1. American Craft Beer Fest is this weekend in Boston, Mass. Join us for 640+ beers from 140+ brewers! Tickets for Friday, May 29 are still available. Cheers!

Bligh's Barleywine Ale - Dry Dock Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Bligh's Barleywine AleBligh's Barleywine Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

497 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 497
Reviews: 118
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 10.55%
Wants: 553
Gots: 140 | FT: 19
Brewed by:
Dry Dock Brewing Co. visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: waltonc on 10-08-2011

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view more.
Ratings: 497 | Reviews: 118
Reviews by SkeeterBoganski:
Photo of SkeeterBoganski
4.27/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber in to a snifter, 2012 vintage.

A - off-reddish brown; 1/8th inch head; a little lacing with no retention; very little bubbly carbonation

S - boozy; plums and raisins; brown sugar, maybe a little vanilla; a little bit of oak; bourbon!

T - bourbon; grapes; raisins; sweet bread; caramel; just a touch of coconut; some chocolate notes here as well

M - this beer is packing some heat...will certainly do better with some time behind it; medium body; mild carbonation; slick; stays there for a bit then disappears...smooth; a little syrupy

O - thankfully I've got a few more of these...this is one of those beers that will get much better with time; it's boozy, delicious; plenty of flavors here with the right amount of whiskey and oak present; great barleywine

More User Reviews:
Photo of ehammond1
4.04/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bottle (2011)

Acquired via trade
Thanks, quirkzoo!

Blind Tasting and Review

(Aged for 6 months)

Clear, dark auburn and chestnut in color with a very small light brown head. This leaves the glass relatively clean on the way down.

Nice, rich aroma of vanilla, caramel, toffee, and bourbon. This smells sweeter than most of the other barrel-aged barleywines in the lineup.

The flavor follows the aroma, though is significantly sweeter than many of the others in the blind barrel-aged barleywine lineup. There's nice vanilla and bourbon character, though the base beer seems like it's probably somewhat lacking.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Silky.

A very nice, somewhat sweet, barrel-aged barleywine.

Photo of Stevedore
4.26/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Brian for giving me this bottle. 22oz bottle poured into a Cigar City snifter 4/26/2014.

A- Caramel brown, thick and viscous. Small light off-white head with retention that is average for the style- which is to say it is a bit low. No lacing.

S- Holy caramel batman. This is the most caramel-forward barleywine I've had the chance to try. Sweet caramel, toffee, with a slight earthiness and dark fruit contribution. Slight hints of oak and whiskey, but not very much.

F- Tastes just like liquid caramel. This is not superbly complex, but this is a barleywine that packs a lot of caramel and toffee sweetness, with a small dark fruit component and some whiskey that adds a bit of complexity. Very nice, though I would have liked a little more of the whiskey barrels to show up.

M- Medium bodied, viscous with low carbonation. Very sweet, easy to drink despite its higher ABV. Smooth and resinous but without being cloying.

O- Really good English barleywine. I enjoyed drinking this one a lot and so did everyone else. However, for an barrel-aged English barleywine, this beer lacks a lot of the distinct whiskey character that makes a BA English barleywine what it is.

Photo of Prospero
5/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

So far I've been impressed with a lot of Dry Dock's beers so I had to try the Barleywine (BA Barleywine is one of my fav styles)...

It didn't disappoint. Pours a cloudy deep brown mahogany with a tan head, carbonation was spot on for a barleywine.

The aroma was sweet like caramel with a hint of vanilla, coconut and toffee, and had really nice whiskey notes that weren't overwhelming but complementary... one of the reason I love BA Barleys. Overall a perfect balance of aromas, without any dominating.

The taste is just as amazing and well-balanced. The sweet maple and caramel flavors along with some dark fruit are on the forefront coupled with the complexity of the whiskey and gentleness of the oak. So good, so sweet.

Mouthfeel is so right for this beer, not too heavy, not too light. While it's loaded with flavor and a medium-thick mouthfeel, the beer doesn't seem difficult to drink!

Great beer... probably the top of my BA Barleywine list.... already purchased another couple bottles.

Side note: This beer was aged in Stranahan's Whiskey Barrels, so it's not bourbon your tasting, it's single-malt whiskey made in Colorado, not Kentucky.

Photo of chinchill
4.06/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared bottle at RBWG-2015.
Pours very clear red-brown with a frothy head.

Moderately sweet.
Excellent aroma. Plenty of toffee and burnt sugar in the nose.

Photo of jeonseh
4.51/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark hazy brown with a syrupy complexion. Light carbonation and just a few bubbles.

