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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

253 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 253
Reviews: 132
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 10.88%
Wants: 11
Gots: 21 | 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: 253 | Reviews: 132 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2008 21:12:19 | More by mcallister
Photo of Gmann

New York

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.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2008 03:30:17 | More by Gmann
Photo of BBM

New York

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.

Serving type: cask

01-06-2008 16:14:07 | More by BBM
Photo of jjayjaye

New York

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2007 23:31:18 | More by jjayjaye
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly

New York

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'.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2007 23:57:08 | More by JoeyBeerBelly
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.

Serving type: on-tap

05-22-2007 13:50:32 | More by John_M
Photo of cbl2

New York

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2007 21:21:51 | More by cbl2
Photo of PEBKAC

New York

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.

Serving type: cask

02-28-2007 05:17:46 | More by PEBKAC
Photo of killergreenbulli

New York

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

Serving type: cask

02-24-2007 04:54:48 | More by killergreenbulli
Photo of lehows

New York

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.

Serving type: cask

01-28-2007 21:45:53 | More by lehows
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2007 22:22:41 | More by ppoitras
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...

Serving type: growler

07-31-2006 00:20:09 | More by warriorsoul
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2006 00:19:42 | More by Hibernator
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.

Serving type: on-tap

07-22-2006 17:10:22 | More by tempest
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

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.

Serving type: on-tap

05-20-2006 02:31:23 | More by oberon
Photo of ybnorml

Rhode Island

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.

Serving type: growler

04-10-2006 21:02:58 | More by ybnorml
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...

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2005 23:22:53 | More by ggaughan
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2005 04:11:48 | More by blitheringidiot
Photo of carln26


3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Damn wax covered bottle (silly with the bottle cap) broke as I was trying to get the wax off.. Bad start. Deep copper to amber color with a thin off-white head. The nose is very fruity. Mild citrus (tangerine) with sherry, vanilla and caramel notes. Weird flavor, almost smoky. There is little of the citrus in the taste. The vanilla an sherry notes are compounded. It doesn’t say on the bottle, but I’m guessing this has been on oak for a few months. It softens the hops, but the oak and smoke doesn’t blend well with this beer. It does have a nice soft mouth feel, and the oak really tames the alcohol, but it just seems a little off.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2005 01:21:34 | More by carln26
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2003. Yellow body with some white foamy head. Lace noted, lots of it by the end of the glass, ageing has served it well.Barleywine taste is typical, on the hoppy side. Further glass reveals fruitiness and dry hoppiness Malty and quite drinkable. Noticeable alcohol.

Another interesting all-you-can-drink growler from Rudolph of Buffalo. In a word, smoke. Intense forest fire Smokey aroma, intense smoke taste. Bit of retained lace and nice initial head. Peary like a scotch. Offset should be barbeque and you don't need sauce.

immediate above may be something else and I will over those words over and the 3.7 when I verify.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2005 23:49:33 | More by Sammy
Photo of shapudding


4.47/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap and cask at Mugs in NY! (Schweet!) Very dark and clear amber rubied, but you can see through it. This bit of lovliness came to me served in an English pint, what a way to start out our pubhopping! Huge khaki creamy frothy head sitting over a half inch high. Smooth and silky, just glides over your tongue. Sweet and orangey, deeply malty, caramel sweetness, nice hoppiness. Not too strong heavy, or intense at all, one of my buds said it seemed like a triple IPA. Really enjoyed this one, was glad to have stumbled onto it after wondering about the $17 bottle I just passed over about a half hour before hitting this.

Serving type: cask

03-20-2005 19:56:59 | More by shapudding
Photo of ommegangpbr

New York

4.45/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on-tap at the Ginger Man in NYC. It reminded me quite a lot of a chocolate stout. This is not something I would have expected after reading reviews about this from a bottle which just goes to show once again the differences that can exist between the tap and the bottle.
A pleasure to drink if you like that sort of thing. It was a lot like drinking a classy well crafted chocolate soda. Lots of textures going on. The 10% alcohol says hello for the first couple sips, then sneaks behind you and whacks you in the head from time to time. I could easily see being content after just having one of these and I can just as easily see wanting more.
I'll have to see just how much this differs from the bottle.
So far, one of my best barley wine experiences.

Serving type: on-tap

03-14-2005 19:41:31 | More by ommegangpbr
Photo of NeroFiddled


3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Apparently a filtered beer, the Old Howling Bastard pours a crystal-clear orange-ish amber body with a crimson cast beneath a full head of frothy off-white lace that holds quite well and leaves some very nice spider-web-like lacing about the glass. The nose is more intriguing than captivating, with a hint of apricot amidst a mildly sweet and toasty grainy maltiness amidst some medicinal and subtly smoky notes notes that are oddly compelling (think Islay whiskey... in fact, I wonder if there's some peat smoked malt in there?). Across the tongue and down the throat, the bastard seems more like a tame old kitty cat: slick and smooth and ready for a nap! - It's only lightly creamy, but its full body is pillowy smooth. Aggressive in it's flavor, a blend of bready and subtly crusty bread (with a touch of apricot marmalade drawn across the top) is all but overshadowed by its smokiness, bold bitterness, clearly noticeable alcohol, and leafy and fruity hop flavor (there's some pineapple and perhaps watermelon - I wonder if they're using some nugget hops). There's alot in there, and yet it all kind-of blends together; and the hops and bitterness eventually overwhelm the maltiness almost altogether. It finishes dry, wiped-down with alcohol, and somewhat astringent with rogue smokiness, some leafy & citrusy hop flavor, and some delicate malt that sticks in the mouth. Within a few sips it starts to build upon the palate, greatly reducing its drinkability, and numbing the tastebuds. Still, its lingering character (not unlike its nose) can be intriguing. The bottle states that the vintage is 2003, and that it's good in 2004, better in 2005, and "awesome" in 2006... ... ... I guess I should have waited a year! - or two even!

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2005 23:56:24 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of Biggness

New York

2.65/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is the only Barley wine I have every tried, and chances are it will be the last. Some people love this stuff, not me, not my taste buds. It is a good novelty item, with a good story behind the name, but... just not up mmy alley. The bottle and art work are great. I would suggest only trying this as a novelty or if you REALLY love the taste of Barley

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2005 13:19:07 | More by Biggness
Photo of Rastacouere

Quebec (Canada)

3.1/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Amber body with off-white head. Intense aroma of malty sweet flavors that are not too well blended (honey, maple). Sweet smokey and light hops are hidden behind the massive malty alcohol. Very sweet palate, alcoholic and moderately astringent. Poorly balanced. A smooth medium body keeps it from being a waste. A poorman’s barleywine... that is very expensive..

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2004 22:20:49 | More by Rastacouere
Blue Point Old Howling Bastard from Blue Point Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 253 ratings.