Thomas Hooker Old Marley Barleywine - Thomas Hooker Brewing Company
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Ratings: 193 | Reviews: 173 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Stubbie1:
4.55/5 rDev +13.5%
Deep brown brew with reddish hues. Thick tan head that doesnt hang to long but gave way to a thick long lasting lace around my glass. Aroma is of dark fruit raisins, fig and plum. Even a hint of malt creeps in along with a whiff of alcohol. Taste is sweet and sticky. Taste is a whirlwind of flavors from the dark fruit to caramel to hops and malt yum! And at the end is the warming taste of the alcohol. This is a slow sipper for sure at 10%.
Overall a wonderful barley wine one Im sure to stock pile around the house for the upcoming winter. Dont pass this one up!
07-16-2006 17:58:31 | More by Stubbie1
More User Reviews:
3.8/5 rDev -5.2%
I had been looking forward to trying this for sometime maybe a bit of a letdown,great pour into an imperial pint glass a mix of deep amber and ruddy brown a nice tight one finger tan colored head atop.Great mix of juicy sweet cherry and resiny hop in the nose with an underlying vanilla/oak element as well that became more pervasive as it warmed.Flavors started out great that big splash of cherry hits up front with a noticeable brown sugar note the hops come through with a decent pine punch,the big wood and vanilla flavors come through in the finish and get bigger as you drink more to the point where the oaky flavors become a bit much after awhile.I think the aging in the oak barrels maybe added to much to this beer I love the malt to hop complexities but I could have done without so much oak and vanilla,still pretty damn good.
I will say it did have great sleep inducing qualities it knocked me right out and it was quite warming as well.
10-13-2007 11:54:37 | More by oberon
4.4/5 rDev +9.7%
Appearance This ABW poured a deep, beautiful purple in color with a thick, white, pitting head.
Smell The aroma here is very grapey, like a mix of red and white varietals, with a light but good complex hop compliment.
Taste The grapes are redder and darker at the taste. There is a strong wine flavor to this fella, and the dry bitter hops nicely round out the flavor profile.
Mouthfeel This Marley Wine is in between medium and full-bodied with a respectable hop bite and a nice, sugary finish.
Drinkability This is a big, winey ABW that was done up right and made for a pleasant drink.
Comments Thanks to skyhand for busting out this Hooker at this year's International Greek/Polish/Lebanese Beer Extravaganza.
09-03-2005 01:15:55 | More by RoyalT
4.43/5 rDev +10.5%
Bottled in 2005 displayed above the swingtop. Pours from the 500ml cobalt blue bottle a viscous, thick dark brown with the deepest streaks of red and a small tan head that lingers atop the brew. Looks nice in the glass. Aromas of deep rich caramel maltiness along with a touch of cocoa and vanilla. A lovely piney, herbal hoppiness stands out here as well. I get some lingering warm oaky bourbon notes along with a blend of dark fruity aromas. A lovely sensory experience. Magnificent.
First sip brings a big blast of sweet caramelly maltiness that's a touch burnt and roasty. Notes of vanilla, dry oak, bourbon, cocoa and dark fruits run amok across my palate with each subsequent sip. As the brew flows down the there's a well placed green, piney, herbal hop bitterness. Slightly vinous overall. Only a touch of alcohol sneaks through. A wonderfully blended barleywine.
Mouthfeel is smooth with a light, arid carbonation. Medium bodied and a touch syrupy...for a 10% brew this goes down like a charm. The wealth of flavors keeps me going back for another sip of this tasty barleywine. The 500ml bottle makes it perfect to sit down to after a long day of work. I'd definetly recommend this one to any barleywine fans. Seek it, sip it and savor it. Thanks to my pal goodbyeohio for bestowing this fine beverage upon me!
12-24-2005 04:34:20 | More by orbitalr0x
4.38/5 rDev +9.2%
Wow! A 500ml blue bottle with a swing top, poured into a snifter. A beautiful bottle, as well as a very pretty beer. Dark brown, medium head with good retention. A sweet, dark fruit aroma, with some caramel malts. Raisin taste, nice amount of malt, little bit of hops. The alcohol was well-masked. This was a great mouthful, very substantial without going overboard. Quite drinkable, although at 10%ABV you'll probably stick to one bottle. Well worth the price ($9.25 at Tully's).
