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Irish Walker - Olde Hickory Brewery

Not Rated.
Irish WalkerIrish Walker

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

90 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 90
Hads: 300
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 7.63%
Wants: 41
Gots: 100 | FT: 16
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:
Beer added by: oberon on 12-25-2009

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 90 | Hads: 300
Photo of cpetrone84
3/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-pours a dark mahogony brown with ruby edges and a tan creamy head.

S-the nose has lots of caramel, hints of chocolate malt and slightly burnt toasted malts, notes of citrus hops in the back.

T-big time caramel and chocolate malt, hints of meat, slightly ashy, prunes, raisins with a decent bit of hop presence in the back, juicy grapefuit and citrus. So new but seems a little oxidized in the flavor.

M-medium body, slightly thin, creamy and soft with lower carb but enough to hold.

D-messy and slightly oxidized already, very singular with a dirty malt overload. not offensive but certainly not good. (607 characters)

Photo of ChadQuest
3.27/5  rDev -16.8%
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. (623 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
3.3/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to a generous BA for providing this growler at the Friday night pre-BA Sexual Chocolate tasting. Served in a Foothills sampler glass.

Pours dark brown with a short tan head that quickly recedes to a thin collar. The nose brings some light whiskey character along with caramel and a bit of booze. Nothing much else than that. This is especially apparent in the flavor, which unfortunately tastes mostly like watered-down whiskey and doesn't have malt or other backing. Light to medium body without too much booze, which is fairly impressive. Decent enough overall, but I'd rather stick with some of their other beers. (624 characters)

Photo of chinchill
3.38/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Large shared bottle pours dark reddish-brown with a decent head.
The aroma is somewhat boozy with a dark malt base and notes of dates and soft ripe fruits.
The flavor largely follows but has a sou note that seems out of place and a very bitter aspect to the aftertaste.
Smooth, full body with medium carbonation. (315 characters)

Photo of lanamj
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. (784 characters)

Photo of Kegatron
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. (1,172 characters)

Photo of tewaris
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. (337 characters)

Photo of Crittervision
3.52/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

vintage 2009, consumed 3-12-10

opaque brown, ruby edges, a wonderful head with fluffy, yellowy bubbles.

aroma is of raisins, fig newtons, ultra sweet, delectable, and reminiscent of these raisin filled cake bars that used to be ever-present in my parents pantry when i was younger.

tastes of raisins, minerals, celery, smoky, with a vinous touch.

mouthfeel is a bit powdery and a bit watery. i definitely expected more from the smell.

this one turns into a sipper rather quickly, and not because of a heavy body or high alcohol content. (541 characters)

Photo of scottfrie
3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle into Portsmouth tulip. 2010 vintage.

A: Pours a very deep wooden brown with reddish highlights. The head is thin and khaki and quickly disappeared into a bubbly film leaving a few bubbles of lace.
S: Big toffee and rich dark fruits including prunes, plums and raisins. I also get notes of vanilla, wood, caramel, red grapes and roasted malt.
T: Follows the nose with rich notes of ripe fruits, spices, caramel and a bit of booze. I get more grape than the nose. The finish has a note of tobacco and a hint of leafy hops. The aftertaste is a bit roasted with a hint of vanilla and booze.
M: Medium-full body with a good chew to the mouthfeel. The carbonation is tingly and bubbly. No alcohol warmth.
O: Pretty good English Barleywine although not overly complex. I would drink this again but there are better out there. (835 characters)

Photo of andrewinski1
3.55/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Bendurgin for sharing! Poured into a tulip. Nice dark amber color. A reasonable head of about an eighth inch.

The aroma indicates plum and raisins. This has a very fruity aroma. The aroma is full of sweet malt.

The taste has a fruity flavor similar to the aroma. The hops are a bit more noticeable and give a bit of a minty flavor.

The body is middling and not particularly heavy. The carbonation is soft allowing the fruitiness to shine.

