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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

239 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 239
Reviews: 85
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 9.14%
Wants: 41
Gots: 90 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: oberon on 12-25-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 239 | Reviews: 85 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of t0rin0
2.75/5  rDev -30.2%

t0rin0, Dec 04, 2012
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.63/5  rDev -7.9%
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.

UCLABrewN84, May 14, 2012
Photo of djrn2
3.85/5  rDev -2.3%

djrn2, Aug 23, 2014
Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

zestar, Aug 01, 2014
Photo of Thorpe429
3.28/5  rDev -16.8%
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.

Thorpe429, Jul 19, 2011
Photo of nmann08
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

nmann08, Nov 18, 2011
Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Texasfan549, Oct 05, 2014
Photo of brentk56
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2010 Bottling

Appearance: Pours a cola color with a smidge of a head that fades away altogether too quickly though it does leave a splendid array of viscous dots

Smell: Fruity aroma, with some citrus as well as apple, pear and raisin elements

Taste: Very different malt character, with a ton of fruit up front; quite a kitchen sink of citrus, light fruits and dark fruits, with a nutty, caramel character underneath; after the swallow, a bit of spearmint enters the picture and lingers into the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with low to moderate carbonation; surprisingly thin for the ABV

Overall: I enjoyed this but am not quite sure what to make of it; perhaps a year has changed its character but this is the fruitiest barleywine I have ever encountered

Discovered the 2009 in my cellar the next day, so here is the comparison:

Appearance: Much better head retention than the 2010; more lacing as well 4.0

Smell: Now there is the malt that was missing in the 2010; the fruitiness is there also, but it is far better balanced 4.5

Taste: Very similar to the 2010 but, as with the aroma, there is a better balance to the caramel malt 4.0

Mouthfeel: Feels more like a barleywine though the carbonation is a bit too prickly 3.5

Overall: So, a year older and with a 2% lower ABV, the 2009 is clearly the better beer 4.0

brentk56, May 07, 2011
Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +1.5%

kjkinsey, Oct 05, 2014
Photo of mikesgroove
4.38/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

dark brown. Very thick looking on the pour with a minimum amount of head coming up through it. A bout a half inch of off white foam rose up through it

Hints of raisins and figs, light earthy, roasted malts and a good touch of alcohol. Very complex nose, and unique for the style.
Rich tastes of oak and vanilla, hints of roasted malts and caramel. Lots of bourbon like flavors swirling around. Very tight and nicely done. A bit of alcohol, just enough to thicken it up a bit. A really nice and very full barley wine. Finish was strong, with a healthy dose of bourbon and spice lingering in the mouth for what seemed like forever.

mikesgroove, Dec 04, 2011
Photo of ygtbsm94
3.25/5  rDev -17.5%

ygtbsm94, Nov 26, 2013
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2011 Release.

Appearance: Pours a deep, deep, dark mahogany body with a goodly foamy, yellow-beige head.

Smell: Sweetish scent of toasted sugars, toasted barley, and a mix of dark fruits and berries with an underlying note of sturdy English hops.

Taste: Commences with a big sweetness, though not overly sweet, and with a toasted maltiness, faintly nutty, and, in the distance, a very, very small hint of roast. Splash of liquor. Dark fruits. Spicy, earthy hops with ample bitterness. Bittersweet on the drying, warming finish.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied. Medium carbonation. Creamy mouthfeel.

Overall: This one kinda makes me think of an Imperial Irish Red Ale, though maybe I'm taking too much away from the word "Irish". Decent flavor, though the appearance and texture were quite nice.

ChainGangGuy, Aug 27, 2011
Photo of oberon
3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

oberon, Dec 25, 2009
Photo of Kegatron
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%
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.

