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Old Salty Barleywine 2004 - Heavyweight Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Old Salty Barleywine 2004Old Salty Barleywine 2004

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

47 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 47
Reviews: 44
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 11.05%
Wants: 2
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Heavyweight Brewing Co. visit their website
New Jersey, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  ABV ?

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-30-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 47 | Reviews: 44 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of meathookjones
4.72/5  rDev +21.3%

Muddy looking dark reddish brown with a smallish of white head that holds tight. Sweet ripe fruits fill the aroma. Notes of sweet syrup, alcohol and a light musty earth mix in well. Big fruit sweetness over a syrupy back drop. This is definitely a complex malt pack beer if I ever had one. Light caramel and some earthiness. Alcohol is there but not overwhelming but just right. Plenty of over little complexities in there. Lightly bitter and sweet fruity finish with a touch of must. Perfect at room temperature. Pretty damn thick and sticky sweet. Drinkable as hell too. I remember it being good when it was released but it is excellent now, wish I would have bought a case or two.

meathookjones, Sep 13, 2005
Photo of kbub6f
4.6/5  rDev +18.3%

The head is beige, bubbly and noisy. It's like a Coke head that dies more slowly and less evenly. The beer is an almost clear, amber-brown. Lots of fine carbonation. The aroma is of sweet candy, nuts and fruit. Yum. It starts sweet and nutty with some apparent alcohol. The middle is butter. Butter. Very malty, thick and tingly. Loads of alco in the finish; also, nutty, spicy with a nice bitterness. Very good. I do love a buttery beer. It's super malty with a nice balance of hops. But I sure hate waiting for that head to die: it's so slow!

kbub6f, Feb 24, 2005
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.53/5  rDev +16.5%

I remember trying this beer last year around this time and I also recall being underwhelmed compared to the two Old Salty's before this one. Appearance: Lively carbonation is evident on the pour so take your time and tilt that glass the body appears ruby plum brown hue slightly opaque with cloudiness from the bottle conditioning forms quite a thicket of foam two fingers plus has a chunky texture to it, and as it slowly dwindles down lacing is left unevenly around my chalice. Aroma: After aging for a year hops do mellow a bit deep alcohol and fruit tones mix with a hoppy edge of pine and grassy notes with a somewhat tart and vinous malt profile. Taste: Big flavor with piney, earthy hops and big juicy alcohol soaked overly ripened fruit meet to wow the senses. It all melds into one flavor very warming still a bit rough around the edges, but much better than it was a year ago. Mouthfeel: Succulent with carbonation lively enought to have to let mellow after decapping, it was a bit syrupy very big body. Drinkability: Tom Baker always has an interesting way of portraying his art Old Salty 04 is no different, a bit heavy on carbonation but flavor and aromatics are all representative of a great barleywine.

WVbeergeek, Dec 11, 2005
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%

The 2004 Old Salty is a little more fruity and alcoholic than the previous vintages were. It doesn't have quite the same, direct, 'all about the malt' quality... and that's odd, because this year was supposed to be all about bumping up the malt! In fact, the Salty Dog is trying to jam just one more bag of malt into the bottle on the label! Or, perhaps it has something to do with the addition of the Lyle's Golden syrup. I think so, but who really knows? Maybe Tom. Regardless, it's left with a bit more complexity, which is nice.

It delivers the same appearance as it has in the past, and it maintains a decent collar. As usual, it's alcohol cuts down on its leaving lace about the glass, but it does put out some effort aroud the collar.

The nose offers a whiff of spicy alcohol over a finely entwined combination of caramelish malt and yeasty fruitiness (run soaked blackberries; oily raisins; figs; and plums). It's almost like some kind of candy! And some leafy and grassy hops do try to make an appearance, but they're basically relegated to the back of the room until later notice.

In the mouth it's supremely supple and smooth like a worn leather chair at the end of a long day. The medium-full body and restrained, natural carbonation massage the tongue lightly, and then simply disappear.

