meathookjones (245) - Sterling, Virginia, USA - DEC 16, 2004
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
This poured out a reddish brown color with not much of a head only a random scattering of tan bubbles that quickly disappear. Aroma is hugely sweet with ripe dark fruits and malts with a touch of alcohol. The alcohol in the nose becomes more apparent the longer this one sits out. Keeping in line with the smell the taste is big in sweet fruity maltiness a little too much so. There was a molasses like flavor as well and light caramel notes that went nicely and a nice warming alcohol aftertaste. Mouthfeel is full and creamy but hurts a little in the carbonation department. The only thing I have against the drinkability is that if it were a 12 oz bottle the sweetness might become too much by the end of the bottle. I am interested to see how the new 2003 edition will age and hopefully mellow the sweetness out a bit. Overall a great beer that I look forward to trying again in the future.
Brodie (540) - Boone, North Carolina, USA - DEC 11, 2004
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
2003 bottle. Rich malty aroma, burnt sugar, ripe berries, dates, peppery alcohol. Hazy ruby amber color, wispy beige head. Intensely sweet, cloying, caramel, dried dark fruit, syrupy. Full bodied and sticky, low carbonation, a little alcohol in the finish. While there certainly is a lot of complexity to this beer, I think this is too sweet right now. With age this should dry out and become more drinkable, at which point Iíll try to re-rate it, but right now Icanít score it higher.
willblake (2654) - Bel Air, Maryland, USA - DEC 11, 2004
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
12.10.04 bottle # P 39476, 2004 release. I got three botles, one for now, then the others to age. The color is a beautifully clear beer bottle brown with hardly any head, as expected. Aromas are more earthy than expected underneath honey, grapes, blueberry; hints of barnyard are a surprise. Young as it is, the palate is soft, syrupy, coating, and refined. Mostly honey flavors with figs, plum, raw booze. Itís hot, but not too harsh. Some lingering abuse to the palate from the big ABV and hops leaves the tongue somewhat fatigued...who cares, it still tastes great!
beerguy101 (5359) - Newark, California, USA - DEC 10, 2004
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Vintage 2003 Edition 00560. Medium orange brown color, slightly hazy. Some chunkies in there. Medium sized white foamy head. Aroma is brown sugar, toffee and sherry. A medium to full bodied barley wine. Malts are fruity and sweet. An incredibly complex plethora of flavors going on here. There are, in no particular order, brown sugar, molasses, vanilla, candi sugar, cherries, oak, sherry, cinnamon and chocolate. Very smooth. A slight hint of alcohol bite at 11.7$ alcohol. A slight touch of alcohol oilyness. Excellent beer. Can see why this beer ages so well. Mouthfeel is full and round. Seems to last forever. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly sweet.
biermonk (265) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - DEC 8, 2004
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Vintage 2004 Edition 16550...POured a deep amber color with a small but lasting off white head...Aroma is of sweet malts, grapes, plums and raisins...Flavor was absolutely huge and complex that continued to develope for what seemed forever...very sweet of sugary molasses and dark fruit also i found myself thinking of grapes...Extremely complex beer...Body was very full and thick on the mouthfeel...Great beer but I paid $14.95 for a bottle at Summits Wayside Tavern...Pricey but very good
DrunkAsASkunk (847) - Lynnwood, Washington, USA - DEC 8, 2004
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Thank you mitch! Vintage 2003 Edition 00560 This beer pours a cloudy orangey color with hints of red in there and a small tanned creamy head which sort of left a cream layer on top of the beer. There was also a light degree of sediment at the bottom of my glass which made this all the more intriguing. The lacing was mild at best here. HELLO aroma....wow there was some nice stuff going on in the aroma but you could also smell its youthfullness. Heavy alcohol, plums, raisins, cherry, sherry, vanilla, wood and almonds or some form of nut was in the aroma. I mean this was a sheer menagerie of aromas melting into an orchestra of bliss! The flavor is a VERY LONG LASTING AND DEVELOPING beast which encompasses brown sugar, molasses, cinnamon, vanilla, chocolate, cocoa and candy sugar. I mean there is a HELL of a lot of stuff going on in this beer and itíd take more than one bottle to figure it all out. Some alcohol in the taste and a nice degree of carbonation for such a highly alcoholic beer. Thereís definitely also a nutty quality in this beer and its hard to pinpoint until it warms and you near the finish. Chalky thick bodied beer with a wonderful mouthfeel and long developing flavor both in your mouth and after it goes down! I have few words to describe how good this will be when aged!
Cletus (6355) - Connecticut, USA - DEC 7, 2004
4.5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Very good taste that promises to age well. I currently have 25 bottles of the 2004 vintage and am looking forward to enjoying them for many years to come.
WabashMan (1024) - Noblesville, Indiana, USA - DEC 3, 2004
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
While this beer is certainly meant for aging, it is, when compared to other such "aging necessary" beers much smoother and more manageable. While Iíll reserve any strong opinions on this unaged bottle, it has a lot of good flavors that mixed well, even in this more "raw" form, and I can only imagine a well aged bottle. Iíll have to pick up another and be patient.
BuckNaked (1230) - Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA - DEC 1, 2004
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
2004 vintage, 8.5oz bottle, tasted 12/1/04: Pours to a beautiful orange ruby color with no head. Aroma: plums, raisins, port, alcohol, cardboard, shoe leather, brown sugar, oak barrel. Taste: Initially mildly bitter & syrupy with some hops, brown sugar, figs, oak, caramel, port, grapes, toffee. Finishes with a pepper-like warming alcohol and hint of malt & fruit. One taste of this and youíll know itís a fine beer meant to be aged. Wow.
Drew (2411) - Kent, Ohio, USA - DEC 1, 2004
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
2003 Bottle 005289: Well Iíve had this for a year now, I think itís about time to try one so I can start comparing yearly. Deep ruby color, short head that quickly disappears, clear lacing. The color is vivid and deep - very nice. Nose is strong - plums, raisins, grapes, moderate alcohol. Smooth plum/fig sweetness; syrupy in the middle. The edges are more oaky, spicy, tart, dry. It all blends together in the aftertaste along with some alcohol. This is fantastic, cant wait to try it again!