Marin Old Dipsea Barleywine Bourbon Barrel (Brett)

 
overall
99
96
style
Serve in Snifter

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RATINGS: 80   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.82/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 270   ABV: 9%
COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
"In May 2009 we brewed a special batch of Old Dipsea Barleywine and aged it for 10 months in 4 Heaven Hill Bourbon barrels. We added a special strain of wild yeast or brettanomyces to further ferment and add complexity. You’ll notice an extra fruity character resembling pineapple and a tanginess not found in our standard Old Dipsea. We have bottled 100 cases and wax sealed the crowns."

Editor’s note: This batch can be identified from the the 2009 Heaven Hill and Old Fitzgerald releases by being released in 2010, being red wax dipped, with a white sticker that says "Bourbon barrel aged for ten months 2009."
2013 vintage - 10.8% abv

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3.9
riversideAK (6261) - Shoreline, Washington, USA - JUN 10, 2011
Nose is funky sour green apple bourbon barrel, fruity candy notes. Dark auburn pour, decent ring of foam and lace. Green apple, dark fruit, bourbon, wood, funky brett. Nice way to disguise an infected batch - w brett. Well its nice, the brett dries, adds interesting cartb.

3.8
thirdeye11 (6160) - Dallas, Texas, USA - JUN 26, 2010
(22oz bottle thanks to BMan1113VR) clear rich medium brown with oily tan bubbles. Nose of honey, floral, brett, bourbon, wood and caramel. Taste of brett, floral, caramel, honey, butter with light alcohol and oily texture. Lower carbonation than expected. I didn’t think the brett would show through in such a big flavored beer, but it really did. Surprised me in a nice way, an interesting combination.

3.9
Mora2000 (6158) - McKinney, Texas, USA - JUN 21, 2010
Thanks to bman1113vr for sharing this bottle. The beer pours a slightly hazy brown color with an off-white head. The aroma is caramel, toffee, dark fruit and butterscotch. The flavor is brett, chocolate, bourbon, oak, vanilla and butterscotch. Medium mouthfeel and low carbonation. Great beer.

4.5
Glouglouburp (6103) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - OCT 14, 2011
In short: A funky, oaky, tannic crazy big beer. Fantastic stuff
How: Bottle 22oz. 2009 vintage, red-wax top. Consumed when approximately 1.5 year of age. Bottle sent to me by changeup45, thanks a lot Gary
The look: Cloudy very dark burgundy topped by a medium beige head
In long: Nose has a rather strong brett presence with a fun fix of rich toffee, green apples, oak, light bourbon, grapefruit skin, more… Somehow the nose doesn’t feel all over the place, this is a nice complex and original aroma. Tastes is just as complex and original. Toffee, oak tannins, tart fruits, earthy wood, fresh oranges (!!!), acetic acid, vanilla, and I could go on and on… With all the brett, oak tannins, and other stuff I almost didn’t feel any sweetness and alcohol. The unexpected tartness of this barley wine almost makes it refreshing. I’m beginning to think that there is a lot of potential in those funky bretty barley wines. We have a local beer doing something similar (Benelux Noël en Fût de Chêne avec Brett) that is pretty kick-ass too, but this Dipsea brett is even better, incredibly complex and totally “out there”. I loved that beer. Oh, and by-the-way, there was almost no bourbon presence in this beer. This was a fantastic experiment that Marin Brewing must make again. And if you’ve never written to a brewery threatening to kill yourself if they don’t brew a certain beer again, then you’re clearly not me.

3.3
Thorpe429 (5035) - , Illinois, USA - DEC 1, 2010
Thanks to psiweaver and hopsbreath for getting me out bottles of this. A: Pours a moderate mahogany with a nice tan head and very minimal lacing. S: Not too much going on here considering how much really should be going on here. A bit of the Brett comes through along with a bit of malt, but not much bourbon. T: Brett comes in a bit, as does the malt. Again, not too much--if any--bourbon character. Not sure if this just isn’t well balanced in general, or if it’s at that point of limbo where the Brett is starting but hasn’t brought through enough character to really carry the beer. M: A bit dry and a bit hot. Fairly thick. D: Fairly low. I just can’t figure out where this one is going. Luckily I’ve got more to cellar, so I’m thinking (or maybe hoping) that I’m just getting to this one at the wrong time in it’s development. Looking forward to revisiting this. Serving type: bottle Reviewed on: 09-05-2010

3.8
jkwalking05 (4735) - Arlington, Texas, USA - JUL 9, 2013
Rated in 2010 (Backlog) - Deep ruby brown color with a small beige head. Aroma is of toffee, bourbon, caramel. prune and a light lemon tartness. Taste is of brett, caramel, bourbon, and oak.

