Old Man Barley Wine | Port Townsend Brewing Company

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Old Man Barley WineOld Man Barley Wine
Very Good
15 Ratings
Old Man Barley WineOld Man Barley Wine

Brewed by:
Port Townsend Brewing Company
Washington, United States

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-01-2003

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 15 |  Reviews: 11
Reviews by RedDiamond:
Photo of RedDiamond
4.62/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Looking back, it seems I made a commitment last year to try this barleywine on draught next time I made it to Port Townsend. Good thing I made the effort, as this beer was flawed from the bottle but fabulous on tap.

The first thing I noticed was that my snifter came with a prodigious head on it. I thought this was odd as most PT beers are minimally carbonated and here’s a beer style that doesn’t especially require strong carbonation, yet it was unexpectedly sudsy. Next, I savored the aroma, which was explosive with heavy fruited malts. Rich fruity malts took the lead with punctual bittering playing backup. The taste of alcohol made no appearance at all.

This is a masterful barleywine given proper circumstances. It has a polished mahogany body and superabundant flavor that won’t let you go. Clean, sexy, and compelling – don’t miss the chance to enjoy this on tap if you can.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
3.98/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Nice burgundy brown in color with a decent head that went down slowly and laced the glass.

Smell – Big sherry aroma on top of a good malt base. There are a lot of dark fruits and sugar in this nose as well but not a hint of the 10.5 ABV.

Taste – The oak and sherry flavors come out huge in the taste. The sugars are more like overripe fruits that have liquefied. The cherry and apricot seem to be the strongest along with some mild apple and an interesting hint of browned banana.

Mouthfeel – Full-bodied and very sweet for the style with a hint of dryness.

Drinkability – This went down like a good sangria. It was winey with lots of sweet and well balanced. This was quite a surprise for a NW brewery.

Comments – I couldn’t find a hint of the giant ABV either in the nose or at the taste. Be careful with this heavy hitter.

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Photo of Goldorak
2.38/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance: Burnt sienna, with a dusty crown of lacing.

Smell: Caramel and brown sugar, but something was off, fetid even.

Taste: Ouf...My first sip reminded me of the time Barney Gumble said "Hey, someone left Beer in that ashtray!" and proceded to gulp it down. I like smokiness in Beers, but this is beyond, it's cinders and soot, and just hangs on your upper palate towards the back of your mouth forever. A saving grace on this one was the fact that the embers hid the alcohol nicely. Bad bottle? I hope so.

"Thar she brews" it said on the bottle. "Thar, she blows" is what it should have been written down.

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Photo of liamt07
3.25/5  rDev -13.3%

Photo of froghop
3.82/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours brown with a red tint, small tan head, and good lacing.

smell is sweet, caramel, malt, few spices, some alcohol, and some dark fruit.

taste is creamy, smooth, dark fruit, carmel, touch of chocolate, and spiced rum, ends slightly dry and bitter.

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Photo of ccrida
4.1/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber (cellared for ~ 3 months) poured into my Meantime snifter, Port Townsend's Barley Wine is dull, dark garnet with a large, olive tinged tan head that leaves foamy lace.

Smell is strong and sweet, nutty, with lots of sweet crystal and sugary fruits as well, very intense

Taste is pretty rich and intense, with a nice clean alcoholic bite to remind you of the heft. A fair amount of leafy, citrus hops, but definitely in the English style, overall pretty smooth and rounded, but with a nice little pucker from the hops. Really quite nice, I'm digging it for sure. This would probably age quite well, but it pretty good as is. With no bottling date and being a year round release, I have no idea how old it is other then having bought it from a pretty high turn-over bottle shop.

Mouthfeel is slick, with pretty high level of carbonation for the style, although not excessive overall, and medium bodied.

Drinkability is pretty high, this Barley Wine seems better then the sum of it's parts, and I'm really quite impressed. I really dug it on the young side but will have to track down a few more of these to try and age.

