Blue Point Old Howling Bastard - Blue Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Blue Point Old Howling BastardBlue Point Old Howling Bastard

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BA SCORE
86
very good

276 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 276
Reviews: 136
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 10.91%
Wants: 15
Gots: 27 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Blue Point Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-19-2002)
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Ratings: 276 | Reviews: 136 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jwc215
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours slightly hazed copper with a foamy white head that holds up rather nicely. Actually, it holds up more than "rather" - nice retention that haolds up throughout. Rings vanish as it progresses, but new rings form, and stay awhile, as the drink progresses.

The smell is mild, though comes through a bit more as it progresses. It is minty with a fruity accent - mango, peach, apricot and pear. Caramel with herbal notes come through. Very nice - just not quite "robust". Interesting - not quite classic "Barleywine"... more of an attempt at a fruity version of a DIPA? In the end - nice, but on the thin side...

The taste is of steely caramel, and tropical fruits - mango, towards banana/coconut? and citrus - apricot, peach, a hint of grapefruit(?). A hoppy BW, though not bitter... Not quite sweet either. I liked it, and found more complexities, as it progresses, raising my taste score to the higher of the two scores I had in mind...though with "some" generosity... I liked the taste - though something unusual about it... more of a soft DIPA... It has a grainy finish. Alcohol shows, yet doesn't interfere much in taste or smoothness.

The feel...that's my issue here... while it does drink quickly enough, with ample carbonation and firm malt backbone, it seems to lack the full body that a BW should have. A few less bubbles would probably work just as well. Still, it does have a smoothness to it and fruity flavours do hang on.

This is a fruity BW. If you're looking for a fruity BW that is high in abv that is not raw, and you don't mind the bit of thinness of the body, certainly grab this one. My gut instinct on aging this? Would doubt it...but, just a guess.. Anyway, might not fit style guidelines the way it should, but I would say this is an interesting BW that should be checked out.

Photo of DIM
3.58/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a: This was a clear, golden amber color. It was served to me with a small, frothy head that lasted a while.

s: Definitely hop forward. I got a big blast of lemony, piny hops. Not much more than a little caramel to back this up. Pretty warm overall as well.

t: Pretty much mirrors the smell. I was looking for a little more complexity from the malt profile, but it just wasn't there. Drinks loke a prett tasty DIPA.

m: Creamy carbonation and a viscous, chewy body.

d: Not bad, but not what I was hoping for. Needed to be more balanced I think.

Photo of Duhast500
4.33/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a stemmed glass.

The color is a dark but clear amber color with a finger or two or foamy head.

The smell is a hard lemon and is a really strong NY brew. There are some brick walls of grainy fruit flavor that gives a you wallop.

The taste is a lot like the aroma, a mix of some really expressive flavor kicks hard. Sweet with a citrus flavor that has a bit of a tangy feel to it ever so slightly.

The feel of this beer is light, it has been waiting to jump onto my taste buds and pops a bit right at the end. A reall wonderful beer.

Photo of david18
3.6/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm not sure how i'd feel about Blue Point's beers if it wasn't local to me. I definitely taste the freshness when I have it but I don't know how to compare it to other brewers' more famous beers. This beer, like so many, is something that tastes very local/fresh but doesn't jump out at me with significant flavors.

Had this again on 9/15. A little better this time. I would recommend it on a cold winter day.

Photo of Pahn
3.23/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bottle into Duvel tulip. Bottled 2009.

Appearance: Pours a dull, murky orange with a half inch frothy off-white head that dissipates quickly leaving small streaks of lacing.

Smell: Very full, sweet, and fruity. I get a lot of pear, and maybe some grape and apple. There's also a small, sugary note of cake. Inviting.

