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Old Blarney Barleywine - Moylan's Brewery

Not Rated.
Old Blarney BarleywineOld Blarney Barleywine

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

239 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 239
Hads: 336
Avg: 3.84
pDev: 11.98%
Wants: 15
Gots: 13 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Moylan's Brewery visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Quaffer on 02-26-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 239 | Hads: 336
Photo of stortore
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

22 ounce bottle into a snifter. I've had it for about a year.

A bit lighter color than typical. Not much of a head, some lacing. Smells of barley, malt, still a good hop aroma. Also a little caramel and a bready aroma. Still a pretty strong citrusy hop taste, considering the age. Taste continues the barley and malt, kind of a sweetness on the back end. Very good body, well carbonated.

This is a good, standard barleywine, tasty. Nothing unique.

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Photo of jellikit
3.86/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: copper. Clear. Small, thin head.
Aroma: burnt caramel.
Taste: caramel. Toasted bread. Citrus hop in there hidden by malt. A little pine.
Mouthfeel: medium to medium-high carbonation. Slightly sweet.
Overall: bAlanced very well. Not too hoppy, sweet, or boozey. Like it.

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Photo of martyl1000
2/5  rDev -47.9%

I realize there's the matter of subjectivity, here. But, my God, this was bad. I've rated 500 beers in the past three years. And this is my first drain pour.

It's all wrong for a barley wine. It comes off more like a confused Baltic porter: roasty to a fault and watery on the back end. The aroma is actually barley wine material. But flavor in the mouth makes me wonder if this bottle was stored improperly at my bottle shop, or what.

Gold and silver medals at the World Beer Championships? WTF??

Just to clear my name with all the fans of this beer, I'm now opening another barley wine in the wake of Old Blarney disappointment: Central Waters Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine. Oh, yeah. That's the stuff.

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Photo of BierJager89
4.14/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours an amber/red color, opaque with a tan head.

S: Citrus and fresh orange in a faint nose.

T: Nectary, cherry, citrus, plum, fig, raisin, decent malt backbone.

M: Full bodied and fairly smooth.

O: Definitely recommended. I'd love to try the barrel aged version.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
3.84/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Old Blarney pours a reddish color with a small lacing head. There is a fruity, and dry like aroma. The taste is dry, with a dry fruity flavor, and a mellow malty sharpness. Very easy to drink good full body. Overall its a solid barleywine however a bit on the boring side.

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Photo of SmashPants
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle: big, solid 650mL brown bottle, old-school label.

Appearance: a small, one-fingered beige head sits atop a slightly hazy golden body. Decent lacing, good retention.

Aroma: a combination of malts - bread, caramels and some burnt coffee. Some dark fruits in there as well.

Taste: those malt flavours are the main force behind the taste. Plenty of different malts as in the aroma, which is a great experience. Not much suggestion that this is a 10% ABV beer.

Aftertaste: not all that much on the finish, funnily enough. A teensy bit of hop bitterness, but not all that much else.

Mouth feel: medium in body with a fairly low carbonation, which seems perfect to me. A good beer to sit and sip, which is a good thing considering the price.

Overall: this is the first barley wine I have had, and the first thing that struck me is how similar it is to many beer styles; I almost expected it to be as dissimilar as spiced mead. I have to admit though, it is a fantastically thick, flavoursome and powerful beer style. I think I've found a new style to keenly watch out for.

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Photo of thecheapies
3.54/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A year or so old.

Not much light peeks through this reddish chestnut brew. The head is rich and dense; almost two inches. Lacing is nice.

Chocolate, toffee, brown bread, dark caramel, slight earthy muck. Very light note of browned apple.

Rustic and dry. Toasty, light pomme, heavy toffee, and more chocolate. The booze is also an ingredient. Robust tobacco flavors. Earthy, but not satisfying or savory. Nearly complete in its lack of sweetness. It almost seems attenuated without sugars. Still a little muck. Not abrasive, just not fulfilling.

Feels wooly with medium carbonation. Body is a notch over medium. Smoothness is skimpy with breathy booze.

