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Olde Bluehair Barley Wine - Big Sky Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Olde Bluehair Barley WineOlde Bluehair Barley Wine

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

277 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 277
Reviews: 113
rAvg: 4
pDev: 11.5%
Wants: 58
Gots: 89 | FT: 8
Brewed by:
Big Sky Brewing Company visit their website
Montana, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  10.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
75 IBU

(Beer added by: JohnGalt1 on 01-24-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 277 | Reviews: 113 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by cosmicevan:
Photo of cosmicevan

New York

4.25/5  rDev +6.3%

2010 vintage shared with the mrs in 2 hunahpu snifters.

#1239 of 3000

a - brew poured an almost reddish orange with a finger or so of frothy off white typical barley colored head. The head stuck around for a while and lacing was solid sheets that coated the glass.

s - nose is big toffee. All toffee in fact. Some alc heat, but only glazed over the toffee dominating nose.

t - the oak cuts through the flavor imparting some soft bourbon notes and vanilla married to the toffee. Soft and non offensive, very smoothed over and the barrel is there but not in a big way so it still compliments the beer without taking over ,ike some barrel aged brews.

m - easy drinker, a bit hot. Toffee caramel coats the mouth. Fairly full bodied and a bit chewy.

o - a nice enjoyable BA barley worth hunting down for the fans of the style. Smooth and easy drinking with a great toffee caramel flavor with vanilla-ing oak glazed over the top. Would have again!

01-04-2014 23:39:33 | More by cosmicevan
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

3.83/5  rDev -4.3%

2010 bottle number #1976 of 3000.
10.5% ABV.
Poured a fizzy brass tinged medium brown,again a rather fizzy one finger off white head atop.Toasty oak and vanilla aromas with a bit of caramel,mainly all barrel aged aromas here,flavors are toasty with heavy vanilla and caramel,just a slight drying earthiness in the finish.As the beer warmed more malt nuances came into play like dark fruit and some cakiness.Its a bit sharp in the mouth but not to annoying,its pretty good but a little one dimensional with the barrel aging really taking over the beer.I dont think its worth the big price paid.

12-27-2010 23:18:54 | More by oberon
Photo of brownbeer


4.05/5  rDev +1.3%

A- Deep amber with a lot of rushing bubbles and a huge white head.

S- Vanilla, bourbon, fruity hops.

T- Sweet oak character balanced by subtle, fruity hops.

M- Soft, but with a bit too much carbonation.

D- Not as good as the Schlafly Oak Aged BW but well worth drinking, especially if you can find it.

09-16-2009 15:26:02 | More by brownbeer
Photo of Mora2000


4.43/5  rDev +10.8%

Thanks to someone for sharing this at the May Freetail bottle release. This is a beer I have been looking forward to trying, hopefully it does not disappoint.

The beer pours a copper color with a white head. The aroma is what I expected. I get a ton of bourbon notes as well as some maple and toffee. The alcohol is also noticeable.

The flavor is similar. I get a lot of toffee and caramel malts along with some bourbon whiskey, vanilla and maple notes. There is also a nice oaked quality to the flavor which melds well with everything else that is going on.

Medium to thick, slightly syrupy mouthfeel and low carbonation. A very nice barrel-aged beer.

09-10-2011 20:11:53 | More by Mora2000
Photo of Lofreqwave


4.25/5  rDev +6.3%

10-02-2013 06:23:12 | More by Lofreqwave
Photo of bpfrush


3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

04-14-2012 14:37:48 | More by bpfrush
Photo of Seattle_Suds


4.5/5  rDev +12.5%

12-07-2013 22:28:52 | More by Seattle_Suds
Photo of Beerandraiderfan


4/5  rDev 0%

A brownish liquid comes out without much in the way of head. Some bubbles, but didn't amount to much. Aroma was boozy at first, but settled into an appreciable mix of toffee, vanilla, wood and bourbon.

Taste, still boozy, but with each sip, got better and better. Carbonation was better than expected after the not sexy pour. Nice bourbon and vanilla integration, this beer just kept getting better. Waves of caramel complimenting the toffee. By the end of it, you're wondering where the initial notes of alcohol went. Its like they fly out the bottle like the ghosts on Indiana Jones Raiders of the Lost Ark after the first sip and whiff. Sweetness level is just where it should be.

Pretty much a must try for any barleywine fan. Decently priced, picked mine up for $13 I believe in AZ, saw it for the price in Bend, OR as well.

