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Bligh's Barleywine Ale - Dry Dock Brewing Co.

Bligh's Barleywine AleBligh's Barleywine Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

358 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 358
Reviews: 103
rAvg: 4.38
pDev: 10.5%

Brewed by:
Dry Dock Brewing Co. visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: waltonc on 10-08-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 358 | Reviews: 103 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of UCLABrewN84


4.33/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to holden303 for sending me this one as part of the N00B BIF 6!

Pours a murky dirty brown with a 1/2 inch foamy tan head that quickly fades to nothing. No lace to speak of. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, toffee, fruit, vanilla, toasted coconut, oak, and some subdued whisky aromas. Taste is pretty much spot on with the smell. A slight bitterness accompanies each sip and there is an alcohol warmth in the back of the throat as well. This beer has a low level of carbonation with a slightly flat and smooth mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good barleywine with a ton of complex smells and tastes. I am really glad I was able to try this beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2011 17:18:56 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of womencantsail


3.68/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks for sharing this, Javi.

Pours a dark amber/copper color with a fairly sizable off-white head. Smells overwhelmingly of dark fruits such as prunes, plums, and raisins. There is a bit of whiskey and vanilla on the back end. Sweet caramel and brown sugar add to the cloyingness. The flavor is also intensely sweet. Heavy on the brown sugar, caramel, and toffee notes. Lots of dark fruit flavors with only minimal whiskey/barrel notes. Medium bodied with surprising carbonation for the style.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2011 18:37:11 | More by womencantsail
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

4.26/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2011 bottling

Appearance: Pours a clear russet, the head being a vague formation of bubbles; somewhat leggy, with dotty dribbles streaming down

Smell: Caramel, Bourbon, vanilla, fig and coconut

Taste: Caramel, fig and date notes, up front, with the Bourbon and vanilla bringing a punch to the middle; after the swallow, earthy bitterness adds balance and there is a hint of coconut in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with low to moderate carbonation

Overall: A very nice English style barleywine that is drinking magnificently almost two years in

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2013 18:54:56 | More by brentk56
Photo of Thorpe429


4/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of kkrez. Served in a SAVOR wine glass.

Pours a medium brown color with a good off-white head and a nice bit of a tan collar. The nose carries some pretty good bourbon with some caramel in the background. Flavor carries a nice bit of bourbon and oak with caramel there as well. Not too many characters but a great combination. Quite well done, but not an amazing bourbon barrel barleywine, though that includes the best of the best.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2011 23:19:20 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of MasterSki


3.9/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Chris (spycow) for opening this one, and big thanks to DividedAvery for trading me a bottle. Served in a Cigar City snifter.

A - A half-finger of light tan foam settles to a thin ring, wispy cap, and tiny spots of lace. The body is an attractive opaque ruby-brown color with some purplish highlights to it.

S - Tons of barrel here - oak, toasted coconut, red fruits, toffee, dates and figs, and plenty of overt booze and whiskey. Subtle, this beer is not. The flavors are quite nice, but the beer is very harsh at this stage, with intense oak and brash alcohol dominating the flavor profile.

T - The taste features more of the base beer, with lots of toffee and caramel flavors, as well as some vanilla and butterscotch notes from the barrel-aging. There's significantly less alcohol presence, with a greater emphasis on sweet malty goodness. I enjoyed the taste significantly more than the aroma, but I don't find this to be superior to other beers of the style.

M - Full bodied, with surprisingly active carbonation. Sticky, chewy, and viscous, with a low amount of tannic dryness. Quite enjoyable, except for the obvious alcohol presence. Drinks more like a 12-13% beer than a 10% one.

D - I hate to say this but: Over. Rated. Not a bad beer by any stretch, but well down the list of barrel-aged barleywines I'd want to drink. I struggled a bit through my 4oz, as the alcohol is pretty fierce at this stage. I can imagine this being quite enjoyable in 6-12 months and will likely revisit my evaluation, but in my opinion this beer is definitely not an A+.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2011 16:20:45 | More by MasterSki
Photo of russpowell


4.56/5  rDev +4.1%
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!

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2013 03:02:38 | More by russpowell
Photo of drabmuh


4.25/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shared by Thorpe, at the time of this review, this is the #4 top beer on the beeradvocate.com "Top Beers - English Barleywine" list. Fun. Poured into a Stone IRS snifter. We did this beer a huge disservice by serving it immediately after King Henry, this is a fine beer, very good in fact but King Henry blew it out of the water by a lot.

