Formerly brewed at Charles Wells
Style: Barley Wine
Bedford, England
Serve in Snifter


on tap


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RATINGS: 783   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.57/5   EST. CALORIES: 216   ABV: 7.2%
Available filtered and pasteurised in 500ml bottles.
Production moved from London to Bedford in 2006 when Wells and Young’s merged. Brand acquired solely by Charles Wells in 2011.
This fabulous barley wine is a malty, velvety smooth and full bodied beer with a rich dark ruby colour. Old Nick is overflowing with sumptuous flavours of fruit and hops, with a complex bitterness on the finish.
Pale ale and crystal malt together with Young’s unique mix of cane sugar and Fuggle and Goldings hops.
Try it with cheese as a delicious and flavourful alternative to port.

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   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
DarkElf (3061) - La Jolla, California, USA - FEB 26, 2012
26-Feb-12 (500-ml bottle, Best by 12-Apr-06: Purchased for $2.99 at BevMo in Encinitas, CA)
Well, this is it, my final bottle of Old Nick, from before their merger with Wells. I’m very sad that it’s no longer in production because back in the 90’s, this was one of my favorite beers, and while it may have dropped a notch in my book since then, it’s still a really, really terrific beer. The beer pours a hazy, deep red-brown body and a creamy, tan cap that settles to a wide ring. The nose is incredibly fruity, with aromas of dried apricot, raisin, and fig, but it’s also very malty, offering caramel candy, toffee, buttered toast, and treacle. On the palate, it’s a very rich, full-bodied, almost chewy beer, and though it’s a fairly sweet beer, it’s a malty sweet rather than sugary sweet. The prominent caramely malt flavor is complemented by toffee, lightly browned toast with a spread of butter, dried fruits such as raisin, prune, fig, and apricot, treacle, and brown sugar. Sure, there is oxidation here, but as usual for many of the aged English barley wines, it just seems completely natural. Such a great beer, to me it’s a tragedy that it’s no longer in production. Three cheers for corporate mergers!

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
lithy (2996) - Capital of Appalachia, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 18, 2012
2007. This is a caramel color, old stuff, very well oxidized, light green apple aroma. Taste is lost in a muddled papery malt oxidation, sweet, but nutty and just kinda eh.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
Grzesiek79 (4190) - Radom, POLAND - JAN 24, 2012
UPDATED: JUN 3, 2012 caramel, barnyard, banana, cooked vegetables, soy sauce, red, cloudy, minimal head, heavy cloying sweetness, medium bitterness, light body, creamy, astringent, fizzy,

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 2/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 5/20
Cunningham (7445) - Halden, NORWAY - NOV 24, 2011
UPDATED: MAR 6, 2012 Bottle. Hazy amber colour with a big head. Sweet fruity nose. Malty, fruity and acohol flavour. In a part of my life this was the worst thing ever that had happen to be inside my mouth.....

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
BMan1113VR (7917) - Los Angeles, California, USA - AUG 29, 2011
Bottle (apparently from the late 90s). Pours with a hazy ruby brown body. Aromas are a bit oxidized with notes of dark fruits, currants, dates, sherry, and caramel. Flavors are also a bit oxidized (sherry and light cardboard). Caramel, dark fruit and a bit vinous. Minimal carbonation, a bit sweet.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
altonbrownd (5898) - Chevy Chase, Maryland, USA - JUL 13, 2011
In London. Amber body with big head. Nose of malts, fruits, sweets. Taste is malty and quite high ABV. Spicy too. Syrupy texture. Bitter in the finish.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
Koelschtrinker (19101) - Köln (Cologne), GERMANY - MAY 5, 2011
Würzig-alkoholischer Geruch. Stark malzig-herber Antrunk, die herbe weicht zum Mittelteil etwas, ein hopfig-süßer Ton bleibt. Dabei ist natürlich die Malzigkeit weiter im Vordergrund und wird im Nachgeschmack deutlich stärker. Unter dem vollmundigen Aroma ist eine süße Note zu erkennen, der getreidige Ton ist schon fast Nebensache. Test vom 26.6.2007, Gebinde: Glasflasche Noten: 10,10,10,12,9,10

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
phaleslu (9847) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - FEB 9, 2011
2005 and 2006 vintages shared by dbsdelight- thanks a bundle, Dan! The 2005 was a 330 ml and the 2006 was 500 ml. Pours a cloudy brown color with almost no head on either. Aroma of brown sugar, maple, raisins, nuts, and earth. Flavor is right along the same lines- very sweet and mapley. The 2005 is lighter bodied and more sugary, while the 2006 as more of a medium body and syrupy mouthfeel. Low carbonation in both. Pretty cool English barley wines, and even though they have 5-6 years on them and show it, they’re drinking pretty well.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
RyanMM (416) - Ferndale, Michigan, USA - DEC 28, 2010
Bottle that’s been cellared for 3 years, consumed 12-28-10.

"Best by 22 Feb 07." Ooops! Pours a very deep ruby, nearly opaque. Very full head, plenty of carbonation. Lacing is full. Nose is raisins, toffee, brown sugar, ever so slight hint of staleness, but not as much as I was expecting. On the thinner side of mouthfeel, a bit slick and creamy. Sweet, slight oxidation present but not much, really easy drinking. Not a trace of hop bitterness left, but there is some resiny hop notes on the finish. Pretty decent for a 7% strong ale with this much age on it. Bonus points for lasting far past the best-by date.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
rubbishystuff (2434) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - SEP 16, 2010
UPDATED: APR 4, 2016 Sweet, not too much hop flavor. Dried fruits. Malty. Yummy. Serving: Bottle (Does any one else much prefer the old Young’s imaging/branding?)

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