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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: 337
Avg: 3.84
pDev: 14.32%
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 239 | Hads: 337
Photo of Halcyondays
4.47/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bomber,

A: Pours a deep mahogany with a mild off-white head, solid retention, spotty lace.

S: Great sweet almost oxidized malt character, light hoppiness. Great smell.

T: Delicious full malt character. Not a huge hop flavour, but it makes its presence felt, especially with that hit of mint at the end that glides into a long finish. Well balanced for how big it is, never boozy, a good flavour.

M: Full-bodied, soft carbonation, very easy going, elegant.

O: Since Moylan's has no dates on their bottles I'm wondering how old this, since it has some characteristics of 1 to 2 year old barleywine. But I believe this is it probably at its best so I will review it as such. This is a beer I had a long time ago, probably '05 and haven't had since so I wanted to revisit it. Great barleywine and at under $6 a bomber a real bargain this day and age. Really good.

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Photo of jmdrpi
2.91/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle, no date

appears a hazy orange-red dark copper color, with 1/2" off-white head. good head retention.aroma is malty, with some piney hops.

taste starts sweet and malty, a little boozy. but a lingering minty flavor that is off-putting. mouthfeel is a bit sticky, coats the mouth. good level of carbonation.

overall - average at best.

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Photo of SWMeyer4141
2.46/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Poured into Great Divide tulip...

Appearance-Dark burnt orange body. Just an absurd amount of of carbonation bubbles clinging to the side of the glass. The head is about 2 fingers with sticky lacing clinging to the glass. Very nice.

Smell-Faded hops, but I'm not going to think less of the beer, maybe I should drank this fresh. I think this is from the spring of 2010, I may be wrong. Smell is of subtle fruit cakeiness, and dark caramel malts.

Taste-Before even picking up the flavors it's hard to look pass the water down flavors of this beer. Yes, it taste's like a barleywine, fruity, caramel malt, slight chocolate in there as well, but it's just so watery. The finish is just of straight booze as well. This isn't enjoyable at all, not one bit.

Mouthfeel-Looks carbonated but it's definitely lacking it in the mouth. Watery, boozy, and just bad beer.

Overall-This beers been sitting in my closet for a long ass time and I felt like a Barleywine, I will not be finishing this whole bomber, pass.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.77/5  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.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
1.96/5  rDev -49%
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.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

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Photo of Daniellobo
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

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Photo of canucklehead
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
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.

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Photo of OakedCanuck
3.55/5  rDev -7.6%
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.

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Photo of daledeee
4.18/5  rDev +8.9%
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.

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.12/5  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.

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Photo of BDTyre
3.41/5  rDev -11.2%
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.

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Photo of olympuszymurgus
1.22/5  rDev -68.2%
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.

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Photo of StoneTSR
4.12/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

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Photo of DIM
4.13/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

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Photo of goblue3509
2.73/5  rDev -28.9%
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.

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Photo of mdagnew
4.37/5  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...

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Photo of Docer
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

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Photo of Bookseeb
3.81/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.31/5  rDev -13.8%
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.

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Photo of StoneBrewFanatic
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
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!

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Photo of avalon07
4.32/5  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.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.35/5  rDev +13.3%
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.

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Photo of 4000qtrap
3/5  rDev -21.9%
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.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.8/5  rDev -1%
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.

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