Dick's Barley Wine | Dick's Brewing Company

74 Ratings
no score
Send samples
Dick's Barley WineDick's Barley Wine

Brewed by:
Dick's Brewing Company
Washington, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by 49degrees on 04-25-2003

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 74 |  Reviews: 60
Photo of CRJMellor
4.32/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a caramel bronw with orange twinges and a big bubbled off-white head and lots of lace.
Aroma is full of roasted caramel, brown sugar, grain alcohol and some floral hop bitterings.
Flavor is a great mix of sticky, chewy malts and dark fruits on a bed of tangy and sharply bitter hops and toss in some grain alcohol and you have this puppy. Well balanced and actually sort of refrshing in a way.
Mouthfeel is full bodied, only thing lacking is a little more carbonation. Fully palate coating and extremly well balanced. Alcholic notes tend to really become a bit too exposed as it warmed in the glass.
Drinkability is excellent. Classic PacNW BW in my opinion. Very approachable and wouldn't frighten away a novice to barleywines.

 738 characters

Photo of loren01
4.31/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a mahogany color, lots of carbonation in the glass. White/tan frothy head, good lacing
S: Yeasty, alcohol and slight smell of dark fruit
T: Nice caramel maltiness, fruity sweetness. Good hop aftertaste, but not overwhelming, just the right amount of hop flavor.
M: Carbonation is right on, creamy silky smooth, drinks way to easily for 10%.
D: I loved this beer, would for sure get this one again, very good beer in every way.

 439 characters

Photo of beerceller99
4.27/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle. Has a dark amber - reddish hue. The slight white head fades quickly. Smells bready, yeasty, with raisons. Medium bodied, lightly carbonated with a smooth mouthfeel, very nice.
Malty flavors of dried figs, raisons predominate. Finishes with a sweet alcohol taste on the breath.
Very smooth and easy drinking for a 10% Barleywine

 346 characters

Photo of brewandbbq
4.27/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2005

Pours lively, almost jumped out of the glass. Humongous beige head ascended over the rim.
Extremely hollow foam receded just as quick, going from layered webbing to nothingness within one minute.
The body is amber and clear, with a few extraneous bubbles remaining.
Nose is chunky, bready, and yeasty. Fruits and hard candies.
Alcohol is there, but not overwhelming.
Caramel profile works well with the "proofing bread" aromatics and
Thickish, sticky, and lightly sweet body. Low carbonation, but enough to add some crispness to help the flow.
Lightly bitter and sweetish on the pallet with mild hop flavor.
Juicy malts and hopping rates similar to an English barleywine.
Alcohol is submissive, but apparent. Complementary and not offensive.
Some mild raisin notes add some complexity, along with an underlying tangerine nod.
Finishes with medium duration, neither excessively bitter, hot, or chewy.
The odd carbonation/ appearance aside, Dick's BW is tasty and quite quaffable, and somewhat reminiscent of an americanized Thomas Hardy's.

 1,076 characters

Photo of powdersoldier
4.25/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of RedDiamond
4.22/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I found a green punted magnum of Dick’s Barley Wine Ale in my basement recently and although I don’t recall when I purchased it, I suspect it had aged a full year in my cellar. Dick’s BW comes packaged in a capped magnum with silver foil wrapping. Right away I’m skeptical as a bottle this heavy is designed to hold a vigorous charge, but putting a cap on top (as opposed to a cork) defeats this purpose. And barleywines aren’t a particularly volatile style to begin with. Then there’s that foil, which I find just a bit overstated for anything originating in Thurston County. Finally, there’s an image on the label of a stemmed glass holding a beer that is clearly not barleywine. Not unless they’ve recently invented a pale BW.

Thankfully, we needn’t judge a beer by its cover and none of this extraneous packaging reflects the quality of the beer within. I drew two other year-old bottles of barleywine from my cellar this week -– Noggin Knocker and Arctic Devil – and Dick’s clearly surpasses these others for refined drinkability. It is warm clover honey colored with a thoroughly sexy aroma of sugarplum and light vanilla. The smell evinces no suggestion of the muscular 10% ABV nor does the taste betray this potency. Instead, Dick’s delivers a regal ale of dark fruited sugars with penetrating bitterness and rounded contours. The CO2 is predictably muted (so much for that magnum) and no lace trailed from the floating isle of head.

