Oil Of Gladness
Dark Horse Brewing Company

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American Barleywine
4.1 | pDev: 7.8%
Dark Horse Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Notes: Collaboration with 3 Floyds Brewing Company
Reviews: 28 | Ratings: 109 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of beergoot
4.14/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown body, nearly black; thin, wispy head but lasting; rings of foam encircle the glass. Rich dark malt, dark pitted fruit, and some boozy notes in the aroma; cocoa; baker's chocolate. Rich and flavorful taste; dark chocolate dusted with cocoa; tempered sweetness, a bit dull (i.e., not too sweet); well-balanced bitterness with a bit of a boozy edge. Heavy body; oily and velvety; some alcohol heat yet nicely offset with the residual sugar.

I have no idea when this beer was brewed and bottled. It could be a couple of years old, it could be recently re-issued. Regardless, this is a righteous and intensely enjoyable barleywine. The black side of things (I'm guessing a lot of dark and patent malts along with a healthy dosing of dark roasted malts) are top notch. Very, very enjoyable.

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Photo of larryi86
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Thank you FlintB for this
12 oz bottle, 2017, poured into a teku

A- Dark brown, almost black, with a two finger mocha head.

S- Charred oak, citrus, molasses, piney, some stone fruits, touch of caramel.

T- Charred oak, dark fruits, molasses, caramel, some citrus, piney finish.

M- Smooth, medium to full body.

O- A tasty barley wine and easy to drink.

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Photo of BlackBeerPirate
3.94/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Taste: rich, spiced, dark fruit, boozy, hopped, roasted malt, slight sweet. Same with the fermented dark fruit nose.nose. Reddish black/brown hue, semi clear, tan head, with a webbed lattice of lace. Medium/Full body. Complex. 45 IBUs

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Photo of Hopheadjeffery
4.07/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Tasted in a Rastal Teku from a 22 fl oz bottle on January 31, 2019. Bottled 10/13/17 and stored in a climate controlled cellar. Notes of dark dried fruits and caramel malt.

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Photo of Jeffo
3.05/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Got this one from rutger this past summer. Cheers!

From a bottle into a snifter
Collaboration between FFF and Dark Horse Brewing.

APPEARANCE: Clear dark brown pour yields a three finger, medium looking, creamy, light tan head with great retention. Bistre brown body with lower levels of carbonation. Head slowly recedes to a full cap and leaves decent lacing on the glass.

SMELL: Caramel, dark fruits, grapes, raisins and dates, leather and tobacco on the nose. Plenty of dark crystal and perhaps Special B malts here. Bold enough.

TASTE: Some dark fruits, dates, grapes, leather and spicy alcohol up front. Some more booze at the swallow, moving into a bold and lingering finish of caramel sweetness, dark fruit flavors, dates, plumbs, raisins, some definite leather and tobacco flavors, as well as a good bed of spicy alcohol.

PALATE: Medium body and medium levels of carbonation. Creamy on the palate, goes down smooth for the ABV and finishes mouth-coating. Some heat lingers.

OVERALL: This reminds me of a couple attempts at homebrew I’ve made. Mostly batch 40. Like the homebrew, this one is alright. There’s character here that is worth contemplating but in the end, it’s not enjoyable enough to warrant a return visit. Thanks again for the box of loveliness, dude!

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Photo of CanConPhilly
4.17/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L - massive, dense hazelnut head atop a dark brown body.

S - dark fruits, fruitcake, molasses, orange marmalade.

T - dark fruits, char, coffee, chocolate, smoke, and some fruit cake spices. Low bitterness. Low sweetness. Low booziness.

F - medium-full body with average carb.

O - super-tasty. Damn.

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Photo of Junior
3.45/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

L - Very dark brown, almost black, cola like color and viscosity with a thin mocha head.
S - Sweet caramel malt and alcohol.
T - Sweet and roasted malt and black licorice, with a bitter boozy finish.
F - Lightly carbonated and boozy.
O - The look and aroma of this beer gave me high hopes. This carried through the initial taste. The finish was not good.

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Photo of stortore
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22 ounce bottle into a tulip snifter. Bottled by 3 Floyds 10/13/17, had 5/5/18.

Pours near black, mostly opaque, with a one and a half inch foamy head with good retention and thick, foamy lacing. Aromas of citrus and resiny hops, licorice, caramel, malt, tobacco, some chocolate, light figs and brown sugar. The taste is similar- malt, citrus hops, pine, caramel, chocolate, some licorice, light tobacco. A good amount of bitterness at first, that tapered as I worked through the bottle. Smooth, a solid full body, well carbonated.

