green (186) - Boston, Massachusetts, USA - FEB 11, 2005
Good loose tan head, large bubbles diminishes, poor lacing. Nice deep hops aroma. Dark red in an English pint. Fruit notes, maybe a hint of cherries rounded with oak and pine. Some mustiness, reminds me riffing the pages of an antique book pulled from an old luggage chest. Pronounced bitterness rides an alcoholic burn on the finish. Lots of bourbon character. Intricate aftertaste. Needs to be taken real slow. Gachupines (1252) - USA - FEB 11, 2005
Surprisingly balanced beer for the amount of bitterness up front. First taste is overwhelmingly a hoppy bitterness, but the malt kicks in for a refreshing aftertaste. Always a pleasure, and one of the first barleywines I was able to get into. hershiser2 (3235) - Charlottesville, Virginia, USA - FEB 10, 2005
reddish with a small head, looks lovely... smells of fruit & malts. Flavor is tangy, fruity, malty, and alcohol filled- very nice, very tasty, and very warming. ChrisPants (317) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - FEB 9, 2005
2005. Clean pure power hops aroma. Pour is pretty and leaves little to be desired. Rich but mellow body. Buttery salted popcorn flavor (this is good) with tangy finish. Well done indeed. Krausen (102) - USA - FEB 8, 2005
2005 Bottling. Not as hoppy as I remember last year. Don’t get me wrong, stilll very assertive bitterness and hop character. I just remember last years vintage being the hoppiest thing I ever tasted. Bittersweet flavor with great pine/cascade aroma. VERY drinkable, this vintage is deceptively smooth.
sethdude (706) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - FEB 7, 2005
UPDATED: JAN 28, 2006 2005: Pours a lighter color than most in the style, not hazy at all. A deep cola color. Thick, pillowy head leaves great lacing. Aroma is more like an IPA than anything else. Flavor is sweet molasses, then very hoppy, some alcohol notes, a strong bitterness. "Bittersweet" is an excellent descriptor for this beer. Very excellent.
Aged 1 year (opened 01/28/06) this beer has changed slightly, though hops are still very distinctive and stong for the style. Pour has a bit of yeast flocculation and a slight haze when swirled. Aroma is still primarily hoppy, but has taken on a slightly darker profile, much like an older wine. Flavor has done the same, a mild port-like flavor rides underneath the hops, but the finish remains long, dry, and bitter. Probably needs to lay down a little longer to really hit it’s stride. Alcohol burn seems more pronounced.
darkstar (69) - Eureka, Missouri, USA - FEB 6, 2005
Very similar smell to Bell’s Two Hearted Ale. Floral with grapefruit. Suprised how nice the head was. Very satisfied with the taste which was grapefruit, lemons, with a heavy malty taste. Pretty good stuff. biz82 (1327) - austin, Texas, USA - FEB 6, 2005
Clear and amber in color with a loose head. Aroma of hops and caramel, fruit and alcohol. Good body and hop flavor with a strong but pleasant bitter finish. Very well balanced for such a huge ale. Consistantly one the best barlywines out there. BeerAteHer (384) - St. Paul, Minnesota, USA - FEB 5, 2005
Intense floral-hoppy aroma, lots of violet in there. Pours a rich head (rather unique for this style) with quite a duration. Flavor doesn’t reflect the style well -- tries too hard, starts off mixing the malt and hops somewhat well but becomes like grapefruit juice sweetened with sucrose syrup. The finish is great, rather intensely bitter. Another strong point of this beer is that it isn’t too highly carbonated like some of its competitors. PWalk (337) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 4, 2005
On Tap: Aged 2 years and worth the wait. Malty goodness surrounded with just the right amount of hops makes for a very enjoyable brew.