Old 392
Carolina Brewing Company

Old 392Old 392
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Barleywine - American
Ranked #163
Ranked #14,242
4 | pDev: 6.5%
Carolina Brewing Company
North Carolina, United States
Very Good
Old 392Old 392
Notes: 2005 = 9.3% ABV
2006 = 8.7% ABV
View: Beers
Reviews: 35 | Ratings: 40 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of ljc973
ljc973 from Michigan

4.61/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thank you to KRubes for this extra. Bottled 12/11/14, poured into a snifter 7/18/15. 9.1% ABV.

Poured medium brown/ red with minimal head that didn't fully disipate.

There is a very strong smell of rolled oats and torified barley. The taste is similar , with a slightly nutty, smooth finish. Loving it!

Overall, this was one of my favorite barley wines, even with the ABV on the lower end. Would definitely recommend.

Jul 18, 2015
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tdm168 from Pennsylvania

3.58/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Blinco's in Raleigh on 1/21/12.

Pours a deep amber with a half of an inch of soft, white head that has good retention. The nose is sweet and floral with a good amount of hop aroma. The flavor is caramelly and sweet at first followed by a more mild barley malt note and finishes with a rather intense floral, citrusy hop character. There is a struggle in the flavor between sweet and bitter with bitter ultimately winning. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with just the right amount of carbonation.

This wasn't a bad beer, but ultimately it was unbalanced and not as flavorful as I would have hoped for. The caramel sweetness seems to overpower the barley malt and the hop character seems to clash with the malt content.

The selection at Blinco's isn't great so I did end up having more than one of these.

Jan 22, 2012
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beer2day from North Carolina

4.35/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Harrison's in Cary.

Amber red pour with 1/2 finger of light head. Light lacing.

Big grapefruit nose with notes of grapes, yeast, and light spice. This is one hoppy barleywine.

Light pepper, grapefruit, resiny hops all are present in the taste. Not a big fan of the style, but hops in a barleywine make this a very nice surprise for me.

Very chewy body. Lots of malt body here. Not too thick or oily.

A hopped out barleywine that really hits the mark.

Jan 10, 2012
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sitarist from Ohio

4.13/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to LOKI for this one.
BOT 12/7/05

Pours a chestnut color, cloudy with some bubbles rising, its alive! No head, just a ring of loose bubbles, there are little spots of lacing and droplets stuck to the side of the glass. It has held up over time.

I just love an aged barleywine. I smell pecan pie, black tea, spice, brown sugar, leather, flowers, horehound, something earthy, and a little pine.

I taste dates, raisins, nuts, with a sweet caramel bourbon sauce.

It is sticky and warm, it has a peppery bite on my tongue(hops still present?), the flavors fade, and the heat lingers.

Im sure glad I got to try this one, and I sure would like to cellar a few for another 5 years. Its a great beer but one to savor.

Jul 19, 2010
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hopdog from Pennsylvania

4.12/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle shared courtesy of Josh. Bottle labeled, botled on 11/21/06.

Poured a medium to deep amber color with a small sized off white head. Aromas of light caramel, orange peels, pine, and some dark fruits. Tastes of pine, citrus, caramel, and some dark fruits.

Notes from: 2/2/07

Jan 18, 2009
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hoppymeal from Michigan

4.25/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy, rusty copper, decent amt of sediment, with a small cream head that fades to a ring. Aroma is delicious aged malts, sweet pruniness and soft sugary caramel along with a good dose of sweet citrusy hops, some salty and leather notes when agitated. Taste shows a bit of the sweet caramel malts and cotoon candy up front but is immediately overtaken by a citrus hoppiness. Some orange rind bitterness in the finish and prunes in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is medium in body, low to medium carbonation, soft and creamy texture before a slightly peppery bitter bite that shows a bit of the alcohol as well. Great barleywine, fairly hoppy still, this sample is dated 11-06, but the malts are great in the aroma and would love to see this one with another year or two under its belt. Thanks Brent for the opportunity.

Feb 03, 2008
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brewcrew76 from Wisconsin

3.95/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4


A - Hazy copper, orange with a thin off white head and a bit of lacing.

S - Caramel, toffee, raisins and honey with a strong citrus, floral hop aroma.

T - Caramel, chocolate and a green piney hop flavor. Reminds me a malty DIPA.

M - Medium body and smooth, maybe just a touch thin.

D - Even after a year this is a very hoppy barleywine. A easy drinking barleywine.

Dec 30, 2007
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lackenhauser from Maryland

4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very, very nice shade of orange/red in color with a soft, white head on top. Sweet, malty aroma with a heavy handed dose of hops-quite grassy and fresh. Big hop flavor-not overpowering bitterness wise. Somewhat metalllic tasting. Has an almost rye crispness to it. Grainy. Decent body. Quite enjoyable. These guys need to dress up their packaging a bit. Hard to tell one beer from another label wise.

