Dick's Barley Wine | Dick's Brewing Company

74 Ratings
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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

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Ratings: 74 |  Reviews: 60
Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

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

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Photo of oberon
3.99/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass a clear bronze color with a thin wispy head that is gone in a flash,love the aromas a real left coast piney hop presence shows itself,pine mixed with dark fruit and caramel with a spike of alcohol thrown in.Very warming as it goes down quite sweet with brown sugar being the dominant flavor component with notes of carrmel and dark fruit as well, a hit of resiny,piney hop comes thru late.The alcohol begins to creep after a bit it would no doubt be a one and done for me,all in all a solid barley wine with a decent hop profile,a good one to drown out todays SC beat down of my maize and blue.

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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!

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Coppery cherry beneath a pale caramel cap that fills most of the snifter after the pour. I wonder if the lighter, brighter color of this barleywine will have implications for the flavor profile or the mouthfeel. The glass isn't exactly coated with lace, but neither is it as well-scrubbed as some 10%'ers would have left it.

The nose is equal parts caramel malt and alcohol-soaked fruit (oranges and cherries). One doesn't often see Munich malt and malted wheat in a beer of this style. At least I don't recall seeing those ingredients as a general rule. As well, the roasted malts don't come through. It smells like this will be a more than solid version, as long as the alcohol has had time to become well-incorporated.

Call me bat shit crazy, but I think I can appreciate the earthy nuttiness of the Munich malt. That particular aspect of the flavor profile makes the beer taste, in some ways at least, like a big ol' boozy doppelbock. It's still more English barleywine than anything else, but it has definite doppel tendencies. I might have said American instead of English when the beer was fresh, but there isn't enough hoppiness left over for the former style to apply. My best guess is that this is a 2005 bottling.

The beer is also a little more caramel malty that I usually like, but it works because time has allowed the flavors to come together in a tight-knit fashion. Fruity esters and spicy alcohol hold up their end of the agreement quite well. The latter is pretty well masked at this age, but it's still obvious that one is drinking a high-ABV ale.

I'm having trouble deciding if the body is big enough. In the end, it falls just short of what a beer this chock full of malt should feel like. I'd suggest jettisoning the malted wheat and sticking with 100% barley. I like a little chewiness in my barleywines and there's no chewiness to be had here.

Dick's Barley Wine Ale is a fine effort. Although it doesn't come close to the fantastic Double Diamond Winter, it's a beer that does Dick's Brewing Company proud. I plan to enjoy the rest of the '750', sip by sip, over the next few hours. See Dick brew. Go Dick, go.

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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.

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Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev +7%

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.

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Photo of Derek
3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

9.9% ABV

A: Dark amber/caramel/reddish-brown, off-white head, not much retention, a little leg/lace.

S: Citrus & piney american hops are over-powering. A little toffe from the malt in the background.

T: Very piney, some toffee. Very acidic. Not overly bitter like some American barley wines. Warming alcohol in the finish.

M: Moderate to full body is fairly dry, yet a little syrupy; some acidity; moderate carbonation.

D: Hoppy, acidic & a little boozy... but not too bitter.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Round 2 of "Galt's Broke Cellar Diving Project" continues tonight.. Picked this up at Belmont Station the last time I was in Portland.

Poured 1/2 the bottle into my Delirium goblet... Nearly no head develops... a 1/4" develops with a nice swirl.. no cap.. only spots of lace.. the brew is a deep mahogany with ruby highlites.

Nose is dominated by toasty malts and thick caramel... only hints of American citrus hops really show... a bit of roasted malt show as it warms up.

Flavor is much more akin to an English BW than a standard PNW BW in my mind.. malts are the main player with hoppy bitterness at the front and only a tad of citrus/pine mid palate.. finish lingers with some fruity esters and caramel...

Body is lighter than most .... carbonation seems about right.

Pretty descent BW... I would buy it if I could ... would be good for a nice cheap BW fix.


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Photo of jdhilt
3.96/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a four finger light tan head that fades slowly leaving tons of lace. Clear amber color. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Malty nose. Flavor sweetish caramel and brown sugar balanced by hops, slight bitter aftertaste. High ABV is hidden. $1.60 for a 12oz bottle from Liquid Solutions Tigard, Or.

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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.

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Photo of beertunes
3.2/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into straight pint glass. Poured a semi-cloudy, translucent mahogany color with just a thin ring of off-white head that had low retention and lacing.

The aroma was fairly typical, sweet malts and some yeast spice. The alcohol had a noticeable component, it wasn't as hidden as in some other examples. The flavors were pretty much the same, malts, yeast spice and alcohol.

