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Old Blarney Barleywine - Moylan's Brewery

Old Blarney BarleywineOld Blarney Barleywine

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

306 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 306
Reviews: 236
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 12.21%

Brewed by:
Moylan's Brewery visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Quaffer on 02-26-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 306 | Reviews: 236 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of DrDemento456


3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Can't go wrong with a bomber purchased for $4.99 at Giant Eagle.

A - Wow gusher! The foam poured over the top and I had to catch some in my glass. Head is about a half inch that turns to a sticky lace ring. Color is a hazy dark brown.

S - Smells of a typical barleywine. Some slight figs, raisins, caramel malt and alchohol.

T - Taste is pretty thin I do get some barleywine tones. ABV is well masked though and its has a notable bit of caramel sweetness, bit of fruit, and slight bit of hops.

M - Medium bodied for sure but not as much as expected from the abv.

Overall even though it was a steal at 5 dollars a bomber it was about as tasty as "Killer Penguin" from Boulder. Can't impress anyone with a lackluster barleywine.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2011 01:48:15 | More by DrDemento456
Photo of UCLABrewN84


1.93/5  rDev -49.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a clear dark iced tea color with a 1 inch puffy beige head that fades to film. Thin rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is almost non-existent with maybe some malt aromas. Taste is non-existent too. The taste is also super weak like alcohol mixed with water and barely any malt flavors. This beer has a decent level of carbonation but seems a bit on the flatter side. Overall, this is a bad beer with an extremely weak smell and taste. I really hope this is a bad bottle because I am very disappointed with this beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2011 07:48:55 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of ChainGangGuy


3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle - $7.49 at Hop City in Atlanta, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a hazed, dark amber-orange body with just-off-white, sudsy head that settles out in a few minutes.

Smell: Appreciably sweetish, fairly malty, but with a good whiff of exposed alcohol as some aromatic notes of dried herbs, citrus, and tropical fruits flutter by.

Taste: Decidedly sweet caramel and toffee atop toasted grains and given a not necessarily needed dose of Domino-brand confectioners sugar. Flash of golden raisin. Hoppy tastes of orange and mango splashed with Rémy Martin and curt resins. Moderately bitter throughout. A sip of oversteeped tea, more raw sugar, and a fair amount of peppery alcohol leading to and beyond the bitter, drying finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation. Some small touch of stickiness.

Overall: Old Blarney is a barleywine blended up with a good degree of bitterness. It's a decent brew. Not great, but good.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2011 20:40:36 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of Daniellobo

District of Columbia

4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A rich caramel and toffee laden barleywine.

Presentation: 22oz brown capped bottle. Busy and identifiable Moylan's identity over brown background with Celtic embroidery, awards won, directions to the brewery, and finally a small paragraph with intent and description of the brew. Notes 10% Alc. by Vol. Served in a snifter glass.

A - Hazy amber to amber-brown pour with a good 1/2" frothy head, fair retention, good surface memory and some splashes of lacing.

S - Nice long nose, rather sweet, caramel, toffee, malty with a faint hoppy hint...

T - Malty range, sweetness over soft hops, caramel, toffee, toasted touches.. Bit of dark fruits, with a bit of a rummy boozy touch to it.

M - Medium/full body with medium carbonation, slightly sticky and smooth.

O - Not overly complex, but if one fancies the sweet edge on a barley wine this one works like a charm.

Notes: Another good quality offering from Moylan's. a bit too compact and repetitive but all in all in a rather pleasing way. I would not mind having a couple of bottles picking up some time.

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2011 17:11:30 | More by Daniellobo
Photo of canucklehead

British Columbia (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I think I have had this bottle for about a year and I am glad I opened it now as this is a fairly mellow BW that doesn't need tons of aging. The beer is on the softer side with the hops in place but mellowed in time. I found all the right BW flavours here but in a muted form which increased the drinkability but decreased the complexity. Not among the best American BWs but nothing really off putting other than bigger flavours needed.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2011 17:38:40 | More by canucklehead
Photo of OakedCanuck


3.55/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the Flying Saucer FW. Served in a snifter.

