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Barrel Aged Old Toad Barleywine | Bullfrog Brewery

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Barrel Aged Old Toad BarleywineBarrel Aged Old Toad Barleywine
36 Ratings
Barrel Aged Old Toad BarleywineBarrel Aged Old Toad Barleywine

Brewed by:
Bullfrog Brewery
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Deuane on 01-27-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 36 |  Reviews: 26
Photo of Sammy
3.62/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep brown with no head, enjoyed on tap at the brewpub. Little carbonation. Chocolate and bourbon,and whiskey with coconut and vanilla residue from the wood.All of this offset a bit of hop flavour. Also brown sugar and tad mollasses. American style barleywine though the brewer himself treats it as an English. Average or a tad above mouthfeel. Its OK.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.72/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to iceicebaby for sharing this one. Served in a tasting snifter.

A - Pours with minimal carbonation - a thin ring of bubbles and a few wisps floating on top, with some microscopic dots of lace left behind. Hazy dark ruby-brown color.

S - Apples, treacle, toasted grains, some fruity and estery alcohol, leather, and a little too much oak for my liking. Not very much bourbon/whiskey character at all.

T - Caramel apples, oak, alcohol, and a somewhat unpleasant bitter and astringent finish. Not sure if it's from citrus hops or oak (or both), but it verges on walnuts for me.

M - Low carbonation, sticky and full-bodied, light but appropriate alcohol heat, and a tannic oaky finish. Pretty good for the style.

D - Not a bad beer, but finish is overly bitter and astringent and oak tends to dominate in general. It's not a bad beer by any stretch, but doesn't compare favorably to the other barleywines we sampled - even the overcarbonated 6-year-old BA Old Salty. I'd give it another shot to see if oxidation and storage conditions played a part, but I wouldn't actively seek this out again.

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Photo of Reagan1984
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

Photo of akorsak
3.9/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A 750 mL bottle purchased at the brewpub. Brewed on 4-Oct-07 and bottled on 15-Apr-08. In my cellar for close to two years.

A: The barleywine has a ruddy brown-red color seems to glow with dull red notes at times. In my glass, the barleywine generated a few fingers of head before dissapating. Thin wisps of lace hand around.

S: The nose is sweet, intensely strong with the lush barleywine notes taking center stage. Oak scents, vanilla in particular poke through the barleywine morass. Brown sugar follows the barrel.

T: The oak is present from the first sip, a sweet vanilla flavor the runs headlong into the rich barleywine malts. The barleywine flavors, the more I dwell on them, detract from the sweet vanilla of the oak. The thick malts have a molasses flavor that mixes with concentrated dark fruits to create a potent taste. The oak smooths the beer out, softening the maltiness. Caramel and vanilla, as the beer warms, emerge as the competing tastes. A mouthful but I'm enjoying it (just don't ask me to drive anytime soon).

M: The mouthfeel is bourbony smooth, vanilla and all. The barleywine is treacly and full, beast of an ale that needs the barrel to cool it down.

D: At 11.5% the beer is a sipper. My head is spinning and I have 1/3 of the bottle to go.

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Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.98/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Old toad 2008

A- Translucent, nearly opaque dark cherry body. Served w/ a one 1/2 finger creamy off-white head. Good retention.

S-Dark Cherry, sour plum, raisin, and molasses come through initially with a slightly funky backbone. Nose is dark and fruity with very little to no notes of alcohol.

T- Sour plum, raisin, cherry pits, and a hint of candied sugar upfront with a substantial barley malt and spicy yeast backbone. The malt characteristics come through much more for the finish and the spicy yeast comes through more as well with a bit of alcohol astringency added. Finish is somewhat dry with a big alcohol heat lingering.

M- Body is quite smooth and creamy with medium weight and medium carbonation-with no alcohol consistency whatsoever. Wonderful and well put together.