05-16-2007 20:43:15 | More by lordofthewiens
2.25/5 rDev -43.9%
Bottled in 2006.
Poured a dark brown with no head and no lacing.
Aroma is of oak woodiness and huge alcohol fumes. Faint sweet malt is picked up as well but overpowered by the wood and alcohol.
Taste is extremely harsh. Very woody and alcoholic. Almost like a spirit, it's so harsh. No smoothness to be found here. Faint sweetness, again, of malted barley.
Mouthfeel is semi-creamy and not very carbonated.
This is in no way at all drinkable.
This beer needs to be aged for a few years to be enjoyed. I wouldn;t touch it again fresh.
10-30-2006 02:41:28 | More by Doomcifer
4.03/5 rDev +0.5%
Presentation: 16.9 oz cobalt blue swing-top bottle with a vintage bottling year of 2004 taped over the top.
Appearance: Web-like tan lacing creeps down the glass, decent clarity with a deep brick red hue.
Smell: Rich and ripe dark fruity esters, hints of prune, fig and caramelized sugar. Very sweet and malty as well.
Taste & Mouth Feel: Semi-smooth and slick on the palate with a full and slightly syrupy body. Mild alcohol gets lost in the lightly pungent hop and sweet malt mix. Flavors seem to blend together very well.
Drinkability & Notes: This is without a doubt a sipping barleywine, please by all means drink it at cellar temp as the flavors and aroma really do come out. A lovely brew to drink now or possibly cellar for another year.
04-19-2005 02:29:07 | More by Jason
4.38/5 rDev +9.2%
500 ml swingtop bottle is a striking, cobalt blue. The most beautiful bottle I've ever gazed upon. Many thanks to Brewfan for the trade.
Pours dark brown and almost opaque, ruby mahogany when held to light. A few large beige bubbles comprise what might be called a head, but a persistent collar decorates the chalice.
Aroma has a pervasive maltiness, with boiled toffee and molasses. Plums and Bing cherries add an alluring fruitiness. Notes of good cognac add a syrupy vinous note.
Mouthfeel is almost full bodied. Subdued carbonation fits the style well.
Taste is excellent, with fruity notes of cherry and plum, accented by toffee and vinous cognac. Warming alcohol adds some peppery spiciness. Brown sugar notes join in at the finish, adding to the English barleywine character. Very tasty.
This is one of the best barleywines I've sampled. The cobalt blue bottle certainly makes for an extraordinary presentation. In my opinion, this is much more an English style barleywine, and definitely one of the better ones to be found.
01-21-2006 23:05:15 | More by merlin48
4.5/5 rDev +12.2%
Classy blue bottle with swing top and slim sticker that tells you this is the 2005, packaging points. Pours dark mahogony, minor tan head and thin whispy lacing. Nose is smokey rum. This is a thick, warming concoction. Layers of malt goodness in counter point with a resiny crunch of hops. Rum, vanilla, smoke, slight tropical sweetness somehow squeezed into the finish. Classy sipper. Rich and very tasty, did somebody say "night cap"
07-18-2005 02:04:35 | More by Billolick
4.1/5 rDev +2.2%
Once again...Thomas Hooker throws a curveball at me. The appearance is much darker than I was expecting for an American Barleywine...dark brown w/ no head whatsoever.
The smell is rum and coke like, with a touch of vanilla and cherries.
Taste is well beyond your typical green barleywine...although an '05 this one tastes mature.
Raisins and dark roasted malts up front with fruity hops bringing up the rear. The alcohol is apparent, but not distracting.
A somewhat dry, bitter finish...a bit thin for its style IMHO.
Not a session brew, but I will have no problems finishing off this bomber.
My second Thomas Hooker brew today...me likey these guys.
