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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

287 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 287
Reviews: 116
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 11.78%
Wants: 59
Gots: 90 | FT: 9
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: 287 | Reviews: 116 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of archyquaffer
3.25/5  rDev -18.5%

Poured from a corked 750 ml bottle into a schooner glass. A moderate pour produces a big, billowing sticky head of about 2 inches. I'm forced to sip the foam for awhile. The beer is a hazy, fairly pale brown, with a swirling gusher of carbonation.

I perceive a nuttiness and vanilla in the aroma, but also a rather rank smell that detracts a bit. The beer is quite bitter, even astringent, with loads of earthy hops and tannins. A boozy warming sets in almost immediately. I'm not getting a lot of estery flavors- it could use some. In particular, a desired dark fruit quality seems mostly absent. Very little caramel qualities either. The flavors simply don't mesh well, and the alcohol is harsh.

This bottle is vintage 2013, imbibed at the end of September 2014. Perhaps it could use some additional aging. As it is, this beer is pretty tough to drink- it 's extremely bitter, with some rather unsavory off-flavors and aromas.

Edit: the above review was perhaps too dependent on initial impressions. The weird flavors do mellow some as the beer progresses. I increased the score by a quarter point.

archyquaffer, Sep 30, 2014
Photo of leaddog
3.35/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

2013 vintage 10.2%. Bottle # 1665 of 3750.

Appearance - Pours a deep amber hue with three fingers of fluffy cream-coloured head.

Smell - Dark fruit (plum), earthy hops, oak/woodiness, alcohol, caramel.

Taste - Flavours of dark fruit, oak and alcohol. Touch of sweetness from caramel. A little bit of earthy hops, but not as much as I was expecting.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

Overall - A so-so American barleywine. There is a good malt presence along with the woodiness from the oak barrels, but I was hoping for more assertive bitterness from the hops. This one is a definitely a sipper as the ABV is quite noticeable.

leaddog, Sep 27, 2014
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

WILD-THING, Sep 22, 2014
Photo of Corson
3.25/5  rDev -18.5%

Corson, Sep 21, 2014
Photo of Beerlover
2.5/5  rDev -37.3%

Beerlover, Sep 21, 2014
Photo of BeersAndBears
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

BeersAndBears, Sep 18, 2014
Photo of DanGeo
3.25/5  rDev -18.5%

DanGeo, Sep 08, 2014
Photo of biboergosum
3.34/5  rDev -16.3%

750ml caged and corked bottle, 10.2% ABV. 2014 is already getting long in the tooth, so I guess it's OK to pop this 2013 vintage edition of Olde Bluehair.

This beer pours a slightly hazy, medium copper amber colour, with a teeming, barely contained tower of puffy, thinly foamy, and bubbly tan head, which leaves some patchy and sudsy layered cloud formation lace around the glass as it lazily recedes. Not your daddy's barleywine, so far.

It smells of acrid Bourbon barrels - more musty staves and over-proof booze than caramel, vanilla, or spice - reduced brown sugar, edgy molasses, black pepper, gritty pale and toffee-accent malt, dead yeast, wet leather, chewing tobacco, gritty earthy hops, and a swirling, barely restrained booziness. The taste is a lot more rounded, and yet plain - understated grainy caramel malt, still rather woody barrel essences - raw wood (natch), metallic vanilla, muted spice - powdered chalk, weird, fairly unattractive phenols, and herbal, weedy hops - the kind that seem beholden to the not so well masked alcohol.

The bubbles are pretty heady and pervasive throughout in their overwrought frothiness, the body a bit on the lee side of actual medium weight, and smooth, sure, but assailed from unseen vectors on all sides. It finishes mostly dry, the woodiness finally laying waste and claim to victory, all others merely book-ended by the lingering, as ever was, alcohol.

Ok, so, what we have here, is a seemingly and strangely bottle-reconditioned (the froth, she don't lie) barleywine, of English-style extraction (the hops apparently just incapable of speaking for themselves), with some of the titular old-lady's, um, blue-haired musty crustiness resplendent everywhere. Nah, not for me, not for me at all.

biboergosum, Sep 03, 2014
Photo of stallion_air21
4.52/5  rDev +13.3%

stallion_air21, Aug 30, 2014
Photo of JonnyRebel
4.56/5  rDev +14.3%

JonnyRebel, Aug 25, 2014
Photo of Justinsosmart
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Justinsosmart, Aug 17, 2014
Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

zestar, Aug 10, 2014
Photo of Gotti311
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Gotti311, Aug 05, 2014
Photo of lonewolfcry
4/5  rDev +0.3%

lonewolfcry, Aug 05, 2014
Photo of JoelClark
3.25/5  rDev -18.5%

JoelClark, Aug 03, 2014
Photo of CCutch
3.75/5  rDev -6%

CCutch, Jul 29, 2014
Photo of JakeBarnett
4/5  rDev +0.3%

JakeBarnett, Jul 22, 2014
3.75/5  rDev -6%

FeDUBBELFIST, Jul 17, 2014
Photo of DarthGuitarHero
3.75/5  rDev -6%

DarthGuitarHero, Jul 14, 2014
Photo of The_Event_Horizon
3.48/5  rDev -12.8%

The_Event_Horizon, Jul 11, 2014
Photo of ldhughes3
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

ldhughes3, Jul 09, 2014
Photo of Yeti1979
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Yeti1979, Jul 09, 2014
Photo of GClarkage
3.75/5  rDev -6%

GClarkage, Jul 08, 2014
Photo of Kamui_2004
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Kamui_2004, Jul 06, 2014
Photo of moshea
3.75/5  rDev -6%

moshea, Jun 30, 2014
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Olde Bluehair Barley Wine from Big Sky Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 287 ratings.