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Blue Point Old Howling Bastard | Blue Point Brewing Company

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138 Reviews
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Blue Point Old Howling BastardBlue Point Old Howling Bastard

Brewed by:
Blue Point Brewing Company
New York, United States | website

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our special barley wine is made with English 2-row barley and Vienna malt. Its robust, malty, caramel flavor is balanced by lots and lots of hops, giving it a great depth of character.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-19-2002

User Reviews
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Reviews: 138 | Ratings: 294
Photo of beerthulhu
3.48/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: A beautiful coppery-amber is filled with a medium dense and moderately paced effervesce creating a misty haze of tiny bubbles. The head is modest in size, beach sand in color with a good retention all the while layering a meaty coating on the glass for lace. Nice coloring.

S: Malty and hoppy nose, sweet caramel grains and toffee meets a touch of fruitiness of cherries and apples. The hopping is generous of sweet floral notes mixing with some alcohol on the finish but very manageable for 10%.

T: Sweet toasted caramel flavor with some unfermented sugars is warmed by an alcohol presence , but much like the nose is very manageable for its 10% nature even at warmer serving temperature. Dry caramel apple, dried cherry fruitiness is topped off by a evergreen hopping. Strong caramel and pine finish with a boozy cough medicine alcohol flavor at warmer temperatures.

M: The body was much lighter then to be expected per style. Medium base would be a stretch. Warm alcohol, boozy becoming apparent after the swallow.

O: After a few of these you just might find yourself howling ala the name. Decent example but ill stop there, appears easy at first but doesn’t go down without a fight.

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Photo of DavidSeanNJ
4.5/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


Poured into an 8 oz. glass...

Really beautiful looking barleywine. Dark copper/reddish hues. Massive cream colored head, nice lacing. Smells delightful- dried fruits, figs, and sugars. Taste was not overly sweet/cloying. Nice hop presence and well balanced with the malts. Candied sugars, prune...great flavors....excellent brew right here. I will seek this out again and pick some up to age.

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Photo of Klym
4.17/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

I actually randomly encountered this beer on BA when browsing through various beers. By the label alone I just wanted to give this beer a shot and even started trying to figure out an appropriate trade for it. I was excited when a couple of days later I went into a beer store during my visit in New York and saw a bottle of this! Despite, I'm sure, the overprice I had to pick it up and give it a try.

A: A translucent risin brown color with somewhat yellowish bubbles and sliding lacing. I'm guessing dark fruits are going to be all over this by the look.

S: Classic raisin/figgy smells with a little chocolate milk and dried strawberries. Sounds strange, I'm sure, but they blend well and it's actually a quite inviting smell.

T: Resin, raisin/figs, plum, milk (a sort of sharp almost curdled like dairy flavor, comes off nicely and adds a nice texture to the flavors). Great transitions between the different flavors, and the blend between the flavors is amazing. This is really well made, better than I expected.

M: Great medium bodied fullness with a smooth milky undertone that helps it glide around the mouth.

O: This beer is good! Honestly this is one of the best, most well balanced barley wines I've ever had with some interesting flavors mixed in. I think this beer needs more respect. I really enjoyed this and appreciated the combination of great brewery execution and bolder, more creative flavors.

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Photo of liamt07
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Jason, 750ml into a snifter. 2009 vintage I believe.

Poured an orangey-brown with a cream head. Thin film and a thick collar is left behind, looks quite nice. Nose is caramel and toffee, some orange and interesting but not off-putting underripe banana notes. Taste has alot of citrus (lemon and orange come to mind intitially), caramel, alcohol, and finishes with a significant hop bitternss. Medium mouthfeel, and a bit of a higher carbonation that feels a bit amplified in the finish. Sticky, boozy and bitter. Enjoyable.

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Photo of peensteen
3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Jason's bottle 2009 vintage

Deep copper orange colour, white head, no lacing. Malt and caramel, alcohol is present but not overbearing, light hops deep down. Taste is malty, caramel, under rip banana, moderately hoppy, some alcohol comes through. Good feel, full body, quite nice, med-light carbonation. Quite nice, quite enjoyed this brew.

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Photo of abgba121
3.41/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Reddish amber and cloudy, about one inch of head and good lacing that remains

S: Very malty and sweet, almost caramel and molasses, no hop aroma

T: sweet up front, slight hop bite in the middle, I can't detect alcohol at all, especially surprising for this strong of a beer, and there is a little hop flavor on the finish that lingers slightly

M: moderate carbonation and regular feel make it easy to drink

O: A decent beer I probably won't buy again, but maybe a bottle to age a bit and try again.

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Photo of meatyard
3.33/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to AltBock for this gift beer-2009 vintage.

Pours a hazed, amber/orange with a 2-finger, ecru head that lingers but doesn't leave much in the way of lace.

The smell is all about malt and it's a sweet smell.

The taste starts out strong with the sweet malt but then a light sour, tangy taste becomes present. It's not objectionable, just odd. No noticeable alcohol.

Mouthfeel is medium, tending to thin & carbonation is moderate.

Overall: I think I would prefer a fresher bottle. Seems like there is something not quite right with this bottle what with the tanginess. It doesn't seemed to have improved with age.