This is a nice achievement and proves that Dick’s can brew up a hearty big ale with high drinkability. It does need a better name though. How about we name it after some other stuff I found in my basement such as Dick’s Hardly Used Nordic Trak Barleywine-Style ale. Catchy.

 1,740 characters

Photo of industrialswill
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark amber with minimal head.
Smells of roasted malt, fruit cake and hops.
Taste is dominated by malty sweetness but there is a subtle hoppy finish.
Quite a nice beer. The alcohol level is in keeping with the style, but it would be nice if this brew could be made with all the flavor, just with less potency.

 310 characters

Photo of rye726
4.18/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A beautifull looking brew. It is a rich rosewood and keeps a silky beige head with excellent lace. The nose has a good amount of residual sugars, but also nicely balanced hops. A bit of young alcohol. Flavor profile also well balnced from bittering hops to candy malts. Full body suits the style perfectly. This is definately a sipper that really opens up at cellar temp and above. Should age very well. Great hoppy barley wine.

 428 characters

Photo of RoyalT
4.15/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Brownish-orange body with a gigantic head that went down slowly and laced the glass.

Smell – This one stank up the room. I opened this in the kitchen and my wife, packing for an out-of-town business trip in the bedroom, yelled out, “What stinks out there?” She is not a big barley wine fan, but I appreciated the gigantic aromas of toasted malt, heavy fruit, and sugary sweets. The alcohol came out in force as well.

Taste – This one was a little lighter on the tongue, but still a contender. The toasted malt flavor came out first and was very pleasant. This was soon accompanied by deep, dark, sugar fruits. Put some dates, raisins, plums, apricots, Rainier cherries, and a few tablespoons of sugar in a blender, hit, “frappe,” and there you have it. Oh, and don’t forget enormous amounts of alcohol.

Mouthfeel – No carbonation to speak of. This is full, full, full in the cheeks.

Drinkability – A good barley wine that can hold it’s own with the best of ‘em. It wasn’t overpowering so went down well.

Update – I originally reviewed this in 2003 and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to dig into this 2005 vintage. It is amazingly similar to the one I had two years ago, with maybe a bit more booze. A class act and good-drinking ABW.

Update – The 2006 vintage, which I had fresh, loses a lot of the booze (I think the ABV has actually been lowered from the 10% of previous generations) and the malts are less prominent. Those fruity sugars, especially apricots and plums, carry the day and that’s all right with me.

 1,565 characters

Photo of faernt
4.11/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This bottle is from May 2003. I bought it at Bottleworks in Seattle. I long ago drank the others I bought then. I recall I thought enough of them to save this last one. Here we go.

It pours with a slight hiss and skimmy head. The color is dark rust. It looks like rust; clear rust. The sediment in the bottle showed up as I poured and I stopped to drink it instead of pouring it into the glass. It was slightly bitter, with a taste of sweetness.

The nose is English and the taste is all blended together with an aftertaste of slight sweetness. This is a balanced beer. It continues to taste "English" to me. I mean that no individual component jumps out. It means that the flavors do not separate and offer one flavor over another. It remains balanced and integrated. I applaud Dick's for an offering that is respectful.

 824 characters

Photo of kmpitz2
4.11/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. What a beautiful deep amber color. This brew looks fantastic. It has a very mild coating of light khaki head over top. A nice moderate carbonation is hitting the surface, and I am very impressed with the clarity of this brew. This one is a fantastic color. The aroma is thick with caramel maltyness that borders on a mild fruityness with the sweetness. There is not a strong hoppy character, but this one may be aged or it may fit an English Barleywine better. The malt is really working for me. Taking a sip, I get massive caramel maltyness, with even some solid fig and roasted notes that round it out from just caramel sweetness. There is a mild pine flavor with a medium to solid bitterness on the finish. This one is really big in flavor, but it is not overbearing and bogging me down. It hits hard but finishes smooth. Mouthfeel is thick, with a very minimal carbonation. It really works well with the big flavors. I'm not finding a lot of alcohol in this brew. I think the balance is very nice, and the flavor really draws me back for more. Good show.