S - Malty, lots of barrel and oak, dark fruit, and light chocolate

T - Sweet brown sugar, dark fruit, lots of chocolate. Good beer with lots of sweet flavor. Light oak on it in the finish

M - Smooth, body with a light syrupiness and stickiness to it

O - Really good and sweet barleywine with nice chocolate flavor to it as well. Not as good as KH but pretty close

Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.43/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From the bomber into a snifter.

Not much head on this but it has the thick caramelly-look. Dark amber body almost. 4.25

Sweet sticky caramel, soy sauce and tobacco. Faint floral hop aroma. Brown sugar. 4.25

Very consistent with the nose. Caramel drips from this as does brown sugar. Tastes oaken and tobacco-like with a touch of port. 4.5

Pretty low carbonation but silky smooth and rich-feeling. Mildly sweet and a touch of faded bitterness. Really it's just a smooth creamy drinker. 4.5

This is an outstanding barleywine. The barrels don't stifle the base beer but rather complement it well.

Photo of mdaschaf
4.24/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2011 Vintage.

A: Pours a slightly hazy brown color with a small tan head that reduces quickly leaving a ring on top. Not much lacing.

S: Nice caramel and bourbon aroma mixed with some brown sugar, toffee, and a little wood.

T: Lots of caramel and toffee mixed with bourbon and brown sugar. A bit of oak and vanilla, faint dark fruit in the middle.

M: Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation.

O: Pretty good for a barleywine, barrel does a nice job. Was better when I had it alone than at a barleywine tasting, but I think that was simply due some of the other beers in the line up.

Photo of GilGarp
4.61/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

2011 vintage served slightly chilled into a goblet.

Bligh's is a dark redish brown color with good clarity seen through the edges. The head is thin but that doesn't seem out of style for a strong barrel aged beer.

Aroma is very strong and rich with whiskey and oak character. It has a mellowed booziness and pleasant sweetness like an old ale.

Flavor is really quite surprisingly well balanced and just perfectly blended. It has great sweetness up front that follows with mild whiskey flavor. It finishes with mellow barrel aged vanilla and caramel. Dark fruits come through like a nice dark Belgian ale.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and perfectly carbonated. Balanced but full of depth and character.

What a fantastic beer. Barrel aged beers are becoming more and more prevalent but it's still very rare to find one as well done as this. One of the best beers of this style.

Photo of kkrez
4.92/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a murky amber brown with a slight head. Head can be built from a glass swirl.

Aromas of toffee, caramel, stranahan's, wood, vanilla, brown sugar, coconut, nuts(almonds, walnuts).

Taste is amazing. Starts out brown sugar sweet then caramel, toffee, vanilla, oak, figs, raisins, present but never overpowering bourbon notes and an oaky finish that cleans out the palate and leaves you ready for more. Alcohol can be found but I had to dig for it. The taste just lingers on the palate wonderfully

Mouthfeel is medium, creamy, lingering, maybe slightly undercarbonated, but only maybe. Not sure any more would do it any good and more could take away from it.

Overall, possibly my beer of 2011. This is exactly what I want from a barrel aged beer.

note: Not sure I would call it an American Barleywine, I'd say more English. Hops aren't really present

Photo of Alieniloquium
4/5  rDev -8.3%

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter. 2013 bottle.

Appearance - Deep amber. Small khaki head. A few bubbles in the collar.

Smell - Bourbon. Fruity aroma. A bit of apple. Brown sugar and caramel.

Taste - Just like the aroma. Bourbon. Apple fruitiness. Makes it seem kinda Belgian. Brown sugar sweetness, but dries out just a bit in the end.

Mouthfeel - Medium heavy. Medium low carbonation.

Overall - Very enjoyable. Very different from its other bourbon barrel barleywine brethren.

Photo of russpowell
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 2.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Big ups to SteveO for this...

2012 offering pours an effervescent hazel color with a sliver of cream colored head. Zero head retention & lacing, some viscosity to this. This beer's only short coming is no real big deal

S: Plums, raisins, vanilla & nice boozey notes

T: Follows the nose, woody hops, dryness & raisins, marcino cherry, a bit of brown sugar & treacle up front. Hints of oakyness, vanilla & a kiss of whiskey booze mix with the cherry & plum as this warms. Finshes with caramel, vanilla, black cherry & an iota of chocolate

MF: Chewy, modest carbonation with much warming sensation, superbly balanced, a bit sticky

True to form, with a very subtle barrel-aged twist. I really enjoyed this one. Get it if you can!

Photo of Jjski
4.48/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2012 vintage obtained in trade. Previous cellar conditions reported to be @ 50f year round
A - brown dark dark amber

S-honey, calvados, apples, brandy leather

T-brown sugar, vanilla, apple brandy

M- a little too thin, most likely age related. Absent carbonation. Drinks like a brandy

0- very very good. Probably shouldn't age longer than a year. It's not showing any oxidation, just thinnish and lacking carbonation. Flavor is beautiful , ala JW Lees

Photo of buffs9
4.92/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this at a tasting that included Hunahpu, BCBCS, Old Rasp XII and this was my favorite beer of the night. So wish I had more of it.

