Olde School Barleywine - Dogfish Head Brewery
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Ratings: 2,023 | Reviews: 967 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by cratez:
3.5/5 rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3
12oz bottle from Wolverine Market in Port Huron, MI. Pours a hazed copper hue with amber edges, a thin ring of cream coloured head, and no lace. Smell is caramel, toffee, perfume, white wine, dark dried fruit, cinnamon, toast, cotton candy, light doughiness, mild phenols, green apple, and oak wood. For some reason DFH beers always exhibit flavours and aromas that I don't pick up in other brews. Taste is caramelized apples, slight sourness, green grapes, sparkling wine, malty sweetness, spicy and woody hops, strong alcoholic burn (somewhat harsh), lingering heat in the throat. Mouthfeel is silky upfront, syrupy middle, fuller than medium bodied, spicy and acidic hop bite, a little juicy, warming liquor in the finish. Definite sipper.
Overall impression: although the vinous character of Olde School is a unique take on a barley wine, I'm not sure it's intentional. Some of the aromas seem a bit 'off' for the style, the mild sourness is unpleasant to me, and the evident alcohol detracts from the beer's drinkability. On the U.S. b-wine spectrum, I prefer bolder, hoppier, and smoother examples like Old Ruffian, #100, and Old Crustacean.
Serving type: bottle
01-11-2011 20:38:54 | More by cratez
More User Reviews:
4.43/5 rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
A- Pours a burnt orange with a nice light tan head. Head retention doesnt hold for very long.
S- I get dark fruit which obviously comes from the figs and dates. if it wasnt for the label i might say currants.
T- Seriously smooth for 15% with a great dark fruit finish. Sweetness from the caramel malts but a good sweetness.
M- Medium bodied with a great coat.
O- Awesome what they did with this beer. so strong but yet so well balanced.
Serving type: bottle
07-15-2014 02:40:42 | More by Juuroumaru
3.83/5 rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Reviewing from notes after drinking on 4/19/14. Enjoyed out of a 12 oz brown bottle with a bottling date of 10/9/13, so this one is sitting right about at six months of age. Poured into a large 22 oz snifter glass.
Appearance - Pours a rich carmine red with vermilion highlights and darker notes of brick where the one finger of khaki foam shades the body from the light source with small, tight bubbles save for a few smatterings of larger bubbles resulting from the froth of the pour. Retention is moderate to slight, with the head slinking away to leave a film of head and a thick ringlet around the edge of the glass. No lacing to speak of.
Smell - Woo, the time this one has sat certainly hasn't done much to the booziness, unless this beer started out as a ethanol bomb. Admittedly, the sweetness from the malt and figs is seemingly working to draw out more of the characteristics of the alcohol. With some time and warmth, the aroma calms down a bit to reveal notes of caramel and molasses as well as candied fig and medium fruits. There are also some hints at hoppy bitterness, but really the malt dominates the smell.
Taste - Similar to the aroma, the ABV is not hidden in the slightest--you taste every bit of the 15%, but oddly it works well with the sweetness from the malt and figs. There is some definite heat to the taste--and no I don't mean spicy heat. The finish has notes of bitterness where I didn't get it before. That's the first sign of the hoppiness that one might expect from a beer that styles itself "American" barleywine. Really, the booze far too overt in this beer for it to be one that I really latch onto.
Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied with a certain thickness to it, almost viscous, along with low carbonation and a burn in the chest after you swallow, like you might expect from a distilled liquor.
Overall, a good enough beer, but one that clearly needs some age to be enjoyable. I'd heard this one was hot if you drink it fresh, and based on my experience at six months, I'd have a hard time disagreeing. I wish I had another bottle to sit on a bit longer and see how it was drinking after a year, but for the time being, it's a decent beer. I'd also change the classification, only because the figs add a sweetness that reminded me more of the English style than the super hoppy, bitter American style.
Serving type: bottle
07-09-2014 06:33:38 | More by LambicPentameter
Olde School Barleywine from Dogfish Head Brewery
89 out of 100 based on 2,023 ratings.