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Bligh's Barleywine Ale - Dry Dock Brewing Co.

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

119 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 119
Hads: 507
Avg: 4.33
pDev: 21.71%
Wants: 555
Gots: 141 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 119 | Hads: 507
Photo of jeonseh
4.51/5  rDev +4.2%
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

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Photo of russpowell
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
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!

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Photo of brentk56
4.27/5  rDev -1.4%
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

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.24/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

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Photo of tjmodica
4.26/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage

Great Barleywine's take me back to somewhere very primitive and cool.

Dry dock copied Anchor Old foghorn on the color, just perfect for the style. Ok when you look up malt bomb in your text books this is what you will see. Sweet sweet sugar plums with a hint of pancake syrup, really nice nose this is an English Barleywine. Taste just like the nose with minimal alcohol burn. I will save an ounce and half for pancakes in the morning . Outstanding job and I hope the 2012 version holds up to these standards. My Dad would be proud of this beer.

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Photo of GilGarp
4.61/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

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Photo of CruisaC
3.53/5  rDev -18.5%
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.

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.27/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From notes. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a tulip.

Bligh’s pours a dark ruby caramel color with light tan edges and a full, dark molasses center. A sparse off-white cap leaves a sparse lacing down the glass.

The nose is smooth, with the aromas blending very well together. Bourbon, figs, molasses, dark chocolate, full raisins, caramel, vanilla, and spicy oak in the nose and flavor.

The body is nice and full, with a light, creamy carbonation. It is a bit sticky on the tongue, and there is a boozy presence to go along with the bourbon in the back.

Dry Dock definitely has created a strong offering in the barleywine category.

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Photo of Rifugium
4.18/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

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Photo of LittleDon
4.22/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 2 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2011 Vintage, aged approximately 1 year.

Brown to dark brown color. What little head there was disappeared quickly. Aroma of baking bread and prunes with a hint of acetone. Medium-heavy body with sufficient carbonation to say "Beer" and not port (which it is very reminiscent of). Vanilla, dried apricots, and soft caramel candy flavors. Feels like 10% but doesn't taste like it.

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Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.4/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks the mdfb79 (Dan) for sharing this awesome beer with everyone!

The beer pours a very pretty dark red to brown color with ample cascading lacing and a great ring of head.

The smell is rit in the pocket for a BA Barleywine, it has a great bourbon overtone to a sweet and semi hoppy base beer. It's sweet but not too sweet. Prunes, raisins, rum raisin ice cream, brown sugar, alcohol sweetness, and a bit of spice. A great smell.

The taste is great, but is pretty sweet compared to what I had anticipated. Cotton candy, plus all the notes of the smell, it's nice but maybe the sweetness covers up some of the complexities from the aroma.

The feel is ok, a little thinner than I had hoped but not overly boozy.

Overall a very worthy beer, definitely worth seeking out.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.64/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | 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.

2013 vintage. Truncated notes. Reviewed side by side with a King Henry.

Deep dark red body with a plump khaki colour head. Poor (~1 minute) retention. Looking pretty good for a barleywine. I'd say it looks about as good as the King Henry.

More overtly fruity than King Henry. Otherwise, it's more reticent. Seems too sweet judging from the aroma alone. It seems like it's built from a weird mixture of amber malts and English malts. There's some marshmallow, but I remember there being more in the 2012 vintage.

Marshmallow, caramel, amber malts, English malts. I really crave a good toffee presence. Any barrel notes are quite reticent; where's the whiskey? I like that there's no whiskey spice, but I'd like some oak or vanilla or something.

Bar none, King Henry is a vastly superior barleywine, but I'm glad I did this side by side. I'll probably revisit Bligh's in the future, but I'm unconvinced it's world class. She's a sipper, but she's enjoyable.

Low B

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Photo of Mebuzzard
4.47/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

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Photo of SkeeterBoganski
4.27/5  rDev -1.4%
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

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Photo of alexipa
4.13/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark reddish brown with no head at all.

