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Dick's Barley Wine - Dick's Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Dick's Barley WineDick's Barley Wine

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

73 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 73
Reviews: 60
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 14.21%
Wants: 3
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: 49degrees on 04-25-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 73 | Reviews: 60 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of metter98
4.08/5  rDev +9.4%
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

metter98, Mar 14, 2010
Photo of snaotheus
3.4/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a pint glass

Pours thick like molasses, very little head, deep dingy brown-gray in color. Smell is rich and full of alcohol, lots of malty thickness, some licorice.

Taste is a little sweet and strangely hollow, a little dirty dishwater taste, strong alcohol taste, but surprisingly not astringent. Licorice and a mild bitterness come through.

Mouthfeel is flattish and somewhat thin. More drinkable than I would have expected based on the rest of my description, mostly because the sweetness is offset by the alcohol.

snaotheus, Feb 26, 2010
Photo of david18
3.53/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

david18, Jan 11, 2010
Photo of JohnGalt1
3.83/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

3.5/3.5/4/3.5/4

JohnGalt1, Jan 08, 2010
Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
3.48/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12/02/06 Walk the Line Barleywine Festival, Dunedin, FL.

2003 vintage.

Kind of a murky brown color with hints of a red hue around the edges. There seem to be no head. The aroma was mostly sweet with dark fruit and a hint of vinegar. The flavor had a sense of sweet red wine grapes along with a slight vinegar note. To help mask the vinegar was a decent amount of pine hops. All and all pretty smooth.

BigMcLargeHuge, Oct 07, 2009
Photo of wagenvolks
3.78/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle (listed at 9.9%) into a Unibroue tulip. Allowed to warm to ~45F.

Pours a semi-viscous, dark mahogany & amber body into the glass. A few tiny wisps of yeast swirl throughout an active carbonation level. The head is a rich manila-khaki hue, very well-retained, and leaves a thick ring of sparkly lacing. Aroma is solid, but a bit on the cloyingly sweet side, with fruity notes of pineapple, mango, and grapefruit backed by a big presence of caramel malts.

The flavor is both in-your-face and complex. Starts out with a thorough lashing of resinous, pine-laden hops, quickly giving way to chewy, thick caramel and toffee from the malt. Hot, boozy, medicine-like alcohol notes trickle down the back of the throat, lingering well longer than necessary. The body is syrupy and far too heavy on the palate, although a spritzy carbonation level gives some life to the thickness. Aftertaste is full of spicy, resinous hop notes as well as booze. This beer is a SIPPER---no other way around it. If given the chance, I'd probably give this a few years to mellow out in my cellar before opening it, as it's a bit "green around the collar" for a barleywine. Still, though, it's a solid brew.

wagenvolks, Oct 21, 2008
Photo of barleywinefiend
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a very deep mahogany wood color in the middle fading into a dark ruby color on the edges. Nose is overwhelmingly of fruit and malt at first but after it warms a bit a more balanced smell arises. Taste is quite malty, almost liquor-ish, leaving a warming hit. Nice hops and great malts. The 9.9 ABV does it well.

barleywinefiend, Aug 11, 2008
Photo of rye726
4.18/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A beautifull looking brew. It is a rich rosewood and keeps a silky beige head with excellent lace. The nose has a good amount of residual sugars, but also nicely balanced hops. A bit of young alcohol. Flavor profile also well balnced from bittering hops to candy malts. Full body suits the style perfectly. This is definately a sipper that really opens up at cellar temp and above. Should age very well. Great hoppy barley wine.

rye726, Jul 26, 2008
Photo of russpowell
4.1/5  rDev +9.9%
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!

russpowell, Apr 27, 2008
Photo of warmstorage
3.18/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Obatined in a great trade with ccrida. Thanks!

12 ounce bottle, no dating or vintage evident.

Appearance: deep hazy chestnut brown, almost opaque. Very limited light beige head leaves significant dispersed lacing.

Aroma: super fruity esters, some stonefruit, and a light sand/clean earth.

Taste: deep fruity yeasty esters, light bittersweet chocolate. A little sour, a little flat, very slightly metallic perhaps? Distinct earth/soil to it.

Mouth: Crisp and fairly carbonated, and slightly slick.

Overall: Basically drinkable, but thick, and kind of muddled: both taste and texture-wise. Kind of sour. Not bad, but... not great.

warmstorage, Apr 05, 2008
Photo of faernt
4.15/5  rDev +11.3%
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.

faernt, Feb 25, 2008
Photo of ccrida
3.6/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter, Dick's BW is a dark garnett with a massive ivory head that leaves heavy lace. Served at cellar temp.

Smell is estery dark fruit and caramel, with a distinct 'freshness' to it, not in terms of young beer, but the fruity aroma, that's appealing. with a mineral like dryness. ABV is very well hidden

Taste is lacking depth and on the lighter side for a BW, the same esters and malt from the nose, on the sweeter side but with a firm bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is nice and creamy, medium bodied.