04-17-2005 22:30:37 | More by warriorsoul
4.15/5 rDev +3.5%
2004 vintage. If memory serves me correctly, I believe a huge thanks goes out to ErikTheRed for this gem.
16.9oz. blue-tinted bottle with a swingtop for easy access.
A: Liquid gold-infused dark amber in color. Initial pour is clear, with a fluffy and long-lasting tan-colored head. Chunky rings of lace on the glass.
S: Lots of alcohol-soaked dark fruits in the nose. Drizzled with caramelized sugar. Bourbony flair (though not overaggressive) pervades everything.
T: Up front chewy sweetness laced with hints of vanilla extract. Middle see a dash of hop attack with citrus/floral flavors. Bourbony notes and some "char" creep in, and finishes with a pleasing crescendo of sugary malt sweetness, mixed with the floral bitterness, and a warming ABV fire.
M/D: Yes. Super-thick and chewy...where's my steak knife? Palate-drenching. A savory sipper.
05-07-2006 21:06:11 | More by OldFrothingSlosh
4.6/5 rDev +14.7%
Pours a turbid caramel brown with no head. Swirling it yields a yin/yang sheet of lace...nice. Looks thick. Smells nicely fruity. Perhaps some licorice and fig. Whirls around the tulip glass and I can't stop smelling it. Really ethereal. Brown sugar is the first taste I get, followed by leather and plum. Turns slightly bitter with a solid hop backbone. Doesn't dominate but helps build a well balanced profile. Long vanilla and oak ending caps off an exceptional barleywine. Mouthfeel is great and oily. This is a wonderful companion on a cold Maine night.
12-30-2004 03:01:36 | More by yankeeheel
3.58/5 rDev -10.7%
Bottle purchased from Decatur Wine and Spirits in Decatur, GA.
Pours a hazy dark copper color with a one-finger tan head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.
Smells of tart black cherries with caramel malts, toffee, milk chocolate, and hints of vanilla.
Tastes similar to how it smells. Sweet caramel malt flavors up front are quickly overtaken by tart cherry flavors that follow through to a mildly crisp ending that leaves toffee and vanilla flavors lingering on the palate.
Mouthfeel is good. It has a solid thickness and moderate carbonation.
Drinkability is alright. The flavors are all there but I had quite a time getting past the tart cherry flavors.
Overall I feel as though this bottle was off a bit - the first few sips were good but as it warmed tart flavors took over all other flavors and made it less enjoyable. I'll be keeping my eyes out to try this in the future to see if this was just a bad bottle.
09-16-2009 03:23:28 | More by glid02
4.25/5 rDev +6%
Really no noticeable lace or head on this very dark...almost black...tea-amber pour.
Aroma of dark brown sugar and dark candied fruits...raisins, prunes, plums. Almost a brandy type aroma in the end.
Flavor is no surprise. Very dark roasted malt gives flavors of dark fruits such as raisins and prunes then some dark brown sugar...a little molasas....and then some nice bitter hops making a balance of it all.
Aftertaste is bitter hops...dark bitter hops...and strong alcohol. Alcohol warms the insides for a long time after swallowing.
Great sipping barleywine...great to discover new depths and layers as it warms in your glass and you take time to indulge.
09-30-2007 06:37:56 | More by IntriqKen
3.98/5 rDev -0.7%
This is a dark beet red color,but the head was small,it did have nice lacing. A smokey, malty, fruit aroma leads to a taste that's alot like bourban or brandy.
This is a sipping beer!! A real nice alcohol warmth seeps into your whole body.This is pretty strong.A real full heavy earthy m/f.This is like drinking a meal.A very good offering from Hooker and I will look for this again.
11-03-2005 04:29:24 | More by jmz62565
4.13/5 rDev +3%
16.9 oz. blue growler-type bottle poured into a Brooklyn tulip. Vintage 2006 thin yellow strip taped to the top of the white cap.
Appearance: Literally no head after there's the subtlest pop of the top, but a small amount of bubbles due to the high pour at the top. A syrup-colored brown in the light, though it seems to be a bit darker with a bigger pour and if it's outside of direct light.