The alcohol returns in the flavor, but actually acts as a catalyst to liven it's fruity and malty sides. It perks everything up with a touch of pepper; and the dark-fruit (that borders on becoming slightly vinous) and light caramel combination is splendid. Some leafy and grassy hops again sneak in, but don't really appear until the finish along with a note of dark cherry that's oh-so-nice.

In essence, the 2004 is softer, but hotter... and fortunately a touch more complex and fruity... but only time will tell where this one will go. It's not my favorite year because of the heat, but it's still very good.

NeroFiddled, Aug 04, 2005
Photo of francisweizen
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%

Keg conditioned from the hand-pump at the EBF. I was told this batch was not bourbon aged, but who knows for sure? Aromas are in fact boozy, sweet, and malty with a nice hoppy bite on the tail-end as well. I also get some oaky vanilla notes as well, maybe this batch was oak-aged, or maybe I am just crazy. Taste is lovely. Sweet, big-ass malts battling a nice load of hops, sugar, spices, and more with some more vanilla-like oak hints as well. Mouthfeel is medium bodied if a little too thick and the drinkability is very good for a barleywine. Always a good beer, but the keg-conditioning really worked wonders for this.

francisweizen, Jan 31, 2005
Photo of t0rin0
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%

t0rin0, Oct 14, 2012
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.38/5  rDev +12.6%

Presentation: Stubby 12 ounce bottle with Bill Coleman’s inimitable artwork on the label per previous years. Lots of space is devoted to the Nanny States Warning, some generic description of the brew and simply no information at all relating to the strength of this one. The artwork is rather cool though.

Appearance: Rust bloom orange mixes with a murky deep ruddy body. Backlit, it flashes a turbid ruby with some deep kriek redness. Tan colored head builds well but soon relaxes to leave a decent halo that is several bubbles deep but never manages more than the look of a thick rim. Ultra fine carbonation looks fantastic when the glass is gently tipped.

Nose: Rummy nose, warm malt-soaked alcohols, bourbon barrels and mashed plums. Spicy hops break through at times. Initially a sharp nose that works well towards a much smoother rounded ending.

Taste: Sweet, throughout. Minimal but omni-present alcohol feel, rum and raisin mixes with a thick breaded middle. Crumb laden finish has a lingering dark rum alcohol ending. Massive malt feel, the hops are there but they seem completely engaged in the Ying & Yang struggle for balance, it works to a certain extent, but the malts win through and lend most of the characteristics to this fine English style Barleywine. After a few mouthfeels the alcohol develops and acts like a solvent spreading the lower flavors; berries, fruitcake, dark malts, all sorts of exotic spices and a flash of the warm crackling oak burning fire wedged into a traditional English inglenook. Tasty stuff, that seems to be working through its youth just fine.

Mouthfeel: The pour was rather viscous; in fact it oozed rather than poured out. This comes across thick in the mouth too; low carbonation still contributes a lot to the presence. Smooth and boozy but not overpowering. Lovely fireside finish goes well with hot toasted Cinnamon & Raisin English Muffins.

Drinkability: Not exactly a quaffer but I did not put up much of fight and managed the whole bottle in a rather embarrassingly short time. Makes a terrific nightcap!!

Overall: Super stuff, highly enjoyable and if you get the lucky chance to get a few of these I would strongly suggest sticking away one for a cold day, I’m sure your patience will be adequately rewarded.

Thanks to little –e for this most gracious gift that packs quite the ‘Heavyweight’ punch.

TheLongBeachBum, Jul 12, 2005
Photo of Shiredave
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%

This pours a very deep, dark amber color. Carbonation is steady, supporting a low, pale tan head w/ steady carbonation and stubborn retention, great streaks of lace.

Aroma is rich and sweet, fruity notes of watermelon and banana along with bready boiling wort. Hints of alcohol come forward as it warms.

