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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

2,071 Ratings
THE BROS
86
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,071
Reviews: 970
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 13.1%
Wants: 192
Gots: 496 | FT: 24
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: 2,071 | Reviews: 970 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I found it a cross between a traditional barleywine and an American Pale. It is an attempt to improve on the roughness of American barleywines, and I think by Joev they did it. The smell of barleywine, although surprisingly pale colour. Some hops and barleywine not over the top. Tasty if you care somewhat for the style. I do I do.
Had again 4 years later and found it rather ordinary barleywine, withd ecent mouthfeel and drinakbility.

Sammy, Jan 27, 2005
Photo of t0rin0
3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My roomate and I split one of these while watching the last of the dirty harry movies. What better way to enjoy the movie than by having a beer thats got almost as many percentage abv as the man with no name has confirmed kills in a short 90 minutes.

Perhaps I should have tried this before I tried the 120 minute IPA as this seems to be milder version of that beer in terms of smell and taste. The beer poured into our pint glasses with a nice 1/2 inch head that actually stuck around for a little while (a bit different than previous reviews). The beer was a bit light in color for a barleywine and was a copper color that was quite clear.

The smell was strong of the grapefruit hops mixing with alcohol. Again, very similar to 120 minute IPA. The sweetness of the malt in the background was a little stronger than I expected. It was a nice compromise. The flavor was real strong on malt and hops but little to no alcohol could be detected until it was swallowed. It burned going down.

Overall its a very drinkable barleywine, but with an intensity like this it might be advisable to warm your palate with another beer first to fully enjoy this.

t0rin0, Jan 26, 2008
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.48/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottled in 2010.

Pours an opaque dark amber color with a small 1/2 inch head that fades to an oily film on the top of the beer. Small bubble lacing on the drink down. Smells of candied fruit, apples, and alcohol. Taste is of tart apples, citrus zest, maybe some raisin/prune flavors. Very alcohol heavy on the finish. Burns the throat after each sip. Weird cooked vegetable taste too. Beer is kind of thick and sticky in the mouth. Drinkability is not at all that good. The off tastes I got along with the alcohol burn probably shut the door on this one for good. Probably would be better with some age on it.

UCLABrewN84, Mar 02, 2011
Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%

djrn2, Jan 05, 2012
Photo of Thorpe429
3.55/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Poured into a snifter. Bottle consumed with about a year of age on it. The poured is a moderate golden color with little head or lacing, though there are some legs on the side of the glass. The nose is quite sweet with some booze, but also brings a nice fruit presence. The taste is overly boozy and a bit too sweet at this point. Feel falls victim likewise. Drinks well enough now, though this definitely needs three years plus, I'd think.

Thorpe429, Nov 10, 2010
Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

zestar, Aug 13, 2014
Photo of nmann08
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

nmann08, Nov 17, 2011
Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%

acurtis, Jun 08, 2014
Photo of metter98
3.9/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear reddish amber in color and poured with a thin head that slowly faded away into lacy patterns of bubbles. A light amount of carbonation is visible.
S: There are fairly strong aromas of apples, cherries. grapes in the nose with notes of malty sweetness and hints of alcohol.
T: The taste is moderately sweet and shares a lot of similarities with the smell with flavors of apples and grapes. Some hints of alcohol are also noticeable.
M: It feels full-bodied, smooth and rather viscous on the palate with a light amount of carbonation. There are lots of warming sensations from the alcohol and some stickiness in the finish.
D: The beer tastes like it is very strong, but nowhere near 15% because a good portion of the alcohol is well masked, so it's a good sipper.

metter98, Nov 25, 2010
Photo of brentk56
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear dark golden body with a fluffy white head that leaves a pastiche of lacing marks around the glass

Smell: Lots of rum-soaked fruit flavors - apricots, figs, oranges - all of which are subsumed by the alcohol smells

Taste: Remarkably smooth fruit and toffee start; orange tartness kicks in mid-palate along with a jarring amount of fusel alcohol flavors; a touch buttery on the finish

Mouthfeel: Fairly heavy body, somewhat syrupy; low carbonation

Drinkability: Taste when only three months old, this brew shows some very interesting character and unusual flavor; I'll look forward to seeing what this is like with some age on it

brentk56, Jan 15, 2006
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a light brown color ale with a medium head with medium retention. Carbonation is above average for a barley wine and body is a bit thin for the style. Aroma consisted of dates and figs with strong malt. Taste is quite enjoyable with some sweetness (but not too much) balance well against the malt and hops. Finish is slightly dry with some subtle water, which did disappoint me. Alcohol is not really discernable. Overall, I guess this is a good barley wine but I had some better one.

