3fourths (9367) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - MAR 6, 2005
UPDATED: MAR 24, 2005 Poured into a small snifter, this barley wine has a dark cloudy orange and brown appearance. The nose is offered copious amounts of smoky old fruit, sweet pineapple notes popping up sporadically, a surprisingly strong presence of wood, and a sharp burning bite of alcohol, which is pretty screaming at my tongue that this beer is too young to be opening. Sweet on the lips and the front of the tongue, but mildly bitter across the back, with a citric acidity similar to a fresh Bigfoot. At times it is almost meaty in the flavors. Young, hot hops abound in this one. willblake (2664) - Bel Air, Maryland, USA - FEB 26, 2005
02.20.05 Tap at Toronado BWF. Pale orange-amber, very lacey. Light biscuit aromas, peat. Floral and fruit-blossomish. So nice, it’s dripping with hops but more like a thick IPA. Quite hot, but not offensive. Toffee. tiggmtl (4543) - East York, Ontario, CANADA - FEB 14, 2005
UPDATED: JUN 6, 2005 Original Rating 2004 Vintage (14-Feb-2005 - 8-3-7-3-15=3.6): Notes of grapefruit, orange, marzipan, caramel, perfume-like floral/earthy hops, and alcohol in the complex, fruity aroma. Opaque tan-orange with thin but lasting off-white head. Orange/grapefruit resinous hop flavour. Very bitter up front, with emerging sweetness in the finish. Fair but gentle carbonation and medium-full body. Bottle enjoyed with MartinT, Olivier and Rastacouere. Thanks TChrome (Secret Santa Dec. 2004)!Tejas (1009) - Dallas, Texas, USA - FEB 8, 2005
Rerate 2005 Vintage (28-May-05 - 6-2-7-5-13=3.4): Floral, soapy, orange aroma. Hazy, orange-copper with fine-bubbled partial cover of white head that leaves some sudsy lace. Bitterness is pronounced, perhaps due to a lack in the malt body or perhaps it’s just far too young and the orange, floral, grassy hops are overly dominant. Creamy soft carbonation with medium-full body. Bottle enjoyed with CapFlu, Goldorak, Joey_Capps, Olivier_MTL, Lubiere and MartinT.
UPDATED: FEB 9, 2005 Austin > Gingerman. Definitely has that strong sweet barleywine aroma to it. First flavor is a slug of alcohol but not overpowering, followed by a really creamy heavy bodied malty flavor. Finishes quite smooth. I’d happily order this one again but only on draught. I saw it priced @ $3.49 a bottle. No way I’d pay $21 + tax for a 6er. DocLock (11189) - Lower Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 3, 2005
Big thanks to fly for this. 2004 bottling. I was impressed by my first Real Ale offering, the rio blanco pale, so I can’t wait to try this one. I must sadly admit to not knowing who Sisyphus was. Beer mail me if you know. Knowledge is power. It pours turbid copper/orange, with a medium white head (certainly a much bigger head than most 11-12% ABV beers). Aroma of huge malt, caramel, tons of dark fruit, cognac, scotch, cabernet, peaches, cheddar cheese. I don’t see how you can give this less than an 8 for aroma. Tastes malty, fruity, with a firm, dense palate. The finish is on the dry side, with a big hop, cognac, and apricot presence. The finish is slightly acrid and dry, but complex. The alcohol definitely appears, but never overshadows the beer. This one is part Impy IPA, part Thomas Hardy, and part Full Sail barleywine. Me likey likey. In my opinion, this is underrated.
sloth (2957) - Ceciltucky, Co., Maryland, USA - JAN 29, 2005
Small offwhite head, fair retention and laceing. A hazy copper colored beer. Fruity, hoppy nose, light breadyness. Body is med/full. Caramel malt up front, medium sweet, raw hop flavors, some astringency, mildly acidic. Heavy citric flavors with a big malt backing. Fairly dry finish. Not sure what it is but i got a certain funkiness outta this brew, a tangyness that just did,nt appeal to me. Thanks to kaggie97 for the trade! arjoseph (642) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JAN 29, 2005
UPDATED: MAY 27, 2008 Re-Rate. 2007 bottle, courtesy of fly. Obtained as part of Secret Santa, summer 2007. 12 oz. bottle into Pizza Port pint glass. Pours with a large stiff foam head, the bubbles struggling to the surface after the pour, presaging a viscouls mouthfeel. May sound wierd, but I swear I smell brett in this; it’s a gueuze-y, sour flowery smell, which might mean this is infected (but maybe not in a bad way). Other smells lurk beneath: some sour apple, caramel, and light sugars. First impression: weird. I have no idea what to make of this, but it doesn’t taste bad. If all of these things are intentional (rather than some happy infection accident), I have to say that this beer is intriguing. Almost instant alcohol burn in the nose coming up from the throat is replaced by a wash of sugars (cane sugar, powdered sugar) on soft but vibrant carbonation. Then, there’s fruit: fruitcake, maybe some grape, honeydew melon. Feel is definitely firm and viscous, almost syrupy, and the most characteristic barley-wine thing about this beer that I can pick up. The finish belies brett qualities again: dry, but also spiderwebby, with a sourness that’s like unspiced apple cider and cherry skin. West-coast hops are tangy and bitter in the finish and play around the crisp yeasty and acidic notes there. This is kind of freaking delicious, but I don’t trust it. Maybe they are using some special fruity hops that impart this character, but it’s too much like a gueuze for me to think it’s not brett. Actually, it tastes a lot like Russian River Supplication. In the end, whatever the motivation, this is interesting and tasty. Keeps a thick fluffy layer of head throughout; murky dark orange in the glass. 8/4/8/4/16 = 4.
goldtwins (4319) - Nesconset, New York, USA - JAN 21, 2005
Original Rating. GABF 2004. Kind of paltry for a barley wine, especially one with this alcohol content. I’m surprised i couldn’t sense the alcohol despite the weak flavors. Pale brown in the glass with not much head to speak of. Dirty raisins and a little dark chocolate pureed and then diluted with 2 parts water. Disappointing. 7/3/7/3/13 = 3.3.
2004 Another thanks to CaptainCougar. Poured a hazy orange. Mostly malty aroma with notes of caramel, brown sugar, and piney hops. The flavor was big and malty.Long sweet finish with a bitter back bone. Warming sensation. RateandPillage (426) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - JAN 21, 2005
2004 bottle. Pours slightly murky orange with a decent off-white/light orange head that fades quickly. Hoppy malty aroma with hints of fruit. Very much hop bitterness on the palate. Lacking malt and kind of dry for a Barleywine. Alcohol warmth much more apparent than other Barleywines. KAggie97 (3529) - Ugly, Hot, and Humid Spring, Texas, USA - DEC 22, 2004
UPDATED: OCT 27, 2010 2003- Nice malty bite with every sip. Improves as it warms. Good drink.
2004- For what it is, it’s a lackluster effort. Not worth the price. If it was a little cheaper, it might be easier to drink.
2005- The best Sisyphus I’ve had. A nice balance of malty sweetness and hopsy tartness make this one a real treat, especially after a long day hiking Enchanted Rock.
2007- Aroma of cheddar and celery; deep amber color that features a nice, white head that fades too quickly. Flavor is biscuts and malty peach, raisin, with a bitter aftertaste. A year off shows, guys; much too hot right now. Aging will do it some good.
2008: Makes up for the 2007 misstep. Huge raisin soaked in alcohol with a burly strawberry syrup finish. Nice biscuit tones keep it from being too sweet. Well-balanced.
2009: Nice balance but slightly leans toward the hoppy side. I’d like more alcohol burn and malt.