Sep 22, 2007
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wagenvolks from Texas

4.15/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

200th Review!

Props to atsprings for the local hook up. Bottled 11/21/06.

Pours a dauntingly cloudy body, copper & ruby hued with an inch thick khaki head. Some nice speckles of lacing are left down the sides of the Duvel chalice.

Aroma-wise, a big, sweet caramel malt backbone gives way to some barleywine-style sherry. Huge, foresty hops rise up upon a quick swirl of the brew. Grapefruit, vanilla, and biscuity notes make for an uber-pleasant nose overall.

This thing still packs a big flavor after nearly a year in the cellar. Lots of hops, big alcohol esthers, and grapefruit abound. Mouthfeel is viscous, a tad bit syrupy, and delivers a big-time bitter finish. Very refreshing, to my surprise. This is pretty drinkable for a barleywine. The high ABV limits me from having more than one at any given session, but I'd definately be eager to try this again. Not only that, but it ages fantastically well...I can't wait to try a freshly brewed bottle.

Sep 14, 2007
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brewdlyhooked13 from Ohio

3.7/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - a high pour puts about an inch of pale yellowish foam over a peachy amber brew. Thick lace hangs on as the head recedes.

Aroma - hoppy with mango, grapefruit, shortbread cookies. A definite alcohol presence.

Taste - somewhat subdued malt beginning. More in the feel than the taste, I get a vague biscuity presence that is short-lived. The hops bloom quickly, filling the mouth with syrupy grapefruit rind and resiny pine. Alcohol isn't that well hidden for this tamer barleywine, but it's tolerable. Finishes dry with a lot of bitter residue and mild warmth. Sampled young (less than a year old), this would be worth revisiting after some cellar time.

Mouthfeel - smooth, a bit of creaminess even. A moderate body/weight that is neutral but good.

Drinkability -a little harsh right now, my other bottle will get three to five before we do this again...

Aug 30, 2007
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barleywinebrewer from New Hampshire

3.45/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

thanks to timtheenchata for this via the littleguy bif.

A - nice clear auburn color, a whisp of an off white head that quickly retreated to the edge of the glass.

S - heavy floral hops, touch of citric, pine and spice dominate. Underlying caramel malts and light alcohol.

T - similar to the smell but with an odd harsh hop effect. Not quite sure how to describe it other than slow sip, smooth, hop... screech. It's not overwhelming but definitely distracting

M - Medium bodied, nicely carbonated.

D - fix the hops and you've got a winner.

Jun 25, 2007
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orfeu from New Mexico

4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2006 bottling graciously provided by oberon -- thanks, dude! Poured into an AleSmith tulip, this barley wine is a glowing sunset orange, with a sticky-creamy-oily beige head. Humongous grapefruit rind scent, along with a caramelly sweet aroma, and a slight hint of cheesy funk lurking in the background. Sugary and citric nose overall. These attributes are not very prevalent in the taste, however. Instead there is a hard-edged bitterness that is more vegetal than citric in character, and a somewhat blunted mineral water twinge. On warming, a candied orange section flavor emerges, nicely rounding out the taste. Slightly juicy mouthfeel, creamy; never slick. Somewhat light in body for an American version. Very pleasant to sip. This is a pretty original take on a barley wine: big in many ways but completely void of anything like bombastic overkill. Modest yet confident is more this one's style. A great beer all in all. The more I find out about the beer scene in North Carolina, the better it looks. CBC's Fall seasonal definitely adds to this perception.

Apr 20, 2007
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Vancer from Illinois

3.78/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

We got a classic BW start – hazy amber orange and the oily sheets of ivory tickling the Cordendonk sniftner (from Soloman420).

Nice BW aroma – malty caramel with the hop backbone to balance this critter out. The taste is close to classic BW, comes with the malty caramel and orange peel, but just a tad too much floral hop – which makes it finish on the raspy bitter side. Just a tad, though. Nothing to get to shook up over.
Small smack of cherries rounds it out, but it still is on the hoppy side.

A fine brew sent by blackie for the NOBSBIF Beta, gracias!

Apr 07, 2007
Photo of jjayjaye
jjayjaye from New York

4.42/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a clear amber color with with a full finger light tan head that fades slowly. The amber color is a bit lighter than anticipated from this style. Significant lacing present and as the head settles, mini surface pools of suds are generated from visible effervescence.

The aroma is classic... primarily sweet malt and caramel with a subtle hop characteristic.

The flavor mirrors the smell. A wonderful sweet flavor of malt and caramel. A creamy beverage with a medium body. Slightly lighter than others of this style. The visible carbonation led me to believe that it might be an overbearing characteristic of the mouth feel, but thankfully that wasn't the case. Very well done. A tiny bit of hop lingers afterwards. Quite drinkable. The 8.7% is hidden. Recommend this one.