A - Copper-red with slightly off-white head. Decent lacing but was slick and the head didn't stay around long.

S - Fruity (pineapple, apples, lemon), toffee and candied sugars

T - Decently hoppy, more of a fruity resiny bittering. Strong caramel, toffee and some butterscotch malts. Pretty run of the mill barleywine flavour profile, not overly exciting.

M - Good balance, drying, sort of fizzy though.

O - Standard barleywine. Semi-sweet. Weird carbonation but didn't take away too much. Maybe some age would help out but decent enough.

Serving type: on-tap

05-16-2011 19:39:33 | More by OakedCanuck
Photo of daledeee


4.18/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 22 oz bottle.

This beer poured a very nice dark brown with off white head. A big head that stays around and leaves nice lace as well.

Nose is somewhat hoppy but not real strong.

Taste is very creamy with some hops but not as strong as some others I have had. The malt profile is very nice indeed.

This is a very easy beer to drink with a nice creamy mouth feel. Alcohol was not very noticable despite the high ABV.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2011 00:06:42 | More by daledeee
Photo of SkeeterHawk


4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

They just recently got these beers in Texas, and this is one of the few from this brewery's regular offerings that I haven't tried. Let's give it a shot:

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy burnt orange color like it should be with a small 1/4" head of off white foam on top. The head was about the same size for about 30 seconds before it started to fade. A tad of lace is left on the glass after drinking.

Aroma: The aroma is all barley wine. Tons of citrusy American hops mixed with lots of toasty malts with some caramel and everything that a barley wine should be. The alcohol is already adding a spicy complexity in addition to what the hops are putting in.

Taste: The flavor is also clean and very well crafted. The bittering is there, but is not dry and chalky as a lot of brewers tend to go for. The sweet malt is a big player in the flavor of this beer, but as it should, it fails in the end to the hops, which in this beer, give a rather subtle bitterness to linger with the alcohol and toasty notes for a while after the sip. The body is medium with ample to maybe high carbonation for the style, which is OK by me as these style typically are low in carbonation, so this is a nice change as it is hard to achieve. This all makes the beer quite drinkable for such a high ABV.

Opinion: Overall this is a really good example of an American Barley Wine. I like the blending of the hops to go with the rather typical malt bill. Though the hops are a strong player in the flavor, they only modestly dominate in the finish, aside from what a lot of brewers think...that if they make their IBUs over double the OG, they are making a Barley Wine. No, you are making hop extract with malt and alcohol in it. This beer is well crafted and I would put it up on my list of favorite American Barley Wines, no doubt. I would definitely give this beer a try...regardless of what beer you are into...you will probably like this beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2011 01:25:04 | More by SkeeterHawk
Photo of BDTyre

British Columbia (Canada)

3.43/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reddish mahogany colour coupled with a thick, slightly cream coloured head.

Raisins, brown sugar, light citrus hop scent. A bit harsh; the alcohol nose is fairly prominent.

Rich malts: hints of caramel, bread and even a bit of chocolate. After the initial taste, its a bit harsh. Bitter hops - not quite suited to a barleywine. Alcohol, and even a bit of a metallic taste.

Good carbonation, could be toned down a bit though. Not horrible, but I have to take this one slow.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2011 05:37:57 | More by BDTyre
Photo of olympuszymurgus


1.2/5  rDev -68.8%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

It is rare I really trash a brew. Untill Moylans cursed me with this brew.

Opens with a pop, pours nice, looks like any other classic american barleywine. But then the smell rolls off. Banana candy, powdered sugar, booze. I sip. O god, this is horrific banana sadness covered in cane sugar. I can go no further. To the drain.

The thing is, I saw them, and grabbed three bombers. I hoped it was the one bottle. I hopes wrong.

Second? opened with some beer friends. Five or six sips, down the drain.

Third? opened with a BA with a great taste. A sniff, a sip, down the drain.

Does it end there? No. I made it to the brewery and had a taster of the same beer, and it was mildly less offensive. I started chating the brewer and he was kind and receptive. Until I mentioned the bad bottles. I wasn't fishing for a replacement, and was just giving him a heads up. He acted indignant, flippantly said "That's distributions fault for treating the bottles poorly" and walked off in a huff.

