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Irish Walker - Olde Hickory Brewery

Not Rated.
Irish WalkerIrish Walker

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

223 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 223
Reviews: 81
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 9.39%
Wants: 41
Gots: 86 | FT: 15
Brewed by:
Olde Hickory Brewery visit their website
North Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  10.14% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: oberon on 12-25-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 223 | Reviews: 81 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by hyuga:
Photo of hyuga
hyuga

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +1.5%

04-07-2012 23:38:15 | More by hyuga
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

3.93/5  rDev -0.3%

2009 Vintage.

Poured into an oversized wine glass a rich deep amber with a clingy one finger slight off white head that left multiple layers of broken lace.Deep fruit in the nose, along with brown sugar and sweet alcohol.Its a bit hot being that its this years vitage,the flavors are deep in fruity malt,mainly raisin with big brown sugar,alcohol dripped plums.Its hot, but its a damn good sipper,I plan on getting one to let sit for awhile.

12-25-2009 21:03:52 | More by oberon
Photo of Spaten454
Spaten454

Louisiana

4/5  rDev +1.5%

06-14-2014 21:16:50 | More by Spaten454
Photo of BeerAdvocate
BeerAdvocate

Massachusetts

4.22/5  rDev +7.1%

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #33 (Oct 2009):

Hazy amber glow with a short-stacked head on top. Rum raisins, Christmas pudding and brown bread in the nose. Actually, the aroma screams RAISINS!! Carbonation comes in low- key and smooth but fluffy enough to flaunt the creamy body. Not incredibly warming, a bit mellow for a Barleywine, but a few sips and the alcohol does settle in. Hops take a backseat to the let the malt work its magic as it dances from toasted bread to slightly roasted to grassy. Some timid esters--no doubt they are the way they are after a year's maturation. Speaking of age, there is a slight edge of oxidation that compliments more than anything else, though the chance to cellar this beer might be in question.

While on the shorter end of the spectrum with its less than domineering level of alcohol, it is a damn good English Barleywine.

11-15-2010 21:51:27 | More by BeerAdvocate
Photo of marvin213
marvin213

North Carolina

4.05/5  rDev +2.8%

A mahogany beer from Hickory, NC: how fitting for arguably THE place to buy real wood furniture in America! The dark brown mud initially has a frothy, beckoning head...but it rapidly mellows to a film.

Sweet toffee and molasses smack the nose. Fresh outta the fridge I might be missing something, but there's a caramel earthiness that's sweet like ice cream but tough like leather.

It's chewy. As is often the case for barleywines, you feel them more than you taste them. It's a malt-sided barleywine, so even new and fresh there's little bitterness. What can I say? I all too often want more hops! It's balanced, and its candied barleyness warms the gut. To its credit, the beer avoids "chalky" and "chemical" despite its big body and 10+ ABV. Tastes good and really feels even better. Overall, I'm pretty pleased!

08-08-2011 19:00:01 | More by marvin213
Photo of TimoP
TimoP

Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

02-03-2014 03:01:31 | More by TimoP
Photo of merlin48
merlin48

Kentucky

3.88/5  rDev -1.5%

Bomber pours a clear chestnut body with a skimpy beige head that quickly falls to a collar. A few spots of lace are left on the snifter.

Aroma is toffee and vague citrusy hops.

Medium body is smooth and coating, with a subtle carbonation.

Taste is well rounded. Toffee, molasses, and brown sugar maltiness dominates but is nicely edged by earthy and citrusy hops. A bit of alcohol warmth is present. Finishes with an earthy hop bitterness.

Enjoyable barleywine that might need a few months of age to tone down the heat.

06-26-2010 17:37:06 | More by merlin48
Photo of Mora2000
Mora2000

Texas

4.22/5  rDev +7.1%

Not sure why the 2009 and 2010 versions are listed under one rating. It seems like a 2-plus percentage jump in ABV would be enough to earn a split.

2010 version.

The beer pours a red color with a white head. The aroma is brown sugar, molasses and roasted malt. The flavor is brown sugar, alcohol, chocolate, molasses, maple syrup and vanilla. A very complex, but still drinkable barleywine. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

11-27-2010 19:17:13 | More by Mora2000
Photo of 1Adam12
1Adam12

Indiana

4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

07-13-2012 02:36:24 | More by 1Adam12
Photo of mjtiernan
mjtiernan

New York

4.2/5  rDev +6.6%

2011 bottle poured into an oversized snifter

A: One finger head. Cloudy dark brown with a reddish hue. Speckled lacing dots the glass throughout.

