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Dick's Barley Wine - Dick's Brewing Company

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Dick's Barley WineDick's Barley Wine

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73 Ratings
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Ratings: 73
Reviews: 60
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 13.9%
Wants: 4
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Dick's Brewing Company visit their website
Washington, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: 49degrees on 04-25-2003

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 73 | Reviews: 60
Reviews by 49degrees:
Photo of 49degrees
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dick’s Barley Wine is one of the newest offerings from this growing brewery from Centralia, Washington. Situated roughly 60 miles south of Seattle, Washington, or about the mid-way point between Seattle and Portland, Oregon, Dick’s has quickly garnered a fairly decent following amongst beer drinkers throughout the Pacific Northwest. Perhaps best known for some of its over the top hoppy ales, they venture down the popular Barley Wine road with this newbie offering – available in both 12oz bottles and 750ml bombers – but in doing so, add a new twist on the age old genre.

I’ve been drinking plenty of Barley Wine over the past several months and find Dick’s to be amongst the lightest in the hop arena. Although there is considerable hop factor, particular for those who aren’t “Hop Heads,” it pales considerably in the hop department. Dick’s IPA is known for its hops, and yet their Barley Wine – a style known for high hop counts – really isn’t over the top as one might expect. Having said that, where it misses in the hop factor, it makes up for in overall taste and enjoyment. Dick’s Barley Wine is very drinkable (carefully), but with its 10%abv, is quite unassuming at first. It seems to pack a little extra alcohol punch in comparison to similar 10%abv brews (eg. anything from Hair Of The Dog).

Pours a deep ruby red color, minimal head but a strong high collar and plenty of lacing (lots of lacing in comparison to most Barley Wines). Ever so slightly cloudy with very fine suspended particulate, it is relatively clear for the style.

As for this Barley Wine’s aroma, there’s plenty of malty sweetness packed in this bouquet. Toffee/Caramel sweetness, pungent orange accents, a slight hint of wheat (ala Hefeweizens) and a even a slighty nutty essence like many brown ales.

Taste wise, this one follows the aroma extremely well. The bigger the sip, the more malty the effect, the smaller the sip the more the tingly hoppy characteristics come through. This is still a hoppy brew, but in comparison to some of its counterparts in the marketplace right now, this one is considerably less hoppy than most Barley Wines. Interestingly enough there’s a fair amount of wheat texture and flavor coming through on each sip. The brew claims to use a malted wheat in the rendition, which would equate for that characteristic.

An enjoyable brew any way you slice it. Prost!!

[ STATS:>> 12 oz bottle / ABV: 10.0% / PRICE: $ 2.19 USD ]

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.99/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass a clear bronze color with a thin wispy head that is gone in a flash,love the aromas a real left coast piney hop presence shows itself,pine mixed with dark fruit and caramel with a spike of alcohol thrown in.Very warming as it goes down quite sweet with brown sugar being the dominant flavor component with notes of carrmel and dark fruit as well, a hit of resiny,piney hop comes thru late.The alcohol begins to creep after a bit it would no doubt be a one and done for me,all in all a solid barley wine with a decent hop profile,a good one to drown out todays SC beat down of my maize and blue.

Photo of RoyalT
4.15/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Brownish-orange body with a gigantic head that went down slowly and laced the glass.

Smell – This one stank up the room. I opened this in the kitchen and my wife, packing for an out-of-town business trip in the bedroom, yelled out, “What stinks out there?” She is not a big barley wine fan, but I appreciated the gigantic aromas of toasted malt, heavy fruit, and sugary sweets. The alcohol came out in force as well.

Taste – This one was a little lighter on the tongue, but still a contender. The toasted malt flavor came out first and was very pleasant. This was soon accompanied by deep, dark, sugar fruits. Put some dates, raisins, plums, apricots, Rainier cherries, and a few tablespoons of sugar in a blender, hit, “frappe,” and there you have it. Oh, and don’t forget enormous amounts of alcohol.

Mouthfeel – No carbonation to speak of. This is full, full, full in the cheeks.

Drinkability – A good barley wine that can hold it’s own with the best of ‘em. It wasn’t overpowering so went down well.

