1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Old Birdbrain - Black Raven Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Old BirdbrainOld Birdbrain

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

79 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 79
Reviews: 18
rAvg: 4.35
pDev: 8.28%
Wants: 59
Gots: 17 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Black Raven Brewing Co. visit their website
Washington, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  11.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
This robust strong ale features pale malts and generous hop additions. After primary fermentation, several American rye whiskey barrels are filled and cellared to age. The remaining beer is then cellared in a stainless steel tank. After many months of aging, the barrels are then blended into the remaining batch aged in the stainless steel tank.

(Beer added by: barleywinefiend on 03-07-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 79 | Reviews: 18 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of nicole309
3/5  rDev -31%

Photo of lgcphoto
3.5/5  rDev -19.5%

Photo of IrishColonial
3.75/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of ScottJWing
3.75/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of beertunes
3.75/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of rab53
3.75/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of smakawhat
3.85/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a snifter at Smoke & Barrel DC for the dc bottle share. From notes.

A real nice light orange amber body, with an off tan somewhat creamy head. Makes a decent collar that always sticks around.

Nose is very small and closed, but there is that pickle brine again, with some indistinct mild hop presence I can't determine.

The palate opens up though on first sip with a good caramel sweetness. Thick malt action with a real crackery mix of crispness and toasty brown sugar. Feel has a good thick body but doesn't get into a huge over kill of sugar and alcohol boozy rush. Coats the palate nicely with it's caramel and lingers nicely.

Overall a real nice solid barleywine, like the toasty angle on this quite a bit.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.98/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Thanks to wethorseblanket for sharing this one at drewone's tasting.

2011 vintage.

Pours a hazy honey orange with a foamy tan head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of malt, caramel, toffee, and whiskey aromas. Taste is much the same with caramel and toffee flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of woody bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with a very nice whiskey smell and tasty barrel aged flavors.

Photo of sukwonee
4/5  rDev -8%

Photo of Thorpe429
4/5  rDev -8%

Photo of dctriman
4/5  rDev -8%

Photo of tomholland
4/5  rDev -8%

Photo of anteater
4/5  rDev -8%

Photo of unclekeith
4/5  rDev -8%

Photo of BillHilly
4/5  rDev -8%

Photo of alysmith4
4/5  rDev -8%

Photo of SixPack6
4/5  rDev -8%

Photo of topdown
4/5  rDev -8%

Photo of MasterSki
4.1/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Thanks to Alistair for sharing this one. Think this was the 2011 vintage. Served in a tulip.

A - Nice amount of white foam that settles to a thick collar, leaving behind specks of lacing. Transparent amber body.

S - A nice blend of maple, caramel, mild rye whiskey, oaky vanilla, and some bread and dark fruits filling things out.

T - The taste is very sweet; more in line with what'd I'd expect from an English barleywine. Lots of maple, brown sugar, caramel, and some lingering tangy whiskey and spicy rye flavors. There's still a faint trace of alcohol, even after two years of age.

M - Sticky, chewy, medium-full body. Lower carbonation, and minimal alcohol warmth.

D - A well crafted barleywine, with restrained barrel-aging flavors; you can tell this is blended rather than 100% barrel aged. A good beer that I enjoyed drinking, but not unique or amazing enough for me to go out of my way to acquire it again.

Photo of dar482
4.16/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 Vintage.

The beer comes in a clear amber color.

The aroma has lots of sweet caramel, vanilla, oak.

The flavor follows with those gentle vanilla notes and then a good amount of toffee and bright sweet caramel, brown sugar. Then onto a heavy hoppy and spicy bitterness. Definitely getting a sense that only part of this beer is barrel aged.

Photo of bcrossan
4.16/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.23/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 on tap at the brewpub.

A - Served a deep red/brown/copper with a very few dark tan bubbles on the top that quickly disappear.

S - Carmel, toffee, vanilla and lots of bourbon greatness.

T - The taste does not disappoint. Carmel, toffe and more bourbon. Drinks so freaking easy it is rediculous. It is scary how good and how easy this one is to drink.

D - Lower carbonation with a lighter than expected body and mouthfeel.

O - I had low expectations and left very impressed with this one. I very good BW that drinks easy and isn't as heavy as most others.

Photo of kslsc400
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of jmccraney
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of Eighty
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Old Birdbrain from Black Raven Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 79 ratings.