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Live Oak Old Tree Hugger Barleywine - Live Oak Brewing Company

Live Oak Old Tree Hugger BarleywineLive Oak Old Tree Hugger Barleywine

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

75 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 75
Reviews: 29
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 11.03%


Brewed by:
Live Oak Brewing Company visit their website
Texas, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  11.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: chadspivey on 12-09-2006)
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Ratings: 75 | Reviews: 29 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Mora2000
Mora2000

Texas

4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Whip In in Austin. Not sure of the vintage, but I think it is at least a couple of years old.

The beer pours a dark brownish-red color with a tan head. The aroma is a mix of dark fruit and caramel malt - exactly what you would expect from a barleywine. The flavor is chocolate, caramel, dark fruit and some alcohol. The beer is slightly boozy and is very sweet. I also get the slightest bit of tobacco in the beer. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Glad I got to try this one.

Serving type: on-tap

10-25-2010 03:37:47 | More by Mora2000
Photo of barleywinefiend
barleywinefiend

Washington

4.11/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a deep orange color with bronizsh colored hue, light and white soapy head crown this beer. The head retention is average. After a few sips light lacing and bubbles remain.

S: The nose presents a fruit basket of sorts; blend of light and dark fruits with some caramel, toffee in their for fun

T: Initially it was a bit of pine and citrus with some underlying dark fruits and sugar. A short blast of vanilla. As it warmed the booze came alive, this beer opened and changed personalities. It seemed to go back to fruit heavy, sticky, sweet with a backseat heat.

M: Fuller bodied, well carbonated, lots of flavor and sweetness linger on the palate

O: A good barleywine. Thanks to Dajtai for scoring hadbottles of a rare, draft only bwine for me.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2013 18:00:20 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

3.04/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Served on-draught into a 5oz sampler glass at the Draughthouse in Austin. Reviewed from notes.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

The head fades too quickly (inside ten seconds) for me to take any notes about its characteristics.

Body colour is a dark copper. No floating yeast particles are visible. Appears adequately carbonated.

Not a unique or special appearance for a barleywine, but there are no obvious flaws.

Sm: Candi sugar. Sweet English malts. Toffee. Caramel. Heavy residual sugar presence; clearly a low attenuation yeast was used. A bit syrupy. Caraamlt. Emphasis is absolutely on the big heavy malts here.

No hop profile, yeast character, or alcohol is detectable. Aroma is inoffensive and of moderate strength.

T/Mf: Sticky, smooth, and wet. A bit overcarbonated. Thick and full-bodied. Syrupy.

Way too sweet, but fortunately the sweetness hides the ABV. It's heavy on the malts, with loads of English malts and caramalt filling out the heavy body. Toffee. Candi sugar. Tree sap. Bubblegum. Brown malts.

It's a pretty straightforward, simple barleywine. The texture suits the taste generally well but doesn't seem custom-tailored specifically to it. This could really use more complexity and subtlety, but it's not a bad beer.

Below averge depth of flavour. Average duration and intensity of flavour. Mediocre amplitude.

Dr: I honestly wouldn't get this again. It's a (barely) above average English barleywine, but it's largely unremarkable and the emphasis seems to be on brewing a high ABV beer without much regard for balance. It's drinkable for what it is. I wouldn't recommend it to friends. Not Live Oak's strongest offering. ABV could be hidden better. Age might help this one mellow out a bit.

Low C+

Serving type: on-tap

02-07-2014 22:14:56 | More by kojevergas
Photo of champ103
champ103

Texas

4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very happy to see this at the Flying Saucer in Houston.

A: Pours a dark red/brown color. Nearly opaque. A one finger beige head forms and recedes to a ring. Light watery lace is left behind. I love the color.
S: Dark fruits are big. Raisins and figs. Vanilla, and caramel malts in the nose. Very sweet in the nose, but enough fruitiness going that is does not become cloying.
T: Follows the nose. Big on the dark fruits up front. A candy, sugary sweetness as well. Some vanilla, toasted malt, bread, and caramel.
M/D: A big full body that is not syrupy or heavy at all. Well carbonated. Velvety smooth and creamy. So easy, and enjoyable to sip on. I would never have guessed this was near 14% alcohol.

