Bligh's Barleywine Ale
Dry Dock Brewing Co.

Bligh's Barleywine AleBligh's Barleywine Ale
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Barleywine - English
Ranked #9
Ranked #486
4.39 | pDev: 10.02%
Dry Dock Brewing Co.
Colorado, United States
Bligh's Barleywine AleBligh's Barleywine Ale
Notes: Malty and complex, this big beer has a strong caramel backbone supporting oak and whiskey flavors with hints of dark fruits. The nose wafts of coconut, toffee, and a smooth hint of alcohol. The flavor and aroma meld, becoming one after just a single sip. This beer is ready to drink, but also ages with the best of them.
Reviews: 134 | Ratings: 566 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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mothman from Minnesota

4.66/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2017 bottle. Tan khaki head. Caramel copper color.

Toffee, caramel, biscuit, dates, prunes, molasses, oak, vanilla, bourbon. Coconut. Smooth and warming. Full bodied and full of flavor. Complex, flavorful, traditional. Very well done.

Jul 17, 2021
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SpeedwayJim from New York

4.32/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz. capped bomber into a Brooklyn Brewery snifter. 2016 vintage.

At this point, there is no head with very little lace. Nose is brown sugar, caramel, dried dark fruit, and a mellow, slight booziness. Chewy and rich in the nose if that's possible. Beer opens raisin and toffee. I get hints of brown sugar, caramel, and anise in the middle with a brown sugar, booze and oak finish. More brown sugar and dried dark fruit in the finish and aftertaste. Delicious. Body is full with low carbonation. Rich, oily, and slick on the palate and goes down slightly boozy with a filmy aftertaste that lingers. Perfect for the style.

Not much of a looker but flavor and feel wise, this beer is perfect almost 5 years in. Well worth trying.

Jan 17, 2021
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Treyliff from West Virginia

4.28/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2013 Vintage
22oz bottle poured into a snifter

A- pours a dark amber color with a one-finger foamy off-white head that reduces to a ring around the glass

S- bold notes of caramel and toffee up front, along with earthy leather and tobacco. Dark fruit aromas of raisin, fig, date and sherry. Undertones of wet oak, dark bread & booze

T- sweet and malty notes of caramel toffee mix with dark fruit notes of raisin & fig. Mid-palate gives notes of fruit cake, sherry, brown sugar & molasses. The finish gives an earthy note of pipe tobacco, as well as some oaky bourbon that adds light hints of vanilla. Lingers of oak, caramel and dark fruits

M- medium body with moderate carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel that turns into a creamy warming finish

O- this one has held up well, with only slight signs of oxidation. Caramel and dark fruits highlight, with a subtle but noticeable barrel note

Aug 15, 2019
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JohnnyHopps from Indiana

4.28/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - From the bottle, the beer poured a murky brown color with a slight head.

Smell - The nose was boozy with notes of sweet dark fruits.

Taste - my first imression was how smooth this barleywine is. Notes of raisins, booze, and tobacco doninate. In my 2013 bottle, there was a hint of oxidation. I will not count this against the overall score. A sweet after taste follows.

Mouthfeel - For a barrel aged barleywine, this is very smooth.

Overall - This is not a world changer, but it is a very good BA barleywine.

Jul 01, 2019
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lordofthewiens from New Mexico

4.27/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The beer is a murky brown color; it looks like cider. There is no head.
Toffee and dark fruit aroma. Strong alcohol.
Big hit of bourbon in the taste, followed by toffee and raisins.
A sipping beer. A little too much alcohol for me, but still enjoyable.

Sep 09, 2018
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Beaver13 from Colorado

3.57/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle, dated 2017. Pours hazy amber brown with a small off white head that quickly goes to a thin collar that leaves a little lacing.

The aroma is sweet caramel and chocolate malt and lots of dark fruit and booze with a little vanilla.

The flavor is sweet caramel malt and fruitcake with a little roast chocolate and a big slightly harsh boozy finish. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with very low carbonation.

Overall, a nice barleywine, but a bit too sweet and boozy for me.

Apr 04, 2018
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beergoot from Colorado

3.86/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2016 version, 10.5% ABV

Pours a deep, copper-red color; head is fizzy and nearly disappears within a minute. Dense aroma of caramel and dried dark fruits; highly toasted bread. Toasted grain flavors; brown sugar and toffee; caramel; a fine boozy taste sneaks in at the finish, whiskey and wood. Heavy body; warm and velvety; lots of residual sugars delivering a hefty body; some dryness counteracting the sweetness.

I understand that high ABV beers many times don't have much head retention, but a beer without a sudsy head is damn near naked and unappealing. Ah, but start to take in the aroma, flavor and mouthfeel, and this particular beer starts to come around. It is warm and comforting, and very appealing for the style.

Feb 13, 2018
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dcscientist from Colorado

4.25/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Some friends and I broke open a 2011 aged bottle of this, and it was damn good. I haven't had much barleywine in the past, but I'd gladly go back for more. Strong but not overpowering, a bit on the sweet side due to the bottle aging, and definitely worthy of that year's 11% ABV. Quite a nice bottle.

