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Irish Walker - Olde Hickory Brewery

Irish WalkerIrish Walker

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

202 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 202
Reviews: 79
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 9.41%


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)
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Ratings: 202 | Reviews: 79 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of cosmicevan
cosmicevan

New York

4.36/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

2011 vintage that i picked up last year when i was in NC (or maybe i picked it up longer ago?) none-the-less, enjoyed from an olde hickory half pint taster glass thingie.

a - brew poured a stunning ruby brown with crimson highlights. to the light you can somewhat see through it...massive cream colored head that hung out for ages and coated the glass as it vanished. pretty amazing looking.

s - nose is amazing. nougat, toffee, caramel...lush english barleywine. butterscotch. just spot on for what i like. really rich and thick with tons of candy.

t - taste matches the nose, just fantastic. really rich and thick and lush toffee butterscotch. caramel, nougat...you get the point. great barleywine.

m - fairly chewy and thick...a bit boozy on the finish.

o - overall, really great english barleywine. this sort of tows the line of old ale...really what i love about the english barleywine style. this is a keeper...would definitely have again.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2013 01:44:05 | More by cosmicevan
Photo of zeledonia
zeledonia

Minnesota

3.81/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2011 vintage, which I usually wouldn't review, but this shows few signs of oxidation or decline. Thanks to n2185 for the bottle. Tasted 24 August 2013.

Pours deep rusty brown, dark, but clear with light behind it, which makes it look even more reddish. Half-finger of tan head, okay retention, stellar lacing.

Smell is big and malty, just what I want from an English barleywine. Dark fruit, a bit of molasses, and tobacco. Has both sweetness and depth.

Taste is pleasantly complex. It's less potently sweet, with more leather and tobacco than in the smell. Lots of brown, tannin flavors. In the finish, hops and alcohol come through as a two-pronged bitterness. Just a touch of oxidation.

Feel is good. Medium-heavy body, very sticky. It's a little low on carbonation, but there's enough to keep things active. Lasting.

A tasty beer, with nicely varied malt character. I like it, though some might find it overly sweet.

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2013 02:43:36 | More by zeledonia
Photo of davey101
davey101

Connecticut

3.89/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2011 vintage into a Founders 15'th glass. Really digging the wax job with the stamp on top of the cap.

A - Pours a very dark brown body. Look more like a stout than a barleywine. Two fingers of light mocha foam sticks around for a long time. Excellent lacing and retention.

S - Now I know why its so dark. Lots of roasted malts, char, and chocolate combined with the traditional toffee, brown sugar, and raisins. A bit of faded piney hops and some booze

T - Toffee, heavily roasted malts, brown sugar, molasses, raisins, and a metallic aftertaste alongside light oxidation. Its pretty tasty but rather lackluster. The mouth feel is great though, rich and creamy.

O - A very roasty barleywine with a lot of good attributes but none that shine too bright. The metallic aftertaste takes its toll and oxidation is starting to creep in. I'm happy to have tried it but it wasn't exactly memorable.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2013 03:13:23 | More by davey101
Photo of Teleweizen2
Teleweizen2

New Jersey

4.09/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - pours a deep murky mixture of mahogany and burgundy. A thin tan foam rises as the liquid is poured but quickly settles and recedes to a film. leaves a touch of lacing spots on the glass.

S - classic rich fruity, malty sweet barleywine nose. Notes of rich juicy dark and dried fruit like dates, plums and raisins. all that draped on top of grain notes such as bread pudding, rye bread. along with notes of sweet cream, burnt sugar and almond liquor.

T - spicy, doughy, rye-bread like flavor. there is also a nutty toasty grainy character along with a burnt sugar sweetness. hints of dried fruit like dates and raisins are present in the center along with a classic English herbal hop character. more notes of burnt sugar and brown sugar on the backend along with toasty notes of almonds and a subtle alcohol heat. finish is sweet yet smooth.

M - full bodied. thick viscous almost syrupy texture. medium carbonation.

O - very good barleywine. hits all the classic notes of the style. something i would definitely like to have again and see how it develops overtime.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2013 02:23:55 | More by Teleweizen2
Photo of barleywinefiend
barleywinefiend

Washington

3.74/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Poured a cola brown color with a tan cap which fades leaving whispy bubbles and light lacing clinging to the edge of the glass

S: Sweet caramel meets toffee meets dark fruits. Rather straightforward and simplistic,l common for the style.