D- The hops are long gone and this is more of an english barleywine than an american. I'm not huge on barleywines-but this is one of the best I have had with a smooth and rich flavor. A little bit too boozy to have more than 8 or so oz of-however.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ditmier provided this one... thanks buddy... I appreciate you hanging on to this one for so long.. brewed 10/4/7

Dark cloudy brown... head is sorta yellowish and a bit thin... okay lacing as the glass drops.

Nose is pretty sweet with bunches of caramel and some vanilla that adds to the overall sweetness... smells more oaky than bourbony.

Flavor has a distinct nuttiness with some brown sugar... alot of wood... ahhh there's the bourbon... plenty of vanilla.. raisins and fig ... maybe even some plum... seems a touch English...

Pretty okay carbonation given the pretty hefty body and abundant boozy qualities.

Really glad I was able to try this one.... Very cool of you Eric!!


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Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of deapokid
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of whallgren
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of CoolJosh
4.02/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a pint glass. This beer doesn't look that great in my opinion. The body is a very dark ruddy brown red. There is very little off white head that retains at a thin layer with some very little lacing on the side.

The smell is reminiscent of that typical Bullfrog wild yeast strain scent, which adds an interesting lemon fresh scent. There is a great toasted pecan and toasted toffee scent. There is a light tart cherry scent. The hops smell completely faded, producing a tea smell that works well with everything else going on here.

The taste is good. Very full bodied with a lot of roasted caramel that produces a nice lightly harsh taste. There is a light alcohol taste on the end that should fade with time. Not really tasting the barrel age, although there is a slight vanilla taste. A pretty good offering from Bullfrog.

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Photo of JAXSON
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2009 rate. 750ml bottle poured into a snifter. I probably should have more fully gotten over my cold before I drank this one, but I think my rating is legit. Really malty on the nose with a whiff of bourbon. Pours a really pretty clear garnet with a thin ring of tiny bubbles. Weird cobweb shapes persist after the head fades. Really pretty to look at, like most Bullfrog beers. Heavy malt presence, and a very rich, lush tone. Not overly fruity, but nuanced and refined. Really good, especially as it warms. Cherry skins come to mind. I wish the malt character was somewhat softer, and maybe more thickness in the mouth, but overall this is another great beer from Bullfrog. *In retrospect this beer was much better fresh (2009) as the malt was more prominent and the body more complex.

Late 2010 rate. Downgrading this a bit as the caramel malt has fallen off a bit. This is a bit more disjointed now, though still pretty nice. Released the same time as Wooden Hell and on par with it initially, the two beers have gone in opposite directions. Some leafy oxidation in the finish that's distracting.

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Photo of Deuane
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Barrel aged for almost a full year. Enjoyed as part of the Bullfrog Holiday Bash.

A-Deep copper with a thin light tan head that held on well. Vague,spotty lace left behind.

S-Rich, sweet caramel malt up front with light bourbon notes in the background. Oak dryness becomes more prevalent upon warming.

T-Sweet caramel blends effortlessly with dry oak notes. Nice backing punch of vanilla on the back end.

M-Medium body, quite smooth with a dry oak finish. Nice,long lasting astringency.

D-Dry, sweet and smooth...nice complexity and good melding of flavours. So lovely to have this one a year in the barrel!

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Photo of Slatetank
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

thanks very much to tenderbranson69 for letting me taste from this growler- poured chilled into a snifter.

A- A dark translucent caramel colored liquid w/ quick escaping head which turns to a ring of tan. The carbonation is still visible and legs cling to the glass as it is swirled

S -The smell is like sticky buns, a really caramelly sweet nose w/ bready and toasted undertones. nuts and mild toffee add to the aroma w/ light alcohol in the nose.

M - A sweet thick feel w/ slight bitterness in the middle and long dry warming finish

T - A sweet dark sugar and walnut-like dark earthy taste. The flavor has mild hop tastes that add contrast w/ mild currant and plum notes and a hint of nutmeg w/ slight vanilla caramel tinges. A buttery toffee taste emerges as the beer finishes w/ dry peppery flavors and mild taste of bourbon and wood.

