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Thomas Hooker Old Marley Barleywine - Thomas Hooker Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Thomas Hooker Old Marley BarleywineThomas Hooker Old Marley Barleywine

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

193 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 193
Reviews: 173
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 13.47%
Wants: 41
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Thomas Hooker Brewing Company visit their website
Connecticut, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
This traditional American Ale blends copious amounts of five different malts and various English and American hops to yield a rich and flavorful brew.

We age our Barleywine in oak bourbon- casks to add vanilla and smoky notes, then blend these flavors into a full-blown sensory experience to enjoy on a cold winter's eve.
Old Marley Barleywine is extremely complex and full-bodied in flavor. The drinker will be rewarded by first letting a small amount warm in a brandy snifter , then sipping it, similar to a fine sherry.

74 IBU

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-08-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Thomas Hooker Old Marley Barleywine Alström Bros
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Ratings: 193 | Reviews: 173 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

zestar, Aug 13, 2014
Photo of psdriscoll
4/5  rDev -0.2%

psdriscoll, Jul 02, 2014
Photo of AGust82
4/5  rDev -0.2%

AGust82, Apr 29, 2014
Photo of RichD
4/5  rDev -0.2%

RichD, Apr 14, 2014
Photo of LagersAndAles
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

LagersAndAles, Mar 11, 2014
Photo of nebula1999
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2003 Vintage grabbed from my Cellar. Been aging this one since I got it just under 11 years ago. Made it though a major move too.

Pours deep, dark copper brown into oversized snifter. Thin scattered large bubbled head, then nothing.

Aroma is wood, wood, wood! The "one month in the oak barrels" really imparted a massive oakiness to the nose on this beer after all this time. Bold maltiness comes through, but zero hops. I didn't expect much of a hop presence after 11 years anyway. The hops are more pronounced when young, as I remember. Also picking up some herbal notes like fresh sage and even a hint of rosemary (?). No oxidation detected.

Flavor is a potent wood and malt explosion. I mean, not just oak but cedar and a hint of pine. Almost too much. Sticky malts in the mouthfeel, and a pinch oily to boot. Slight warming from the alcohol.

Overall, this beer should be respected for what it has become since bottling. It's completely different than its younger self. Definitely drinkable, but probably would be better appreciated a little younger.

nebula1999, Jan 19, 2014
Photo of lic217
4/5  rDev -0.2%

lic217, Jan 16, 2014
Photo of morebeergood
4/5  rDev -0.2%

morebeergood, Jan 14, 2014
Photo of blmar311
4/5  rDev -0.2%

blmar311, Dec 27, 2013
Photo of JasonTaverner
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

JasonTaverner, Aug 29, 2013
4/5  rDev -0.2%

WOLFGANG, Jul 27, 2013
Photo of jaxon53
4/5  rDev -0.2%

jaxon53, Jun 23, 2013
Photo of BARFLYB
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

BARFLYB, Jun 09, 2013
Photo of tjdrewry
4/5  rDev -0.2%

tjdrewry, Feb 17, 2013
Photo of Naugled
3.68/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ruby brown with some haze. Little carbonation or head but I'm ok with that. I don't expect that from a beer like this.

Nice malty aroma, raisins, dark fruit, prunes and molassas.

Flavor is very oaky, and this beer is at least a year old. Lots of coconut and raw oak still present. Hints of caramel and vanilla.

Some late bitterness but over all a rich balance mouth feel.

Drinkable but the oak is a bit over the top, that's what kept it from scoring better for me.

12/30/12 (two years later)
I opened the second bottle of this beer to see how it has aged. It's much less carbonated now. The rubber seal on the flip top seems to have given up. It looks great though, crystal clear and chestnut brown. The aroma is dominated by oak and vanilla notes. The flavor as well, has some sweetness to it but the oak dominates. I'm surprised it hasn't aged out after 2 years. It still has a nice rich mouthfeel, but has lost some complexity and has become a single note - oak. All that said, I would still buy a few more bottles if it's offered.

Naugled, Jan 02, 2013
Photo of chrispoint
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

chrispoint, Jun 01, 2012
Photo of griffey123
4/5  rDev -0.2%

griffey123, May 06, 2012
Photo of jfcaa193
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

jfcaa193, Feb 19, 2012
Photo of DavoleBomb
2.55/5  rDev -36.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Poured into a snifter. 500ml swingtop, 2009 vintage.

2.5 A: Uh-oh. No carbonation. I'm guessing this is due to the swingtop, but T. Hooker chose to use this format, so I'm continuing with my review as normal. Black color.

4.0 S: The nose is still solid. Tons of plum and caramel with raisin, prune, whiskey, and leather close behind. Minor notes of sherry oxidation, but overall very nice.

2.5 T: Surprisingly not a lot of oxidation. There is a some, but it's not undrinkable. Plum, raisin, tobacco, and caramel are strongest. Cardboard after that. The flavors are presented all that well without the carbonation though.

1.0 M: This really hurts from no carbonation. Lighter medium body. Not creamy or at all pleasant here.

2.0 D: I'm probably not being fair by reviewing this, but two years isn't so long that the bottles should have ended up this way.

DavoleBomb, Dec 24, 2011
Photo of JAHMUR
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

JAHMUR, Dec 23, 2011
Photo of rab53
4/5  rDev -0.2%

rab53, Dec 09, 2011
Photo of Burt
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Burt, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Rochefort10nh, Nov 18, 2011
Photo of BlackWednesday
3.6/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Murky, dark brown appearance with little to no head. Taste is sweet, a little strong on the alcohol. Some undertones of vanilla from the bourbon aging. Fairly strong malt presence with little hops present. Overall, interesting and different from most barleywines I drink. However, I do like some more hops like in most west coast barleywines. Also found that this grew on me as I drank it, but I’m not sure if I’d pick this one up again.

BlackWednesday, Jul 18, 2011
Photo of davey101
1.85/5  rDev -53.9%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

I normally don't bash beers, or post reviews for beer I dislike. However I'm making an exception for this beer. I love Thomas Hooker, but this beer has some problems.

I absolutely love the presentation, a blue tinted pop top 500ml. Its looks amazing, it really does. And that why its been in my cellar for the last few months. This is a 2010 vintage. A pop of the top reveals....whats that? Zilch. Zero noise. This can't be good. An aggressive pour yields some awkward large soapy bubbles that pop quickly...and zero head. A sip confirms that this is still and flat. Yup...the seal went bad.

The smell is amazing. I smell some candied dark fruits, caramel, and frankly...the smell is of a quality barley wine. However this is undrinkable. Buy these with caution! These tops are really flimsy and barely air tight. I'm glad I only picked up one since these were $7.

davey101, Jul 09, 2011
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Thomas Hooker Old Marley Barleywine from Thomas Hooker Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 193 ratings.