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Old Knucklehead Barleywine - BridgePort Brewing Co. / Brewpub

Not Rated.
Old Knucklehead BarleywineOld Knucklehead Barleywine

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

182 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 182
Reviews: 91
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 11.78%
Wants: 38
Gots: 10 | 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:
Beer added by: Todd on 12-16-1998

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 182 | Reviews: 91 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Holy_Hop_Head
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of dmorgan310
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of AxesandAnchors
3.25/5  rDev -18.5%

Photo of beerpadawan
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of woosterbill
3.67/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle from 1997. Big thanks to Tony for sharing this old thing.

A: Hazy mahogany body with a thin, fine tan head. Pretty good for its extreme age.

S: Musty and oxidized to all hell. Caramel and cobwebs. Cool.

T: Musty cobwebs up front, with caramel malt and basement mustiness afterward. Sweet, dusty finish. Very, very, very old tasting.

M: Medium body, moderate, lively carbonation. Excellent life for such an ancient beer.

O: I love old Barleywines, but this is just too old.

Cheers!

Photo of bespin15
2.5/5  rDev -37.3%

Photo of Sean9689
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%
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 rogerthegill
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of mhaugo
3/5  rDev -24.8%

Photo of jenray
3/5  rDev -24.8%

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of hoesweizen
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of JAHMUR
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thick brown, though you can see some light through it, no head and a nice lace top it off. Smell is hopped for sure, but with a subtle sugary undertone, and a hint of alcohol too. Taste is not very strong at all. There is the natural piney hoppness you would expect from a barley wine, but not too strong, there is also a sugary, nuttiness about it as well. The alcohol is there, and that keeps this a sipper. It is actually nicely carbonated, and not harsh going down, has the warm feeling on the way. Overall this was a good brew, I would not mind having another and certainly kept me warm this evening.

Photo of number1bum
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, Batch 12, courtesy of BeerTruth. Thanks man.

Pours a cloudy brown color with a slight reddish tinge to it. About two fingers of beige head settle to a pretty nice lace, with a splash of stick here and there on the sides.

Smell is quite rich, with aromas of dark fruits, vanilla and sweet caramel. Has a bready quality to it as well, with lots of rich dark caramel.

Taste is also quite fruity, with flavors like plum, apricot, cherry and black currant. There is some darkly caramelized malt sweetness, which like the nose also has a breadiness to it. There is some vanilla and a subtle woody flavor from the barrel aging, but it's not boozy at all. I'm really impressed by the depth of fruity flavor in particular in this beer. Very flavorful and really nice.

Mouthfeel is medium-full, quite smooth and surprisingly clean in the finish for such a big, barrel aged barleywine. Nice.

This is quite good and a very impressive example of a barrel aged barleywine. It's clearly mellowed from the aging, as booze is not at all evident, and it's quite smooth. Quite nice.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.63/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A heavy dark and cloudy appearance. Aroma, super sweet and even a degree of hoppiness.

Taste, big winter warmer style enjoyable heat. There seems to be a lot going on in here. some of the dark fruit, a good degree of hoppiness, sweet yeast effect. Its not Bigfoot, but it ha a lot of similarity to that rare kind of big hop, big everything kind of BW.

Never aged this one, doesn't seem like it would be up my alley, the hops are the draw.

Photo of hoppymcgee
3.99/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to my boy Bill for this bottle. Poured from a 12oz. bottle dated No. 011 - 2003 bottling.

A: Dark brown with carbonation still remaining but recedes to a thin ring and swirls on top.

S: The best feature of this beer. Caramels, toffees, and buttery rum dominate with a nutty backdrop.

T: Too many flavors come at you in one shot - there's not enough layering in this beer. It's also a little bitter at the moment, maybe a little past it's prime? Nonetheless I get some white raisins, prunes, and chestnuts.

M: Still has great carbonation after this much time. A smooth beer but definitely a little too watery - maybe that's due to the age?

D: Was not a problem to finish this bottle. Unfortunately there were signs of oxidation.

Overall, a beer with only 9% ABV that ages this well gives me hope that other beers I'm cellaring with higher ABV's will be awesome in 5 or so years.

Photo of FtownThrowDown
3/5  rDev -24.8%
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 BigMcLargeHuge
3.73/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Courtesy of Gillard. First Bridgeport rating for me, wow, I've been drinking their beers for years. Pours deep copper with tan head. The aroma is caramel, 90L crystal malts, some roasty malts, very faint dark fruity esters and growing alcohol heat. The taste feels a bit creamy and ushers in roasty 90L like crystal malts mixed with caramel and some pine hop bitterness that leans toward grassy. The alcohol begins to grow and starts to become distracting. I get zero barrel agedness in this beer even though the label clearly states it.

Photo of scottoale
4.32/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Old Knuckleheads No. 9 & 10. 12oz. brown embossed bottles, brewed in 1998 & 1999. Both bottles are signed by the guy on the No. 10 bottle - Alfa Zinkus, a Seattle pub owner. Pours a murkish hazelnut brown with a small ivory colored head that dwindled rather quickly.

The smell is sweet and malty with notes of raisen, molasses some vegital greens and alcohol makes it's presence when warmed. The flavor is big and raisen filled with the sweetness of molasses and brown sugar. Green vegital hop brings things to balance with a gentle warming from the alcohol...these have aged very well. Both tasted very similar to a 1998 Old Crustacean I had a few days ago...I love these old Barleywines. Mild carbonation and a full body deliver a lively but smooyh mouthfeel. Good drinkability, the No. 9 has just past it's prime and the 10 is fine...wish I had an 11 to compare to. A big thanks to Travis for making these available to me, Cheers!

Photo of charlesw
2.3/5  rDev -42.4%
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 SickBrew
4.13/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The barlywine pours a turbid hazelnut brown and supports a modest head that forms slowly from co2 coming out of solution similar to the way a nitro does but on a much smaller scale. Nose is somewhat timid but has that characteristic rich malts and slightly sour and bready notes that I associate with the style. This brew tastes great and is not as "big" as some of the other barlywines. Flavors are somewhat smoother and mellower than some other bareywines and yet it is still characteristic for the style. Hop bitterness is moderate and esters are light. Mouthfeel is medium to full, is not syrupy and carbonation is moderately low.

Photo of Wasatch
4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz. Bomber

Poured into my St. Bernardus Watou glass a very nice cloudy dark amber color, nice carbonation, nice little creamy off-white head, which leaves some nice small islands and sticky lacing. The nose is malty, slightly hoppy, spicy, with some figs, prunes, raisins. The taste is very nice, malty, nice touch of hops, slight spices, dark fruits. Medium body, with the alcohol hidden pretty well. Drinkable, this is a very tasty BWSA.

Photo of JDV
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark amber with small offwhite head. Smell is sweet, touch of alcohol, and nice fresh hops. Taste is smooth mild malt followed by a bit of warming alcohol that is unobtrusive, however, and some nice spicy bittering hops. Nicely bittered as well. Slightly syrupy body with medium carbonation. This is definitely a well above average barley wine and I really enjoyed it.

Photo of jakon
2.69/5  rDev -32.6%
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.

Old Knucklehead Barleywine from BridgePort Brewing Co. / Brewpub
89 out of 100 based on 182 ratings.