Dick's Barley Wine | Dick's Brewing Company

60 Reviews
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 Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 60 | Ratings: 74
Photo of PlaywrightSam
3.72/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. A: Amber/mohagany with tons of thick creamy tan head that sticks around for a very long time. Lots of lacing. S: Lots of malt, caramel sweetness, some boozey spice in there, some darker fruit. Very sweet. T: For such an aggressively sweet smell, the taste is a bit on the bitter side for a barleywine. A bit sweet up front but the hops take over very quickly. M: Coarse, oily, pretty thickly carbonated. D: As I continue through the bottle, the balance seems to be a bit off. Though it definitely has a sweet character, but the bitter finish is a tad unpleasant and lasts quite a while. Could definitely benefit with some aging, I imagine. Interesting, but not something I will probably seek out again.

 716 characters

Photo of BlaiseDemon
3.49/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Although I am not a big barley wine style explorer, the simple label and modest price grabbed me. I have had other barley wine style brews and feel this was average in comparison. I did not at first appreciate the yeast floating all through it, it seemed as though I had picked up a dirty glass at first, but as it settled, I realized that my last sip of the brew would offer some extra sustenance. A bit bitter but not overly so. Color was a nice fiery orange. The aroma was enticing but underscored the heavier fruit tastes the palate experienced. Overall I would recommend this to a newer taster of barley wine style brew like myself, if for nothing more than a good baseline with which to compare others of the same beverage. It finished smoothly despite the extra solids and delivered less of a punch than one would expect from a 10%.

 839 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 lifeboyq
3.66/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This was $1.50 at my local Whole Foods. Its hard to pass up a 9.9% ABV offering at that price (thats not some disgusting malt liquor offering) so i picked up a couple.

Poured into a Duvel tulip a deep amber brownish color with a half finger head that doesnt hold up too long. Smell is sweet astringent with some yeasty phenols, sugary, not much else.

Taste is slightly malty but fairly thin and not really much to it. This being said its really well balanced and not too bitter for my taste in barleywine. I think I'm partial to the sweet and caramel malt flavor and the mellowing out from the wheat and bit of bite from the not too much roasted barley. Even though its apparent that there are some high alpha hops in here, its still a nice and not too over powering IBU combination to the sweetness of the malts. This beer would balance out even better with a little down time.

Body and mouthfeel is slightly thinner than I'd like (raise your mash temp. Dick) for the style and its not really a complex offering and doesnt really change much with warming but tis still a nice flavor.

I think a different yeast offering would really do this beer wonders, but I'm here to review the beer not reconstruct it.

Drinkability is high to me for a 9.9% American Style Barleywine. I've read other reviews calling this an English Style Barleywine but in my opinion its really nothing of the sorts. The grain bill might be where its being considered English even though thats not where it should gain the distinction. The hop combination even though high alpha and not English at all though not egregious hyperbolic IBU levels to which some American craft brewers are taking Barleywines in combination with the yeast offering is entirely American. See BJCP Style Guidelines at bjcp.org for your own interpretation.

The real gem here is this offering for $1.50. There arent many beers that can compete with the quality for that price, IMO. I'll revisit

 1,951 characters

Photo of hoppymeal
3.63/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very hazy cola brown with a small light tan head that fades quickly to a ring. Aroma is fruity malts, both some berry and grape aroma as well as some raisins, and a little malted milk powder sweetness. Taste is good size malt powder sweetness, little caramel and molasses, and hints of pruniness. A decent grassy and drying hop bitterness comes in towards the finish and blends with the warming light alcohol bite at the back of the throat. Medium to heavy body, fairly thick and full on the tongue. Very drinkable for the alcohol content, probably one i wouldn't age, think it'd be at its best when fresh.

 614 characters

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 joe1510
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle
$1.80 Single
Liquid Solutions

Dick's Barley Wine poured garnet with glowing mahogany highlights when held to the light for a better look. A one finger ivory head formed on the pour that faded to a thick collar and skim coat. Left drink lines after each sip that slowly fell back into the body. Good looking barley wine.

The aroma is loaded dripping caramel malts. Theres also a big helping of dark fruits including bing cherries (rum soaked), figs, and dates. A sugary sweetness follows but is in no way overpowering like other English style barley wines sampled in the past.

This is a barley wine packed full of malty goodness. Toasted malts, caramel malts, and that tea leaf flavor sometimes found (not from the malts but a main component). The fruit is much more subdued than in the aroma. In fact there's just a slight wash of fruit that makes it tough to pick up specific flavors. Enjoyable little grassy hop kick on the finish that leaves a nicely bitter aftertaste.