This is a monster of a beer, but really well done. It reminds me a bit of Saint Arnold Divine Reserve 10, but a bit more mellow. Which is saying something considering the huge ABV. Something I really enjoyed, and would highly recommend.

Serving type: on-tap

02-13-2011 16:41:35 | More by champ103
Photo of Durge
Durge

Connecticut

4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Found pouring at the Whip In in Austin, Texas, this beauty is a rusty orange-caramel color with an off-white ring and almost no lacing. I can smell deep red wine, oak and malty pine hop. Very satisfying to any barleywine fan. The flavor brings a bit more of a cherry, B&B idea with some of the same woodsy malt-wine I noted in the nose. There’s fair alcohol noticeable but it’s not intrusive. This stuff is smooth and full bodied, somewhat cloying but not unusually for the style. Just a very nice offering here, wish I had some to take home to Connecticut!

Serving type: on-tap

04-08-2012 03:42:36 | More by Durge
Photo of wagenvolks
wagenvolks

Texas

4.65/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Whip In...new "Cellared Taps" selection. $10 for an 8 oz. pour (2008).

Been looking forward to trying this beer for a while now...very happy to have finally found it. Old Tree Hugger sports a cloudy, murky, yeasty body of deep mahogany-brown. A well-retained cap of sticky khaki head rests comfortably above and refuses to budge. The aroma brings rich notes of toffee and caramel with a hint of earthy hops. Vanilla and pungent alcohol in the background--the nearly 14% ABV is definitely still alive.

A breathtaking depth of toffee, powdered chocolate, and dark fruits (fig & raisin) coat the tongue with each sip. Plenty of booze to bite the back of the tongue, as Old Tree Hugger shows little of its age--not much oxidation, either. Mouthfeel is creamy and luxurious on the palate, but a bit too sharp and boozy. Could easily use another 3-4 years to round out its edges. Still, this is an amazing beer. Somewhat of a barleywine-doppelbock hybrid at this point, but phenomenal nevertheless.

Serving type: on-tap

10-17-2010 00:53:52 | More by wagenvolks
Photo of JDV
JDV

Texas

3.73/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Gingerman in Austin
Dark gorgeous amber to brown pour with a creamy nitro like lasting head. Smell is sticky sweet and raisin like maltiness. Kind of like a sweet raisin bread aroma. Body is thick and creamy and taste is rich, sweet and alcoholic, with flavors of malty raisin again with basically no hop presence in the flavor. Very soft carbonation and kind of liquer like. Nicely made, sipping style beer, but a bit on the sweet, alcoholic side.

Serving type: on-tap

03-24-2008 20:58:49 | More by JDV
Photo of elNopalero
elNopalero

Texas

4.93/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A big malty thick delicious barleywine? Sign me up.

This is a dark caramel amber in color with low, bubbly foam. It has a thick, malty aroma, with some caramel and roasty coconut notes. I pick up a thick sweetness rounded by more roasted coconut. Reminds me of a Scotch ale in that regard. Malty, with a subdued hoppiness, and a thick chewy finish. A real enjoyable sipper.

Serving type: on-tap

02-14-2012 21:11:12 | More by elNopalero
Photo of rtepiak
rtepiak

Poland

4.23/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

a keg from 2010 noted at common table as 13.7 abv. This is a wonderful texas beer opportunity and quite a toffee delight. Pour is amber with a finger and some of a head. Great retention. Nose of heavy malt and port undertones. Yeasty but i'm sure after 2 years of aging the aroma is not hop distinct. Palate funnels to a bitterness that dries with a nice accompanying heat. Nice bright edge is well balanced with the caramel notes. Mineral dry and a nice tingle on the tongue. Great beer. Good with turkey, dry fatty cheeses, earthy herbs, and believe it or not, marinara. Heavy on the belly. Hard to have more than one.

Serving type: on-tap

06-15-2012 03:22:26 | More by rtepiak
Photo of stephens101
stephens101

Oklahoma

3.78/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big bad bearded behemoth of a brew here that almost put hair on my girlfriends chest. I like a gnarly beer, but that's where I draw the line. In all seriousness, be careful with this tasty but potent mo-fo.

