Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Pike Old Bawdy Barley Wine - The Pike Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Pike Old Bawdy Barley WinePike Old Bawdy Barley Wine

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

113 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 113
Hads: 187
Avg: 3.85
pDev: 14.03%
Wants: 10
Gots: 14 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
The Pike Brewing Company visit their website
Washington, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  9.90% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-10-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 113 | Hads: 187
Photo of sulldaddy
4.6/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Im sampling a cellar temp bottle poured into a snifter. Vintage 2009 per the label.
The beer pours a clear copper to mahogany color with minimal surface layer of beige head foaming up and receding quickly to a sturdy edge layer.
Aroma is all toffee, caramel, brown sugar, and some raisins and plums. I dont get any hops and only faint idea that this is a slightly boozy beer.
First sip reveals a very smooth textured average to chewy bodied beer with minimal gentle rolling carbonation.
Flavor is sweet malt with brown sugar and caramel and maybe a bit of maple syrup notes mixing with just some brief hits of boozy warm alcohol. The beer is definitely a sipper, but I find myself surprised at how quickly the beer has disappeared from my snifter. I do get some suspended particles with the last few ounces of the beer poured into the glass.

I wonder if the beer is similar when completely fresh with the flavor profile and would recommend anyone else with the 2009 vintage to crack em open and enjoy.

 1,004 characters

Photo of sprucetip
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes, 2010 vintage. Faintly hazy amber liquid with a finger of dirty white foam that fades gradually and leaves patchy lacing. Not much activity after the initial rush.

At first it smells tart more than anything, but with a hard to identify fruity element to the tartness. Lightly boozy with some hard to find caramel malt and sweetness. Definitely different. I don't really smell the hops that are in there.

Citrusy and piny hop flavor lead the way, with only a int of the tartness that defined the nose. Malty backbone is more clearly evident now, but it struggles for attention with a fairly sharp piny bitterness and other aforementioned influences.

Medium carbonation, rich full body, thick viscosity, and some drying and bitterness in the finish.

Pretty tasty, hopped up barleywine. Odd, but not bad, tartness in the nose. And the prodigious maltyness is sometimes elusive. a good brew that I'd like to have again, and also with some age. I'd argue that this one straddles the DIPA/BW divide.

 1,010 characters

Photo of Rutager
4.09/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 Vintage

Appearance. Pours a hazy dark amber with a thin skim of head.

Smell. Caramel, a little citrus, brown sugar and raisins. Nice.

Taste. Caramel, Orange, lemon and grapefruit rinds, a little pine sap and a hint of smoke maybe.

Mouthfeel. Medium body with lower carbonation.

Overall. Nice barleywine with a good hit of bitterness and citrus. Not overly sweet like many others.

 389 characters

Photo of andrenaline
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Props again to my main man joemcgrath27 for the sharesies on this one.

A - Pours a hazy copper colour, thumb of head with solid retention and no real lacing.

S - A nice citrus hop presence, amidst some toffee and caramel. Delicious smelling barley wine indeed.

T - I'm certainly a fan of the hoppier barley wines and this one does not disappoint. A nicely balanced citrus hop and toffee malt flavour off the top and a caramel apple flavour lingers on the palette.

M - Solid carbonation makes for a nice smooth, easy drinking experience.

O - Overall, a fantastic example of the style and one of my favourites to date. I could take down a bomber of this on my own, no problem.

 679 characters

Photo of CooperEllis
3.15/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

2006 12oz bottle, 8 oz into snifter. I believe via travisd13.

It's a cider colored pour, cery crisp from the neck of the bottle but as it settles in the glass there is a good deal of cloudyness and depth in the carmel coloring. Thick initial head down to soap bubbles in seconds.

Just booze and malt and booze and raisin.