12-15-2011 19:34:15 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of jtladner

District of Columbia

3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

02-01-2014 20:19:05 | More by jtladner
Photo of SPRichard

New Jersey

4/5  rDev 0%

02-25-2013 21:57:36 | More by SPRichard
Photo of glid02


4.25/5  rDev +6.3%

Bottle purchased at Papago Brewing in Scottsdale, AZ - somewhere in the 1600's.

Pours a cloudy orange-brown color with a thin off-white head that quickly dissipates into a wispy layer on top leaving no lacing.

Smells of sweet caramel malts with hints of vanilla and bourbon. As the beer warms some booze-soaked fruit aromas waft out every now and then.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Solid caramel malt flavors kick things off, followed shortly by light bourbon flavors. The fruits don't have as much presence as in the aroma, though they're still there. Ending is mildly bitter.

Mouthfeel is good. It has a very nice thickness with mild carbonation that makes it go down smoothly.

Drinkability is good. I thought this was a pretty well-balanced barleywine and could have polished off the bomber without a problem.

Overall this is a solid barrel-aged barleywine, though it's a bit short of spectacular. Still, it's worth a shot.

04-01-2009 00:09:26 | More by glid02
Photo of striker2160


4/5  rDev 0%

06-04-2013 23:39:04 | More by striker2160
Photo of Beerontwowheels


3.5/5  rDev -12.5%

04-04-2013 18:51:59 | More by Beerontwowheels
Photo of augustgarage


3.93/5  rDev -1.8%

On-tap @ Blue Palms Brewhouse - served in a snifter.

Burnt orange to carmine gradient with a lasting beige collar and a faint surface slick. Faint sandy lacing, no legs.

Leather, tobacco, prunes, pine, peach pits, and stewed fruit in the nose. Lightly hoppy with a hint of burnt sugar.

White pepper, evergreen, spearmint, alfalfa, and moderate bitterness accompanied by a milky malt note. Complexity suddently vanishes in the woody dry finish, drawing you back immediately to see if the flavor profile was all an illusion...

Tinkgly, well carbonated (almost too much so) and not-quite-slick.

Well balanced, though malt-heads and hop-heads alike may find something missing if they are glass-half-empty types.

09-04-2011 19:54:15 | More by augustgarage
Photo of leschkie


3.25/5  rDev -18.8%

04-15-2012 15:31:44 | More by leschkie
Photo of Photekut


5/5  rDev +25%

11-17-2011 01:30:46 | More by Photekut
Photo of prototypic


3.95/5  rDev -1.3%

Bottle 285 of 1800 - vintage year unknown

Olde Bluehair pours a nice copper color. It has a distinct crimson look when held to light. Not bad at all. Carbonation looks very active. A gentle pour yielded a light tan head that stands easily over three fingers tall. It's very slow to dissipate. Lacing is sticky and moderate in volume.

The nose is good. It's sweet and full of caramel up front. Bourbon is appreciated, but it's a rather light and restrained scent. It works. There are some fruity notes of apple, apricot, and pear. There are no dark fruits in the house (as far as I can smell). Secondary notes of oak and vanilla are noted, and add nice depth. Alcohol is blended surprisingly well. The label indicates the abv in this vintage is 8.75%.

The flavor is very consistent with the nose. It's sweet and fruity initially. Caramel malts give it a nice base and blend well with the apple, pear, and apricot flavors. I'm not getting any dark fruit here, but the golden variety works nicely. Barrel aging imparted a nice, subtle bourbon flavor that complements the Barleywine flavors very well. Oak and vanilla are definitely secondary, but are flavorful. Alcohol has integrated nicely over time. It's not very noticeable in flavor. Finishes sweet and fruity with a touch of bourbon.

Olde Bluehair has a medium body. Carbonation is active and a little buzzy. It's not quite smooth, but it's not bad either. Fewer bubbles might be the ticket. Drinkability is good. I'm enjoying this one. It doesn't taste or feel like a huge, barrel-aged Barleywine and goes down rather easily.

This is my first experience with Big Sky Brewing Company, and it's been a good one. Olde Bluehair is a pretty impressive barrel-aged Barleywine. The flavor delivers and the subtle bourbon presence works extremely well. A little less carbonation would improve things a little. Maybe a bit of hops would too. I'm curious as to whether they're present in a fresh bottle. Perhaps another day. Easily recommended.

