adwoan99 (305) - Ft. Worth, Texas, USA - AUG 18, 2003
This beer is a bit fruity, mildly sweet, but average hoppiness. Definite herbal aromas, but they blend so well, it's tough to make them out individually. notalush (5910) - Lakewood, Colorado, USA - APR 22, 2003
2003 - 12oz bottle number 128 of 500 - MMM, very complex, even for a barleywine - chocolate, roasted oats, cherries, raisins, brown sugar, molassas, and somehow they all work together - a little astrigent at first, but mellows as it warms - very impressive for such a young example - Southampton does it again. TAR (2779) - Blue Ridge Mountains, North Carolina, USA - APR 10, 2003
2002: Light almond. Very unusual rocky mixture of dusty, large/small bubbles; excellent retention. Herbs, medicine, and tobacco in the aroma. Undertones of pine, dark honey, fig, melon, vanilla, toffee, toasted coconut, persimmon, all capped by a faint tropical fruit dusting. Full, expansive carbonation; perhaps too fluffy for its own good. Initial flavors of toffee, soft citric twang, and earth. Faint astringent, metallic shades toward the finish, accompanied by almond, spiced rum, and mild, honeyed orange rind. Persistent earthy hops resound over the lush malts in the long run. This offers a bit of both worlds: Moderate hop bitterness and loads of sweet malts, toffee. Although a brewer of this magnitude can do far better, this is still a classy, unoffensive barleywine of which most other breweries would be very proud. raindog (560) - Evansville, Indiana, USA - MAR 23, 2003
UPDATED: APR 5, 2004 2002:Pours a nice ruby/amber color with a big,white,clingy,head.Leaves sheets on the glass.Mellow,rummy,candyish, aromas of cookie, herbal hops, butterscotch,and light alcohol.Very soft mouthfeel leaves sticky,residual,sweetness and some sharp bitterness.Big time malty mouth with some spicy alcohol.Finish is silky,smooth.Big malt sweetness,with quite a kick of bitterness. Extremely mellow overall and very drinkable.As it sits and loses carbonation the malt foundation takes over and while not being complex,it is very warming and inviting.Good beer.
Year later: Same huge,head. More assertive aroma,no oxidation,slightest hop flavors,and much more complex malt flavors. Still kicking strong,and only getting better. Oakes (18543) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - OCT 14, 2002
Fiery amber; slightly hazy. Lots of bitterness. Hop juice style, but a good dose of thick chewy malt. Could be a good one, but it's young now. $9 US for a 341ml bottle- yikes!
daboskabouter (1470) - Fergus, Ontario, CANADA - OCT 9, 2002
Sweet malty nose, hints of chocolate. Soft mouthfeel with touches of iron poking through. Finishes very rich and malty and could stand for a few years. Radek Kliber (7470) - Toronto (Can) Krotoszyn (Pol), POLAND - OCT 6, 2002
Neat strong head that lasted long. Ruby amber color. Fresh, smooth, refreshing. austinpowers (2832) - San Francisco, California, USA - AUG 4, 2002
UPDATED: APR 30, 2003 Batch 161: Mighty strong, probably like Old Herb himself back in his day. Herb ran a restaurant in Southampton from 1936-1986. I'm guessing he's dead now. This beer had some fizz, but was very much in the barleywine style. Fairly good.