A - Dark caramel color w/ some reddish highlights. Not much head to speak of after an initial 1/2 finger or so

S - Amazing bourbon, brown sugar, and vanilla. Not as much booze on the nose as I would expect

T - So smooth for something w/ this ABV and so soon after the barrels. Bourbon, vanilla and some delicate sweetness

M - Light carbonation and again, crazy smooth.

O - I absolutely loved this beer and will be seeking more.

Photo of CruisaC
3.53/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to arrogantB for this trade. 2012 release

Pours standard deep caramel barleywine-ish color; unfortunately nary a head of foam forms

Smell is malt heavy with a touch of whiskey/oak coming through.

Taste is very biscuit malty. I was hoping for something more complex. Very one dimensional to me. Very little barrel coming through.

Mouthfeel has more carbonation than the initial pour clued me in on, but still left me wanting a bit more.

Overall a letdown, glad to have tried it on a random Sunday night watching the Walking Dead with my brother; otherwise I'd have been more disappointed. Still glad to tick it off the list of BA barleywines.

Photo of Rutager
4.34/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2013 bottle from the good doctor, steasy66.

Appearance. Pours a deep amber-brown that doesn't let much light through, topped with a thin light tan head.

Smell. Plums, raisins, sweet caramel, slight cardboard and sherry oxidization notes but not in a bad way.

Taste. Brown sugar and caramel, dark fruits, toasted oak, lightly tannic barrel and leather, and a touch of whiskey.

Mouthfeel. Full body, a touch sticky on the lips, low carbonation.

Overall. Great stuff that's everything a BA barleywine should be without excessive anything.

Photo of EgadBananas
4.16/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: tawny brown with red hints and a meager tanned head.

Aroma: caramel, butterscotch, toffee, roast, vanilla, oaky bourbon finish.

Taste: caramel, toffee, raisins, roasted malts, butterscotch, mild bourbon finish.

Mouthfeel: full bodied and creamy, quite low carbonation.

Overall: no booze detected, drinkability is great. A super smooth barley wine that isn't too sweet or heavy on the barrel.

Photo of jmarsh123
3.9/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to d4radio for the bottle!

Pours a cloudy murky caramel brown with just a small ring of off-white head.

Aroma is definitely sweet. Whiskey, oak, vanilla, molasses and toffee all come through.

Malts again at the forefront of the flavor. Definitely can tell this is the style from across the pond. Loads of sweet caramel with vanilla, oak, raisins and a slight undertone of whiskey. Whiskey is just a touch hot.

Thick and luscious mouthfeel. Got a tad cloying at times, but in general did a good job of hiding the alcohol and keeping sweetness in check.

I love me some barleywine and this one is a good one. Not sure what whiskey was used for this, but it's one of the better ones I've had. It compliments the base beer instead of overpowering it even at a young age.

Photo of largadeer
4.27/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber into a tulip. Pours a deep, almost opaque burgundy color. The head rises to about a finger before settling to a collar.

Pretty good nose here, malty with nice oxidation in the form of nuttiness, prune, cocoa. The malt character is rather English, and almost has a DME quality to it. The barrel character is subdued but pleasant. There's little heat to speak of.

Big toffee malt flavor. Nutty, semi-sweet, some nice fruitiness in the form of date and prune. Oak, but not a ton of overt bourbon. A graceful display of oxidation. Full-bodied, with a slight tannic bite to the finish. Enjoyed this quite a bit.

Photo of oline73
4.37/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

We opened this at the tasting this weekend. Poured into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy reddish mahogany color with some light coming through at the edges. There is a layer of off white head that fades to a ring.

Smell: This one is quite sweet and malt, can definitely tell it's an English Barleywine. Caramel and dark fruit with some vanilla and bourbon.

Taste: This is a very sweet beer, but not cloying. Raisins, caramel, and vanilla from the barrels. The bourbon is smooth but the overall finish if the beer is a bit hot.

Mouthfeel: Thick and syrupy body with mild carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: This is a really good barleywine. I love caramel and bourbon, so this is right up my alley. I have another bottle that I'll sit on for a while and see what happens with some time.

Photo of Etan
4.57/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz into a snifter. 2011 bottle. Thanks googzoid!

A: Pours a deep woody reddish-brown with a small tan head.

S: Superbly balanced nose. Cooked raisins, cinnamon, brown sugar, prune, caramel, coconut, vanilla, plum flesh.