T: Initial but subtle booze sting coupled with toffee, caramel and underlying dark fruits plus residual sugary sweetness. A bit high on carbonation upfront. It finishes smooth, sweet, near decadence and lightly sticky

M: Medium to big bodied but I felt it need a bit more in the middle to make it fuller, well rounded and decadent

O: Good example of the style.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2013 16:42:44 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of Wolfpack2005
Wolfpack2005

North Carolina

3.63/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Poured a deep mahogany into my tulip glass with about a half finger head that fades quickly.

S-Toasted malts, dark fruit (especially raisins), and a little bit of rye and hops.

T-Follows the nose with the toasted malts and raisins. Strong caramel sweetness. There is also faint notes of hops and a little bit of warmth from the alcohol.

M-Low carbonation creamy medium body.

O-This is a very mellow barley wine not overpowering with either the malts or the hops which is nice but nothing that really stands out and makes this beer unique.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2012 00:43:36 | More by Wolfpack2005
Photo of ChadQuest
ChadQuest

Illinois

3.23/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Looks solid in that there is a small shortly sustained head and a rich color. Not much else to say.
I like the aroma, richness with a faint alcohol, light dark fruits and toffees.
The flavors are less rich, partially cut down by a hint of alcohol but it isn't hot by any means, there is just less richness and sweet density on the palate, still caramel and toasted toffee, just less of it, the dark fruits come out more, a bit of a pomegranate like note that has a faint itty bitty tannin aspect.
mouth feel is medium bodied.

Nice, solid, enjoyable Barleywine, not phenomenal, but a nice beer to drink solo in an evening.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2012 02:30:46 | More by ChadQuest
Photo of tewaris
tewaris

Minnesota

3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks J man!

Hazy amber-raisin hued without much of a head or retention. The taste leans more towards hops than malty sweetness. Somewhat dark character, possibly derived from specialty malt. High carbonation, medium body.

Overall it does remind me of caramel but slightly burnt/too toasted at that. So it is good but not outstanding.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2012 09:07:06 | More by tewaris
Photo of Onenote81
Onenote81

North Carolina

4.28/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Coming down the 40, and I always make a point to stop by this brewpub for a bite and pint (or 2). I see this one on the shelf all the time at my local haunt, but for some reason I always avoid it. I'm just not a huge Barleywine guy I guess. This time though, I was in the mood so I finished my meal with this one.

Came out in a stemmed goblet. As with most "imperialized" brews, this was not a full pint, unfortunately. A ripe plum color with faint ruby edges. The cap of froth was short in size but not short-lived, as each sip left a perfect ring clinging to the glass. Rich aromas of dark fruits, booze, and some light earthy notes. Clean mouthfeel, rich and deep, envelopes the palate. Subtle carbonation lightens this one up just a smidge.

Great decadent fruity flavors of fig, plum, and raisin. The alcohol add just enough heat to this, but in no way overpowers. Sweet candy-like flavors on the back end keep this balanced, and tone down the richness of it a bit. Bitterness is present, but again, subtlety is king. Definitely sets itself apart from the Americanized versions of this style. This was rich, tasty, and ever so easy to drink. I think I need to pull the trigger on some bottles now.

Serving type: on-tap

10-30-2012 14:32:27 | More by Onenote81
Photo of Chaney
Chaney

District of Columbia

4.28/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I picked this up in NC many months ago. It will meet its fate today.

A: Burnt sienna brown, with a slight 1/3 finger head that clung to the glass and then some.

S: Moderate in aroma, but I got some melted "Jolly Rancher." Certainly hoppy, but restrained in an English kinda way. A good bit of fresh caramel as well.

T: Excellent taste of wood, caramel (very prevalent), bitter hops (subtle, yet effective), and candi sugar. I personally thought all of this came to life and I was totally in awe of my first sip of this, especially considering my "down the middle" view of the scent.

M: Ridiculous lacing, and pretty drinkable (I find good English BWs usually are), The carbonation was great for this style, and this wasn't too sweet for my taste at all.

O: I don't care what many others have said on here at all. I personally thought this was one of the best English BW's I've had in a long time.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2012 00:26:17 | More by Chaney
Photo of Dope
Dope

Massachusetts

3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2011 bottle

A: Pours a dark brown with a good sized tan head. Fades at a decent pace, lacing moderate lacing on the glass.

S: Heavy caramel and raisins. Decent toffee and molasses.

T: Loads of toffee up front and throughout. A bit of caramel sweetens up the middle with a little raisin. Ends very dry with a strong and bitter herbal, earthy and almost tobacco-like character. Maybe even a hint of smoke. Get a bit of leather in the lingering aftertaste.

M: Medium-heavy bodied. Super drying and decently bitter on the back end.

