Uglyradio (791) - Greenville, South Carolina, USA - APR 3, 2003
4.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Pours a copper color with a small, white head that actually lingers a minute before dissipating. The color is amazingly light for such a strong barleywine. I was expecting a much darker pour. Interesting aroma of fruits, most notably apricots and peaches with a touch of yeast, almost like Belgian strong ale. Wow! This is unbelievably smooth in flavor, with little carbonation and flavors that change from orange to apricot and finally to peach. The finish is sweet and fruity. There are absolutely no alcohol notes to be found, which is quite a feat considering its 15% ABV. What a remarkable barleywine. Marvelous!
mkobes (2138) - paramus, New Jersey, USA - JAN 24, 2004
4.7 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Really could age for a year or two.
I had a taste today of a fresh batch, and oh wow. Really great beer. Sam, brewer of dgh, has out done himself. Rich and complex. Malty. Orange and yellow in color. Very Good.
TheBeerLover (1024) - DC Metro Area, USA - JAN 28, 2006
4.7 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
The use of adjuncts such as dates, figs, or other fruits is indeed an old school brewing method, used to produce more alcohol, that helps make this beer such a high octane brew.
Olde School Barleywine pours to a beautiful, bright, deep caramel color with a slight white head that fades and a very soft carbonation. The nose on this beer is the first thing that hits you. Very fragrant, aromas of sweet malt, estery, plum like aromas, and peppery alcohol heat flood the nostrils. The palate on this beer is so complex and delicious, with just layers of flavors. Flavors of toffee, biscuit, date, plum, and caramel glide over the tongue. The body on this beer is silky smooth, and dangerously drinkable for a beer of such strength. Olde School finishes with more complex malty flavors up front, then ends with a very warming, soothing, peppery burn.
This is a very impressive barleywine, perfect for the winter season. Barleywine is a style that is meant to be laid down, and will improve with age like a fine wine. Dogfish Head suggests you bury a bottle out in the back yard in dig it up a year later. I suggest you buy as many bottles as you can, drink some young, and let some age and develop. This beer is the perfect beer to have on a cold winter’s night next to a roaring fire, or with a good book just before bed. It would also make a wonderful beer to match with strong and sharp cheeses, or a rich and decadent desert.
freekyp (1460) - Thomasville, North Carolina, USA - JAN 29, 2006
4.7 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: MAY 30, 2009 Dogfish rocks it Olde School with a near perfect brew. The most amazing thing about Olde School is that, if it weren’t for the label, you’d never know you were drinking a 15%er. The alcohol is so well intermingled within the brew its prescence is only felt, but not actually tasted. If you could call a barley wine balanced, then this one is. Silky smooth, sweet but bitter, and incredibly complex, OS is so well brewed that individual flavors are hard to name. There are many, but they are so fleeting, almost like a deja vu, that none sticks around long enough to rule the roost. Get off your rockers and kick it Olde School!
Tortman18 (172) - Batavia, Illinois, USA - NOV 22, 2013
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Pours a hazy, dark amber/almost cherry look with a thin ring of off white head. A lot of carbonation. No lacing. Nose has a lot of raisin, caramel, plum, brown sugar and a surprising amount of citrus. Some roasted malts, but not strong. Mouth is incredibly sweet and boozy. A lot of dark fruits, mainly sweet cherries and plum. Brown sugar and roasted malts add in interesting flavor. The citrus is much stronger on the tongue. Very bitter but delicious none the less.
Prostman (1077) - Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 19, 2003
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Very good barleywine and very deceiving in its potency. A great beer from one of my favorite breweries.
edden (926) - cow- lumbus, Ohio, USA - FEB 1, 2004
4.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
medium tan body. no head or lacing. nose of orange zest, honey, tea and alcohol. sweet, sugary, fruity flavor (orange and apricot in particular). surprisingly low alcohol flavor and very smooth to the taste. malt also apparent. this brew does not take long to hit! excellent barley wine (probably the best i’ve had to date). 2002 vintage
jgb9348 (4439) - Arlington (Pentagon City), Virginia, USA - APR 3, 2004
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Slighly hazy copper colour with a thin off-white head. Aroma of peaches, clementines, malt, alcohol and nutmeg. Full-bodied; Sweet flavour full of fruit with a darker-spicey side showing some variance in taste. Aftertaste full-bodied, long lasting and super-strong. Overall, an amazing barley wine...one that everyone should try, and one that should be tryed on every opportunity! I shared this twelve ounce bottle with Phil (haddon90), which he purchased at Whole Foods in Vienna, Virginia...thanks again Phil!
Lognar (33) - - SEP 30, 2013
4.6 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
(1/5/13) A - a beautiful coppery orange.
S - Sweet. Tons of sweetness. Right away it’s got me thinking of a sweet white wine instead of a beer. Dark fruit, citrus, and orange peel dominate the nose with the orange peel adding some acidity.
T - Sweet and fruity. The nose was a great preview of the taste. Tons of sweetness and citrus. Hints of orange peel bitterness carry the finish. I am loving the taste of this brew.
M - Chewy, almost syrupy, and nice and warming.
O - What a wonderful brew. This being only my second barleywine ever, I still do not know the style that well, but this was just amazing. Great sweetness. A nice smooth alcohol warmness. The, wait let me check, 15% alcohol - really? damn, this brew could get me in trouble - the 15% is hidden really well and doesn’t dominate the brew with booziness. I loved this brew fresh. I can only imagine what some time in the cellar would do for it.
Gluepot (31) - CANADA - FEB 24, 2014
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
The Nose is complex, as you would hope at the alcohol level -- apricots, prunes, brown sugar, a medicinal effect and dark fruit are featured. The body is rich, with taste highlights including alcohol warmth, dark fruit, prunes, dates and apricots, sweet bready malt and a Dogfish-head-traditional hint of vanilla. In the conversation for the best large beer I have ever sampled.