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Thomas Hooker Old Marley Barleywine - Thomas Hooker Brewing Company

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

175 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 175
Hads: 204
Avg: 4.01
pDev: 13.97%
Wants: 49
Gots: 11 | 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:
Beer added by: paceyourself on 03-01-2003

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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Thomas Hooker Old Marley Barleywine Alström Bros
Reviews: 175 | Hads: 204
Photo of IntriqKen
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of Viggo
4.13/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to the DrJay for sending this my way for BC2!

Pours a cloudy brownish red, very brilliant ruby highlights in the light, massively thick tan head, some nice lacing, looks pretty great. Smell is a little weird, lots of citrus character, orange rinds, yeast, bread, smells Belgian-like, plums, caramel, sweet malts, ends up being pretty unique. Wow. Taste is insane chocolate/toffee cake, butter, citrus/floral, more toffee, dark fruits, plummy, alcohol is well hidden, bit of a sourn oakiness in the finish, nicely balanced. Very thick and sticky body, low carbonation, very heavy in the mouth, flavour really lingers. Good points and bad, that kind of sourness puts me off a bit, but the flavour is super thick and chewy. I like it. Thanks Jay!

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Photo of BWMKappaSig
4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a Tulip glass. 2006 vintage.

Appearance - Deep brown, nearly black, with a tan head that starts thick but fades quickly.

Smell - Big malts with a pleasant sweetness.

Taste - Slightly harsh, but a big sweet caramel maltiness. The finish is well balanced with a nice hop bitterness. Not a big aftertaste for such a big beer.

Mouthfeel - Smooth, creamy, and full. This is probably the best part of the beer.

Drinkability - A very drinkable barleywine that is complex, but not overpowering. High alcohol makes for a strong drink, but it's never too much.

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Photo of flexabull
3.93/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Not sure what vintage this is, the label is gone from the top of the bottle.

Beer pours a very dark brown color, with a nice white head on top. Gotta love the bottle, the shape is great, and a great cobalt blue color... Nice!

Aromas are of grains, biscuit, and dark fruits. There is also a bourbon like smell as well.

Beer tastes strong. The general flavor is of dark fruits and creamy malts. There is also a bit of smoke and oak. Some strong boozy flavors and tart bitter hops tasted on the finish. The booze flavors really stand out, more than the other flavors. It's a sturdy and interesting barley wine, that probably could have sat in the cellar for quite a while longer.

Mouthfeel is thick and kind of prickly from the alcohol.

Drinkability is good. This is a unique barley wine. It's strong, and it is a definite sipper. But it is tasty and enjoyable... I'll enjoy this bottle, it will just take a while to finish.

Received this bottle from jaxon53, thanks again!

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Photo of grub
4.09/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

got this bottle from jaxon53 as part of the Brews 'N Tunes BIF, Summer '07 Tour. thanks jason!

500ml swingtop blue bottle served in my old guardian glass.

pours fairly hazy medium brown colour with a small fairly dense tan head. the head drops fairly fast but leaves a bit of spotty lace.

aroma is great. slightly resinous piney hops. bit of alcohol. big bready malt, with light biscuit. bit of caramel and toffee. some nice earthy character too.

taste is good. big chewy bready malt. medium-high bitterness level. slightly resinous piney hops, but more earthy character coming through here than in the aroma. little alcohol, but mostly as warmth on the way down. light toffee sweetness. there's something a little odd in the flavour that i can't quite put my finger on. i expected more citrus and pine hop character in an american barleywine, but that's not quite it. almost a bit of tangy flavour or something. not entirely off-putting, but doesn't feel quite right either. reading the bottle, maybe it's the vanilla coming through from the barrel aging. i did find that most of this subsided as it warmed.

mouthfeel is good. nice medium-low carbonation level. big chewy body.

drinkability is good. the alcohol is hidden very well. balanced and nice. a sipper, but an enjoyable one.