The body lies slightly fuller than medium. Slight stickiness. The mouthfeel is good and helps the drinkability but I have to say t's this beers weak point.

Drinkability is surprisingly good for such a powerful brew. It's a sipper but one to sip the night away.

If this was available in my area I wouldn't hesitate to pick up a case and see what some aging can do with this barley wine. A tasty example for sure.

 1,416 characters

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.

 2,141 characters

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.

 873 characters

Photo of woemad
3.68/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle purchased at Huckleberry's for $1.99. No freshness date. The label looks nothing like the one on BA, btw.

Poured a dark mahogany color with a big, creamy off-white head that took several minutes to drop. Spots and globs of lace.

This is the most malty smelling barleywine I've come across in a long time. I get spice and prunes notes from this.

Again, this is a malty take on the style. semi-sweet and bitter, dark fruit flavors are at the fore. There is a hop bitterness, but it's more in the background. There is a dryness at the swallow. Not unpleasant, but odd.

Medium bodied, with an oily, prickly mouthfeel.

Not at all what I was expecting. I guess this could be the anti-Bigfoot. While not unpleasant at all, it's a pretty weird drink for someone familiar with the style who's expecting a lot more hops.

 839 characters

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.

 305 characters

Photo of geographie
2.16/5  rDev -42.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

8oz. snifter.

mild psst upon opening. Very clear copper colored brew pours with minimal head formation. Head doesn't stick around, in both senses. Smell is yeasty, carbon dioxide-y, mild malts, and fruity - think juicy juice. Very fine bubbles form on the edges of the glass.

whoa. taste is bitter the whole way through. The flavor is very sharp on the palate - Yeast very present, although unfortunately so. The sweet, complex malty front is almost entirely missing on this barleywine. On the other hand, the 10 percent abv is well masked. Flavor improves a little with warmth.

Mouthfeel is nice, the superfine carbonation lends to a nice coating around the mouth, not too syrupy at all - the beer lingers just long enough, now if only the flavor was worth it!

Personally the beer makes me a little sick. I appreciate the solid craftsmanship, excellent presentation, etc - this just isn't one of those fireside brews you want to cherish all night. Not a beer i'd have more than one a night, or year for that matter.

 1,028 characters

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

In a 22 oz. Weizen glass.

A -- pours smooth and thick, a nice 1 finger head that soon fades to a bubbly layer. Good lacing. Dark Crystal with deep ruby brown red.

S -- Mildly sweet tropical fruit, moderately malty and a slight booziness.

T -- It is pretty raw which is to be expected since this is this year's offering. Interesting bold leather/dark fruit with a little charred wood flavor. Needs aging, I'm really looking forward to this in a year or two.

M -- Damn it! needs more. It's not at all thick as I would expect a barleywine to be.

D -- yup, just dandy

 583 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 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.

 619 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 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 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.

 493 characters

Photo of czechsaaz
3.47/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep fruit and yeast aroma with a low amount of hops, mostly citrus notes from those hops. Some spicy notes from the yeast (I get cinnamon and maybe some clove phenols.)

Deep ruby colored with very low head. Some carbonation bubbles rising. Clear.

Starts off malty with a lot of fruity fermentation character. I get cherries and grapes and maybe some plum flavors. Hop bitterness is fairly high keeping it in balance. There is some citrussy hop flavor mid-palate. I like the flavors but it's kind of one dimensional. There's not a lot of complex malt flavors or big hop complexity. It's mostly about the fermentation. Not bad, but not a blow away.

Full bodied and very smooth. Carbonation is medium and keeps it lively in the mouth.

For a barleywine and 10% it's pretty drinkable but that's not necessarily a good thing in a barleywine. I want to be impressed by the need to sip a barleywine and this one I could get through pretty quickly.

 952 characters

Photo of TheBungyo
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured ruby red with a tiny head. Nose is alcoholic cherry and caramel. Taste is much the same. Mouth is medium body with nice lacing. I plan on buying a bunch of this since the price is so cheap. A nice barleywine that won't distract you from the greats.

 255 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 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 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 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 HochFliegen
3.67/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a vibrant deep red with a thin whisp of foam.
Smell is very fruity almost prune like and a hint of green apple.
Taste is quite complex a burst of fruit and sweet nectar at first followed by a strong hop bite in the aftertaste. A slight alcohol taste in there as well very well hidden thought. Quite a powerfull brew and a great flavor IMO.

 348 characters

firstprev| 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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

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