Moylans- Bugger off.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2011 03:50:41 | More by olympuszymurgus
Photo of StoneTSR


4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

APPEARANCE: Split a bomber at Poppy's Pizza in Estas Park, Colorado after a fantastic meal. I'm not generally a huge fan of Moylan's labels, but I really liked the brown label on the Old Blarney. It seemed to fit the style and the beer itself very well. More importantly, though, once it left the bottle, the Old Blarney poured a deep, copper-red with a thick, foamy and off-white head. Good looking.

SMELL: Dynamite smell with some strong chocolate flavors and a some sweet malty notes as well.

TASTE: Quite hoppy for a Barleywine with as much malt as I smelled in it, which is a good thing. Again, there was plenty of chocolate present along with some sweet notes, but it finished much more dry than most Barleywines I've had.

MOUTHFEEL: Silky and smooth on the way down, this had a nice, warming mouthcoating feel.

OVERALL: After debating between two Barleywines for dessert I am very happy we went this direction. It was an excellent choice to finish off a fantastic meal.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2011 15:07:07 | More by StoneTSR
Photo of DIM


4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This bottle is at least a year old.

a: This was a clear, ruby tinted copper color. It poured with a thick, prodigiously sticky head.

s: Soft, mellow, and inviting. Lots of caramel and toffee along with some vanilla and something I want to call black tea are all blanketed by a gentle heat.

t: Lots of rich caramel opens things up with vanilla and brown sugar appearing soon after. After awhile faint dark fruits began to emerge. The finish adds some fairly strong leafy bitterness and some stiff, but not out of line, heat.

m: Medium bodied with slightly strong for the style carbonation.

o: Overall this is a very well crafted example of my favorite style. If it were in small bottles with a date stamp, this could become a regular in my cellar.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2011 10:44:34 | More by DIM
Photo of goblue3509


2.73/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a slightly hazy coppery reddish orangish color with a two finger off white brownish head, which recedes to skim. There is some good lacing left on the glass. The aroma is of caramel, dark fruits mainly raisin, pepper, and molasses. The taste has a caramel malt backbone with a big molasses and raisin/date taste along with a hint of tea. There wasn't much if any of a hop presence, and the dark fruits tended to dominate. The mouthfeel was creamy and slick with a nice alcohol feel. The drinkability is average, it is an okay barleywine but not the best in class. It was an okay drink, I took down the bottle but didn't really desire any more than that.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2011 21:20:07 | More by goblue3509
Photo of mdagnew

United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)

4.38/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

650ml bottle bought from Beersofeurope.co.uk...

Poured a deep coppery russet colour into a brandy snifter. Creamy head with some coppery tinges poured quite thick and rocky then faded to nice light ring around the edge of the glass. Barely any carbonation... some light frothy lacing...

Aroma - Lots of spicy piney hops, strong floral / perfume notes, peppery, herbal notes, caramel / honey sweetness, some burnt sugar notes, spicy fruits (apricots, oranges, some light figs), strong resinous notes, toasted bread, light biscuity malts, some faint leathery traces, grassy...

Taste - Strong peppery / spicy / floral hop bitterness to the fore followed by lots of caramel and malt sweetness, some spicy fruits (bitter oranges, tart apples, some figs), candied peel, dark muscovado sugar traces, herbal, some anise, toasted bread, some woody notes, warming alcohol comes through...

M&D - Very smooth and creamy with just a little bite underneath. Full bodied... dangerously drinkable at 10%

Overall - Another excellent US barley wine... definitely recommended...

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2011 14:08:37 | More by mdagnew
Photo of Docer


4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Found a bottle of this at Belmont Station in SE Portland... love barleys.. had to try it... and it reminds me of an old Ford two-tone green 70's truck my Dad had which he named 'Blarney'.

- Deep semi-cloudy brown ale color.. rich copper, molasses... thick foam.. 1 finger... down to half... sticks around... lace all about.

