Old Dipsea Barleywine Style Ale - Marin Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Old Dipsea Barleywine Style AleOld Dipsea Barleywine Style Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

85 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 85
Reviews: 52
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 11.02%
Wants: 9
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Marin Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  9.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: pezoids on 03-03-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 85 | Reviews: 52
Reviews by Alieniloquium:
Photo of Alieniloquium
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Deep copper. Nice off white head. Thick collar.

Smell - I had Raspberry Eisbock before this, so it smells like raspberries. Behind that is a ton of caramel.

Taste - Thankfully I can discern the beer from the raspberry. Much more caramel. Some hops. Brown sugar.

Mouthfeel - Dry, never sweet. A little light. No bitterness.

Overall - Good barleywine. Just shy of excellent.

More User Reviews:
Photo of warnerry
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased 8/2010; listed at 9% abv

A - Pours a clear deep amber with two fingers of tan head. Head has good retention before settling to a 1/4" cap. Small amount of lacing.

S - Lots of dark dried fruit in the aroma, with raisin and fig. Also a big brown sugar presence, some dark bread and a bit of alcohol. Pretty nice overall.

T - Quite sweet throughout, with brown sugar and caramel. There is some hop bitterness that comes in midway, but the sweetness persists. With more than a year and a half on it, not surprising that the hops are quite subtle. Some alcohol in the taste as well. Pretty good, but a bit too sweet for my taste.

M - Sticky sweet medium/full mouthfeel that transitions to bit of dry bitterness on the finish.

O - Pretty good barleywine, but ratcheting down the sweetness a bit would be a nice change.

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

Purchased during my SoCal beercation at Holiday. Brownish appearance & it smells a little sweet and boozy. Flavor is malty and sweet but the taste is not overwhelming. I don't think aging this would be a good idea. Mouthfeel is smooth and it is drinkable for a barleywine. Good example of the style but not a home run of a barleywine. Still, a solid brew from Marin.

Cheers.

Photo of magictrokini
3.16/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Was not a huge fan of this one. Pours dark brown with a decent brown head. The aroma is fruity, perfumy, and a little rusty. The taste was a bit hoppy and sweet with nuts and prunes. There was a nasty taste in there as well, like stagnant water. I don't know, I've had better.

Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours brilliant deep copper to chestnut under a 1” cream to tan foam collar that provides layers of intense flavors that mask the alcohol, heavy lacing tan
S: spice, cinnamon, cardamom, light roast on the nose with some chocolate.
T: Fruit, prune, chocolate, faint coffee, a hint of tobacco in the finish with a dusting of hop and some cocoa on the end, pleasant lingering malty after tastes.
F: Thick and chewy, medium low carbonation, soft in the mouth, slight alcohol warming.
O: A big assertive barley wine that is touch sweet but nicely balanced with the alcohol.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.6/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Big thick brown and amber pour, carbonation was toned down, little head, looked thick. Aroma was sweet and earth to wood-like.

Minor amount of citrus in the flava profile, alcohol is there. Not the big hop profile you see with a lot of the big Marin beers. Caramel and toffee. A decent amount of the thickness remains sticky in the mouthfeel department, but I wouldn't really say its anything that makes the experience more enjoyable.

This is pretty much a straight up classical interpretation of the style, and is admirably done.

Photo of watermelonman
3.84/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is definitely dark for the style. There's not much head or lace. The color tons are nice, however.

This stuff just smells great. It's clear but potent and gives a hint of strong flavor. The taste is almost of a strong old ale, but with a lighter body. The alcohol content is definitely well-blended.

Photo of Sammy
4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from City Beer Store. Good grapey-winey aromas. Brown colour with some brown head. Above-average, creamy mouthfeel, caramel malts. Bourbon, and some coconut, a bit of peat in finish.Nicely done, great for style,very drinkable. A tad boozy, a bottle is a lot of booze.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a 22 oz. bottle cellared at 55F for roughly 2 years. From memory, it's much softer and far more round than a freshly packaged bottle with less noticeable alcohol, a smoothed bitterness, and a less "sticky" maltiness (as well as a touch less carbonation). If you have it, let it rest! It'll be worth it in the end.

