Captain Barley Heart | Jackie O's Pub & Brewery

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Captain Barley HeartCaptain Barley Heart

Brewed by:
Jackie O's Pub & Brewery
Ohio, United States

Style: Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Thorpe429 on 12-16-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 29 | Ratings: 51
Photo of BEERchitect
3.74/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

In an attempt to speed up the aging process, the Jackie O's brewers lace an English strong ale with wild yeast to acquire that earthen, rustic, aged character. But with the sour and the new in the same glass, they intertwine gracefully and duel it out with conflict and conviction.

Tawny and russet in its appearance, the ale carries and slim haze with burgundy and mahogany depth and a creamy, short foam stance. Earth and sweetness entice the nose much like molasses and basement-like rusticity whereas the early taste is all about the toffee, caramel, nutty and browned sugar sweetness.

As the sweet taste holds firm, the middle palate brings those earthy flavors over the the senses with the character of wild game, mushroom and wood rot. Its pungent taste bleeds seamlessly into the sour pucker of old must lime, sour cherry, green apple and sour wine. With a pep of tobacco here and a sprinkle of curing leather there, the deeply earthen and musty taste is still buffered with dense malty sweetness.

Its medium-full body would carry more weight from its low-lying carbonation to leave it still and syrupy; however the sourness dissects the malt and the body relaxes in finish, creating a drying warm, peppery finish. As the aftertaste bring spice cake and burlap, the two beers really never come together, seemingly content to cohabitate on the tongue.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.12/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle 146 of 216 from 2010
Enjoyed from a 2012 staff glass

a - brew pours a deep murky plum brown. Minimal head

s - nose is nice. Soft tartness, sour cherry over plum.

t - chocolate sourness. Cherry. Some oak and sharpness from the bourbon. A bit of old ale, but mostly sour cherry and dark fruit.

m - subtle pucker. Good carbonation. Medium to full bodied.

o - overall, what a pleasant surprise. Had this one since shortly after the release and just never got around to popping it and figured it was probably old and bad, but boy was i wrong. Drinking great. Really enjoyable dark sour with nice dark cherry leading the way.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This bottle is from the '10 vintage, bottle 80 of 216. Purchased this at the brewery in Jan '11.

Pours from the 22oz bottle into a pilsner glass. Emerges a dark and ruddy brownish purple color with a thin and wispy, snickerdoodle colored head that is quite small and recedes into the unknown faster than Charlie Sheen into a hooker's chest.

Aroma is quite sour and somewhat fruity. I really get the lactic acid type aromas in this one. I guess sour beers are supposed to smell sour, and this one sure does. Hints of alcohol and figs, almost a burning tire, and wild outdoors.

I kind of like the flavor. The sourness is the star here but there is some chocolate and caramel malt that slightly balances out the sourness. Fruit, tart, sour. Kind of thin on the body; I guess the Brett thins this one out and dries it out also.

As the beer warms, more of the barrel aging characteristics come out such as bourbon, vanilla, oak and more caramel creaminess. I enjoyed the latter part of the bottle more than the first part where the beer was a little too cold.

I am certainly no expert on sour beers, but I have had some. This one seems to bridge the gap between a vinegar bomb and an unsoured, "normal" beer. Not a beer I would have everyday, but certainly for a change of pace, which I needed today.

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Photo of billab914
3.42/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into my Flying Mouflan glass. Dark caramel in color with a thin, spotty lacing scattered across the top. The head faded rather quickly, leaving it rather still looking.

Aroma has the sweet maltiness of an Old Ale but with a tart and sour dark fruit presence. I get notes of caramel and sour cherry most prominently. The sour dark fruits are very nice in the aroma.

The taste has a little more dark sour fruits to it. I still get some of the malty, caramel sweetness of the old ale, but the sour fruits definitely seem to take over more in the taste. It's a little acidic, but not too bad. The finish is tart and somewhat dry, leaving the sourness to linger.

The mouthfeel is on the heavy side and carbonation is low. The mouthfeel is probably fitting for an Old Ale, but seems a little out of place in a sour beer. Overall, a decent sour beer with some nice sour dark fruit notes. Pretty flavorful and enjoyable overall. Not a great sour, but an enjoyable one.

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Photo of jmarsh123
3.57/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown with red hues and a small beige head that fades to a wisp. Moderate lacing.

Tons of oak and sour cherries in the aroma with a bit of bourbon. Don't get many malts from this as the oak and cherry overpower anything else.

Flavor is a bit different. Still a ton of cherry and some oak. A little chocolate leading to a chocolate covered cherry taste. Finishes dry as the oak and brett are felt, but brett is not too strong. Oak is a bit much. Bourbon is present in the aftertaste, but subdued.

