beerhandy (195) - Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA - JAN 10, 2008
2004 big alcohol nose with vanilla and caramel,malty sweet some peppery spicyness.Medium body excellent english style barley wine hopslovin (194) - Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA - FEB 11, 2008
2007 bottle. Deep amber pour with lasting creamy head. Nice cascade of carbonation. Great lace. Dark fruit and sweet malt on the nose. Big alcohol presence in taste. Sweet malt and a whiff of hops. Medium mouthfeel. Good but would expect much better after some age tones down the heat. zeek (194) - British Columbia, CANADA - SEP 22, 2010
Color and clarity not bad, aroma is malty backed by massive alcohol. Looking at label its 11.7% so not surprising. Taste is malt and alcohol, with an alcohol finish. bigabe (194) - California, USA - APR 1, 2011
This beer is perfect. It pours a beautiful reddish brown with a foamy, lively reddish tan head. Aroma is sweet sugars, malts, dark fruit, citrus... it smells like a damn bakery at 5:00am. The taste is reminiscent of a good dessert wine in it’s complexity. There are the usual yeasty, malty notes, but there are also bunches of dark ripe fruits, caramels, brown sugar, even pecan like flavors. There are smokey oak notes, and even a very hidden but certainly present citrusy hop note on the finish. There is a hint of booze at the end, along with a long warming effect. This beer is so enjoyable is almost pisses me off. I love it so much... c_lee_burton (193) - Charlottesville, Virginia, USA - JAN 27, 2015
2014 Edition. Pours a brown sugar color with a slight quickly diminishing light tan head. Smells like caramel and brandy. Definitely has some caramel malt and scotch booze taste. There’s also raisin and plum flavors. Thinner than I would like. Gets better the longer it sits. I will let one sit for a while before opening again.
UrbanCaveman (193) - Ohio, USA - NOV 5, 2015
12 oz bottle of 2012 edition, poured into a nonic pint at ~40 degrees F.
Appearance: Pours a hazy, vaguely reddish brown, and forms a thin head of beige foam that rather quickly turns into a ring. Leaves patches of lacing on the glass.
Smell: At 3 years of age, the aroma is a bouquet of sweetness and malt, very caramel and molasses. Fig, plum, date, and the like swirl around in the scent as well, alongside a vague hint of booziness that seems less rum, more whiskey.
Taste: All the sweetness in the nose did not lie. This opens in a wash of dark stone fruit preserves slathered on bread and topped with molasses. A medicinal quality comes in as the beer moves along the palate, much like I’d imagine an early 19th-century cough syrup might have tasted like. Rusted iron notes appear as well, giving a metallic tang to shadow the syrupy sweetness, and there are bits of a burnt caramel-vanilla tone. An oaky and vinous tinge round out the flavor palate, and the aftertaste lingers as the molasses, preserves, and medicinal syrup.
Mouthfeel: Sticky is the first word that comes to mind, with minimal sharpness from carbonation rolling through a full-bodied beer.
Overall: A delicious old ale / English barleywine, which ages quite well. Wolfenkopf (193) - Villa Park, Illinois, USA - FEB 1, 2011
This review is for the 2010 run. The aroma is chalky and malty, medium in body, but not overly enticing. The head is off-white and disappears as if afraid of its own shadow. The brew itself is a gorgeously deep brown. The taste malty and pleasant, but like a bomb going off, I received the most harsh sourness just after the first swig. I was certain that I had happened upon a bad bottle, but taking another, the sourness was not there. It did not appear again until much further into the bottle, and then much less severe. At the bottom of the bottle, the sourness was not to be found. I am certain that the sourness was an anomaly. Silky smooth on the palate, the carbonization is not strong. Overall, an enjoyable ale save for the random attack of sourness that I hope will not be in the next bottle I am sure to have. Hophazard (193) - San Francisco, California, USA - MAR 7, 2011
Slightly sweet, sticky plum aroma. Pours an amber copper color with very foamy off-white head. Dark plum and jam-like flavors meld wiht faint spicy hops in the background and an alcoholic warmth on the finish. Thich, chewy body with a good amount of carbonation. A fine sipping barleywine that commands respect but finishes clean. DigitalMan (193) - Idaho, USA - JUN 7, 2009
2009 vintage (wait? nah.) ENORMOUS head. Sweet aroma. Strong, sweet, malty, surprisingly smooth flavor. Lots of alcohol. 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.