Dick's Barley Wine | Dick's Brewing Company

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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 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.

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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

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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.

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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 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.

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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.

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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 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of mentor
3.73/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2004 bottling provided by Weefishheads long ago and aged a year in my cellar. Thanks for the opportunity. Pours a single finger, large bubbled, light yellow head. The sediment was retained in the bottle, and, I must say, I have *never* seen so much yeast in the bottom of a bottle of beer. Crystal clear beauty red-amber liquid with some bubble streams racing to the surface. Kinda unusual for a barleywine, but this beer looks delicious. Smells of caramel, toasted grains, soured citrus hops, and alcohol (with fusel notes). Raisins soaked in cheap rum. Taste is rich in caramel and toasted grains. Toffee and fruity esters, including raisins and dates. The esters are carried high in the mouth by an edgy alcohol that appears during the swallow. The aftertaste starts somewhat alcohol bitter and soured malt (somewhat cherry-like). I wonder if some of this might be tannins. Anyway, a strong revival of the caramel jumps in to counter this in dramatic fashion. The caramel is short-lived compared to the long-lasting bitter dry that's left in my mouth. Body is thick and the carbonation is a bit stronger than I'd like for this style. As the beer has warmed I've noticed a very light chocolate flavor on the upper-back of the roof of my mouth.

There's alot going on with this beer. Not all of it entirely pleasing, but I really enjoyed the challenge of picking this one apart. A nice Friday evening activity...now it's time for something I won't have to take notes on.

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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 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 blitheringidiot
3.65/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Label Lingo and bottle babble: Bottle wasa workout to open. Keep some channel locks pliers and gloves handy. Plastic cap literally extricated with a “pup!” Rather single labeled plain 750 mL big boy with a punt in the bottom of the bottle.

Into a tulip with a standard turbid ruddy countenance, and ubiquitous thin ring collar around the edges. Some carbonated bubbles stick to the glass, but are released in short order.

Sugar & molasses nose of massive malt and huge hops aromatic ester monster. Spiced scents of raisins and grapes. Red licorice.

First Swigs: Fig juice. Dry Bisquik middle. Lingering finish of malt and hops brawl. Some table sugar sweetness overtakes the palate. A twinge of Dr. Pepper in there. Fig like hints and wood notes that remind me of Sam Adams Triple Bock oak. Once warmed out of a chill, the rummy awl-kee-hawl esters are pronounced.

Surprising soft gentle carbonation and medium bodied. Becomes a bit banged up in the awl-kee-hawl level towards the end.

Last Swigs: Pancake malts and rum torte dessert sugary syrup. A rather mellow BWSA especially for the big ole 10.0% ABV punch. This is available in 12 oz and 1 Pint 9.4 Fl oz. Sizes. Go for the 12 and you’ll get the idea! A bit off the revered SNBF mark.

Beer is good. Happy 10% Am BWSA beering.

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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

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Photo of mikeys01
3.78/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of weefisheads, thanks! Pours out a slightly hazy orange color with a fair amount of quickly fading beige head, nicely carbonated. Aroma is sweet, with a good amount of boozey drunken fruit coming out as well, not a lot of hops noticeale in the noce. Plenty of hops in the flavor though, with bigfoot-esque piney and citrus notes. Strong alcohol bite comes in through the middle along with some raisin and figgy fruit notes and of course roasty caramel malt. Rolls right on to a respectably bitter finish. Body is medium, not overly thick at all. More complexity in this one than I expected from the nose, a respectable barleywine overall.

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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 Morris729
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark hazy rust color with a short light tan head that fades into a good amount of silky lace. Nose is sweet candied sugar, caramelized malt, spicy yeast, and estery alcohol. Fairly full-bodied with a thick and velvety texture that coats the tongue. Taste starts off with a strong brown sugar sweetness followed by a bite of almond extract. Malt is noticeable throughout the tasting with notes of molasses and dark fruit becoming more pronounced as the beer continues to warm. There’s not much hop bitterness compared to many other barley wines, but there is a touch of acidic orange citrus towards the end to provide a bit of balance to the beer. Some notes of alcohol are detectable in the finish, yet this is still very drinkable considering it’s got an ABV of 10%. Thanks to faernt for the sample!

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Photo of 49degrees
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dick’s Barley Wine is one of the newest offerings from this growing brewery from Centralia, Washington. Situated roughly 60 miles south of Seattle, Washington, or about the mid-way point between Seattle and Portland, Oregon, Dick’s has quickly garnered a fairly decent following amongst beer drinkers throughout the Pacific Northwest. Perhaps best known for some of its over the top hoppy ales, they venture down the popular Barley Wine road with this newbie offering – available in both 12oz bottles and 750ml bombers – but in doing so, add a new twist on the age old genre.

I’ve been drinking plenty of Barley Wine over the past several months and find Dick’s to be amongst the lightest in the hop arena. Although there is considerable hop factor, particular for those who aren’t “Hop Heads,” it pales considerably in the hop department. Dick’s IPA is known for its hops, and yet their Barley Wine – a style known for high hop counts – really isn’t over the top as one might expect. Having said that, where it misses in the hop factor, it makes up for in overall taste and enjoyment. Dick’s Barley Wine is very drinkable (carefully), but with its 10%abv, is quite unassuming at first. It seems to pack a little extra alcohol punch in comparison to similar 10%abv brews (eg. anything from Hair Of The Dog).

Pours a deep ruby red color, minimal head but a strong high collar and plenty of lacing (lots of lacing in comparison to most Barley Wines). Ever so slightly cloudy with very fine suspended particulate, it is relatively clear for the style.

As for this Barley Wine’s aroma, there’s plenty of malty sweetness packed in this bouquet. Toffee/Caramel sweetness, pungent orange accents, a slight hint of wheat (ala Hefeweizens) and a even a slighty nutty essence like many brown ales.

Taste wise, this one follows the aroma extremely well. The bigger the sip, the more malty the effect, the smaller the sip the more the tingly hoppy characteristics come through. This is still a hoppy brew, but in comparison to some of its counterparts in the marketplace right now, this one is considerably less hoppy than most Barley Wines. Interestingly enough there’s a fair amount of wheat texture and flavor coming through on each sip. The brew claims to use a malted wheat in the rendition, which would equate for that characteristic.

An enjoyable brew any way you slice it. Prost!!

[ STATS:>> 12 oz bottle / ABV: 10.0% / PRICE: $ 2.19 USD ]

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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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