A little thin for a beer of this magnitude. Carbonation levels are good. Finishes extremely dry.

Not too bad although not sure I'd really choose this over many other Jackie O's options. There are some good things here. The bourbon is nice and subtle and I like the cherry component. However, it is overly oaked and the body is a touch on the thin side.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.12/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased December 2010 at Jackie O's. #20 of 216.

A - A half-finger of off-white foam settles to a thin collar, leaving behind minimal spotty lace. Opaque raisin brown color.

S - The bourbon and oak presence is monstrous! The overall aroma is incredibly potent and leaps from the glass, bombarding one with sharp oak, bourbon, vanilla, coconut, mild vinegar and funk, some savory BBQ sauce notes, cherries, and brown sugar malts. Maybe a touch of caramel, milk chocolate, and dark fruits in there, but they're buried under the other flavors.

T - The taste is much more mellow. Dark fruits, tart cherry cordials, some light caramel sweetness - this seems slightly over-attenuated thanks to the brett. Dry oak and a bit of mustiness are also present. Perhaps a bit over-oaked and overly dry thanks to the brett.

M - Body seems a touch light for 9.5%. Lower carbonation, some mild tannic character, but otherwise quite smooth in texture. Minimal alcohol warmth is appreciated, especially after the raucous and bourbon-forward aroma.

D - This was a pleasant surprise. I only bought one of these because I was skeptical this would be a good beer, but it definitely exceeded my expectations and was mostly successful at what it set out to do. If Brad used second- or third-use barrels he'd actually have a pretty historically accurate old ale - perhaps dial back the bourbon and oak flavors and let the malt bill have a bit more opportunity to shine. Would purchase this again if it was actually available somewhere.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.97/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle, 2010 batch, bottle #89 of 216. Served in a nonic pint glass, the beer pours a hazy dark brown/red color with pretty much no head at all. There's a decent amount of lacing left on the glass. Aroma is tart cherries, oak, brown sugar, bourbon, vanilla, and some funk. The brew tastes like dark fruit, tart cherries, oak/wood, bourbon, and some funk and chocolate. There's a nice lingering woody/tart finish. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit creamy and sticky with moderate carbonation. I think this a good, interesting brew. I'd certainly like to try this again in the future!

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Photo of AgentZero
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Brown beer that's a bit hazy. Decent looking brown head that dissipates to a partial cap with some minor spots left on the sides.

S - Some dark fruits and oak. The Brett is present, but could use a little more time to funk up or something.

T - Dark fruits, a little cocoa, brown sugar. Brett is more present on the tongue than on the nose, but still not particularly strong.

M - Good carbonation, solid mouthfeel.

O - Nice beer, and one that might be interesting to age just for development's sake.

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Photo of joefuzz
3.43/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle sent as a extra from normyk 2010 vintage.

pours muddy redish brown with a small head.

Smells of tart cherries and vanilla.

Tastes is something else... its like a soured barleywine of some sort. Little bit of tart fruit flavors with some chocolate and oak in there.

Mouthfeel is a like a really good barleywine full body with light carbonation.

Overall if rated this as a wild ale rather than a old ale. The old ale is still there in a sort but its mostly sour.

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Photo of Mar02x
2/5  rDev -47.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I tried this beer at a tasting at my place, with thanks to the 'Branbander'. Unfortunately this was the worst beer of the evening. Maybe it was a wrong bottle. The fluid didn't go sour and there was no emulsion, so??? It was the last beer we tried (22th), after this one the evening was over, haha.

A- Fluid is dark brown with no foam and no carbonation at all.

S - Strong alcohol and phenol.

T - This was an undrinkable beer and that's why i think we had a wrong bottle.

M - No discussion, not good.

O - lets try another one.

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Photo of Brabander
2.3/5  rDev -39.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I got this bottle in a trade (in person) but i forgot who was so generous.

We had this beer in a tasting last week at Marks place.

This was the worst beer we had this night, sorry to say because i had high expectations.

Poured in a wide wineglass there is nothing positive to say about this beer. Fluid is darkbrown with no foam and no carbonation at all. This was an undrinkable beer and that's why i think we had a wrong bottle. I will have to try another one next time.

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.82/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: This pours a caramel brown color with an off-white foamy head. Fading quickly, the head leaves little to no lace on the glass.

Smell: Rich caramel, chocolate, and a bit of roasted malt, brown sugar, vanilla, a bit of funk and sour cherries. Interesting, if not a very powerful aroma.

Taste: It starts out with brown sugar, a touch of molasses, and some toffee sweet malts. A bit of bourbon, some oak, vanilla, and some dark fruits add some complexity. The slightly sour and funky cherries create a tart finish but do not really dominate. The finish is lightly sour.

