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Olde School Barleywine - Dogfish Head Brewery

Olde School BarleywineOlde School Barleywine

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BA SCORE
89
very good

1,925 Ratings
THE BROS
86
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1925
Reviews: 957
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 13.13%


Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Brewery visit their website
Delaware, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  15.04% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
Bold, yet smooth! Fermented with dates and figs, this bone-crushing barleywine has a unique flavor.

85 IBU
ABV varies from 13-16%.

(Beer added by: UnionMade on 10-10-2002)
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Ratings: 1,925 | Reviews: 957 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of buschbeer
buschbeer

Ohio

3.84/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 fl. oz. bottle
Served in a snifter
Bottled in 2010, 15% abv

A - It is the color of a blood moon. It is clear with less than an inch of beige head.

S - It has a fruity aroma once I get past the alcohol smell. I has a fig and date thing going on. I get some sugary sweet aromas, too.

T - The taste is similar to the nose. It tastes like fruit soaked in alcohol. The alcohol taste diminishes after it warms. It has a candied sweetness. The figs and dates comes through at this point.

M - Moderate and smooth.

O - It is pretty good. It is a little too sweet, but that is to be expected given the abv. It makes for a nice sipper on a chilly spring evening.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2014 23:51:40 | More by buschbeer
Photo of inlimbo77
inlimbo77

Delaware

3.93/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz, 2013
DFH signature glass

A: Pours a deep orange with reddish hued color. Half finger of slightly off white head. Lots of carbonation streaming from the DFH logo. Sticky lacing.

S: Getting a good amount of fruit right up front. Definitely those figs and dates. Some hops even.

T: Typical DFH yeast. Pulling that date and fig character. This beer might be really nice in a BA version. Sweetness in the mid palate. Finish had long lingering stale fruity flavors. Some dryness.

M: Medium bodied leading to full.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2014 03:38:06 | More by inlimbo77
Photo of magictacosinus
magictacosinus

California

3.71/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Had this a little while ago in Arcata - I usually see 30 proof beers and beyond as liqueurs, so I split one 12oz bottle into a tulip glass with some friends. Paired with homemade spicy curry and naan to help cut the anticipated sweetness down a bit.

Pours an orange amber color that's deeply cloudy with a surprisingly large bone white head that's frothy and thick. Granted, it doesn't really stick around for very long, nor does it leave behind any sticky lacing clinging to the glass, but a ring persists throughout. If it weren't for the ring, this would look like a cloudier Amontillado Sherry. Viscous as all hell, and pretty much up there with one of the more monstrous beers I've seen to date.

As expected, this smells intensely sweet and boozy, although luckily a lot of fruity and spicy aspects do come through. Figs and dates soaked in honey, as well as raisins, plums, and a toffee/butterscotch covered sweetness that follows. Some floral notes, ranging towards violets, as well as some brief peppery flavors that soon become overpowered by the sugar and booze. Spices such as clove, nutmeg, and cinnamon are also present, but more fascinatingly enough is the brief banana yeasty funk that's at the finish, combined with a toasted buttery flavor. This slightly stings the nostrils, but it's nothing incredibly harsh - only quite demanding, even at this point.

Yeah, they weren't kidding about this being an extreme offering! Enormous sweetness from the fruit coats the palate, with caramelized dates, figs, prunes, and raisins all swirling around with extra sweet notes of burnt toffee, butterscotch, and a brief buttery sensation at the finish. It's a little bitter and spicy at the center, but the sugar eventually becomes predominant at the finish, as does the alcohol. A citrus buzz, maybe one of orange peel, miraculously makes its way through, although there's nothing more in addition to it. Extremely sweet, with a slightly warming afterglow, but never super boozy or syrupy overall. Carbonation is decent, but it does lose itself over time, which promotes a sludgy feel. Granted, my serving portion was perfect, as was the food pairing of super spicy food to cut the sweetness, but it's definitely intense and ridiculous.

