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Olde Bluehair Barley Wine - Big Sky Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Olde Bluehair Barley WineOlde Bluehair Barley Wine

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

121 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 121
Hads: 316
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 7.04%
Wants: 61
Gots: 90 | FT: 9
Brewed by:
Big Sky Brewing Company visit their website
Montana, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  12.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: JohnGalt1 on 01-24-2009

75 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 121 | Hads: 316
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle pour sampled at mrbubbler's tasting courtesy of mrbubbler himself.

2010 vintage. Bottle # 1959/3000.

Pours a murky honey orange with a tan head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, caramel, citrus zest, vanilla, and bourbon. Taste is the same with a woody aftertaste. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a smooth and somewhat creamy mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good barleywine with a nice barrel aged presence. (530 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thakns to mages64 for getting this bottle out to me in a BIF a ways back. Served in a SAVOR snifter as part of our barrel-aged barleywine tasting.

Pours a golden-copper color with an off-white head. Average amount of lacing with a thin collar throughout.

Nose is fairly weak and non-descript with faint notes of bourbon and light caramel. Flavor goes up from there with heavy notes of bourbon and oak plus light vanilla and toffee. Caramel malt throughout.

Mouthfeel is chewy and nice with a great bourbon smoothness. Nice oak character and a buttery-vanilla smoothness. Low carbonation.

Really a nice brew. Glad I got to try this one. (644 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.96/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

very cool mix of english and american barleywine styles in this rarity from big sky. its well hoppy, more than just bitter too, but leafy green and fresh on the hop side of things, more so than most other examples of the style i can think of. its also still primarily grain flavored, as it should be, with rich caramels, butterscotches, toffees, and nuttiness all the way through, and its still quite sweet with a floral honey vibe lightening it up a bit in the middle. cool that it can be both, and i guess its more american because it lacks the english yeast profile, but this yeast is not without flavor, its biscuity like a pancake batter, and it works super well with the sweet grain in here. medium bodied is all, which i suppose lends drinkability to a huge beer, but the booze is well hidden even though its not thick, and it kind of sneaks up on me pretty fast. i have never seen bottles of this for sale, was lucky enough to have it on tap at backcountry pizza in boulder, who seems to always be able to assemble a tap list of scarce beers. one of the better big sky beers out there, and one of the better barleywines i have had in the early going here in 2015. love the hoppiness to it, a great and enormous balance. clever brew. (1,240 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle #0007 out of 3000 (2010 bottling)

Appearance: This is a beautiful barleywine, pouring an ice tea brown color with a two finder head that leaves a smattering of lace around the chalice

Smell: Toffee, apricot, oak and some fusel alcohol

Taste: Toffee and apricots, up front, with an earthy hop balance developing by mid-palate, when the fusel alcohol arrives; after the swallow, the oak and vanilla add a complex dimension that lingers, after the swallow, along with the apricot malt

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation; perhaps a little too thick

Drinkability: This is an extraordinary barleywine that is only going to improve with a year or two of age; while some complain that it is too sweet or lacks hops, I would point out that this is much more in the English style and is a superb example

Thanks, sholle, for the opportunity (856 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
4.12/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The fruity and malty-succulence all plays out in a display of balance and battle that play out in this hoppy-bitter and malty-sweet ever strong ale- this is Olde bluehair Barley Wine.

The stately beer pours with a hazy and rusty appearance of browns and slightly reddish hue. Billowing to the rim is the expansive lightly tanned head creates a liquefied foamy head with tremendous staying power and sticky lace. This beer is stately, rustic, and masculine looking throughout.

Brown sugar, freshly kilned barley, and molasses starts to frame the aromatic matrix, but also introduce the strong alcohol notes of rum and the estery scent of plumb, grape, and fig. Yet the musty malt character takes stage.

Flavors closely mimic the aromas as the beer starts with a sweet malt taste of the molasses, brown sugar, and sun kissed barley kernel. Yet the beer develops quickly into a rummy, port-like mid palate of fruit- resembling grape, fig, date, blackberry, plumb, and raison. Light herbal hops inform the flavor with under lying flavors of lemongrass but developing into a timid resonant of pine and fresh cut grassy bitterness to finish.