Taste: Where are the esters promised by the smell? Where's the deep caramel malt flavor promised by the bottle's label? The first sip is dominated by a funky, leathery flavor that's unexpected but quite good. It's nowhere near as full or sweet as the smell, with a thin but decent malt finish (a bit dry). There's a very muted hop presence, and a mild skunky flavor reminiscent of BMC. As I get deeper into the bottle, the fruit remains entirely absent. Also absent is any evidence of the ABV; alcohol is completely masked.

The finish quickly goes from roasted malt to a flavorless bitterness and an unpleasant sourness. It's not the bitterness of big hops, nor is it a deep or interesting sourness; it's just a build up of bad flavors and sensations. A bit of welcome sweetness emerges as the beer warms, but the beer remains, in a word, bland (with a bad finish).

Mouthfeel: Watery with a lot of carbonation.

Drinkability: While the ABV is well-masked and some of the flavors are good, the bitter/sour build up, watery mouthfeel, and general lack of interesting flavor render this beer's drinkability low.

A very underwhelming barleywine. I can't see any reason to get this over the many amazing American barleywines available today. All that said, it's not a terrible beer. The musty, leathery note with the roasted malt that emerges at first is quite good, and the mild sweetness that the beer ends on is bland for a barleywine, but has more character than a lot of other beers. Also, while this definitely doesn't stand up to just being sipped and savored, it went rather well with the garlic pizza I ended up pairing it with. I wouldn't refuse this beer, but I wouldn't seek it out either.

Photo of BigBigPickle
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Part of a sampler at Rattle n' Hum.

A: Clear amber. Not much head - could be due to pour.

S: Spice front with a nice hop component. HUGE malt - spicy sweetness!

T: Just like smell - sweet and spicy - sugar lips with a nice hop addition.

M: Decent carbonation - spiced hop aftertaste is great.

D: Very good barleywine - the sugar makes it all worthwhile.

Photo of erosier
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours a nice clear red-orange-amber color with a medium sized tan colored head and a little lacing. It's nice looking for sure.
S: Smells of sweet roasted malts, vinous fruits, and a nice hop earthy hop aroma at the end of it.
T: Tastes like the aroma - sweet roasted malts up front, then a nice vinous fruit taste, then a nice caramel/toffee flavor, then a really nice earthy/citrus-y hope finish. The hops were very noticable which I thought was nice for a Barleywine.
M: Very rich, heavy, warming, not as smooth as I would have expected, perfect amount of carbonation.
D: Pretty drinkable, this was an interesting take on the style.

Photo of far333
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Slightly hazed and reddish orange with a beige frothy head that settles out slowly to a fine cap of ridged foam. Aroma of caramel, toffee, and cinnaomn, some ripe fruit and subtle spice.

Flavors of tofeee and husky malt, some caramel and ripe fruits, notes of grapefruit and star anise. Finishes piney with a little peppery spice.

Even mouthfeel, a tad slick, tingly carbonation finish, slight warming of the cheeks. Tasty beer, could use a bit more complexity.

Photo of BTPete
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

cask to mug at Mahar's in Albany, NY.

notes taken directly from phone.

Old Howling Bastard 2009

Cask to mug

A: hazy orange and golden, small head. No lacing.

S: sweet, bitter hoppy, alcohol.

T: sweet tasting with hints of citrus, orange? A little hop bitterness and alcohol at the end. Got sweeter as it warmed. Certainly a sipper.

M: smooth carbonation most likely from cask. Medium bodied.

D: really wonderful, but strong. Great drinkability for what it is but would be limited due to ABV and sweetness. Really a sipper though, even 12oz was tough by end.

Photo of Georgiabeer
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This review is for a 2003 bottle consumed late this summer at a tasting. Poured a light amber with almost no head. The aroma is exhibits a beer that still has quite a bit of punch and with some classic sweet barley wine notes. No oxidation. The taste is similar, but does show some light oxidized notes of sherry and band-aid. There is also a bit of woodiness, but overall still quite drinkable and fairly pleasant. A bit past its prime, but amazingly still a huge beer.