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Photo of brewandbbq
4.06/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark ruby with murky brown hues. A dense, tan head of a half-inch rose up at the finish of a stretch pour. A very nice cascade of ultra-fine bubbles made it happen.
Aromatics are laced with dark fruit, crystal malt, and figgy butterscotch. Red wine and a bit of nougat rounds out the nose.
Mouthfeel is medium, but somewhat chewy and sticky.
The pallet is decidedly english, but bigger.
Plenty of fruit-laden malt character, and warming alcohol.
Bitterness is firm and assertive enough to stave off the residuals.
Some toasted malt comes forward as it warms up, as well of plenty of vineous complexity. Almost boozy, but not quite.
Finishes with some mild citrus oils and lingering alcohol-laden malt.

A good canditate for cellaring.

 742 characters

Photo of tpd975
3.82/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to ibrew2or3 for another wonderful beer.

A: Pours a murky red hue which turns to an odd shimmering orange color at the top of the pour. There is no head or noticeable carbonation. There are some sea monkey like floaters though.

S: Tons of sweetness. Hints of malt, toffee, caramel, and booze. Beneath that there is some rum soaked dark fruits. Very appealing.

T: Some at the table found it to be too boozy, I did not. I love the big sweetness this one packed. The dark fruits are there as is the booze. There is a sweet buttery taste in the finish.

M: Full bodied and smooth. A slight prickle from the ABV burn.

D: Not the most drinkable barleywine, but very enjoyable nonetheless.

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

Ratebeer rating #1600

Acquired via trade with after4ever. Pours dark brown to copper with a bit of haze and tan head. The aroma is malty sticky sweetness and some medium colored fruity esters. A good dose of alcohol too if the draw goes too long. The taste is sticky malt sweetness blending into fruity esters. Smooth and slick and turning into sugar coated pears along with nice lip smacking residual sweetness. Never gets too warming or hot. Nice stuff.

 456 characters

Photo of vande
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of towlea25
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of DIM
2.76/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

2008 vintage

a: This was a clear, ruby tinted copper color. It poured with a large, firm, sticky head.

s: Caramel and toffee dominate. In the backround I got some herbal bitterness, mild heat, and faint suggestions of fruit.

t: Starts off okay with strong toffee flavors. The finish, though, is harsh and abrasive. The toffee becomes a bit chalky and is joined by a surprisingly strong bitterness that is largely flavorless. It may have have had some faint herbal flavors. The 10.5% abv also becomes apparent.

m: The carbonation is gentle and unobtrusive, but the body is a bit thin. The lingering heat and bitterness are distracting.

d: Not much else to say, I'm just not a fan.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a light copper color with a small head that fades quickly.

S: Nose is malts, brown sugar, and caramel.

T: Taste is nice with brown sugar, caramel but not to bad.

M: Mouthfeel is very nice, well carbonated sweet, dry, no issues but has a thin body to it

D: Good to drink

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Photo of grumpy
4.08/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

An interesting range of four previous reviews, spanning a few years. I guess I am going to raise the average for this beer, because I thought it was right tasty.

What am I drinking? Well, it's the bottle and not the draught, but that's about all I know. A 22-oz bomber purchased at Bottleworks in Seattle in October 2006, and consumed in October 2007. No vintage date, no bottling date, no best by date, no ABV listed, no IBUs, no nothing. Just Port Townsend Barley Wine.

Aroma is fairly subtle -– a bit of cherry, sweet malt, and caramel.

Appearance is clear, dark amber with minimal carbonation, little head retention and lacing. A vigorous swirl does generate a short-lived ring of foam, however.

Taste is the strong suit here: An outstanding blend of sweet caramel, cherry, molasses, brandy, with just enough balancing hops to keep this from being an overly sweet beer. None of the smokiness that one reviewer reported. Different recipe? One of the best tasting Barley Wines I've had.

Mouthfeel is a bit lacking. This is not a full-bodied beer, as I would prefer, but the carbonation level is to my liking for a Barley Wine

Drinkability is very good for a big beer. Sorry to see that bottle go empty, with no replacement on hand.

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Photo of sharpski
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Old Man Barley Wine from Port Townsend Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.75 out of 5 with 15 ratings
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