Drinkability is pretty high in term of ease of drinking, as it goes down like a much less beer. On the other hand, I generally drink BWs for their rich complexity, which this one is lacking.

ccrida, Feb 03, 2008
Photo of charlesw
4/5  rDev +7.2%
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!

charlesw, Jan 25, 2008
Photo of PlaywrightSam
3.68/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. A: Amber/mohagany with tons of thick creamy tan head that sticks around for a very long time. Lots of lacing. S: Lots of malt, caramel sweetness, some boozey spice in there, some darker fruit. Very sweet. T: For such an aggressively sweet smell, the taste is a bit on the bitter side for a barleywine. A bit sweet up front but the hops take over very quickly. M: Coarse, oily, pretty thickly carbonated. D: As I continue through the bottle, the balance seems to be a bit off. Though it definitely has a sweet character, but the bitter finish is a tad unpleasant and lasts quite a while. Could definitely benefit with some aging, I imagine. Interesting, but not something I will probably seek out again.

PlaywrightSam, Jan 05, 2008
Photo of BlaiseDemon
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Although I am not a big barley wine style explorer, the simple label and modest price grabbed me. I have had other barley wine style brews and feel this was average in comparison. I did not at first appreciate the yeast floating all through it, it seemed as though I had picked up a dirty glass at first, but as it settled, I realized that my last sip of the brew would offer some extra sustenance. A bit bitter but not overly so. Color was a nice fiery orange. The aroma was enticing but underscored the heavier fruit tastes the palate experienced. Overall I would recommend this to a newer taster of barley wine style brew like myself, if for nothing more than a good baseline with which to compare others of the same beverage. It finished smoothly despite the extra solids and delivered less of a punch than one would expect from a 10%.

BlaiseDemon, Dec 20, 2007
Photo of mcallister
4.03/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A dark dense unfiltered looking barley wine with sporadic floaties living here and there. Pours with a small off white head that is even smaller if not nearly gone after a matter of seconds.

Nose is semi sweet, very malty, full of toffee, and fig forward (how do you like that Blake). Very English in style according too the nose and I like that. Maple, and brown sugar riddled with milk chocolate, nutty character, vanilla, earth, and dried berry with a blend of dates.

Definitely English in style. Nice bitter hops on the finish and through the mid palate of the floral sense but not interfering with the big in your face chewy malt profile a BW deserves. Figgy as ms. Piggy and candied nuts, raisin, prune and dates, with a bourbony boozy note on the finish. Malt character is wonderful, desserty and in your face and palate.Thick chewy and viscous and very palatable with a very cleverly hidden alcohol. God love Barley Wines!

mcallister, Nov 28, 2007
Photo of lifeboyq
3.7/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This was $1.50 at my local Whole Foods. Its hard to pass up a 9.9% ABV offering at that price (thats not some disgusting malt liquor offering) so i picked up a couple.

Poured into a Duvel tulip a deep amber brownish color with a half finger head that doesnt hold up too long. Smell is sweet astringent with some yeasty phenols, sugary, not much else.

Taste is slightly malty but fairly thin and not really much to it. This being said its really well balanced and not too bitter for my taste in barleywine. I think I'm partial to the sweet and caramel malt flavor and the mellowing out from the wheat and bit of bite from the not too much roasted barley. Even though its apparent that there are some high alpha hops in here, its still a nice and not too over powering IBU combination to the sweetness of the malts. This beer would balance out even better with a little down time.

Body and mouthfeel is slightly thinner than I'd like (raise your mash temp. Dick) for the style and its not really a complex offering and doesnt really change much with warming but tis still a nice flavor.

I think a different yeast offering would really do this beer wonders, but I'm here to review the beer not reconstruct it.

Drinkability is high to me for a 9.9% American Style Barleywine. I've read other reviews calling this an English Style Barleywine but in my opinion its really nothing of the sorts. The grain bill might be where its being considered English even though thats not where it should gain the distinction. The hop combination even though high alpha and not English at all though not egregious hyperbolic IBU levels to which some American craft brewers are taking Barleywines in combination with the yeast offering is entirely American. See BJCP Style Guidelines at bjcp.org for your own interpretation.

The real gem here is this offering for $1.50. There arent many beers that can compete with the quality for that price, IMO. I'll revisit

lifeboyq, Oct 19, 2007
Photo of hoppymeal
3.63/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very hazy cola brown with a small light tan head that fades quickly to a ring. Aroma is fruity malts, both some berry and grape aroma as well as some raisins, and a little malted milk powder sweetness. Taste is good size malt powder sweetness, little caramel and molasses, and hints of pruniness. A decent grassy and drying hop bitterness comes in towards the finish and blends with the warming light alcohol bite at the back of the throat. Medium to heavy body, fairly thick and full on the tongue. Very drinkable for the alcohol content, probably one i wouldn't age, think it'd be at its best when fresh.

hoppymeal, Sep 25, 2007
Photo of GClarkage
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

09/17/07- Purchased at Bottleworks in Seattle, WA.