On tap @ Gingerman in Austin.

Ruby red in color with a slim tad head at the rim.

Aroma of black licorice, caramel malts and burnt hickory. Tastes of pine, bubblegum and sour cherries with a vein of sweet malts, a very faint spice and a medicinal tinge at the edges.

Medium to heavy and a bit syrupy with a lingering alcohol heat. Fair carbonation.

Nice and big drinkin' on a spring-like Austin eve.

Serving type: on-tap

03-10-2011 01:20:00 | More by stephens101
Photo of Morris729
Morris729

Texas

4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep rusty orange-amber color with a short white head that fades into a heavy lace. Nose is sweet dark malt and floral hops—the aroma really opens up after the beer warms a bit. Full-bodied, almost chewy mouthfeel. Taste is sweet fruit and malt along with a strong hop presence—more so than in your typical barley wine. The alcohol is well hidden considering the ABV. Very enjoyable, but watch out as the alcohol sneaks up on you.

Serving type: on-tap

03-22-2007 21:45:23 | More by Morris729
Photo of jamescain
jamescain

Texas

4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a 10oz tumbler at Draught House

Appearance: Dark brown with red hues when held into the light with a white head about a finger thick that dissipated into a lacing that clang to the side of the glass.

Aroma: Dark fruits, malty sweetness, a hint of vanilla and a slight smokiness.

Taste: Chewy and malty, pretty sweet, toasted malts and dark fruits. Almost a maple like quality and a slight alcohol taste.
Mouthfeel: Low carbonation and a thick syrupy mouth feel with a slight alcohol warming as you drink it.

Overall: A very good barleywine, the alcohol is very well hidden considering the 14%, you know it’s there but it is not in your face. I’m glad I got to try it and I’m glad they have started to make it again.

Serving type: on-tap

05-17-2011 15:22:03 | More by jamescain
Photo of BeerZack
BeerZack

North Carolina

3.95/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on draft from Uncle Billy's on 4/22/07, served in a wine glass.

Dark maple syrup color with a great soft head that stays till the end.

Smells wonderful, like creme brule with some fruit.

The taste is very sweet and buttery or creme brulee-like with some fig and candied orange.

This is actually pretty balanced for a barleywine, the sweetness prevailing but kept in check by some good fruity bitterness.

Serving type: on-tap

04-24-2007 00:44:04 | More by BeerZack
Photo of StoneBrewFanatic
StoneBrewFanatic

Virginia

4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

@ The Ginger Man in Austin

A - Pours dark brown with a ruby hue to it into the mini pint glass here, about a finger of brown head that has pretty good retention and some lace.

S - Lots of raisins and figs, big caramel malts, sweet vanilla, very inviting.

T - Sweet caramel malts, candy like sweetness, vanilla, toasted malt, dark fruits.

M - Full bodied, smooth and creamy.

D - I have a hard time not ordering this beer when I see it out there, super good and easy to drink, just watch out for that 13.7%.

Serving type: on-tap

02-22-2011 10:33:52 | More by StoneBrewFanatic
Photo of midaszero
midaszero

Washington

4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed at the Draughthouse 40th anniversary party

A - Hazy amber with a small off white head and good lacing

S - Malts and sweet vanilla. Light fruit background

T - Creamy and warming boozyness. Caramel, toffee sweet and lots of malt. A little hop bite as well.

M - Thick body with medium carbonation

D - Tasty treat but not something I could drink all the time

Serving type: on-tap

11-22-2008 19:10:59 | More by midaszero
Photo of tjkinate
tjkinate

Texas

4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Whip-In

A: Single fingered head that reduced rather quickly, but a small soapy film remained on top this deep rust, semi transparent brew.

S: Toffee, vanilla, lots of dark fruits, and a slight hop profile. Very well balanced and fairly robust.

T: Follows the scent very closely, large vanilla characteristics followed by caramel and dark fruits. Alcohol became apparent as the beer warmed.

M: Very well carbonated beverage that allowed the beer to stay creamy on the front and have a nice crisp backend.

O: A very good beer that I wish would be bottled. Damn you Live Oak!