T: Big brown sugar and fig, slight spice, vanilla, prune, slight oak, raisin, soft booze, fruity sugar, caramel. A bit tannic and slightly warming in the finish.

M: Slight pop of carbonation, then it's gone. Thick, rich.

O: Just excellent - all the flavors are very smoothly integrated. Barrel-aging should always be done like this. A pleasure to drink.

Photo of KevSal
4.22/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

big thanks to baconsausage for sending this my way, won in willpower 30. big thanks to the one who brown bagged this to him as well, not sure who it is, thank you.

as with all my lifs, heres the review!

22oz split into 2 snifters

a- looking very good. nice dark reddish hue like a good ba barelywine usually pours. looks very thick, but a very minimal head.

s- the nose on this one is fantastic! strong young whiskey upfront like a punch in the face! very reminicient to ccb's whiskey milk porter. vanilla oak, slight toffe and some sherry in the back. slight alch sting in the faint back end.

t-taste definitely delivers. distinct whiskey upfront with notes of vanilla and a barrel. very impressive. very unique flavor, strong whiskey alcohol character without the heat.

m-this one is pretty thick, much thicker than sebago single batch i reviewed, and only 1 % more alch. i like full bodied and sticky ba barelywines and this one elivers

o- very good beer here. delivers on all fronts for sure. the whiskey character is strong and not for everyone but this one was put together very well.the difference between whiskey and bourbon is displayed well here.
ill bet with a bit of age this one may be stellar.

glad i got to try this one for sure.

Photo of GeezLynn
4.31/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Rated based on several tastings since, now that I finally have the opportunity to sit down and write a review, the last bottle is a bit over the hill at 2 years.

A: Pours a cloudy auburn with a brief white head. Not particularly attractive, but typical of an aged barleywine.
S: Caramel, brown sugar, almost a maple syrup-like quality and a light alcohol bite. Faint whiskey once it warms. Smells sweet and inviting.
T: As expected, very sweet – brown sugar dominated with cola and raisin. Whiskey has faded considerably at this point, but there is still plenty of vanilla in the mix. Unlike many American brewed barleywines advertised as “English Barleywine”, I feel this was an accurate representation as the hopping was fairly restrained, even when fresh. Alcohol is barely discernible.
M: Body is medium with light soft carbonation (even when fresh).
This was a very nice beer last fall, but has fallen off noticeably since then. Not really oxidized, but time has lessened some of the complexities, especially the barrel and hops. Still good, but like many barrel aged beers, better within a year of bottling.

Love the name/art work on this beer. No doubt Captain Bligh would’ve avoided mutiny had his ship been well stocked with this fine ale. Will be looking for more.

Photo of JayS2629
4.45/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a murky brown with no head or lacing, but carbonation within the beer is fine. Its got legs like a wine.

The aroma is amazing and complex. A full, rich toffee backone with vanilla and conconut, bourbon, oak, and dark fruit. Loads of caramel.

The flavor is also amazing and complex following the nose with coconut, oak, bourbon, vanilla and sweet toffee and caramel. Dark fruit notes of plum, cherry and raisin with a spicy hop finish keeping it balanced and not cloying. Chocolate and coffee hints appear as it warms.

Very warming with a soft burn in the finish. Medium body and smooth.

Absolutely amazing sipper. Share this one.

Photo of Rhettroactive
3.99/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

From 22oz bomber to snifter on 11/29/11

-- Many thanks for cracking this one, Johnny --

A: Rich crimson amber. It's got a clarity to it that's surprising. Not nearly as dark and brooding as I'd hoped. I pour down the center of the glass and in return I get a frail .5 finger head. It fades quickly and yields zero lacing. Luckily there's a decent collar rimming the snifter.

S: Killer. Just mounds and mounds of toasted coconut, warm vanilla, booze and sipping whiskey.

T: Delicious, yet out of balance. The characteristics of a quality barleywine aren't up front, it's literally a bourbon bomb from the start. Which is a-ok by me, as this isn't overly hot by any means. What this lacks is the rich, syrupy essence, the real soul and spirit of a top notch Barleywine. In the end, I'm a whiskey fanatic, so I find this absurdly approachable for such a young barrel aged brew.

M: I get the feeling that the barrel really did a number on this. It's thin, like a traditional casked ale. I'll say that the thinner body allows this to be much more quaffable. Yet I want more from this, as I crave a more textured and layered offering.

O: Dry Docks Bligh's Barleywine is a really top notch beer, one where I can actually understand some of the hype. But stepping back from it, and looking at all the components, this barrel aged barleywine is pretty unbalanced, and it simply doesn't reach the upper echelon of the style. Worth trading for? Without question, just keep your whitest of whales at bay.

to view more.
Bligh's Barleywine Ale from Dry Dock Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 497 ratings.