Photo of yesyouam
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Blue Point Old Howling Bastard is a slightly hazy golden ale with a huge, fluffy off-white head that has outstanding retention and lacing. The aroma is sweet, like candied fruit, plum and fig. It's full bodied and syrupy. The finish is sticky. It's a bit sweet and a bit bitter. The balance is good. The mailt tastes grainy and it seems like there's some caramel in there. There is a note of juniper. The aftertaste is bitter and boozy. It's a pretty complex beer.

[Sampled at the 2009 Flower City Brewers' Fest at Frontier Field, Rochester, NY]

Photo of auxiliary
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance - Nice amber color with a small white head.

smell -Sweet smells here, caramel and some hops.

taste - Sweet taste of caramek and ends with some bitterneess and a kick.

mouthfeel - Medium body.

drinkability - Nice sipper here. Enjoyed this beer. Has some kick at 10%.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap 2/15/09 at Track 84 in Warwick, RI, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a light reddish brown color with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is very bready with caramel, brown sugar and a good amount of hops.

T: The taste is likewise quite bready up front with sweet flavors of caramel, brown sugar and fruit. A decently strong hops bitterness brings a good balance and there's a touch of smokiness in the background. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty goes down dangerously easy, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, it might not be the best barleywine that I've had, but it's a nice stronger beer that is good to sip on for a long time.

Photo of barleywinebrewer
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

so, I'm browsing the beer store and I find this blue point barleywine. Yup, I'm a fan of the style so this becomes my purchase. Upon checkout the cashier notes I got an 03 vintage barleywine and explains how this style gets better with age. He hasn't tried this yet but thinks about it often. I smiled, thanked him for his input and said I was looking forward to the bottle. No relevance at all to the tastes, just and amusing side not to the overall experience....

2003 vintage consumed Feb 2009. Blue wax top that took a little work to get through.

A - beautiful golden amber color with a nice off white head.
S - caramel, wheat, honey, abv.
T - candied oranges, caramel, citrus blossom honey and a touch of wheat.
M - full bodied, nicely carbonated, smooth, resinous and a nice light warming effect.
D - a sipper to be sure. a well aged bottle which I'm quite happy to have enjoyed!!!

Photo of roopy40
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a sifter from tap

A - Rich ruby in lit background, otherwise darker brown. Small head from the pour, no chance for retention, but some lace was left behind.

S - Raisin, cherry, perhaps prune and the alcohol was definitely present in the nose.

T - Nice, sweet taste, again the fruit is there and some hop bitterness in the finish, alcohol again, but not unpleasant.

M - Syrupy and thick, medium body with great carbonation.

D - I would be in trouble if I sat with too many of these. The alcohol is there in the nose and the taste, but I still like this barley wine a great deal. You know what you're getting yourself into with this style, so enjoy carefully. It is extremely drinkable.

Overall I liked this offering from Blue Point and wouldn't hesitate going after it again. If you like barley wine, try this one.

Photo of plaid75
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 Vintage on tap at the brewery.

Poured a dark copper hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a heavy barley malt with elements of dark drug and candy sugar.

The taste was toward he maltier side of the style with tones of caramel, raisin and apricot. Good herbal hoppiness as well.

The mouthfeel was typical of the style with a suprisingly dry finish.

Overall a complex and user friendly barleywine.

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
1.85/5  rDev -51.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Reviewed on 8/9/08. On tap at the brewery. Pours a dull brown with a very small white head. Aroma is sweet, of brown sugar. Flavor is sweet at first, then an odd bitter, mustiness sets in. Syrupy palate, quite hard to drink. This is a very odd tasting beer...and I did not enjoy it one bit.
5/4/4/2/10 (2.5/5)

Photo of hopdog
3.4/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2000 Vintage with the thickest wax I've ever seen Took at least 5 minutes to dig through!