Marin always delivers beautifully malty beers, and the Old Dipsea is no exception. It pours a slightly hazy (with visible particulate in suspension... it IS bottle conditioned), deep chestnut body with an orange cast and ruby highlights. The frothy tan head holds exceptionally well (particularly given its 9.6% abv), and it leaves some very nice lacing about the glass. The nose offers a sweet caramel maltiness; a good whiff of light fruit (peach, dull tangerine, coconut, apple) from the yeast and hops and alcohol; and a touch of grassy and leafy hops that lay mostly in the background. The mouthfeel is superbly smooth and pillowy-soft with a moderate carbonation and full body. In the flavor, hops and fruit greet you upfront before the luxurious malt starts to warm and take over with its rich, caramel nougat and light toffee notes (there are even hints of coconut). Just as quickly, however, its bold bitterness crashes through and carries it into a lingering, dry and bitter finish that's drizzled with residual light caramel malt, and splattered with leafy and gently fruity hops (must be the Styrians!). As with any large beer, the alcohol content limits the actual amount that you can drink, but you'll really enjoy sipping this one on the back porch on a cool fall night or with a good movie. Especially when it warms! Very nice!

Photo of cjgator3
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle

A- Pours a dark brownish amber color with a light tan head.

S- The aroma is very sweet and malty with dark fruits and hints of caramel. Not much in terms of hops to note in the nose.

T- The taste starts off extremely smooth and very sweet side with some toffee and brown sugar with some alcohol coming on in the finish. The taste is pretty solid, but I would have enjoyed it even more with a greater hop bitterness in the finish to balance out the sweetness.

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

D- Old Dipsea is pretty damn drinkable considering the high ABV. It is a solid barleywine that is definitely recommended.

Photo of StevieW
3.58/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Rich deep red-black color, thin white head. Smelled alot of roasted fruits, sweetness, plums, grapes. Not as bitter as I expected, alot sweeter. Definitly a sipping brew. It would have been nicer, had it been winter. Higher alcohol was noticble, thin feel. I'm not a big barleywine fan just yet, it was much easier to drink than the Young's Old Nick Barleywine, the only other one I can compare it to.

Photo of Gusler
3.82/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

One of the first beers I sampled from this brewery, and I think I have found another source for quality brews somewhat close to home. The color on the pour is a very deep garnet or ruby red if you like, with the head mountainous in size, creamy in its consistency and as the head dissipates, it leaves a fine sheet of lace to cover the glass. Over ripe pineapple tones hits you first, then the light yeast and malt tones, fresh, sweet even some alcohol noticed, complex is a good word for this beers nose. Ambrosial at the start, the top is middling to full and the finish pleasantly acidic, perkily hopped, dry long lasting aftertaste and the high ABV, certainly warms the tummy, quite a pleasing beer if you are into “Robust”!

Photo of baiser
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slick, clear, dark copper colour with virtually no head. The beer looked thick and syrupy. Lots of fruit, hops and caramel in the nose. Taste was very balanced for such a potent beer. Mellow hops, medicinal flavours, fruity alcohol and sweet malt. Some warmth from the alcohol. Some earthiness. Overall, very much like an english style ale to me. Pretty good barleywine.

Photo of jcalabre
3/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I originally sampled this beer on 8 December 2002. I am writing this review from my notes.
I guess I'm spoiled as far as 'big' beers. I've had quite a few great beers from noted micros like Stone, Alesmith, Victory, DFH & Kalamazoo Bells.
This beer is an average barleywine. It didn't 'wow' me. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't great.

Photo of Zorro
4.35/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a maple Syrup Thick deep brown beer with a light brown head. Opaque reddish brown beer that passes light just barely.

Smell is sweet and very malty with a fruit and pine scent that is a lot like Bigfoot kicked up a bit. Cherries, prunes and Papaya in the smell. Faint soy sauce aroma; this does smell a lot like a Baltic Porter.

Taste is sweet and VERY malty with a good fruit and figs flavor at the beginning. Slightly figgy and pruny with a good hop bitterness that doesn't take over, as many West Coast Barley Wines are known to do. Not that this lacks for hops and they provide some really tasty flavors themselves. Hop flavors are all tropical; Pineapple and Papaya are the strongest with some pine and a bit of citrus but not much. Good tasty and malty Barley Wine.

Mouthfeel is bordering on syrup.

One of the better Barley Wines I have tasted. This is comparable to SN Bigfoot after it has aged for 4 years, except this is fresh. This isn't a beer in the style that will likely get better with age; it is ready now and very tasty and balanced.

Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.97/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've looked at this in the cellar for a while now and finally decided it's time to go for it!
A - dark reddish brown color, hazy thick appearance, nice light tan head that hangs in there for quite some time.
S - Rich sweet- boozy caramelly malts, some citric hops
T - Similar to the nose but throw in some raisins, bitter and lightly citric hops and booze.
M - full bodied, nay almost syrup yet not quite cloying. Nicely carbonated with a nice balance between sweet malt and citric hop lingering aftertaste.
D - A sipper and a an adventure.

I would have this again.