Full bodied but mysteriously refreshing, Old Bluechair delivers a wallop of malty-rich texture with a carbonated creamy effect. But the mid palate creeps in with a lightly peppery heat at mid palate that develops into alcohol heat to finish. Doing so with a hoppy resin dryness and ethanol warmth that closes the beer with confidence and semi-dry character that drives a malty fruit aftertaste. (1,534 characters)

Photo of biboergosum
3.32/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

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. (1,756 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle 1497/1800. Dark caramel brown with apple red and Sunkist accents when the glass is backlit with the rising October sun. The khaki colored crown is more a loose collection of unsticky bubbles than a creamy slice of foam, which is a fairly common occurence when it comes to higher-ABV, barrel-aged beer. In all fairness, the head becomes melty-creamy in the end and stays at the thick disk stage for a prolonged period of time.

The nose is classic caramel malt barleywine (pale, crystal, and chocolate), with wonderful whiskey notes from the American oak bourbon barrels. More hoppiness would be nice, but this Limited Edition ale has been chilling out my cellar for the past year or so. Maybe the hops will make an appearance on the palate.

Barrel Aged Olde Bluehair Barley Wine tastes exactly like it smells... which is a very good thing. It's on the gentle side for the style, thanks to the original 75 IBUs being countered by mucho malt, and the ABV being 8.75% rather than double digits. That doesn't mean that this little old lady lacks punch. On the contrary.

Pale malt offsets chocolate malt, and caramel-crystal emerges as the winner. Having said that, pleasant hints of cocoa nibness are easily identified, more so than in most American barleywines. There's a ton of medium-dark fruitiness and the bourbon influence is right on the money. Caramelized sugar, oak and vanilla bean tantalize the buds with each sip. Thankfully, the beer isn't the least bit boozy.

The next highest taste score is tempting, but Bluehair doesn't have that extra gear, that extra certain something to get it over the hump. No qualms, though, about bumping the drinkability score. This stuff is disappearing more quickly than is advisable if I want to remain coherent enough to finish this review and still make sense.

With respect to mouthfeel, think aged English barleywine or old ale. In other words, it isn't thick and chewy and it isn't as creamily carbonated as your typical Belgian ale. No matter, because the beer's size and laid back bubbles work fine in combination, which increases (ease of) drinkability even more.

In my humble opinion, Big Sky is one of America's most underappreciated breweries. They have gotten more of my money (thanks to their outstanding IPA) than anyone else in this country over the past several years. Barrel Aged Olde Bluehair Barley Wine may not be transcent beer, but it's a delicous and drinkable effort that is well worth the purchase price. (2,481 characters)

Photo of zeff80
4.17/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, golden-orange color with a one-finger, off-white head of foam. It left thin rings of sticky lace.

S - It smelled of sweet caramel, vanilla and mild bourbon notes.

T - Good caramel sweetness with some spicy hop bite. There is a nice vanilla presence.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with some alcohol heat.

D - This is a really good barleywine. Great balance and taste. My new favorite Big Sky brew....gotta find some Ivan now. (478 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4.38/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

brown in color with a light tan head on top that hung around for a good few minutes before settling down into a thin layer on top. One of the best aromas I have ever come across. Rich bourbon notes just rippling across the nose. Lots of toffee and vanilla, light touchs of oak and a piney hop presence as well. So immacualtly complex. Nothing subtle about this beast at all. Rich toffee and oak flavors are all over the place. Huge hop notes coming through with a nice alcohol hotness that is really well placed. A very tight flavor here with a long lingering vanilla flavor that lasted long after my last sip. (610 characters)

Photo of oberon
3.87/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

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. (593 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Forgot to write down who shared this beer at Sour Fest. Think it was Jake or Alex.

A: The pour is amber in color with a two finger khaki head.

S: A solid aroma which really shows a lot of balance between the barrel and the beer. Bourbon, vanilla, and oak come through initially and the nice caramel, brown sugar, and molasses notes follow.

T: Much the same story on the palate. The brown sugar, caramel, and toffee flavors dominate. Just a touch of dark fruit in there, too. There is still plenty of barrel contribution here with a moderate bourbon flavor and a bit of oak and vanilla.

M: Medium in body with a medium level of carbonation.

O: I have really enjoyed the barrel aged Big Sky beers I've had and this was no exception. (735 characters)

Photo of oline73
3.61/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

2011 bottle poured into a tasting snifter.