Poured a medium and cloudy amber color with small sized off white head. Aromas of caramel, dark cherries, light alcohol and somewhat vinous. Very nice aroma. Tastes a little bit of a let down any showed signs of its age with tastes of caramel, fruits, alcohol and a little vinous (all on the weaker side).

Notes from 12/12/05

Photo of Derek
3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2003 vintage.

A: Orange-brown with some floaties, white head, no retention, initially some good lacing.

S: Nectarine, pine, orange rind, marmalade, cotton-candy, alcohol.

T: Marmalade, nectarine, light spicing, modest bitterness. I think it would probably be better fresh, rather than cellared.

M: Moderate body has an odd acidity.

D: It's not overly enticing, but its easily approachable.

Photo of aerozeppl
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On cask at Mahars

A: Just what you want a barleywine to look. Minimal slightly brownish white head. A nice deep caramel/toffee color.

S: A nice spiciness up front. Tons of malt. Some hint of booze in the back. Had a little bit of that smell all big cask beers have which I love.

T: Super malty with some nice spiciness. Hints of wood with the faintest hint of hops in the back.

M: Nice thick full bodied beer.

D: Had a pint of this over two glasses. Went down nicely. Really nice beer. I have been enjoying their cask offerings as of late.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2003 vintage.

Appearance: Pours a clear, orange-amber body with a small, frothy, white head.

Smell: Rich, sweet-smelling caramel maltiness with a toasty hint to it. Raisiny fruitiness. Distant citrus peel and wood bark notes.

Taste: Sweet, candyish caramel and toffee maltiness. Slightly toasty. Dehydrated citrus peels followed by a medium hop bitterness. Just a tad woody. Finishes fairly dry with a lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A fine, respectable barleywine, at least at five years out.

Photo of dewalt
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tasted this on tap, and served in a goblet. It has an unexpected strong aroma of pineapple, and even tastes slightly like the fruit, sweet and syrupy. Mouthfeel was fine. Fruity flavor helped cut the strong alcohol taste, and made this very drinkable.

Photo of garcia2a
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found and enjoyed yet another one of these in an old deli on the upper east side that for some reason, always has a few older tastys laying around. Perfect for today's lunch!

This beer pours a bold orange color, slightly hazy with almost no carbonation. Extremely thin head that left an almost non-existent lacing.

The bouquet is rich with caramel and sweet, yet toasty malt. On the backend there is a bit of alcohol as well as some raisins and prunes.

On first sip, the malt and caramel are the first to hit the taste buds. As the tasting progresses, some sweet fruit and what I think is a tinge of clove hit the tongue.

This is a full-bodied, smooth tasty that does cloy as the tasting goes on. That does not hamper the drinkability though, as barley wines can be lovely. This beer is a total winter sipper, but for me, always enjoyable.

Photo of mcallister
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A light fiery orange/red barley wine. Possibly polished amber in color. A small white head appears and fades into a foamy topping of joy.

Great nose on this. Oxidation, prune, sherry, fig, smoke,date, fussel alcohol burst with a citrusy edge. Loaded with fruit character. Caramel and light date with a piney hop trace.

A very different barley wine. Very smokey in the middle and finish with a meaty appetite. Earthy and a bit of alcohol spice. Toffee and caramel with some fig, date, prune, oxidtaion, brown sugar and peach hiding behind the smokey flavors. A bitter finish on the piney side. A good odd barley wine.

Photo of Gmann
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ML Capped Bottle. Pours a light golden color with some reddish highlights. The head was almost non-existant and settled into a light ring around the glass. The aroma is of aged grassy hops and a noticable alcohol aroma. A nice big hoppy blast kicks things off. The hops seem to be aged and have grassy, woody and citrus characteristics. Not a very strong malt presence and there is a noticable alcohol flavor. The feel is light with rather soft carbonation, finishes sweet and slick with some alcohol burn. A hoppy brew with plenty of alcohol presence. A decent drinker.

Blue Point Old Howling Bastard from Blue Point Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 276 ratings.