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Photo of geexploitation
3.2/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2007 bottling -- this edition of Old Marley, according to the brewery rep, was made using second fill (beer-wise) bourbon barrels, which means the wood notes will be lesser than last years' version. Pours a very pretty chestnut brown with tinges of ruby when held to the light. The head is thin and fades to a collar quickly. The smell is pretty tame, with some light English, yeasty fruit notes, but the main element here is a sourish, winey smell. That smell carries over into the taste, where that thin, winey note composes the finish. Otherwise there are very sweet, marshmallowy malts at the beginning, but the biggest note, unfortunately, is that winey unpleasantness. Mouthfeel is quite thick and rather still, with some stickiness. Overall, this is a beer that is obviously helped by the bourbon barrel aging it had in 2006. We'll see how this one ages, but for now it's showing some weaknesses without the oak influence.

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Photo of klewis
2.28/5  rDev -43.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

500 ml bottle

A: Pours nearly black with a small bubbly head that quickly subsides to a frothy ring. Specks of lacing.

S: Not much smell at all. Oaky aroma with a bit of alcohol.

T: Balanced taste with both malt and hops qualities. The barrel aging is quite noticable and imparts a woody character with a slight vanilla taste. Overall, the taste is stale (oxidized perhaps?) with a flavor that just doesn't do much for me.

M: Full-bodied with moderate carbonation that feels a bit prickly.

D: I loved the doppelbock, but I'm kicking myself for spending $7 on this. A huge disapointment. When compared to other barleywines, this one is lacking in just about every category.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to TheManiacalOne for this one.

2006 Vintage Swing Top Bottle/Blue

Poured into a chalice a nice clean dark brown color, not much carbonation, no head or sticky lacing. The nose is roasted malts, slight hops, toffee, chocolate, and caramel. The taste is a nice roasted malt, slightly bitter, lots of toffee/chocolate/caramel. The alcohol is warming and hidden very well, slight dry/bitter finish. Medium body. Very drinkable, another awesome brew from TH, highly recommended.

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Photo of Gavage
4.23/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: nice looking flip top blue bottle. Pours a dark brown color with only a spot or two of surface foam. No lacing develops during the session.

Smell: big malt and caramel candy sweetness with hints of vanilla and earthiness. Quite bold for a barleywine.

Taste: the nose warns the tastebuds that this will be a big flavored beer and it is. Caramel and malt sweetness is big, but there is some softer chocolate and earthy tones in the background. Decent bitterness and very present alcohol warming rounds it out.

Mouthfeel: heavy bodied beer. Smooth from start to finish and warming in the mouth. Finish moves towards syrupy consistancy. Long aftertaste as the flavors glue themselves to your tongue.

Drinkability: nice for a barleywine. The flip top bottle is great to have a few ounces in a session allowing you to have another style if you wish, unlike those bomber bottles which forces a long barleywine session.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4.37/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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).

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Photo of BuckSpin
4.43/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 500ml swing top bottle in an oversized crystal snifter

Aside: 1st beer I've ever had in a cobalt blue bottle!

Poured, as these swing top, wide bottom Hooker 500ml bottles do, with a nice gurgle and steady flow. Strong, sharp alcohol on the nose, vanilla extract, a ripened sweetness with raisins, prune, fig, dark cherry, toffee, burnt caramel, even a echo of biting cinnamon. A subtle, yet easily noticeable smokiness and oak character blooms with some air to it, as do the roasted malts and the vanilla quality. By the time it completely warms up piney, citrus rind hops are detectable as well.

Head was initially 2 fingers of mixed dark latte hued foam that recessed to a pencil's worth of the same, slightly sticky, and did refresh itself nicely with some mild swirling. The body is "black in a good mood", the darkest burnt umber brown imaginable, thick, slightly syrupy, complete opaque. Thus far my eyes & nose are loving this.

Its thick, oily, dense, lush. Its not often a beer's actual physical state of composition is the most noticeable initial aspect but "wow". Deep, ripened fruits like all those on the nose (this is going to take a while...man, is this a sipper!), raisins, prune, fig, dark cherry contributed an understated sweetness that is by no stretch of the imagination sugary in any regard. Damn, this is thick & oily...I'm loving the mouth and tongue feel. It has a creaminess to it that is just wonderful. There is a subtle warmth growing...and growing...