This folds the envelope for American barleywines, and becomes a liqueur-like fruit concoction with its high emphasis on the fruits and sweet aspects of the malts. I usually do not like American barleywines as much, but this highly resembles its English counterpart with its extra sweet, fruity malt profile. If they could somehow throw this in some kind of barrel (I'm thinking rye whiskey or Sherry), this would only further reveal its obvious liqueur leaning qualities. Cheers to DFH for experimenting as always, although maybe they should consider packaging some of these strong beers in 6oz bottles for practical purposes.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2014 08:22:45 | More by magictacosinus
Photo of vic21234
vic21234

Illinois

4.13/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Bottled on date is 11/21/08, this was one of the first beers I put down to begin my cellar.

A- Pours a murky mahogany color, with remnants of what looks to be an amber color along the sides of the glass. 5 years of sediment was also very apparent on the pour as expected. Tons of lacing along the sides of the glass.

S- Tons of alcohol notes on the nose still, as well as a sweet maltiness. The alcohol really dominates the aroma.

T- Starts very sweet with some dark fruit and raisin graininess before giving way to the alcohol. The malts are apparent at the back of each sip and the hop character when fresh is definitely muted.

M- Medium bodied, low carbonation, still drinking rather hot with a warming sensation after each sip.

I'm happy overall with my 5 year aging experiment on this one. I remember it being very hot fresh, and though it may have toned down a bit, it still lets you know that its 15% ABV with each sip.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2014 00:03:43 | More by vic21234
Photo of JamesMN
JamesMN

Minnesota

4.26/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on 10/9/13.

Appearance: Semi-translucent copper/orange color with a thin off-white cap of foam. Initially poured a decent head, surprising given the 15% ABV.

Aroma: Drunken figs and a ton of caramel malt provide an enticingly sweet aroma. Surprisingly no alcohol present here.

Taste: Huge swelling of flavors from the first sip. Starts with smooth heat and moderate hop bitterness. The heat never lets up but supplies a wonderful robustness to the overall flavor and the palate adjusts to it with alarming readiness. The hop character is sweet orange nectar (which I've found to be a staple of the style) and the bitterness probably clocks in around 80 IBUs but the malty caramel sweetness keeps everything in check. This is a pretty fresh bottle as far as high ABV beers are concerned but it tastes like something that's been aging to perfection for some time. The added figs and dates come through in a sweet kick before a last trickle of bitterness takes over and transitions into an aftertaste of long lasting orange hop bitterness. Really well done.

Mouthfeel: Full in body but not cloying and only moderately sticky. Very smooth carbonation, given a somewhat vigorous pour. The shocker here is the great drinkability, though it is a sipper at heart.

Final Thoughts: Olde School has reminded me of why I like the barleywine style in the first place, huge flavor and delicate balance. I was nearly turned off of the style after initially enjoying it because of the many poorly made brews out there. Make no mistake, DFH brews the real deal. Would I drink it again? Yes.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2014 03:38:59 | More by JamesMN
Photo of BeerKangaroo
BeerKangaroo

Alaska

4.29/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Thanx Fujindemon74.

"Bottled on 10/09/13"

Into a tulip.

A: hazy orange/amber/brown colored body with a slim half finger white foamy head with some light lacing that tries to cling but slides for the most part

S: wow, a light citrusy juicy hops along with some earthy honey, figs, and dates, comes across really well

T: sweet and sticky through a smooth flavored honeyed hops, sweet sticky aftertaste and finish

M: it seems like it wants to be a sipper, but comes across fairly sessionable, carbonation is slightly smooth and good for the style, perhaps maybe not as harsh as some American Barleywines, but hey good stuff

O: shout out to Dogfish Head for a wonderful American Barleywine well worthy of coming back to

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2014 22:46:28 | More by BeerKangaroo
Photo of BierJager89
BierJager89

California

4.56/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Hazy orange with a white ring of head.

S: Earthy fruity and malty smells, peach, orange peel, grapefruit peel, figs and dates are present, and maybe just a touch of oak (might just be my imagination) in the nose.

T: Wow. Figs, dates, plums, peach, papaya, a touch of alcohol astringency, and an orange-forward citric finish. Tastes wonderful, alcohol presence is quite subdued at 15%.