Too dry. No hoppiness left, which is fine, but the maltiness is not bragging. A passable barleywine.

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Photo of cdkrenz
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Poured into a snifter the brew is topped with a nice light tan head as thick as my pinky. The body is a deep brown. This head has some serious stamina.

S - Malty with a big apricot nose and a head of malt. It actually smells thick.

T - Certainly a malt and hop filled beverage. The rich malt is well balanced against the hops which are only slightly more prevalent than the maltiness.

M - It feels a nice and thick, which I like in a barleywine.

~ This is a tasty brew with all the fine attributes I like in a barleywine. I recommend it.

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 64 ounce growler into a St. Bernardus glass. Filled this morning at the brewery.

A: A light finger of head has decent retention. The beer is a translucent amber with pleasant golden hue.

S: Sugars, bland malt, and a hint of alcohol.

T: Mmm. Big, rich, and deep. Coffee bitterness, a hint of dull hops, and alcoholic strength dominate these flavours.

M: Rather flat. It was much better on tap.

O: A pleasant barleywine, but nothing to rave about. I would have it again, and tentatively recommend it, but not above Hopsickle.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gift from Bruce, thanks for the opportunity!
Pours a slightly hazy golden brown with a smallish tan head that persists for bit before leaving spotty lace on the glass. Aromas of dark sugars and fruits with brown sugar, caramel, cherry, plum, and orange providing the bulk of the nose. The flavor is sweet with brown sugar and caramel and lots of rich juicy dark fruits. A touch of alcohol and a bit of earthy citrus hops provide a nice balance to mix. Medium to thick body with a light to moderate level of carbonation and a sweet fruity slick mouthfeel. This a very nice barleywine, its very smooth and tasty, I'm surprised its flown so far under the radar until now.

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Photo of tdm168
3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to jtd1969 for bringing this to the Barleywine tasting.

A - clear amber with a soft, short-lived head

S - bread, sugar, faint hops, alcohol

T - bread, sugar, alcohol, faint dark fruit, some chocolate

M - full bodied, well carbonated, warm

This is a solid beer with solid flavor. It's rich, sweet, bitter, and a tad boozy. I enjoyed it, but I did wish it was a bit more malt with some caramel. With all the Barleywines out there, I'm not sure I'll be having this again.

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Photo of dgilks
3.31/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Clearish amber colour with a creamy, tan head. Good lacing. Fair head retention.

Rich malty aroma. Some fruit and lots of earthiness. Some citrus notes. Interesting.

Malty but then it hits with a mass of bitterness. Quite earthy but there are light touches of citrus. Okay.

Medium-full body with moderate carbonation.

A basic American Barleywine. Uninteresting on the whole and the bitterness is a bit harsh.

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Photo of DovaliHops
3.6/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very hazy ruby red color with a hint of brown to it. Small off-white head. Scent is very sweet. Dark fruits and a bit of alcohol. Slight toffee and brown sugar. Taste is initially alcohol with lovely, sweet dark fruits. A lot of raisin and prune. A good amount of caramel malt with some burnt molasses flavors. Not overly boozy like some of the reviews stated...maybe this is an older bottle. Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied...a little thin for this style. Drinkability is fairly high, somewhat well-balanced. Overall, this is nowhere near one of my favorite barleywines, but it isn't a bad one by any means.

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Photo of scruffwhor
2.95/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Ruby-esque copper color. Flash in the pan head, but I like the bubbling.

Boozey toasted malt syrup of sweet white bread crust some plums and prunes. Pretty WARM aroma though.

Thin mouthfeel upfront, with some abv% warmth. Some toasty figs, light caramelized prunes, sweet biscuit crust, and maybe some sweet plums. But keep in mind there's a strong underliying abv% presence in the flavor and mouthfeel. The palate is thin and warm. This is not a bad sipper. Keep in mind, I've been holding on to this beer for over a year, and this American barleywine is a bit too harsh. I will not buy again.

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Photo of billab914
4.06/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured in to my Dogfish snifter. It had a great looking dark ruby color to it when held up to the light. A thin, frothy head covers the top of the beer. Good head retention and lacing as I drank it. The color was really awesome though.

