Taste is malty medium sweetness, smooth drinking, raisins and prune. Good solid offering but not as good as the 2008. dhlesq (233) - Thousand Oaks, California, USA - OCT 11, 2005
2004: Aroma of cotton candy, toffee, fig, citrus. Appears ruby-brown in color with a thin brown head that dissipates very quickly. Flavor is malty sweet with fruit and bread notes, very bitter on the finish, and with an overpowering taste of alcohol; I should have heeded the label and laid it down for a longer period. Palate is thick, chewy, and appropriate. Overall, this beer is greater than the sum of its parts and worthy of any cellar.
Spelt (232) - East Kingston, New Hampshire, USA - APR 28, 2012
This was the 2012 Otsuchi commemorative bomber. Aroma of molasses, apples, raisins and a hint of cotton candy. Gorgeous clear garnet beer with thin tan head. Medium to heavy sweetness. Strong but well placed alcohol. What a phenomenal collection of flavors in the finish. Raisin, molasses, leather, pipe tobacco, brown bread. Wow! The very full body is balanced by a fairly effervescent carbonation. CarlJonas (231) - Linköping, SWEDEN - AUG 26, 2011
2010 vintage. Smells and looks a little like stale Coca Cola only browner. OK, that might be a bit harsh, there’s also notes of liquorice and chocolate, in fact it reminds me a lot of a milk chocolate coated sweet liquorice candy that is somewhat of a personal favourite. The taste is wondrously complex registering all over the tongue. Compared to when I had it a year ago, I’d say some of the alcohol sweetness has worn of leaving more space for the other flavours to shine through. And although I liked it a lot then I like it even more now. leeburg (230) - Juneau, Alaska, USA - JUN 30, 2009
2008 vintage, red-auburn with a moderate tan head. Love barleywine noses, and this was a nice potpourri. Like a fruit stand inside a flower shop, plus generous hops and barley. Flavors were thick, sticky sweet and strong, nicely balanced and followed the aroma profile. Alcohol was not as whelming as I thought 12.5% would be, and it didn’t feel like it was destroying my enamel the way other barleywines sometimes do. BenDover (230) - Texas, USA - FEB 2, 2011
This is for the 2010 vintage. Pours a lovely ruby shade, with a small amount of dense light tan foam. Aroma is sweet and malty, caramel and some fruit (raisins, dates, figs), very inviting. Taste is very malty, with a noticeable alcohol burn partway through, more fruit like dates and figs, and just a bit bitter on the finish. Great stuff, possibly the best barley wine I’ve had save perhaps for the 2006 Bigfoot. 666seth (229) - California, USA - JAN 17, 2002
hmmm... I was sort of surprised to begin with but got used to the sweetness and bitterness as well as for the low carbonation/high alcohol. I wonder how it develops after storing it a while (which they recommend). My guess would be that it will loose a little bit of its sweetness and may get even stronger in alcohol (depending how much of that sugar will get fermented). Worth trying it.