It’s really more like a black IPA to me, but it’s very enjoyable under any tag. Good hops, a solid malt backbone, a good collaboration.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.44/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle, no dating that I noticed but I've had this bottle a couple months or so. This is the version brewed at 3 Floyds (as stated on the label and with the 3 Floyds bottle cap). Served in a snifter, the beer pours a very dark brown/reddish color with a couple inch tan head. Head retention and lacing are both pretty good. Aroma is nice, the brew smells like piney hops, roasted malt, dark fruit, molasses and some cocoa. I think the taste is similar to the aroma, but there's the addition of some citrusy hops and caramel. Good amount of hoppy bitterness in this brew. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's creamy and a bit coating with a moderate amount of carbonation. Really easy to drink! I thought this was pretty good, hopefully I can find some more of this left on the shelves here. $16.99 a bomber.

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Photo of Chuckdiesel24
4.36/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Bomber into a large snifter.
L: Pours a very dark amber - borderline black. Quite a large head for the style.
S: Pine and a touch of dark fruit. Some roast at the back end.
T: Bread-y up front (maybe molasses with that) and then pine, which is interesting because to me that's two things contrasting but in a good way. The pine stays through, but it doesn't seem overly hopped like I expected.
F: Despite the name - it's not oily think. This drinks in some ways like a crazy strong Cascadian ale.
O: The fact that it's lighter in body than a typical barleywine makes it super drinkable for the 11% ABV. I really enjoyed drinking this and I'm sure in the AM I'll regret how quickly I solo'd a bomber.

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Photo of REVZEB
4.4/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

What a cool hybrid concept of a black barleywine. This was a slow sipper, due to booziness but even more so because of the swirling dark flavors. Molasses, tobacco, malt forward, and woody, along with traditional American barleywine flavors. Thick and robust, this collaboration of brewers and styles was delicious!

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Photo of TheSixthRing
4.34/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - Pours black with cola brown edging and a light tan, half finger's width head. Sub-par retention, resulting in a mostly barren surface with a fair ring of suds encircling the edge of the glass.

Smell - Chocolatey with lesser roast and a surprising amount of fruity tartness; like blackberry jam.

Taste - Chocolate, coffee roast, toffee and light berry tang upfront. Bitterness comes through mid-taste with some earthy, leafy tea character. Mostly chocolatey finish with the other flavors sitting beneath.

Mouthfeel - Near full-bodied with low-to-moderate carbonation. Slick, slightly creamy texture with a smooth, easy finish.

Overall - The first 6 digits on the bottling code are 291216, so this thing was brewed about a year ago I'm guessing? Regardless, I'm really digging it. Somewhat reminiscent of Rogue Old Crustacean, which may be my all-time favorite barleywine.

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Photo of Buck89
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a snifter. A dark brown/cola color with a thick tan head that lingered nicely. The piney hops were there on the pour. A closer sniff revealed some grapefruit pith in with the pine, chocolate, and roasty malt. The initial taste was reminiscent of a black IPA with sharp piney and citrus bitterness, but this quickly gave way to a nice roasty and chocolatey malt character which seemed to quell the hops, leading to a relatively soft finish. The feel was somewhere between medium-to-full and the beer felt plush. Really great to sip.

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Photo of TreyIsWilson
4.04/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - Pours dark brown with a one finger tax head. Tons of soapy lacing.

S - Aroma is dark chocolate, plums, raisins and roasted malts.

T - The taste is piney hops, dark chocolate, roasted malts, caramel, raisins and plums.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Creamy mouthfeel with a soft dry finish.

O - This is a my first time with a black barleywine. The flavors are somewhat reminiscent of a black ipa. The ABV make this a nice slow sipper.

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Photo of GrumpyGas
4.12/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz draft pour into a snifterloudy boasts a dark opaque mahogany brown body and floats a 1/4in tan fluffy head, leaving a consistent spotted lacing.

Aroma includes a strong hop fruity/bitterness up front with some loitering oak, vanilla, and stone fruit behind the storefront.

Flavor starts with bitter hops, moves quickly to a carmelly malt and finishes bitter hop again.

Mouthfeel is a solid medium that is approaching tongue coating, and finishes somewhere between oily and dry.

Overall, clearly Three Floyd's hops and a solid rounding with malt. A very nice collaboration.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Incredibly complex and loosely associated with any style of barleywine at all, a highly hoppy, highly toasty, fruity, aromatic and spicy flavor spills out of the collaborative efforts of Three Floyds and Dark Horse brewing companies.

Oil of Gladness pours with a dark, bark-like brown hue that's hazy and lightly muddy in appearance. Toasted hops bring an element of coffee and cocoa across a potpourri of citrus, pine, herb and grasses. Sweet suggestions grace the nose with brown sugar and molasses before the actual sweetness of brown sugar and molasses slather across the early palate. What an introduction!

