Old Knucklehead Barleywine - BridgePort Brewing Co. / Brewpub

Not Rated.
Old Knucklehead BarleywineOld Knucklehead Barleywine

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BA SCORE
89
very good

181 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 181
Reviews: 91
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 12.06%
Wants: 36
Gots: 9 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
BridgePort Brewing Co. / Brewpub visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  9.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Todd on 12-16-1998)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 181 | Reviews: 91 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of charlesw
2.25/5  rDev -43.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

On the dark side of murky, orange. No head. Weirdly bitter and unbalanced. Bitter... Well, not as bitter as a Pliny, but it definitely reminds me of one. I imagine that all good barleywines are. The problem, here, is that there is no body/sweetness to balance that out. So, for an American BW what this has is hops. It could use malt and body.

Call it an American Strong Ale and you're probably fine. Maybe even an Old Ale (well, drop the hops, up the color). But BW? Nah.

Photo of bespin15
2.5/5  rDev -37.2%

Photo of jakon
2.68/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

22oz bottle purchased $4.49 on 4-2-8 at Whole Foods Portland.

This beer pours a copperish hue with a needing-to-be forced two finger tan head that recedes at an average pace while leaving behind uniform rings of sticky lacing.

Not picking up much bourbon in the aroma. Mostly a caramel/brown sugar sweetness sitting atop a malt backbone and a very light hop presence. Grain alcohol.

The taste first reminds me of malt liquor. I can taste the bourbon, but it comes across very raw and medicinal. The hops provide bitterness, but not much in the way of the more subtle flavors.

Overall, this was a disappointment for me. It's an ok beer, but I was just expecting something better.

Photo of anteater
2.75/5  rDev -30.9%

Photo of smttycty
2.88/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It took a second aggressive pour from the bomber to get a decent crown. Good legs and decent lacing on my snifter. Reddish brown semi-opaque body. The nose was nice but not pronounced. Peaty sweet malt tones with an obvious alcoholic hit.

The first sip stopped me in my tracks. I looked at the bottle again. Yes, it says barley wine very clearly. This is the driest version of the style i've ever sampled. Not really what I want from a BW. Lots of alcohol, but no real off flavors to stop me. There is hop character in back but it doesn't linger. Kind of an oaky bourbon thing with a clean finish. The carbonation is just right for the medium to heavy bodied brew.

Weird! Definitely not what I'm look for in a barley wine, but drinkable in a one-before-bedtime kind of way. Either way, with BridgePort's long history in the craft beer world I think they need to practice a little more on this style.

Photo of FtownThrowDown
3/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a auburn brown in color with a reddish highlights.
Smells of spent hops and slight malts.
No barrel aging or bourbon to be found in this beer at all. Still a good amount of spent hops showing in the flavor. Still a good amount of carbonation going on in the flavor. Nothing special gong on here. Move on.
Drinkable, but nothing special.

Photo of bernat1971
3/5  rDev -24.6%

Photo of mhaugo
3/5  rDev -24.6%

Photo of ricecracker420
3/5  rDev -24.6%

Photo of jenray
3/5  rDev -24.6%

Photo of BigMikie
3/5  rDev -24.6%

Photo of JoelClark
3/5  rDev -24.6%

Photo of bkeller04
3.25/5  rDev -18.3%

Photo of AxesandAnchors
3.25/5  rDev -18.3%

Photo of Bloodbuzz99
3.25/5  rDev -18.3%

Photo of bditty187
3.35/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

No 011, 2003 edition with Fred Eckhardt on the label.

Murky bloody cherry-brown in hue, when held to a light influences of tawny-gold are found. It is a lovely color. A beige head reached a sad fourth of a finger in height and it quickly faded to a collar. The subsequent lacing was nil. The nose is a big burst of alcoholic fruit juice, strong aromas of cherries, plums, pineapple, and raisins with suggestions of sugar, nutmeg, and bubblegum too. The potency is huge. Big, round maltiness. I really like the bouquet, fantastic fruitiness; I can’t wait to see if the palate can match this intensity. Mouthwatering inviting. It is drinking time. The palate is disappointing. Period. Where are the flavor complexities? Upfront is alcohol heat, sugar, and a bit of yeasty spice, in the middle the maltiness is flat, it tries to be juicy and amble but this attempt is paper-thin. The finish quickly pushes through as a suggestion of tropical fruit and plums find a home. However the alcohol heat reemerges and it just sat on my lips. It burns. The promised fruitiness of the nose is never delivered. Where the hell is the enjoyment? Is this sample just too young? The sugariness becomes cumbersome. This is felt in the mouthfeel too, I found it very thin, especially for such a big beer, medium-light in body. The carbonation is also small. The drinkability is low because the alcohol is harsh and the palate is lacking in complexities and is basically unrefined. Couple this with the fact I can’t see myself drinking this again. There are way to many great barleywines I could spend my money on. I bought one 12-ounce bottle in Loveland, CO. I could not recommend this.

Photo of Gavage
3.43/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: clear deep dark burgandy in color with a nice 1/4" head that slowly faded. Some spots of lacing developed.

Smell: general sweetness and a bit of alcohol are picked up by the nose.

Taste: strong malt level here with prunes and raisins bringing an extra sweetness. A bit of dark chocolate is detectable and this is mildy bitter. Alcohol is definitely noticeable.

Mouthfeel: basically smooth, almost syrupy on the tongue. Heavy bodied. Flavors last forever on the tongue after swallowing.

Drinkability: so-so. The overall flavor was a bit better than average but this just did not excite me at all to think about having another. Try it but your mileage may vary...

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.45/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Deep ruby caramel tan head speckled lacing lines the snifter. Aroma: Deep alcohol and fruit surrounded by a barrage of caramel toned malts and a mild hop character. Taste: Piney bitterness comes to the palate unbalanced heavy handed on bitterness not enough hop flavor or sweetness to even everything out, plus it lacks a big lucious alcohol infused fruit finish that I was craving from a barleywine. Mouthfeel: Medium body smooth soft carbonation. Drinkability: I have to mark this down due to the unbalance overall a decent west coast b-wine but nothing I would crave to get all the time.

Photo of fivetime
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

Photo of rogerthegill
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

Photo of beerpadawan
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

Photo of Sean9689
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, vintage 1996.

A - Pours a burnt brown/red color, tan-colored head, thin collar.

S - Fruity sweetness, light oxidation, light burnt sugars, caramel, some coffee. Smells pretty darn good for 15 years of age with a hint of oxidation. It's very "delicate" now, and the booze is gone.

T - Similar to the nose. Dark fruits, caramel, light oxidation, burnt sugars. The booze is long gone, and it goes down sweet and sugary, if anything. Finish is dark fruits and caramel sweetness.

M - Medium, light carbonation, creamy finish.

O - For as old as this beer is, I was surprised how well this held up. The booze was gone and the sweetness was just right for me. I wouldn't recommend holding onto your bottles this long, but it was really cool to try.

Photo of Holy_Hop_Head
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

Photo of DaveRinn
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

Photo of vmdominguez
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

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Old Knucklehead Barleywine from BridgePort Brewing Co. / Brewpub
89 out of 100 based on 181 ratings.