Beer is reddish brown, a little hazy, thin tan head, low retention, low carbonation.

Aroma is sweet, liquor, oak, biscuit, mildly fruity.

Beer is medium in body, sweet on the front, gives way to a nice rounded character of oak and mild liquors. Strong but nice throughout. I really enjoyed it. I'd have it again.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2011 02:47:48 | More by drabmuh
Photo of zeff80


3.98/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, golden amber color with a small, thin, white head of bubbly foam. It left sudsy trails of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled sweet and malty with boozy notes.

T - Very boozy - you can really taste whiskey-like flavors. Sweet caramel and toffee with just a touch of bitterness.

M - It was crisp and fairly sharp. A full bodied ale with a warm alcohol punch.

O - This is a really tasty brew. Dry Dock does such amazing beer. I need to find more.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2012 01:59:11 | More by zeff80
Photo of StonedTrippin


4.53/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

alright, the price ($19.00 per bomber) really made me think twice about this purchase, but the fact the there was only one on the shelf, and it came highly regarded sealed the deal. can't say i regret it. this one poured a deep caramel auburn color into a wine glass, with a very thin but persistent little head. holy cow the nose! this one smells of bourbon whiskey, oak, and alcohol. also coconut in the nose like the label says, but not coconut from a tree, more like a can of coconut milk, which is entirely pleasant and subtle. mmm! mouthfeel is slightly heavy and sweet, almost like a real nice dubbel, complex and malty. the alcohol is all smoothed out with a thoroughly robust whiskey finish, certainly imparted from the barrel aging process. a big time beer, warming from the inside out. heavy heavy buzz after a bomber. really nice on an early autumn night. if any volume of beer can be so pricey and worth it, it surely is dry dock bligh's. not for everyone, but impeccably well done!

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2011 04:48:11 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of barleywinefiend


4.38/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a murky light brown with good carbonation presenting a nice dirty white ring and some bubbles

S: Light bourbon, whiff of caramelized sugar, toffee and some Earthy wood notes.

T: Follows nose very well. A good mix of sugary caramel sweetness, toffee, vanilla, toasted oak and light but detcetable coconut. It has a nice sweet, coating and rather heat free finish

M: A little slick and sticky, well carbonated and slightly lighter on body than I liked.

O: Fantastic beer. Hype train roll on...

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2012 12:01:37 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of mdfb79

New York

4.38/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From 01/08/12 notes. Shared with some friends, 22 oz. bottle into a tulip.

a - Pours a dark mahogany brown color with one finger of fluffy off white head and moderate carbonation evident. Looks pretty good.

s - Smells of bourbon, oak, coconut, vanilla, caramel malts, toffee, and alcohol. Very nice nose and the bourbon is up front. more coconut than I was expecting.

t - Tastes of caramel malts, bourbon, coconut, vanilla, oak, sweet toffee, sweet dark fruits, toasted malts, a maybe a tiny bit of light, sweet chocolate. A major step up from the nose to me. The bourbon and coconut are there but don't dominate as much, and there is a ton of caramel. Awesome taste.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation, it's very smooth and creamy. Did not taste like 10% ABV; great moutfeel.

o - Overall I thought this was a great barleywine. Taste is very complex and balanced, and it has a g reat mouthfeel. a great beer that I'm glad I have another bottle of. just makes me more excited to crack my King Henry.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2012 01:33:04 | More by mdfb79
Photo of kojevergas


3.75/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2012 vintage. Acquired a few weeks ago at a liquor store in Parker, Colorado. Reviewed live. 10% ABV confirmed. 1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with an elegant label and a foilved over pressure cap served into an EKU 28 snifter in me gaff in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. Expectations are high given its current rating.

Served after a brief period of rest following its removal from the refrigerator, and allowed to warm further over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Paired with honey pretzel braids.

A: Pours a half finger beige colour head of fair cream, decent thickness, and bad retention (~40 seconds) - though it's excusable for the 10% ABV. A ring floater remains for about a minute after the head fully recedes. Body colour is a very dark caramel-brown; it's understated but I wouldn't call it dull. Its lack of transparency coupled with its opaqueness prevents it from being vibrant. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Overall a spot-on appearance for the style.