The mouthfeel is a bit watery, I've been popping bottle recently that have been sticky, some cloying but this is very light. Still searching for that perfect mouthfeel in an aged bottle. The taste here may be diminished by this, as the dominent flavor is malt/molasses/booze and it's gone quickly with a bit of watery nutmeg aftertaste. The aftertaste is a bit like that bit of apple pie where you just end up with crust and it's like shortening and flour and a chunck of allspice and nutmeg so you take a shot of rum and coke to wash it down, but all you have left in your glass is ice and so you get a watery, boozy palate cleanser. That sounds a lot 'meaner' than I'm trying to be. It's just a very specific taste.

I'd give this a 'solid'. I'm still not sure if solid should be a "3" or a "3.5". I'm giving this a 3.5 because it is better than 'average'.


 1,194 characters

Photo of liamt07
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Sammy, served in a Snifter.

Poured an amber brown, lots of floaties in the body. Mild cream coloured head. Nose has loads of caramel, toffee, some orange and other citrus notes as well. Layers upon layers of caramel emerge in different strengths from this. Taste has even more caramel notes, significant malt base and an orange/grapefruit/citrus hoppy bite. Sticky feel, full mouthfeel and a bitter lingering finish. Medium low carbonation, and a pleasant but not outstanding barleywine. Solid.

 513 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smooth and complex enjoyable bareywine, 2009 edition brought back from Calgary and cellared about 1.5 years. It is hoppy, fells like 90 IBU, smooth citrus flavour. Also a tad of smoke making it altogether pleasant and very drinkable. Light borwn coloured body with one quarter of an inch of head retained.

 305 characters

Photo of peensteen
4.07/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 bottle
Caramel colour, lots of little floaties in the glass, nice white head, light lace on the glass. Smell is malty, nice caramel, citrus notes, grapefruit, lots of hops in here, surprisingly hop forward despite the age. Taste is malty with chewy caramel up front, very hoppy still, lots of citrus, light alcohol, grapefruit and orange with some solid malt in the finish. Good weight, full body, lightly carbonated. I really enjoyed this, not at all syrupy and very hop forward, alcohol taste is minimal, one of the easiest drinking barleywines I have tried.

 565 characters

Photo of capeannbass36
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2009 bottle
A- Heavy handed pour into a Duvel tulip.
Clear, dark orange copper with a 1-1/2 to 2 finger off white head that fades quickly. Light lacing.

S- Barleywine malt aroma. Slightly sour and bitter.

T- Starts a semi malty sweet. Ends somewhat bitter. Too bitter for me to rate higher.

M- Medium to full body. Mildly carbonated. A bit sticky.

O- Not terrible,but a bit too bitter for my liking. Certainly packs a punch for 10%.

 436 characters

Photo of NEhophead
3.08/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 fl oz brown bottle served in a snifter.

Deep tea color with a mahogany hue. Slightly off-white, creamy head that is short-lived. Spotted lacing with decent strength.

Dark fruit flavors that are rather muted: grape, plum, red apple. The hop aromas are apparent, but rather stiff. Light caramel and toffee aromas.

First of all, as the aromatics foreshadow, the flavors are very muted and somewhat bland. Coffee and caramel, semi-sweet malt profile. Dark, vinous fruit flavors: red apple, grape, plum, and date. A lingering wave of alcohol cuts through the fruit flavor. Adjunctory grains and stiff, malted wheat linger in the aftertaste.

A full, medium bodied; mostly smooth and rather airy.

A very boring barleywine; nothing offensive, but the flavors never develop. Almost as if I were drinking a bland Bock...obviously not a compliment for an 'American Barleywine'.

 876 characters

Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.77/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The bottle is labeled 2009, so I guess this beer has a couple years on it so far...this is a good thing. Let's try it...

Appearance: Pours a moderately cloudy orange brown color with a small head after an aggressive pour. There really is no lace left on the glass after drinking.

Aroma: Right after the pour I got the typical "C" hops along with a healthy amount of light crystal malt. Afterward, the aroma turned a little more toward the sweetness than you normally get for this style.

Taste: The flavor is actually quite drinkable for this style. I am getting a decent amount of hops in the initial components of the flavor, but the malt comes in quickly along with the light carbonation to almost wipe the palate clean. There is a decent amount of bitterness, and I think that the reason that they are such a big player in the flavor is because this beer has less crystal malt than typical beer of this style.