M: Medium bodied, a touch spicy-feeling with the alcohol, but pretty smooth.

O: Probably my favorite beer from DFH. It's definitely worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2014 16:37:21 | More by BierJager89
Photo of joe1510
joe1510

Illinois

3.89/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle
$16.99 4-Pack
Cheap Cheap Liquors - Plainfield, IL

Bottled: 10/9/13

Olde School proudly shows off a beautifully clear chestnut body witha bit of a ruby tint when backlit. Big streams of tiny carbonation bubbles rush up the sides of the glass keeping the yellowed white head in place. The head shows some strong staying power and leaves fluffy chunk lacing down the glass. A damn good looking barleywine is Olde School.

The nose shows all sorts of those sweet, candy/dessert like qualities of good English style barleywines. Both brown and white sugar are noticeable off the bat. Toffee, plum pudding, rich dates and some darker fruits that blend together which I'm guessing the figs play a part. As this beer warms black cherry emerges with sweet English puddings and such. My only complaint is the lack of intensity.

Brown sugar and a drizzle of molasses get things going in the flavor profile. The brown sugar is dense and sweet. Figs, dates, cherries, and prunes are all a part of this massive beer. Toffee and brandy also play their roles. This beer is huge and there is an alcohol component but I must say it's nicely integrated all things considered.

Dogfish Head really nailed the mouthfeel on this beer. The sheer size will usually add a little sweet stick but Dogfish somehow made the body silky smooth and the carbonation incredibly airy. There's a small alcohol burn on the swallow and the finish is nicely dry leaving behind a soft bitterness along the tongue.

If you're in the mood for a massive, sweet, yet somehow easy drinking (relatively) barleywine than you could do a lot worse than Olde School. I can't say I drink very much Dogfish Head beer but Olde School is one I will pick up in the future. This is a beer you could sit on for years with no poor outcome.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2014 03:56:30 | More by joe1510
Photo of SportsandJorts
SportsandJorts

Michigan

4.63/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: a light amber color, almost orange. fairly hazy but not opaque. two fingers of a tannish head that leaves a lacing around the edges.

Smell: huge smell as soon as the cap cracks. dried fruit. figs and dates. sweet caramel malts. lots of malty sweetness. maybe a touch creamy. hint of alcohol. just a bit too strong with the alcohol

Taste: opens up with a brief hint of bready malts. quickly switches to dried fruits. definite pruney/date taste. caramel and toffee malt sweetness and some nuttiness. very subtle herbal hop just for balance and a kick of alcohol.

Mouthfeel: alcohol warmth, heavy body, sticky. just a touch chewy.

Overall: amazing flavors. and unbelievable drinkability for 15%. very different from the other barleywines today but very true to the style. wonderfully brewed beer and easily a top barleywine.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2014 00:26:11 | More by SportsandJorts
Photo of DerekQXQX
DerekQXQX

Illinois

3.21/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

I am sitting here, drinking this beer with my Girlfriend of a year. She is beautiful. On the beer scale, I'd give her a...4.1?

I'd cellar her to see if she matures. But I don't know...

This beer is pretty good. Not as smooth or drinkable as other barleywines I've had. I can really taste the alcohol, those saying it has no carbonation are right on the money. Real boozy, dark fruit taste. Perhaps not my thing but I can see how it is quality and how snobs would like it.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2013 03:40:24 | More by DerekQXQX
Photo of mverity
mverity

Florida

3.78/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2010 bottle share at Proof. Poured amber brown with almost no head. Aroma is a warm, sweet malty bomb, with a slight hint of dark fruit. Taste is somehow sweet citrus, earthy, and a touch of that dark fruit. Kinda boozey. Medium body, almost no carbonation. Great beer overall.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2013 04:35:31 | More by mverity
Photo of scottbrew4u
scottbrew4u