Huge sweet malt flavors explode with the smallest sip - lush and heavy, just shy of syrupy. As it swirls around in my mouth, its like chewing on warm, pecan encrusted toffee - chewy and scrumptious. Hop and alcohol join forces to slap the back of the mouth with a tangy sharpness while the raw grain sweetness coats the the tongue in a sugary ( Golden syrup) blanket. Seriously malt dominated beer, but balance come through with interesting herbal hop flavors and firm bittering.

Full bodied and very complex. Each swallow leaves a new combination of flavors behind. Finish is warmly alcoholic with lots of sugar coated fruit notes.

As a rule, most "experts" say Barleywines should be enjoyed at room temp. or slightly chilled. I usually agree, but with Old Salty'04, I prefer it chilled to 55 deg.F +/-. When this puppy gets warm, it beomes very thick and gnarly - hard to drink for me any way. This can only get better with age Im hoping.
Truly Magically Delicious!

Shiredave, Mar 19, 2005
Photo of yen157
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%

Fairly vigorous pour gives it a stable, orange-tinged tan head. Only 2/3 of the bottled was poured, so it’s a crystal clear deep orange-amber with very few visible streams of carbonation. Rich, sweet nose with notes of overripe plums and hard orange candy. Spicy, boozy alcohol is also present. At times a faint whiffs of smoked bacon, too. Hmm… Spicy alcohol teams up with the noticeable hop bite (rather rare for Heavyweight) to counter the huge, yet slick malt. Not cloying by any stretch of the imagination. Carbonation is low, so this beer is very slick and quaffable which is dangerous since every sip leaves the palate and throat glowing from the alcohol. The flavors start getting awkward when it gets too warm; IMO this is best consumed at cellar temperature.

This is a great barleywine now that it has a few months on it. I hope it achieves the superior greatness the 2001 (which was its inspiration) after a few years.

yen157, Mar 25, 2005
Photo of Bighuge
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%

The beer pours with some viscosity. No head forms. A thin collar of beige cream leaves spotty lace sporadically down the sides of the glass. Sweet bread pudding, rumcake type of aroma. Medicinal as well. The flavor is sweet and boozy. In an enjoyable sort of way. The heat mixes in nicely enough with the melon and cherry and cantelope tones. Hops are utilized merely to provide balance it seems. Malt flavors are big and assertive. Caramel and toffee and nougat... This beer has some nice depth. The mouthfeel is appropriately on the low side of the carbonation spectrum and the body is damn near full, making this brew nearly syrupy. Such is life, this is a tasty barleywine, and in reality, unlike any other I've had.

Bighuge, Feb 12, 2005
Photo of cbl2
4.2/5  rDev +8%

6/25/2005 $9.99 4 pack

Brewed 8/22/04 clearly labeled on the bottle, no best by date necessary as this one should have enough alcohol to go the distance.

Appearance:

Pours a relatively still murky dark brown with a thin film lacing the rim of the glass.

Aroma:

Sweet figs and ripe plums compete with the heady aroma of a lot of alcohol. This one is clearly going to pack a punch!

Taste/Mouthfeel:

Nice chewy mouthfeel with sweet dark fruit flavors (plum, some cherry) that envelops the mouth followed by an intense presence of alcohol. Finish is slightly nutty, with some similarities to a belgian double. Not perfect for the style, but a rather enjoyable beer nonetheless. Definitely worth picking up and sipping slowly!

cbl2, Aug 02, 2006
Photo of Dogbrick
4.2/5  rDev +8%

Acquired via trade. 2004 Bottle: Dark chestnut color with a thin wispy off-white head and minimal lacing. Aroma of toasted malt, bread and caramel. Rich and sweet mouthfeel with lots of malt and caramel flavoring. Nice amount of hops and alcohol to balance it. The bitterness is less pronounced by the end of the glass. The finish is sweet and salty with a bit of citrus. This is an enjoyable Barley Wine.