D - A very intense beer, the 11.5% is not a surprise, but well worth a nice deep quaff on a cool rainy night. The drinkability is very good considering the strength and this comes off slightly hot still. I would probably only go for 1/2 pint to be reasonable

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Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Tasted at the big "SeaBass has got to go" tasting and big thanks to askofficerfriendly, over on ratebeer, for this one. Pours kind of amber with ruby copper hues and off white head. The aroma is a bit of grapefruit hops, some spicy hops, sweet malts, mild caramel and some molasses too. The taste has a tasty mix of prunes and molasses and then going toward sweet bourbon and just an hint of wood about midway. To the finish I get the addition of muted aged pine hops, some sugary sweet malts, more bourbon and a sense of oak where the bourbon begins to get a bit harsh but still totally in control and largely smooth and yummy. Deep into the after taste notes of caramel candy, pine hops and grapefruit linger on and on and force you to go back from another taste.

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Photo of ArrogantB
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle thanks to vwcraig, I appreciate the hook-up! Nice ruby-red color, excellent head. Sweet and sticky smell of vanilla, enstrom's toffee, cake. The flavor is pretty damn good barleywine with almost a bare hint of wood but no real booziness to speak of. This was a very good barleywine.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a near opaque, dark amber body with a very thin, light beige head.

Smell: Aroma smelling heavily of caramel sauce with lighter notes of fruit, oak barrels, and vanilla, as well as some clean alcohol wafts.

Taste: Sweet, sharply sweet flavor of melted caramel cubes. Roving fruitiness. Eager warming alcohol presence, but, thankfully, it's not overtly boozy. The taste musters up some oak wood and light vanilla barrel hints. Earthy hops and bitterness, both fairly light. Another helping of caramel and toffee. Long, sweet finish with a soothing alcohol warmth.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: I trust you like your barleywines sweet. A pleasant surprise, as I'd never even heard of the Bullfrog brewery until having the bottle shoved into my hand.

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Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased at Capones. I have never had anything from Bullfrog before so I am not sure what to expect. Pours deep amber. Thin head with some carbonation. Smells of faint sweetness plus a light bourbon. The taste is a nice mix of sweet fruit, malt, and the bourbon. Mouthfeel is smooth and the ABV sneaks in at the end. A solid barrel aged barleywine. Recommended.

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Photo of vwcraig
4.32/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Caged and corked 750mL purchased at the brewery. Sampled from a Duvel glass. Burnt amber/ruby color with a firm tan cap on top. Hardly any light passes through. Fruity and slightly boozy smell up front. Candied, rummy fruit smells mainly. Smells great. Taste is of oak and dark-skinned fruits, mainly raisins and plums. A quick swirl of the glass raises the head right back up nd makes for a creamier mouthfeel. Pleasant warming effect. Carbonated fairly well for a barleywine that is barrel-aged. Drinkability for me was fairly high, but given the effort it took to get this, I won't be drinking all of mine any time soon.

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Photo of largadeer
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks for sharing this, Jeff.

Cloudy, muddy copper. Low carbonation, no head.

Leather and tobacco on the nose; lot of oxidation, but in a very good way. Fruitcake, dates, mildly mineral and metallic, pleasantly so. Plenty of musty oak barrel, but just a touch of bourbon.

Tastes very good. Molasses, dates, prunes. Really nice port-like oxidation. Some mineral-metallic flavor in the finish. Medium-full body. Brash oak in the finish, subtle bourbon flavors. Little bit of pleasant tannic astringency. This is certainly one of the better Bullfrog beers out there.

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Photo of iasanlee
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle. Pours a deep caramel amber color with a creamy off-white head that leaves some sticky lacing. Aroma is of sweet caramel malts, toast, vanilla bean, light cherry, and fresh raisins. Flavor is a mirror of aroma with a delicate balancing act with a bourbon tone. Very complex and smooth, hiding the alcohol until deep in the finish. Medium in body, with moderate carbonation, and some astringency. A real treat, the complexity makes this a top example of an English barleywine.