- Rich burnt caramel... candied layer coating the bottom of a frying pan.. whispers of charred caramel.. bright hops, zest.. bitterness tries but fails..

- Total bright waters, zesty bitter hops, grassy pine and earth.. caramel madness... subtle, balanced... pure.. really good. The smell might make you think it is too sweet when it is not. Great touch and balance. Well made.

- Medium bodied.. not very thick.. slightly dry and cloying which I would expect from the style...

- Dangerous... balanced, and good. Why I don't see this barleywine mentioned among others I hear too often... I don't know. A great barley, and one I wish were local so I could always have a few around.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2011 04:16:55 | More by Docer
Photo of Bookseeb


3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance is a see through dark brown with an off white healthy head leaving a light lace. Smell has a weak aroma of lightly roasted malts and dark fruits. Taste has a sweet roasted malt richness with a good balance of hops leaving a roasted bitterness in the end. Mouthfeel is heavy viscous with good carbonation. I've had better, but still not bad for a nice winter warmer.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2010 00:28:57 | More by Bookseeb
Photo of womencantsail


3.33/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: The pour is copper/dark amber in color with a soapy looking tan head.

S: The nose is sort of a bland, uninteresting blend of brown sugar, molasses, caramel, and toasted malts and bread. Perhaps there are some dark fruits in there too, but it's a bit of a reach.

T: Typical, basic barleywine flavors here. Bread forward malts with some caramel, toffee, and a lot of toasted malt flavors. There's a moderate level of hop bitterness and some hints of alcohol.

M: The body is nothing too out of the ordinary: medium, and the carbonation is moderate as well.

D: Not a bad beer at all, but there's not too much about it that is interesting either. No real reason to come back to this one with so many other good barleywines out there.

Serving type: on-tap

12-07-2010 01:04:04 | More by womencantsail
Photo of StoneBrewFanatic


4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours copper in color with just about a finger of head, pretty good retention and excellent lacing.

S - Caramel malts and hops prevail, some dark fruit, citrus, and just a touch of alcohol.

T - Really a fantastic tasting barlywine, huge caramel malts and excellent hops, nice sweetness, dark fruits, brown sugar, great bitter sweet finish.

M - Pretty sticky, medium to heavy in body, well balanced.

D - Rather bold, not sure I could handle more than one bomber, but really good all around, I am pleased!

Serving type: bottle

10-20-2010 03:27:40 | More by StoneBrewFanatic
Photo of avalon07

South Carolina

4.33/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a dirty brown color and a thick, murky texture. There was an inch of tan-colored, fairly long-lasting, foamy head. Decent lacing.

S: A big, bold aroma of hops, caramel, sugar and malt.

T: Tasted of caramel and hops up front, with brown sugar, malt and some dark fruits in the finish. A strong, complex and satisfying flavor.

M: An OK amount of carbonation with a slick finish. Full-bodied.

D: If you like American barleywines, this one is worth checking out. Drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2010 12:06:17 | More by avalon07
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

4.38/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle that was at least 2.5 years old, into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright copper color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains brown sugar, citrus, dark fruit, caramelized malts, some alcohol and a good amount of hops.

T: The taste starts out with a brief alcohol bite that is quickly followed by a hearty malt character and sweet flavors of caramel, citrus, dark fruit and brown sugar. The hops presence is still pretty strong for a beer of this age and makes me curious to try this beer fresh. The mellowed balance that you find with aged barleywines is certainly there especially after the beer warms a bit. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Very tasty, goes down dangerously easily, not too filling, strong kick, very good representation of style, this is a very good high-octane beer that seems to have benefited greatly from age.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2010 03:10:17 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of 4000qtrap


3/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2 Reviews here. The 2008 and 2009 both aged 1 year. Score is for 2009 version.

Old Blarney Barleywine 2008 Reserve (Moylan's) Reviewed Jan 2010 B+
Source/Serving: Draft

Smell: Flowery with residual grapefruit notes that have faded slightly (likely) due to aging. Rich, sweet brown sugar and caramel with a hint of vanilla and cabernet notes.