Pours a murky red amber color. This one looks to be super over carbonated. The smell is sweet. I'm getting dark fruit, caramel, and a hint of vanilla. The carbonation distracts from the taste, which is pretty good otherwise. Lots of caramel malts and some vanilla from the barrel. The bourbon is smooth with just a touch of alcohol burn. (381 characters)

Photo of Kegatron
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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. (1,430 characters)

Photo of russpowell
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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 (705 characters)

Photo of Rifugium
2.76/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle shared at a recent tasting, not sure who brought it. Also not sure of the vintage or number, etc.

This was a very weird barleywine, and I don't really know what was going on with this bottle. Possibly infected. The cap came off with a massive *hiss* and after everyone poured out their share of tan foam, even more foam filled half the bottle as it sat there on the table. I can't say I've ever seen a "barleywine" that carbonated.

Once the massive head settled to a reasonable level, the liquid below it was a dull chestnut brown color, with a gooey murkiness to it. In the nose, phenols and some herbal bitterness, lesser notes of caramel and yeast. The taste was definitely weird and off, but I actually didn't think it was completely undrinkable. There were flavors of caramel and bready (bretty?) yeast, cooking sherry, and actually lots of herbal hops. Not very good, and possibly infected, but as I said, I didn't find it undrinkable, surprisingly. Did I go back for more after my little sampler? Nope. Light-medium body and pretty thinned out in the mouthfeel. Overall, this beer was a huge mess, and not at all what I like in my barleywines. (1,160 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
3.96/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to joe1510 for sharing this bottle. #886 of 1800, served in a snifter.

A - Pours with a ridiculous amount of tan foam that takes forever to dissipate and leaves a good amount of lacing. Transparent fuschia color with tons of bubbles. Really unique and impressive for a barleywine.

S - Burnt brown sugar, roasted caramel malts, some faded hops, and some light bourbon and oaky barrel notes as well. It's nice, but nothing unusual for a bourbon barrel barleywine.

T - The taste is a lot sweeter, with a lot of the burnt sugar character and tannins in the finish. Caramel, brown sugar, light vanilla and oak notes. Not much of the hop presence that I initially smelled.

M - Surprisingly well carbonated - medium body, fairly sticky, a little heat at the back end.

D - The alcohol isn't all that well hidden - I thought this was more than 8.75%. The tannic bite in the finish also makes it a little hard to drink a lot. (927 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Limited Edition Olde Bluehair...Big Sky Brewing, Barrel-aged & Bottle Conditioned. Ale Aged in American Oak Bourbon Barrels. 10.5% abv.

Number 1307 of 3000. "Imagine a tango: a man and a woman dancing, their eyes locked upon one another, then take your first bite of Olde Bluehair, Big Sky Brewing Company's Barley Wine. A taste of apricots, honey flavors, a sliver of vanilla, and a hint of caramel round out this barley wine. Like so many things in life, Olde Bluehair just gets better with time."

Thoroughly hazed, magenta hued, thick, wonderful, rocky, lacy, off-white head. Big, lasting, very impressive. So far, so good.

Aroma: whiskey hits first, leather, vanilla, dark fruits, cherries, sweet, bold, rich, huge. I'm getting it, both parts of this beer are working well, in full effect. I'm getting the barleywine, I'm getting the bourbon barrel.

Now, what's it taste like?

Boom, boom, here comes hops, next bourbon, then alcohol. Bam! Immenseness and richosity. A flash of hops, then a blitz of bourbon, then the caramel malt, and, yeah, I can detect apricot, sure....honey, yeah, a little. Getting drier now, not so juicy, well rounded, not too over the top. I'm kind of loving it. Big plum, date, raisin-y, dark fruits aplenty, sweet a bit, then dry, and, yeah, rounded. Good balance, for such a big one.

Hey, now, this is several varieties of yum, yes, it is. Now, it's getting woody oaky, that part is coming into play. The thicker parts of the bourbon character have given way for other pleasures.