Nov 02, 2017
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Radcpa from Washington

4.27/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark amber/brown appearance with minimal head. Aroma is a slightly sweet standard barleywine. Taste is also a slightly sweet very pleasant barleywine.

May 15, 2017
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Vonerichs from Colorado

4.06/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark caramel color with a short tan head. Little retention and no lacing.

The nose has nice layers. Caramel, toasted coconut, oak, brown sugar.

The taste is caramel, brown sugar, fig, and heavy wood and booze. Really boozy.

Hefty body, sweet sticky residue left on the palate. Boozy heat.

Really good, but be prepared for an abrasive booziness.

Apr 11, 2017
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GuyFawkes from Illinois

4.39/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2012 vintage; drank 12/10/15 @ Harvest Hop Haus.

Muddy orange rust appearance.

Almost no khaki head; no lace.

Caramel, orange citrus & molasses notes in the nose.

Thick, flat mouthfeel.

Molasses, orange citrus & caramel flavors up front; oak notes on the finish. No booze heat. Sweet & tasty; the citrus note was unexpected but welcome.

Dec 19, 2016
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Gregaroo from Pennsylvania

4.19/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

3-5-16 - Damn. On tap at Falling Rock Taphouse in Denver. Served in a tulip with absolutely no head. Quick swirl, and still no head. Aroma is over the top intense. So good. Flavors are smooth vanilla and kind of Bourbony. So smooth. I love this barley wine.

Mar 06, 2016
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zac16125 from South Carolina

4.04/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into a snifter
2012 Vintage

A big thanks to protonw07 for sending this one over via trade!

A: Very murky dark mahogany, small fizzy white bubbles is all that builds for a head, leaves no lacing. 3.25

S: Pretty big nose, lots of dark fruits, fairly vinous, booze, charred oak whiskey notes from the barrel, subtle cocoa. 4.25

T: Lots of sweet characters; dark fruits, caramel/toffee, semi-sweet cocoa, subtle bitterness. Some oaky characters but overall barrel notes are fairly subtle. 4.25

M/D: Medium body, carbonation is very low (I know its has some age on it but its nearly flat), ABV is well masked, drinkability is average limited by the low carb. 3.25

O: Very nice beer. Not up there with my favorite BW’s but very enjoyable nonetheless. The flatness hurts the overall profile though. 4

Dec 21, 2015
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legrandfacile74 from Colorado

4.39/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2012 bottle bought at the Glendale King Soopers 3 years ago. Strong malt, whiskey, molasses, and caramel notes on the nose. Very little head on the pour, and in the glass it has a dark sienna color and slightly murky appearance . The whisky and malt are pungent, which is not a bad thing in my opinion especially this time of year. This is a smooth, slightly sweet beer with a strong finish. There's a hint of coriander and other spices in the aftertaste. Local gossip says that the beer is aged in an unnamed local whiskey distillery's barrels.

Dec 17, 2015
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Jwale73 from Rhode Island

4.11/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2013 vintage. Pours a translucent mahogany with a head that dissipates into a tight band around the edges. Nose is a bit dull - some butterscotch notes, oxidization and a bready character. Taste is very well-balanced. Not too sweet - toffee and figs muddle nicely. Mouthfeel is light-medium in body (but closer to light) with a mild carbonation and a slightly oily consistency. Overall, very good but perhaps a little past its prime; however, it's still solid.

Oct 31, 2015
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pvtjoker42 from Colorado

4.73/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I've got the last 4 years of this beer in the cellar, and can't wait for this years release! Smooth drinking, rich brown color with a little haze, no boozy bite, has to be one of my favorite local beers.

Sep 16, 2015
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cbutova from Massachusetts

4.46/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Brought back from CO last summer, 2013 bottle. Was extremely pumped to find this bottle as a huge fan of the style.

A- Very dark mahogany pour out of the 22oz into a few snifters. The crown is off white, foamy and rises to just a sheet dying out to a small ring. Rare spotty lacing.

S- For the ABV it is very relaxed and smoothed out in the aroma. Toffee, caramel, coconut flakes, spiced raisin, vanilla bean oak, fudge, relaxed whiskey and a touch of roast darkness.

T- In the league of Arctic Devil of BA Barleywine smoothness. Delivers a lot of complex flavors without overpowering the palate in any way. Balance balance balance... of wet toasted oak, deep caramelized sugars, brown sugar, raisin, vanilla sweets from the barrel, whiskey, nuts, cherry, sweets and slight roast.

MF- Oily and super slick body which hits the palate with a thick overall consistency. Low to medium level of bubbles. Ends somewhat warm.

One of the smoothest BA Barleywines I can think of; almost absurdly so but in a good way. Balanced interplay between the rich base malts and the whiskey barrel that provides a lot of vanilla and aged oak character.

Aug 10, 2015
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Bosoxfan20 from Missouri

4.57/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2013 Vintage bomber
I've heard some hype around this one, and damn, message received. Pour leaves almost no head to speak of. Aroma is outstanding. Oak, bourbon, vanilla, coconut, and a huge dose of toffee. Flavor is for real too. Everything the nose presented, but with a generous helping of brown sugar and a hint of sherry. Just as a warning, it is cloying. Normally, I struggle to get through such overwhelming sweetness, but this one holds up well. Body is slick, drinks smooth, with very low carbonation. Not HoD low, but close.
Overall, top 5 BA barleywine for me.