Opinion: This is an alright beer overall. I don't know...it doesn't really have a lot of "depth" that a lot of beers in this style do. There is hops there in the flavor and finish, but they don't really challenge the malt or anything, but co-exist. I guess the beauty of this style is contrast and I didn't really know that until now. You expect a Barley Wine to be an assault on your palate. This one is a bit like a balanced double IPA. It doesn't suck, and there isn't any fermentation flaws...but I wouldn't go here regularly when I am looking for a Barley Wine, that's for sure.

 1,501 characters

Photo of chumba526
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

. 2007 bottle.

Appears murky brown like with a very small brownish tan head.

It smells of sweet bread. I also get a bit of a molasses type of a smell to it. There is a bit of a citrus like sweet smell as well.

It tastes initially very molasses and caramel like. I get a slight citrus like flavor to the beer. There is also a bread like flavor to the beer. Though the beer has strong flavors it is quite smooth.

The carbonation is moderate low. There is a smooth mouthfeel to the beer.

The drinkability is a little better than average for a barleywine though one glass is enough for me. It is fairly easy to drink though.

Overall this beer aged nicely and is a pretty good example of a barleywine

 703 characters

Photo of loren01
3.23/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark ruby color, not much head/lacing
S: Smells slightly sweet, dark fruits
T: Sweet brown sugarry taste, figs, followed by a big bitterness at the end.
M: Medium to heavy bodied sticky brew
D: Decent, not great barleywine. It was pretty pricey. Might splurge on this every once in a while but there are barleywines just as good for less money.

 355 characters

Photo of StoneBrewFanatic
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a rich copper into my goblet with about one finger of off-white head, very nice retention and lacing.

S - Big caramel malts, toffee, brown sugar, hops, dark fruits, a little earth and a touch of alcohol.

T - Rich caramel goodness, toffee sweetness, brown sugar/molasses, a hint of hop bitterness and a little heat on the finish, but overall a very nice barley wine.

M - Medium to heavy in body, a little chewy, but overall smooth and creamy.

D - This is one of the better Barley Wines I have had lately, very drinkable and very delicious, my only issue is the $ for a 22oz. bomber.

 595 characters

Photo of harrymel
2.52/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed 12/22/10.
22oz bottle for $10 @ Bottles in Spokane, WA

2007 vintage poured from bottle to snifter.

A: Little to no head development, as expected from this three year ale. Shows dark copper ale with consistent stream of bubbles which dissipate almost immediately to the atmosphere.

S: Caramel, vanilla, pine, figs dominate this ale. Multifaceted, this beer gives at different levels. As my nose moves from the lowest point to highest, each primary characteristic owns a layer and mends with the background. Excited to taste.

T: Bitter. Too bitter. At three years of age, I expect BW's to develop a level of sweetness accentuated with the finest details of the specialty malts mixed into the backbone, but not here. If you can trudge through the mud of bitter thorns, you'll find orange rinds, vanilla, resin, grapefruit.

M: Low carbonation, slick feeling, puckers my buds with the bitterness. Sad thing. I swallow and it makes me develop a low level mucus bolus (similar to a loogy after milk).

D: At $10, and three years of development, this beer should at least be better than average. At this juncture, I feel bad I snatched up all three bottles they had, and gave two away for Xmas. Now I'm have to apologize.

All this being said, maybe this beer is great fresh. Given the amount of hops obviously used early in the boil, one would hope they followed through with more mid boil and finishing hops for more body flavor. For now though, can't hang with this one from a brewery with great beers.

 1,512 characters

Photo of Arbitrator
2.06/5  rDev -46.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

2009 vintage. Chilled bottle into a glass. Thanks, Eric. From notes.

A: Pours a clear, dark copper body with off-white head. Retention is short, and there is no lace down the sides.