Dogbrick, Nov 04, 2005
Photo of BrewMan13
4.18/5  rDev +7.5%

Has a head like I've never seen...I had to pour it into a weizen glass so it didnt overflow. Must have taken 20mins to pour it. Which is conveniently the time it takes to warm to ideal serving temp, but not too much. Appearance is just barely see-through, otherwise a dark burnt umber. But no beer should have a head that big, so I deducted just a tad for appearance.
This is one dense beer flavor-wise. There is no doubt this is an English-style b-wine as it is just packed with sweet malty goodness which stops just shy of cloying. Alcohol is unlisted--but is somewhere between 9-12% according to their site---and you definitely notice as you get a nice tummy warming. Perhaps a tad bit of alcohol in the taste, and it becomes slightly more noticeable as it warms. A very slight toastiness at the finish. This thing is just dense malt--and I love it--I'm really liking Heavyweight lately.
Definitely a filling beer (I'm drinking mine now after a dinner of gnocchi--sorry stomach ;)
Even a fan of big beers like myself would never drink more then 1 of these a night---its too dense and high in alcohol. But I seriously liek this and my hats off to Tom and Peggy for brewing such a flavor packed brew in this day and age. Just another thing I love about craft beer...Cheers!
(hmm, I wonder if I said dense enough times...)

BrewMan13, Apr 15, 2005
Photo of Truh
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%

Discovered a multitude of dead men on a dead man’s chest with this one on 4/13/2005. 12-oz. bottle poured like syrup in to a shaker glass.

Just a small, swirling vortex of nebular coating and a cuff around the edges; some sediment stuck in suspension. Very murky brown/dark amber hue with just a touch of natural light on the edges; wouldn’t even know if there is any action going on. Tons of sweet, sticky caramel on nose, no doubt due to the over-the-top malt bill; fruit cake and a little bit of pine resin float around as well. Dang, that is treacle and melted toffee filled to taste, like candy in liquid, bottled form. Malt is just humungous though somehow manages not to be overly jammy on the mouthfeel.

Unusual for me and the barleywines I have had the pleasure of tasting. Accustomed to a very biting alcohol heat, but this one hides it beautifully. Also, there seems to be a freshness that resonates throughout the pour, and not an almost mossy character that I associate with many others within this style.

Truh, Apr 15, 2005
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%

Flawless garnet with bright cherry highlights when backlit with afternoon sun. The beer is capped by an impressively creamy golden beige head that crests the edge of the snifter on the pour and then drops back to a tidy one finger within minutes. There's very little lace, but Old Salty still looks gorgeous in the glass; especially when viewed in tandem with Old Sol.

Even though I've smelled more aggressive and more complex barley wines, this one is more than solid. I've been enjoying it since the pour and have discovered that it holds up very well to a few more focused sniffs as well. It's more vinous than most with concentrated Cabernet and tawny port notes. I don't pick up an abundance of hops, but given the style and the fact that it's nearly two years of age, that's not surprising.

It's apparent after a few sips that Old Salty 2004 is a refined, well-mannered, almost apologetic version of the style as opposed the raging beasts that American-style barley wines can be when young or the velvet sledgehammers that they can be when aged. When I saw the 'warning: this product contains lots of malt and hops' on the label, I expected roman candles to go off in my mouth... but didn't quite get them.

That isn't to say that OS is bad beer; far, far from it. It's just that it's a quintessentially English barley wine and, for better or for worse, I happen to be less than wowed by that particular sub-style. Authentically English ingredients have been used, including English pale malt, Challenger hops and (in typical Heavyweight fashion) an ingredient that I'd never heard of before, Lyle's Golden Syrup. Which, as far as I can tell, is a sort of golden treacle.

There's an acceptable amount of malt, although the less than bombastic flavor is matched by the less than huge body/mouthfeel. Nothing wrong with being on the lighter end of the style spectrum; someone's got to hold down that end. The best part of the flavor profile as far as I'm concerned is the bursting berry fruitiness. Cherries, blackberries and winey red grapes are most prominent. Again, vinousness is a distinguishing characteristic.

