Rosie's Old Ale | Barley John's Brew Pub

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67 Ratings

Brewed by:
Barley John's Brew Pub
Minnesota, United States

Style: Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 18.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by fantome on 03-01-2004

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 67 |  Reviews: 25
Reviews by CoolJosh:
Photo of CoolJosh
4.25/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Note: Hand bottle generously shared by gentleman Treyrab.

Poured into a snifter, this beer pours fairly low carbonated, to be expected given the bottling and the style. A very nice deep and rich dark brown with no translucency. No head.

The smell is very bold. Huge burnt toffee smells control the nose, and give way to a subtle kentucky mash scent. There is a bread-like smell that is very prominent. My sniffer is also picking up some salty characteristics, along the lines of a sweetened soy sauce.

This is a very unique beer. I am told that the listed abv on BA is incorrect, and that this beer is actually 20%!!! This is a great beer, and while there is so warmth in the mouth and throat after each sip, it is not overpowering. The roasted flavors are unbelievable. Tons of burnt malts that produce burnt toffee flavors and sweet chocolate tastes. The flavors aren't 100% developed but there is a lot of depth to this beer, as the complexity runs ramped on the palate. A nice oak compliment provides subtle nuances of vanilla. This beer is incredible, and I am savoring every sip of this. The bourbon flavors are done just right and lack the overpowering flavors that are found in beers like Goose Island BCS. As this beer warms, some nice darker fruits rise out. Decadent, man...

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More User Reviews:
Photo of DaftPatrick
4.75/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of MNMike
5/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of warmbier804
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of striker2160
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of cokes
3.8/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Murky burnt sienna with a scant topping of beige bubbles.
Nose looms heavy in the sugars and the booze. Like kiwis drenched in dark rum.
Begins titanically sweet. Prune and peach and pear (and kiwi again), all seared slight and caramelized. At this point, its pure brown sugar and molasses. The yeast is mostly cloaked, but clearly belgian-devired, bringing with a plaintain-like phenol. The finish is booze-driven, alternating between the caramel traits of Bourbon and the sweet heat of rum. Any hopping here is completely overmatched.
It's thick, but not binding huge. For a brew of this potency, the sweetness impacts drinkability moreso than the alcohol content.
It's decent, but single minded.

 704 characters

Photo of tempest
3.75/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ordered a glass after dinner, made a very nice dessert. It reminded me a lot of a dessert wine or cordial in it's sweetness. That sweetness also seemed to indicate that this beer had a lot of sugar leftover (the last batch was 4% higher). Instead of the alcohol playing a large roll, the sweet malt dominated. This made for a very fruity and thick drink. It almost taste like plum wine with raisins and dates. I should also mention the appearance was a bit muddy, but that wasn't a huge factor. If you're at Barley John's, this is worth a try.

 543 characters

Photo of CharlesDarwin
4.12/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Originally reviewed on 1/27/07. 5oz pour at the brewpub. The board claimed this was 14%, I believe. Aroma flows as a bright, piquant and sharp aroma of clear cherries and pomegrante. Hints of port and cream show through in a heavily vinous and alcoholic aroma. Served at the right temperature this is a quite volatile and lucious aroma. Succulent and inviting. More vinous aged grapes and sweetness. Mature pear touches. It was dark in the brewpub, so it was hard to get a real read on the character, but it was a deep deep red with ochre fringes and little head. Flavor continues along these same lines with pear brandy, warmed sherry and a nip of oaked Mexican vanilla. Distant cherry pipe tobacco carries over some bright tropical fruits on a palate of incredibly dense sugar. I’m not sure I’ve ever put anything this sweet in my mouth. There are certain wisps of milk chocolate and black tea in the background. It just stings of corn syrup, brown sugar and pralines. It’s good, but could be way better with a bit less destructive cloyingness and that sickly sugar-yeast flavor that reminds me, unfortunately, of the high octane DFH beers. It really dominates the middle of the flavor profile. I really want more hops in this. I can’t reach out and get any. Maybe a bit singular, but still to produce a beer of this heft and complexity is quite an accomplishment.

 1,370 characters

Photo of Sinatra716
5/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of Bunuelian
4.75/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of Hopsiam14
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of HoudiniRN
4.75/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of ystazi
4.75/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.1/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer came a foggy light caramel color that was a darker brown towards the middle. The head was a dark tan film that was sustained by a field of lazy bubbles.

Smells of marshmallow, red grapes, caramel, port, bourbon and powdered sugar.