Pennsylvania

4.44/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter from 12 oz bottle at cellar temperature.
A: Clear amber color with ruby highlights and a bubbly tan head.
This head settles nicely to a thin dancing layer of bubbles.
S: Smell of fresh brown bread soaked in cognac. Then there is dates and vanilla notes. More layers of bread and roasted barley. Some fresh figs add nicely to the sweetness. Some peppery hops add a respite to the sweet aromas.
T: Layer upon layer of roasted barley and caramel and vanilla sweetness unfold sip after sip. Healthy hit from the dates and figs makes you know the bring it real at Dogfish Head. Fresh baked bread and a taste of cognac give this beer more depth and strength. Hops are spicy and just enough to keep the sweetness down a notch.
M: Soft but full body with some smoothness to it. Carbonation is crisp but not over sharp. Some heat from the alcohol lets you know you are into a solid barleywine.
O: A lot going on in this beer especially at cellar temperature. There is so much to enjoy with each taste. It is a great example of the style. If there is any less desirable trait to this brew, it would be a touch too much of the figs. It coats the mouth a bit in my opinion. I would definitely recommend this beer to barleywine lovers and I will be getting more!

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2013 23:27:18 | More by scottbrew4u
Photo of Stu_Grimson
Stu_Grimson

Michigan

4.39/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A- pours smooth red to amber with little head if any, but with some lacing

S- lots going on here, I get an earthy and fruity smelly, some dates and raisins for sure. Overall it just smell delicious with toffee and caramel as well

T- again lots going on with the fruity flavors that hit you from the dates and I get a little vanilla and caramel as well and a medium alcohol taste

M- it was medium to full but closer to medium with a little tingle from the carbonation and a little alcohol in the finish

O- I enjoyed this one with all it's different flavors and I didn't realize it was 15% until I looked at the bottle, defiantly keeping one to try next year

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2013 02:41:42 | More by Stu_Grimson
Photo of MCain04
MCain04

Illinois

4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 vintage poured into Crooked Stave snifter

Pours a murky red, amber brown body with an off-white head which dissipates quickly with rimming around the edge.

Smells sweet with candied jolly rancher cherry flavor, some vanilla and toffee, caramel, alcohol esters, white grapes, nicely aromatic.

Taste is akin to the smell with vanilla, toffee, caramel, and cherries. Heavy alcohol taste, every bit of the 15%. Definitely a sipper.

Mouthfeel is medium to full, medium carbonation, a little prickly, alcohol solvent has a drying effect on the finish.

Overall, a year on this brew hasn't yet toned down the alcohol and booze on this brew. Flavors are still strong, but this needs time to mellow, perhaps 2-3 years.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2013 01:04:00 | More by MCain04
Photo of Dave_Treat
Dave_Treat

Virginia

3.81/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2013 bottle. Served cold and let warm over time

Appearance: Clear amber, little head on a soft pour.

Smell: definitely smell the alcohol. A very nice sweet, dark fruit smell underneath

Taste: Very nice sweet BW flavor. Very smooth but comes across as a little too boozy, but that should be expected at 15%. Will cellar one of these and have next year.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, light carbonation.

Overall: Very good barley wine, it not a little too strong on the alcohol. I will definitely try it again with a year on it.

Serving type: bottle

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2013 05:13:55 | More by Dave_Treat
Photo of ac22rush
ac22rush

Illinois

3.88/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a medium to light amber with a thin champagne like thin head.

The nose is full of white grapes, pomegranate, cherry, and some vanilla.

Smooth in the mouth with massive hop character to start and gives way to a smooth fruity/earthy from the malt and yeast. The alcohol doesn't quite hit till the end.

I let this beer warm slightly before I actually sipped it for a 15% beer it was quit easy to drink and until the alcohol warmed my soul it was hard to tell that it was even that big of a beer.

Pretty good beer in my opinion nothing really went above and beyond for me but I would enjoy this brew again in the future. Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2013 17:04:06 | More by ac22rush
Photo of bhyndthebottle
bhyndthebottle

Oregon

3.8/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Had the 2013 Olde school in a bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance: Poured a beautiful medium amber with a larger soft head that quickly disappears leaving light lacing. Wonderfully clear.

Smell: Definitely comes on a little boozy. At 15%, you would actually expect more, but comes across rather nice. A little lightness comes from the figs.