I like this a good deal. This has a nice full flavor to it. *edit: The ABV on our bottle says 9.6%, not 7.7%. (562 characters)

Photo of mondegreen
3.57/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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. (414 characters)

Photo of Dope
3.6/5  rDev -8.4%
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. (734 characters)

Photo of Bung
3.62/5  rDev -7.9%
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. (583 characters)

Photo of Bendurgin
3.62/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this as an extra in a recent trade with Craytonic. Thanks! Poured intoa tulip. This one pours a nice vibrant amber color. It appears a dark brown in the class with a bubbly light tan head. Thin lace.

A little bit of cocoa in this. Mollasses, brown sugar and a dark fruit. A little bit of citrus hops round it out. The flavor is a bit toasty with some cocoa, citrus, toffee and licorice to this. This one is kind of on the hoppy side.

Good feel here. A big full body with good carbonation. A little bit on the sticky side. Overall not a bad barely wine. I don't really feel like this one is doing anything super special, but it's enjoyable and well made. (660 characters)

Photo of Wolfpack2005
3.64/5  rDev -7.4%
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. (547 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.64/5  rDev -7.4%
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. (620 characters)

Photo of Metalmonk
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 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. (1,007 characters)

Photo of Khazadum
3.71/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks good. Simple appearance, cherry nohogany. Sticky, lacing. Long Kk lasting retention and carbonation.

Apples, caramels, cardboard, sweet caramel, and sharp molasses.

Tastes like insane sweetness and earthy hops. Very extreme earthy power, the bitterness is lingering, muggy, vegetal, and lingering. Finishes off oddly hoppy. Why?!?!

smooth, full body, crisp, middle, lingering, bitter ends. (400 characters)

Photo of gford217
3.72/5  rDev -5.3%
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. (720 characters)

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

Big thanks to jahuneyc for the hook-up. 2010 vintage, gold wax.

A - Deep maple-brown, translucent, somewhat slight head of soapy tan bubbles

S - At first I get some charred caramel and herbal-catty hop, then strudel-like impressions. Really, this smells a lot like an Old Ale.

T - The taste is really just like an American Old Ale (i.e. fresh GD Hibernation or Bell's Third Coast...) I get a lot of charred sugar, herbal hoppiness, and oxidation. There is also a bitter astringency that reminds me of the digestif Fernet-Branca, and it lingers extensively on the finish.

M - Thinner, for a Barleywine, though this is very much akin to an Old Ale (as oft-noted by yours truly) and as such it is very reasonable in feel.

D - This kind of grew on me after a bit. I was not a huge fan at first, but I re-capped the brew and had several pours over a two-day period and found it to be quite nice after a while. (909 characters)

Photo of MalibuKenny
3.73/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

T: malty molasses sweetness, but as soon as that wears off an overpowering bitterness from the hops come through. Really more of an American Barleywine than English

M: Many detected a medium body, but I detect both heavy body and thin body, varying in between sips (265 characters)

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

22 oz bottle. Poured a nice brown color with, good head and lacing. I have come to realize that I am not the bigest fan of barleywines because I think the smell and taste of alcohol stands out too much. However, I drank (sipped) this during the boring first half of the Super Bowl and I was pleasantly surprised. This was a great beer to just sit and enjoy during a long first half of a football game. I am not sure how much drinkability this one has because of the alcohol (even though it clocks in at 7.70 %). With that said, I would have another is given the chance, nice beer for the style. (594 characters)

Photo of barleywinefiend
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. (606 characters)

Photo of srandycarter
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Dark cola, murky, tan head, leaves to ring fast. Some cling lace.

S -BIG malt profile, dark fruits, heady.

T - Taste pretty much matches smell, with added hops at end to make it a little less sweet. Boozy.

M - Errs to the sweet, low carb, High ABV.

D - One is definitely enough. (286 characters)

Photo of sulldaddy
3.77/5  rDev -4.1%
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. (892 characters)

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Irish Walker from Olde Hickory Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 90 ratings.