Mar 07, 2007
Photo of hunteraw
hunteraw from China

4.02/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to ipa2xs for shipping this to me in the No Name BIF.

Appearance: Attractive amber/honey color, slightly hazy, off-white one finger head produced by a rather rough pour. Good lacing.

Smell: More hops in the aroma than your typical barleywine, deep underlying ale fruitiness, sweetness is present, but offset by the hops. Distinct grape aroma is present as well. No hint of alcohol in the nose.

Taste: Much hoppier than your typical barleywine. Could pass for a DIPA in terms of balance. Hops are slightly astringent on the back of the palate, not a whole lot in the way of distinct hop flavors unfortunately. Alcohol shows up more in the flavor than in the nose. Doesn't taste quite as good as it smells.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, well-carbonated. Just right for the style, it avoids being syrupy.

Drinkability: A little astringent and high on the alcohol to be too highly drinkable. Slightly off for the style, but I'll never complain about too much hops.

Feb 08, 2007
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tastybeer from North Carolina

4.14/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep lightly clouded amber topaz color with a small white and lacey head. Aroma is thick with grainy malt, fruit and hops. There's a whole lot of things going on in there. Hops are dry piney and grassy, resiny with citrus, tropical fruits and various berries. Taste is full and bitter, with a lot of nice hop flavor and slick but grainy malts. Large taste with a good textured mouthfeel and prickly carbonation.

Good warming barleywine.

Feb 04, 2007
Photo of atsprings
atsprings from North Carolina

4.15/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass, the head dissipates rather quickly into a ring around the glass. The beer has a very deep copper color to it. The aroma is a good mix of bold hops and sweet malts, neither is too overpowering, it just presents itself as a good barley wine. The taste comes through more powerful than the aroma. As many have stated before me, I must agree that this beer is very similar to some DIPAs, no complaints here.The mouthfeel was a little harsh, even for a beer of only 8.7%. It wasn't too negative, however, just a little on the syruppy side. Overall, a good barley wine that is not too overpowering. A good session beer. I look forward to seeing the benefits of aging.

Jan 27, 2007
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MuddyFeet from North Carolina

3.74/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Took the brewery tour the Saturday before Christmas and enjoyed this beer enough on-tap to buy a whole case on my way out.

Pours a rich brown color with a slight red hue. wo fingers of pure, white head that dissolves to a thin, tracing film and a ring around the glass. The only negative aout this beer is the nose whih is a wierd medicinal smell that kinf of repulses me.

Definitely a very drinkable American barley wine. Nice balance between the malts and hop with the scale leaning heavy on the malts side. A very dry, sweet flavor that just takes over. Hops ae sill very much present but are more of an oily bitterness. The hops have no particular hoppy flavor but are just simple bitter and ground the malts. A fruitiness also rises from the balance like a Granny Smith apple. Very full body that just holds up and improves as the beer warms.

Jan 12, 2007
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CWiggins from North Carolina

3.65/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(Thanks to Jeremy for donating a bottle of this brew for my trial.)

I've tried only one of Carolina's brews since moving here just over a year ago. Barleywines always peak my interest, so I look forward to trying this local version.

It pours a dark red hue with a slightly cloudy appearance. The translucent character allows only a little reflected light through. No substantial head formed; some off-white bubbles formed briefly on the surface and afterwards only around the rim. The aroma is part citrus, part alcohol, and part sugary sweetness.

At first sip I notice a fruity sweetness, but this soon gives way to a dark, hoppy bitterness, followed by notes of coffee/bittersweet chocolate during the delightful aftertaste. I certainly echo the sentiments of other reviewers regarding this beer's affinity to the Double India Pale Ale style; the big hop bitterness doesn't really satisfy the known characteristics of barleywine-type beers. However, for what it is, it's pretty good! There's plenty of immediate flavor here, followed by the hophead's dream. I would like to see this made with a greater malt presence.

The texture is not particularly thick, but it's definitely not lean. It's somewhere in the middle; medium-bodied, I suppose. And the flavor tends to become a bit sweeter as it warms up.

Dec 30, 2006
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brentk56 from North Carolina

3.92/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy copper color with a modest head that leaves some dots of lacing

Smell: Pine sap and a touch of honey

Taste: Starts with a slightly sweet, vaguely floral presence that becomes bitter, mid-palate; after the swallow, a burst of hoppy bitterness ensues; piney, woody finish with some of that floral sweetness on the tip of the tongue

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied (light for a barleywine) with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Very easy to drink; I would like to see a bit more malt to make this a touch sweeter, but the flavor profile is interesting and tasty

Dec 28, 2006
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NCSUdo from Massachusetts

4.13/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Went to brewery, bought a 6-pack of this along with the Winter Porter. Figured it was close enough to winter, the temperatures should be coming down, why not pick up some winter beers? In North Carolina fashion, we have gone from lows in the teens to today with a high close to 70, go figure. Anyways, I like this one so I'll drink it when I please. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle, Old 392 Barleywine-Style Ale printed on the lable, along with the bottled date, 11/21/06.