O: Starts out well but the aftertaste is kind of odd for a beer like this. Tasty enough but nothing earth-shattering. Lots of leather between sips become annoying, especially strong once it warms up.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2012 02:39:57 | More by Dope
Photo of kawilliams81
kawilliams81

Yukon (Canada)

3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2012 blue wax bottle. Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a 8 oz snifter.

A- pours a dark brown with a 2 finger ran head. Head and lacing reside immediately.

S- caramel, toffee, tobacco, raisins

T- sweet toffee, roasted malts, dark fruits, hint of vanilla

M- medium body, high carbonation. Bottle gushed after opening.

O- good Barleywine but nothing spectacular. After Saw this was a gusher I was worried about infection, but seems ok to me.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2012 00:45:14 | More by kawilliams81
Photo of brystmar
brystmar

Texas

3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 bottle shared by Brendan.

Beautiful pour! So much head and lace, absolutely gorgeous for the style. Malty aroma, hints of bourbon and spice.

Malty sweetness fades into booze and bourbon. More spice than I expected, spikes of alcohol keep things interesting. Unfortunately it doesn't all piece together as well as its competition. Slightly above average, but nothing special.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2012 02:22:52 | More by brystmar
Photo of Bung
Bung

North Carolina

3.6/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2009 version, which matches with the 7.7 version from the Amos & Howard brewpub.
Semi-cloudy dark amber pour, just a thin layer of light cream head.

Aroma, Brown sugary sweet malt. Toffee. Smells English to me.

Taste, very subdued from the aroma. Much more herbal, light citrus to go with the brown sugar and toffee. Not too much breadiness, not quite enough body here. Faint toast in the finish.

Medium body, low carbonation. Drinks pretty easy with its thinness. Alcohol hidden.

I almost wonder if this was just not quite "big" enough for cellering much more than a year or so.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2012 02:09:59 | More by Bung
Photo of maximum12
maximum12

Minnesota

3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to nc41 for a box overflowing with Olde Hickory goodness, a brewery I've grown rather fond of. 22 oz. bottle with 2012 stamped into the green wax.

Before I get to the pour, I had to get out the flamethrower; another brewery that waxes like it's sealing a bank vault. The brew is very dark for a barleywine, only a few strokes of red shy of black. Nose is sweet malts & drip-thick molasses. I swear I smell a sidebar of scotch, too. Repeatedly. Huh. Whatever, it's awful nice.

Irish Walker might be trying to invent a new style, 'cause this ain't my great-grandmother's barleywine. All sorts of things through the grater: right off the bat is a figginess that's pleasantly sprinkled with sugar, no bite, with an echo of darker fruits. More pleasant molasses, & another swig of scotch-like taste - which really sticks to the teeth. Herbs on the backside, pounded with everything else, help give this a unique profile. Stupid drinkable.

Mucho points for the weirding, I've never had a barleywine like this before, & it's felony drinkable with that 10% ABV. Another winner from Olde Hickory, this is a very good beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2012 03:26:59 | More by maximum12
Photo of tdm168
tdm168

North Carolina

4.43/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

North Carolina

4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2011 vintage poured into a New Belgium globe.

Dark mahogany. Very impressive creamy-looking khaki head that never goes away despite the double-digit ABV.

Sweet scents of dark fruit (like raisins) and tobacco. This nose is all about the malt - no hint of hops. Definite fruity alcohol aromatics. Warm sugary caramel rounds out the aroma.

It hits with a bang. The first thing my tongue was able to sort out was a solid dose of bitterness that locks into every tastebud well into the finish. A heavy dose of dark fruit complement the bitterness nicely. Definitely more balanced than the nose would suggest. Clean alcohols contribute to complexity. I also get some toffee notes as things settle down. This one defines a sipper. Really full, viscous mouthfeel, but even after a year, that bitterness is pretty upfront. Solid barleywine that will really develop well over the years. I have a 2012 that I think I will hold onto for much longer.

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2012 22:31:22 | More by NCBeernut
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.63/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I brought this one to share at jmgrub’s tasting.

Thanks to Jzmhector for sending me this one!

Pours a clear brown with a foamy tan head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, molasses, and citrus zest. Taste is of malt, citrus zest, and slight brown sugar and molasses flavors. There is a medium sort of medicinal bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good barleywine but the bitterness is a bit weird on this one.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2012 05:23:00 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of akorsak
akorsak

Pennsylvania

3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to BillyRoss for this wax-covered bomber bottle. A big barleywine from Olde Hickory.

A: The ale is a tawny brown color, deeper and darker, with a thin off-white head. That head doesn't last long.