Smell: Initial ripe and smoky wood aromas, along with sweeter caramel, vanilla, and maple. Mild bourbon coming through, but it's not dominant. There's almost a less sweet Kahlua type liqueur aroma coming through too. Could possible be mistaken for a lighter RIS with it's heavy aromas coming through. Some lighter sherry aromas as it warms, along with some darker cherries for fruit esters. But mostly there's the good smoke, wood, and mild bourbon aromas coming through nicely as an amalgam, and it seems to be working pretty well as a triumvirate. Also, about an hour after it continues to warm, there's some good honey and tobacco earthiness coming through.
Taste: First off, the lack of carbonation is evident here, but oddly enough that doesn't detract, since it does seem almost unlike a beer / Barleywine and more like a sherry or liqueur in some ways. Again, there's some wood, smoke, and bourbon flavors as prominent, but they're all nuanced and balanced. And there's a good middle to back end maple and caramel combination and woody sweetness, along with a presence of figs and mild dark cherries. Age has certainly helped this in the long run I imagine. There's possible a good sense of mellowing hops at the end too, which is something that didn't come out in the aroma as much. The hop presence brings some earthiness and grain flavors to the mix too. And like the aroma, after it warms after about an hour, there's an interesting darker tobacco presence, along with a nice burst of chocolate powder sweetness.
Mouthfeel: This would be lower if there wasn't a decent shot of back end carbonation, but it's obviously not a light-bodied brew, and even with the lack of carbonation the creaminess of the body works without being too cloying. That said, this is a beer after all, and I'm not sure I'm supposed to be liking this as is, though I imagine it probably has something to do with the age. I haven't found this in too many places, but this seems like a good candidate to compare to a fresh bottle for sure.
Drinkability: The mouthfeel and appearance move this down a half lower for me. That said, it's a big, complex, and tasty version of the style, though it's not for those on training wheels. It's smokier than most due to the cask aging, but aside from the carbonation and look, I really enjoyed the whole experience.
01-20-2010 03:37:50 | More by asabreed
4/5 rDev -0.2%
Good head that dissipitates. Wood was not too bold, so it mellowed the taste. Sweetness, mollasses, boozy, hoppy, fig, drop smoke and vanilla, smooth sipper. Thanks Casey(DYC17Soccer)I will have to try another annual edition. Nine months' later had the 2006 and was excellent for a fresh barleywine, very porterish, hoppy, not too sweet, very drinkable, wood mollasses there.
07-04-2005 23:55:39 | More by Sammy
4.13/5 rDev +3%
For whatever reason, I was expecting something a little more English from this. Perhaps it's the name, as I'm assuming it refers to Scrooge's business partner in Dicken's "A Christmas Carol". And the fact that it fits so nicely in an Imperial pint glass, well... ... ... ;)
But this is so much more of an American barleywine than anything English in nature (although we do need to tip our hats to them in credit). And sure there are grassy and floral Goldings notes floating here and there, and perhaps even some mineralish and earthy Fuggles, but the citrusy and piney hops really dominate - they stand out within the whole brew. There are some very nice malty and yeasty characteristics going on too, including notes of caramel, raisin, prune/plum, fig, tangerine, apple, red grape, dull dark chocolate (especially in the finish), and some alcoholic spice. In fact, the alcohol (in combination with the malt) also lends some tropical fruit to the nose with notes of coconut, tangerine, and perhaps, some papaya.
