arjoseph (642) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - APR 17, 2006
On tap at the brewpub; sampled with cquiroga, summer 2005. Hazy transluscent golden orange. Thick and dense off-white head that always replaces itself; if for any reason the head gets destroyed (you tilt the glass or take a sip), it rematerializes almost instantly. I’ve never seen that before. Smells yeasty with some lemon zest. Somehow, it also smells like a glass of milk (which I find very refreshing). Full and creamy in the mouth with an orangey acidity and a bit of Tang. Vague brown sugar sweetness. Hops seem kind of oxidized; they’re at a good level, but don’t have great character. Finish lingers long. As it warms, the alochol gets more pronounced and starts to sting. This has got great peripherals, but it lacks where it counts. JasonG (776) - Salt Lake City, Utah, USA - JUN 23, 2005
nitro draft at brewery: I had the same experience as several others - I got the el camino and the barley wine at the same time, and the bartender said the darker one was the el camino and the lighter was the barleywine. I basically said "ok" but knew she was wrong, until I tasted them. An 11% brew that is as light as a pale ale, served on nitro?!? In pint glasses, no less!
So, recovering from the initial shock, here’s the rating:
Very pale yellow color with a pure white head. Aroma is malty, sweet, with corn and hints of vinegar. Flavor is malty, pretty sweet, with notes of orange. An interesting brew, but not amazing. BeerLimey (2154) - California, USA - APR 27, 2005
On tap at the Lucky Baldwin’s 2005 Barley Wine Fest
Hazey, orangey hue, good head foiration. Mild sweet fruity aroma. Very hoppy flavor witha alcohol showing through, some sweet tropical fruit balance, predominantly tangerine, but essentially bitter. If you tell me this is a barley wine I wouldn’t rate it but as a Double IPA I think it’s top notch. boto (2214) - Granby, Connecticut, USA - MAR 2, 2005
Draught @ San Clemente location. The color was a bit of a suprise to me: it was a golden color, and was slightly hazy. It also had a minimal white head on it. The aroma was a bit weak, and it was hard to determine what was in there. The taste was malty, but not a sweet as some barleywines. It even had some notes of banana to the taste. SG (465) - Valley Center, California, USA - DEC 30, 2004
On tap. Light hue for the style, and very sessionable. Nice sweet flavor. A big outlier for the style but good. Not big scores but much appreciated.
JohnC (3008) - Mission Viejo, California, USA - DEC 19, 2004
On tap at Pizza Port San Clemente. Clear golden (not exactly what I’d expect in a barleywine) color. Nice aroma, but you really have to let this one open up. After 15 minutes a nice malty sweet flavor showed up. be patient. It’s not bad, but the color threw me and it really came into it’s own at room temp. I even had them pour it in a room temp glass to begin with. Normally you’d get it in a cold glass & it would be disappoinitng. DrunkAsASkunk (847) - Lynnwood, Washington, USA - DEC 8, 2004
This beer was sampled at the San Diego Strong Ale Festival 2004. This beer poured a clear light yellow color which was extremely light and strange for a barleywine. I think nearly all of us went back up to the pourers to make sure we got the right beer afterwards. There was also a small white head which left a small amount of lacing. The aroma is piney and hoppy with hints of malty sweetness, lemon and citrus. The flavor is pretty...well, i don’t have too much on it because it was just so damn expected. Piney finish with a slightly bitter front countered by a lemonized malty mid-sip. As it warmed this got heavily piney in the finish, and fairly warming and dry. Not much alcohol presence, but I could find a tad. Pretty much a good barley wine, just not much of an impression left. hopdog (12584) - Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 7, 2004
On tap @ the San Diego Strong Ale Fest. Poured a darker, hazy golden color with a small white head. Fruity and sweet. I didn’t write too much else down about this one... Vac (2445) - San Diego, California, USA - DEC 6, 2004
This brew pours with a golden body topped by a medium thick head with some lacing. The aroma is sweet and fruity with a lemony note and a touch of hoppy bitterness, as well as, some woody notes. The flavor is sweet yet bitter and woody/grassy from the hops. Medium bodied, smooth and slightly dry. DarkElf (3062) - La Jolla, California, USA - DEC 6, 2004
(Draft: 2004 Strong Ale Festival, Pizza Port in Carlsbad, CA. Day 2, Beer 7) This is a hoppy barleywine that’s lighter in style. Fruity, moderately sweet initially, but a moderately bitter grapefruit hoppiness picks up steam toward the finish. Medium body, could use a bit more viscosity for a barleywine. Crisp palate from the hops, but the hoppiness doesn’t eradicate the moderate sweetness that clings to the palate. Fruity nose, like orange citrus. Pale gold color and fully clear. Off-white head pours small and fades to a small rim. Pretty good, but I’ve had better barleywines at this festival.