S: Delicious caramel, caramelized brown sugar, vanilla, a little fig and some phenols. Really inviting.

T: The caramel and caramelized brown sugar follow through. Some dark fruit, and then floral hops and grassiness to add another dimension. Finishes with a pronounced, but not-too-bitter hop bite. The alcohol is very well hidden.

M: Full bodied. Drinkability is exceedingly high for a 10% barleywine. The hop bitterness in the finish thankfully helps to keep you in check so you don’t start slugging it down.

O: This is real good. Not overly complex, but crazy smooth and well balanced. The flavors work from start to finish with no single characteristic shoving its way to the forefront. I’d be happy to drink this again.

02-01-2012 02:16:20 | More by mjtiernan
Photo of Mantooth
Mantooth

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +1.5%

01-22-2012 04:54:56 | More by Mantooth
Photo of mondegreen
mondegreen

Georgia

3.55/5  rDev -9.9%

On tap at Thirsty Monk South in Asheville.

Pours a cloudy brown with a thin off white head. Aroma of molasses sweetness and slight dark fruits. Taste follows with a light sweetness and moderate spice. Pretty true to style in the taste department, but the mouth is way thin. Finishes fairlyclean for a Barleywine. Overall, a good interpretation of an English Barleywine, but a little too light to be called great.

07-06-2010 23:34:53 | More by mondegreen
Photo of chinchill
chinchill

South Carolina

4/5  rDev +1.5%

10-07-2013 00:34:37 | More by chinchill
Photo of glid02
glid02

Georgia

4/5  rDev +1.5%

Bottle shared by Brodie - much obliged!

Pours a slightly hazy dark copper color with a one-finger cream-colored head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of sweet caramel malts with good amounts of toffee. Also present are very slight amounts of grainy toastiness and heavier amounts of earthy hops.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Sticky caramel malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by smooth toffee. Midway through the sip the sweetness fades a bit with the addition of small amounts of toasted flavors and earthy hops. The malt flavors carry through to a moderately bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with smooth carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I finished my glass without any problems and could have another.

08-08-2010 04:40:58 | More by glid02
Photo of lanamj
lanamj

North Carolina

3.45/5  rDev -12.4%

On tap at Duckworths park road. Poured into a pilsner glass.

A- Poured with about 1/2 inch white soapy head the dissipate to a thin layer of bubbles that hold nicely. Copper in color and very translucent.

S- Light aromas of toffee, brown sugar, vanilla, molasses, dark fruit and booze. Not to heavy on the nose kinda light.

T- Follows the nose but with the strength the nose was lacking.There is also a hop profile that I didn't pick up on the nose. Very nice.

M- Smooth but thin. I like the carbonation but being a fan of the, chewy, kinda flat barleywines this might be a wee aggressive. In saying that its true to the style of an english barleywine.

O- A great beer I find myself ordering again and again. Good job OHB. I have yet to enjoy aged I bet it will improve 10 fold.

02-09-2012 00:39:20 | More by lanamj
Photo of whitekiboko
whitekiboko

South Carolina

3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

12-27-2011 01:09:08 | More by whitekiboko
Photo of Metalmonk
Metalmonk

North Carolina

3.65/5  rDev -7.4%

Pours a cloudy, even soupy-looking rusted brown. Light tan head is thin and disappears to a skim quickly. Not a ton of lace.

Aroma is plum, mineral, dusty milk chocolate, slight bit of alcohol. Would have been nicer if the mineral didn't come in and take over as it does.

Notes of chocolate nibs, plum, fig, raisin, mineral/metal, soap, and toffee on the tongue. Hops show up more in the finish than anything, although they're not very bright -- maybe they're already starting to fade and change? (This bottle is from 2009.)

Nice silky smoothness the the texture, bubbles caress and tickle but are primarily soft, with a slight stickiness giving gravity to an otherwise velvety feel.

This is more like a Scotch Ale, but for a barleywine, it's just a "B." But B = Good! Too much of that metallic edge comes in, and probably too fruity-tart as well. But there's enough here to make it worth a try; there's a really good beer in here somewhere. And at 7.7%, it's not gonna totally lay you flat or anything.