 1,072 characters

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle...part of the shwag I brought home from Seattle last month (have I mentioned that BottleWorks kicks some serious ass?).

In my Duvel snifter, this one pours a color nearly identical to apple cider. Immensely hazy, with a wafer-thin layer of tan-colored lace. Micro-bubbles of lace on the glass.

Aromas have many dark fruit notes here. Some figs, grapes, plums, raisins, maybe a dash of black raspberry? Beefy malt backbone supports this fruit medley. Notes of grassy-earthen hops awash in a sea of candied sugar.

Flavors see a boost in the malt sweetness department versus the aroma. Initial sweetness is edged out in the middle by the dark fruit juices. Finish sees a dash of ABV warmth on the palate, ending with a surprisingly dry and earthy finish.

Slick on the palate, low levels of carbonation. Very pleasing during the entire tasting profile. Nothing out of whack or funky. Very well-balanced. My read is a good one. I'd hit this one again for sure.

 980 characters

Photo of harrymel
4.09/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed 06/23/10
Poured from bottle to New Belgium tulip.

Note: I don't know age of beer, but tasted like a barley with 1-2 years under it's belt.

A: very dark for a barley wine. No head, no bubbles. Bing cherry red. Great clarity. Visible sediment at bottom of bottle.

S: Deep, thick, caramel, vanilla, slight port wine aroma, touch of chemical. Smells aged; bottle doesn't indicate bottle date. Hint of praline at end of smell.

T: Good hop balance with low bitterness. Warm, nice burnt caramel flavor. Very appreciatable.

M: medium body, fills mouth with slight burn of carbonation.

D: Very nice beer. Planning for a purchase of more of the beer, and will age it for a couple years. For only $2/bottle, this is a great value!

 734 characters

Photo of VoodooBrew
4.08/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I can't believe the name of this beer. I am offended.

Slight particulate appears in the body of this hazy brew, with a subdued aroma wafting up. The palate shows soft fruit, with hints of banana and clove-- not big and Hefeweizen-like mind you but definitely there. A sweetness caresses the palate but doesn't coat it or become cloying. Perfectly drinkable and enjoyable.

 375 characters

Photo of metter98
4.07/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark reddish-amber color
Smell: Aromas of raisins and hops, but not very overpowering
Taste: Hint of malty sweetness with some fruit and caramel flavors
Mouthfeel: Medium body and carbonation. Seemed a bit sour for this style of beer.
Drinkability: Surprisingly easy to drink for a barley wine

 305 characters

Photo of flagmantho
4.05/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: medium orange hue with a good haze and a moderate effervescence. Head is a finger of frothy ivory foam which dissipates somewhat rapidly: par for the style. Not bad, overall.

Smell: sweet malt aroma with a good, malty character. The overall effect is somewhat fruity, with a light orchardy quality (but not so far as to be cidery). A clean citrusy character is also provided by the hops; altogether it's quite good.

Taste: sweet malt with a good dank barleywine quality. Fruitiness comes in toward the end, along with a dusty character. Bitterness is moderate, but bright, citrusy hop flavors are also present. I rather like this beer.

Mouthfeel: big body with a well-integrated carbonation and very nice, silky smooth creaminess. Wonderful.

Overall: a very good beer indeed. The alcohol is a little hot, which impedes drinkability a little bit, but really this is quite an enjoyable beer.

