Slick (1969) - Thief River Falls, Minnesota, USA - NOV 28, 2003
Light brown color with a orange/red hue.Small head that faded quickly but left a light amount of lace behind.Fruity,malty aroma with a nice spice tone to it and nicely sweet,with a nice hop presence.The alcohol manages to stay well hidden in the aroma.Heavy syrupy feel up front that is very sweet and fruity with a nice mild malt side and decent hop presence.The after taste is fruity and hoppy with a nice alcohol burn going down.I can see why it's so highly rated,it's a very well done brew and tasty as hell.The syrupy feel isn't much to my liking but the flavors are outstanding. wich makes up for my lack of interest in the feel.Thanks to Wawood for another fine brew. haddon90 (1634) - Newport Beach, California, USA - NOV 28, 2003
Clear ruby pour, kind of bubbly as well. Thick tan head lingers around the glass. Aroma full of floral and hops with some spice and malt mixed in as well. Strong flavor with some alcohol presence. Kind of bitter, hoppy, and some spice as well. A pretty decent barley wine, but a little to much on the flavor for me. Bottle was bought at Norm's Beer and Wine in Vienna, VA. jeffc666 (1984) - Fairfax, Virginia, USA - NOV 25, 2003
UPDATED: MAY 24, 2005 As it turns out my exhuberance for this one was quite irrational. The more I have had it, both fresh and aged, the more dissapointed I am. It seems to develop phenolic properties very quickly as it ages. It also seems to oxidize quickly. I am not sure if this is a recent trend with this beer s I first tried it in 2003, when it was very good fresh. The 04 vintage was no nearly as good. Bummer. tidiaguy (168) - Hawley, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 25, 2003
(10/4/9/5/19 - 4.7) 2003 Vintage - Sparkling clear ruby orange body topped by a gorgeous creamy off-white head. Lacing is superb. Aroma is massive floral-citric hops backed by a nice balance of spicy caramel malt. Wow this smells good! The flavor is also amazing, all the aroma develop into a burst of flavor on the palate. Bitterness and sweetness are perfectly balanced. The body is huge and thick, the 11% ABV is masked but it really warms the throat after the swallow. Overall a top 5 beer for me!
Being new to barley wines It gets me every time I try a new one. The differences can be huge. I have to say to date this is by far my favorite. Huge floral hop nose with fruity sweet undertones, plum, rasin. Taste is a minimal malt sweetness with with fruit flavors of plum, rasin, pear being predominant. There is just enough bitterness in the finish to balance (perfectly) a very copmlex flavor. Excelnent brew lilannie (384) - Adamstown, Maryland, USA - NOV 24, 2003
Aroma: Sweet, Thick, and Floral.
Appearance: Red-Orange, cloudy, thick, and syrupy.
Flavor: Thick, sweet, syrupy, slight honey taste, slight bitter aftertaste, and slight taste of chocolate malts.
Palate: Tingly on tongue, thick--coats the throat, almost like a cough syrup.
Overall: Probably the best barleywine I've ever tried. Would get another!
3fourths (9332) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - NOV 24, 2003
UPDATED: JUN 6, 2013 Beauty syrupy red appearance. Very viscous, thick as heck as it slowly slogs around the glass. The aroma is considerably sweet; roses, grapefruit. Sweet throughout the drink, very thick and viscous all over the mouth, sticky and smooth... very well balanced. The finish is not too bitter, and amazingly the alcohol is nowhere near what 11% should feel like. Bitter just enough at the end to compliment the sweet fruit flavor and mustiness. I could hardly ask for more from a barley wine. Thank you austinpowers! Rastacouere (6177) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - NOV 23, 2003
Deep amber robe with a thin beige head. Bottle-conditioned with generous small sediments. Intense hop aroma, floral, piney as well as a sweet candy peaches presence. In mouth, it's pretty complex, possibly the most well done american barleywine I've had to date excluding the HOTD jewels. Great flavor balance with a complex layer of hops making for an obvious bitterness that is never too much. The malt profile is also there and very balancing lending this an outstanding silky medium body to bring up all those malt subtleties. Notes of pears, oranges, resin, alcohol(wouldn't guess above 10% though), honey, vanilla, pepper. Yep, that's one top notch barleywine, generous in all the senses of the term. beermatrix (1497) - Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA - NOV 19, 2003
This barleywine pours nicely with a deep amber brown hazey color, head was thin, tannish and lace in spotty sheets on the glass. Nice rich floral hop tones when first taking the glass to my nose then the caramel malts sneak in, sweet and candylicious. Taste is complex like most barleywines with malty richness, caramel thickness and sweetness and a slight smokey tone at the finish. Full notes of caramel malt sweetness thoughout. Perfect balance of twingy, hearty, mildly earthed hops, bittering to the perfect height of satisfaction leading through to the smokey-like finish. This is a great beer to knock yourself out with. Incredibly drinkable! Yum! mribm (462) - Ocala, Florida, USA - NOV 16, 2003
Draught. First let me say that I'm not a big barley wine lover. I am a big fan of Victory beers, so I decided to try it. It looks like syrup, pours like syrup and tastes like a sweet syrup with an alcohol backbone. Very warming, yet too syrupy to drink in any large amounts. I don't think I'd try this again, although it didn't have any offensive flavors in it. It just wasn't my favorite style. egajdzis (6502) - Pennsburg, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 13, 2003
UPDATED: MAR 11, 2007 Draft 1998 (5.5 years old – 7/25/04) Very malty and harsh alcohol. Dare I say past its peak? I enjoy 3 - 5 yr olds best. 8 5 8 3 15
Draft 2000 (3.5 years old – 5/29/04) Simply Incredible!! Amazing malty and fruity nose and palate. Lightly hopped still. This is downright incredible, I love it!!! 9 5 10 5 19
Draft 2001 (2.5 years old – 7/26/04) Red amber no lacing. Intense nose. Taste of caramel malt, cinnamon, vanilla, and cherry skins. Soft sweet and malty, with warm alcohol. I love it!!! 9 4 10 4 17
Draft 2002 (1.5 years old – 7/26/04) Lightest of the three I had tonight though also the cloudiest, still with no lace. Malty and spicy with a harsh alcohol. 8 3 8 4 16
Bottle 2002 (1 year old – 11/13/03) Poured a cloudy brownish reddish color with a small yellowish tan head. Strong but sweet dark fruits, interlocked with a nice hoppy nose. Huge malty and hoppy taste. Fruity grape aftertaste, with alcohol being barely noticeable. Very fulfilling for this freezing November night. 8 4 9 5 17
Draft 2003 (8 months old – 7/26/04) Deep copper color, and a sweet aroma. Hoppy and husky dark fruits and malts. This was too intense when young, and I stand by my theory at Old Horizontal at 3 – 5 years is amazing!
Rating reflects samples tried pre-winter 2004. Once they switched to the new brewery, the Old Ho seems to be nothing more than an ordinary, run-of-the-mill barleywine.