TAR (2742) - Blue Ridge Mountains, North Carolina, USA - FEB 12, 2005
Draft: Foggy garnet. Microscopic bubbles slowly surface to form a small head. Unrefined aroma of spent hops, tobacco, red berries, and smoky molasses. Condensed carbonation. Heavily dense body, but equally slick. Spent hops prevail in the flavor over a shadow of tealeaves. Gritty with an earthy mulch texture and overbearing mineral and leathery astringency. Masked melon note lends much-needed softness to the body, but only somewhat compensates for its utter lack of finesse. Wet paper abounds, but, interestingly, thereís no sign of oxidation. Harsh, overexerted 2-row pungency runs rampant and compounds the overall wreck of flavors. Softly hoppy finish, but clamorously firm in body, as the more-vivid hop elements fail to blossom. While this showed no signs of overaging, the fact that it was virtually unpalatable, is quite puzzling. Eyedrinkale (3214) - Astoria, New York, USA - JAN 9, 2005
Thanks to Tom Nickel for sharing this stuff with us. This stuff had some age but still had plenty of legs left. Heavy malt aroma and taste up front with flavors of dried fruits, toffee, caramel and sugary sweetness. Still had a nice hop bite to it along with a nice alcohol punch. I think this stuff was on the downside of what was a great life but still very enjoyable. Crosling (1864) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - JAN 7, 2005
Pitcher. A poorly balanced beer that may have gone south, considering the lack of carbonation and the meek hop activity. Brown. Hints of caramel, apples, chocolate, resinous hops and a huge scent of wood in the aroma. Caramel and chocolate in the flavor, but above all this was served nearly flat and the flavor was just not there. DrunkAsASkunk (847) - Lynnwood, Washington, USA - DEC 8, 2004
This beer was had on tap at the San Diego Strong Ale Festival 2004. This beer poured a dark mahogany and reddish mixture color with a thin tanned head and a good degree of lacing. Ahhhhh, the aroma... you can tell right away that this is a barleywine. Sweet malts, caramels and fruits clash with a sea of centennial hops. Sweet candy, caramel, cinnamon and brown sugar aroma with a hint of citrusy hops. The flavor develops into a long-lasting full bodied array of sweetness upfront followed by a bittering hoppy and cocoa, coffee bean clean finish. Slightly dry brown sugar in the finish as well. Very little alcohol presence, but just enough to pick it up in the finish. Sweet, but very well balanced and extremely full bodied...this could be a scary beer if bottled or aged! beerguy101 (5360) - Newark, California, USA - DEC 6, 2004
Tasted at the 2004 Pizza Port Strong Ale Fest Amber brown color. Medium sized white foamy head. Aroma is cinnamon, caramel and malts. A medium to full bodied barley wine. Malts are fruity and sweet, touches of cinnamon and a little oak. There is also some nice spiciness going on here as well. Slightly bitter hops. Very smooth. Touch of molasses. An excellent sipping beer. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly sweet.
Hairofthedog (419) - San Diego, California, USA - DEC 5, 2004
Very nice barley wine! Very rich brown and gold pour w/ a yellowish hue. Great head, and great lacing. Roasty, hazelnuts, and soury fermented fruit w/ hints of coffee in the mouth, and piney, soury fermented fruit and slight gym socks appeal on the nose. Creamy and yet aggresive w/ a full body. DarkElf (3062) - La Jolla, California, USA - DEC 5, 2004
(Draft: 2004 Strong Ale Festival, Pizza Port in Carlsbad, CA. Day 1, Beer 5) The nose is freshly hoppy and quite malty, with an odd woody aroma, perhaps some wild, brown mushrooms. The flavor follows suit, very earthy, woody and mushroomy, and also some moderate smoke. These are all the dominant flavors. Itís also moderately hoppy and malty, but itís the funky flavors that really draw your attention. Maintains excellent balance from start to finish. Medium body, somewhat dense and coating on the palate, but the hops keeps the palate somewhat clean in the finish. Ruddy, light brown color, fairly cloudy in appearance. Very large tan head shrinks to but retains a thin layer, leaving some patchy lace. Deserves a controlled tasting session out of a real glass, and where the barleywine can warm to room temperature. The nuances are probably lost because the beers are too cold (itís a cold night here in San Diego). cquiroga (371) - Tujunga, California, USA - DEC 5, 2004
12/4/04. On draft at Pizza Port Strong Ale Fest in Carlsbad, CA 12/4/04. 2001 Vintage. Dark caramel brown with medium haziness. Deep orange outline on the glass. Awesome lacing. Funky cinnamon nutmeg aroma with a bit of a "foot" character. Iím not a foot fetishist, but I like it. Extremely interesting for a barleywine without completely abandoning the style. Big twigginess and aged malt. Cool mouthfeel with a sharp finish. Big woody flavors and bitter, seltzery soda. Nutty, citrusy with something lime-like beneath all the glory. Strange transformation in your mouth between the initial taste and the very nice finish. The flavor isnít quite as strong as Iíd like, but itís very drinkable for the size and style. Probably the highlight of the Strong Ale Fest for me. I mustíve told 20-25 people that they HAVE to try the Tricentennial, and not a single one came back to me with a word of disappointment or complaint. I almost feel bad for giving this beer *only* a 4.3, but it was really a lovely, wonderful treat that I went back to time and again over the two days of the insane fest. I donít know if or when Iíll ever be able to try this beer again, but I anxiously await that glorious day. Vac (2445) - San Diego, California, USA - DEC 5, 2004
This barley wine pours with a deep amber body topped by a thick head with tons of lacing. The aroma is bitter and hoppy with alcohol esters, a strong pine note, some cinamon, and an underlying foot note. The flavor is slightly sweet yet bitter with piney notes, slight caramel notes and a touch of alcohol. Full bodied, tingly on the tongue and slightly dry. Sickboy282 (1114) - San Diego, California, USA - MAR 5, 2004
UPDATED: APR 18, 2004 2001 bottle from Tom himself. Yummy... POurs a dark, deep brown in color with aromas of fruit and brown sugar. Flavors of evergreens and brown sugar again, with a slight chocolate feel. Maybe the best barleywine i've had yet.