Taste: Grassy, fruit skin bitterness at the outset which slowly gives way to mellow and dark, but not at all roasty, malts. Extra, almost overripe fruit notes and dark caramel ride on top of the mellow bitterness that's present throughout. Astringent alcohol is noticeable. Finish is very, very dry with continued fruit skin and grassy notes.

2009 Version Review
Source serving: Draft. 2009 version aged 1 year.

Beautiful ruby color to this.

Smell: Heaps of brown sugar, some spiciness that's mostly clove, nice ample syrup with a hint of an oaky edge.

Taste: Very smooth, semisweet caramel and spice overall. Up front there is smooth ripe berries and sweet caramel with some underlying banana. Residual hop bitterness shows in the middle with a grassy and piney edge with slight tobacco notes and burnt wood along with a moderately dry, spicy edge. Finish is quite bitter, dry, herbal, and spicy.

Compared to the 2008 version which I really liked this was a bit disappointing. Similar overall but less intense, less fruity, less vanilla.

Serving type: on-tap

07-11-2010 22:47:01 | More by 4000qtrap
Photo of AgentZero


3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Very dark brown brew with some red highlights and and a light brown foamy head that dissipated with some sheet lace on the sides.

S - Brown sugar, dark fruits, lot of malts. Little bit of caramel.

T - Mostly brown sugar, little bit of chocolate. This is a very sweet brew. SOme roasted malts, little bit of char taste in the middle.

M - High carbonation, medium bodied, the carbonation combined with the sweetness makes it seem like a lighter beer than it is.

D - Hides the 10% well, but the sweetness makes this hard to choke down after a while.

Serving type: on-tap

06-21-2010 02:12:00 | More by AgentZero
Photo of jrallen34


4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap into a tulip at Small Bar...Super dark brown very a bw, light tan head, good retention and lacing...Aroma is nice, caramel and malty light hop finish. This is definetly a sweeter bw. Doesn't really remind you a true bw but its tasty and highly drinkable. Heads the 10% really well.

I woulnd't seek this out, but its worth a try.

Serving type: on-tap

06-21-2010 00:53:36 | More by jrallen34
Photo of emmasdad


3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a somewhat murky, medium-brown color, with ruby highlights and about an inch or ecru foam, which quickly recedes to the sides of the glass, leaving a slick with bubbles across the top. Some hop in the nose, along with some dark fruits, plums and brown sugar. On the palate, this one is more malty, with caramel, brown sugar and some hops and alcohol on the finish.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2010 04:30:50 | More by emmasdad
Photo of Metalmonk

North Carolina

4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Been sitting on top of this one awhile, figured it was time to release the liquid from its prison. After the pour, a classic-looking barleywine sits in the snifter: candy-apple red turned to rust; bountiful off-white head (which disappears under all that alcoholic weight to a scummy skim and a crown); small lace splats 'n' splotches.

Nose is somewhat subdued, considering the style and ABV. There's a layer of alcohol over everything else--the vanilla, the toffee, the spruce tips, the cherry/fig/raisin. Sherry-like.

The aroma apparently doesn't give up all the beer's secrets, as it's a somewhat different beast on the tongue. Not sure how old it is...I held onto it for several months at least (a record for me, maybe), yet it still feels pretty green, hops-wise. It's mingled nicely, though, with the sherry-like alcohol and beastly toffee/caramel malt. There are flashes of dark fruits too, but it's mostly the alcohol and hops that dominate right now (right into the finish, too, which is pretty dry, as barleywines go). I'm sure further aging what bring out what appears to be a pretty interesting malt character.

The mouthfeel is slippery, buttery, round, with the perfect amount of carbonation--not too much, not too little. Were it creamier and a little thicker, it would be a perfect "5."

As said, I'll bet this would do even better with some aging. I guess here's where I make another plea for mandatory "bottled on" dating. Would be a great help to us beer consumers who give a crap about those kinds of things. As with all Moylan's stuff I've had so far, I'd definitely buy this again.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2010 21:54:20 | More by Metalmonk
Old Blarney Barleywine from Moylan's Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 306 ratings.