Serving type: on-tap

01-30-2012 21:01:43 | More by tjkinate
Photo of AustinBeerLvr
AustinBeerLvr

Texas

3.75/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Tried this tonight at Opal Divines.

The best way to describe this beer is full of flavor! This brew has more hops and malt than anything I have tasted in a long time, if not the most flavorful beer ever. While that is a good thing, it has its limitation in the the fact that the taste is actually a little overkill in my opinion. The sip starts off with a huge amount of malt sweetness from several different kinds of fruit flavors that fades to a very bitter, spicy hop flavor to balance everything out. All throughout, a good amount of alcholol flavor is present. The alcholol is so strong that if I inhaled at all while sipping, it somewhat burnt my nose. I have to give the brewers at Live Oak credit for being able to balance such a huge beer.

I will admit, I am normally not a huge fan of a beer this strong (normally doppel bock is about as strong as I enjoy), but this beer is one awesome brew that is defenitely not for the faint hearted. The only reason for my somewhat lower rating on taste would be that in my opinion, the malt and hops are just out of wack, as they simply come on too much for the beer to be enjoyed the whole time I drank it. The flavor and amount of body is simply overwhelming, and for anybody that wants to be warmed on a cold day or just have a beer that is simply overwhelming but fairly drinkable, this would be a good choice.

Serving type: on-tap

01-18-2007 05:33:23 | More by AustinBeerLvr
Photo of MiguelMandingo
MiguelMandingo

Texas

4.93/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Man, oh man, this was a spectacular barleywine. Thank you Chad, for letting me know that the Gingerman was going to tap the one keg they had left. I owe you buddy.

As far as I can tell, this keg was from late 2006. Time has treated this brew extremely well.

Served in a half pint glass.

Appearance - It is a deep caramel amber brown color, comletely transparent. It is produced a single finger head that had amazing retention - it left a ton of lacing behind.

Smell - The nose on this brew is awesome. It smells of rum raisin, pear, and booze with a HUGE vanilla and caramel scent. It has a very slight hop scent at the end, which is somewhat piney.

Taste - The flavor is as equally appealing as the scent, and they smell and taste exactly the same. It is an equal mix of booze, malt and hops in perfect balance with one another - the way a barleywine should taste.

Mouthfeel - This beer is definitely full bodied. It leaves both a sticky and oily feel in the mouth. The carbonation level is awesome - not too low to feel flat, and not to lively to detract from the flavor.

Drinkability - The drinkability is nothing short of awesome. I have heard that Live Oak doesn't have any plans to make this one again, and I seriously hope that isn't true. This is probably my favorite barleywine to date, and I have been to the Gingerman three times this week just to make sure that I get my fill of it before it disappears. I suggest that you do the same.

Serving type: on-tap

01-14-2008 05:52:02 | More by MiguelMandingo
Photo of ballewblake
ballewblake

New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First brew of the night at the Draught House in Austin.

Served in a small sniffer with no head. Dark, almost black in color, and opaque. Alcohol wasn't concealed well in this batch either in smell or taste. Got some thick malts and heavy hops in both, but the alcohol was the most dominant fella here. I didn't have much trouble finishing the glass, but I do envy those that had this aged some. I think there was quite a bite on this one, assuming it was 'fresh.'

Serving type: on-tap

02-11-2008 18:37:19 | More by ballewblake
Photo of aggiearcher13
aggiearcher13

Texas

4.97/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Oh, sweet mystery of life at last I've found you! At last, I know the secret of it all! Enjoyed at the Draught House 41st anniversary party this evening.

A: Hazy caramel/amber color. Not a ton of head, but it's on cask. On appearance, it looked like it had quite the body to it.

S: Candy and malts. Very sugary aroma, some hops to it but not much. Really impressive, very appetizing, falls somewhere between vanilla, brown sugar, and molasses.

T: Lighter than I anticipated. A sipper for sure but very drinkable. Boozy, creamy, carmel, vanilla. Quite a pleasant amount of sugariness to it that doesn't come off as being too sweet.

M: Great body to it, absolutely wonderful.

D: Most drinkable barleywine I have ever had.