Photo of Mark
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I work in a school which entails me being outside quite a bit. It's been cold and damp lately so this type of beer has been craved. I had this beer as an after dinner nightcap. Color was very dark, a mahagony if you will, head retention was almost nil, lacing sparse. Smell was of fresh fruit, I thought pineapple or orange. Very smooth hoppy taste also had said fruit overtones. Solid backbone of malt. This ale was much smoother than others of the type, I found some of the others very raw. alcohol became more pronounced at the end of the glass. Good rounded mouthfeel. 9% is hidded fairly well, I thought this a good beer and it's birthplace is top notch so I wasn't surprised.

Photo of mzwolinski
4.7/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Fairly clear garnet in color with a thin halo of a head. The aroma is a very nice toasty malt with fruity notes and hints of the alcohol to come. Taste starts off with a rich, sweet malt, develops some toasty notes mid-palate, a nice light (apple?) fruitiness and just a hint of pepper. Finishes with spicy, flavorful hops. Alcohol presence is very mild. Rich, full-bodied, and extremely well-balanced. This was a true pleasure to drink. Loved it!

Photo of kojevergas
3.36/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

9.0% according my bottle. Acquired last week at a local SoCal bottle shop. 1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a New Belgium stem-goblet in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average; I've had a couple decent brews from this brewery.

Allowed to rest and warm following its removal from the refrigerator. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated. Allowed to warm further over the course of consumption.

A: Pours a 1.5 finger khaki colour head of good cream and thickness, and pretty good (~3 minute) retention for the high ABV. Body colour is dark solid black; not quite a jet black. I imagine it's an extremely dark caramel hue such that it appears black (much like how Guinness is technically a really dark ruby). No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. A bit dark for the style, but generally appealing. There's nothing unique or special here.

Sm: Appealingly malty, with caramel and biscuit malt taking prominence. Delightful biscuity yeast. Malty sweetness. Minimal floral hopping; malts are the focus here. A bit of vanilla toffee. Maybe a hint of light raisin. Maple syrup. Brown sugar. Heavy fermented fig (but not in a dark fruit sense; it's lighter and less evocative). Bready. A bit of light grape. More subtle than anticipated. Well executed for the style. A moderate strength aroma. I'm excited to try it.

T: Heavy bready and caramel malts. Fig, raisin, light grape. A bit of maple syrup. Some brown sugar on the climax. Body is pure malt through and through. Minimal floral hopping lets malts take the spotlight. Fig is dominant. Sugary and sweet, maybe even a bit too much so. Biscuity yeast comes through. I don't get any alcohol. Toffee. I could see other reviewers calling this "leathery", but I wouldn't do so; it's got that ersatz molasses/caramel blend that renders it redolent of leather in a sense - but it doesn't taste like what I imagine leather does. It's not as subtle as the aroma led me to hope for. The promise of the aroma has gone unfulfilled here, but it's not severely disappointing. It just lacks the subtlety and complexity I'd expect of a good barleywine. I do like it, but it's far from unique or special.

Mf: Far too wet for a barleywine. Good thickness and smoothness. Has sufficient body. Decent palate presence; the depth of flavour is somewhat restrained here. Pretty good carbonation; perhaps a bit overdone - especially for the style. Sticky. A bit creamy, but it's insubstantial.

Dr: Hides its ABV well, but it remains a sipper. It brings nothing special to the table, so I imagine it will get lost in the crowd; there are a lot of good barleywines - and many are better than this one at this price point. I have nothing against it and would probably try it on-draught if there wasn't anything I hadn't had available. I don't smoke cigars, but I imagine this would pair well with them based on their aroma. A solid effort from Marin that at the very least makes me want to give their beers more chances. Quite drinkable for the high ABV. I'll have no trouble finishing the bottle by meself. Well played.

B-

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

10 oz pour of the 09 vintage

A: Dark brown with a one finger, light brown head. Inviting to say the least.

S: The smell is mostly caramel malts. Sweet smelling but not overdone. Fruity and earthy.

T: Sweet and malty at first, with a nice balancing hop taste on the back end. Alcohol is slightly noticeable, but is a really nice compliment to everything else the beer is offering.

M: Very smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Pretty mellow, not much carbonation.

D: This goes down pretty nicely. It's not something to drink fast but is something to sip all night.

Notes: I will be searching for bottles of this. I am definitely interested in how this ages over a few years. The alcohol became more evident as it warmed, which was a nice way to spend a cool evening on the patio. Expensive, but worth it.

Photo of DogFood11
3.6/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Almost porter like appearance, on the dark end of things, healthy white head, coat like lacing.

This is a fairly balanced offering for the style. Caramel, Light spunky fruit presence. Hops are more of a moderate background balancer. Towards the end its sweet fruit again leading into a fairly

Its like night and day, I just sampled the SN Bigfoot barley and opened this to side by side them. Marin's offering is largely on the fruity, malted caramel side of the house and SN is huge hoppy citrus, young. You'd have to be a beer enthusiast to the millionth power to know these are in the same style because they are miles apart.

