1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Olde School Barleywine - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Olde School BarleywineOlde School Barleywine

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,386 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,386
Reviews: 1,023
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 12.85%
Wants: 224
Gots: 665 | FT: 38
Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Brewery visit their website
Delaware, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  15.04% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: UnionMade on 10-10-2002

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

85 IBU
ABV varies from 13-16%.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 2,386 | Reviews: 1,023
Photo of StoutSlut
1/5  rDev -74.8%

Photo of Dodgesbullets
1/5  rDev -74.8%

Photo of SickNukes
1/5  rDev -74.8%

Photo of chrispoint
1/5  rDev -74.8%

Photo of erlenmeyer
1/5  rDev -74.8%

Photo of harrymel
1.25/5  rDev -68.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1


A: pours apricot ale with a finger of off-white foam which falls quickly to a sheet of the same. cherry tones. near excellent clarity.
S: smells like all of DFH beers that are high gravity: sour grapes, acetone, other horrid esters.
T: sweet and alcoholic. Man, I'm really not disappointed, because I half anticipated this would taste similar to the others in the series.
M: thin, hi carb, semi dry.
O: this beer is shit. Gimmick. Never again.

Photo of hellbilly
1.3/5  rDev -67.3%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

on tap at papago...

hazy brown amber with a small white head which fades to last as a film.

the aroma... well... bananas, bubblegum, caramel, piloncilla (presumably dates), more sugar and floral alcohol which actually smells like nail polish (confirmed by several).

i really had to work myself up to taste this... thing. it's the same... lots of hot floral cheaply manufactured booze with a starchy banana aftertaste.

the chewy texture and hot mouth feel just aren't going to get it done and certainly don't help the cause. yuck. 3/4/2/1/5/1.5

Photo of jimbob25
1.44/5  rDev -63.7%

Photo of LJugel
1.5/5  rDev -62.2%

Photo of HopFace
1.5/5  rDev -62.2%

Photo of Nichols33
1.5/5  rDev -62.2%

Photo of bubseymour
1.85/5  rDev -53.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

This was the first time I've sampled a barley wine so I'm sure my pallet is just in shock at the moment. I'm not going to bother with the usual format of my review.

The good - the appearance and smell is ok. It leaves a nice warm feeling in your tummy. It actually does seem like a beer/wine hybrid drink in some ways which I'm assuming is primarily from the alcohol level being more in the range of wine than beers (except high ABV RIS).

The bad - well...sorry to say this tastes like cough syrup to me. I've had about 10 sips now and it just isn't getting any better at all. I'm glad I only bought a 1 12 oz bottle, because unfortunately I'm going to have to dump about 9 oz of it down the drain. I just can't go any further into this beer..the struggle to enjoy is unbearable. If I need a high-alcohol warm winter option...I go with either a RIS or a port wine. Barley wines just must not be for me.

Photo of Conserving_water_Aaron
1.99/5  rDev -49.9%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Old School ale has a good appearance in a glass and a nice white head. With the smell there's alot going on with the figs and dates. The taste is just too much, and by that I mean it's way bitter. Definitely only 1 a night beer. The abv is 15% wich is overboard and you can definitely taste that. I am curious what this beer would taste like aged for a couple years and I think that's all it's got going for it. Not a total disappointment, just another one for the craft collection.

Photo of GuisseppeFranco
2/5  rDev -49.6%

Photo of largadeer
2/5  rDev -49.6%

Photo of cnewton
2/5  rDev -49.6%

Photo of Savage51
2/5  rDev -49.6%

Photo of cjac
2/5  rDev -49.6%

Photo of BrownAleMale
2/5  rDev -49.6%

Photo of Rekrule
2/5  rDev -49.6%

Photo of airohead2001
2.12/5  rDev -46.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

HUGE thanks to glazeman for this one!

A - Copper reddish/brown with no head. Really clear and light looking for a barleywine. I like it. No lacing.

S - Bubble gum, sugar, cotton candy, and flavored coffee syrup. This smells absolutely disgusting.

T - Booze, booze, booze, hard after dinner candies, and oranges. Similar to the smell, this is really gross.

M - Nice. Thick.

D - No way. Not a chance in hell. No drinkability at all. This beer is terrible. This is a fun beer just because it is so bad. Glazeman and I had a good time with this one.

Photo of jampics2
2.12/5  rDev -46.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Totally filtered. Bummer. This looks to be a clear redish orange with a white head. Lacks character.

Smell is phenolic alcohol, sweet malt, sugar.

Taste is good at first. A great sweetness peaks into a plum and grape and sweet malt explosion. Then a breath of deadly booze comes to take your soul. This tastes like the grim reaper's beer belches smell. HORRIBLE, vile, sick - I've had the other insane ABV DFH beers, and this is hands down the worst. Each of the others had much more flavor depth to enjoy. This is a sugar booze bomb.

Mouthfeel is OK, syrupy but as expected for such a liquor.

Hard to drink. I want to say it has some merits, but this was quite frankly deplorable.

Photo of darklordlager
2.17/5  rDev -45.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

A: Cracked open and thrown into a most appropriate DFH snifter.Crystal clear ruby/garnet colour with a moderate head that dissapates quickly. Little islands of bubbles struggle to stay afloat. Looks very nice the way the light strikes it.

S: I wish I could say that the smell is layered malt, but it comes across to me as more of a cough syrup. I can notice the malt underneath, but the nauseating sugary cough syrup smell is prominent, playing in with the monstrous alcohol presence.

T: Carmelized malt, cotton candy, and the cherry-esque alcoholic cough syrup taste. Hot on the finish, and a bit in the middle as well. I know the sweetness is to counteract the alcohol, but there is no depth of malt flavour, just the nauseating alcoholic and artificial sweetness.

M: Syrupy with low carbonation.

D: The closest description I can get to this is of candied cough syrup drizzled over cotton candy, with a bit of malt extract salted on. With every sip, I'm considering a drain pour. Really a let down from what I was expecting, and not worth the $4 I dropped on it...Drainpour.

Photo of Gtreid
2.22/5  rDev -44.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

Vintage 2007.
Poured into a snifter.

A: Nice orange, caramel color with almost one full finger of sandy head that does not retain well.

A: Did not like this. Astringent, and white board marker smell took me back. There were some sweet malts, and earthy, pine hops, but... As close as I can come to discribing this smell is, the purple scented marker you would use in grade school.

T: Not much better IMO. I did get some nice honey, and piney hop tones, as well as some sweet malts, but, I'm afraid the alcohol overwhelms this brew.

M&D: Medium to full body, the mouthfeel was actuauly quite nice and creamy. The drinkability, on the other hand was not. At 15% ABV, very strong, too strong. Not a good example of an American BW. Maybe I got a bad bottle? Will not be searching for this again. Skal.

Photo of charlzm
2.23/5  rDev -43.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Consumed 04/22/08.

Cloudy, dark honey hue. Good lacing, though not much of a head.

Aroma is sticky sweet and boozy.

The first thing I noticed when the beer entered my mouth is the flavor and heat of the alcohol. It's a big, big beer. Some acetone character as well. And sweetness. Lots of sweetness. Maybe honey?

Despite the powerful flavor, I am unable to pick out anything other than alcohol, acetone and sweetness. Perhaps I drank this too young (I bought the bottle only three months ago), but I must admit I am disappointed in this one.

Mouthfeel is thick and coating, a little cloying.

As is, not terribly drinkable. I'm glad I split this bottle four ways.

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Olde School Barleywine from Dogfish Head Brewery
89 out of 100 based on 2,386 ratings.