Malts are deep & roasted, echoes of a very non-acidic, lukewarm black coffee (Indian Monsooned Malabar?) and rich, European style dark chocolate now rise up. This could easily be mistaken for an Imperial Stout. The alcohol has built to a small, cozy fire, very warm, igniting nasal passages and numbing teeth. Each sip tosses more mocha flavored logs on this soft blaze and renews its vigor. This is definitely a nightcap, end of evening elixir to savor and relax to, like slow, easy listening jazz at midnight.

The oak quality is present on the palate and then the loveliest finish - smooth & creamy as always, a sharp hop peak, then the surprise - a great, smoky, charred echo rises up like from the embers of a dying fire and adding to the alcoholic mist filling my various cranial cavities, leaving my mouth numb, coated in a bitter, coffee-esque, chewy film. How that smoke hid until the finish is beyond me, but what a pleasant, tasty and enjoyable surprise!

This was lush, almost sinful. Perhaps it could be paired with a very strong and/or dry cheese, but thats probably it. It certainly doesn't need anything with it to be enjoyed. An outstanding, stand alone barleywine, but more than one and you may not be standing very well at all. A great, relaxing, luscious beer experience. Highly recommended.

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Photo of cbl2
3.93/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

5/2/2007 $8.79 500 mL 10.00% No best by date.

Attractive cobalt blue 500 mL ceramic flip-top bottle.


Pours a dark (almost black) opaque brown with over an inch of tight tan lace that is slow to settle, and leaves behind a brilliant lace.


Sweet roasted malts, with bursts of ripe fig/plum and a touch of burnt molasses.


Smooth creamy mouthfeel, with a bit of oily slickness from the hops (I'll get to them later). Starts off with some faint residual sugars, but the main sensation is of caramelized raisins and fig. Flavors transition into a blend of vegetal hops. Alcohol is nicely masked.

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Photo of WesWes
4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a coudy brown color with a thick frothy tan head that fades to lacing. The aroma is great! It has a rich, burnt toffee scent that also boasts of caramel and chocolate malts. It has some smokey/earthy notes as well. The taste is great. It has a complex malt flavor that is smokey with loads of caramel notes. It has a nice bitter edge in the finish as well as a wonderful warming effect; very nice. The mouthfeel is awesome. This is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. I've never tried Thomas Hooker beers before. Thanks to my friend Tim for enlightening me on this one. Cheers!

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Photo of brewcrew76
4.09/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2006 vintage - Thanks to gpcollen1 for this one.

A - Pours a murky deep brown/ruby with a nonexistent head.

S - Sweet caramel, pine and citrus hops, oaky tannins, vanilla, smooth bourbon overtone.

T - Boozy bourbon with vanilla and oak followed by sweet caramel with a hint of dark fruit and a mouth numbing alcohol leather combo. The vanilla and oaky leather taste lingers on the tongue until the next sip.

M - Medium to full body with very little carbonation, a sweet start and a dry finish.

D - A unique, complex barleywine that is almost like drinking two different beers in one sitting. Maybe mine needed a little more time to blend.

Edit - Revisited the 2006 version on 9/1/08 and enjoyed the original sample on 3/27/07 much better. The 9/1 sample lost a little bit of everything, especially the hops.

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Photo of WeisGuy
3.76/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml swingtop that opened with a big pop, bottled in 2006. Big thanks to Brewfan for this bottle.

a - pours a deep dark brown with a slight reddish tint, huge rocky tan head with good retention, especially for a 10% brew, great lacing

s - fairly strong alcohol aroma, behind that, a nice mix of caramelly sweet malts and big hop bitterness

t - big maltiness up front, sweet and caramelly, evolves into an intense hop bitterness that attacks the palate, finish has a prominent alcohol bite mixed with dry bitterness

m - a little light bodied, moderate carbonation, very dry finish

d - the intense dryness of the finish along with the pronounced alcohol limit the drinkability a bit, intense bitterness as well

Good barleywine overall. Very intense taste that hits all notes. Well worth trying

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Photo of fartingdog
3.92/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is going from notes taken a little over a month ago.