S: This... smells... bitter. Like roots and medicine. I pick up a substantial barleywine malt aroma (caramel, toffee) and some flavoring hops (grapefruit), but boy. It's bitter on the nose.

T: The taste is no letdown. The bitterness dominates, obliterates, lingers, and pulverizes the palate. It's like eating crushed aspirin. Caramel and toffee try to fight back, and any lesser malts that might be present are completely overwhelmed. I can't taste much besides the crazy bitterness and some grapefruit rind.

M: Lingering bitterness. Have I mentioned how bitter this is? Because it's insanely bitter. It's slick, oily, sticky... The malts fall off fast. They never had a chance. It's not quite DIPA territory (too much crystal malt for that, IMO), but it's a contender.

D: I couldn't drink more than an ounce or two. Ick.

 1,014 characters

Photo of dragonWhale
3.57/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

09 on tap at the Skep..
clear copper, wisps of cirrus clouds waving through.
caramel and boozy dates come marching through the nose first. little bit of apple. sweet and fruity, touch of pine.
tastes like big alcohol and bitterness up front, getting rowdy bout it. slight sweetness, some caramel and a little bit of pine and citrus arguing about who should go first.
chilled on this 8 oz pour for quite a while, trying to determine how much I liked it. Not outstanding, but a nice representation of the style and on the edge of what I normally consider a reasonably bitter barleywine at 65 ibus. There are of course a few exceptions ( as always ) to the rule.

 660 characters

Photo of Docer
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewing a 2008 bottle that must have been brought up from the archives at By The Bottle here in Vancouver, WA.

- Clear dark copper brew, had a few floaties in the bottle... not much. White fizzy head... leaves a nice thin pillow on top with some large bubbled rings of lace magic.

- Huge sweet thick maple brown sugar caramel malts... this puppy smells smooth. Still some grassy earthy hops present.. caramel cream.

- Smooth robust and flavorful brew... roasty brown sugar and caramel malts.. very distinct caramel and crisp sugary notes... wow... what a tasty barleywine, I am impressed!

- Medium bodied... slightly creamy smooth, a touch sticky but overall smooth sailing.

- This slightly aged bottle of barleywine is absolutely delicious and is hitting the spot. For me barleywines are hit or miss... and this is certainly a hit. If you have old bottles of this sitting around... bust one out!

 904 characters

Photo of Offa
4.42/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had the 2009 just now and it is an excellent, well-rounded barleywine with nice complexity and drinkability.

Nice, clear red copper, it has a small tan head very slowly shrinking to a ring and a few wisps, plus a tiny bit of lace.

Aroma is very nice, sweet brandy with fermented prunes, a lot of toasted dark bread, cherry pie, some spicey leafiness.

Taste is excellent sweet toasted bread with prunes, a hint of fruit cake, hint of rum, a lot of fruit joining later, and a spicey-peppery-leafy bitterness just taking over at the finish and lingering in the aftertaste with a nice yeasty juiciness. It is sweet up front before the bitterness joins. it almost becomes too spicey-bitter and hot in the aftertaste but backs away before it does. Feel is full and a bit creamy, but not oily or viscous, there is moderate carbonation. Alcoholic warmth is present but very gentle and it is not boozy at all. It maintains complexity and drinkability well, with nice malt, yeast and hop elements intermingling nicely for a well-rounded, complex character.

 1,051 characters

Photo of elricorico
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep dark amber colour but quite clear. Solid finger of beige head at first which fell to a ring in about a minute. Full ring of lacing. I find the colour very pleasing.

Aroma is a mix of caramel and pine. Reminds me of many others I've had of the style, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing.

A very sweet barley wine, not really getting a lot of balancing hops here. Caramel and molasses, toasted malt, a bit of pine at the end. Very, very faint alcohol heat, not a concern considering the strength.

Mouthfeel is slick and fairly flat. Works well for the style.

Certainly a sipper, which is to be expected. Maybe a bit too sweet, even though that is how I prefer my barley wines.

 687 characters

Photo of Shadman
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A dirty, hazy copper colour, it dirty copper can be a colour. So-so head and lacing.

