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Blue Point Old Howling Bastard - Blue Point Brewing Company

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

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

260 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 260
Reviews: 134
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 10.88%
Wants: 14
Gots: 24 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 260 | Reviews: 134 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
1.85/5  rDev -52.1%
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)

LilBeerDoctor, Dec 23, 2008
Photo of hopdog
3.4/5  rDev -11.9%
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

hopdog, Dec 17, 2008
Photo of Derek
3.38/5  rDev -12.4%
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.

Derek, Nov 07, 2008
Photo of aerozeppl
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

aerozeppl, Nov 06, 2008
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
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.

ChainGangGuy, Sep 20, 2008
Photo of dewalt
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

dewalt, Jun 29, 2008
Photo of garcia2a
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
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.

garcia2a, May 19, 2008
Photo of mcallister
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
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.

mcallister, May 14, 2008
Photo of Gmann
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

Gmann, Jan 28, 2008
Photo of BBM
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer pours a cloudy rusty gold color into the glass. White rocky head resides atop the brew for the duration, and there's a nice amount of lacing around the glass. Aroma is sweet and strong, unlike most old bastards I know.

This is one of those barleywines that grab you by the palate and won't let you go. It's intensely sweet, a touch bitter, and very alcoholic. It's incredibly thick and a definite sipper. Overall this is a real bully of a beer, but it's right on target if that's what you're looking for.

BBM, Jan 06, 2008
Photo of jjayjaye
3.45/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Vintage 2003. Hand labeled 225. Rates a 5.0 on the label art scale. First experience was from a small keg the folks brought to Holiday Valley Beer & Wine festival in Ellicottville, NY a couple of years ago. IMO it stoled the show. Judging by the looks of the waxing over the cap and dried lines of the product all over the top of the bottle I'd assume that there were some bottling challenges. This one pours clear and a light shade of amber color with a wispy thin white head that's gone in a flash. Not a lot of lacing going on. Quite a bit of light colored sediment settled on the bottom of the bottle. I like the smell but its a little off. You get some of the 10% ABV right off the bat, but it also has a rich sweet caramel malty character as well. There is an unlikely corn starch piece also. This one seems under carbonated and lighter in the mouth than you might think from the nose. There is quite a bit of whiskey in the flavor that over powers the caramel taste some. Definitely a sipper. I'm glad that they bottle some. Neat idea. I remember enjoying the cask more.

jjayjaye, Dec 20, 2007
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, Vintage 2003 "Consume 2004 - Good / 2005 - Better / 2006 - Awesome"... it's 2007, so my guess is 'super awesome'?... well, it wasn't all that, but it was very good...

A - clear, amber color with a huge tan head that settled down to a thin layer, leaving lots of sticky lacing.

S - sweet malt & fig aroma, after it warms you can smell some alcohol.

T - sweet malty taste all the way through, abv is noticable after the beer warms.

M - excellent carbonation for a 4 year old brew, sweet, sticky, warming feeling.

D - good drinkability, sweetness and abv keep this at a '4'.

JoeyBeerBelly, Jul 23, 2007
Photo of John_M
3.4/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

What do you know. Yet another retired beer that doesn't look to be very retired at all. Had this on tap at Max's the other night.

The beer pours a decent amber color, with minimal head, but decent lacing. The beer smells pretty sweet, and I don't pick up much more then some sweet cherry and vanilla flavors. On the palate, the flavors replicate the nose. The beer is quite sweet, with a cherry cough drop and vanilla flavor. The beer seems a bit simple and one dimensionable to me, and the abv. is really quite noticeable. Between the sweetness and abv., this was not the most drinkable beer in the world.

This is a decent barleywine, but I have to say I've had many better.

John_M, May 22, 2007
Photo of cbl2
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

3/25/2007 $16.99 750 mL 10.00% Vintage 2003. Bottle says: Consume 2004 - Good, 2005 - Better, 2006 - Awesome. This magically appeared this week at Gary's Wine & Marketplace in Madison.


Pours a golden orange in hue with a thin film of tan head that is persistent.


Aromas consist of honey and flowers with a dash of tropical fruit and alcohol thrown in.