Phyl21ca, Apr 04, 2005
Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

Texasfan549, Apr 14, 2012
Photo of BEERchitect
4.43/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Impressively smooth considering the alcohol content and the hop additions. It picks up on all the plumb-ey, prune-ey, dates, and figs that I expect in a BW. The hop flavors are pronounced, but not overly agressive like most. This makes for an impresively easy drinking beer. I get some molassas and honey flavors into the body and through the finish that I like. Although the flavors are better balanced, this is by no means a lighter BW. It still packs a punch in the flavor, alcohol, and body categories. it's just better balances and aged.

BEERchitect, Aug 03, 2005
Photo of mikesgroove
4.18/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This one was pulled out of my cellar this evening. A very nice 2006 vintage bottle, I had been saving this one. Served chilled and poured into a wine glass, this one was consumed on 12/18/2008.

The pour was very nice, rich dark amber in color with a light amount of haze to it. A smallish white head then rose up from the bottom and settled down nicely into a small broken crown that eventually faded to leave a bare top.

Rich flavor here, smooth, with a thick feel and a candy like syrup consistency. The aroma was sweet, with hints of caramel, toffee, and some old faded hops. More light malts in the flavor with again a very sweet flavor to it. Complex and mellow with most of the alcohol flavor now long gone, this was really quite drinkable.

Overall I really enjoyed this one. One of the better aged barleywines i have had recently and definitely worth the money. About as solid as they come.

mikesgroove, Dec 19, 2008
Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +0.8%

kjkinsey, Apr 14, 2012
Photo of GRG1313
5/5  rDev +25.9%

GRG1313, Nov 27, 2011
Photo of womencantsail
2.55/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

The pour is a slightly cloudy amber color with a finger of off-white head. Pretty brutal aroma. A bit of rubber cement and rubbing alcohol. There’s a little bit of candied citrus in there and some caramel. The flavor isn’t quite as brutal as the aroma...at first anyway. Lots of booze, some rubbing alcohol, and more booze. Caramel and citrus flavors are also present, but they give way to the less desirable ones as it warms.

womencantsail, Jul 17, 2012
Photo of ygtbsm94
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

ygtbsm94, Jan 31, 2012
Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev +0.8%

spycow, Mar 09, 2013
Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Half finger head with minimal lacing on a crimson with light golden hues body. Aroma is very minty, sweet and boozy. Flavor is sweet with syrupy, bourbon, dark fruit and Chardonnay notes. Medium body and moderate carbonation. Too boozy and sweet for me but I was expecting this. A nice one to try but not your everyday beer obviously.

kylehay2004, Feb 22, 2012
Photo of jaydoc
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

jaydoc, Nov 04, 2013
Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.93/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours a clearish, dark amber body with a medium-sized, short-lived, ivory-colored head.

Smell: Dusty dry malts with some candy syrup hints and notes of dried apricots and figs. Waft of booze.

Taste: More of a sugary candy taste than maltiness. Stray pinch of cinnamon. The special conditioning does bring a juicy fruitiness. All that harsh alcohol looming over the flavor. Hot, sugary finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Slightly sticky mouthfeel.

Drinkability: No thanks. Perhaps this one does temper a bit after being BURIED ALIVE, but as it stands now I just didn't care for it.

ChainGangGuy, Apr 10, 2008
Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Really need to revisit this one again one day, I had this a long time ago when I was first getting into beers. I doubt that I fully understood what I had in my glass at the time. I remember the beer being a brownish color with a yellowish white head that had a light sticky lacing. The sme of the beer was monstrous, lots of malts and hops mixed with booze and some sweet dark fruits. The taste of the beer was also way over the top for me at the time. It was malty and sweet upfront, as it settled into my tounge it left a tingling sensation with a bitter aftertaste. The mouthfeel had a really thick feeling body to it. Overall the beer was much bigger than I expected. It's been a while like I said and I really need to have this one again I think.

Knapp85, Aug 16, 2011
Photo of oberon
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky orange/brown color with a nice sticky head,aroma is malty and buttery with light alcohol notes.Taste is malty and lightly sweet with some burnt fruit flavors ending with a nice buttery taste that lingers in the mouth.Dogfish Head is becoming my favorite east coast brewery (have yet to visit Victory) they pull no punches and make some really good,interesting brews.

oberon, Oct 02, 2003
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%

westcoastbeerlvr, Nov 26, 2013
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Olde School Barleywine from Dogfish Head Brewery
89 out of 100 based on 2,071 ratings.