The aroma has a rich maltiness to it with notes of caramel, toffee and chocolate malts. For an American version, it's a little more reserved in the hoppiness department but I do get a little citrus hops in it.

The taste shows a lot of really nice malty flavors to it as well. I get more caramel to it with some brown sugar sweetness and some toasted malts. Again, the hoppiness is pretty reserved but does seem to give it some good balancing bitterness in the finish.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with carbonation being on the lower side. Overall, I thought it was a very good version of the style. I really liked that even though it's an American version the malts still seemed like the star of the show. Very enjoyable beer to sip on this afternoon.

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Photo of Drinkerofales
3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours straight brown, with crimson in the light. A large mocha head fully dissipated to a ring, that left some nice lacing.

First smell is bready malt, then some fig, caramel, booze, and a touch of leather.

It has some pine and punch up front, followed by sweet malts, then back to a bitter finish, all with a dark fruit undertone.

It's not quite a thick beer, but it's very smooth, and the abv is well hidden, and it gets smoother as it warms.

Nice job here my Moylan's, a pretty good beer. Just enough pine up front for the wife to like it, and enough complexity to make it good.


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Photo of danieelol
3.43/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a brown-gold colour. Good head/lacing.

Aroma is alcohol, nuts, synthetic toffee. Pretty classic stuff really. Bit of yeast. Almost a bit of date-y smoked malt.

Taste is well-balanced with a bit of hop bite.

Mouthfeel is medium with decent carb and high alcohol burn.

Pretty classic barleywine. Not to my tastes but it's well made.

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Photo of Kromes
3.77/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: A hazy copper color with a soapy head.

S: Caramel malt with slight hop, and a fruity alcohol aroma.

T: Up front, the alcohol and caramel malt is apparent. There is a smokey peat flavor in there and also some earthy hop. From the aroma, I was expecting it to be sweeter than it actually is. It is actually rather dry. The finish is spicy and warm from the alcohol with a little bit of fruity ester. There is also a dryness and bitterness from the earthy hop.

M: Medium-Heavy body with low carbonation. There is a peppery feel from the alcohol and dryness from the lack of sweetness.

O: The flavors and aroma of the beer are decent, but they are lacking a bit in comparison to other Barleywines out there. This beer is a deviation from the normal hop heavy and sweet American Barleywines. It is on more of a sessionable level due to this....makes it rather dangerous.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.8/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

almost more like an imperial irish red than a barleywine. pours a hazy dark red color with a decent white head. smells like an irish red, with a lot of dusty amber malts and a dry yeast variety. flavor is similar, but with just a hint of alcoholic sweetness characteristic of a barleywine. i would never ever guess this beer was ten percent. ever. mouthfeel is really weird, its almost flat. not from lack of carbonation exactly, but from lack of change from start to finish. it just sort of sits there doing nothing. i dont know, its not right in a way. almost dull in the mouth, but strong burn when you hold it in. hard to explain. overall a cool brew, but not a barleywine as i conceptualize them

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Photo of angelmonster
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

No bottled on or freshness date, guessing this beer is about 6 to 10 months old.

Pours a dark copper body with light bronze highlights. Head is 1/2 inch tan/sand color. Head retention and lacing are both good for a barleywine.

Smell is big on dried stone fruits. Lots of apricot, fig, dates, and prunes. Caramel malts and candied belgian rock sugar is also prevalent. Smells almost as much as a dark Belgian strong ale as a barleywine. Hops are lightly present, very earthy, and alcohol is not really in the mix.

Taste is of burnt caramelized sugar, hops are way more apparent now than in the nose. Hops are very earthy, hard to describe, almost like angostura bitters. Leaves a dirty, dull, bitterness in the mouth, almost the exact opposite from tropical and floral hops you get from beers like PtY and Hop Stoopid, not that I'm trying to compare this beer to them. Sweetness and Maltyness (yes I made that word up) really lack and let me down. Would have loved some sweet malt and buttery diacetyls to counter the weird bitterness. Instead I was greeted with slight oxidation and semi tart dried fruit ie: apricot and fig. On the bright side, for 10 percent alcohol, it is rather smooth.