Perhaps dark in color, the brightness of the beer hinges on hops. Dwarfed by the citrusy and piney taste of hops, the sweetness simmers on the middle palate with a long but somber linger of cocoa, coffee, blackstrap molasses and subtle char. But then the pink grapefruit, orange peel, pineapple, passionfruit, lemon and berry flavors take a bold command of taste and ride into a long, bitter and deep finish. Spiciness of curacao liquor, anise and pine sap grip the throat tightly for an extended bitter linger.

Full in body, the intense bitterness and their associated resins give the palate a sticky dryness that's deeply embedded in imperial IPA character. Campfire, spicy booze and grassy, piney, peppery bitterness keeps the session complex, powerful but irresistible. Consider the beer more of an imperial black IPA and that's more indicative of the flavors within than of any type of barleywine.

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Photo of PBRmeasap1980
3.83/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A- like a mix of a black ipa and barleywine
S- Smokey peet, dank hops
T- Similar to the nose, almost a smokey thing going on followed buy an intense hop aroma, like sniffing high aa pellet hops
F- Medium
O- Meh

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Photo of Hackattack
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The picture of this in the bottle looks off to me. I went to the site of the 3F brewery today and it is dark, served in a snifter... meaning it is strong and whisky -like in taste. Great taste though, and very malty -rich in flavor. I only wish I could get it closer to home.

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Photo of Grizzarky
4.26/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: dark brown, with a 1 finger off white cream colored head.

S: roasted malts, raisins, plums, black liquorice

T: earthy/piney hops are sharp up front but dont linger, a sweet plum/dark cherries take over, then a cocoa finish that leaves a lingering chocolate after taste. Faint notes of alcohol present.

M: rich full body, with a medium high carb. Feel is perfect for this beer.

O: A great high abv beer that doesnt quite fit the typical styles.

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Photo of Beejay
3.77/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: deep brown in color with a large soft tan head.

S: rich caramel, with brown sugar and some booze. A bit of earthy hop aroma, but definitely malt forward.

T: earthy hop flavor with burnt caramel, smoke, and booze.

M: medium thick with moderate carbonation and a creamy feel.

O: an interesting brew, not sure where it fits in.

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Photo of Lone_Freighter
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a snifter, the appearance was a nice looking semi-thick black color with a thin finger's worth of off white foamy head that died off fairly slow to leave a nice coated/filmy look around the glass with a little bit of a concave clingy-ness.
The aroma had the barleywine qualities of sweet leather, tobacco sweetness, some sweet wood, light grassy to earthiness, some black licorice, roasted coffee bean, some mushrooms and ended with a little bit of dark cocoa powder.
The flavor was moderately roasty with a presentable sweetness from the wood, black licorice and dark cocoa powder. The earthy to mushroom and tobacco to leather character came out pretty nice. Aftertaste was somewhat dry, sweet, with a tickle of roastiness and leather and then an ever so slight hop spice.
The mouthfeel was about medium bodied with a fair sipping quality about it, seemed to almost want to come across like a black IPA pulling itself into the barleywine tobacco dry characters along my tongue. Carbonation felt spot on. ABV felt appropriate. Finished somewhat dry with the tobacco, black licorice and a little bit of hop spice, but wasn't too harsh, just noticeable. I also noticed a nice "roasty semi-harsh" grab along my tongue cutting down on anything that could come closely to being cloying.
Overall, good thing I'm done for the night because this would be considered a "palate wrecker." It's very good as a barleywine with the black IPA sort of qualities coming about pretty nice and definitely making it a really nice ender to a beer night.

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Photo of StoutHunter
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got a bottle of 3 Floyds and Dark Horse's Oil Of Gladness for $4.69 at The Lager Mill. This one really peaked my interest and I was happy to find a bottle to try, so lets see how it goes. 2017 Vintage. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle onto a snifter.

A- The label look ok, I'm not really sure how it relates to the beer, but it's a little eye catching. It poured a dark black color that didn't change when held to the light and it had almost two fingers worth of creamy and slightly fluffy tan head that died down to a thing ring that stayed till the end and it left some rings of patchy lacing behind. This is a good looking beer, I have no complaints.

S- The aroma starts off with a higher amount of medium sweetness with a nice dark fruit aroma being the first to show up and imparts some raisin and plum with some nice cherry and brighter fruity aromas coming through in the background. Up next comes a little bit of doughy yeast which leads into a noticeable amount of alcohol and that's followed by the malts which impart some sweet malt, roasted malt, light chocolate, caramel, brown bread and bread crust like aromas with no single aspect sticking out the most. This beer has a good aroma, it live up to the style.