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Photo of BMoney575
3.63/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sampled on 5-17-11

Pours a completely clear red/amber color, with a thick off-white head that leaves begind big chunks of lacing.

Smell is caramel and burnt sugar at first, followed by a huge hit of hops. More sweet than bitter, and actually quite mild. Still, deep with a nice complexity.

Taste is very mild, almost watery, with subtle favors of caramel malt and bitter hops. Not much else, as all of the flavors really die on the finish and aftertaste. A little disappointing.

Mouthfeel is thin and watery, contributing greatly to the lack of anything special in the taste.

Drinkability is good, what flavors there are do a good job of masking the alcohol, and the thin mouthfeel goes down easy.

Overall, an average beer that I'm still glad I tried.

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Photo of woosterbill
3.67/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On cask at Cask Republic.

A: Clear deep orange body with a thin off-white head that settles into a ring. Nice color and clarity, but pretty standard.

S: Sweet + nutty, with some citrusy hops and brown sugar leading the way to warming alcohol. Enjoyable and approachable.

T: Grainy malt, nuttiness, bread, citrus, and alcohol Tastes like an old DIPA, but a pretty good one. I'd certainly like more depth to the maltiness.

M: Smooth, soft medium body with fine, cask-appropriate carbonation. Pleasant.

O: This was an enjoyable, drinkable barleywine, but not one that I'll be seeking out in the future. It just didn't have enough going on in terms of its malt profile to keep me interested, and while the citrusy hops were tasty they didn't add as much complexity as I would have liked. Like most stuff I've had from Blue Point, this is solid but forgettable beer.


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Photo of metter98
3.87/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear amber in color and has some hints of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high beige head that left lacy patterns of bubbles covering the surface.
S: There are moderate aromas of caramel and vanilla in the nose.
T: The taste has a light amount of bitterness with notes of citrus from the hops—grapefruit stands out in particular.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is quite drinkable considering its strength because the alcohol is well masked from the taste.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.31/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz. bomber poured into two snifters.

Appearance - Beautiful red amber with a smallish head that fades to lacing pretty quickly. The beer clings to the glass very slightly when swirled.

Smell - I really don't get much, which is strange. I get some caramel and vanilla. Maybe some raisins. Perhaps more than anything I smell alcohol, though.

Taste - Malty start with some sweet toffee. Not a lot of complexity in the taste, but nothing to complain about. The finish is a strong hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel - It starts off quite thin for such a big beer and such a malt profile. As it warms, it gets a bit more syrupy. The beer really should be enjoyed at about 65F. Decent carbonation.

Overall - Nothing bad, just nothing of note. Indistinguishable malt flavors and some hop bitterness. I really didn't have any trouble finish both of my snifters, though.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.53/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy orange-ish to amber color with an off white head. In the aroma, dark fruit and small oak hints. In the taste, dark fruits and hints of licorice. Smooth and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a dry dark fruit aftertaste. Not boozy, nice small oak, decent.

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Photo of musicforairports
3.41/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at The Ruck in Troy.

Pours a darker amber, with some head and a bit of lacing.

Smells of malts, kind of like a Scotch ale, raisiny scents noticeable. A bit of alcohol as well.

Tastes is very malty and robust. Very decent, but I could use a bit of a hop bite somewhere in here for some balance.

A bit creamy on the mouth. Really not a bad beer in anyway, but I'd prefer a bit of hops somewhere in this rather strong and rich flavor profile.

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Photo of cjgator3
3.86/5  rDev +1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle

A- Poured into a snifter. Pours a nice dark amber color with a sticky off-white head that leaves lacing all around the glass. Looks great in the glass!

S- The aroma is a ton of sweet malt like expected from any good barleywine, and a good dose of hops as well. There is a pretty high dosage of alcohol in the nose as well. Smells good, looking forward to tasting it. 

T- The taste like the aroma is rich and malty up front with a lot of bitterness from the hops quickly filling in and lingering well into the finish. From top to bottom, a pretty solid barleywine so far.

M- The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Perfect mouthfeel.

O- Overall, I think this is a pretty solid barleywine. It has a very nice balance of rich malty sweetness and bitterness from the hops. 

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Photo of vfgccp
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

- Sampled at the Blue Point Brewery tasting room -

A - Orange amber.

S - Faint booze and brown sugar.

T - Malt, booze, candied rosemary, coriander, pepper.

M - Medium body with a semisweet finish.

D - The booze and bitterness slow you down a bit.

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

felt like some barleywine action today. Old Howling Bastard it is!

A- pours a lighter amber look with some impressive foam that ends up hanging around on the sides of the brew. The body of the brew almost glows. Nice floating foam on top that seems to hang around

S- great barleywine caramel scents with some candy and toffee flavors meshing in. There is dark fruit and fig flavor as well

T- dark caramel candy with a raisin finish. Sweet and not too alcoholic which is bizarre for the high alcohol

M- full flavor on the mouth. Heavy and thick flavor

D- this is one drinkable barleywine. You can barely taste the alcohol with each sip. Although it's very sweet, Old Howling Bastard is a drinkable beer!

