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RATINGS: 1968   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.85/5   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 338   ABV: 11.26%
A beautiful bold barley wine. Massive malt and hop notes. Silver Medal winner at the 2000 Great American Beer Festival in the Barley Wine category. Gold Medal winner at the 2002 World Beer Championships in the Barley Wine Category. Look for it in the first quarter of each new year. Can be cellared or enjoyed upon its release.

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   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
mjg74 (3077) - La Mesa, California, USA - MAR 2, 2005
2005. Pours a reddish orange color. Aroma is a little sweet and fairly malty. Some citric aroma is present. Flavor is quite hoppy. With a maltiness to mellow it out a little. Alcohol seems to be masked quite well as I cant taste any. Bottle reads 11.26%. Very ready to drink.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
MI2CA (1340) - Noblesville, Indiana, USA - MAR 1, 2005
UPDATED: MAR 30, 2006 Winter 2005 release one year later 22oz - Aroma is alcohol and hops with a touch of carmel. Appreance hasnt changed from original rating. Flavor is the opposite of aroma with the carmel being dominate, alcohol follows, then the hops. It is very smooth with a warming effect but not the burn I remember from the freshy. A year has been nice to this one.

Original rate date 3/1/05 score: 7/4/7/4/16=3.8
Winter 2005 release 22oz bottle - This is a sharp and hoppy barleywine with an aroma to match. Hops, malt, carmel with an alcohol bite. Great looking reddish brown with quickly dissipating off-white head and spotty lacing. Flavor is lasting bite of hops, alcohol, and carmel malts. Im sure a year or two will make this an awesome brew.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Gachupines (1252) - USA - FEB 25, 2005
Pretty aggressive flavor for this barleywine. Strong hop flavor persists from first taste. Malt balances it out a little bit, but that bitterness lasts. Gets a little sweeter as I continue drinking, but overall for someone who wants a pretty bitter taste. Personally, Id try this one again.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
highalphafan (18) - albuquerque, New Mexico, USA - FEB 21, 2005
2005. Comparitive analysis: By recent years standards, Im not as happy with this one. But then thats why we age I suppose. The pour was flatter than recent vintages and the aromamuch less hoppy. Palate thick and oily as usual, but not as complex in the flavor department. Sort of candylike like an Avery brew. Well see, Ill go back for more.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
johnyvt (158) - West Hollywood, California, USA - FEB 20, 2005
UPDATED: FEB 21, 2005 22oz, 2005 bottle. Smells heavily of butterscotch and hops. Sweet and malty start. Really thick, oily hop taste. Definitely needs time to age and blend flavor. Right now its a little harsh and not as complex as I imagine it will be eventually. Still, the balance of both intense sweet and biter taste makes it drinkable and worthwhile. Will try to age a bottle and rerate.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
frylock (1135) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - FEB 20, 2005
2005 Vintage 11.26% ABV: Bright redish brown with a medium sized off-white head. Malty, caramel aroma with a hint of tart cherries. Caramel and toasty malts, followed by a good dose of hops, some pine notes. Rather bitter finish.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
0o9i (439) - Reno, Nevada, USA - FEB 19, 2005
UPDATED: JAN 27, 2007 Jan 2007, bottled. Lovely malts, very floral hops, a touch of fruity alcohol, lots of dark fruits, brown sugar, sweet-dark bread, and a measured dose of honey on aroma. Malt dominated and lovely. Giant head with beautiful rings of lacing. Mouth at start was flat, fullish, and unimpressive; however, now that this stuff has sat and Im near the end, its creamy carb, and a lightly dry finish. Flavor is dark fruits, toasty, honey, lightly pollenated, fairly well balanced (on the hoppy side, which I enjoy) and nice. Maybe they read these things because they hid the alcohol. heh. Very tasty, but not outstanding. I should have bought another bottle... 