It's full, but not overdone. Rich without becoming cloying. Fruity and malty, malty and fruity. Splashed with alcohol, but otherwise very nicely balanced. I've waited a long time to try this bird, and by God, it's certainly delivered the Christmas goose! Supple and smooth, easily accessible - mmmm, mmmm! The head could be better, but at 10% that's to be expected; perhaps a little less "alcohol", but... Probably worth trying just to be sure that you really, really don't like it :)
03-02-2007 04:52:14 | More by NeroFiddled
3.75/5 rDev -6.5%
500ml bottle, obtained a while back (over a year) in one of my first trades, 2004 edition, cracked in celebration of the big Bears playoff win over the seahawks
appearance; blue flip-top bottle, pours into a snifter...cola-esque appearance, amber-mahogany body...creamy beige head that dissipates quickly and leaves very slight lacing
smell: sweet dark fruit big on the nose, fig/raisin, light booze, minimal trace of hops, smooth and spiced
taste: big thick caramel malt structure, indications of a once hoppy nature have all but faded, light bitterness left behind...really sweet dark fruits - plum, raisin, apple. Not sure what this is like fresh but im thinking this is probably past its prime
mouthfeel: smooth with a nice bitterness behind it
01-14-2007 22:04:24 | More by dirtylou
4.43/5 rDev +10.5%
2005 Vintage, picked up in Newport, RI in 2006.
I was immediately hit by how silky smooth and drinkable this was. There's a wonderful vanilla oak and roasted grains (almost smoky) that comes to the front. That's followed by subtle malts and hops which are good, but don't quite stand up to the oak. I guess its a little unfortunate that it doesn't end as well as it starts. Rather, I guess it points out how unfortunate it is I don't have a second bottle.
01-05-2008 05:16:26 | More by tempest
3.68/5 rDev -8.2%
Cheers to ppotrias for this one!
Pours an effervescent chestnut with minimal brown head. Bubbles cling to the side of my Kostrizer chalice. they clear after this warms then this takes on a viscous appearance. Average head retention & lacing, murks up a bit at the bottom of the bottle
S: Slight toasted malt & leafy hops. Vanilla surfaces as this warms
T: Vanilla & oakyness up front along with dryness & leafy hops. Hop tea & figs show as this warms, along with some booze. Finishes figgy with much dryness, some raisins & more leafy hops; plus whispers of bourbon & maybe cherry
MF: Medium bodied with some wetness. plus moderate carbonation
Drinks very easy for the style & ABV, could easily pass for an English BW as well. Not bad. Wish more folks would use the blue glass, pretty & functional!
04-11-2008 05:04:09 | More by russpowell
4.43/5 rDev +10.5%
Any beer label that uses the word copious is cool with me!
Coppery-ruby in hue, especially around the edges with a more pronounced dark crimson in the middle; there is something about the color of this liquid that I love! The head was beige in color; the foam reached a little over one finger in height. Head retention was decent; it faded fairly quickly to a bubbly cap. After awhile the cap faded to a scant collar; there was no subsequent lacing. Regardless, I really like how this beer looks in my glass. I love Barleywines. I love how the great ones smell. The first sniff made my mouth water. Oh, the joy! Big malty influences with dark fruits (raisins, dates, plums) and hints of caramel but there is a more pronounced influence of nougat. Bready. The hops were loud on the first sniff. I went back for a second whiff to pinpoint what I smelled. Where did the nose go? That initial big blast of beer is gone! What? Why? It doesnt smell so great now, the bouquet is softly malty now with traces of spice like orange peel, oak, maple tree chips soak in its own sap. Vanilla hints. Alcohol vibes are soft but noticeable. Even at this less than heightened state the nose smells quite joyful and it has all the Barleywine qualities I like, I just cant smell them as well right now. Inviting. The palate is good. I do wonder though, how this beer must have been fresh. Im not saying it has aged poorly but the hops are not very loud. Where they ever? I dont know. The malt backbone is fantastic though. IMO, it is much harder to brew a beer with a tasty malt backbone, anybody (*cough* Avery *cough*) can added tons of hops to cover their asses or drown your mind in gallons of alcohol. This beer does neither. I will admit the alcohol is fairly pronounced but not in that distracting way, the alcohol adds a few layers of flavor enjoyment, some heat, some spice, something to cut the sweetness. Nice. Loads of dark fruits, raisins, dates, prunes, are infused with brandy, figs, chocolate, one coffee bean, vanilla, and some maple syrup. At the finish are notes of extra sweet cola as well, maybe RC Cola? Whiskey notes. Traces of wood too. Brown sugar sprinkled on melons. Kisses of molasses too. The finish is hot and sweet, the beer ends on a very powerful note that says, Sip me, you jackass! I hate it when a beer scolds me. Marley is right though; this beer is a sipper. I love the malty complexity, I wish the hops added some more bitterness (there is some but if the hops could cut the malt this beer would be great. Only the alcohol is bold enough to standup to the malt, if the hops were louder the complexities would be unbelievable). Overall the palate is very tasty. Im hard on Barleywines; the taste is not great (IMO) but its very, very good. Basically full in body, big and lumbering like Bryant Big Country Reeves. This beer has more skill though. Low carbonation, the mouthfeel lovely... its very comforting. Relaxing. Its tacky and mouth-coating but I like it. I think of it as motivation to eat cheese and meat with this beer. Drinkable? Hell yeah. Is the 9.6% a factor? No. I feel it on my brain and in my belly. It is a good, relaxing buzz. Ill admit that. Its a nightcap, all the way. This beer was lovely. I enjoyed every sip. Recommended. Thanks ppoitras for including this beer in the 2004 Secret Santa.
