HopasaurusRex (195) - Glen Ellyn, Illinois, USA - FEB 4, 2005
Gotta love a good barleywine night. Thankfully, it ended with this lovely beer. Very well balanced and enough hops to keep it from being flabby. A nice beer for a cold evening. RateandPillage (426) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - FEB 3, 2005
Pours brownish-red with a small off-white head. Lots of caramel malt in the aroma with some fruits. A little spiciness and hop bitterness in the flavor as well. Pretty complex and respectable Barleywine. MrBunn (2865) - The Wet Side of a Dry Town, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 31, 2005
UPDATED: FEB 14, 2005 Thin hazey head coats the nice dark amber pour. Aroma of cherries, barley, caramel. Taste is rich and deep, impossible to do justice with a lousy description... Awesome barley wine... Walt (2449) - Austin, Texas, USA - JAN 29, 2005
Pour is beautiful ruby amber with floaties and a nice thin skin tan head...aroma is pineapple, cherry, smoke, oak...delicious aroma...well rounded taste...absolutely delicious...caramel, molasses, dark fruits, oak, a little alcohol in the finish...very well balanced and well rounded... mdi (573) - Nebraska, USA - JAN 29, 2005
12oz bottle, 2002 bottling. pours with nearly no head. Typical aroma of aged barley wine...fruity malty delight. Thick sweet with some solid hop accents. This is good, maybe better when it was more fresh, or I ’ve just drank too many 2-3 year old barley wines...because it just doesn’t stand out THAT much...or I’m crazy and its luscious for sure...actually its starts to remind me of a really jammy zinfandel...my favorite wine, and I like them big.
auerbrau (3206) - Ithaca, New York, USA - JAN 28, 2005
UPDATED: DEC 7, 2005 2003 BottleA long awaited reacquaitance with an old friend, that brought me into the glorious world of barleywines. I never gave this beer the proper rating respect when I first tried it, because I was young. But I’m so much (beer)older now. Pours a syrupy and dusky amber sunset, with golden fringes, orange middles and a deep pit of murky ruby. This beer is a glorious color, like the first dawn of a Northern Michigan May morning, lacking only a fringe of clouds. Light carbonation percolates on the edges of the glass. Ah, that candied fruit aroma mingled with saccahrin hops, mellowed with time to a gentle breeze of intoxicating and lusty vapors rising from the caldron of sweet gingered malt, cranberry bogs, and fresh dew. Slicing through the fog comes a blow of fresh oyster liquor, lemon thyme, and a hint of kahlua. A devastating blow of aroma. The flavors, the flavors. Such lavicious running caramels and toffee, fresh from the pan the previous days milking, yearning to release the milky butterfats all over my tounge. Never such silkyness and surprise, loaded with the fresh frosting from a pound of butter, fresh creme and that all important lining of a vanilla bean. Here, it plays amongst the roses and tulips, emanating fresh bursts of floral, grasses and a touch of broken White Pine needles in your hand. There are more deviant facets a foot, harder alcohols in the form of braying brandies and scrupulous bourbons, warming the nostrils and tintillating the tounge. A fresh baguette, slathered with sharp young olive oil and spring of oregano round the brew, with memories of freshly aroused yeasts and a bite of wheat cracker. This is a beer train, of grace and civility, with a mouth full of silky seduction and sumptous glowing warmth, rounded with a quick snap of the whip from Mr. Hop, reminding one to pay attention. Left behind, like a whif of train diesel, one gathers a light earth and plant smack. This beer ages to perfection. PWalk (338) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 27, 2005
I tired to keep myself from having this too early as I wanted to age it but a foot of snow drives one to drink.
A deep red brown in the glass with a smooth malty aroma. Flavor is that of dark fruits and malt with some nice heat included. Finishes like a lost lover leaving you wanting more.
Wonderful stuff. willblake (2664) - Bel Air, Maryland, USA - JAN 24, 2005
01.24.05 12oz bottle thanks to trade with doubletriple. Brown pour, opaque, looks like muddy instant iced tea or unpastuerized apple cider. Minimal head. Deep malty aromas of caramel, raisin; lots of alcohol present on nose is a bit spicey. Lightly savory. Very nice flavors showcase a smooth malt balance - plum, raisin, and whatnot. Finishes sweet with just a touch of hoppy sharpness. Warming beer, the booze seems more on the nose than the palate. Thanks for the nifty bonus, George! EdPaulsen (117) - Rochester, New York, USA - JAN 23, 2005
great barley wine, though at first, too hoppy and unbalanced.
at a tasting larry bell noted that all their strong beers should be drunk one year after their release. when asked "why do you release them when we’re not supposed to drink them?" he said "basically i don’t have the room at my brewery".
also could chaulk it up to consumer education.
anyway, lots of nice floating yeast, though it makes for a not super attractive murky brown/red look.
a great alternative to all those old horizontal nuts out there. doubletriple (53) - Illinois, USA - JAN 22, 2005
Snow mobiles over flat snow packed Michigan fields, the horizon dark and red and purple, the sun going down blurred by the clouds driven by the northwest winds off the lake, we cross trails back to the cabin buried under blowing snow, we pack into the front room and crank up the space heaters, play cards all night as I warm myself with this insanely thick and sweet brew from those unholy northern beer fiends at Bells.