Taste: Comes across with barely any hops and slightly sweet. The alcohol that was prevalent in the nose is now nonexistent. Very nice and smooth, with the dates and figs showing nicely in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Nice and full bodied, with not a lot of carbonation. Nicely done, but expected a little more body and carbonation.

Overall: This is another fine release from Dog Fish Head. Should age well, but I would not do more than a year. The dates and figs added a nice lightness in the alcohol taste.
Well Done!

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2013 02:07:43 | More by bhyndthebottle
Photo of HattedClassic
HattedClassic

Virginia

3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a light and creamy white head that dissipates quickly. The beer is a deep ruby red that is clear. The beer has a fairly sweet and fruity smell with a hint of alcohol. some hints of dark fruits but sweet malts are the primary smell with a slight hints of hops. The taste is somewhat similar to the smell. Sweet malts dominate the palates with dark fruits and a hint of hops as well as a bit of alcohol as well. The feel is fairly syrupy but still pretty good and smooth. The beer is heavy bodied but still feels lighter than most other barleywine. Overall, a decent barleywince and worth buying at least once.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2013 02:16:01 | More by HattedClassic
Photo of TheosTheories
TheosTheories

Florida

3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A- deep orange with a finger of head, good amount of carbonation coming up, looks pretty good.

S- I'm getting thick syrup, the figs and dates are coming through strong, nice caramel toffee sweetness, little hints of alcohol, but is covered by a lot of sweet malts.

T- the dates and figs are up front, really sweet beer, molasses with some caramelized sugar, big sweet malts, and finishes with the warmth from the alcohol, but it goes down nice.

M- thick and syrupy, sticky on the palate, hardly any carbonation.

O- not bad for what it is. I am a big fan of barley wines, and I've had better but this is still a pretty good beer. A little too much alcohol but hey it's dogfish head, what do you expect. Probably would go nice with a cigar, and some age on it.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2013 22:45:02 | More by TheosTheories
Photo of mt24turner
mt24turner

New York

4.06/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is a nice deep orange almost red
smell- sweet syrupy, with hints of alcohol
taste- love the taste of this beer! its very warming but not near hot, huge dark fruit flavor and syrupy flavors but nothing out of balance just enough hop bitterness
mouthfeel is smooth, low carbonation and full body.
overall- this is a great cold night beer, warming and scotch-like sure to warm your bones

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2013 18:04:31 | More by mt24turner
Photo of IronLover
IronLover

Pennsylvania

4.01/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottled in 2010. Amber orange in color with a thick, viscous look. Poured with a short white foam that quickly reduced to thin wisps. Dark fruit, sweet sugary malt and toffee aromas are prominent with butter and boozy notes at the back end. A quick rush of carbonation up front followed by a smooth slightly oily feel through the middle and tangy, boozy heat at the end. Dark fruit flavors up front with toffee flavors added through the middle. Tangy bite in the middle leads candied orange and chardonnay-like pear flavors. Finishes dryly with a tangy, slightly tart fruitiness along with undeniable, but mellow boozy heat.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2013 03:07:12 | More by IronLover
Photo of CloudStrife
CloudStrife

New York

4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Bottled on 10/09/13.

A: Pours a mostly clear amber brown with minimal white head. A fair amount of visible carbonation. Head is quick to dissipate fleeting to the edges of the glass. Spots of lacing.

S: Very subtle aroma for such a strong beer. Dark fruits and yeastiness make up the bulk. Malt sweetness round out the backend. Bit of breadiness as well as the expected alcohol notes, which build as the beer warms.

T: Bold flavor, the figs and dates really come through on this one. Molasses sweetness blends into an almost port like wine finish. Hints of carmel and toffee. Isnt as boozy as one would think, malts cover it up well.

M: Full body with a heavy syrupy mouthfeel. Low carbonation with a bit of a sticky finish. Not as hot as expected, instead a nice warming feel. Very drinkable considering its ABV.

