1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Bligh's Barleywine Ale - Dry Dock Brewing Co.

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

474 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 474
Reviews: 114
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 10.76%
Wants: 544
Gots: 143 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Bligh's Barleywine Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 474 | Reviews: 114 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kojevergas
3.64/5  rDev -16.7%
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

Photo of MarkyMOD
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of Mebuzzard
4.5/5  rDev +3%
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.

Photo of Tarheel4985
5/5  rDev +14.4%

Photo of HundredWeight
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Photo of SkeeterBoganski
4.3/5  rDev -1.6%
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

Photo of alexipa
4.1/5  rDev -6.2%
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.

Photo of blindpiggie
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Photo of MinorThreat
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of ottodyer
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of MaseFace
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of HopsMatt
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Photo of Duff27
4.2/5  rDev -3.9%
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!

Photo of resistdefy
5/5  rDev +14.4%

Photo of Jeffo
4.18/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

Photo of mazerock
5/5  rDev +14.4%

Photo of kawilliams81
4.28/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

Photo of AutumnBeerLove
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of angelmonster
4/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of brystmar
4.1/5  rDev -6.2%
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.

Photo of Treebs
3.93/5  rDev -10.1%
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.

Photo of AgentZero
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of Etan
4.55/5  rDev +4.1%
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 scottfrie
4.13/5  rDev -5.5%
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.

Photo of abecall98
4.7/5  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.

Bligh's Barleywine Ale from Dry Dock Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 474 ratings.