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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.

459 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 459
Reviews: 110
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 10.78%
Wants: 547
Gots: 140 | FT: 18
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: 459 | Reviews: 110 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of HopHead84
4/5  rDev -8.3%
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.

Photo of sideshowe
5/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of HopStoopid120
5/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of McNuts
5/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of session1979
5/5  rDev +14.7%

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

thanks to daniloknezic for this beer! I have really wanted to try this one since he told me about it!

poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance: brownish orange bodied beer with a thin cap of tan colored head.

Smell: Big caramel, butterscotch, vanilla, and oaky bourbon! smells great! Nothing that really unique, but the beer smells just like a great barrel aged barleywine should smell.

Taste: Caramel notes are big and the barrel is shown off well in this beer! The vanilla, oak, and bourbon seem to effortlessly blend together with a nice malty beer. Also getting figs, raisins, and toffee.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with carbonation thats at the low end of moderate. The beer has superb balance, nice complexity, super smooth, and carbonation is right on. This beer is also really drinkable for the style, at 10% there is practally no detectable alcohol presence.

Overall: YES! Dry Dock does this beer style really well. Its in the same class as FSW Abacus! I found myself sipping and savoring this beer. Do not pass this beer up, it is phenomenal!

Photo of woosterbill
4.47/5  rDev +2.5%
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.


Photo of mulder1010
3.63/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber poured into a Great Divide tulip (blatant homerism)

Thanks to Phillyswear for the bottle

A-- Poured and settled a dark cola color. Lots of ruby tints when shown to light. Active carbonation on pouring but not much in the head department. Decent ringed light brown collar, but really at best a short lived light brown film. Not much more really on swirling the beer.

S-- Fig, Carmel, Oak, Vanilla, Coconut and slight bits of alcohol. Reminds me a bit of a dessert here in Australia called sticky date pudding. Just softer in the nose than I expected, or hoped.

T-- Rich Carmel, Fig, Vanilla, and coconut. Alcohol much more noticeable in the taste.

M-- Slightly higher carbed than I would want but it does work. Higher medium bodied. Flavors stay pretty consistent all the way through on this. Just slight bits of tannins here and there but this also a bit boozy in the finish. Drinks bigger than what is is.

O-- Good beer. Not great. A little hot and much preferred the taste and feel as opposed to the soft nose with this. Reminds me a lot of a sherry and this this will develop into something really good as it feels bigger than what it currently is.

Photo of IrishColonial
4/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of Rhettroactive
3.98/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

Photo of Urbancaver
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of jfstilling
5/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of MasterSki
3.9/5  rDev -10.6%
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+.

Photo of JAHMUR
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of Bitterbill
4.78/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of jrallen34
3.43/5  rDev -21.3%
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

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

A: velvety cloudy mahogany color. thin head that keeps a small cap

S: as i poured the beer the smell had a lovely vanilla wood woft before it even came close to my nose. really nice whiskey caramel characters with hardly any alcohol tones.

T: since its been aged for 7 months, the hops have trouble standing up against the whiskey barrel. the good thing about that though is that its very well balanced. whiskey is there but doesnt overpower that back sweetness. good toffee dark fruit notes in there

M: just that hint of carbonation thats needed for this style i feel. has a nice creamy feel that has the flavors stick around for a while after wach sip.

O: while the beer is quite good and fits the style the way it should and it had a lovely balance, there isnt anything that screams world class to me. Its a very well made beer though. nothing wrong with it, just nothing that punches me in the face. its like your best employee thats always quite which you never worry about but never moves up because their always in the background

Photo of buffs9
4.93/5  rDev +13.1%
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 Khazadum
5/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of cherryboyz
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of Azurescens
4.4/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle 2011 batch poured into snifter, reviewed on 11/20/11.

A: Pours a dark amber-brown with light tan head that dissipates fairly quickly to leave a bit of lacing around glass.

S: Sweet caramel malt with lots of fruit and oak. Distinct wine notes, with some whiskey and a bit of alcohol. The toffee and vanilla I typically associate with a barrel aged barleywine are present but very subdued. Significantly more vinous than I was expecting but it works fairly well in this case.

T: Velvety smooth dark malt with lots of ripe fruit, plums and raisins in particular. Some oak and caramel notes with next to no detectable heat. The wine notes are not as present as in the aroma but definitely play a part in the flavor. Nice lingering taste of dark fruit, wine and oak.

M: Smooth and creamy medium-full body with low-moderate carbonation and sweet finish.

O: Very solid barleywine, just tried it for the first time right after having a Mother of all Storms, and while this is good, I definitely prefer the MoaS. Great sipping beer packed full of flavor.

Photo of mfield14
5/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of gford217
4.7/5  rDev +7.8%
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.

Photo of xpimptastikx
4.43/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sent to me from the most gracious person in Denver.

Pop the cap and you can smell a big boozy malt bomb.
Pours a chestnut with thin sheet of khaki head. Leaves a few spots. Smells like a good bourbon, vanilla and oak with raisins and caramel in the backround. Taste is malt forward, burnt brown sugar, molasses, oak, dark fruits, and some alcohol. Light carbonation works well. A very good BA Barleywine that stands up their with all of the others.

Bligh's Barleywine Ale from Dry Dock Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 459 ratings.