Update – I originally reviewed this in 2003 and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to dig into this 2005 vintage. It is amazingly similar to the one I had two years ago, with maybe a bit more booze. A class act and good-drinking ABW.

Update – The 2006 vintage, which I had fresh, loses a lot of the booze (I think the ABV has actually been lowered from the 10% of previous generations) and the malts are less prominent. Those fruity sugars, especially apricots and plums, carry the day and that’s all right with me.

Photo of NWer
3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice head for a high abv barleywine.
Settles nicely in my chalice. Nice dark appearance.
Taste is good enough but not mindblowing. Rather pedestrian for a barleywine, and given that it's one of my favorite styles, I have high expectations.
This is a good enough beer that is worth drinking when the price is right but I wouldn't go out of my way to seek it out.

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle...part of the shwag I brought home from Seattle last month (have I mentioned that BottleWorks kicks some serious ass?).

In my Duvel snifter, this one pours a color nearly identical to apple cider. Immensely hazy, with a wafer-thin layer of tan-colored lace. Micro-bubbles of lace on the glass.

Aromas have many dark fruit notes here. Some figs, grapes, plums, raisins, maybe a dash of black raspberry? Beefy malt backbone supports this fruit medley. Notes of grassy-earthen hops awash in a sea of candied sugar.

Flavors see a boost in the malt sweetness department versus the aroma. Initial sweetness is edged out in the middle by the dark fruit juices. Finish sees a dash of ABV warmth on the palate, ending with a surprisingly dry and earthy finish.

Slick on the palate, low levels of carbonation. Very pleasing during the entire tasting profile. Nothing out of whack or funky. Very well-balanced. My read is a good one. I'd hit this one again for sure.

Photo of IntriqKen
4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pretty...this is exactly what a barleywine is supposed to look like. Dark amber that allows only a hint of light through to show the red of it's soul. Nice white head that melts rather quickly to a top capping lacing.
Aromas are dark sweet candied fruits and pure alcohol. The ABV sure isn't hidden in the aroma...it is right there to greet you. But the dark fruits really soften the blow and mellow everything out.
(PS...let it warm and the alcohol disappears completely from the aroma)
Flavors are definately barleywine dark candied fruits...raisins, plums, prunes, caramel and brown sugar. Alcohol really only makes itself known when you swallow as a gentle spreading warmth.
Nice, nice barleywine. Today is November 10th...time for winter to begin...Dick's is a wonderful way to welome it.
Thank you skyhand for this wonderful Barleywine...my first of the season.

Photo of mdaschaf
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of russpowell
4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours chestnut with 1 finger of sand colored head. Above average head retention & average lacing

S: Slight bready & piney notes, not much else

T: Pineyness, some breadyness & fruityness ( a mix of dates, apricots & peaches ) up front. Slight boozeyness, some cherry stones, dryness & oaky vanilla, some smokeyness, toffee& leafy, plus piney hops as this warms. Finishes with tangerine fruittyness, boozey dryness& Madeira notes & pralines, damn near pulled a 5.0

MF: Chewy with good balance & low carbonation, pretty warming

Drank pretty good for the style & ABV & complexity , went down well on a raw April night in Colorado. A pretty righteous American Barley Wine!

Photo of Kevlee722
4/5  rDev +7%

Photo of akorsak
3.78/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A 12 oz bottle purchased at Liquid Solutions.

A: The barleywine is a dark tawny red color with a small spot of head floating in the middle of the glass.

S: The nose is very sweet caramel malts. I also detect some buttery, bourbon corn notes, although this is not barrel-aged in any manner.

T: The barleywine does not disappoint flavorwise. Hop-wise, it is more of an English barley wine focusing on the malts. Those malts are sweet and cereally and readily support a big warming alcohol element. There are hops here that come out later in the sip, providing a jumpy bitterness that lasts in the mouth. That finish also includes a cough medicine-like taste that seems to be malt-driven.

M: The mouthfeel has a strange medicinal finish but beyond that, this is a good barleywine.

D: This is a whopper at 10%, but one bottle makes for a very enjoyable nightcap.

