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Bligh's Barleywine Ale - Dry Dock Brewing Co.

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

422 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 422
Reviews: 108
rAvg: 4.38
pDev: 10.05%
Wants: 548
Gots: 131 | FT: 15
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: 422 | Reviews: 108 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of joshclauss
5/5  rDev +14.2%

joshclauss, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of DividedAvery
5/5  rDev +14.2%

DividedAvery, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of heyta
5/5  rDev +14.2%

heyta, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of biolachris
5/5  rDev +14.2%

biolachris, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of Prospero
5/5  rDev +14.2%
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.

Prospero, Nov 11, 2011
Photo of rye726
4.72/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

With all the hype going around about this beer I thought I'd throw in my two cents. Enjoyed on tap a while back. Pours a dark mahogany with a thin tan head. Nose has oak, whiskey, nice English malts, subtle hops, dark pitted fruits, caramel, toffee and a bit of vanilla.

What I really like about this beer is that it is well balanced. I find that most barrel aged barleywines these days, and stouts for that matter, are way too sweet and have way too much barrel character. This one is quite nice, and still holds a good level of complexity.

Medium to full body is well carbonated, not too thick or cloying. Would like to see a bit more depth in the finish. Should age well for at least a few years, but is drinking pretty well right now.

rye726, Nov 09, 2011
Photo of kkrez
4.93/5  rDev +12.6%
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

kkrez, Nov 08, 2011
Photo of Domingo
4.68/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a khaki color. Looks very murky and hazy, but has more foam than I expected from something this strong (an barrel aged).
The nose has depth in spades. Everything from vanilla and caramel to coconut, bourbon, and brown sugar.
The taste reminds me of homemade caramel. Like sugar melting and releasing sweetness with hints of coconut and vanilla from the wood. Unlike many bourbon barrel aged beers, the whiskey never overpowers or rears its head directly. Instead it enhances the base beer and the wood takes the natural sweetness and gives it new depth. I still can’t get over that caramel character, either. This beer encompasses that flavor more so than any other I’ve had to date.
Even though this is strong and lively, it’s almost too easy to drink and can sneak up on you if you aren’t careful. The bottle I split was gone in no time.
No matter how much this might seem like a local spin on a beer, I truly think this is one of the best barrel aged beers I’ve had lately and maybe one of the best beers I’ve had in a long time. I actually think that a lot of local barrel aged beers have been a bit of a mess (even DD’s own) but this is something special.
I’ve bought a couple more bottles and while I’d love to save them, something tells me they’ll be gone before I know it!

Domingo, Nov 07, 2011
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.

ArrogantB, Nov 05, 2011
Photo of mentor
4.55/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours almost a finger of caramel-brown head over a cloudy red-brown liquid. Smells potent vanilla, raw oak, bourbon, toffee, soured caramel (ie, sherry-like aged oxidation), apple-smoked malt, day-browned crisp-apple skins, pears, and oranges (from hops, I suppose). Near the end of the bottle...something wonderful that I haven't smelled in a long long time; my grandmother's sticky buns. Doughy sweet bread slathered in melted brown sugar and filling the world with secure contentment and comfort.

Tastes wonderful. Rich malts (toffee, soured caramel), nearly cooked dough, dark fruits (fig, brown raisin with a bit of the stem), enticing vanilla, and balancing bourbon and oak. Malt sweet to start is tempered by drying oak and gently cleansing alcohol sting. Caramel apple, cherry, mild chocolate, and a dash of charred wood. I could see some people perceiving the vanilla and char combined together as burnt marshmallow.

Thick in the mouth, though not too heavy. Definitely in the line of sticking dessert beers. Modest carbonation and very drinkable on this cold November evening. Exceptional use of barrel as a flavor in a beer in a time when too many brewers are haphazardly releasing barrel-aged beers with no sense of balance.

The many interesting flavors in this beer are a bit disjointed right now, but could easily come together as something spectacular in the short term (2ish years). More than 2 years and it might become truly ambrosia-like...or a soy-like mess. I hope to pick up a number of bottles so I can find out.

mentor, Nov 03, 2011
Photo of Rochefort10nh
4.75/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

So glad other BAs suggested this beer in a recent thread as I had no idea of it's existence. BA Barleywines encompass some of my favorite beers including MoaS, Arctic Devil, Wooden Hell and Abacus and this beer is right at home in this exalted company.