Tastes of honey and caramel with a light floral jasmine. There’s also a bit of fruit cocktail juice. This also reminded me a bit of barbecue, but in a good way. The bourbon comes through very delicately and very well balanced.

Feels a bit heavy and dense. It’s also rather sticky but with a light thickening carbonation. This burned my stomach quite a bit too, much like a shot of whiskey.

Too sweet for me, but a nice desert.

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Photo of MCImes
4.75/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of iRun2Beer
4.24/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of gatornation
4.31/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours rusty dark brown with some ruby highlights, and a thin light tan head. smell is great bourbon and oak with light dark fruits . Taste very bourbon forward with raisin and plum mixing in ,toffee and toasted malt round this out. All components of above mentioned meld well together nothing dominates,lower carbonation with ABV warmth, this is a sipper.

 355 characters

Photo of will1256
4.75/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of billhelm
4.75/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of grub
4.45/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

sampled on tap at the brewpub aug 1/09.

pours very deep red-brown with a thin ring of very fine white head. the head drops fast and leaves spotty lace. it's almost orangey toward the bottom (thinner) section of the glass and darkens to red toward the top. almost looks like a nice coniac or brandy.

aroma is great. alcohol. bourbon. vanilla. raw oak. nice fruity component too. date, fig, raisin. bit of plum. rich caramel and toffee. just a touch of a spicy character that i can't quite place.

taste is great too. warming alcohol. bourbon, vanilla and oak. there's a bit of toasty and slightly spicy component too, probably a bit more barrel character coming through. date, fig, plum, bit of raisin. rich caramel and toffee. bit of butterscotch. hints of smoke and dark chocolate. low bitterness level.

mouthfeel is good. nice big body. low carbonation level. just a hint of astringency. drying finish from the barrel tannins.

drinkability is great. i think this one works even better than the dark night does - the barrel is more balanced against the base beer. the alcohol is lightly warming but never overpowers. great depth and complexity to keep you going back for more. really good stuff.

 1,200 characters

Photo of hopdog
4.32/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to beerguy101 for sharing his shared sample with me!

Poured a dark reddish-brown color with almost no head. Sweet. Little fruity. A little alcohol came through in the taste and aroma.

Rerate; larger sample courtesy of egajdzis (thanks!). Additional tastes and aromas of dark fruits, woody and vanilla. Increased the aroma score.

 339 characters

Photo of j6reid
5/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of sulldaddy
4.59/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Well well well! Cant believe I am writing this review! Ever since the first post on this brew I began questing after it. I have to thank Feloniousmonk for his efforts to get some of this MN treasure to a thirsty BA in CT.
Brew is ina growler and I pour a sample into the snifter. I am drinking at just below room temp as the growler wason the sunporch before I got in. The beer pours a very dark hazy mahogany color with a beige head that foams up well and quickly fades. Not surprising with the ABV on this one!
The aroma is incredibly complex: rich malt with molasses, maple syrup, ripe pears and plums coming through strongest.
First sip reveals the expected huge body and very syrupy texture. This texture is appealing in my mind. Carbonation is mild but existant, adds some nice texture to remind me this is a beer. Flavor is huge malty hit with molasses and caramel dominating, also rich toffee flavors. As the brew warms (and my belly too) I pick up some plum and maybe raisins as well. Not surprisingly bourbon hints too. The beer is amazingly smooth for the high ABV and easy to drink in sips. Not a beer to drink a lot of in one sitting. I poured some into a bottle and recapped with homebrew gear, just to see what happens. I do get a nice warming in my throat and belly as I finish the second snifter. Wow time for bed after that!

Thanks for giving me this opportunity Feloniousmonk!!

 1,405 characters

Photo of objectivemonkey
3.97/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm a little befuddled how I haven't reviewed this yet, have had every vintage of it so far. That said, was a little surprised as it was presented, and it was a bit brown, usually its more copperish. Eh, in a small snifter, with little head, shrinking pretty quick, no lacing. Aroma is hefty, to say the least. Its definitely bourbon aged, lots of sweets, plums, raisin, and that transfers over to the taste. Its a different cat than previous Rosies, and I'm all for evolution and experimentation, but I will say I liked previous versions better. That said, I'll still keep going back every year for it.

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Photo of aliving1
5/5  rDev +10.4%

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Rosie's Old Ale from Barley John's Brew Pub
Beer rating: 4.53 out of 5 with 67 ratings