Sm: Whiskey is definitely the first thing I get, followed by oak. Caramel and toffee make an appearance. Hints of vanilla lend it more of a bourbon feel than a whiskey. Toffee. Biscuit malts. It's actually surprisingly restrained in terms of its malt character for a barleywine. Buried fruit. I search for coconut but don't find it. Rich in fermented sugars. I don't detect any substantial hop character - a positive attribute in terms of my personal preferences for the style. An understated, subtle aroma of above average strength. No real yeasty character is detectable, but there may be a hint of alcohol heat.

T: Oak and coconut hit me first and last throughout. Some bourbon-esque vanilla, again feeling more like bourbon than whiskey. Caramelized malts comprise the unobtrusive foundation, but never feel out of place. Subtle hints of toffee throughout. Some dark fruit on the climax combines with the vanilla for a satisfying effect. A bit of alcohol heat right on the finish, to its detriment. No yeast character at all. A bit imbalanced, but well put together for the most part. It's certainly a sipper. A good build for a barleywine. The taste is certainly more rich and malty than the aroma. I like it, but admittedly I expected better.

Mf: Undercarbonated, bordering on flat. Smooth and wet. Good thickness. Lacks sufficient palate presence to adequately support the flavour profile. A beer this refined in taste demands a better executed mouthfeel.

Dr: She's a sipper, alright. I'll have trouble killing this bottle by myself, but I reckon I'll enjoy doing so for the most part. Still, I do wish I had a friend about to help me put her down. The ABV needs to be hidden far better than this. Overall, it's a solid barleywine from one of Colorado's best breweries, but I expected far better given its current ratings. I'm hoping this will pick up with age, and I'm not unhappy to have a couple more bottles on hand, but I have to admit I'm disappointed. Worth picking up if you haven't tried it, but I won't be grabbing any in future years unless I hear it's gotten better.

High B

It does pick up slightly as it warms, but not substantially. I recommend serving it slightly chilled.

I wouldn't pair this with anything fancy. Pretzels did me just fine.

Seems like a good candidate for aging.

*I had to tweak the appearance rating to give this the letter grade I needed to. This helps keep my reviews fair and consistent. Please see my profile page for more information.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2012 05:16:27 | More by kojevergas
Photo of Rifugium


4.19/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I was quite disappointed that I didn't have time to visit DD on my CO trip a couple years ago, so thanks to whomever shared this bottle at Stone Soup '13.

A deep ruby-brown pour with a foamy tan head that receded to a ringlet and left some doily lacing on the glass. Aroma of sweet malts, oak, fruity esters, booze. Taste of caramel malts, toffee, [vegetal] vanilla bean, toasted oak soaked in whiskey, dark dried fruits, leather. Tasty and complex, heavy-medium body, a bit chewy, and almost more reminiscent of an American than an English barleywine, but who's really keeping track? Very nice overall.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2013 23:00:03 | More by Rifugium
Photo of corby112


4.25/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to sideshowe for sharing.

Pours a murky, dark chocolate brown color with a one finger light beige head that quickly settles into a lasting ring. Spotty lacing left behind.

Slightly earthy aroma with a lots of sweet booze, barrel and dark fruit notes. The barrel character is prominent with hints of toasted oak, vanilla and whiskey but it doesn't overpower the other notes. Hints of chocolate and caramel as well as some fig, plum and other dark fruit.

Chewy medium body with a bit more carbonation than expected. There's and excellent balance of booze, barrel character and sweet and leathery malt. Hints of dry oak, sweet boozy whiskey, vanilla and toasted coconut followed by some caramel, toffee, hazelnut and dark fruits, notable fig, raisin and plum. Well balanced with a well masked ABV considering it's strength. There is a lot of alcohol flavor/sweetness but not much heat. Really flavorful and dangerously drinkable. Recommended!

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2011 01:45:07 | More by corby112
Photo of Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

4.38/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Thorpe429. Thanks Mike.

The beer is dark brown with a small tan head. Aroma of toffee, bourbon, oak, malt, caramels. Nice flavor. Well balanced and flavorful, but not in the upper tier for the style. Lots of toffee and caramels. Bourbon component is well integrated. A solid beer. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2011 23:19:20 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of HopHead84


4/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Bottle shared by Javier at Strong Ale 2011.