Smooth chewy mouthfeel accompany this sweet honey flavored ale. Touches of flowers are present, as is some hot alcohol on the finish. Finish is slightly hoppy, though the sweetness wins the day on this one.

A very respectable barley wine. Perhaps not worth the $16.99 I paid for it, but enjoyable nonetheless.

cbl2, Mar 25, 2007
Photo of PEBKAC
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Via the Brazen Head cask ale festival; 10oz serving.

Drippy & deep, with mostly tobacco & that new leather smell on the nose. Taste was a whole lot more though, with macerated dark cherries, nougat, & even orange rind that gave it a little spice. The pretzels were kind of stale that night, so it was easier to pick things out. A faint burning plastic aftertaste keeps it from being absolutely delicious.

The alcohol made its presence known, but was more warming then anything. Combined with the weighed down feel & consistancy of the beer, ten ounces was more then enough for me to enjoy.

PEBKAC, Feb 28, 2007
Photo of killergreenbulli
4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I Enjoyed this fine ale @ the Brazen Head cask ale festival 2/23/07

The old bastrd was served in an American pint glass. Quite cloudy,nut brown, with a mahogany hue, no head to speak of being from a cask.
I found the nose to be a bit tame, maybe I am used to the strong hop character of other American barley wines, A sweet malty aroma, with a nice hop finsh.
The first burst of flavor is a lovely malty, chewiness that is in your face. Than layers of, leather,tobaco, and cuurants.
Like all old bastards, this perticular one is thick. Great mouthfeel, smooth, velvety, slick.
All in all a nice barley wine that deserves some attention

killergreenbulli, Feb 24, 2007
Photo of lehows
4.55/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First off, this beer is NOT retired, and it never was...Anyway, poured a redish amber color, small but thick off-white head. Wonderful lacing and decent retention. Aromas of fruit, hops, alcohol tinged sweetness, and caramel. Taste hits you up-front with a sweet alcohol quality, sharp hops, smoked wood, caramel and fruit. Delightfully complex and surprisingly smooth. A great barelywine, Blue Point seems to have refined this brew a lot over the years. Definitely recommended.

lehows, Jan 28, 2007
Photo of ppoitras
2.28/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

750ml bottle obtained via trade with Plaid75. Thanks for the opportunity... Heavy orange-ish waxed cap & neck. Hand numbered as "Cert 72-05", indicating 2005 vintage?

Poured into a heavy glass chalice, formed a 1/4" beige head over the very cloudy orangey amber brew. Head is quickly down to an uneven layer of bubbles, with minimal lacing. Aroma is syrupy sweet, with whiffs of alcohol. Flavor starts with the sweet maltiness, then it gets kind of ugly. A flash of bitter hoppiness turns into some sort of long-lasting plastic-y bitterness that just won't go away, coupled with substantial alcohol burn. The alcohol part wouldn't be such a problem if the plasticness didn't make me think of solvent-welding. (Sorry, got all chemical eng for a minute.) Mouthfeel and drinkability suffer from the same fate. Don't know if the wax was part of the culprit, or what, but I'm not very excited about finishing the bottle. Maybe it'll grow on me.

ppoitras, Jan 10, 2007
Photo of warriorsoul
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Growler filled at the brewery...$16.
Pours a cherry amber color...just a skimming of bright white head...no lacing either.
Nice aroma of rum raisins, cherries, and some earthy hops too.
The taste is where this one shines...mildly sweet and pretty darn bitter. The alcohol finds its way to the pallet, but not distracting...just reminds you to respect this offering.
Hops linger in the aftertaste, along with a smokey finish that gives the style a unique spin.
Mouthfeel is as thick as many in the style and the carbonation is a touch low...goes down fairly easily which can be very risky.
Another good beer from a brewery that is putting out some nice offerings. Definitely not retired, as I snagged a 750ml from the cooler on the way out.
Very well received...

warriorsoul, Jul 31, 2006
Photo of Hibernator
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Blue Point Old Howling Bastard
25.9 oz green bottle
Vintage 2003
Purchased at the Blue Point brewery in Patchogue, NY
Served in a large snifter glass

I made a recent trip to the Blue Point brewery earlier this week and finally decided to take the $17 risk and pick up a bottle of the Old Howling Bastard. I have the AC on full blast and I'm ready to see what this beer is all about.