T- The taste seems to be similar to the aroma and it starts off with a higher amount of medium sweetness with the fruits still being the first to show up and they impart all the same aspects and it's followed by a little bit of doughy yeast which leads into the alcohol which is still noticeable, but it's still well hidden and it leads into the malts which impart all the same aspects that they did in the aroma, but they are a little lighter on the roast this time. Up next comes the hops which impart some green hops, light fruity and herbal hop like flavors with a lower amount of high bitterness on a the finish with a fruity, hoppy and slightly malty aftertaste. This is a good tasting beer, it's got pretty nice balance, but I think it could be even better if a little more roasted flavors came through.

M- Fairly smooth, slightly cloying, a little boozy, full bottled with a medium amount of carbonation. The mouthfeel works well with this beer, I have no complaints.

Overall I thought this was a good beer and a good example of the style, they did a good job with this collaboration and they pretty much delivered what I would expect from a hoppy dark Barleywine. This beer had nice drinkability, I think one would be the perfect amount for me, anymore than that and it might start to be too intense for me. What I like the most about this beer is how true to style it was, it did a good job at showcasing what this style is all about. What I like the least about this beer is that the roasted malts didn't show up just a little more. I would buy this beer again if I see it again and I would recommend it to anyone looking for the style. All in all I was happy with this beer and I thought it was just slightly rough around the edges. It's a good example of the style and it's one of the better beers that I've had from Dark Horse lately. Good job guys, this is good and a little unique, keep up the hard work.

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Photo of Mitchster
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bought at BevCo. 11% ABV, 12oz bottle. No specs or ingredients per the website or bottle. Called a black barleywine ale.

Pours out to a nearly black, very dark brown with black highlights, forming a meringue light tan head with beautiful lacing and retention. Carbonation is moderate, ~2.5 carbs or so. The nose is up front with lots of fruity and resinous hops with strawberry jam, raisins, pepper and light molasses . Minimal roast in the nose. Mouthfeel is full, dense, rich, syrupy, but not cloying. The taste is very nice. As a barleywine should be, thankfully, no roast character, a boatload of resinous hops, moderate firm bitterness which sits nicely with the huge malt body. Aftertaste of hops and prunes, a little dark bread crust. No coffee flavor and minimal chocolate. Warming, no harsh alcohols but it's definitely felt, lightly boozy but not off putting. No appreciable off flavors or aromas. Not a stout and not a black DIPA, this has all the characteristics of a barleywine.

A hell of a barleywine that thanks to the huge hop load, will age quite nicely. I could see this one getting quite nice as the hops mellow and the malts shine through. Definitely worth trying and cellaring if you're into that.

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Photo of Blackop555
4.16/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black. Short, foamy, light brown head that lasts shortly.

Smells dark fruit, caramel, light citrus, light roasted and toasted malt.

Tastes dark fruit and caramel malt. Followed by citrus peel, roast malts, light chocolate, light toasted malts and pine. Finish is semi dry with pine linger. Medium body and creamy medium carbonation.

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Photo of superspak
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 5/14/2017. Pours nearly opaque very dark brown color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense and rocky light khaki head with awesome retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Thick soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Fantastic appearance. Aromas of big grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, peach, apricot, raisin, plum, fig, date, cherry, caramel, brown sugar, molasses, and toasted dark/brown bread; with lighter notes of chocolate, cocoa, toffee, tobacco, herbal, pepper, pine, and yeast/roast/toasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of citrus/earthy/pine hops, fruity yeast, and dark/bready/light roasted malt notes; with great strength. Taste of big grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, peach, apricot, raisin, plum, fig, date, cherry, caramel, brown sugar, molasses, and toasted dark/brown bread; with lighter notes of chocolate, toffee, tobacco, herbal, pepper, pine, and yeast/roast/toasted earthiness. Light-moderate pine/herbal/spicy hop and light roasted bitterness on the finish. Lingering notes of grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, peach, apricot, raisin, plum, fig, date, cherry, caramel, brown sugar, molasses, toasted dark/brown bread, light chocolate/cocoa, herbal, pepper, pine, and yeast/roast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Awesome complexity, robustness, and balance of citrus/earthy/pine hops, fruity yeast, and dark/bready/light roasted malt flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance, and zero cloying/astringent flavors after the finish. Lightly increasing dryness from bitterness. Medium carbonation and fairly full body; with a very smooth, creamy/bready/grainy, lightly sticky/chalky, and slightly resinous balanced mouthfeel that is great. Light-moderate lingering warmth of 11%. Overall this is an awesome American barelywine. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of citrus/earthy/pine hops, fruity yeast, and dark/bready/light roasted malt flavors; very smooth and dangerously easy to drink for the big ABV, with the mellowly bitter/drying finish. The balance between citrus hops, fruity yeast, and dark/bready malt sweetness was outstanding. Not overly roasty or aggressively bitter; a spot on style example. A really enjoyable offering.

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Oil Of Gladness from Dark Horse Brewing Company
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 109 ratings