Photo of CRJMellor
4.32/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a caramel bronw with orange twinges and a big bubbled off-white head and lots of lace.
Aroma is full of roasted caramel, brown sugar, grain alcohol and some floral hop bitterings.
Flavor is a great mix of sticky, chewy malts and dark fruits on a bed of tangy and sharply bitter hops and toss in some grain alcohol and you have this puppy. Well balanced and actually sort of refrshing in a way.
Mouthfeel is full bodied, only thing lacking is a little more carbonation. Fully palate coating and extremly well balanced. Alcholic notes tend to really become a bit too exposed as it warmed in the glass.
Drinkability is excellent. Classic PacNW BW in my opinion. Very approachable and wouldn't frighten away a novice to barleywines.

Photo of Docer
1.64/5  rDev -56.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Snagged a 6-pack of this at a whole foods here. Nice to see a barleywine in a 6-pack and in smaller bottles. 2nd bottle from the 6-pack. The first I had last night was absolutely terrible.. funky, and wasn't even close to 9.9% alc. by volume. Hope this goes better...

- Nice dark rich clear copper brown with an off-white finger of head quickly down to a creamy thin layer and a large ring of lace. It's pretty at least.

- Grainy, bready.. light alcohol.. smells rather green though.. perhaps not fermented long enough. Light grassy hop, more caramel malt than anything... rather green and weak.

- Tart and green... this beer is infected, green.. pulled too early.. or something.. Aceto infection... it's pretty bad.

- Light to medium bodied.. though my beer is shot.

- Foul, sour, funky.. infected. Like my first homebrew. I had to pour it out, and toss the rest of the 6-pack. I wrote the brewery.,

Photo of charlesw
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Straight up on the 4s, me lads! A very decent beer and HS was the price ever right! Dang! Very decent... I'd drink this every day. And a bottle at a time (12oz, thank you) that would go over fine. Not outstanding, but very decent. Good overall balance, sweetness, bitterness, body, color, head, aroma... Really, I can't insist enough, this is a very decent beer. To be awesome in the category I'd probably like a bit more body, a bit more bitterness, a bit more opacity. But, really, I'm liking this and the value is incredible!

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Round 2 of "Galt's Broke Cellar Diving Project" continues tonight.. Picked this up at Belmont Station the last time I was in Portland.

Poured 1/2 the bottle into my Delirium goblet... Nearly no head develops... a 1/4" develops with a nice swirl.. no cap.. only spots of lace.. the brew is a deep mahogany with ruby highlites.

Nose is dominated by toasty malts and thick caramel... only hints of American citrus hops really show... a bit of roasted malt show as it warms up.

Flavor is much more akin to an English BW than a standard PNW BW in my mind.. malts are the main player with hoppy bitterness at the front and only a tad of citrus/pine mid palate.. finish lingers with some fruity esters and caramel...

Body is lighter than most .... carbonation seems about right.

Pretty descent BW... I would buy it if I could ... would be good for a nice cheap BW fix.


Photo of metter98
4.07/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark reddish-amber color
Smell: Aromas of raisins and hops, but not very overpowering
Taste: Hint of malty sweetness with some fruit and caramel flavors
Mouthfeel: Medium body and carbonation. Seemed a bit sour for this style of beer.
Drinkability: Surprisingly easy to drink for a barley wine

Photo of VoodooBrew
4.08/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I can't believe the name of this beer. I am offended.

Slight particulate appears in the body of this hazy brew, with a subdued aroma wafting up. The palate shows soft fruit, with hints of banana and clove-- not big and Hefeweizen-like mind you but definitely there. A sweetness caresses the palate but doesn't coat it or become cloying. Perfectly drinkable and enjoyable.

Photo of geographie
2.16/5  rDev -42.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

8oz. snifter.

mild psst upon opening. Very clear copper colored brew pours with minimal head formation. Head doesn't stick around, in both senses. Smell is yeasty, carbon dioxide-y, mild malts, and fruity - think juicy juice. Very fine bubbles form on the edges of the glass.

whoa. taste is bitter the whole way through. The flavor is very sharp on the palate - Yeast very present, although unfortunately so. The sweet, complex malty front is almost entirely missing on this barleywine. On the other hand, the 10 percent abv is well masked. Flavor improves a little with warmth.