The body was average as well, perhaps even a bit stickier than normal. The beer did go down fairly smooth though. Drinkability was pretty good, for the style, although the sticky-sweet body started to become a bit bothersome. Overall, a fairly nice, although average, example of the style. Worth trying if you see it, but probably not worth any big effort to find.

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Photo of akorsak
3.78/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A 12 oz bottle purchased at Liquid Solutions.

A: The barleywine is a dark tawny red color with a small spot of head floating in the middle of the glass.

S: The nose is very sweet caramel malts. I also detect some buttery, bourbon corn notes, although this is not barrel-aged in any manner.

T: The barleywine does not disappoint flavorwise. Hop-wise, it is more of an English barley wine focusing on the malts. Those malts are sweet and cereally and readily support a big warming alcohol element. There are hops here that come out later in the sip, providing a jumpy bitterness that lasts in the mouth. That finish also includes a cough medicine-like taste that seems to be malt-driven.

M: The mouthfeel has a strange medicinal finish but beyond that, this is a good barleywine.

D: This is a whopper at 10%, but one bottle makes for a very enjoyable nightcap.

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Photo of ccrida
3.61/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter, Dick's BW is a dark garnett with a massive ivory head that leaves heavy lace. Served at cellar temp.

Smell is estery dark fruit and caramel, with a distinct 'freshness' to it, not in terms of young beer, but the fruity aroma, that's appealing. with a mineral like dryness. ABV is very well hidden

Taste is lacking depth and on the lighter side for a BW, the same esters and malt from the nose, on the sweeter side but with a firm bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is nice and creamy, medium bodied.

Drinkability is pretty high in term of ease of drinking, as it goes down like a much less beer. On the other hand, I generally drink BWs for their rich complexity, which this one is lacking.

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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.

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Photo of canucklehead
3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is without a doubt the most difficult beer i have ever had to open. Once free and clear the beer pours like dark tea with a half decent head. This sample was cellared for a year so the hop nose was subdued but the taste was smooth and full. This is clearly in the PNW school of barley wines with lots of hops and big body but this is a lesser example compared to Old Crusty or Old Boardhead. However, compared to some of Dick's beer this is at least very drinkable and well constructed. Worth a spot in your cellar.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
2.83/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed on 2/6/2010. Bottle thanks to riversideAK. Pours a clear brown with a small ring of white head. Aroma of sweet malt, booze, molasses, raisins. Flavor of sweet caramel malt and lots of residual sugars. Ugh, so sweet and completely lacking in complexity. This was difficult to drink.

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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.

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Photo of sulldaddy
3.99/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I am sampling a 12 oz bottle in a snifter at room temp. The brew comes to me courtesy of Mickey. Thanks!
The beer pours a slightly hazy mahogany color with some ruby red highlights. A small fizzy beige head foams up about 1 cm and fades quickly to an edge layer.
Aroma is big and fruity. I get some raisins, red grapes and fig newton smells. There is also a bit of brown sugar and molasses in there with a hint of warm alcohol too. As the beer breathes I also get some biscuity yeast.
First sip reveals a smooth body with a bit of syrupyness to the texture. The carbonation is very mild and gently rolls across my palate. Flavor starts off pretty sweet and again some dark fruit, red grapes and raisins mostly. I get a bit of bitter at the finish, but this is a precursor to some warming alcohol booziness from my throat to belly. I believe the bitterness is alcohol related. It is not unappealing just a bit bitey.
Overall this is a pretty tasty and interesting beer. I would try it again and if you like barleywines more on the sweeter side with low hop profiles this is one you should try for sure!
Thanks Mickey!!

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Photo of david18
3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On the rotating tap at Amsterdam Ales House in New York City. This beer is a little darker and maltier than I wanted it to be. Very dark in color with a lot of dark fruit flavor and aroma.

Not enough hops for my taste and the alcohol was a little strong tasting. In general, if you're on the east coast, it's worthing trying if you see it. Not my favorite Barleywine, however.

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Photo of snaotheus
3.4/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a pint glass

Pours thick like molasses, very little head, deep dingy brown-gray in color. Smell is rich and full of alcohol, lots of malty thickness, some licorice.

Taste is a little sweet and strangely hollow, a little dirty dishwater taste, strong alcohol taste, but surprisingly not astringent. Licorice and a mild bitterness come through.

Mouthfeel is flattish and somewhat thin. More drinkable than I would have expected based on the rest of my description, mostly because the sweetness is offset by the alcohol.

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Photo of sharpski
4/5  rDev +7%

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!

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Dick's Barley Wine from Dick's Brewing Company
3.74 out of 5 based on 74 ratings.
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