03-06-2011 03:44:26 | More by prototypic
Photo of cjacobsen


4.33/5  rDev +8.3%

Thanks to sweemzander for opening this one.

(A) Pours a brownish color with a slight bit of cloudiness. Ruby hues when held to the light. The barrel aging definitely took some effect on the coloration of this beer. About a half inch head on this beast.

(S) There area a lot of fruits and sweeter aromas. Fig and dark sugar, but then there is some lighter roasted malt present. As it opens there is a note of licorice.

(T) Taste is a lot like the nose. There is fig and a good amount of dark dried fruits. The barrel wood gives a great characteristic to this beer. Doesn't really hit like a barleywine usually wood and I think it's because the woods toned it down a bit. Other residual sugars linger as well as the hint of a licorice taste.

(M) Solid medium body, slightly grainy, and ends dry.

(O) This was a different one. I really liked it, but it caught me off guard not tasting as I would expect a baleywine to taste. The barrel did wonders for the flavor. It was a solid beer and I look forward to revisiting this one in the future.

10-06-2011 13:09:02 | More by cjacobsen
Photo of jheezee


4/5  rDev 0%

03-16-2012 20:30:05 | More by jheezee
Photo of Alieniloquium


3.13/5  rDev -21.8%

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Foamy as hell. Murky red. Looks light and overcarbonated.

Smell - Light malt notes. A ton of bourbon and a little oak.

Taste - Oaky and astringent. Overcarbonated. Caramel comes through more here as the bourbon is lighter. Nothing special in the flavor. Maybe a little fruity.

Mouthfeel - Way overcarbonated. Astringent and dry. Kinda ruins the experience.

Overall - The flavors are ok, but it's mouthfeel is a tremendous let down. Thin, kinda they way I felt about Ivan the Terrible.

12-29-2012 22:42:21 | More by Alieniloquium
Photo of russpowell


4.35/5  rDev +8.7%

This was a lucky pick up at Goebbels in Wichita.

Bottle #1319 of 3000 opens with a major pop! Pours caramel with a pinky of khaki lacing. Nice viscious look to this, good head retention & some lacing

S: Toffee, dark fruit & slight boozeyness

T: Rich dark fruit, Bourbon, leafy hops, a touch boozey vanilla. Honey, figgyness, a bit of smokey toffee as this warms, along with some booze-soaked cherries. Finishes oaky dry with nice Bourbon notes, figs& sweet toffee. Slight deduction for lack of American BW hop profile, would've maxed this out as an English BW. Wish I had some more bottles...

MF: Chewy, smooth carbonation, great balance, nice warming sensation

Drinks too easy for the ABV & style

03-20-2011 00:13:20 | More by russpowell
Photo of Kegatron


4.15/5  rDev +3.8%

750 ml foil topped bottle. # 1349/1800. Thanks goes to beerbeagle for hooking me up with this in the Secret Bunny '08 BIF. Split this one with some fellow BA members. Poured into a snifter.

Pours a brilliant clear ruby red, with a thin foamy off-white head. This bunches around the edges with a thin wispy covering in the middle. Flare-up is very solid, leaving a rich looking latticework of lace back. Bourbon dominates the aroma, with some backing notes of woody oak and vanilla. Floral hops glide underneath, as does caramel, bread, citrus, and a maybe a touch of dark fruits in the back as well.

The taste is once again straight up Bourbon, that is well integrated with notes of citrus, vanilla, coconut, brown sugar, caramel, and dough standing out most to me. Bourbon and alcohol mix with hops and roast to end the profile with a warm and bitter feel that lingers. The mouthfeel is big feeling, with a full bodied and creamier feel. There is also a more tangible vicous layer that runs underneath, that carries a lot of the alcohol and warmth through the profile. A definite alcohol sting is present as well but it seems to come more from the Bourbon character then it does the ABV.

A pleasant suprise for sure, I liked the integration between the barrel notes and regular Barleywine flavors in this. While still a bit warm and a steady sipper, I'd love to see how this one would mellow and age over a couple of years.

04-20-2009 16:34:12 | More by Kegatron
Photo of MontereyBay831


4.25/5  rDev +6.3%

10-28-2013 19:20:17 | More by MontereyBay831
Photo of mjc3151


3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

05-28-2014 06:02:55 | More by mjc3151
Photo of hiphopj5


4.5/5  rDev +12.5%

10-30-2012 13:00:46 | More by hiphopj5
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Olde Bluehair Barley Wine from Big Sky Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 277 ratings.