Mouthfeel is nice, the superfine carbonation lends to a nice coating around the mouth, not too syrupy at all - the beer lingers just long enough, now if only the flavor was worth it!

Personally the beer makes me a little sick. I appreciate the solid craftsmanship, excellent presentation, etc - this just isn't one of those fireside brews you want to cherish all night. Not a beer i'd have more than one a night, or year for that matter.

Photo of nsabo
2.75/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Thin, oily mouth; not a very syrupy, heavily malted barleywine like I prefer. Despite its oily mouthfeel, this finishes dry. I taste piney hops, a faint but lingering Belgian yeast taste, and some caramel. Fairly carbonated. Awesome to find a barleywine in a 6 pack, but this is a forgettable example of the style.
This is the third beer I’ve had from this brewery and I have yet to be impressed. Both their beers and artwork are redolent of a homebrewer who is still trying to figure things out, but is happy to share the product with others in the meantime.

Photo of ptarmigan98
4/5  rDev +7%

Photo of david18
3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On the rotating tap at Amsterdam Ales House in New York City. This beer is a little darker and maltier than I wanted it to be. Very dark in color with a lot of dark fruit flavor and aroma.

Not enough hops for my taste and the alcohol was a little strong tasting. In general, if you're on the east coast, it's worthing trying if you see it. Not my favorite Barleywine, however.

Photo of Smurf2055
3.37/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Part of a four way blind tasting of barleywine.

Pours a dark copper color with minimal head and decent carbonation.

Smell is spicy, kind of like a winter warmer. Red fruit smell.

Taste is pretty fruity, and more hopped, but it was a pretty one-dimensional barley wine. Weakest of the four.

Photo of beerceller99
4.27/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle. Has a dark amber - reddish hue. The slight white head fades quickly. Smells bready, yeasty, with raisons. Medium bodied, lightly carbonated with a smooth mouthfeel, very nice.
Malty flavors of dried figs, raisons predominate. Finishes with a sweet alcohol taste on the breath.
Very smooth and easy drinking for a 10% Barleywine

Photo of faernt
4.11/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This bottle is from May 2003. I bought it at Bottleworks in Seattle. I long ago drank the others I bought then. I recall I thought enough of them to save this last one. Here we go.

It pours with a slight hiss and skimmy head. The color is dark rust. It looks like rust; clear rust. The sediment in the bottle showed up as I poured and I stopped to drink it instead of pouring it into the glass. It was slightly bitter, with a taste of sweetness.

The nose is English and the taste is all blended together with an aftertaste of slight sweetness. This is a balanced beer. It continues to taste "English" to me. I mean that no individual component jumps out. It means that the flavors do not separate and offer one flavor over another. It remains balanced and integrated. I applaud Dick's for an offering that is respectful.

Photo of sulldaddy
3.99/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I am sampling a 12 oz bottle in a snifter at room temp. The brew comes to me courtesy of Mickey. Thanks!
The beer pours a slightly hazy mahogany color with some ruby red highlights. A small fizzy beige head foams up about 1 cm and fades quickly to an edge layer.
Aroma is big and fruity. I get some raisins, red grapes and fig newton smells. There is also a bit of brown sugar and molasses in there with a hint of warm alcohol too. As the beer breathes I also get some biscuity yeast.
First sip reveals a smooth body with a bit of syrupyness to the texture. The carbonation is very mild and gently rolls across my palate. Flavor starts off pretty sweet and again some dark fruit, red grapes and raisins mostly. I get a bit of bitter at the finish, but this is a precursor to some warming alcohol booziness from my throat to belly. I believe the bitterness is alcohol related. It is not unappealing just a bit bitey.
Overall this is a pretty tasty and interesting beer. I would try it again and if you like barleywines more on the sweeter side with low hop profiles this is one you should try for sure!
Thanks Mickey!!

Photo of jdhilt
3.96/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a four finger light tan head that fades slowly leaving tons of lace. Clear amber color. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Malty nose. Flavor sweetish caramel and brown sugar balanced by hops, slight bitter aftertaste. High ABV is hidden. $1.60 for a 12oz bottle from Liquid Solutions Tigard, Or.

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Dick's Barley Wine from Dick's Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 73 ratings.