Serving type: cask

11-08-2009 05:24:59 | More by aggiearcher13
Photo of UTCengOwl
UTCengOwl

Texas

4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this in a 2 oz. pour at the Flying Saucer beer fest and was impressed enough to get an 8 oz. pour at the Draught House on 10/25/2010.

A - An inviting dark copper.

S - Poured without much of a head... but I was able to pick up some of the sweetness and dark fruits. The smell was the least impressive part of the beer.

T - One word quickly comes to mind - raisins. Also some underlying sticky toffee notes. Surprisingly, it's not overpoweringly boozy for a 14% ABV beer.

M - Thick and rich. The beer wonderfully coated my entire mouth.

D - Shockingly good. For how big of a beer this (definitely a sipper), it went down extremely fast. I had it for the first time two weeks ago and I had to have it again when I saw it.

Overall, drinking this is an excellent beer experience. I had a smile on my face the entire time I was drinking it and I wouldn't hesitate getting it again if I have the opportunity.

Serving type: on-tap

10-26-2010 14:51:53 | More by UTCengOwl
Photo of hopsleeroy
hopsleeroy

North Carolina

4.7/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this one tap at the gingerman in Austin. A 2006 keg tapped in 2008. I haven't had a lot o beer with age on it especially beers like barelywine which people recommend laying down for a while. I understand why you do it now. Old Treehugger was like nothing I've tasted. It smelled like dates, caramel, and vanilla with some mild hops(little piney) as well. The taste was a huge blast of caramel and vanilla with the fruit smells fading back and the hops coming forward. Very balanced between the strong sweet flavors and the piney hops. Creamy in the mouth and the alcohol gave the sensation of warmth in the mouth in a great way. Only had a half pint and savored it the whole time. There are more subtle flavors (slightly fruity) that I couldn't describe but really enjoyed. It became more complex as it warmed. I hope Live Oak makes this again. It's really something special.

Serving type: on-tap

01-30-2008 21:26:35 | More by hopsleeroy
Photo of BgThang
BgThang

Texas

4.7/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This stuff is wicked good.
The nose is that of candy and sweetness.

The color is a deep dark amber.
It is a little thicker than your average barely wine.

The drinkabilty of this is certainly a sipper, but very quick sips
Live oak has definitely hit this barley wine out of the park.

If you ever have a chance, highly doubt it due to them only making like one batch of this stuff. (hopefully they will make more) slap your mamma if you have to its well worth it.

Serving type: on-tap

04-09-2008 08:42:02 | More by BgThang
Photo of chadspivey
chadspivey

Texas

4.72/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the barrel-aged version from late '06.

A: dark amber color with a nice one finger head.

S: Vanilla, caramel, malt, booze.

T: Vanilla, caramel, booze, fig, raisns, candied orange. The two flavors that stick out the most is vanilla and caramel. Words really can't describe how much I like this beer. It's Freakin' Delicious.

M: not as thick as a a stout, but thicker than an average barleywine. sure does warm the throat.

D: Very drinkable considering the alcohol percentage. This one could get you into a lot of trouble...

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2008 10:34:27 | More by chadspivey
Photo of MEsquandoles
MEsquandoles

Texas

3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

$4 for a 9oz snifter at Black Star Co-op. A full pour seemed too heavy. Brewed Jan 2010. Limited keg-only release in Dec 2010.

Low carbonation but not inappropriate for the style. The tiny bubbles that group like little galaxies. Dense.

With a small amount of liquid, color is of a cognac; an amber-copper that reflects the light beautifully. Thick yet brilliant clarity. With a bigger pour, noticeably darker than most barleywines, but not roasty.

Aroma is of maple and nuttiness. Toffee-like English malt flavours. Smells of some of the intricacies of an aged rum or Cognac, but without the harshness.

Maple dominates. Toffee, figs, some light wood and vanilla, grapes. Caramelized malt. Restrained bitterness.

Very thick. Long lingering sweetness of brown sugar.

It's the sweetness not the alcohol presence that makes this less drinkable. Alcohol is well hidden for 13.5%.

Definitely worth trying, but not as worth seeking out as the release a few years ago.

Serving type: on-tap

02-15-2011 06:12:48 | More by MEsquandoles
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Live Oak Old Tree Hugger Barleywine from Live Oak Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 75 ratings.