A: Pours a medium amber with some hints of translucent orange. Decent head that dies down rather quickly, but still enough to cover the top. A little lighter then I would expect a barleywine, but this isn't a your cookie cutter barleywine.

S: Has a nice hoppy nose along with an underlying sweetness. After cracking open the bottle, the sweetness is what hit me first. After the pour though, the hops really come out. Really a floral aroma at first in the glass, sticks around, and to echo some of the reviews below, gives hint of an DIPA soon after reaching the nostrils.

T: Hoppy and bitter. There is a slight sweetness, nothing to get excited about, but once you swallow, the bitterness hits. Although there is a slight hint of alcohol after the first moments of total ingestion, it is soon replaced by bitterness from the back that lingers until the next sip.

M&D: Nice mouthfeel. Surprisingly, or not maybe not surprisingly to those who may have more experience with barleywines, it's not very heavy. It isn't light, don't get me wrong, but it isn't heavy either. What do they call that? Right, medium bodied, maybe a touch towards the extra meduim side. Just the right amount of carbonation, i.e. very little.

This beer is very good. Barleywine? Hey, they are supposed to be complex and mysterious, right? Seems like this is an DIPA disguised as a barleywine, but as an American barleywine, it fits in the catagory. Wouldn't bother me one bit if the guys at CBC brewed up another batch and called it a DIPA. Definetly reccomend this beer if you can get it. At 8.7% it is surprisingly drinkable, although after 1 or 2 you will definately feel the 8.7%.

Dec 15, 2006
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oberon from North Carolina

3.95/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 11/21/06....I had the pleasure while living in NC to see the cap popped and having this beer be one of the first above 6% alc NC brewed beers afterwards and loved it last year.This years poured a deep amber with a burnt orange-like hue a welforned sticky 1/2 finger slight off white head atop,oh man this borders DIPA status with its resiny,piney hop profile in the nose a touch of caramel sweetness as well underneath the healthy dose of hops.I have to say on the palate it left me hangin a little sure it has that oily hop presence and its nice quite piney up front but it seems to lack a knock out punch not alot of malt character just a slight sweetness and a finishing toastiness I was left wanting a tad more.This is still a upper echelon brew its hop profile more so in the nose is beautiful but its not as good as the original in my opinion,I"ll cellar my other one for awhile and see how it comes out.

Thanks to hoppedup for this brew.

Dec 13, 2006
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wedge from North Carolina

4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear orange amber with a small, densely creamy head. Very fresh aroma as expected, richly hoppy in a sticky, citrusy, resinous kind of way. Pine sap. Sweet, sticky hop oils drip all over a fresh grainy base. Bright fruits and a slight caramel slickness. Medium oily mouthfeel and a delayed warming of the throat.

Barleywine? This is a richly hopped ale, but its lacking the deeper malt flavors...which would make it a double IPA in my book, and a pretty darn tasty one at that. Its young and green and I suppose it could sit around a little while to mellow out from a barleywine standpoint; but since this seems to be all about the hops, I'd say drink it fresh and enjoy.

Dec 05, 2006
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silver0rlead from North Carolina

4.45/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 11/21/06:
Pours an intense amber with a thick tan head that leaves impressive lacing on the glass. The aroma has fresh and juicy hop character upfront (piney, resiny, floral and citrus), along with some caramel, ripe fruits, a slight smokiness and some alcohol. The flavor is similar to the aroma, with big hop notes upfront (similar to their DIPA) along with some caramel, dark fruits, smoke, and a touch of alcohol. The mouthfeel is smooth with light carbonation and drinkability is excellent for the style. A bit similar to Carolina's DIPA and perhaps without enough malt balance, but this beer is excellent and extremely drinkable regardless.

Nov 27, 2006
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BeerRun13 from California

4.04/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy rusty orange brown color. A decent bubbly head fades to a thin film and leaves some speckled dots of lacing.
Malty sweet with a aisny/date sort of aroma. Crisp in the nose with a hoppy touch.
Hmmm... Some Alcohol in here. Almost a grape-just-before-becoming-a-raisin sort of flavor. Nicely sweet with an interesting hop touch.
Full bodied and well carbonated. Kind of silky watery for a barley wine, but I tend to like alot of traction in my beers.
Overall this one's pretty good. I would definately have again.

Oct 28, 2006
Old 392 from Carolina Brewing Company
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 40 ratings