3.9
nickd717 (4679) - San Francisco, California, USA - JUL 16, 2010
Bomber from City Beer in SF. Hmm so this beer was "intentionally" infected, was it? Interesting... A fairly nice pour, this beer has. The color is a deep translucent reddish-amber-brown, and a light beige head sticks around atop the beer for some time. Aroma is interesting. Your usual notes of caramel malt, toffee, bourbon, -bal, and vanilla are all there. Some hops as well. Then you get a slight bretty aspect that really isn’t too disconcerting at all. I’ll be damned. Flavor is mostly sweet, but there is just the slightest hint of cherry-like tartness. Huge caramel malts and toffee, smooth bourbon, oak, and vanilla. Very slight funk from the ’myces. Surprisingly smooth and slick on the ’feel given the brett presence. Feels for the most part like the usual version. Medium-full body with good carbonation level for the style. Fairly drinkable. I’m surprised to have really enjoyed this beer after expecting it to be a train wreck.

3.8
TomDecapolis (4618) - Milton, Delaware, USA - JUL 9, 2010
Thanks to Josh for sharing. Pours a deep reddish brown with a small head. Aroma of tart cherries, brett, dark fruits and toffee. Flavor of toasted malt, dark fruits, oak, earthy, brett and tart cherries.

4.2
IrishBoy (4199) - Bakersfield, California, USA - JUN 16, 2012
Bomber from iowaherkeye. Nose is berries, bretty funk, toffee, and bourbon. Clear very dark brown with a medium tan head. Flavor is toffee, fruity, light sweetness, only a slight bit of brett, and candisugar.

3.2
FlacoAlto (4182) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - AUG 27, 2010
A solid pour into my 25cl tulip glass produces a two-finger thick, nicely amber tinged, dark tan colored head. The beer is a dark, concentrated amber color that shows brighter red with flashes of ruby when held up to the light (it also seems to have a touch of haze to it too). Buttery oak aromas mix with mellow funkiness to produce a note reminiscent of overly ripe cheese. Aromas of up front vanillin meld into notes of tart fruit towards the finish; reminds me somewhat of plums and red grapes, or really more of a current like note; if you really dig for it a sort of overly ripe fruit character is noticeable at times, at others I get hints of star-fruit. Big rich aromas of toasted coconut add a sort of candy / dessert like quality to the middle and mixes in seamlessly with the vanillin notes. It is interesting how the varies between smelling of light tart fruit and like very well integrated Bourbon character. The base beer really plays a secondary role in the nose; really only the malt is subtly noticeable with a rich caramel character and some accentuating toasted malt character.

My first sip is sweetish tasting, but quite a bit lighter bodied and drying than the base beer is. The Bourbon barrel at first provides flavors of toasted coconut and vanilling, but finishes with a woody spiciness as well as some oak character that accentuates a warming in the finish. Other flavors of brown sugar baked nuts. Hmm, the finish just had a very strong, really funky Brettanomyces induced flavor that reminded me of a cross between rotting fruit and cheese that is way past its prime; this really dirty foot like note sort of snuck up on me and, completely unprepared for it, it actually had me shudder in revulsion a bit (mostly because it was so out of place with the Bourbon and Barleywine flavors). Fruit flavors of not quite raisins, perhaps some rustic fig notes, tart reduced plum compote and perhaps even some notes similar to quince paste are each subtly noticeable underneath the more dominant Barrel character. The beer has a herbaceous bitterness to it in the finish that was not at first noticed as it was hiding underneath the spicy oak and alcohol notes. Perhaps a touch of cocoa character is contributed by the malt as well as some concentrated brown sugar crustiness and dark, whole grain, molasses influenced bread character.

This is definitely an interesting and complex beer. It is not as Brettanomyces influenced as I was expecting, and even the tartness is a by-product of the Bourbon barrel more than it is from a wild influence. To be honest there isn’t enough different from a beer that just didn’t age all that well during its time in the barrel; the Brett character really needs to be a lot more distinct and interesting before I would consider this a unique experience. Not bad, but just doesn’t resonate; the flavors are actually fairly nice, it just seems to lack a bit in the richness department that it needs to stand up to the barrel influence.


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