This works. This is good. This is Mmm + yum, plus, oh, yeah. (1,584 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 1/22/11 notes. Thanks to Lunch for sharing this one; thanks Paul, been wanting to try it.

a - Pours a mahogany brown color with two inches of frothy white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of caramel malts, fruit, oak, bourbon.

t - Tastes of strong bourbon, roasted malts, oak, and caramel malts. Little bit too much alcohol in the taste; a bit harsh.

m - Medium to full body and moderate carbonation.

d - A nice barleywine but a little harsh in the taste. Probably would be better with some age on it. Would like to have again with some time on it. (575 characters)

Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into snifter, 2012 vintage bottle 2843/3240. Pours moderately hazy deep ruby red color with a 1 finger dense light khaki head with awesome retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of caramel, pear, apple, tangerine, orange zest, floral, toast, toffee, vanilla, oak, bourbon, light clove, brown sugar, and toasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good complexity and balance of malt and barrel notes with a fair amount of hop presence; and good strength. Taste of caramel, pear, apple, tangerine, orange zest, floral, toast, toffee, vanilla, oak, bourbon, clove, light pine, brown sugar, and toasted earthiness. Light floral/pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, pear, apple, orange zest, toast, toffee, vanilla, oak, bourbon, clove, brown sugar, and light pine on the finish for a while. Damn nice balance and complexity of malt and barrel flavors with a moderate amount of hops; with a great malt/hop/barrel flavor balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a moderately creamy, slick, and lightly crisp/sticky mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a small warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent barleywine style. All around great balance and complexity of malt, barrel, and hop flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A very enjoyable offering. (1,464 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
4.42/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Thorpe at a small tasting the other day. Thanks Mike. This was the sleeper hit of the night for me.

Beer is golden in color and mostly clear with a thin wispy head of small white bubbles, low carbonation, low lacing, low retention.

Aroma is sweet with hints of vanilla, oak, and bourbon, nice.

Beer is medium in body and sweet up front with a mildly dry finish, a nice bourbon character on the midpalate and a great finish with more in the body in the midpalate than expected. The toffee comes through nicely and finishes strong. I really enjoyed it, one of the better beers of the night IMO. (612 characters)

Photo of mothman
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Shared this bottle with ThePeskyDingo and DerrickBerg.

Bottle 1190/1800.

Poured into New Belgium Globe Glass.

Doesn't pour much of a head, but is slightly off-white. Still leaves some lace rings. Color is a deep cloudy burnt copper. Very appealing.

Smell is of booze off the top. Dark dried fruits. Molasses. Dried cherries. Bready malts. Some pine hops, a very complex aroma.

Taste is very malty at first. Bready, boozy, dried fruits (mainly cherries), molasses. I am having a hard time picking out all of the flavors because of the alcohol. Slight licorice flavor. Very complex flavor. I got the vanilla flavor out of it after I read the bottle. This beer also has a wood/bourbon flavor (similar to that in BCS).

Mouthfeel is smooth but way too boozy. Goes down easy but leaves a mouth full of alcohol for an aftertaste. Feels like I just took a shot of vodka. But it is clean.

Overall, this was a very boozy barlywine. Way different from the previous two I had, which were very hoppy. If you can find this, it is worth a shot, but have some good buddies to share it with. (1,081 characters)

Photo of Mora2000
4.42/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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. (656 characters)

Photo of billab914
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into my Portsmouth tulip. It poured a murky, orange caramel looking color with a fluffy white head to it.

The aroma is malty and rich with some nice notes of caramel and candied fruits really showing through. I get a little of the residual hoppiness to it as well. The barrel flavor is subtle, but the does add some depth and complexity to it.

The taste is also very malty with notes of caramel and toffee mixing with some more of the resiny residual hops. Just a little woody oak and a touch of bourbon.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with carbonation being a little high for the style. Overall, It had a nice rich malty profile for the style and what was left of the American hop profile blended in pretty well. The barrel was a little more reserved than I would have preferred, but it added a little character to it. Pretty solid overall. (868 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.15/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

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. (560 characters)

Photo of corby112
3.63/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750ml, 2010 vintage, bottle 2126/3000, shared with shadowane.

Pours a cloudy, dark amber color with golden ruby edges and a one finger frothy, yellowish beige head. Very good retention slowly fading into a lasting ring that leaves chunks of lacing behind.

Musty, earthy aroma with lots of dark fruit, leather and wood. Nice barrel in the nose with toasted oak and vanilla notes but only subtle bourbon. Lots of leathery malts as well as some fig and raisin.

Medium body with soft carbonation up front with a strong barrel presence that's a bit harsh with lots of toasted oak and sweet booz. As it warms there is some vanilla and the sweeter malts and dark fruit notes shine. Leathery and musty with some sweet caramel and nut along with hints of fig, plum and apple.  Decent but kind of harsh up front. Finishes nice. (824 characters)

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Olde Bluehair Barley Wine from Big Sky Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 121 ratings.