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Blue Point Old Howling Bastard - Blue Point Brewing Company

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

285 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 285
Reviews: 136
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 10.65%
Wants: 18
Gots: 28 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-19-2002

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 285 | Reviews: 136
Photo of russpowell
3.89/5  rDev +1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The LAST bottle from my Florida min-haul, here's to good memories! Love the label

Pours an effervescent amber with 2+ fingers of tan head. A trace of lacing & zero head retnetion

S: Breadyness & cakeyness & fusel alcohol once warm

T: Follows the nose, loads of marmalade, plums & some brown sugar up front, some herbal woody hops up front. Plums & toffee dominate as this warms along with leafy hops, this seems as much an English BW as an American... Finishes dry, fruitty & with a nice toffee sweetness &

MF: Chewy, low carbonation, pretty warming

Drinks fairly easy, I would love to try some fresher for comparison purposes

Photo of urwithdave
3.31/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at Mr. Beerys. Reviewing from notes.

A- pours amber in color. A fingers worth of off white head. Mediocre retention. A solid amount of lacing.

A- some hops and a bit of maple. I really couldn't pick up on anything else.

T- starts out with a piney hop punch. Not bitter, but sappy. Caramel malts come into play along with other subtle suggestions of molasses. A bit of citrus also. The alcohol is noticeable and provides quite a bit of warmth.

M- lighter side of medium. A bit to carbonated for me.

D- really just ok for me. Probably won't revisit this one.

Photo of CHickman
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy amber red in color with a creamy 1 finger beige head that lasted a while; great lacing that leaves big foamy rings as it goes down. A very nice looking beer.

Smells of floral hops, sweet malt, caramel, rum, dark fruits, alcohol and light molasses and/or syrup. A sweet hoppy nose that is a lot sweeter that I expected from a barleywine.

Tastes like it smells, with floral hops, citrus hops, sweet malt, caramel, rum, dark fruits like raisin and dates, faint alcohol, molasses and/or syrup, brown sugar, faint burnt grains and an almost smoky taste like it was barrel aged. Really nice balance, that leans towards the sweet side, but is not over powerful as far the alcohol level goes. There is a slight kick to it like a rum or bourbon.

Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, with no carbonation, and a medium to heavy body that leaves a sweet burnt malt taste that fades like bourbon. This beer is chewy, yet somewhat easy to drink.

Drinkability is low for a regular beer yet high for a barleywine, as this is a slow sipper and but not one to drink all night. Tasty, but one to drink with caution as the ABV will creep up on you. It went great with the lamb stew that I had for dinner, complimenting it like a wine.

Photo of fastsrt
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle in snifter

A: dark amber, thin head, good lacing.

S: carmel malts, earth, floral hops,

T: booze, malt, and hops, are stand out, there is no balance here, yet this one might age well though. flavors are rough, not much complexity.

M: great body, long lasting

D: This is a rough beer, there is booze, sharp hops, and astringency.

Photo of mdfb79
3.4/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle in my Duvel tulip.

a - Pours a mahogany color with light carbonation and one finger of fluffy, off white head. Little bit of lacing.

s - Smells of sticky sweet caramel malts, sugar, ddark fruits, syrup, and bready malts.

t - Tastes of booze, toasted malts, caramel malts, and sugar. Little bit of fruit.

m - Medium to full body and ver high carbonation that stings the tongue.

d - An ok barleywine. Smelled very good, but the booze came out a little too much in the taste. Also a bit too carbonated. Probably wouldn't get again.

Photo of BARFLYB
3.16/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

10oz serving at The Devil's Den off the tap. Old Howling Bastard has a light golden with amber spots in the color and the white foam reached an inch with some froth and a bubbly look. Not much lace. In the nose I sensed a strong Amber Ale. A note of caramel malt and some light fruit such as apples, a bit of alcohol too. Overall not that interesting. Tastes include sweet malt, caramel, earthy hops, and some alcohol. Not that much going on. Feel is nearing full bodied and the carb is very low. Im glad I tried this off the tap before grabbing a big bottle. It's pretty tame for a American Barleywine.

Photo of nickd717
3.6/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared at a tasting.

Pours a clear golden-amber color with an off-white head and decent lacing.

Aroma is caramel malt and light fruits, mild hops, and a little smokiness.

Flavor is sweet malt - pale and caramel - with light fruity esters along with mild hop bitterness. Above average to good.

Medium body with average carbonation and some slight hop oils on the palate.

Average-plus drinkability, and overall a solid barleywine, if nothing to write home to yo' mama about.

Photo of koopa
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle purchased at DeCiccios in Ardsley NY.

Appearance: Pours a fairly pale amber (like Jurassic Park Amber, not like an amber ale) with honey folds. The crown is a half a finger, white, shows little retention and some lace.

Smell: Lots of lightly caramelized malt with a subtle amount of earthy hop presence. No sign of alcohol or hop bitterness in the nose.

Taste: Same as the nose but the finish has a moderate hop bite that adds a bit more complexity to it than the nose. Still a very straight forward sweet light caramel malty barleywine. Not very complex at all.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, not quite chewy but has a touch of heft and good carbonation. Pretty enjoyable.

Drinkability: The carbonation and light amount of malt and hops makes this one fairly drinkable despite the 10% abv.

It's caramel driven but not overly sweet.

Photo of Slatetank
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at Brass Rail Deli in Campbelltown, served chilled in a Sam Adams perfect pint.

A - The color is medium honey amber shade w/ very good clarity and 2 fingers of ecru w/ tiny beading. The ale has a rocky top and visible carbonation which moves slowly upward. Streams of lace cling to the glass well

S - Good aroma of hops in the nose w/ gentle citrus and light stone fruit esters w/ a mild sweetness in the scent w/ light alcohol odor

M - The barleywine feels moderately full on the palate with moderate bitterness as well, the texture is mildly sweet w/ malt blending well. There is a dry element from both the malt and alcohol giving a warm feel yet there is light roast and mild caramel smoothness

T - The flavor is bitter upfront and has mild citrus peel elements w/ piney bitter notes and follows w/ mild malt chewiness and bits of stone fruit and subtle acidic grapefruit giving a nice intense flavor w/ a light toasted note from the malt w/ a subtle floral hop taste that adds a lemony tinge in the finish

D - This is a pretty hoppy American Barleywine which may make you think of Double IPA's, but the line is thin there anyway. The malt backbone is there giving a sufficiently full malty anchor. This is very tasty I would recommend this and I would like to see what is like in the bottle after a short aging

Photo of jwc215
3.81/5  rDev -1%
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
4.32/5  rDev +12.2%
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
3.27/5  rDev -15.1%
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
3.94/5  rDev +2.3%
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
4.02/5  rDev +4.4%
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
3.79/5  rDev -1.6%
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
4.12/5  rDev +7%
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
4.33/5  rDev +12.5%
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
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

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Blue Point Old Howling Bastard from Blue Point Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 285 ratings.