A: Dark reddish brown with a small beige head.

S: Dark toffee blends with brown sugar, caramel, and a pleasant vanilla profile. Whiskey is pronounced, and I get big booze and oak notes. Dark fruit reminds me of plum and prune. 

T: Rich toffee with a little brown sugar. Whiskey is well integrated. There's a decent amount of alcohol heat blending with strong oak notes. The finish is fusel alcohol, caramel, and whiskey.

M: Upper medium in body with moderate carbonation.

Overall: Good, but nothing really sets it apart or pushes it above the B+ range.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2011 01:28:22 | More by HopHead84
Photo of Bitterbill


4.78/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks go out to Schmittymack(Dan) for getting me 2 bottles!

It pours a very dark brownish red with about an inch of offwhite foam. Tilting my glass from side to side, I can see some very good lacing.

The smell, well, it's so full of caramel malt and whiskey, with a side order of toffee, that it is kind of blowing my mind. I'm literally sitting here taking in whiff after whiff.

The first sip in and bloody hell; it tastes as good as it smells. Loads of whiskey complimenting the huge caramel malt profile with plenty of toffee and some dark fruitiness hanging around in the background. Absolutely gorgeous flavours and now, some of the alcohol is popping in and brings a lot of warming. Maybe too much for a 10%abv Barleywine but hey, it's a minor quibble.

For my "major" quibble, I find the carbonation way too low for a fresh BWA that, flavourwise, could go for a heck of a long time; keep this in your cellar for a few years and you won't have any "fizz" at all. For my palate and tastes, this wouldn't bother me but I know there are plenty of folks that would have a real problem with no carbonation.

The mouthfeel is fine; on the upper end of medium bodied, again, with light carbonation that could use just a slight boost.

Drinkability? It was hard to keep the glass on the table. This is some very fine stuff, and maybe the best of the style I've ever tasted.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2011 19:50:02 | More by Bitterbill
Photo of largadeer


4.25/5  rDev -3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2012 00:36:23 | More by largadeer
Photo of gford217


4.7/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle.

Pours a dark hazy brown with hints of amber when held up to the light. There is a small bubbly beige head that recedes to a thin collar and leaves little lacing.

Aroma is outstanding with equal parts sweet barleywine and barrel character. There is molasses and caramel with toffee and some overripe dark fruits. The barrel character is evident but not dominant with some vanilla and bourbon barrel.

Damn. The taste is a slightly more boozy version of the nose, which is to say it's pretty close to perfection for this English barleywine lover. The first sip was heavier on the bourbon and vanilla than I was expecting. But the underlying beer still coming through with a sugary sweet malt backbone with booze-soaked apples. The finish has some alcohol burn but not distracting. The taste just becomes more and more drinkable as it warms.

The mouthfeel is close to full bodied, dessert-like, and just sticks on the palate after each sip.

This is a sublime beer. I've never had anything else from Dry Dock but I will be seeking some more from them. It's completely balanced with the barrel enhancing the base beer without dominating it. Love it.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2011 05:03:11 | More by gford217
Photo of jrallen34


3.43/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

bottle... once again, hopefully the hype train stops in Chicago for another pretty average beer... dark caramel with a whispy tan head, nice coloring... the aroma is pretty good but too much oak dominates, some really nice sweet malt but has a wort or bready character to it, a bit of molasses as well... the taste is all over the place, and just weird, very syrupy, lots of oak and alcohol, ok for a 3-4 ounces but after that tough to drink... might be great in time, now its merely a slightly above average ba bw

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2011 15:29:38 | More by jrallen34
Photo of woosterbill


4.47/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber into a Surly Darkness glass. Huge thanks to Chris for sharing this, freshly delivered by the hype train.

A: Hazy, deep orange-brown body under a thin, transient layer of fine tan foam. Solid.

S: Very sweet and fruity, with coconut, oak, whiskey, and vanilla backing up the rich dark fruits. There's some booze, but it's fairly restrained. Terrific.

T: Follows the nose: candied vanilla/coconut/whiskey barrel notes on top of sweet, raisiny malt. Toffee, alcohol, and bitterness on the finish. Delicious.

M: Medium-to-full body, moderate, slightly prickly carbonation that quickly settles into smoothness. Very nice.