500ml swingtop. Opened with only a faint 'ffftt'. Pours dark and cloudy with suspended yeast, even after 2 mos of settling. Low carbonation- could use a little more.

Taste: Slightly bitter, sweet, caramelly and rich. Hoppy, but not too much so. Flavor seems like a cross between a US and UK barleywine.

Body is full, but not super malty- balanced. A slight reduction of hops could be more in my favor for this one. Overall, very enjoyable.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.13/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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 :)

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a very cool blue swingtop bottle into my Duvel chalice.
Beer pours a dark brown with ruby highlights. There is absolutely no head to speak of.
Smell is mostly malts. The barrel aging helps smooth out the flavor and cover up the hops. I prefer my barleywine's to be not very hoppy. The barrel aging is perfect in this barleywine.
Taste is really good. You can really get the barrel aging in the taste. There is an oak characteristic coming through that is very enjoyable. There is still some subtle hops shining through. Very well balanced in my opinion.
Mouthfeel is huge and creamy smooth. The alcohol is very well hidden and can only be felt not tasted.
This is a very good barleywine that I hope I get to revisit in the future.

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Photo of jim102864
3.87/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nothing weak about this Connecticut effort. The cobalt blue bottle and sealed ceramic cap are distinctive. Only chilled this for about two hours to keep it in the 50 degree range. This is an as-thick-as- molasses concoction from the minute you begin to pour it. Deep brown with no head at all, so yeah, it's a barleywine. Aroma could've been a little more pronounced, but smokey notes of burnt coffee and some chocolate prevail. The taste is also dominated by burnt coffee. I discerned zero vanilla, though that was what the bottle suggested should've been noticeable. Minimal carbonation. The mouthfeel was very chewy, biscuity even. It coats the tongue like molasses should and the alcohol is very warming as it goes down. This is a drinkable beer for fans of the stye. Definitely not a session beer. One 1 pint 9 oz bottle was enough for me. Good to enjoy in the dead of winter at home. Then move onto a Belgian anything as I am want to do year 'round, really.

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Photo of bjohnson
3.68/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to goodbyeohio for handing this most recently bottled brew off to me. 2007 edition hand bottled by him personally.

A: Pours a very murky brown color with slight hues of ruby red. Very bubbly cream colored head
S: Sweet caramel and brown sugar notes that have a spicy edge to them. Dark fruit. Robust, almost coffee or cappuccino like aromas also. With a vigorous swirl of the glass, thick, roasty malt notes present themselves.
T/M: Thick and robust with a powerful kick. Dark and citrus fruit notes that have a strong spicyness. Sweet caramel flavors. Excellent long and dry bitterness in the finish. Grassy hop aftertaste. Very low carbonation gives this brew a bold mouthfeel. Pretty complex and interesting. It's quite a well balanced barleywine starting with a good hop profile and ending with a nice maltyness. As it warms, the malt profile becomes very soft.
D: A nice sipping brew--best if shared, which I'm glad it was. Quite smooth considering the high abv. Hops aren't that powerful as most American barleywines are.

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Photo of Jwaks
3.72/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A surprisingly deep, almost opaque, umber beer with a frothy brown twinged head exhibiting average retention. What an atypical appearance for a barleywine.

Molasses, brown sugar, raw vanilla, dark ripe fruits, figs, roasted malts, earthy notes, peppery alcohol and a bit of yeast aromas play together on this beer's nose. A bit closed on the nose, but still pretty tight.

This beer is wonderfully complex. Dark caramel malts, vanilla extract and fig flavors tantalize the taste buds upon inital entry melding with balanced, pleasant hop bitterness and deeply roasted malts on the mid palate. A slightly dry, bitter finish boasts hints of raisins, underbrush, oak, smoke, vanilla extract, and a good dollop of peppery, warming alcohol. Harsh yet healthy bitters lower the taste score a bit, the have a tendency to mask the more interesting, sweet and savory flavors in this brew.

