overall
100
99
style
RATINGS: 1494   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.03/5   IBU: 96   EST. CALORIES: 330   ABV: 11%
COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Bottle conditioned.
Caramel and toffee notes abound in this deep copper-colored American Barleywine-style ale alongside toasted malt and a hint of ripe dark fruits. Old Numbskull showcases malt sweetness, intense American hops, and an aggressive bitterness. Extremely well-balanced, the full-bodied mouthfeel and assertive hop profile leads into a deceptively smooth finish. Old Numbskull can be enjoyed now or laid down for years to come.

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3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
eboats (1082) - Omaha, Nebraska, USA - OCT 8, 2006
Poured muddy brown like creek water with a dirty white head. Aroma is big and malty, nutty, carmel and bread. Almost smells chewy. Flavor is nuts, carmel, and bread. Good body with a dry finish. Very average BW.

3.6
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
GarrettB (1562) - San Diego, California, USA - OCT 8, 2006
UPDATED: OCT 13, 2007 Im reading over the commercial description here on the Old Numbskull, and AleSmiths little mini-litany defending the Numbskulls name is making a whole lot of sense. It definitely thumps the skull with a fair bit of force and alcohol, thats for sure, but Im uncertain whether Im really into the whole business of knocking my senses around with muscle bound beers. The real fault is my own inability to translate the salient features of Barley Wines into appreciable characteristics. Even the notorious Old Numbskull, a namesake I can deeply relate to, is above (or below) my sensory radar, depending on whether Im feeling haughty or humble. All the same, I was stoked to give another AleSmith a try, especially while AleSmith was 1-1 for my taste buds. Again, thanks to my philistine palate Im unable to appreciate what so many find in the flippantly and friendly titled Old Numbskull. It pours a lovely semi-translucent auburn color, with a wooly brick of foam sitting atop like a life raft in a choppy sea. The smell gently curls out and away from the beer, intimating barbeque smoke, stale pears, an arcane cheesiness, grapefruit, soft peach notes and hops to the nose. Naer have I smelled something quite as nice, or as interesting. Nothing is exciting as a smell my nose can really ruminate over, and there the Old Numbskull brilliantly succeeds. The denser dunce of the flavor tasters, my own tongue, failed to become the aesthete my nose is. Instead it grappled with a stifling, cloying alcohol, itself accompanied with a spritzy malts. A bit of warmth introduces slivers of licorice flavor to the beginning and a gentle taming of the ethanol, but nothing so radical as to change my opinion of the flavor. The abundance of alcohol is nothing to admire, but the palate is something different. Its well balanced and light, springy but smooth, almost like I could chew it. Probably one of the finest mouthfeels of any beer Ive had; a drink entirely welcome to be supine on my tongue. Still, I regret connecting with the Numbskull as a concept more than a beer, which, with great irony, may make me the greatest Numbskull of all. A true testament to the frivolity the brewers extol so much in their beer christening.

3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
KAME (160) - California, USA - OCT 1, 2006
06 Bottle, Pours a reddish brown with a small off-white head. Aroma is of burnt caramel and alcohol. Alcohol is present in both aroma and taste, but not overwhelming. Taste is of spicy caramel with light fruitiness. One of the better barleywines that really defines the style. This is definitely a winter warmer.

3.5
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 13/20
MadIndian (2743) - Levittown, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 30, 2006
UPDATED: NOV 30, 2006 Bottle sampled at Sunset Grill in Alston Mass. with the Stegosaurus as part of our boston/salem tour. To me it appeared amber with a beige head. Caramel malt is the first smell that grabs your attention. I though the finish was a mild hoppiness. It was smooth. I think steg was slightly dissapointed.

3.9
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
TrevorFloyd (309) - Connecticut, USA - SEP 29, 2006
Starts off sticky sweet, with a whiskey vibe. Then the hops kick in to give it some kick and the malt rounds out the body. Feels smooth on the tongue, almost creamy. 10% ABV isnt too high for a barleywine, but this feels especially potent right now. A tasty barleywine, has even more style than some of its brethren, but I still prefer the Olde School.

3.8
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
dirkules (629) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - SEP 19, 2006
No smell? Why is there no smell to this amber coloured brew with the french vanilla head? Im scared. The taste is sweet, almost sickly sweet with a sharp hoppy finish. Great maltiness taking place in this one. Hops are prevalent. Not cloying like a number of other barleywines... Not bad, but not the best

3.5
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
stegosaurus (1882) - Levittown, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 11, 2006
Bottle sampled at the Suset Grill with the Mad Indian. Pours bronze with a one finger thick fizzy off-white head. Aroma of alcohol, caramel malts, and floral hops. The flavor is slightly sweet up-front, alcohol, caramel, and finishes with a sharph bitter hoppy ending. Good brew, i was expecting a little more i guess.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
aobecksy (700) - Middle of no where, Ohio, USA - SEP 10, 2006
Redder than most barely wines, nice head and decent lacing. Nose is sweet necter, taste a chewy candy. Smooth finish.

3.9
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 14/20
phiconners (151) - Massachusetts, USA - SEP 5, 2006
Sweet aroma. Pours thick, no head. Alcohol comes through, flavor is a little more subdued than I expected. Good but not great.

3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
BeerandBlues2 (12835) - Escondido, California, USA - SEP 4, 2006
750 mL bottle via trade with realale420. Pours ruby-amber with a feeble attempt at some tan fizzy head, edgy, with tiny spots of lace. Aroma is caramel and maple malt (cookie, cereal), yeast (grass, earth), peach and apricot. Moderate bitterness with a gradually increasing acidity, malt and yeast body, caramel and maple, alcohol burn at the end, tart hops. Full bodied and warm, spicy and dry palate.


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