 950 characters

Photo of IntriqKen
4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pretty...this is exactly what a barleywine is supposed to look like. Dark amber that allows only a hint of light through to show the red of it's soul. Nice white head that melts rather quickly to a top capping lacing.
Aromas are dark sweet candied fruits and pure alcohol. The ABV sure isn't hidden in the aroma...it is right there to greet you. But the dark fruits really soften the blow and mellow everything out.
(PS...let it warm and the alcohol disappears completely from the aroma)
Flavors are definately barleywine dark candied fruits...raisins, plums, prunes, caramel and brown sugar. Alcohol really only makes itself known when you swallow as a gentle spreading warmth.
Nice, nice barleywine. Today is November 10th...time for winter to begin...Dick's is a wonderful way to welome it.
Thank you skyhand for this wonderful Barleywine...my first of the season.

 872 characters

Photo of russpowell
4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours chestnut with 1 finger of sand colored head. Above average head retention & average lacing

S: Slight bready & piney notes, not much else

T: Pineyness, some breadyness & fruityness ( a mix of dates, apricots & peaches ) up front. Slight boozeyness, some cherry stones, dryness & oaky vanilla, some smokeyness, toffee& leafy, plus piney hops as this warms. Finishes with tangerine fruittyness, boozey dryness& Madeira notes & pralines, damn near pulled a 5.0

MF: Chewy with good balance & low carbonation, pretty warming

Drank pretty good for the style & ABV & complexity , went down well on a raw April night in Colorado. A pretty righteous American Barley Wine!

 672 characters

Photo of mcallister
4.02/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A dark dense unfiltered looking barley wine with sporadic floaties living here and there. Pours with a small off white head that is even smaller if not nearly gone after a matter of seconds.

Nose is semi sweet, very malty, full of toffee, and fig forward (how do you like that Blake). Very English in style according too the nose and I like that. Maple, and brown sugar riddled with milk chocolate, nutty character, vanilla, earth, and dried berry with a blend of dates.

Definitely English in style. Nice bitter hops on the finish and through the mid palate of the floral sense but not interfering with the big in your face chewy malt profile a BW deserves. Figgy as ms. Piggy and candied nuts, raisin, prune and dates, with a bourbony boozy note on the finish. Malt character is wonderful, desserty and in your face and palate.Thick chewy and viscous and very palatable with a very cleverly hidden alcohol. God love Barley Wines!

 932 characters

Photo of Kevlee722
4/5  rDev +7%

Photo of charlesw
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Straight up on the 4s, me lads! A very decent beer and HS was the price ever right! Dang! Very decent... I'd drink this every day. And a bottle at a time (12oz, thank you) that would go over fine. Not outstanding, but very decent. Good overall balance, sweetness, bitterness, body, color, head, aroma... Really, I can't insist enough, this is a very decent beer. To be awesome in the category I'd probably like a bit more body, a bit more bitterness, a bit more opacity. But, really, I'm liking this and the value is incredible!

 528 characters

Photo of ptarmigan98
4/5  rDev +7%

Photo of GClarkage
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

09/17/07- Purchased at Bottleworks in Seattle, WA.

Presentation- 12oz bottle with no freshness info on the bottle. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Deep caramel brown in color. Full one inch head which settles at a faint rim. Does leave behind nice lace tracking.

Smell- Lots of caramel goodness with semi-deep malt. Hoppy nose as well.

Taste- I would have to disagree with many of these reviews. To me, this one is a dead ringer for Bigfoot. Not quite as bound together as well, but has many similarities. Good caramel malt base, pine and grapefruit hops o' plenty and maybe a slight touch of dark fruit notes.

Mouthfeel- Mid range carbonation with a long lasting bitter aftertaste.

Drinkability- As said before, this is Bigfoot Jr. to me. A bit higher in alcohol, but not quite as flavorful. Still a really good put together barleywine. On the more hoppy side per style.

 885 characters

Photo of beefandbean22
4/5  rDev +7%

Photo of barleywinefiend
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a very deep mahogany wood color in the middle fading into a dark ruby color on the edges. Nose is overwhelmingly of fruit and malt at first but after it warms a bit a more balanced smell arises. Taste is quite malty, almost liquor-ish, leaving a warming hit. Nice hops and great malts. The 9.9 ABV does it well.

 318 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Dick's Barley Wine from Dick's Brewing Company
3.74 out of 5 based on 74 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.