socaltay (204) - Ventura, California, USA - MAR 2, 2011
Aroma comes through as hops and heavy malt with a big alcohol note. The appearance is very nice an amber red/orange color that poured with an off-white head. The taste is wonderful with the strong malt and hops balancing very nicely. Wonderful beer lliams (204) - Melbourne, AUSTRALIA - JUL 28, 2013
an amazing beer. so much to enjoy but it feels like a bit of a bully. Bully wine. it’s huge. enjoyable all over, huge bitterness balances the huge malt body but, man, its firm as. its roughing me up! Probably a benchmark if you’re looking for the biggest barley wine around... PullMeABeer (203) - Phoenix, Arizona, USA - MAY 11, 2005
Bottled."2005 Special Winter Release” Pours a rich orange/amber, with a fat off white head. Sharp pine/resin hops in the nose, backed with some alcohol notes and earthy caramel malts. Hops were more subdued in the flavor than I would have expected, I really enjoyed drinking this one fresh. Spicy and rich in complex flavors, very drinkable. (Well maybe not the whole bottle). I expected it to be as hoppy and as hard to drink as fresh SNBF, its not. Very Good!!
timmy300 (203) - bloomington, Illinois, USA - OCT 2, 2005
a little fruity, a lot hoppy, another great beer from stone, i greedily finished the entire bomber myself.....i will snatch this beer up every time i see it from now on nwiseman (202) - Norwich, Connecticut, USA - NOV 20, 2009
’09 bottle from VBS. Aroma is barley and lots of it. You can almost smell how thick this is going to be. Pours a deep amber and relatively clear with a thick luscious off-white head. Taste is slightly sweet with a some bitterness. Leaves an almost fruity flavor (pear maybe?) as well as that bready barley taste. A very tasty beer, but at 11%, this one’s a sipper.
WLG423 (201) - Connecticut, USA - DEC 2, 2009
A dark orange color with a really small head. The aroma is slightly toasty and citrus-like although a little muted. Flavor is rather bitter and sweet with a nice thick mouth feel. Finish is comfortably bitter and long lasting. Flavor becomes more complex and tasty with each sip. Overall an enjoyable and different brew. jlieber17 (201) - San Diego, California, USA - JAN 25, 2011
UPDATED: FEB 24, 2012 22 oz bottle. Pours rubywith off-white foamy head. Initial aroma of honey, sugar, dark fruits; booze as it warms. Taste evolves nicely as it warms: a very bitter sweetness to a malty sweetness (caramel, vanilla, wood, alcohol, dark fruits). Very sticky mouthfeel. Quite dry with a hint of bitter at the end. qdog (201) - Cleveland, Mississippi, USA - OCT 16, 2004
bottle. amber color, small white head with minimal lacing. very malty smell and taste with a strong alcohol flavor. ATOmemphis (200) - Franklin, Tennessee, USA - APR 9, 2006
Limited Early 2006 Release Poured a deep cloudy amber/red with orangish hues in the light. Where’d the head go? It was the most minimal and left me quickly but was a light cream, the little layer that was there. Smells like the Holidays. Delicious to the nose. Not overly yeasty or anything, its pleasant. Some great spices. A distinct alcoholic bite up front with beginning bitterness, but this was quite complex as it changed quickly in my mouth to a smooth texture with various fruits. I like this bad boy and its definately got the punch with 11 and change percent alcohol. rmalloy (199) - los angeles, California, USA - MAY 7, 2008
UPDATED: FEB 14, 2009 re-rate: Had rated this higher. I like the beer, but I think it is too heavy with the hops and light on the malty candy flavors for the style. I prefer a thicker, more contemplative barley wine.
This is a style I like a lot. I drink mostly wine, but this is why I like beer. The aroma is "noble." I don’t know what that means, but it’s the best way I can say to describe it. It’s a profound beer. The heavy maltiness is matched by hoppiness. There are no gimmicks. It’s not a game of how much hops can you put in--the more the better. This beer is perfectly balanced. It’s a bit more heavy than complex, but that’s a criticism of the style, not the beer.