Nice balance between toasted caramel ,alts and floral pine hop with a hint of grapefruit peel. No booziness which is a surprise given the 10% ABV

I'll give it this much. A drinkable strong beer. Booze is hidden so well the Belgians might blush. After that, a bit two dimensional. Sweet caramel malt, oily pine cobined with grapefruit peel bitterness.

Mouthfeel works with the oily slickness matching well with the intense hoppiness.

Gotta try an aged version. New tastes too much like a Yank Double IPA for my taste buds. Nice, but let's see if if improves with aging.

 658 characters

Photo of philbertk
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pike Brewing Company--Old Bawdy Barleywine--1998 12 oz. Bottle. 8.00% ABV. (4.5 / 5.0)Sweet variation on IPA. Strong, hoppy, bitter balance to sweet. Nice red amber color. IPA profile with dominating body. Sampled 1/29/1999.

Pike Brewing Company--PIKE OLD BAWDY BARLEY WINE style ALE 2008 Release--22 oz. Bottle--10.00% ABV--90 IBU's. (4.25 / 5.0) Barleywine--Thick pour. Thin lace minimal head. Clear opaque rich deep amber color. Aromatic malty caramel fruit hop front. Smooth sweet thick mellow rich caramel fruit apple malty body. Restrained fruit balanced smooth mild hot hop mild EtOH easy end. Big but smooth. Sampled 1/31/2009. $10.99 Each.

 650 characters

Photo of SFLpunk
4.27/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz brown glass pry-top bottle. OG 1.096. IBU 90. 10% ABV. 2007 edition recently purchased at Julio's Liquors (Westboro, MA).

Appearance: A beautiful hazy amber, great cascading and tall tan head that leaves thin spotting.

Nose: Crisp orange and lots of caramel. Lots of dark caramel. Toasted nuts, fresh cream, cashews and white chocolate.

Palate: Round and luscious. Lots of caramel malt, some slick alcohol, cream carbonation and some bitterness towards the finish and warming alcohol. Flavors are dense and dark. Rich caramel chews with some milk chocolate and walnut flavors. Medium-full bodied. Finish is longgg with some hop leaf flavors.

Notes: Super dank. Love it. Never had this before, but I'm presuming the 2/3 years of age has greatly helped this brew. A great score.

 785 characters

Photo of Ek0nomik
3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured In: Snifter
Attained through a trade.

Appearance: An aggressive pour results in a light auburn color with barely half a finger of head sitting on top. The head retention is extremely low; it's gone within a few seconds. After multiple swirls in my glass, I haven't been able to get any lace on the side of my glass. There is absolutely no effervescence.

Smell: The nose is extremely malty, with a lot of sweet, dark caramel and toffee coming through. A big whiff results in a slight tingle from the ABV. Pine and a little bit of orange peel come in through the nose as well.

Taste: Very sweet caramel and dark brown sugar flavors up front. Much too sweet to be honest. Some molasses shows up, but then it turns into a nice soft citrus flavor from the hops, including orange peel and just a little bit of grapefruit.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, sticky, chewy all of the characteristics of a big beer.

Drinkability: I really enjoy the American barleywines that are more hopped up that give them a candied like flavor and aroma. This one is a little more malty and sweet than I'd prefer, but I still enjoyed this quite a bit and I'm glad I tried it. Definitely made for a good weekend beer.

 1,195 characters

Photo of BDTyre
3.58/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Good offering from Pike. 2009 version in a bomber.

Nice orange-copper-brown body with an egg-shell white head. Rich malt scent, suggestion of raisins, wine and spices. Slight alcohol burn.

Full malt taste, strong notes of brown sugar and raisins. There's almost a slight hint of brandy butter to this. Noticeable vinous characteristics and a definite alcohol presence.

Smooth mouthfeel, good mild carbonation. Reasonable ABV for a barleywine makes there decently drinkable.

 476 characters

Pike Old Bawdy Barley Wine from The Pike Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 113 ratings.