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RATINGS: 455   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.57/5   EST. CALORIES: 345   ABV: 11.5%
Measuring between 10 and 11% ABV, depending on the year, this barleywine was Real Ale's first seasonal product. It is uncharacteristically smooth for this style of beer, as it is created with five different kinds of hops. It also displays a rich malt character, and the healthy portion of hops gives it a distinctive dry and balanced finish. Sisyphus Barleywine Style Ale, weighing in around 480 calories per 12 ounce serving, is not for the faint of heart. Makes a great nightcap!

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   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Nuffield (4107) - Roseville, Minnesota, USA - OCT 2, 2004
2002 Vintage. Red with a thin head. Candy, sweet, fruity, huge, aroma. Grape flavor, warming, rich, though some alcohol obviously present. Thick palate. Lingering, moderate bitterness. Thanks for saving a bottle for a coupel of years, TChrome!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
11026 (1772) - Alabama, USA - SEP 22, 2004
Bottle. Pours thickly. Amber color with reddish hints. Head is white and somewhat slow to form. Rich malty sweet aroma, caramelish. Mouthfeel is full, slightly syrupy. Taste is big malts, sweetish. Long hop finish after a somewhat harsh beginning. I think this will age nicely. 2004 bottle.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Pigfoot (2268) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - SEP 13, 2004
Sad to say, my notes on this impressive ale were taken after a hefty session of others, (I was really thirsty for a barleywine!) and therefore lacked technical precision or minute dissection of any kind. We can only arrived at the barest conclusions, but yet I offer them up... "Appearance: bright, bold, reddish hue, nice, finely toasted head. Aroma: rich, fruity, bready, bold, flavorful, delicious and delirious, holding all the right notes that a barleywine ought to. Delicious, full flavored, happy, fantastic hops, lush, earthy, fruity, hoppy, malty, perfect Oh!!! Rich, tasty, delicious, satisfying..." and there it trails away, penmanship becoming more atrocious and alarmingly indecipherable. This bewildered, stream of consciousness train wreckage can only prove that it was a damn fine barleywine and did the trick, doublegood. Not a bit of futility involved in the production of this great beer. Now to try it under more optimum conditions, to reconfirm this inebriated appeciation.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 14/20
atpayne (615) - Zionsville, Indiana, USA - AUG 25, 2004
2003 Bottle. Thanks to 123456green for this. Lighter than I expected. Dark orange to very light brown with little head and a golden glow. The aroma is biting, sour, bitter and full of aging fruits. There is also almost a soapy character to the aroma which is unique, but a little unexpected. Large feeling and character. Its smooth sharp bitterness at the back of the throat gives it a lightness while a noticable alcohol presence sits fully at the front of the toung. This was a very unique feeling and finish. As it warms up some spices become noticable as well.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
CaptainCougar (7133) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - AUG 9, 2004
Bottle 2003, 10.7% abv: Pours a murky copper brown with a thin off-white head. Aroma is bold and hoppy with lots of caramel toffee and some alcohol. Starts rich and lightly syrupy with a smooth and mild sweetness. The floral hoppy bitterness seems a tad subdued, most likely from a year of aging. The sweetness and bitterness are well balanced though and the alcohol hidden fairly well. This could use a little more complexity and maybe a little more sweetness toward the dry finish, but this is a nice barleywine nonetheless. Many thanks to TChrome for this one!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
5000 (6862) - Hardened Liver, Washington, USA - AUG 1, 2004
Bottle(2003) pours caramel, small milk-froth like head, with soft carbonation and spotty lacing. Lovely aroma of butterscotch, caramel, and malts. Fairly sweet, slightly buttery, with a wierd White Grape juice as well. Forwardly hoppy on the tongue, slighty malty/bready, but no big sweetness as I had smelled prior. Slight alcohol warming as it goes down too. FInishes with a huge hop flavor, reminiscent of Old Crusty. Great example of a PNW Barleywine, but I prefer mine a bit more malty and a bit sweeter. Still, not bad, albeit a bit rough. Thanks goes out to TChrome for the trade!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
cquiroga (371) - Tujunga, California, USA - JUL 31, 2004
2/21/04. On draft at Toronado Barley Wine Festival 04 in San Francisco, CA 2/21/04. 2003 Vintage. Pours a murky light caramel color. Large head that lingers, cream-tan in color. Aroma is of butterscotch, light caramel, and faintly of cattle feed. Yeah, seriously. Sharp piney hop flavor but not really much alcohol considering the percentage. Round malt sweetness. Medium-full body, creamy and effervescent. Finish is sharply hot, very long but a bit strong. Interesting play of carbonation and sharpness. Could mellow to something great with a little time.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
jeffc666 (1984) - Fairfax, Virginia, USA - JUN 14, 2004
2003 Bottle - Slightly cloudy orange with a very nice dense light tan head. Caramel malts and bitter hops rule the show. The flavor is quite nice, caramel with lots of hoppy bitterness. Very well put together. Full body. Very nice and very drinkable. Thanks to argo0.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
argo0 (13613) - Washington DC, USA - JUN 13, 2004
(2003) Light copper with small beige head. Aroma is sharply bitter grapefruit, some herbal, wort. Taste is grapefruit with solid malt backbone. Finish is grapefruit/herbal hoppy with medium alcohol. Medium-full body. Damn this is a fine barleywine. Many thanks to fly.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
grat (432) - ST. Louis, Missouri, USA - MAY 31, 2004
UPDATED: JUN 30, 2004 Re-rate, 2003 Vintage: It had been sitting on the shelf of the Whole Foods here in Austin for more than a year. OHHH MY!! This is significantly better than the 2004. Much lesssteric and much more full of hops, yeast and barley flavor. The pour is excellent. Not much head, in fact just a small atoll at the edges of my glass. Nose has a minty freshness to it, at least it is as abrasive as mint is and just as sharp. Next comes the typical citrus and pine that the 2004 had. Also present is swiss cheese. All of these aromas are much more crisp, much more defined and much more palatable this time around. Taste is considerably of brown sugar, pine and grapefruit, especially however brown sugar. Find this brew. Buy two. put a straw in one and drain it as fast as you can and cellar the other. Grat

For all of the hatred this beer gets, I really liked it. Very copper colored and not much of a head. Smells like vanilla, bourbon and rubbing alcohol. The nose could use some work. This brew had been sitting on the shelf for nigh on 4 months maybe 5 so its had a little time to mellow out. Flavors are lovely. Whoever below pointed out the over ripened fruit was dead on. Hints of bourbon and vanilla just like the nose only without the astringency on the forefront. Salt as well is prevalent. Mouthfell is excellent. Coats like cough syrup. Good brew. Buy 2. Drink one cellar the other. Grat

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