Bligh's pours a murky, ruddy brown with a very slight collar of quickly fading foam.

The nose is where this beer begins to shine. A deep inhalation brings strong scents of freshly made caramel, vanilla and bourbon char. Further notes of muscovado sugar, maple and cashew can be coaxed with a generous swirl of the glass. A very faint alcohol presence can be detected which carries over to the flavor as well.

The taste continues the smell almost perfectly with caramelized sugars and deep malt flavors coming to the forefront. The sweetness of this beer is spot on as it never becomes cloying but touches all the right notes including toffee, candied pecans and coconut. Fantastic!

Mouthfeel is slightly thin and is the one area that this beer falls short of my favorites. If the carbonation level was increased slightly it would do wonders for this beer.

Overall this a fabulous beer that I will seek out on a regular basis.

Rochefort10nh, Nov 03, 2011
Photo of Knownfactor
4.93/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Bruery Tulip

From the crack of the cap i smell sweet chocolate brownies. Can't wait to get into this one.

A - vigorous pour shows a merky somewhat cloudy brown beer. Very little head which dissipated rather quickly. Beer leaves very little lacing around my glass.

S - there are the brownies again! sweet milk chocolate, Caramel, Vanilla, Oak, and Whiskey dominate the nose of this one. you get a bit of alcohol peeking through also but its hidden very well. Smells delicious!

T - up front rich whiskey fused with caramel and vanilla as it melts over my tongue i pick up the malt sweetness and a bit of dark fruits, chocolate, and oak. Finish is barely dry but extremely smooth with very little alcohol present. Awesome!

M - Mouthfeel is absolutely perfect. Light to medium bodied, smooth, silky, finishes really nice and leaves a lingering sweet vanilla taste in my mouth

O - Overall this is probably one of the best beers ive had all year. We put this up against 09' Moas recently at a tasting and it blew it out of the water. Really smooth tons of flavor from start to finish and beyond, really complex beer. It sucks that Stranahan's barrels will no longer be used because Dry Dock really nailed this one.

Knownfactor, Nov 02, 2011
Photo of claytong
4.75/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance - beautiful autumn brown. lots of colors there, good half inch head with great retention and lacing.

smell - whisky, heat, vanilla, oak, dark malts, brown malts.

taste - stranahans whiskey, vanilla, oak, nice malts, exceptional

mouthfeel - only fault here is minor cloying otherwise thick, good carbonation and wonderful

overall - only question is the aging. can this last years and keep up with this? i dont know, but its fucking awesome right now

claytong, Oct 26, 2011
Photo of emmasdad
4.7/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Dan for sharing the other night. Poured a dark reddish amber color with a nice tan head. Big boozy aromas, malt, oak, bourbon and caramel. On the palate, this one was full bodied and went down entirely too easy for 10%. Flavors of oak, sweet malt, bourbon and caramel. ™

emmasdad, Oct 26, 2011
Photo of stabzmcgee
4.83/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance was pleasant. Nice burgundy brown color. Aroma is sweet and of toffee, caramel. Taste was of vanilla, coconut and sweet pang of caramel. the mouthfeel was exceptional with a sweetness from the alcohol and barrel aging, along with a nice oily texture that went wonderfully with the paired caramel apple cheescake I had with it. Overall, Very impressive.

stabzmcgee, Oct 24, 2011
Photo of Schmittymack
4.43/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Shared a bomber of this Saturday night. Poured a brownish color with a small head. Aromas of toffee, caramel, and booze. Taste was wonderful: vanilla, caramel, toffee, and a little heat from the higher alcohol. Mouthfeel was just about perfect: lightly carbonated, very smooth across the tongue, and no bitterness at the end. This one is a great job by Dry Dock; I will have to seek out more of this!

Schmittymack, Oct 24, 2011
Photo of RSchaeffer
4.6/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Review #22
22oz into snifter

Bottle provided by the generous Bardwashrind, thanks André.

A - Pours mahogany in color with ruby highlights. Thin off-white colored head that quickly dissipates, leaving a faint ring around the glass.

S - I love the nose on this one. Notes of bourbon, toffee, and vanilla. A bit of heat, but surprisingly balanced, I expected more alcohol given this was just released but not so.

T - Follows the nose, toffee, dark fruits, vanilla, and bourbon. As I work my way through the bottle, some heat comes through, but it's quite warming and I enjoy it.

M - Low to medium carbonation, coats the mouth, providing a lingering finish that lets you tease apart the notes.