Presentation- 12oz bottle with no freshness info on the bottle. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Deep caramel brown in color. Full one inch head which settles at a faint rim. Does leave behind nice lace tracking.

Smell- Lots of caramel goodness with semi-deep malt. Hoppy nose as well.

Taste- I would have to disagree with many of these reviews. To me, this one is a dead ringer for Bigfoot. Not quite as bound together as well, but has many similarities. Good caramel malt base, pine and grapefruit hops o' plenty and maybe a slight touch of dark fruit notes.

Mouthfeel- Mid range carbonation with a long lasting bitter aftertaste.

Drinkability- As said before, this is Bigfoot Jr. to me. A bit higher in alcohol, but not quite as flavorful. Still a really good put together barleywine. On the more hoppy side per style.

GClarkage, Sep 18, 2007
Photo of joe1510
3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle
$1.80 Single
Liquid Solutions

Dick's Barley Wine poured garnet with glowing mahogany highlights when held to the light for a better look. A one finger ivory head formed on the pour that faded to a thick collar and skim coat. Left drink lines after each sip that slowly fell back into the body. Good looking barley wine.

The aroma is loaded dripping caramel malts. Theres also a big helping of dark fruits including bing cherries (rum soaked), figs, and dates. A sugary sweetness follows but is in no way overpowering like other English style barley wines sampled in the past.

This is a barley wine packed full of malty goodness. Toasted malts, caramel malts, and that tea leaf flavor sometimes found (not from the malts but a main component). The fruit is much more subdued than in the aroma. In fact there's just a slight wash of fruit that makes it tough to pick up specific flavors. Enjoyable little grassy hop kick on the finish that leaves a nicely bitter aftertaste.

The body lies slightly fuller than medium. Slight stickiness. The mouthfeel is good and helps the drinkability but I have to say t's this beers weak point.

Drinkability is surprisingly good for such a powerful brew. It's a sipper but one to sip the night away.

If this was available in my area I wouldn't hesitate to pick up a case and see what some aging can do with this barley wine. A tasty example for sure.

joe1510, Aug 04, 2007
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Coppery cherry beneath a pale caramel cap that fills most of the snifter after the pour. I wonder if the lighter, brighter color of this barleywine will have implications for the flavor profile or the mouthfeel. The glass isn't exactly coated with lace, but neither is it as well-scrubbed as some 10%'ers would have left it.

The nose is equal parts caramel malt and alcohol-soaked fruit (oranges and cherries). One doesn't often see Munich malt and malted wheat in a beer of this style. At least I don't recall seeing those ingredients as a general rule. As well, the roasted malts don't come through. It smells like this will be a more than solid version, as long as the alcohol has had time to become well-incorporated.

Call me bat shit crazy, but I think I can appreciate the earthy nuttiness of the Munich malt. That particular aspect of the flavor profile makes the beer taste, in some ways at least, like a big ol' boozy doppelbock. It's still more English barleywine than anything else, but it has definite doppel tendencies. I might have said American instead of English when the beer was fresh, but there isn't enough hoppiness left over for the former style to apply. My best guess is that this is a 2005 bottling.

The beer is also a little more caramel malty that I usually like, but it works because time has allowed the flavors to come together in a tight-knit fashion. Fruity esters and spicy alcohol hold up their end of the agreement quite well. The latter is pretty well masked at this age, but it's still obvious that one is drinking a high-ABV ale.

I'm having trouble deciding if the body is big enough. In the end, it falls just short of what a beer this chock full of malt should feel like. I'd suggest jettisoning the malted wheat and sticking with 100% barley. I like a little chewiness in my barleywines and there's no chewiness to be had here.

Dick's Barley Wine Ale is a fine effort. Although it doesn't come close to the fantastic Double Diamond Winter, it's a beer that does Dick's Brewing Company proud. I plan to enjoy the rest of the '750', sip by sip, over the next few hours. See Dick brew. Go Dick, go.

BuckeyeNation, Jun 16, 2007
Photo of akorsak
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

akorsak, May 01, 2007
Photo of woemad
3.68/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle purchased at Huckleberry's for $1.99. No freshness date. The label looks nothing like the one on BA, btw.

Poured a dark mahogany color with a big, creamy off-white head that took several minutes to drop. Spots and globs of lace.

This is the most malty smelling barleywine I've come across in a long time. I get spice and prunes notes from this.

Again, this is a malty take on the style. semi-sweet and bitter, dark fruit flavors are at the fore. There is a hop bitterness, but it's more in the background. There is a dryness at the swallow. Not unpleasant, but odd.

Medium bodied, with an oily, prickly mouthfeel.

Not at all what I was expecting. I guess this could be the anti-Bigfoot. While not unpleasant at all, it's a pretty weird drink for someone familiar with the style who's expecting a lot more hops.

woemad, Apr 17, 2007
Photo of jdhilt
3.95/5  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.

jdhilt, Apr 13, 2007
Photo of geographie
2.08/5  rDev -44.2%
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.

geographie, Mar 27, 2007
Dick's Barley Wine from Dick's Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 73 ratings.