S: Toffee, sugar, whiskey, lots of raisin/dark fruits. Really great smell, best part of this one.

T: Lots of whiskey comes through. Nice sweet malty backend with hints of toffee and caramel, maybe a bit of vanilla. Whiskey dominates though.

M: Very hot, but nicely carbonated. Thin body, almost watery. Tastes ALL of 10%, but yet is very smooth.

O: Pretty good. I have to admit I expected more and am a bit disappointed for what I spent. Not worth seeking out to me, but worth picking up a bottle if you happen to find it.

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Photo of Duff27
4.2/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thin beige head on a opaque brown body. Collar sticks around, little spots of lacing.

Dark fruits...raisins, plums. Present whiskey but not overpowering.

"Dried fruits." Grapey. Again the barrel-aged presence is most prominent but not dominant. Drinks it's 10%abv to me.

Thick mouthfeel, lower carbonation. Very smooth. Coats the mouth.

I'd say this is in the bottom portion of the top tier of BA English Barleywines. I had a hard time describing the taste because this is nearly a one-trick pony with its whiskey notes. Combined with the nose and mouthfeel though, overall this is a great beer. Thanks 4DAloveofSTOUT for the trade a long time ago!

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Photo of Jeffo
4.14/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Masterski. Cheers man!

From a bomber into a snifter
Vintage: 2011
Aged in whisky barrels

APPEARANCE: Pours a one finger, medium looking, slightly bubbly, light tan head with decent retention. Head quickly fades to a faint wisp and ring. Clear rosewood red in color with no carbonation evident. A ring remains until the end but leaves no real lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Whisky, oak, caramel notes and some brown sugar on the nose. Light notes of dark fruits like raisins and grapes, and then some booze as well. Toches of vanilla and coconut from the barrels come into play as it sits. Pretty nice, though it could be a little bigger for the style.

TASTE: Nice flavors here. Whisky up front with oak, wood, caramel sweetness, dark fruits and brown sugar as well. Lots of barrel after the swallow with more whisky, coconut and vanilla notes, brown sugar and caramel sweetness, as well as some light, bitter dark chocolate. A hint of floral bitterness as well. Very complex with lots of barrel notes and sweet flavors going on.

PALATE: Medium body and medium levels of carbonation. This could be a bit heavier, but it's very creamy on the palate. Goes down slightly prickly and burns a bit at the swallow, finishing somewhat sticky. Surprisingly very little heat lingers on this.

OVERALL: This is solid, solid stuff. The taste is the most impressive part of the beer, but if the nose were a little bolder and the feel slightly smoother, this would be a top class beer. As it is now, it's very enjoyable and is definitely worth the hunt if you're a fan of the style. Thanks again for the beers Masterski.

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Photo of kawilliams81
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2011 vintage. Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a 8 oz snifter.

A- pours a dark chestnut with a 1 finger light brown head. Minimal lacing.

S- brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, some bourbon and oak.

T- toffee, bread, roasted malts, bourbon, vanilla , with a slight earthy bitterness at the finish.

M- full body and medium carbonation. Big creamy, syrupy mouthfeel gives makes this beer very enjoyable going down.

O- very good Barleywine. Thick mouthfeel covers up the slight abv burn this beer still has. Not in the top tier of BA barleywines but close.

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Photo of brystmar
4.03/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Mac! 2011 bottle.

Brown body, particularly when compared to a stout alongside. No head or lace, but that's fine. Aroma is mostly boozy & ethanol; lacks complexity. Disappointing.

Caramelized malts start to finish. Tastes like those clearly wrapped caramels melted down and mixed with booze. Kinda one-dimensional, but that singular quality is really damn good.

Delicious, though I prefer the Kuhnhenn BBBW.

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Photo of Treebs
3.92/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle served in a Deschute tulip. Big Thanks to Andrew (nasty31) for the share.