Mouthfeel is abit lighter than most barleywines. It is also a little higher carbonated also. Head was present but it just had too much stacked against it to make a difference in the consistency of the beer.

Overall, this was an above average beer but a par barleywine. I like the style but the flavors were off and it made for an odd tasting beer. This beer gets points for being a smooth 10% barleywine but other than that, there are many others I'd rather drink before I would revisit this one.

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Photo of Cylinsier
3.92/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Pours an hazy orangish honey color, glows red when held to light. Medium yellow-white head dissipates to a lacing very slowly.

Smells of rich caramel and buttered bread, with some tart apple sweetness.

Tastes strongly of pine hops and more mildly floral hoppy with apple sweetness and bready maltiness hidden behind the hops.

Full, thick mouthfeel with subtle stinging carbonation on the roof of the mouth.

A delicious barleywine that is just a bit to hoppy for me to love, but it is an American BW afterall, so I'm not surprised. For the style, excellent. My personal preference is still more for the English variety, but this is still worth trying and I'll enjoy every last drop. A definite sipper though.

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Photo of
3.82/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber poured into a chimay glass

Hazy deep amber with bright ruby highlights. Small creamy beige head that dies quickly.

Aromas rich with dried fruits - figs and raisins in particular, lots of brown sugar aswell. Theres toffee in there somewhere, and definitely some herbal hop notes.

On the palate a bitterness emerges thats complex and satisfying, a combination between a charred malt character and resiny hops. Theres chewy caramel aswell, although I think the extra effort invested in the bitterness should be noted.

Overall I really enjoyed this beer, because I love the style. Nothing amazing, just a solid, textbook barleywine.

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Photo of StaveHooks
3.94/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. poured into a snifter.

A - Pours an orange hued amber color with a bubbly cream head provide average lacing.

S - Rich caramel/toffee malt, bready nutty yeast, figs, cherries, persimmons, over ripened apples, plantains.

T - Toasted toffee/caramel malt comes through with a lingering grain flavor. Honey and fruit sweetness comes out with dried plantains, stone fruit, and figs. Citrus pith and some pine add subdued bitterness to the edges of the thick malt. Toasted nuts come to mind. Citrus and pine hops carry through the semi-dry finish.

M - Full bodied, low to medium carbonation, smooth and chewy, tea tannins stick to the tongue on the aftertaste.

This drinks super easy. It's not overly complex but it didn't have to be. Just a well rounded straight-forward Barleywine. Not sure how old this is but seems to have a little age on it. Big malt, plenty of yeast, and a nice citrus hop flavor.

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Photo of vancurly
3.91/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a) Good, finely beaded bubbling, supporting a dense beige head. Bright russet chestnut, orange highlights. Looks the part.

s) Strong malt nose, with an interesting black olive note. Biscotti/almond, breadcrust.

t) Transatlantic to me. Seems to start English but turns American. Opens with a rich malt profile, with some cigar box and peanuts. Light molasses. Mid to back palate bring the hops forth. Beer nut skins, briar & pine. Bitterness is long and steady, almost sage or lavender-like in herbal complexity. Very interesting.

m) Rich without being heavy. Slick without being oily. Tongue-coating & lip-tingling, with a slight heat. Finishes quite crisply.

d) A balanced & rewarding drink. Plenty of interest here.

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

A - Pours a mahogany/cherry color with minimal lacing that is a creamy, off-white color. Carbonation is totally lacking and the lacing stickis to the sides of the glass like glue.

S - Toasted caramel toffee, cocoa, smells rich, but not much more.

T - Toasted caramel/toffee malt sweetness up front with minimal traces of chocolate that ends with intermingled citrus bitterness after the sip. There's a lingering bitterness that involves all the tastes that came through previously along with some piney bitterness.

M - Medium thick body, lip smacking stickyness from the sugary malt, and mild alcohol warming on the way down.

O - I've always enjoyed this beer, it's a solid barley wine.

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Old Blarney Barleywine from Moylan's Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 239 ratings.