O: This is a delicious beer, entirely worthy of acclaim. It's as close as I've experienced to the Platonic ideal of a BA Barleywine - big, rich, sweet, and well-balanced between barrel and malt. This cleanness and focus, however, somehow kept me from truly falling in love with the beer. It just lacks any individuality of character, and doesn't stand out like, say, Kuhnhenn BBBW/BB4D or MoaS. Time will tell whether it's truly deserving of being in the pantheon of great Barleywines; it certainly has the potential, but I'm not convinced it has the soul.


Serving type: bottle

11-30-2011 19:23:36 | More by woosterbill
Photo of FosterJM


3.98/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1163rd Review on BA
Bottle to Snifter

2012 Vintage
Thanks to Poonamibaxter for sending this to me.

Shared with GuruDel, JazzPatel, MrHirschybar & BdubleEdubleRUN

App- Had more of a darker richer brown then some orange highlights from the barrel. Same type of bubbles though. No real head or cling.

Smell- I enjoyed the smell of this one but I think Bourbon would've been a better choice. The whiskey did a nice job of adding some heat and other flavors but too prickly.

Taste- This opened quite nice with a rich oaky, vanilla flavor. Then moved to a small malt note and even some hidden citrus. The whiskey was assertive but not overpowering being a new bottle.

Mouth- A solid medium body with a medium creamy carbonation and a lot of bourbon boozy oaky vanilla residual flavor.

Drink- Good beer but think the Whiskey couldve been switched out for Bourbon. Too prickly for my tastes really.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2012 18:08:01 | More by FosterJM
Photo of Mebuzzard


4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is the 2012 bottle

Pours rich brown, murky a bit. Little tan head, not all that big. Settles to a collar. Slick lacing.

Vanilla, caramel, rich sweet bread. Perhaps some ginger in the aroma. Cookie.

Flavor is great. Sweet, dark, rich, caramel and vanilla. Some booze, but not a 10%er. Very nice as the barrel aging takes over command, and under control.

Mouthfeel falls apart a bit. It's thin. The richness just falls away. Maybe it's lack of carbonation? I'm not sure. A hint of nuttiness on the back, and then the beer just goes away. Easy drinking though. Is that good?

A fine beer. I'll have to re-try this one to if the feel is more than just in one bottle.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2012 04:35:02 | More by Mebuzzard
Photo of maximum12


3.65/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Blakelive784 for sending this much-anticipated bottle along a bit ago. I've only sampled this next to a bevy of the world's best barleywines, so I was eager to take a swing at it solo. 22 oz. bottle with a minimalist, retro label & gold foil split with my wife.

Pour is a dull, lifeless brown, like a clay tennis court after a five-hour match split in half by a thunderstorm. The smell brings me close to nirvana: some of the biggest caramel noodles I've experienced, dipped in vanilla & painted with seventeen layers of bourbon. A dose of brown sugar completes the aromatic masterpiece.

Bligh's Barleywine is liquified caramel with a base of bourbon. Almost literally. Caramel melts the top layer off my palate's face, backed up by lick after lick of bourbon. Booze, sweetness, brown sugar course through mid-palate; then the alcohol really kicks in & alcoholic caramel squares dominate the end. Lack of carbonation weights this one down & hurts the drinkability. A bit of spritz would have been nice.

Now I understand why this beer underwhelmed against the likes of Mother of All Storms, King Henry, & other heavyweights: a pretty good barrel-aged barleywine, but just not in the same weight class.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2013 02:59:49 | More by maximum12
Photo of ArrogantB


4.43/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

i wasn't going to buy this beer but when people started claiming it was as good as Abacus I had to see for myself. Personally I didn't think it was as good as Abacus but it is a good barrel-aged barleywine. Dark caramel color, decent head. The smell is really great, coconut, vanilla, caramel, hints of alcohol, whiskey. The taste is good but is a bit of a letdown after the smell. Caramel, toffee but very little barrel or whiskey influence. This is a good barleywine but I won't be buying another given the price.

update 2012 vintage

I figured I'd give this another shot and I think the 2012 is even better than the 2011. Fantastic taste of caramel, toffee, whiskey barrel, strong but delicious. This reminds me of the fresh Abacus I had in 2011. World class.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2011 02:11:10 | More by ArrogantB
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Bligh's Barleywine Ale from Dry Dock Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 358 ratings.