Olde School Barleywine - Dogfish Head Brewery
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Ratings: 2,023 | Reviews: 967 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by nhindian:
3.65/5 rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
12oz bottle poured into a Dogfish Head Signature glass.
A - Pours a crystal clear, ruby red with bursts of sunset orange. It's sort of that color of dusk where you have the last few minutes before the sun goes down, where it's bright and vibrant yet streaked with the pending darkness. Tons of carbonation can be seen streaming from the bottom of the glass and it culminates in about a finger and a half worth of tan head with surprising retention given the ABV. It leaves some decent lacing as well, with thick, soapy bubbles clinging to the glass.
S - Even before the glass gets to my nose, I can tell this is one hoppy barleywine. Fresh tropical fruits, pineapple and mango and citrus for sure. Getting a bit of pine resin, but it also comes off as somewhat soapy as well. I think I'm getting grapes or figs too, but it may be the malts. A bit of caramel malts, but actually for the most part, there isn't a whole ton of malts present in the nose. Slight alcohol in the finish.
T - Phew, this is one big barleywine. Definitely getting the malts here, and they are quite sweet. Caramel and toffee are strong at first, but then give way to an almost Belgian sugary-sweet grape, fig, raisin notes. Again, the hops are bold and in your face, resiny and citrusy. The biggest difference I think is the soap and alcohol notes, which are greatly exacerbated here. I seriously think I can light my breath on fire after drinking it.
M - Mouthfeel is medium- to heavy-bodied with good carbonation. It actually feels really solid in the mouth and full-bodied, but the lasting impression is sweet, yet bitter from the hops, and lots of residual alcohol.
D/O - Drinkability is moderate. This is from the newest batch so I would expect it to be a little hot, but this is for sure a sipper in its current state. The flavors are big, but the alcohol definitely combats that to turn it down a notch. I bought two of these for a good price, and may pick up another few and stash them away and forget about them. I can see this turning into something good a few years down the road.
Serving type: bottle
10-11-2011 04:33:15 | More by nhindian
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.