Pours a light shade of brown and an orange tint with an intersting thin lace on top. I swirl this around in the snifter glass and random spots of sticky lace appear.

The nose reveals whiffs of brown sugar, fresh Band-Aid peel, light spices and sweet malts. I also detect a funky, medicinal quality in the background.

Juicy, sweet prune malt backbone with a spicy black pepper bite. A touch of rubbing alcohol sharpness, but this beer is smooth and complex enough to hold up. Highlights of a smokey peat quality, orange citrus twang and caramel malts. Bittering hop presence.

I paired this up with Cracker Barrel extra sharp white cheese and it worked incredible with this brew. A solid barleywine overall. Very nice to sip and quite mellow after sitting for three years. Maybe a tad overpriced at $17, but I enjoyed it just the same. If you have the chance, check this out. Hats off to Blue Point brewery for making this caliber style of beer.

Hibernator, Jul 30, 2006
Photo of tempest
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well this was interesting. Looks a dark red with a shot head. Smells a little smokey and sweet. My first taste sure surprised me. I was expecting American Barley Wine and my first flavor was smoked cheddar. Ah yes, its a smoked barley wine. Recommend for fans of smoked beer and BAs looking for something a little different.

tempest, Jul 22, 2006
Photo of oberon
4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Pizza Plant on Transit,so I asked the bartender the style of this beer he says well its categorized as a barley wine but he thinks its a beefed up rauchbier so Isaid "hmm" a knowledgable barkeep kinda hard to come by.Poured into the goblet a slight hazed light amber with a thinner white head,cherry wood aromas big on the smoke with some dark fruit as well.Now this beer has a big smokey,woody profile like the before mentioned soaked cherry wood with some brown sugar and raisin quality in the finish.This beer is unique to say the least if you like smokey,woody flavors this is for you Iam glad I tried it it is very unique in my opinion.

oberon, May 20, 2006
Photo of ybnorml
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A clean copper/amber beer. Has a small creamy off white head with some good lace. There is a light caramel malt note at first in the aroma, with a hint of vanilla in the background. There is also a light floral hop character waifting thru. There is a little bite of bitterness on the tip of your tongue at the start of the taste. The caramel notes with the vanilla dance around in the middle, and especially as the beer warms to room temp. The finish starts with a bit of floral hops and finishes with a nice dry hop snap.
Note : this beer is listed as retired but I picked up this growler at the brewery just three weeks ago.

ybnorml, Apr 10, 2006
Photo of ggaughan
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I shared a 2003 edition after Christmas dinner with my bro and cousin, as we did several other good beers. This beer poured a nice honey bright color with a thick head and little carbonation. You can pick up some nice fruit notes in the smell of the Bastard. The taste is nice and hoppy and spicy but definitely paletable. It was a nice beer to have at Christmas time with the warming sensation of the nigh alcohol content. A bit pricey where I got it (Happy Deli in NYC at $25 a bottle but I was willing to spend it because I can't really get it in PA). I felt somewhat better when I went into the Happy Deli 3 weeks after buying my bottle and the price was up to $30! Didn't realize beer inflation was higher than other goods and services...

ggaughan, Dec 27, 2005
Photo of blitheringidiot
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Un-waxed the brown wax around the bottle cap to reveal a Blue Point cap. Label states 2003 batch: 2004 good, 2005, better, 2006 best. Since this is 2 weeks from 2006, let's go!

Pours a quite light orange hued amber full of beading teeny tiny bubbles rising to a topped off settling head cap leaving decent spotty lace.

Aroma is a smokey malt essence with a bit of fire roasted wood. Mostly a slight roasty near rauch bier nose.

First swigs: Smokey roasty toasty with a sweet caramely middle. The (I'm guessing) smoked malts really take over here. A interplay of sugary candy with the smoke.

Feel is a tad thin for a barley wine. Gentle restraint is evident. Warmness of a 10.0% ABV is well clevery interwoven into the flavors.

Last swigs: Rauch wine. Period. Good. Like an Über wine. Went well with some brie cheese.

Beer is good. Happy smokey beering.

blitheringidiot, Dec 16, 2005
Blue Point Old Howling Bastard from Blue Point Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 260 ratings.