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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 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 jmarsh123


3.93/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to d4radio for the bottle!

Pours a cloudy murky caramel brown with just a small ring of off-white head.

Aroma is definitely sweet. Whiskey, oak, vanilla, molasses and toffee all come through.

Malts again at the forefront of the flavor. Definitely can tell this is the style from across the pond. Loads of sweet caramel with vanilla, oak, raisins and a slight undertone of whiskey. Whiskey is just a touch hot.

Thick and luscious mouthfeel. Got a tad cloying at times, but in general did a good job of hiding the alcohol and keeping sweetness in check.

I love me some barleywine and this one is a good one. Not sure what whiskey was used for this, but it's one of the better ones I've had. It compliments the base beer instead of overpowering it even at a young age.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2012 22:14:09 | More by jmarsh123
Photo of oline73


4.38/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

We opened this at the tasting this weekend. Poured into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy reddish mahogany color with some light coming through at the edges. There is a layer of off white head that fades to a ring.

Smell: This one is quite sweet and malt, can definitely tell it's an English Barleywine. Caramel and dark fruit with some vanilla and bourbon.

Taste: This is a very sweet beer, but not cloying. Raisins, caramel, and vanilla from the barrels. The bourbon is smooth but the overall finish if the beer is a bit hot.

Mouthfeel: Thick and syrupy body with mild carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: This is a really good barleywine. I love caramel and bourbon, so this is right up my alley. I have another bottle that I'll sit on for a while and see what happens with some time.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2012 03:16:29 | More by oline73
Photo of spdyfire83


4.58/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

108th Review
Bottle to snifter

From notes. Enjoyed several times, but I finally decided to keep track of my thoughts while sharing with bspringer and mtep13 before flying to Ireland.

A: Murky, medium brown. Barely a quarter (off-white/tan) fingernail head on medium pour.

S: Sweet caramel, butterscotch, and toffee with inviting hints of vanilla, oak, and brown sugar. Pronounced oak character as well. Oh so delightful!

T: Much like the smell, but the whiskey barrels come thru a lot. Booze is not too over-bearing, but it warms your insides quite a bit. Soothing.

M: Full bodied with low carbonation. Just perfect!

O: Of so nice and just about everything I want in a barleywine - intense, complex, and smooth! I think this beer will only get better with age, but time will tell. The various layers compliment each other so well and Dry Dock did a masterful job here.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2012 17:36:52 | More by spdyfire83
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 JayS2629


4.45/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a murky brown with no head or lacing, but carbonation within the beer is fine. Its got legs like a wine.

The aroma is amazing and complex. A full, rich toffee backone with vanilla and conconut, bourbon, oak, and dark fruit. Loads of caramel.

The flavor is also amazing and complex following the nose with coconut, oak, bourbon, vanilla and sweet toffee and caramel. Dark fruit notes of plum, cherry and raisin with a spicy hop finish keeping it balanced and not cloying. Chocolate and coffee hints appear as it warms.

Very warming with a soft burn in the finish. Medium body and smooth.

Absolutely amazing sipper. Share this one.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2012 23:01:33 | More by JayS2629
Photo of RodneyX


3.25/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours nicely with a good head and some lace. Smell is like bread, kind of strange. There is too much heat on this one at 10% and the wood is harsh, makes it hard to drink a lot of it. This was okay but I don't know why it is getting the ratings it is.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2012 18:27:17 | More by RodneyX
Photo of Reagan1984


4.97/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Well, I am thankful to have a friend in Denver that sent me a couple of these. As it turns out, I am not being so original betting on the BA Aged BW kick… They are so good though. Perfect for winter.

Even with an aggressive pour no more than a ¼ inch of tan foam forms and then fades rather quickly. A spot or two of lace, but not much. (more than most barley wines actually) Color is more of a leather brown color with only a touch of the burgundy that is usually present in the style. I like the color.

Aroma if your first hint that this is going to be special. Vanilla, brown sugar and coconut. Then some sweet (chewy…yes I just described an aroma as chewy) caramel… (this is going to be a 5)

Caramel, brown sugar, vanilla, caramel, brown sugar, vanilla. Repeat. Smooth bourbon… caramel in the finish. The balance here is unreal. Wow, believe the hype. I am trying to communicate that there is a lot of complexity while there is total balance and harmony. Not sure there are other flavor components, but the melding of these is unreal. Now and again the wood come through below the surface. Love this.

Velvet like and silky. A touch of carbonation to bring the flavor to life.

I’ve opened some bottles that were hyped and been really let down. And I’ve open hyped bottles and tried to get up front on the band wagon. I am driving the bus on this one. This is a great beer. How dare they claim to only make this beer once? Seriously….. make this again and again. Awesome.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2012 22:49:06 | More by Reagan1984
Photo of sweemzander


4.65/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22oz. bottle poured into a snifter. Big thanks to Matt for sharing! 2011 vintage.