S: Big big big. The barleywine brings the thick, murky caramel malt aromas, concentrated with molasses in the undertow. Toffee comes along with the caramel, a chewy fullness.

T: The maltiness runs the show, practically no hop bitterness to get in the way of things. The caramel and toffee are there from sip one, full and dense with intensity. Rather sweet at times, the last few sips were a little too toffee-like. A good barleywine, albeit a little too sweet at times.

M: The mouthfeel is a malt assault, syrupy and rich. I recommend splitting it with someone (or two).

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2012 15:59:14 | More by akorsak
Photo of jmarsh123
jmarsh123

Indiana

4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours deep brown with a off-white head with good retention and decent lacing.

Smells of rich toffee with a little bit of molasses and brown sugar. Very malt forward.

Toffee and caramel are again featured in the flavor. A good earthy hop bitterness cuts through and keeps the sweetness somewhat in check.

Mouthfeel is on the light side of medium. Just enough for the style. Carbonation levels are medium.

A very enjoyable barleywine that I had no expectations of going into. A little too sweet once it warmed, but still enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2012 20:52:30 | More by jmarsh123
Photo of gford217
gford217

Georgia

3.7/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, 2012 vintage.

Pours deep mahnogany in the glass that shows through as a cleat copper when held up to light. There's a small fizzy tan head that doesn't stick around long.

Aroma is sugary sweet with caramalized sugar, toffee, and some overripe dark fruits.

Taste has a slight bitterness up front with at least a hint of hops which is more than I got in the nose. It's still mostly about the caramelized sugars and malt sweetness with light vanilla and toffee notes.

Mouthfeel is slick and smooth with low carbonation and little bitterness. It's probably a tad lighter bodied than most in the style.

A solid if unspectacular barleywine with little complexity but a nice sweet body with some fruity notes.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2012 03:35:13 | More by gford217
Photo of beerenjoyer1
beerenjoyer1

Illinois

4.48/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A well round beer that acquired at Peabodys in Boone, NC.
I always look forward to the Irish Walker, this being the 2011 brew. The foam is medium brown and nice lacing durung the taste. The smell is malty with a hint of hops. The taste is full malt, slight sweetness, and some hoppiness with nice finish of alcohol. The feel is full of flavor and very good. Overall, as I said before I always look forward to an Irish Walker Barleywine by Olde Hickory.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2012 00:13:36 | More by beerenjoyer1
Photo of Kegatron
Kegatron

Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz wax topped bomber into a couple of snifters. Thanks go to Barscream for sharing this one with me. 2009 Edition.

Pours a ruddy amber, with a thin frothy head of light mocha foam. This retains with some rich edges, leaving back a smattering of spotty lace down the sides of the glass. The aroma smells of brown sugars, toffee, herbal hops, a touch of more burnt feeling grains, and then alcohol notes of spice and warmth.

The taste is similar to the nose, with caramel, green citrus, grainy roast, brown sugars, and some additional herbal tones. This finishes dry, spicy and bitter. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied, with a firm creaminess on the tongue that then spreads out into the rest of the mouth. I’m getting a little sweet and spicy warmth here out of the body but its overall pretty smooth if maybe a little thin feeling.

This was decent. The complexity seemed to be there but the flavors themselves just didn’t leave much of a bold impression on me, which coupled with the thinner feel of the body to make for a moderately enjoyable but ultimately forgettable drinking experience. This one seemed liked it’s spent enough time in the bottle already.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2012 14:05:58 | More by Kegatron
Photo of sulldaddy
sulldaddy

Connecticut

3.73/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I sampled a cellar temp bottle of this beer poured into a snifter. The beer pours a clear rich deep mahogany color with minimal beige head foaming up and leaving only an edge layer fairly rapidly after the pour.
Aroma is rich and malty with brown sugar and caramel mixing with a bit of earthy hops and some booziness that warns of the 10% ABV.
First sip reveals a very drinkable smooth beer with minimal carbonation and actually a thinner body than expected.
Flavor is malty as advertised by the nose with caramel and brown sugar, but also pretty mild on the taste. I do get some earthy hops and some peppery booze that reminds me this is a big beer. Otherwise I could get snuck up on by this beast.
The beer is very drinkable, but the flavor is not robust and in my opinion leaves a little to be desired. I enjoy the beer but was hoping for more. Give it a shot but dont expect to get wow'd.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2012 05:55:09 | More by sulldaddy
Photo of lanamj
lanamj

North Carolina

3.45/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: on-tap

02-09-2012 00:39:20 | More by lanamj
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Irish Walker from Olde Hickory Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 202 ratings.