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Olde School Barleywine - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Olde School BarleywineOlde School Barleywine

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

2,097 Ratings
THE BROS
86
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,097
Reviews: 973
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 13.1%
Wants: 197
Gots: 502 | FT: 25
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Olde School Barleywine Alström Bros
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Ratings: 2,097 | Reviews: 973 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of StoutSlut
1/5  rDev -74.8%

StoutSlut, Dec 24, 2013
Photo of Dodgesbullets
1/5  rDev -74.8%

Dodgesbullets, Dec 30, 2012
Photo of SickNukes
1/5  rDev -74.8%

SickNukes, May 21, 2012
Photo of chrispoint
1/5  rDev -74.8%

chrispoint, Feb 18, 2012
Photo of erlenmeyer
1/5  rDev -74.8%

erlenmeyer, Jan 11, 2012
Photo of harrymel
1.23/5  rDev -69%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

2011

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.

harrymel, Nov 20, 2011
Photo of hellbilly
1.25/5  rDev -68.5%
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

hellbilly, Feb 17, 2009
Photo of LJugel
1.5/5  rDev -62.2%

LJugel, Feb 22, 2014
Photo of HopFace
1.5/5  rDev -62.2%

HopFace, Jan 09, 2013
Photo of Nichols33
1.5/5  rDev -62.2%

Nichols33, Aug 24, 2014
Photo of bubseymour
1.75/5  rDev -55.9%
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.

bubseymour, Jan 30, 2011
Photo of Conserving_water_Aaron
1.95/5  rDev -50.9%
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.

Conserving_water_Aaron, May 07, 2014
Photo of GuisseppeFranco
2/5  rDev -49.6%

GuisseppeFranco, Feb 01, 2012
Photo of largadeer
2/5  rDev -49.6%

largadeer, Apr 19, 2014
Photo of cnewton
2/5  rDev -49.6%

cnewton, May 23, 2013
Photo of Savage51
2/5  rDev -49.6%

Savage51, Jan 09, 2013
Photo of cjac
2/5  rDev -49.6%

cjac, Aug 18, 2012
Photo of Rekrule
2/5  rDev -49.6%

Rekrule, Oct 21, 2012
Photo of jampics2
2/5  rDev -49.6%
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.

jampics2, Jan 24, 2010
Photo of airohead2001
2.1/5  rDev -47.1%
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.

airohead2001, Dec 05, 2010
Photo of darklordlager
2.13/5  rDev -46.3%
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.

darklordlager, Jan 22, 2010
Photo of frazbri
2.17/5  rDev -45.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Olde School Barleywine poured ruddy red with a short white head that seemed to regenerate around the edge of the goblet. Aroma had notes of orange, lemon, sweet tart candy, and banana. Flavor started with banana nut bread and licorish. There was a lemon cake flavor in the middle, but the finish was alcohol and bitterness. The mouthfeel was fairly thick and a little bit chewy, while the carbonation was a little on the high side for a barleywine.

I struggled with this one. Some of the flavors just didn't mesh well for me. The alcohol burn was over the edge, too. Olde School was a chore to finish, much like homework for this beer drinker.

frazbri, Feb 10, 2007
Photo of charlzm
2.2/5  rDev -44.6%
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.

charlzm, Apr 27, 2008
Photo of JAStheAce
2.2/5  rDev -44.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A - Bright blood orange with no head whatsoever

S - Fruity, piney and reeks of booze and alcohol

T - Very bitter and extremely strong on the alcohol. This stuff is really strong and the booze is masking any other flavor. It is warming me up though. I can barely take it down but do feel it will help put me to sleep.

Overall, I am not a fan of this beer. It overwhelms the tastebuds with alcohol and as being only my second barleywine, I am starting to crave me some Bigfoot and am beginning to understand how truly great it is.

JAStheAce, Jun 10, 2009
Photo of Gtreid
2.2/5  rDev -44.6%
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.

Gtreid, Jun 20, 2008
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Olde School Barleywine from Dogfish Head Brewery
89 out of 100 based on 2,097 ratings.