(A)- Pours a pretty dark chestnut color. Some tan froth.

(S)- A lovely rich profile of roasted caramel, fig, toffee, and subtle raisin. Some awesome woody barrel notes too.

(T)- Very similar to the smell. An array of richness to it. Roasted caramel and oak. Toffee and fig/raisin. Subtle, yet great barrel characters.

(M)- A smooth and mellow carbonation level. A great balance too with an even better ABV integration. This drinks like pure silk while maintaining a nice richness and barrel characters.

(D)- An excellent English Barleywine that deserves plenty of praise. A top tier example and dangerously drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2012 19:26:31 | More by sweemzander
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 potbeercollege


4.4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've been drinking the shit out of this for the last few months and honestly i must be missing the hype because it is a solid, but slightly above average BA barleywine. I do still keep going back to it though...Pours murky dark brown, big molasses/dark caramel action in both nose and taste. Very sweet, not lots of barrel character, stranahan barrel plays more of a support role which i like in a BA barley (too many have overwhelming whiskey character IMO). Chewy mouthfeel.

Its funny to me how some beers become so hyped, most people who want this beer have never tried Dry Dock staples but for whatever reason they are obsessed with attaining this beer. I;m certainly guilty of doing the same with other breweries but to me the hype surronding this beer is particularly unfounded and seemingly random. The hype train needs to slow down a little bit, but undeniably a great beer. Wish i had more, but its all out now.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2011 01:33:48 | More by potbeercollege
Photo of billshmeinke


4.13/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark amber/brown color. Half a finger of off white head. Great lacing and retention.

Smells of caramel, oak, vanilla, brown sugar.

Taste follows smell. Caramel, toffee, some brown sugar, oak, vanilla, some ripe berry notes and cloves on the finish.

Mouthfeel is a touch thin for the style. Low carbonation. Pretty sticky.

Pretty solid, but I definitely wouldn't trade for it again. Not to say that I don't think it was worth trading for the first time. Worth trading for a bottle if you really like BA barleywines.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2011 00:15:08 | More by billshmeinke
Photo of kscaldef


4.47/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to RuckusDu for the trade

Pours ruddy brown, whisps of cocoa head. Big whisky nose, followed by brown sugar and dates; bit of plum and cherry as it warms. Lots of molasses in the taste, vanilla, mild oak. Just the right amount of sweetness, good linger but not sticky. Very drinkable 10%.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2011 04:36:23 | More by kscaldef
Photo of yourefragile

District of Columbia

4.15/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Shared by sideshowe at the Rosso release and by thorpe last night. 22 oz 2011 bottle.

Pours a murky dark brown with a thin tan head. Boozy, earthy aroma with a strong barrel presence. Strong caramel and toasted malt, vanilla, whiskey, and oak. Medium thick, chewy body with strong strong carbonation and a hot alcohol finish. Whiskey, vanilla, coconut, dry oak and raisin dominate the flavor. This is a nice take on the style, but the body is a little odd and it is very barrel forward this fresh. Sampling this immediately after King Henry amplified these flaws, but regardless this is well worth trying.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2011 01:47:39 | More by yourefragile
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 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 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 Gtreid


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

750 ml. bottle thanks to boatshoes via the Double barrel shotgun BIF. Poured into my Founder's tulip.

A: Murky, brownish apple cider color. A minimal head popped up after the pour and quickly faded to a thin collar.

A: This is a caramel bomb! Caramel is forward, but there are also great notes of oak and buorbon barrel. Vanilla, toffee, and some light earthy hop scents round out the nose.

T: Pretty much follows the nose. Huge caramel notes, vanilla, toffee, bourbon, and oak. The beer finishes sweet with a noticable alcohol heat.

M: A touch light on the carbonation, so it becomes a bit oily. Heavy body.

O: I really enjoyed this beer. The barrel does a nice job of complimenting the base brew without taking over. If you like caramel, this is the beer for you. Cheers.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2011 13:18:05 | More by Gtreid
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 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 Centennial


4.58/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bomber into snifter.

A. Reddish brown, on the clearer side with a small head of foam around the rim.

S. Vanilla, Charred Bourbon and caramel. Very Sweet and inviting.

T. Caramel and Maple is subdued by charred oak and a dry tobacco laced bourbon flavor. This finished is excellent as the alcohol is completely hidden.

M. Smooth with mild carbonation which is perfect for this beer.

O. This is excellent, it might be the top barrel aged barley wine to date for me.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2011 05:16:02 | More by Centennial
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 4DAloveofSTOUT


4.48/5  rDev +2.3%
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!

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2011 20:00:47 | More by 4DAloveofSTOUT
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 mulder1010


3.63/5  rDev -17.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2011 13:32:30 | More by mulder1010
Bligh's Barleywine Ale from Dry Dock Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 358 ratings.