A: Pours a dark and cloudy rub color with a tan ring forming on the pour. Splotches of lace are left down the glass.

S: Spicy rye whiskey is up front. Dark fruits, mostly raisins, with a subtle roasted malt undertone. The majority of the nose is dominated by the whiskey. It even drowns out the rest of the barrel.

T: Some fruity esters and spice from the whiskey. Raisiny dark fruit flavors with some sweet candied sugar. The whiskey isn't harsh, but it is overbearing at times.

M: Medium bodied, a tad thin for my liking, with a medium to low carbonation.

O: While I certainly like this I had this side by side with King Henry and had Hi-Fi Rye a little afterwards. This just didn't hold up to the big guys IMO.

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Photo of Etan
4.57/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.07/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks for the trade Exiled! Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a dirty murky mud color with almost no head. Reminds me of dark iced-tea.
S: Not as potent as I was expecting. I get some notes of caramel and whiskey. Alcohol vapors are noticeable.
T: Very smooth flavors of caramel, mellow whiskey barrel, vanilla, strong caramel and a hint of honey. I get a few fruit skins as well.
M: Thick body, viscous mouth, sweet but not cloying. Finish falls off with no burn. Very smooth.
O: One of the better BA barleywines I’ve encountered. Very rich but so easy to sip on. Thanks again, Exiled.

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Photo of abecall98
4.66/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thank you sexy ScottFrie.

A - eh, cloudy, brown, and weak head. Looks almost like a sour brown ale unfiltered. Just not what I'm used to when seeing my pour of BA Barleywine.

S - smells good. Incredibly sweet. Aromas of sweet apple and cinnamon surprisingly. A little Carmel too, cool.

T - incedible. Makes my nipples hard. A thick Carmel flavor just starts your journey. Some nice woody notes hit from the barrel, and some sweet sugary malts finish. I am getting more Carmel in the dry finish, man, this rocks.

M - perfect to style. It's not overly or under carved. Just the right ammount. Goldielocks would love this. The beer is thick and sweet, yet finishes slightly dry. It's different, and I love it.

O - this beer right here, it's really good.

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Photo of mikeyv35
4.45/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Date: 03/16/12
Type: 22oz. Bomber
Vintage: 2011
Glass: General Lafayette Pint Glass

Pours a muddy brown mahoghany in color w/ a skim coat white head and little to no lacing. Aromas of caramel, toffee, vanilla, coconut, oak, and whiskey. The flavor started off w/ sweet caramel and toffee, leading into subtle dark fruits (raisins/figs), and closing w/ vanilla, coconut, and whiskey. Medium bodied and lush. Pretty easy to drink w/ the 10% lower end of the spectrum ABV being well masked.

Overall, incredibly flavorful brew with tremendous depth and oh so smooth! Glad I have another bottle of this big dog in my favorite style category. Not sure how this one got slightly overlooked and King Henry took center stage.

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Photo of Sean9689
4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle at DLD 2012...not sure who to thank.

A - Pours a mirky copper/brown color, off-white head, spotty lace.

S - Booze, dark fruits, caramel, burnt sugars, oak. I would say this needs a few more months, but still, it's very solid on the nose and there's nothing bad to say besides the higher level of alcohol.

T - Similar to the nose, the booze is up front followed by dark fruits, burnt sugars, light vanilla, and oak. The whisky is well-integrated but still too much right now...6-12 months will do this beer some huge good. Finish is sweet caramel and oak mixed with whiskey.

M - Medium body, good carbonation, creamy dark fruity finish.

O - My small pour was the perfect amount to enjoy this beer. Hard to really drink a bunch of this stuff (as with more BW's), but it's really coming a long nicely from when I had it fresh. I would say hold your bottles unless you really like a lot of booze in your BW's. In the very near future, this will be an amazing beer.

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Bligh's Barleywine Ale from Dry Dock Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 119 ratings.