Kegatron, Mar 16, 2012
Photo of russpowell
4.28/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on draft before & it was pretty good, will be interested to see how this compares...hate the wax sealing

2010 vintage pours chestnut with 2 fingers of mocha colored head. Sheets of horizontal lacing & above average head retention

S: Breadyness & dark fruit

T: Follows the nose, plus cakey notes along with treacle , dryness & even more figs & just a kiss of woody hops & booze up front. Figs, cherries dates, dryness & leafy hops, carob & wisp of booze as this warms, as well as short bread. Finishes figgy, dry, with a raisins & leafy hops & just a hint of plum brandy

MF: Pretty chewy with low carbonation & great balance, nice warming sensation overall

My bottle states a 9.8% ABV, this is well hidden. I like this better than the draft version I had last summer. This is a faithful take on the style that is working for me. I am digging the bigger bottled beers coming from NC hometown!

russpowell, Jul 07, 2010
Photo of MasterSki
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of the infamous Jason Allen. I'm thinking this was the 2010 vintage based on my memory of the label. Served in a Stone IRS tulip.

A - Quick-dissolving dime of foam that settles to a thin ring and a few wisps, leaving tiny spots of lace. Transparent blood red body.

S - Burnt sugars, toffee, dark fruits, cotton candy, light chocolate, toasted grains, and a touch of citrus hop aroma.

T - Taste is heavy on sugars (brown sugar, caramel) along with candied dark fruits. There's some roasted malt that brings balance and keeps things from being cloying. Hops impart light bitterness to the finish as well. Well-hidden alcohol (this batch was 9.8%) makes this very easy drinking for the style.

M - Slightly overcarbonated for a barleywine, but otherwise quite nice. Full smooth body with minimal warmth.

D - This is quite a good barleywine. If I were feeling ambitious I could probably tackle a bomber on my own. Olde Hickory, please put this in a (PvW?) bourbon barrel as it'd be a big hit.

MasterSki, Mar 30, 2011
Photo of jlindros
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to cwguy5 for this one.

Very light fizzy head, touch of lacing, mostly clear dark molasses ruby brown color.

Nose tons of dark malts and fruits, aged brown malts, caramel, toffee, molasses, etc. touch of oak and a bit of light whisky. Fruit bring fig, date, brandy soaked raisin with brown sugar, hint of creamy malt.

Taste starts rich and lush, creamy darker malts, brown malts with tons of brown sugar and molasses, caramel, toffee, chewy granola bar. Then fruit with more brandy soaked raisin, plum, fig, date, soft aged malts. Hint of a whisky flavor. Towards the end brings a light earthy hops. Finishes semi sweet with tons more juicy fruits and dark malts and sweets, still decent sweetness with a nice spicy hop bitterness.

Mouth is a bit bigger bodied, decent carb, hint of warming booze.

Overall very nice, great fruits, hint of whisky and barrel, good sweetness and malts, balanced fairly well.

jlindros, Nov 13, 2011
Photo of oline73
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

oline73, Mar 28, 2014
Photo of Rifugium
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Rifugium, Mar 24, 2013
Photo of mendvicdog
4/5  rDev +1.5%

mendvicdog, Nov 26, 2013
Photo of mdfb79
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From 06/25/11 notes. Shared by nmann08 at a recent tasting I believe; thanks Nate. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into my Bruery tulip. 2010 vintage.

a - Pours a hazy, dark brown color with one inch of off white head and moderate carbonation evident. Very light spotty lacing on the glass.

s - Smells of caramel malts, toffee, light hops, toasted malts, oak, vanill, and bready malts. Lots of malts, especially caramel.

t - Tastes of caramel malts, vanilla, oak, toffee, and bready malts. Again a lot of malts, but the vanilla is very nice in the taste.

m - Medium body and light carbonation. Very smooth and creamy, and very easy to drink.

o - Overall I thought this was a really good barleywine and something I would love to have again sometime. Lots of caramel and vanilla, which are some of my favorite characteristics.

mdfb79, Jun 30, 2011
Photo of Mora2000
4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Mora2000, Nov 27, 2010
Photo of DrunkinYogi
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

DrunkinYogi, Jul 23, 2012
Photo of Rochefort10nh
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Rochefort10nh, Jul 08, 2014
Photo of XmnwildX12
3.25/5  rDev -17.5%

XmnwildX12, Dec 11, 2013
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Irish Walker from Olde Hickory Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 239 ratings.