01-11-2005 03:33:48 | More by bditty187
4.5/5 rDev +12.2%
Beautiful dark blue swing-top 500 ml bottle dated 2006.
Dark chocolate brown to black in appearance. Syrupy and oily body with no head to speak of and small amounts of very sticky lace. Smells of chocolate, heady alcohol-drenched dark fruits, some balancing spicy hops. Dry cocoa up front, developing into very round sweet chocolate malts in the middle. Finishes with big astringent alcohol (whiskey-like) burn, burnt coffee, and piney hops . Very smooth (almost still), oily and syrupy in the mouth.
03-09-2006 02:38:16 | More by dgallina
4.22/5 rDev +5.2%
I would drink it from one of the Hooker pint glasses UnionMade so thoughtfully sent me, but they're dirty....so I'm drinking it from a Lake Louie glass instead. ;)
Bottle has some sticky-crusty bits right around the swing-top seal. May be due to...not sure...setting it on its side and the rubber contracting in the fridge? Should be interesting...no real carbonation pop or gas flow on the open.
On a rough pour, no real head to speak of at all. Nice dark brown, with a lovely ruby aura when held to the light. Hmmm...and speaking of light, after the pour, I can tell the bottle is blue...cool.
The smell is kind of weak, but has some bready, yeasty tones...and some rather airy maltiness underneath.
Remarkably better than I had expected. Rather spicy and hearty at the top, with a hint of an almost fruity quality that balances it out well. A deep brown sugary and woody (at the same time) quality kicks in, with a licorice-like flavour coming in after, and a return of the spiciness at the finish. Very nice.
The carbonation that was not apparent on the pour shows up in the mouthfeel. It's low and tight, and does not overshadow the mudium to slightly thick liquid.
Despite the interesting signs early on, this one is rather enjoyable, and I would welcome it in my glass again! Even at 10%, I like it as a session beer! ;)
04-11-2006 05:20:06 | More by UncleFlip
4.13/5 rDev +3%
Lots of thanks to Jyp for the bottle, and may he remember me when he goes off on all his grad school visits later this year... No vintage on bottle. Into the snifter...
A - No head, dense, dark amber body.
S - This is a beautiful beer. Big aromas of chocolate, caramel, vanilla, cedear, pine, and fruity esters. Good hop presence, but not overwhelming. I'm quite impressed.
T - This beer starts out with a simple malt sweetness akin to most amber ales. A bit of fruit and a lot of hops start to hit at midpalate, and add some much needed depth. The swallow brings notes of coffee and wood, which was nice, and continue to make a pleasing, long finish. Alcohol was present throughout, but never really too intense.
M - Quite silky, actually, but not very full... Almost doesn't feel like a barleywine...
D - I'm torn on this one. The flavor left me desiring more complexity at times, and at others seemed focused and balenced. I will say this though, I do not feel the need to avoid this beer.
02-16-2008 06:06:21 | More by SammyDavisJrJrJr
Thomas Hooker Old Marley Barleywine from Thomas Hooker Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 193 ratings.