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. ericmc83 (207) - Arkansas, USA - DEC 17, 2005
UPDATED: DEC 25, 2005 (2002 bottle sampled Christmas day 2005. Courtesy of AndrewM) Stunningly beautiful deep amber with an off white head. Aroma has very sweet malt with dark fruit jam and chocolate. Fruitier than the 2004 I recently had. Absolutely invigorating. I’ve just been sniffing this for the last 10 minutes. Slight alcohol presence. After 3 years, the hops have faded enough that the chocolate and deep, dark fruit come through very well on the tongue. Slight alcohol tinge, but just enough to accentuate the other flavors. Palate is soft. This is the best beer I’ve ever had. Good thing I have another one.
kimjongill (207) - - JAN 7, 2013
(2004 bottle courtesy of Odeed. 12/17/05) Fairly complex aroma...very fruity. Flavors of dark fruit jam. A little bit of toffee. Just enough alcohol bite to accent the other flavors nicely. As it warms the the aroma can be best described as a fruity sherry. There is something else that I’m trying to pinpoint. I think it’s brown sugar (as described by fordest). Very nice brew. (8,5,8,4,17)
Ruby pour with thin tan head. Slightest caramel aroma - good but not very aromatic. Great taste with light, sweet body. Fuggles hops bring a british hop taste to the mix that is nothing short of fantastic joeec5 (204) - bayonne, New Jersey, USA - DEC 19, 2004
UPDATED: DEC 20, 2004 2003. Murky brown with small white lacing. Aroma is mildly sweet with raisins and dates. Taste is smooth dark fruits with wood and vanilla. Bitterness and slight alcohol are present in finish. mrnutsnbolts (204) - anywhere usa, - OCT 15, 2005
2004 Bottle. Smells of prunes, caramel, malts, coriander, and raisins. Pours a cloudy black tea color with no head and no visible carbonation. Very thick on the palate. Tastes of chocolate, prunes, malts, alcohol, and caramel. Excellent. I’d love to try this again in a year or so.
General66 (203) - Streator, Illinois, USA - APR 12, 2009
12 ounce bottle from the 2006 batch. I was very excited for this three year old barley wine and was very pleased with it. It poured a dark amber color with a half finger width white head that disappeared quickly. The aroma consisted of a LOT of booze with some hops, malt, caramel, and a bit of dark fruit. The taste was very strong at the beginning and then rounded out well at the end. I was blown away on my first sip with the amount of alcohol character that it had. As it warmed I started to taste some light, pleasant hops, caramel malt, and maybe some toffee. This was a very "thick" and boozy beer. Overall very good... I would have rated it higher if the alcohol was hidden a bit better though. brstp (201) - - JAN 24, 2007
2006 bottle. Dark brown/red color, didn’t pour much head and it dissipated quickly. No lacing. Aroma is of roasted malt, caramel, alcohol. Taste is of roasted heavy malt, plums, tangy sweet alcohol finish. DavefromChicago (201) - Illinois, USA - JAN 6, 2003
2001 edition. Pours a sloppy pondwater brown...OK, wait a minute, lets call it cloudy reddish-brown, with no real head formation. Immediate fragrance is of chocolate cookies, wet concrete, yeast and molasses. Very malty, sweet and chocolatey. Smooth and mildly carbonated. Finish is good - hops noticeable but not overbearing. Big, nice brew - I can go either way with these English-style barley wines and strong ales but this one is real nice, I'll try laying some down for another year, but I have a hunch it's at its peak. aaronh (201) - McMurray, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 30, 2003
Chestnut red with a slight haze. It pours with a minimal tan head that remains as a thin ring of foam around the sides of the glass. No lacing to speak of. A somewhat nutty, plum scent dominates the aroma. Just a wonderful toasted malt smell. The taste is sweet as expected, but again the nutty component is very prevalent. Nice plum and cherry fruits appear, along with a biscuit malt flavor. Some hops clean up the finsh, and present a lingering bitterness. The minimal carbonation contributes to the velvety smooth mouthfeel.