Mouthfeel: The body feels fuller than medium to start and ends on the lighter side of medium, probably due to the Brettanomyces. The carbonation is on the light side, which might create a flat flavor and nick a point off here and there. Tart and acidic toward the end with a tart residual mouthfeel.

Overall: I can see what they tried to do with this beer and it was fairly good, but it is just tough to throw Brett into an Old Ale and expect the results to be amazing. Maybe some age on this will create a unique beer, but for now it is just above average.

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Photo of kirok1999
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice mild chocolate brown, thick off white head. Smells very nice, lots of milk chocolate, cherries, dates and sweet caramel.
This was poured too cold and it changed drastically as it warmed up. When cold it was very muted and not fruity. Once it warmed all the fruity notes came out in droves. Lush chocolate, dates, caramel, raisins and cherries. The Brett yeast gave it a mildly funky note that went well with the fruits. It felt somewhat thin but overall is a very well done old ale.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.22/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Rich, dark chocolate brown with a nice head of light tan on the top of it. Smooth, easy settling left behind some nice side glass lacing. The aroma was soo sweet. Lots of caramel, smooth molasses and brown sugar like smells coming off of here. Warming brings out a ton of dark fruit from every direction, plums, figs and almost cherries. The flavor was much more of the same. Rich and very sweet, defintly a dessert beer. I found myself savoring each and every sip of this one as the delicate sweetness of this one overwhelmed me. Soo much flavor here as the sweet caramel malts just overpowered everything and made for a wonderful flavor. Finsih was dominated by dark fruits as well, simply sublime The medium bodued ale was well carbonated and all alcohol was hidden and totally non existent.

Overall this was a really solid beer. A really solid version of the styl

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Photo of HopHead84
3.4/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3


Bottle 156/200 shared by Erik (riko), thanks! Snifter.

A: Deep brown with a small beige head.

S: Cherry, plum, grape, chocolate, and currant, with notes of oak. The Brett is really faint, imparting subtle leather notes but it's hardly there.

T: The dark fruit trend continues in the flavor, with grape and plum. Light chocolate. A little prune. Faint Brett.

M: Upper medium body with moderate carbonation. Mouthfeel is creamy and dry.

Overall: A pretty good beer. Perhaps the Brett will make it more interesting in the future.

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Photo of brew3crew
4.23/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at jackie o's.

A-dark brown with white lacing around the edges
S-lots of barley, go figure and slight bit of malt. Not'much Co,in off of it
T-very sweet and smooth. Sweet malt and no hop presence. A delight
M-sweet and oh so smooth
O-very good beer and I will be going back for seconds

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Photo of chaz01
3.99/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2010 Bottle picked up from a Jackie Os release party, #204 of #216. Poured into a fishbowl glass.

A: Cloudy dark brown color with a small tan colored head.

S: Wonderfully scented sour notes accented with vanilla, oak, brown sugar, and rum.

T: Woody and smoky flavors dominate in the taste, highlighted with dark fruit tastes like figs, dates and cherries. Not nearly as sour as the aroma indicates, but the tartness does become more pronounced in the finish.

M: Medium to full bodied with low levels of carbonation.

D: Not my favorite Jackie O's release, but certainly worth a try. The Jackie Os bottles are getting harder and harder to come by, so I'll take what I can get. Nice beer if you want something a bit different and unique.

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Photo of Urbancaver
3.87/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours brown with a small amount of head that disappears quickly. Smells a bit funky and very oaky. I get some slight roasted scents as well as some nice vanilla on the nose. Tastes sweet and very slightly funky. some nice citrus and spice on the tongue as well. Low carbonation but very nice feel. this one is unique and I'm curious to try it in the bottle.

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Photo of movingtrain
3.82/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had this one on tap before at Jackie-O's, but this one is from one of the limited release bottles: 135/216. Bottled in 2010, 22 oz. bomber sampled from a small snifter. Bottle reads that this is an "Old ale aged in oak barrels with brettanomyces."

Pours a murky brown with some hints of burnt amber color. A slight head upon first pour, but quickly falling to just a film clinging to the sides of the glass.

The nose has those wonderful sour notes that only brett can bring out. There are hints of vanilla, oak, green peppercorn, chocolate nibs, red pepper, nutmeg, orange peel, lemon, and crusty bread.

Taste is nice and sour...and interesting take on an old ale. In the flavor are bright citrus notes of lemongrass and orange peel, followed by some subtle malty notes, like a warm bread. There are also notes of green peppercorn lingering with warm vanilla and wood. The sour bite of the brett overpowers whatever the bourbon barrels might bring out in this beer.

