BeerLimey (2154) - California, USA - MAY 7, 2002
2001: Not too lively on the pour, scarlet red color. One quick whiff tells me this is a barley wine with lots of malt oozing from the bottle, plum/ raisin fruitiness and no real hoppiness. Relatively light but oily palate slips through pretty easily. Sweet red apple flavors, a little white wine-ish. Slight woody notes towards the end while a little hop bitterness just sours lightly in the finish. Rounds out a little syrupy and fruity. Not crazy about this one but I have 3 more and will check it out again in a few months. urbnhautebourg (997) - Annapolis, Maryland, USA - DEC 23, 2002
UPDATED: MAR 13, 2003 2001 bottling. My intial impression of this one is not terribly favorable. The malt is tremendously complex: caramel, wine, pineapple and smoke. Unfortunately, it is not contained. Call in the hall monitor. Smack the children with the hop ruler. Still, rather memorable.
Update: Was soundly defeated in a head-to-head with Heavyweight Old Salty 2002. Schroppfy (2360) - Łódż, Warsaw, Poland; Michigan, Ohio, USA - JAN 6, 2003
UPDATED: AUG 16, 2003 Brandy city...sweet, highly alcoholic malt presence, some Scottish feel in there (a bit smoky). Vanilla rising...then potent! Whew! Pretty tough for me to figure out past the high gravity, but it is good. Merci beaucoups, u-frere. tkaufman (128) - Lewis Center, Ohio, USA - FEB 14, 2003
2002 batch - Pours deep amber with a quickly dissipating head. Aroma of hops and alcoholic strength. Flavor was a decent hop + malt balance that covered up the alcohol well. It did have a tinny, metallic taste though that detracted from the flavor. Aftertaste was sharp hop bitterness. Overall it wasn't a bad beer, but it will definitely get better with time. mwsf (360) - San Francisco, California, USA - FEB 16, 2003
On tap at the 2003 Toronado Barleywine Festival: Creamy. Fairly one-dimensional. Thin. Quite sweet.
redlem (1306) - Ohio, USA - MAR 19, 2003
Medium amber color with a fizzy medium off white head. Crisp with fruit(apples) and malt aroma. Sweet bread taste with a considerable wine like qualities. This is alot like Gales prize old ale in its port like taste. The 11.4% is well hidden but you will feel the warmth after the first sip. This was the 2001 version. lunaticharness (183) - Torrance, California, USA - MAY 7, 2003
wonderfully scented - very sweet, but the taste is less than desirable - a strong very wine like alcohol taste to it, definitiely not what i had in mind when i bought this, give you a nice warm feeling really quick, but only if you can choke it down BierBauch (784) - Cape Coral Waterfront Wonderland, Florida, USA - MAY 21, 2003
UPDATED: OCT 1, 2003 I've had a few different brews from North Coast and although a good brewery, I don't think they stack up to others in Cal. like Stone, Alesmith and Bear Republic to name a few. This is a good example of a barley wine with all the classic characteristics such as the sweet alcohol nose and rich malt flavor. Very even throughout but nothing outstanding. Perhaps this bottle (2001) might smooth out if cellared. Will have to wait and see. adwoan99 (305) - Ft. Worth, Texas, USA - FEB 27, 2004
Cherry, sweet aroma. Honey aftertaste. It seems like it can't make up its mind whether or not it wants to be a christmas ale, or a stout. SubstanceT (1092) - Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - APR 14, 2004
Dark amber with a medium brown head that is medium lasting. The nose is sweet but some lager funk in the nose. The taste is very rusty up front and very malty. So sweet and great, however the rust is too much for me. finish is acidic and metallic.