2005 Edition, bottled. First comments: will put hair on your chest. This stuff needs to be put away for 1-2years and it will be much more "friendly," although a beer of this caliber will never be truly friendly. Here we go! Poured clear and on the brown side of amber, maybe chestnut in color? I think chestnut works as its not quite so dark as walnut and a lovely color. Good sized, creamy head, dough colored. Fantastic, thick lacing in rings and splotches. Aroma...well, before I tasted it, I knew the bottle should have sat at least until this fall before even a sampling, but its too late for that. =] Initially pungent and alcoholic, the pungency is revealed upon further evaluation (as you middle your inhalation) to be mostly of some concentrated hops with aroma of grapefruit rind and the meat of an orange. Also noticeable is yeast up front like a moist, slightly undercooked and still warm center to a wheat loaf of bread. The yeast is an overcoat to the whole aroma. The undercoat is a cloyingly sweet malt presence in brown sugar; slightly honey, slightly molasses. Despite being powerfully aromatic, its nearly well balanced--a bit on the sweet side...but then again, it is a barley wine. *ahh* Mouth is...unique. Its tremendously thick and has so much malt that it SHOULD be slimy and syrupy; but, there is light carbonation throughout the mouth to just keep it dry enough to silence any complaints before you swallow and then its comfortably dry. As I continue to drink, it may well become VERY dry. Could definitely use more carbonation, although what it has are tiny but "poppy" bubbles and those are unique as well...fun, but still kind of syrupy//watery. Flavor...well, fumes come out my nose as I drink this--no joke. Its like eating a mild version of chinese spicy mustard, but the fumes are hops and alcohol! Thats reason enough to sip for me. =] Tastes mildly like hop oil, very bitter; grapefruit rind and orange with orange rind head up the front and pine fills in the back. Malts are honeyed and sweet, but pathetically dominated. Alcohol is not overly obvious, but theres no questioning that this stuff is loaded: from flavor to the warmth of stomach to the hoppy alcohol clinging to the back of my mouth. Overall, Im saddened to say that this is far more complex than I can accurately speak on for the flavor as of now. There is some yeast, brown sugar, juniper, dark bread--theres a lot here, but the beer is so young that its not really itself yet. Right now its a stomach ache in a bottle. Aroma is nice, appearance is lovely; mouth is impressive considering how thick and "loaded" (malts + hops + alcohol) and the flavor is complex, but horrendously underdeveloped. 2 years aging recommendation. English style malt profile and mouth; American flavoring. Stone still amazes me with their beers--complexity, power, creativity--but this one isnt a favorite among Barley Wines. Just has a flavor profile I dont love and its so harsh: hide that alcohol!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
elektrogeist (158) - Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - FEB 19, 2005
Holy hell, is this strong. 2005 that just came out, Ill be buying more and storing it for a long time because one can tell how it would benefit from more aging. This years is 12.26% so beware the strength, after the first sip my stomach started burning. Sweet but exquisitely balanced with just the right amount of hops, and despite the intensity it still goes down well. Taste doesnt linger in my mouth as long as some other barleywines, but this is still probably the best Ive had.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Saarlander (1686) - Saarlouis, GERMANY - FEB 16, 2005
The sweetness isnt dominating due to the good hoppiness of this beer, alcohol is pretty well hidden for being 11% Cant wait to age some more, and try it again!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
wnhay (722) - Princeton, New Jersey, USA - FEB 15, 2005
UPDATED: MAR 15, 2005 Ive just sampled this so far. Really powerful aroma which is similar to the Old Numbskull in my opinion. The pour is very creamy and has a nice amber color. The flavor is really great. Very fruity with a lot of malts and hops. I found this to be similar to an English Style Barley Wine. It is like the Old Numbskull but less powerful. The alcohol is hidden well which is quite impressive. Great so far. I will re-rate when I have had more of this. 2005- What is this beer number 199.5? Had this on draft at the Gingerman. Poured a surprisingly light brown color. It is much lighter then the Victory Old Horizontal in color. Great aroma of gin and tonic, pinapple, caramel and various dark fruits. The hops are quite present as well in the aroma along with the alcohol. The alcohol hits hard during the first sip of the beer. The taste is very good with some similarities to the Double Bastard. It is not as smooth as the Double Bastard in that the alcohol is not as well hidden. Still very good stuff though. Ill give this a 4.3 as well.

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