Overall this is a solid barleywine with a fig and date compliment that really works out. As the label suggests, a beer that will develop quite well overtime. Great sipping beer as the season gets colder.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2013 02:56:09 | More by CloudStrife
Photo of MattyBones
MattyBones

New York

4.09/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up 2 bottles of this to share with a friend. This was the last brew of the night and not the one you want to finish off with when you are nearing drunkness. Needless to say it was the ass kicker of the evening.

Appearance: Pored a deep cherry/copper color with a very thin, oily head. Had that syrupy look that DFH 120 had when poring into the glass.

Smell: Now this thing has complex smells. Smelled like fruits, mixed with malty, sugary notes that I couldn't quite pick out one definitive odor. Quite pleasing I must say.

Taste: Holy hell!! As confusing as the nose was, the taste was just the same. I mixture of dried fruits, some malty notes, and a sugar sweetness of honey. Oh and Alcohol!!!

Mouthfeel: Thick, oily, syrupy feel.

Overall: This was complex to say the least, but I enjoyed the mix of flavors. The alcohol wasn't hidden but it didn't over power. This was the nail in the coffin to a long evening, so next time I try this I might have it as the starter so I'm not completely wrecked the next day.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2013 20:35:10 | More by MattyBones
Photo of ThickNStout
ThickNStout

Georgia

4.34/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle from Luenens (Dunedin, FL). 15.99/ 4 pack. Bottled 10/9/13. Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Pours semi opaque mahogany with a one finger pale head. Retains a nice thin layer and decent halo without leaving any lace.

Aromas of figs, nutmeg, caramel and pale hops.

Taste follows the nose. Dates, figs, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, faint earthy floral hops and a thick, potent dose of booze. Quite a nice blend despite the heavy handed alcohol.

Sticky medium heavy body with moderate carbonation. Boozey caramel and dark fruit aftertaste.

Having had my first Olde School (which was a 2012 bottle) about two weeks ago I was eager to try it fresh for comparison. Suffice it to say I learned the importance on patience with this one. It's quite good and worth trying when fresh but it's worlds better with some age on it. A good barleywine that truly becomes great as it ages. Aguably my favorite from Dogfish Head.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2013 12:48:16 | More by ThickNStout
Photo of ThisWangsChung
ThisWangsChung

Maryland

3.61/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a tasting snifter.

A: Pours a clear reddish copper color. While the off-white colored head isn't turribly impressive, it does have a bit of duration which almost belies its gravity. Not much lacing either. It does leave alcohol legs behind, though.

S: Dark. Fruit. Overload. Of course, being brewed with dark fruits helps - in this case, it already amplifies what the dominant note should be. While there are alcoholic traces for sure, especially once it warms up slightly, you can't really tell it's 15% at all. Also upon opening up, it develops a subtle yet prevalent bread aroma.

T: Immediately, sweetness hits the tongue. Dark fruits and caramel give way to a sour middle - not sour as in "wild ale", but sour as in "musty and leathery". And is it ever leathery. Boozy, but hey, it's 15%. Honestly, the presence of alcohol here doesn't bother me as much as it did in, say, Palo Santo Marron. Past its alcoholic finish lies strong tones of vanillin sweetness; had there been any sort of oaky presence, you could have almost fooled me into thinking this was barrel-aged. While it's damn enjoyable, it's a bit too reliant on brute force and heavy handed sweetness to be a world beater.

M: Super soft, super creamy, which is exactly what is demanded. I could use a touch more body to help conceal the alcohol better. The finish is super, ultra, mega, uber sticky, and this does create a slightly less harsh feel. In fact, it's actually un-impossible to drink given its sweet and boozy nature. Still, drinking a bottle of this solo would turn into a chore.

O: It has the general profile of an English-style barleywine...but the bigness and brute force of a 'Merican one. Having said that, this is one of DFH's better offerings, and obviously a great aging candidate. Even fresh, the booze is hidden relatively well. Relatively. If I ever buy this again, down in the ground they go.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2013 23:18:25 | More by ThisWangsChung
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Olde School Barleywine from Dogfish Head Brewery
89 out of 100 based on 1,925 ratings.