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Photo of bSypher
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Serving type: Bottle poured into snifter

The appearance of this beer was amber color and very thick looking. When a flash light was shown on it, it remained opaque. It smelled of caramel and tasted similarly. As I got closer to the bottom the caramel taste seemed to get stronger. Like Boto said, alcohol isn't anywhere to be found in the taste. As for mouthfeel, it wasn't over carbonated and had a nice dry finish. Finally for drinkability, with it being a beer with 10% abv it went down very easily and had very little to no sting.

Overall: Awesome beer. I would recommend this to any beer drinker.

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Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks, as always, to the great MCLK. Thanks a ton Mark, I am so glad you moved down here. Bottle pours copper with light haze with gold hues and light tan head. The aroma has smooth dark to musty fruit notes and seem to bleed into a rye like spiciness, hops spiciness, full thick malty sweetness and a bit of heat at the end of the draw. The taste seems a bit organic and grassy moving into thick chewy malt sweetness, pine hop bitterness, a touch of pine hop flavor and grapefruit. It gets smooth and a bit grainy into the finish setting up a very pleasing finish. It leaves pine hops and fading yet faint sludgy sweet malts deep into the after taste.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A 22oz bottle poured into a snifter.
Cherry amber color, thin tan head.
Caramel malt aroma, fruit.
Definite caramel taste. The fruit aroma came across as raisins and plums. The caramel taste predominates.
Sweet, oily mouthfeel.
Nice beer, a good ending to our Super Bowl meal.

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Photo of Boto
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

220z bomber: This one pours hazy, orangish-amber color. There was very little of a just slightly tan head on it. It left a little lacing. The aroma is nice. Definitely a lot of malts, but some fruit notes popping up, mainly apricots and orange. Some earthy notes also. The taste is also good. There is a dryness and very subdued sweetness to this one. Some caramel, toffee, plus faint plums and raisins. Alcohol is not evident in the flavor profile. I bought this for the name, but will buy it again for the taste.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
4.35/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

"maddening howls fill the streets as further spreads the plague." - The Black Dahlia Murder

As clear, beautiful an auburn as I've ever seen. Creamy, crustacean white head lounges on top and wraps, thick, lacey arms around my glass. Simply beautiful.

Delicate yet effervescent aroma like freshly released fragrance from the first blossom of spring. Barleywine brings out the poet in me. Cherry wood, peach, tangerine, and honey drenched in nougat, caramel and sweetness.

Gran Marnier orange citrus, silky caramel and luxuriously warming alcohol. Mouthfeel so creamy it caresses my tongue like a harm of silk pillows.

Old Howling Bastard may be the result but Seductive Pirate Wench or Viking Thunder Goddess seem like more appropriate titles. I that some have aged this 2 years or more but at about the one year anniversary I find it to be just about perfect. I like my barleywine punchy though.

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Photo of steve8robin
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this in NJ on a trip to PA. Just looked interesting. 22oz bottle...

A: Murky copper color with a faint ruby hue to the brew. A thick 1 inch white head that fades at a decent pace. Good.

S: A very sweet malty boozy scent upfront. Some bready rye in the middle with some toffee and faint caramel on the backend. Good.

T: A sweet malty rye upfront quickly followed by some caramel and candi sugar. Some toffee on the backend. Good.

M: Medium body with a great balanced carbonation. A boozy dry finish. Good.

D: Goes down very easy despite the higher ABV. Very good.

All in all, this is a good brew. Definitely not anywhere near the best barleywine I've ever had, but a solid one. Definitely good to try if you like the style. If you don't like barleywines, then you probably won't like this.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a cloudy orangish color with good carbonayion and a nice white head

S: Caramel, apricot, toffee

T: Has a caramel malt backbone, sweetness, hops with fuits like apricots and and some other citrus

M: Nice, booze sting, medium to heavy body

D: Good

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Photo of alcstradamus
3.13/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Got this one a few weeks back as a gift from SpeedwayJim. Thanks for the ticks!

Pours a light copper color with a finger of head and a wall of lacing.

Aroma is sweet caramel and raisin with a strong floral hoppiness and some vanilla pudding.

The flavor is acetone forward (without the burn, just the flavor) with some raisin and spiciness in the finish. Some dark breadiness. Not the best flavor, but perhaps has some room to turn interesting in 3-4 years (of course, just as likely it may turn to crap).

The body is on the fuller side of medium with a low carbonation level that gives some wateriness. Pretty good.

Overall this beer was drinkable and even somewhat interesting, but not really noteworthy.

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Photo of tchenery
3.73/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Excellent rich amber color with off-white head. The beer looks beautiful.

First impression on smell was marshmallows. It's a very warming and complex smell with notes of vanilla, peaches, and spices. It smells like a tropical mixed drink.

Very robust malt flavor that hints of grapes, raisins, and dark fruits. Very floral in taste but also very bready. Not much on bitterness or hops with this one.

The amount of malt give this beer a slick mouthfeel, almost oily.

It's cold outside and this beer is just about perfect for the occasion. It's very drinkable for a barleywine.

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Blue Point Old Howling Bastard from Blue Point Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 138 ratings.