Jul 25, 2015
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ONovoMexicano from New Mexico

4.43/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From the bomber into a snifter.

Not much head on this but it has the thick caramelly-look. Dark amber body almost. 4.25

Sweet sticky caramel, soy sauce and tobacco. Faint floral hop aroma. Brown sugar. 4.25

Very consistent with the nose. Caramel drips from this as does brown sugar. Tastes oaken and tobacco-like with a touch of port. 4.5

Pretty low carbonation but silky smooth and rich-feeling. Mildly sweet and a touch of faded bitterness. Really it's just a smooth creamy drinker. 4.5

This is an outstanding barleywine. The barrels don't stifle the base beer but rather complement it well.

May 09, 2015
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leroybrown10 from Missouri

4.22/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a hazy amber-brown with some reddish tinges. Slow forming and rather small cream colored head which vanishes quickly.

Whiskey is the first thing to hit the nose. Caramel, bread pudding and maybe a hint of vanilla.

Again, whiskey and caramel on the first taste. Sweet maltiness. Vanilla, dates, toffee and brown sugar as well. Flavors blend well but maybe a touch more of some the back end flavors.

Rich sticky mouth feel. Medium carbonation. Flavors lingers, especially an extended sweetness. Some creamy qualities.

This is a very well done barrel aged barleywine. Whiskey is prevalent but
not overpowering. Sweet but not syrupy and with a smooth creamy feel on the tongue.

Feb 26, 2015
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chinchill from South Carolina

4.06/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared bottle at RBWG-2015.
Pours very clear red-brown with a frothy head.

Moderately sweet.
Excellent aroma. Plenty of toffee and burnt sugar in the nose.

Feb 25, 2015
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hardy008 from Minnesota

4.51/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2013 Vintage

Pours a cloudy dark brown with a small tan head which fades pretty quickly. the aroma has caramel, dark fruit, oak, and whiskey.

Has a sweet flavor with caramel, toffee, dark fruit, oak, whiskey, vanilla, and coconut. There is no bitterness for balance, but it is not needed, since this beer is not overly sweet.

Medium to full bodied with low carbonation. The alcohol is well hidden for a 10.5 % abv beer. There is a caramel, toffee, and dark fruit aftertaste. Smooth and easy to drink.
I am glad I picked some of this up in Colorado last year.

Feb 13, 2015
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Rutager from Canada (BC)

4.34/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2013 bottle from the good doctor, steasy66.

Appearance. Pours a deep amber-brown that doesn't let much light through, topped with a thin light tan head.

Smell. Plums, raisins, sweet caramel, slight cardboard and sherry oxidization notes but not in a bad way.

Taste. Brown sugar and caramel, dark fruits, toasted oak, lightly tannic barrel and leather, and a touch of whiskey.

Mouthfeel. Full body, a touch sticky on the lips, low carbonation.

Overall. Great stuff that's everything a BA barleywine should be without excessive anything.

Dec 31, 2014
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GregJ from Louisiana

3.6/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I expect sweetness from a barleywine and sweetness from the bourbon barrel aging but this is a bit much for me. Very sweet with an almost syrupy characteristic beyond what I would ever want. Very sad about this as I really like their vanilla porter. Pours a hazy red-orange. Smells of bourbon, sweet malts and booze. Dominant sweet bourbon flavor, caramel, sweet malts. Sweet heavy body with med/light carbonation. Not as obnoxiously sweet as it warmed but still too much for me.

Dec 20, 2014
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kevanb from Illinois

4.26/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.5

650ml bottle, 2013 vintage printed on the bottle, poured into a Dry Dock tulip glass. Reviewed from Tasting Journal.

The beer pours a burgundy brown color, very opaque with a fizzy, khaki head that vanishes quickly yielding no film nor lace. The aroma huge on toffee while bourbon oak, stone fruits, vanilla, brown sugar and caramel follow up behind it, very rich and sweet. The flavors pack that same punch, though more rewarding, still plenty of toffee, sweet and rich grain, oak, brown sugar, caramel, bourbon integrates itself nicely while vanilla, stone fruits and molasses linger at the finish, wonderfully complex, each sip brings something to the table. The mouthfeel is a bit thin and lackluster, struggles to coat the mouth however, this does make this beer very easy to drink, void of the usual "heaviness" to a big barrel aged beer. The finish is smooth and leaves a lightly warming sensation behind.

Verdict: A very delicious bourbon barrel aged barleywine from Dry Dock, definitely up there in the pantheon for this style, and definitely an "underrated" beer, although the ratings seem to indicate it's quality, so perhaps it's a "under-known" beer that isn't as heralded as the rest. Perfect for a fall or winter evening to sip on, delicious.

Nov 30, 2014
Bligh's Barleywine Ale from Dry Dock Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 97 out of 100 with 566 ratings