In the end I'd have to say this is a fairly easy drinking barleywine. If you want to ease your way into this style this may be a decent starter.

Photo of emmasdad
3.58/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

For years, when I lived in California, this was always one of my favorite barley wines. I brought this one back from San Diego in early April, forgot about it until I scrounged a few bottles of BA dipsea with brett, put it in the fridge and promptly forgot it again. Tonight, I am finally trying this one again after a long absence.

Pours a nice dark ruby color, although the initial 3/4" medium tan head quickly retreats to the sides. Nice aromas of light brown sugar, red apples and cherries. On the palate, I get a little more brown sugar sweetness, along with dark cherries, plums and a little toffee. Pretty good, but there are better barley wines out there.

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.52/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Another one of those familiar looking Marin Bombers screamed “you have not tried me yet – so buy me” from the Shelf. I hadn’t even seen this one before, so it was immediately snaffled.

It has the usual generic Marin Brewing Co. label; this one has a dark brown border with the words “Old Dipsea Barleywine Style Ale”. Listed as 9.0%ABV on the front label. Oh-oh!

Appearance: Dark cherrywood ebonious color with deep copper aspects. When backlit it has a massive auburn hue. A small, but smooth looking tan-brown collar-like head laces the glass with smattered rings & cobwebs.

Nose: One word, Malt-ethanolic. The label recommended serving this at 50-55°F, I did – but whatever temperature you prefer – the malt and alcohol just shines through this baby. Has a slight vinuous aspect as well.

Taste: Dominantly powerful alcoholic introduction coats the mouth with a huge flavor-packed malty backbone. Some dark skinned fruitiness mixes with chocolate raisins in the middle. The finish has a bitter hoppiness that bites hard at times. Very warming.

Drinkability: This is 9.0%ABV, and it certainly does not hesitate to let you know this. But it has a smooth strong malty dimension that takes the rough edges of the alcoholic compounds that can ruin a strong beer. The bitter-hop finish rounds off the harshness – a great strong beer with a good Drinkability.

Mouthfeel: Extremely powerful alcohol presence that dominates a malty mouthfeel. Highly warming with a bitter hoppiness and a rich malt vinegar turn at times, *very* nice.

Overall: This ‘SO’ reminded me of some Strong Cask Old Ales (Bullards Old) and other Xmas Beers that I used to drink in England over the years; the ones that have a powerful smack of alcohol and truly warm you. Many do not like the ‘alcohol’ aspect of Strong Ales & Barleywines – but I do. Another great beer from Marin, I’ll keep the other 2 bottles I have for a cold night, well that is if I ever experience one here in Long Beach, CA.

Bloody Fantastic!

Photo of brotherloco
4.06/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22oz capped bomber. 2012 bottle aged for a year in the cellar. Served in a snifter.

Drinking side-by-side with the barrel aged version.

Pours a hazed root beer brown with a razor thin beige head. Settles to a thin ring. No real lacing.

Aroma of molasses and brown sugar along with some sherry like oxidation. Dark fruits. Small amount of booze.

Flavor has a dry birch beer quality at first. Gets a touch sweeter through the middle. Roasty notes emerge in the middle and through the finish.

Medium-full bodied with fairly low carbonation. A very smooth and creamy mouthfeel.

I like both versions of this beer and don't think I have a favorite. The barrel aging and brett make the variations fairly different.

Photo of GClarkage
4.77/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

04/20/06- Purchased at Beverages and More in San Mateo, CA.

Presentation- 22oz bottle. Vintage 2004, although not dated on label. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Lightly murky brandy colored pour. Light 1/4 inch head with light streaks of lacing.

Smell- Dark fruits and sweet candies galore. Raisins, prunes, plums and figs. Don't forget about the sweet caramel, milk chocolate, toffee and light nutty whiff.

Taste- So much caramel and toffee intermixed together. Fruits aged and soaked in alcohol. Almost has a light brandy flavor. Maybe even a touch woody. Light and minimal hops, but they are there. This one is all flavorful malt. That and the nice milk chocolate coating it puts on your tongue.

Mouthfeel- Just a touch to much carbonation for an aged bottle. Other than that, very smooth, creamy and coating.

Drinkability- This is one of the most flavorful barleywines I have had the pleasure of consuming. I wonder how this tastes fresh? This one was aged almost 2 years. Nice change of pace where you aren't bombarded by hops. Super malty and delicious. Almost found it to be more of an english style than an american barleywine. Whatever...it was damn good.

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Old Dipsea Barleywine Style Ale from Marin Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 85 ratings.