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Photo of maximum12
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to AgeofQuarrel, a fine BA who seems to have moved on in the world, who shipped me this bottle for a handful of very old Bigfoots quite some time ago. According to the bottle, BA Old Toad was brewed 10-4-07 & bottled 5-15-08, so this baby's been around a while.

Cork comes out fairly swiftly, which is always a blessing. Pours like spring run-off, a sludgy, clay-tinted brownish-red without a hint of clarity & low carbonation. Smells really good. Black holes of caramel, vanilla, malts, & sherry/port notes while away their moments at the edge of the glass. Beautifully done.

Old Toad still packs heat, even after all this time resting in various containers. Alcohol is manning the front-lines here, & jumps me the moment the liquid touches my lips. Yeeezza! But beneath the flames comes all sorts of complex, good things in this massive froggie. Caramel & vanilla both come on strong. Aging & wrinkled, the malts snake their way in, bouncing up the sweetness quotient. Oak, or perhaps sagebrush, or whatever the barrel is made out of, is more than a presence, but infusing the back-end with stacked firewood. Very slight oxidation is starting to show, lending the brew a sherry-like quality. This brew is thick & full in the mouth, perhaps due to age, perhaps not. Dangerous; the sweetness & complexity invite sip after sip, in fairly short order, damn the 11.5%.

Well. Another excellent brew from Bullfrog. I've only had a few, & I know I'm in the wrong geographic locale, but sign me up for the mafia. This is wonderful stuff.

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Photo of BARFLYB
4.37/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On Tap at Capone's for their annual black friday event, is there anything this man cant procure, it's baffling me.

Old Toad came to me looking dark brown, or extremely burnt copper that is dead on for the style, much darker than the Gratitude right next to it. Just a bit of white whisp on the top which is nice to see in a wood aged 11 percent monster. No lace. Smell is a boatload of toasted malt coupled with caramel and bourbon scents that's knocking my socks off. If this tastes half as good as it smells, i'll be sitting pretty. My god, the taste is just LARGE. The bourbon is strong, yet not overpowering. The vanilla is up there and Im smiling. Oak as well with some figs, plum, a small roast, and a small, extremely small hint of past hoppings. Barley and a hint of alcohol. At this point this is more English in nature, but brewed here in the keystone state, dagnambit. Feel is above medium approaching full, smooth and not really hot at all. It's a sipper for sure, so gulping is not really an option. It coats up the mouth for a few afterwards as well, all in all a winner. I only had one glass of this and seriously considered another. If your holding bottles of this right now, get to drinking, cause this is gggrrrreeeeat.

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Photo of koopa
4.37/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Capone's Black Friday event yesterday.

Appearance: Pours a caramel brown with a small 1 finger khaki crown that displays moderate retention and lace.

Smell: Caramel, brown sugar, oak, and a hint of vanilla. Very nice.

Taste: Same as nose but with figs, a hint of bourbon, and a bit of plum to add some fruitiness.

Mouthfeel: Light side of full bodied with a slightly hypnotic creaminess.

Drinkability: Very good despite the abv. This brew was a pleasant surprise on tap.

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Photo of jimbomill
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on-tap at Capone's yesterday for their Black Friday extravaganza. It was my first beer of the day and it was a winner as early as I saw it coming - a nice but light reddish tinge to the eyes was co-greeted with a clear nose indicating 'barleywine'. Taste was slightly crisp, a bit of a surprise I found it to be.
The mouthfeel matched the taste and was delicious, finish hinted at some fruitiness, perhaps raisin?
I fought off the desire to stick with this Bourbon Barrel aged offering as there were many other fine selections on Matt's On-Tap list.

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Barrel Aged Old Toad Barleywine from Bullfrog Brewery
Beer rating: 4.28 out of 5 with 36 ratings
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