O - If I lived in Colorado I would have bought a case of this when it was released. Hell, I don't live in Colorado and will do my best to acquire one anyway. This is a great barrel-aged barleywine. I honestly liked this better than MoaS and Abacus, can't speak to others...yet. Seek this out if you can. Great job Dry Dock, you should be proud of this one.

RSchaeffer, Oct 16, 2011
Photo of karlbronson
4.93/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I have to echo how good this beer is. Being that time of year, I have had quite a few barrel aged beers recently and this one has to be at the top of the list. I am very impressed how well put together and well balanced it is. It drinks exceptionally well now and I have a feeling it will get better with time. I am definitely putting a few of these back.

For me, the nose was dominated by caramel, toffee and vanilla. There is bourbon in the nose, but it isn't as powerful as with some of the others I've had recently. Don't let your guard down though. Although the bourbon isn't that strong on the nose, it definitely comes through on the taste. The taste is as the nose suggests. It's all in there. The flavors are well layered and nicely balanced. Very complex with a lot going on. All of this transitions to a long lingering finish that allows you to sit back and enjoy the many layers in this beer. The carbonation is on the low side, but this fits the style and barrel treatment. No complaints on that here.

This beer is very satisfying. Dry Dock did an excellent job of capturing the best qualities that the barrels had to offer. The balance and thick layers of flavors and smells makes this one of the best barrel aged beers that I have had in quite some time.

karlbronson, Oct 13, 2011
Photo of holden303
4.83/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into a tulip at 57.5 degrees F.

A: pours an opaque deep brown with a twinge of amber hue, half a cm of off-white lacing surrounds the glass.

S: bourbon, caramel, toffee, vanilla, oak, a touch of booze, really a lovely harmony of scents coming off this one.

T: toffee, figs, candied sugar, dark fruit, vanilla, bourbon it has a nice amount of sweetness.

M: very low carbonation which i like although it is a tad thin. maybe due to the barrel treatment and aroma i'm expecting this to drink like bcbs as it smells rather similar but for the style the viscosity doesn't take away from the beer.

O: perhaps one of the best beers i've had all year, by far the best barleywine i've ever had (usually not a fan of the style) this offering from dry dock is truly supreme. with only 1200 bottles of this and stranahans discontinuing their offerings of barrels to anyone but breckenridge, despite my potential homerism i think any bourbon bal fan and/or barleywine fan NEEDS to try this beer!

holden303, Oct 13, 2011
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!

StonedTrippin, Oct 12, 2011
Photo of RuckusDu
4.85/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - small mocha colored head. Quickly dissipates. Dark rust body which you would expect.

S - Very strong sweet bourbon. Some caramel notes. Smells like candy aged in whiskey barrels. A little boozy.

T - Slow to show itself. Alcohol is present but tastes normal with bourbon flavor. Again some caramel and other candied flavors. A few more years and this could be amazing.

M - light and smooth. A bit over carbonated.

O - Would like to see how this is in a couple years. Just bought this tonight and wanted to see if it is worth getting more to age. Fairly pricey, but one of the best barleywines I have had in a while. I was hesitant when I read it was a BW as this is not my favorite style, but the aging in whiskey barrels really helps.

Update - had this again last night. It is really coming along nicely. 8 months has helped smooth this beer out and it is now magical.

RuckusDu, Oct 11, 2011
Photo of waltonc
4.6/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours dark brown without a great deal of head. Smell is as advertised - toffee, bourbon, vanilla, coconut. All of the usual traits of a nice ba barleywine. Tastes great - with those same qualities as the smell, along with a subtle baked apple note that works well here. Body is thick, with low/medium carbonation that is just right. Overall, an excellent bourbon barrel barleywine. I have historically been critical of Colorado offerings, which I often find to be mediocre. But I'd put this up there with MoaS, Abacus, Royal Oil, and Arctic Devil. Barrel-aged barleywines are my favorite style, so take my review with a grain of salt if you're not as big a fan of this style.

My only complaint is that this should be in 12 ounce bottles rather than just bombers. 12 ounces is just right and it's silly to force people to open more at one time. If I'm with friends and sharing, I can easily just open a second 12 ounce bottle. But if drinking by myself, I'd love to just drink a 12 ounce bottle on a week night.

waltonc, Oct 08, 2011
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Bligh's Barleywine Ale from Dry Dock Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 422 ratings.