unclebleen (620) - California, USA - OCT 20, 2003
2003: Cloudy and ruby orange. Nice thin white head with better than average lacing. Nice fruit and hoppy aroma with alcohol tingling your nose on a deep sniff. Taste mainly hops. Wonderful thick malty body. Alcohol is noticable when swallowing. archstanton (105) - mukilteo, Washington, USA - OCT 20, 2003
very fruity malty and hop infested beer the taste it makes my nose hairs bleed just smeling it.i had 4 of these one night and i tought i lost my mind oh wait i think i did 1more4dessert (336) - Upstate, New York, USA - OCT 17, 2003
This was just way too hot, could not get much olfactory or gustatory sensation beyond the ethanol tidal wave. It was a 2003. egajdzis (6612) - Pennsburg, Pennsylvania, USA - OCT 15, 2003
UPDATED: MAR 15, 2004 I tasted the 2002 and the 2003 side by side tonight, so I will give an overview and note some differences. Both poured a ruby amber color with a small yellow/tannish head that left alittle lacing on the glass. The 03 had a strong aroma of hops, grapes, and alcohol while the 02's aroma was much less noticable, but it certainly was fruity. The 03 tasted still way too bitter, nice hop bite, had a slight red wine taste (hence barleyWINE style) and a warming alcohol presence. Whereas the 02 had already began mellowing out nicely while still being fruity and hoppy. My conclusions: the 03 is still too young, so I know for the future, glad I have 3 of each year left.
Rerate, 2004 sample, I needed to bump this up a couple points. This is a super fine, hoppy barleywine. Very enjoyable. brewblackhole (1588) - Muskego, Wisconsin, USA - OCT 15, 2003
Shallow fruity malty aroma, smooth raisiny taste, but then comes that big wave of alcohol kickback. You can't chug this stuff. I slammed a couple because we were late arriving at a Brewers tailgate and the aftertaste was horrible. Will try it again when I have more time
direwolf600 (37) - Philadlephia, Pennsylvania, USA - OCT 14, 2003
Great beer, alot of punch, enojyable, but only a few, anymore and the 19.6 proof can start to hurt. Wonderfully deep taste, as well as a deep aroma. guzzler67 (1696) - Hanover, Maryland, USA - OCT 9, 2003
2001 vintage. And it has aged extremely well. The color was a deep copper with an average head and some serious lacing. Some of the bitterness has mellowed, leaving a smooth flavored, full- bodied taste with enough of a hop bite to keep it balanced and flavorful.(sb) PrinceofNessus (236) - Norman, Oklahoma, USA - OCT 2, 2003
UPDATED: FEB 1, 2004 Deep amber color with a lasting thick foamy head.
A hoppy slightly malted smell. a slightly bitter flavor at first with a hint of fruit. slightly sweet. aaronh (201) - McMurray, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 30, 2003
Hazy orange-copper color beer pours with a minimalist tan head that quickly fades to a thin ring along the edge of the glass. Strong fruit and alcohol aroma smells mostly like plums. Perhaps a touch of hops in the nose as well. The taste is very hoppy, much more than the other barleywines I've had. Also unlike the others, this one is not overly sweet. Reminds me more of a robust, powerful IPA than the sweet barleywines I have become familiar with. A bit more fruitiness and sweetness shows after a few more drinks, but this is an amazingly balanced beer. (even the "Hop burps" are both sweet and hoppy!) Very nice bitterness on the finish. Can't quite place the type of hops, but it tastes like possibly Liberty or Cascade. The mouthfeel is not as syrupy thick as others. While this hurts my mouthfeel rating a bit, it elevates the drinkability. Even with the high ABV, I could drink several of these. Really a great winter warmer. Falconseye8 (542) - Evans, Colorado, USA - SEP 29, 2003
UPDATED: SEP 30, 2003 First Barlywine. My Impression: Bitter, Bitter, Bitter. Not bad after that. Very drinkable once you get past the Bitter part. Interested what others have to say regarding this one. 2003 version.