PeterA (342) - EL SALVADOR - FEB 13, 2004
2001 - thanks to argo0. Nice sweet, malty aroma. Deep, cloudy brown color, but not much head. Very rich beer, complex flavors, malts, vanilla, fruits, and less of an alcohol flavor than you'd expect given the abv. Aftertaste has a hint of bitterness from some mighty fine hops. To put it simply, yum. Loddeer (171) - USA - OCT 16, 2004
UPDATED: NOV 19, 2004 Damn! Now we’re talking. First off I did not check the alcohol content until after I drank this. I was stunned when I saw this was 11.4%. I never even noticed since I was really blown away by how smooth, gentle, and warming this ale was. It has incredible depth and really has one of the best sweet malt tastes I have had. I feel this blows away Old Rasputin. Also, it has great smell and apperance. An excellent choice, I am extremely pleased, this was an awesome ale. FROTHINGSLOSH (7796) - GREENSBURG, Pennsylvania, USA - OCT 19, 2004
UPDATED: JAN 19, 2007 I have become quite fond of this one. Sampled from a 12 oz brown bottle this beer pours a cloudy red-brown color with a very small tan head. The aroma is malty and has elements of molasses and ripened fruit. The flavor is malty and dominated by molasses and caramel notes. There is some ripened fruit in the undertones. There is some alcohol burn, but not nearly as much as you would expect given the alcohol content. A subtle note of bakers chocolate comes in as it warms. Lovely nicplemel (19) - Seattle, Washington, USA - MAR 15, 2005
2004 run. Poured nicely but with very little head. Great smells from this one, it warmed me up prior to even tasting it, when I did I was impressed with it’s complexities. Flavors of dark fruits for sure and of course a standard sweetness associated with the style. As my glass emptied though, I found there to be an almost brandy like flavor to it (this isn’t a abd thing in my opinion) the alcohol became more and more noticable as I sipped. Even the wife dug this one. I was quite pleased when I didn’t expect to be. AlchemistZ (493) - Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA - OCT 2, 2005
2003 Vintage: A red-hued, brown head on a deep-colored, reddish brown body. Strong barleywine aroma. Saturated Saturation. As much of everything as possible. It is not layered in complexity, but in-your-face to the point I feel if they added one more pound of malt or one more ounce of hops the beer would collapse upon itself. Flavor is not like the aroma entirely. The high alcohol lightens and elevates the palate, making it dangerously drinkable (it is not a hot alcohol though). The beer is big malt with just some acidity and hop flavor balancing but mainly on the roof of the mouth. This leads into hops and malt flavor equalizing but competing with the unyielding, drying, mildly astringent alcohol then finishing with the taste of a fresh baked, molten, chocolate brownie. This is a summary of my overall impression of this beer, but it does not do it justice. Every taste from the glass changed like a chameleon with new complexities rearing their head then repressing themselves with the next taste. My best analogy would be that of a perfectly grilled hamburger where all of the components: cheese, lettuce, tomato, and burger, are all in perfect balance but maybe the next bite the cheese is just a little thicker in that spot but it still tastes wonderful...wonderful but different. A great way to finish the evening.
xenthem0nk (101) - Oregon, USA - DEC 23, 2005
Bottle from Haggen in Beaverton, OR, which is the only place I’ve ever seen it. This is hands down a great barely wine, lots of malty sweetness. Pours dark copper with a half inch head (I was hoping for more). Good lacing. Strong aroma with dark sweets, I would say some old brown sugar and subtle vanilla for some reason, which surprised me. At 11.4%, I was wondering how well they would be able to hide the alchohol, but leave it to North Coast, they have great brewing skill. The only thing that was overly pronouced in this barleywine was its balanced mouthfeel and flavor. Lots of deep sweetness which made this winter night feel nice and cozy. Alchohol burn hits at the very end, lingering on the tongue. Great brew, must try. frankenkitty (2012) - Oak Lawn, Illinois, USA - FEB 14, 2006
2004 Vintage Pours a near-opaque, rich ruby/vermillion with nigh a head except for a thin, white halo. Juicy, caramel aroma, mostly malts with a lick of alcohol and plenty of dark fruits and caramel. (Intoxication intensifies exponentially as it warms.) "Oh my," I actually proclaim as I taste this one. Rich and wooden with the alcohol seriously penetrating, the flavor also finds vinous notes, deep veins of caramel and sweet baked goods... it’s like being a child again, finding delicious treats in the strangest of places! A thick, syrupy, warming palate rates a "4" until I take into account the soft shroud of drunkeness that blankets me. Perfect.RollinHard (1024) - Fort Worth, Texas, USA - OCT 23, 2006
Gene, you can keep your Old Horizontal... I’ve found a BarleyWine worthy of my time ("floor-malted Maris-Otter Malt" my ASS).
<font size=-4>Purchased at <a href=http://www.ratebeer.com/Places/ShowPlace.asp? Liquors, Chicago, IL 60638<font size=-1>
2004 bottle. Pours a cloudy dark brown with some orange highlights. Aroma is wonderful on this, better than I remember from trying before. Smells very much like grapes, with caramel and brown sugar. Clearly beer, but very winelike. Very sweet taste, but in a careless sugary fashion. This is incredibly nice and smooth, yet strong, with toffee, butterscotch and vinuous notes going down. According to my girlfriend (with an excellent sense of smell), this beer has some sort of "Christmas bread" flavor to it. I felt like I can taste my Grandma’s basement in this beer somehow. It’s as if the term "cellaring" became more literal than intended. Thick full mouthfeel, very low carbonation. A beer that veils as many different flavors as it flaunts. I think 2 years time did wonders to this beer, as it certainly emphasizes the "wine" in "barley wine." thefederalist (311) - Jonesboro, Arkansas, USA - SEP 22, 2007
UPDATED: JUN 16, 2008 Pours clear mahogany with a medium smallish head. No lacing. Aroma of booze and figs. Flavor is sweet, but not cloying. Malt profile is a real treat with some dried fruit and candy flavors. Could use maybe a touch more hop bitterness, but I give it a couple extra points for the amazing ABV burn it leaves down the back of the throat. Very nice! It will be interesting to see how this one ages. Sephiroth (66) - Indianapolis, Indiana, USA - FEB 22, 2008
2002 Edition: One of my longtime favorites, this beer will go into a tulip. The head is much more subdued than my previous bottles from this year. The half inch head quickly fades to nothing. The body is transparent only when held to a light source, and even then one must be quite close to the glass.
The nose is malty and vinous. Slight vanilla and raisins are detected. This baby is in its prime. The malts are complex. I really cannot pick any individual flavor out of this. The malt is somewhat roasty, with dark fruits as well. The finish is dry, almost like I am drinking Cabernet. Must be the remnants of the hops. The mouthfeel is thick, but not coating as I imagine it once was. Even if there was a hint of the 11.4% ABV, this would be extremely drinkable. Time has been good to this, as the alcohol is buried deeply within this one. I cannot find any more recent vintages of this one in Indy. There seems to be plenty of this one, though. I give a three for appearance because of the enormous head on every other occassion that I drank this one. I will edit this the next time I pop one.
Edit: My glass might have been slightly dirty the last time. This time, I get the nice head I am accustomed to from this one.
Serving type: bottle
Reviewed on: 07-21-2005 06:33:38