As in the nose, I don't appreciate the Challenger hops much at all. Hard to believe that they've faded so completely in less than two years, so they must not have been anywhere close to Old Crustacean-like to begin with. The pleasureable warmth that is spreading down to my toes keeps me mindful of the double-digit ABV. There's very little alcohol appreciated on the palate though.

As alluded to above, the body/mouthfeel is something less than 'thicky and sticky'. Given the remainder of the beer's attributes, more viscosity wouldn't necessarily have been a good thing. I always enjoy a beer whose mouthfeel matches its mouthflavor. The carbonation is barely noticed with no trace of flatness or lifelessness.

The goofy Old Salty dog on the label reminds us that beer is supposed to be fun. This 2004 vintage may not be the biggest or the baddest barley wine dog on the block, but it's still a delicious, approachable, easy to sip version that is as comfortable as an old pair of slippers and twice as warming. It's beer like this that reminds me how much Heavyweight will be missed.

BuckeyeNation, May 24, 2006
Photo of jdhilt
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%

Pours with a one-finger, light tan head that fades quickly and leaves no lace. Cloudy amber color. Good carbonation. Nose is sweet malt. Starts and finishes smooth and sweet, high ABV is in background. Medium bodied. Good alternative to DFH Olde School. $2.99 for a 12oz bottle from Julio's Westborough, Ma.

jdhilt, Jan 10, 2006
Photo of merlin48
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%

Served into a tulip glass at cellar temperature. Wow! Serious overcarbonation here. Enormous, beige head takes up 90% of the glass, and overflows onto the table even with a third of the 12 oz bottle poured. A slightly hazed copper body is finally revealed, with large clumps of foam sticking to the sides of the glass.
Interesting, and complex aroma is fruity with citrusy orange, caramelized apples, subdued grassy hops, and a suggestion of ethanol burn.
Mouthfeel is very highly carbonated with a medium body. Slight alcohol burn, but somehow manages a pleasing smoothness.
Taste is malty, with syrupy fried or caramelized apples, some dry orangepeel, and grassy hops. Finishes dry, but with some mouth coating syrupiness.
Good drinkability with plenty of complexity. Challenger hops and Lyles Golden Syrup are among the ingredients listed on the label. Nice take on an English barleywine, and an excellent winter warmer.

merlin48, Feb 20, 2005
Photo of faernt
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%

I'm drinking this young. I'll try to get another to age but I was in an "I'm curious for a new barleywine" mood. It pours with a one inch head which hisses as I fill the glass. I can't get all of the 12 oz into a glass that usually takes 12 oz. I start to pour again and the sediment has become suspended in the remainder and I stop. I decide to take the yeast hit and wow! what a sweetie....it's a malty one as promised.
The yeast hit aside I go back to looking at this pour. The head has calmed down and rests pillowy with fine bubbles and dense lacing on the sides of the glass. It certainly looks well made. It's a dark copper under the ivory head. Second look...the head looks more like slightly toasted merangue.
The first taste is again sweet but not that of the yeast hit. The head is creamy and is simultaneously with the taste a beguiling combination. I like the multiple sense experience.
This is a dessert barleywine now. I'd try it with flourless chocolate cake. It's still almost too sweet now. I wonder if it will gain portlike characteristics over time. Thanks Ted S for the sample.

faernt, Dec 19, 2004
Photo of GeoffFromSJ
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%

This year's batch seems quite good. For my tastes, the carbonation levels could be higher. There doesn't seem to be much head on the initial pour, but it comes on strong then goes away. A nice murky brown color.

While smooth, I again think there could be a bit more carbonation. Very smooth though. The taste of this one was not as hot as others have commented. Different batches, according to Tom Baker, used different strains of yeast.

GeoffFromSJ, Jan 30, 2005
Photo of ppoitras
4/5  rDev +2.8%

12oz bottle purchased somewhere, I forget where... Bottle begins to slowly foam out the neck after uncapping.

