opiate (199) - Sandy, Utah, USA - OCT 1, 2001
One of the best beers I've had the pleasure of drinking in my life! This stuff is BIG! Big alcohol. Big flavor. Big nose. Big mouthfeel. Yet smooth and easy to drink in my opinion. I didn't find the alcohol to be overwhelming at all. Noticable for sure...but not overkill. A great beer for a cold winter night. I'm gonna get my hands on some so I can see how it ages. I tried it (about 6 times) at the GABF last weekend. :-) SirTom (89) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - NOV 23, 2003
UPDATED: MAR 12, 2004 Smell is stronger than the taste, but don't be deceived - the alcohol is present. The deal on a good beer at the price - $2.50 / bottle. rerate: just had the 03 old stock on draft @ toronado's in SF. wow, the smell was very heavy and sugary in a pleasant way. the taste and alcohol content was off the scale. aroma 10+ excellent! grat (432) - ST. Louis, Missouri, USA - MAY 7, 2004
2004. I am officially an over rater. Sorry. Never trust me. First off this brew is 11.4 percent. How could it be bad? When you open the bottle it smells like you just walked into an old travelling medicine show from the wild west. Room and nostrils fils with the cakey sweet aroma of cough syrup, prunes and sweet sweet lovin’!!! Pour. Comes out like it was medicine for Ebola. Thick and runny on the glass. ZERO HEAD!!!! Which with a beer like this means no pretensions...she’s an honest gal. As I stab it with my nose I am overwhelmed with lust for this brew. I can smell the thickness. Press it to my mouth and my pants go crazy. Tatses of plums and raisins. Nyquil and vodka. Ohh I love you old stock. Tell me what to do and I as your slave will do it. Aftertaste lingers like feelings for your ex. Great brew...deep rich and not for the faint of heart.
G-rat Nate (4279) - Indiana, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 27, 2004
2001 vintage at Akkurat. Wonderful nose. Twizzler, oak, vanilla, sugar, prune, toast, roasted malt. Before yeast, ruby red-brown clear with lacing off-white thin head. Thick oily body with silky carbonation. Starts sweet, mellow and malty. A myriad of flavor, vanilla, oak, prune, caramelized sugar. Finish is smooth, vinuous, fine port, oak. Alcohol warming (11.2%) and velvet. This is a great barly wine. Sweet after, mellow and ethereal. Shag (3036) - 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!
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.
TexasAggie12 (64) - Burnet, Texas, USA - OCT 20, 2006
(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)
Very dark pour with little head. Smell of toasted malt and hops. Nice flavor of malt,coffee,hops and bitter sweet choclate. Very thick beer on the mouth. Nice drinker when cold outside. Caskalefan (168) - Bellingham, Washington, USA - MAR 17, 2013
Wonderfully sophisticated English style old ale.
Nose and flavor of apples, grapes, port, sherry, caramel, toffee, and pears in brandy.
Syrupy and yet almost ethereal body which is mouth-coating, and yet paradoxically sprightly.
Incredible execution of an old ale that will, undoubtedly become even more stupendous with age.
Serving type: bottle
maltman53 (472) - Corrales, New Mexico, USA - AUG 6, 2014
Bottle of 2014. Wow, it’s all here: fruity esters, dried fruit, caramel, molasses, toffee, treacle, with just the perfect amount of winey character. Beautifully balanced American barley wine style, with a long, long finish. Made in more of a traditional English barley wine style (meaning little or no hop profile) rather than in an American barley wine style (higher hop profile). Overall, a great English barley wine made by Americans! ffbot (433) - Oakland, California, USA - NOV 17, 2015
Dark red brown in color, extremely minimal carbonation, tiny white circle of bubbles throughout. Smell of wood, cask, berries and fresh bread, wheat and clove. Taste is hugely wood, medium sweetness, complex balance of sweet and bitter, definitely one to savor.