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Old Birdbrain - Black Raven Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Old BirdbrainOld Birdbrain

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

70 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 70
Reviews: 18
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 7.32%
Wants: 53
Gots: 17 | FT: 4
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
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Ratings: 70 | Reviews: 18 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Dactrius
Dactrius

Wisconsin

4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

07-16-2014 00:34:10 | More by Dactrius
Photo of ShanePB
ShanePB

Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +3%

06-05-2014 12:29:05 | More by ShanePB
Photo of ford0626
ford0626

Washington

4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

05-19-2014 20:00:55 | More by ford0626
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CHILLINDYLAN

Washington

4.5/5  rDev +3%

04-29-2014 17:48:03 | More by CHILLINDYLAN
Photo of laminam
laminam

Washington

4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

04-24-2014 22:37:03 | More by laminam
Photo of anticipation23
anticipation23

Wisconsin

4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

04-14-2014 05:28:16 | More by anticipation23
Photo of abeeronthebeach
abeeronthebeach

Washington

4.26/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2012 Limited Release.

A - Pours dark amber with slender lacings of foam. Deep orange marmalade. Looks very syrupy, and swirling for legs bears this observation out. Per the BJCP Guidelines, Old Birdbrain really does have great depth; my fingers on the rearward side of the glass appear as if viewed through a thick lense.

S - Elderflower cordial, maple syrup and a whiff of aged Jamaican rum. All sweetness and honey. Hints of apple scone. Also getting mild oak which is presumably owed to its partial aging in American rye whiskey barrels.

T - It's very mellow. One suspects the hop presence was originally much stronger for it to be considered an American Barleywine. Cozy, caramelised malts smother the tongue, followed by a wave of drowsy alcohol which warms the heart and the head. The aftertaste is as of a Highland or Speyside Single Malt, albeit it many times milder. Honey fades to bitter orange marmalade as the liquid washes away. My wife described it as a candy liquer, knowing nothing whatsoever about the contents of the snifter handed to her. A fairly apt description if you ask me. A little more fruitiness would have taken this to the next level.

M - Follows the eyes; it really is syrupy and the mild carbonation suggested by the lack of head is confirmed. A quarter of an hour in and I could be drinking Sherry or an aged Sauterne, so still does this beverage become. It is syrupy but I would not describe it as underattenuated. Very rich. Powerful.

O - I've never had a Barleywine of either variety which makes it challenging to evaluate to style. Having read the guidelines for both, it definitely has more in common with an English Barleywine after its couple of years of aging. Starting at cellar temperature, this beer offers more as it warms but never quite reveals the depths of which I hope a barleywine is capable. Time will tell as I have a top drawer barleywine in Sucaba waiting to be drunk. The abv. doesn't burn but is a constantly warming presence, just as it should be. This offering is a great reminder that beer can provide such a range of experiences, from the contemplative to the celebratory; having as it does, much more in common with sipping a Single Malt than with necking pints at your local.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2014 06:03:53 | More by abeeronthebeach
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sukwonee

Washington

4/5  rDev -8.5%

03-30-2014 22:10:57 | More by sukwonee
Photo of anteater
anteater

Oregon

4/5  rDev -8.5%

03-24-2014 17:50:33 | More by anteater
Photo of LiquidAmber
LiquidAmber

Washington

4.68/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a Reuben's Brew snifter. Pours a medium orange amber with a thin white, persistent film of a head. Aroma is intense caramel, vanilla with light caramel malt and oak, inviting. Oh, man what great flavor. Caramel, vanilla, sweet dark fruit, syrup, light apple and pear developing before a caramel malt, oak, whiskey and light hop finish. Nice weighty medium to full bodied. An excellent, flavorful barley wine in the English style, although there is a bit of hop kick in the finish. A bit on the sweet side, but skirts being cloying by great depth of flavor. The alcohol is somewhat noticeable in the finish, but actually seems to fit in with the flavor profile quite well because of the light whiskey character. Perhaps the most caramel I've noticed in a barley wine. Superb. In my top five barley wines and at the moment, with the alcohol kicking it, my favorite.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2014 03:07:52 | More by LiquidAmber
Photo of lgcphoto
lgcphoto

Washington

3.5/5  rDev -19.9%

03-09-2014 07:14:57 | More by lgcphoto
Photo of mrchrisray
mrchrisray

New York

4.5/5  rDev +3%

03-05-2014 01:14:33 | More by mrchrisray
Photo of SixPack6
SixPack6

Wisconsin

4/5  rDev -8.5%

03-02-2014 13:14:33 | More by SixPack6
Photo of Seattle_Suds
Seattle_Suds

Washington

4.5/5  rDev +3%

03-01-2014 22:23:00 | More by Seattle_Suds
Photo of Eighty
Eighty

Washington

4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

02-24-2014 21:42:47 | More by Eighty
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cyrushire

Florida

4.5/5  rDev +3%

02-21-2014 06:31:09 | More by cyrushire
Photo of dionito
dionito

Washington

4.5/5  rDev +3%

02-20-2014 05:08:13 | More by dionito
Photo of BillRoth
BillRoth

Maryland

4.69/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Just when I'd thought I'd been there/done that with American Barleywines...yet another pleasant surprise from Seattle. Had heard about Black Raven and Old Birdbrain, but still...

Thanks to Paul! Had finally made it to Black Raven during a recent NW Beer Safari and was enjoying a wide range of BR IPAs, a Saison and an amazing infused porter...when I asked about OB. I was told that the keg had recently kicked, and I was understandably bummed.

But thanks to Paul...he said they had 2012 bottles available, and grabbed me one before I left.

OK...push forward 13 days and I'm back home chillin to Olympics and the beer is calling me...

From what I've read..this has been pretty much all said before, but just to add my big thumbs up...

Caramel, but not sweet; threads of molasses but not bitter, hints of nougat and maybe dried apricot... all enveloped in a warm rye vanilla background.

I thought the blending and aging was masterful. Perfect alcohol. The very moderate buzz just excited all the flavors...did not overwhelm or distract.

Don't really care to compare. Just sign me up for more.This is one top notch winter warmer.

Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2014 01:32:12 | More by BillRoth
Photo of dar482
dar482

New York

4.16/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2014 04:58:46 | More by dar482
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510a

Washington

4.5/5  rDev +3%

02-15-2014 17:05:43 | More by 510a
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topdown

California

4/5  rDev -8.5%

02-06-2014 23:22:09 | More by topdown
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rab53

Washington

3.75/5  rDev -14.2%

02-04-2014 07:15:33 | More by rab53
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Hoppy_McMalt

Washington

4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

02-04-2014 05:29:48 | More by Hoppy_McMalt
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jmccraney

Washington

4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

01-26-2014 05:00:34 | More by jmccraney
Photo of DOCRW
DOCRW

Washington

4.5/5  rDev +3%

01-25-2014 04:08:39 | More by DOCRW
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Old Birdbrain from Black Raven Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 70 ratings.