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. badnewsbeers (2312) - Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA - JAN 19, 2005
UPDATED: NOV 30, 2005 aroma was of caramels and dark fruits...medium brown (dark chesnut) appearance...smooth palate...flavor is very dominant with roasted malts, caramels, spices, and some faint hops;
another gem by bells barleyPops (1183) - Quad-Cities, Illinois, USA - JAN 15, 2005
bottle. an impressive aroma and appearance gives way to a rather uninspired flavor and palate. the malt flavor is not balanced by anything else. after being so impressed by Bell’s stouts & porter, I am a little disappointed by this one. erway (1004) - Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA - JAN 12, 2005
pours a deep brown w/ some ruby highlights and a small creamy head. Aromas of burnt fruits and soy sauce.med-heavy body w/ some huge maltiness and a firm dry bitterness. Long lasting finish. Some warming alcohol. Well aged.
poivre (14) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - JAN 10, 2005
Great beer, very memorable. Although I would give it some more time to age, already the balance of flavors is striking. DavidP (1747) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - JAN 3, 2005
Very dark brown/purple body, gorgeous creamy foamy off-white head that leaves a ring of soapy lacing. Yeast dusties visible when held up to the light. Chocolate cupcake alongside red wine and pineapple comprise a traditional malty, fruity barleywine aroma with a kick of alcohol at the end. The first thing I notice when sipping is the rich velvelty mouthfeel - 5 on that. Otherwise the flavor mirrors the aroma: chocolate cake, brownsugar, winey and syrupy tropical fruit notes. Long sprucy hop/caramel sweet finish with a short alcohol flast. This is a good barleywine. Doesn’t have the crazy-ass hops of Old Ruffian or Bigfoot, but rather goes with "subdued" hops and yummy sweet flavors. I’ll knock the overall a bit because while this stuff is damn tasty it isn’t terribly unique. darkstar (69) - Eureka, Missouri, USA - JAN 3, 2005
Wow. Loaded with flavor in the form of malts and hops. Pours a brown color and can see some sediment floating. Small head. Is it sweet or bitter? Or both, just at different times? I could hardly tell it was 9 percent alcohol with all the flavor in there. Highly recommended. brewblackhole (1587) - Muskego, Wisconsin, USA - JAN 3, 2005
Cloudy dark amber brown color, aroma is fruit and malt with a little alcohol, thick malt and sugar taste, warming in the stomach, much like a potent abbey ale. Another Bell success steve23mj (273) - Essexville, Michigan, USA - JAN 2, 2005
Pours reddish brown with Small tan head. Nose is vinous, sweet and malty. Flavor rushes in with big alcohol presence, malty, spicy and with mild citrus undertones. Warm, pleasant finish.