coldmeat23 (232) - Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA - NOV 23, 2009
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottled in 2007
Pours a beautiful golden honey tinged copper color. Slow pour produces a big head of light brown/dark tan super creamy foam. Retention is great. Lacing is beautiful, super sticky and continues all the way down the glass.
Fruits relaxing in a rum bath. Big notes of candi sugar. Hints of caramel and oak. Leather notes. Cherries, apples and a slice of pineapple. Figs. Hints of toasted grains mingling with sweet malts.
Mmmmm. Raisins, pears, apples and apricots, covered in sticky honey and candi sugars. Light hints of caramel with a very light touch of vanilla. Nice malty presence.
I like this one, now, but I’m sure it will continue to become better with even more age.
With the head that this produced, I thought that the carbonation level would have helped the body on this one. Sadly, I was wrong. This is actually a rather thin brew, and I think it would benefit from a thicker mouthfeel. But, maybe that’s just me.
I think that this is a highly enjoyable and drinkable brew. While there is a level of warmth here, the 15%ABV is very well-hidden. I also think that it will continue on to become even more drinkable, the longer it is allowed to age.
Man, I sure do love Dogfish Head.
DMRz (230) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - FEB 10, 2007
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bright red-orange color with nearly nonexistant head. Aroma is sweet and pleasant with green apple, creme caramel, and a touch of alcohol. The flavor is much as expected from the aroma: sweet brown sugar malt, a touch of hops, and intense green apple towards the end. The hops/bitterness on the finish is a bit out of balence leaving me with an interesting bitter hoppy apple aftertaste. DFH has managed to conceal the 15% alcohol better than I expected, but it is still present. Not a bad effort but I wonder if they went a bit too far with the alcohol and fruit...
mixinnixon2000 (227) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JAN 22, 2008
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle. My first Barleywine. Reminds me of and Belgium. lots of fruits with some vinilla and chocolate
Digital_Aura (227) - Ontario, CANADA - DEC 22, 2012
3.4 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
12 oz. bottle. Pours a hazy orange gold brew with slight head and ample messy lace. Smell is negligible. I was thinking the dates and figs would be discernible but they are not. I did not age this as recommended. First swig was a potent super sweet punch in the cheeks. Okay, 15% abv is certainly not hidden anywhere. Definite alcoholic taste in the finish. Very strong tasting beer - up front and no holds barred. It's good after the next few subsequent drafts but the first really knocks your taste buds for a loop. Very smooth creamy texture. A little sweet overall, but heck... It's 15 freakin percent!!
Phatz (225) - Paradise, Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 3, 2006
3.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 10/20
I was surprisingly very disappointed with this beer. It maybe that I am at fault for not knowing what I was getting into. My favorite beer is Victory’s Old Horizontal. An American Barley Wine. I also enjoyed Weyerbacher’s Insanity. An American Barley Wine. This ’Olde School Barleywine’ is supposedly an American Barley Wine. After looking it up I suppose it does meet the criteria BUT it is NOT what I was expecting! If you are a bitter beer fan, or you like that extremely floral yellow flower taste of sour lilies and tart dandelions then you can disregard my negative comments, you will enjoy this. I however, was expecting and easy drinking smooth beer like Old Horizontal and this is NOT that.
Appearance: Pours out the color of apple juice. 1-2 finger white head fades fast. Good lacing lasts throughout the beer. Transparent and thin looking, like champagne. Lots of carbonation.
Smell: The smell is soapy. Orange. Alcohol.
Taste: Bite! Bite! Bite! SOUR, and BITTER (for what I’d expect). This is not a double IPA, where you want super hops on steroids (that has its place), this is not it (for me). Alpha Attack ;) is meant for that. I did not find this an enjoyable Barley Wine. If you can get through the bitter beer facing long enough to hold it in your mouth for a minute; once all the bitey, prickly, bitter taste has dissipated down your throat, there is infact a momentary pleasant taste of sweet caramel. SMACK! Then the bitter is back.
Mouthfeel: The texture of the beer is nice; if only it didn’t bite like vinegar, it would be pleasing in the mouth. It is rather creamy and full of carbonation.
Drinkability: This almost got a 3 for drinkability because as long as you cover the bitter, hoppy, rabbit food tastes, the texture and the subtly underlying sweets can be refreshing. With PLEANTY of cheese I can almost quench a thirst and come close to enjoying it. Still, I think I’d rather go with a Victory’s Old Horizontal, or a Weyerbacher’s Insanity, which I can actually enjoy without needing to hide the taste. They are much more pleasant options, if your like me.
As my palate for hops is maturing I came back to say this is not as unbearable as I first thought it was just surprising to me at the time.
Now 7-8 months in the cellar it is unclear how much of the change in this beer is my palate and how much is the maturing or the beer. The beer is still very shard and boozy with sugar, caramel and alcohol upfront. The pine seems to have faded substantially and now it is really only distracting in the somewhat sour grassy aftertaste. It seems to be lacking the big grapefruit hop I have grown to like and instead the grassy character comes through as a dandelion stem flavor. But it is much more muted than when I had this beer 8 months ago. Everything up to the aftertaste is very nice with sweet caramel sugars and bit of alcohol bite, yet it maintains a chewy syrupy oily slick, texture. I definitely prefer this one wit some age on it.
Hope this is helpful.
beerlover82 (225) - Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 18, 2011
4.4 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bought in a 4pack carryout batch from my local Italian restaurant.Quite pleasantly surprised they had it, as I’ve been chasing this one down for a while.
Poured into snifter glass a dark cloudy amber-brown, with medium head, leaving a good trace of sticky lacing.Looks wonderful.
Some fruits, nuts, and heavy alcohol aromas come through the nose big time. Good heavy use of malted barley. Right off the bat, I can tell this going to be a BIG beer.
Heavy malts and booziness come through upon first sip. Little to almost no carbonation, which is a plus for the barley-wine style.Heavy body. This is most definitely a sipper. Makes an excellent after-dinner meal brew.
Outstanding. But the high alcohol and heaviness of this limits the drinkability, as well as restricting it to only one, no more than two.
epf33 (224) - Fairfax, Virginia, USA - DEC 7, 2008
3.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 13/20
unlike the picture, mine had a neon green cap with a warning sign on top. very strong!! according to the bottle you have to leave it in a plastic bag in a pit somewhere for a year, i only left it in there for 3 months... close enough! spicy finish
mikalooch (224) - , New Jersey, USA - FEB 11, 2009
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Draft at Bar Great Harry. Pours reddish brown with a hazy but thin white head. Aroma of plum, brandy, and honey. Flavor is tart lemon, dark ripe fruits, and honey. Packs a wallop, alcohol is very present but not overpowering. Well balanced and suprisingly smooth for such a high ABV. Very tasty.
Dmalone102 (223) - Denver, Colorado, USA - MAY 7, 2009
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
I have to say, this is my favorite barleywine of all time. It seems very well attenuated, it’s not cloying at all. The dryness and hop/malt balance make it a surprisingly drinkable Barleywine, especially at 15%. The dark fruit and deep caramel flavors that are associated with Barleywine are present and distinct, but not overpowering.
sunnyridge (222) - USA - APR 20, 2010
4.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Ohhh the complexity! Pours a hazy darker orangish amber color, Thin head that sticks around. Lots of fruit in the aroma- apples, cherry, grape even a hint of pear. Big smell from the malt, like it’s gonna be so sweet your face will pucker. Taste is big and rich with heavy malts, candy, apples and grape. For being so big you really don’t notice the alcohol- very scary. A fantastic palate, very complex. Leaves a very sweet but nice aftertaste of dried fruit and malt.