04-27-2010 22:38:10 | More by Metalmonk
Photo of twowheelssoar
twowheelssoar

North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

11-16-2011 02:21:16 | More by twowheelssoar
Photo of jh1982
jh1982

Nevada

4/5  rDev +1.5%

11-19-2011 15:52:24 | More by jh1982
Photo of tdm168
tdm168

North Carolina

4.43/5  rDev +12.4%

Bomber poured into a snifter

A - very dark brownish amber with a thin lacing of off white head that fades quickly

S - figs, dates, plums, candy sugar, caramel

T - caramel, bread, candy sugar, figs, dates, raisins, plums, faint chocolate, alcohol, mild hop bitterness in the finish

M - full bodied, smooth, warm, well carbonated

This is a solid barleywine. It has good flavor and very good balance. I really enjoyed this beer.

06-08-2012 21:06:52 | More by tdm168
Photo of dirtylou
dirtylou

Washington

3.78/5  rDev -4.1%

on-tap, Vintner's charlotte

appearance: served in an unbranded tulip, hazy dark amber body, moderate beige froth

smell; dark fruits, rum, spice, slightly aged hops, spicy malt

taste: This english barlewine is of considerably less bulk than many others of the style - the hops tasted a bit faded, caramel and orange peel, bready, rum, cinnamon. The pieces are there, but it doesnt come together in the end

mouthfeel: medium, sticky, boozier than the abv

drinkability: good

12-24-2010 23:29:12 | More by dirtylou
Photo of hyoung41
hyoung41

Virginia

3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

01-09-2013 02:03:41 | More by hyoung41
Photo of RickS95
RickS95

Indiana

3.95/5  rDev +0.3%

2010 vintage

It pours a rich looking brown, a bit on the darkish side, with some red notes. There is almost no head at all.

Smells a bit fruity, if you can get past the alcohol and the malt.

The taste is well balanced between high malt and alcohol, and the dark fruitiness. There's a bit of a red apple flavor that enhances the sweetness and overwhelms almost any notion of hops.

For a barleywine, this is as mild on the palate as I can recall. It starts off sweet from the fruit and that's the sensation until well into the finish with just slight heat from the alcohol. If you didn't know better, you'd not think of this as a barleywine.

This was much better than I expected. It's sweet, but not overly sweet, and that sweetness keeps any hoppiness or alcohol well in check. Would love to drink this again.

08-13-2011 03:11:49 | More by RickS95
Photo of prototypic
prototypic

Ohio

4.18/5  rDev +6.1%

Many thanks to the might kkipple for the bottle!

2010 Release

Irish Walker pours a very deep red/copper color. It's a little hazy, but backlighting reveals really nice scarlet highlights. A light tan head forms on top. It's a finger or so deep, and recedes quickly. Lacing was sticky, but definitely light in volume. Not too surprising given the abv.

The nose is quite good. The malt base is slightly sweet smelling, and features mostly caramel malts, cocoa-esque chocolate, and toasted malts. It's a good mix. Dark fruit notes of raisin and plum are noted. Perhaps a little cherry. It definitely has a fruit cake vibe going. It features some light earthy and herbal notes on the secondary level. There are some hop remnants, but they've mostly faded. Alcohol is blended extremely well and is barely noticeable.

The flavor is good. It has a very solid malt base. Caramel, toffee, light cocoa, and toasted malt flavors are all in the mix. It's slightly sweet. Dark fruit flavors of raisin, fig, and plum add quality depth. Cherry is there, but it's very subtle. Light tobacco and leathery notes complement the other flavors well. It's a little earthy and grain late. There are some light, earthy hop flavors. I suspect they've faded to a large degree. It's not bitter at all. Alcohol is masked extremely well. My bottle indicates the abv is 9.8%. I would've never guessed anywhere near that. Finishes malty and herbal.

Irish Walker has body that's on the lighter side of medium. It honestly feels a little thin. Given the wealth of malt flavor, that's somewhat surprising. Carbonation is mid-range. Overall, it feels pretty good. Drinkability is good for such a big beer. The flavor is impressive, and it's deceptive as far as size goes.

Irish Walker is my first experience with Olde Hickory Brewery. I'm impressed. This is good stuff. It's a very balanced, approachable English Barleywine. The flavor is spot-on for the style. If you're into English Barleywines, you simply must check this one out. It's big on flavor, and hides its heft extremely well. This bomber is disappearing surprisingly fast. Easy recommendation. Thanks a ton, Dan!

02-26-2011 03:37:29 | More by prototypic
Photo of woodchip
woodchip

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +1.5%

04-18-2014 11:29:06 | More by woodchip
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Irish Walker from Olde Hickory Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 223 ratings.