Carefully poured in a Rapscallion glass, 3" of foam over 1" of clear coppery amber brew. It is obvious that drinking will not be happening anytime soon, as the head is falling V-E-R-Y slowly, leaving sporadic rocky lacing. Nose is heavily malty, with dark fruits, and alcohol. Taste is sweet malts, with a somewhat earthy note, and then lots of fruity alcohol. Mouthfeel and drinkability are along the lines for the style, and this is a nice representation of an English-style barleywine.

ppoitras, Nov 03, 2005
Photo of rab53
4/5  rDev +2.8%

rab53, Dec 01, 2011
Photo of Citadel82
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%

Brewed by our favorite local brewers at Heavyweight Brewing in Ocean Township. Rich and thick this is a beer for a cold winters night.

Pours a cloudy dark ruby amber in the chalice glass. Minimal head though it does leave nice lacing on the glass as it is consumed,

Aroma is Caramel and toffee with a lactic creaminess reminiscent of a sherbet with a trace of alcohol and floral hops.

Taste is sweet malt fading into sharp hops then alcohol with a long hop bittering finish. Not sure but I am not tasting the citrus notes typical of Cascade and the other west coast domestic hop varieties.

Body is heavy and full with nominal effervescence. A sipping beer for sure.

Delightful on a cold night like this when you are home for the evening. I can't wait to try it again in a few months to see how it develops.

Citadel82, Jan 24, 2005
Photo of canucklehead
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%

This is another beer from Malto. The head on this was huge to the point where it over ran the glass which is a first for a barley wine. The beer is quite nice to look at once the head subsided, as it seemed to glow in the light. The nose is malt and some alcohol. The taste is refined and semi sweet with the malt coming to the fore on the finish. It tasted very English in its presentation and quite drinkable at one year old. A good BW that needs little cellaring to improve.

canucklehead, Nov 07, 2005
Photo of goodbyeohio
3.93/5  rDev +1%

bought a 4pk of this beer for a friend at work who is referred to as 'old salty,' kept one for myself.

cloudy reddish-orange.. somewhat murky and lacking any head other than the expected bubble ring from a barleywine. aroma is super-malty as promised.. with some real off-notes. something fishy, maybe sweaty? hints of bacterial tartness, like a lambic? all this behind burnt-sugar molasses type maltiness? wtf? i am dreading the first sip.

raisiny malt in the first sip and a hint of something soapy.. light overall with a slight alcohol burn that really doesn't interfere. further, less cautious sips kick that alcohol up, approaching lighter fluid status. i knew i should have held this bottle for a couple years (joe at spuyten duyvil informed me of the 01 and 02 current popularity) but i didn't listen. buyer beware.. if you don't have a cellar.. dogfish this one up (bury it outside in the yard).

very sweet and reaching sherry-like vinousness at an early age. this will be a funky ass yet smooth brew when it's about 4 or 5, and i would love to revisit it then. for now, not bad.. but this has potential.

like licking a cake batter-covered spoon.

goodbyeohio, Aug 17, 2005
Photo of AlexJ
3.93/5  rDev +1%

Another interesting offer from an adventurous brewer. Old Salty reveals itself a dark chestnut brown with a brick red cast and is rather hazy. A surprizingly large, frothy head of large, streaming bubbles stays throughout the beer. Upon tasting I will realize this is from over-carbonation.

A generous nose displays assorted fruits, chewy caramel, toffee, molasses, rum soaked fruitcake, a hint of dry oak, light ly fruity hops, and a warming nudge of alcohol.

Flavor follows closely, with lots of dark caramel and lightly scorched toffee, rum-soaked strawberries and dark cherries, oak, dusty leather, a hint of campfire smoke, vanilla, and fruity and floral hops in the finish. Licking my lips, I discover why it's called Old Salty. A briney taste that reminds me of a fresh sea breeze. Interesting.

Body is a chewy medium. Mouthfeel suffers due to the ridiculous carbonation. After many swirls of the glass, it finally settles down. Drinkability is decent regardless.

Thanks to BrewMoose for a chance to try this rare brew.

AlexJ, Aug 13, 2005
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Old Salty Barleywine 2004 from Heavyweight Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 47 ratings.