Smooth with a slightly creamy texture, this is a medium to full bodied brew with good drinkability for a barleywine. Piquant, warming alcohol on the mid-palate and the slightly bitter finish reduce drinkability just a notch.

Not your typical american barelywine but still another great brew from the Troutbrook brewery.


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Photo of blackie
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

something strong for a rough Pack loss...bottled in 2006

appearance: The head is nonexistant...only a few bubbles created by the pour linger on the surface. The beer is a dark, ruby-brown in color. Great, but what gives with the head? For some reason, with the last pour from the bottle and subsequent swirling, I get a SLIGHT rise of bubbles to the surface. Would be a 4.5 with some head.

smell: Loads of toasted (to varying degrees), and maybe a touch of roasted, malts bring a complex sweetness to the nose. Notes of various dark fruits, especially date and raisin, are found. Light molasses. Even a little vinous at times. I like the bourbon barrel character here: obvious while being well integrated into the total aroma, with just the right oak/bourbon balance. The alcohol in a b-wine should not be invisible, and it's done just right here. Moderate, nondescript hop aroma. A little carbonation might bring out enough aroma to bump this up to a 5. A small part of me wants to give it anyway ( a touch more oak would do it).

mouthfeel: The carbonation has apparently fled the scene and moved on to other things. Nice body, though...full without being overbearing. A little carbonation would make for a better sipper; and would probably bring out more of the nuances, especially on the nose. As with the appearance, I'd give a 4.5 here with a little carbonation.

taste: Big malts upfront, toasted and sweet, give fruity flavors of raisin and date. Thick with malty and dark tree fruit flavors...quite nice. Slight oxidization and just a touch of the oak bourbon barrel. Considerably mellow considering the young age of the beer and the bounty of dark flavors; as they are all well blended together and very little ethanol is noticeable (could be attributed to the lack of CO2 and resultant oxidation). Light to moderate hop flavor, and a bitterness that builds up into the finish to linger with a touch of roast and fruit sugars. For some reason that I can't figure out, the taste seems to come across as bland at times.

drinkability: pretty easy considering the style...can't say the absent carbonation made much of a difference here. Finised the 500 on my own with no trouble.

Shipped down by goodbyeohio in "These go to eleven...a bif." After reading dirtylou's review below, I figured I should get on this one. Maybe not soon enough?

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Photo of dirtylou
3.77/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

drinkability: alright

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 500mL bottle (bottled in 2006) into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep brown color, absolutely no head or lace.

S: The aroma is of brown sugar, caramelized malt and alcohol. I was expecting more hops in this one, so in that regard I was a little disappointed.

T: The taste starts out with brown sugar & dark fruits with a high malt presence. A big alcohol burn follows. There’s a little bit of hops, but not quite the amount that differentiates an ABW from an EBW. Even as the beer warmed, the hops didn’t get any stronger. After-taste is very sweet.

M: Crisp and quite smooth despite the high ABV, medium-to-heavy body, very light carbonation, finish is a little sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easy for a beer with 10.00% ABV, but this one is definitely a sipper. Although I can appreciate the craftsmanship of this beer, I wouldn’t purchase it again.

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Photo of Hollister
4.39/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

This was a bottle that has been sitting around in garages for almost a year now - from Boston to Pittsburgh to Annapolis. Poured into a couple of goblets, next to no head, with whatever vague semblance of a head dissolving away after only seconds. The nose and flavor of this beer, however, remind us that it is a great one. Next to no carbonation left - leaving the mouthfeel much thinner than would be preferred, even for a barleywine or a barleywine that has been allowed to sit for a while.

The single month of oaking on this beer really comes through though, with the dry vanilla balancing superbly against the sweetness and alcohol of the malt. If this beer had a bit more syprupy body, it would hold up against the age better, but regardless, this beer tastes pretty phenomenal.

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Thomas Hooker Old Marley Barleywine from Thomas Hooker Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 175 ratings.