sprinkle (114) - Arcadia, Michigan, USA - JAN 2, 2006
Deep copper but clear, light head but thick lace. Huge piney nose with big malts in the back. Rich and explosive in your mouth, hops that linger forever almost in your mouth. Sweetness comes on the finish and balances at he end. Still needs some time. ’05 vintage. TheBeerGod (6261) - Newport News, Virginia, USA - JAN 1, 2006
Bottle courtesy of JCW. Thanks, man!!! I’ve had this beer for a couple months, now, and never felt the time was right to drink it. Well, I had to work this evening until 2am and decided to come home and "celebrate" with a beer; this one in particular. Pours a pretty rubyish copper with no head, unless the ring of microbubbles around the circumference of the glass counts. The aroma is hoppy and piney with candied apple notes, caramel, bit of maple syrup and creamy malts. Bit of alcohol is still noticeable as well. Taste is suitably rich! Sweet pineapples, light pine needle, more candied apples, caramel, chocolate malt balls (Whoppers), orange peel and alcohol. This isn’t as hoppy as I’d expected, but still packs a punch. Body is creamy and smooth with mild alcohol warmth coming through but relaxing to leave a mild hop bitterness behind. Finish seems a bit dry with more sugary notes coming out. Light alcohol, melon, pineapples, tangerine, pine, caramel, and apple pie. Not sure why I kept picking up apples, but I did. Very good barleywine! Kinz (3786) - Glen Allen, Virginia, USA - DEC 31, 2005
Massive thanks to Secret Santa Jimmack! After reading all the complaining about this beer and its out of balance hops, I decided that it would be the perfect brew to finish up 2005. Pretty clear copper, tinge of ruby, great head initially, faded away slow. Aroma hints of caramel, but is essentially a hop bomb, a mix of loads of citrus (primarily grapefruit), anise, and a bit of pine. Caramel and smoky roasty notes are the immediate flavors on the tongue. They wilt under a massive hop attack, orange, tangerine, grapefruit, pine, anise, combine together for an intensely bitter finish. Not smooth, this is a beer that would slap your mother. Just as it should be. It would be interesting to see how the hops mellow out over time, to see if there is enough malt body to carry the beer into a happy retirement. But the soul of this brew is hops, and allowing them to mellow out would be to disrespect the glory they currently possess. So although the rough edges prevent me from going but so nuts about the score on this beer, it is that wild spirit that makes me love the beer. Cheers to a great 2006! CMUBEERMAN (457) - - DEC 29, 2005
A well balanced and amazing barley wine. Hides the alcohol extremely well, though that isn’t what I look for in a barley wine. For as hard as it is to find, it’s not better than stone or victory. hollywoodj35 (1) - Newport, Rhode Island, USA - DEC 27, 2005 does not count
Amazing relaxing beer with outragous flavor and taste. Head color wasa eye pleasing red and consitent head foam on every poor. Fruitful and sweet tasting it for the firstime. Finishing flavor is dry and pleasant on the palate. The best beer i have tried in 2005. A holiday gift for all to share.
TerryR (391) - Oswego, Illinois, USA - DEC 26, 2005
Beautiful red color with a tan head. Aroma of pine and citrus - very Christmas like - with a full sweet malt background. Taste is lots of sweet malt and fruit. Full body. Very nice bitter hop finish makes for an extremely balanced brew especially considering the huge flavors. This moves near the top of my all time favorites. ross (2146) - weddington, North Carolina, USA - DEC 26, 2005
drank on christmas day. pours dark red with a tan head -only if poured aggresively. upon opening the bottle this massive rush of sweet sugar and a slight hop aroma comes rushing out. taste is sweet, rich, and of course, a little hoppy. this is going to be something that will age a really long time. the ratings on this have continuously fallen since it was draught only, but i went into this thinking it was like it used to be - in the top 20 - and i still feel that way. this is an exceptionally well brewed beer. if you have ever needed a reason to live in indiana, three floyds brewing may be that reason. ehhdayton (1188) - USA - DEC 23, 2005
A very complex aroma of caramel malt, citrus, and molasses. The color is a a rich reddish brown with a decent tan head. The flavor is initially a slight candy sweet followed by a bitter hoppy cascade of flavors. The finish is dry and pleasent on the palate. FlacoAlto (4220) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - DEC 23, 2005
2005 release, Sampled December, 2005Silphium (3198) - Traverse City, Michigan, USA - DEC 23, 2005
Pours with a frothy, one finger thick (at most), pale tan colored head. The beer is brilliantly clear, ruby red color that has lots of bubbles rising slowly through the thick viscous body. The aroma is quite sweet and fruity up front; redolent of tropical fruit notes as well as peach, apricot, pineapple, mango, hints of kiwi. It is an odd mixture, almost like a tropical fruit cough syrup; though it is actually interesting and even nice. The aroma ends with a hit of spicy alcohol, which clears the sinuses a bit.
The taste is quite sweet as well, and at first does not seem quite so fruity as the aroma, but towards the end the tropical fruit notes really start to kick in. Peach, and apricot are prominent, but there are also notes of mango, definitely papaya, and hints of lychee. The finish is really where these tropical fruit notes start to get funky; they definitely remind me of some type of cough syrup, or perhaps even children’s aspirin. The finish is solidly bitter of course, but it is also joined by that lingering, sweet medicinal note.
This is really quite a bit different than the last time I had this (in 2004), then it did not have the tropical fruit notes. My guess is that the hop bill changed on this. The tropical fruit notes are not bad, in fact they make the usual hop character quite interesting, but it is the medicinal notes in the finish that is a bit distracting. I do have this to say for it though, it is quite interesting!
<font size=-4>Purchased: <a href=http://www.ratebeer.com/Places/ShowPlace.asp? Wine & Spirits, Chicago, IL<font size=-1>
Thanks to Blake (1FastSTi) for this bottle. Hazy orange-red body, medium light tan head. Big piney hops aroma (as expected), toast, and caramel. Huge, thick mouthfeel, with sweet, syrupy caramels, toast, and dark fruits toast taking turns with the strong piney, grapefruit rindy, earthy hops in dominating the palate. Warming alcohol finish. This is an intense, sweet, in-your-face American barleywine that delivers big time, especially in the flavor and palate departments. Worth sipping from a snifter, or guzzling from the bottle, for that matter.