Overall, a good, unexpected and creative, take on an old ale. It departs from a typical old ale, breaking from style with the brett, which isn't to say this beer isn't delicious. If you are into sours, strong sours, and hints of bourbon flavor, this is a good one to pick up if you can find a bottle.

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Photo of rye726
4.22/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice woody brown with a tan head.

Interesting nose has sweet malts, candies, Brett, oak, vanilla and bourbon.

Nicely blended, the barrels were a nice touch.

Medium body, finish a bit thin.

Nice traditional Olde Ale. I really like what Jackie O's is doing with their barrel aged beers.

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Photo of Spider889
3.33/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Had on tap at the brewery.

This one initially looked like most of the other beers that day - dark, black even, from a distance. Upon closer inspection this looked like a cloudy scotch with some coffee-colored haze floating around within. The beer is a sort of burnt sienna color overall.

Smells sour. Not as strong as some other Jackie O's given this one had brett added, but it's there. There's some really strong alcohol on the nose. Plenty of smoke here and really dark maltiness.

The malts really open up in the flavor. They are dark, nearly charred, with hints of coffee and baker's chocolate. More smoke comes in. Very mild sourness considering the brett, creating some dark fruit flavors. Plums come through and add sweetness. The beer finishes with more malt - the malt almost becomes too much in this one - dry, dark, and chewy.

After each sip my nose was greeted with a backwash of alcohol vapor, stinging slightly. This is quite boozy for less than 10%. Dry after taste.

Not bad, though I wasn't compelled to order any more of this either.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at the release party

A-pours a slightly murky brown with a thinner caramel colored head.

S-the nose comes forward with notes of brett with a fair bit of plum and cherry sweetness. it has a decent sweet fruity malt presence with a lively citric brett aroma behind.

T-the flavor has more dark malts to it, notes ofo chocolate malt with sugary sweetness behind. the brett is lighter than the nose and there is a hint of cooking spice to it in the back, not spicey spice.

M-medium body and a little grainy on the palate with a nice carbonation, prickly strong finish.

D-interesting beer with nice brett flavors and a strong malt base. the characteristics don't exactly blend well and seem to work somewhat alone but this is easy to drink and pretty taty.

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Photo of Tripphop
4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at bottle release. Interesting beer all around, soured old ale. The color is a strange light brown with lighter edges. There is a thin little head that barely makes it to the table but carbonation is evident. The aromas are nice. A little bit of sour funk with a nice vanilla cake note. The flavor is delightful, the old ale vanilla and cookie malt profile and a well integrated sour note. It is like a sour plum old ale. Very cool brew, we will see how it does in the cellar.

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Photo of wyattshotmaker
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at buckeye beer engine, deep brown with a touch of ruby. Thin tan head, overall pretty good.

Pineapple sweettart nose with a hint of hay and chocolate covered black cherries.

Mild chocolate flavor, macerated black cherries, funky sweet tart flavor. Sweetness balances out the funk. I was worried this would be overly thin but it has a really great medium bodied mouthfeel.

Glad I got to try this out. Very drinkable, balanced, and flavorful.

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Photo of jampics2
4.29/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Perhaps one of the main draws from the Wood Aged Beer Tasting at Buckeye Beer Engine, Captain Barley Heart was brought to the table in a 10oz snifter.

The beer looks nice in the glass, it immediately stands out for it's dark brown color with hints of plum. The beer is cloudy and a tad on the muddy side, but there is a nice white head that sticks to the glass quite well. The appearance is above average, and I'm ready to move on to the part where this beer should really differentiate itself from modern Old Ales - the smell. The scent and taste this beer provides are truly unique. This kind of beer was hugely popular in old school London and commanded a premium over new ale without the mature flavors - I get why. The scent begins the experience with an instantly recognizable barnyard note that is accompanied by raisin and vanilla. Some brown sugar and a hint of black cherry give depth and identity. This is expressive and really well balanced!

The first sip is worth the wait. The combination of the barnyard funk and the caramel malt makes a solid foundation of flavor. Some hints of figs and raisins give the beer dark, fruity depth. Everything reaches a creshendo of funk, leather and sugar before the influence of the oak becomes identifiable in an orgy of vanilla, coconut and bourbon.

The density of the mouthfeel goes great with the flavor component and style of beer. It is smooth and silky with a nice Brett finish. The beer is very drinkable for the ABV, and everything adds up to make it easy to take a trip back in time with this excellent and unique beer from Jackie O's.

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Captain Barley Heart from Jackie O's Pub & Brewery
3.83 out of 5 based on 51 ratings.
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