Carolina Old 392 | Carolina Brewing Company

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Carolina Old 392Carolina Old 392
40 Ratings
Carolina Old 392Carolina Old 392

Brewed by:
Carolina Brewing Company
North Carolina, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.70%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
2005 = 9.3% ABV
2006 = 8.7% ABV

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-23-2005

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Ratings: 40 |  Reviews: 35
Reviews by NCSUdo:
Photo of NCSUdo
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%.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
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.

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Photo of blitz134
3.88/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received from AKSmokedPorter as an extra in a trade...thanks man...

Cloudy apricot color. Limited amount of white head on the pour. A white ring remains around the edge. Aroma is sweet with caramel and citrus rinds. Nice smell but simple. Solid maltyness throughout the flavor. Sweetness comes through again. Maybe some sweet yeast rolls with a touch of honey. Spiciness on at the end with pine and resin hops. Nice flavor profile overall. Good mouthfeel. Not overly thick, medium mouthfeel. Coats the mouthwell and the flavors linger. Good drinkability for a barleywine.

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

One of 6 x 12oz. bottles shipped to me courtesy of the great AKSmokedPorter.

Bottle imprinting states that this barleywine was bottles 11/22/05.

Pours a unexpectedly light honey-copper in color. Not as dark and sinister as expected. Wispy thin layer of caramel-colored head forms at the outer ring. Small sheets of lace cling to the glass.

Aromas are dominated by resinous, oily, fresh hops. Lots of pine notes here, intermingling with some citrusy hop character. Slight levels of a caramelized sugar sweetness attempt to stop the hop rampage, to no avail.

Flavor? Brash. Tasted very "young" to me. Much like a bottle of Bigfoot, but even more raw and untamed. Overwhelming bitterness from the hops, mixed with a very noticeable ABV, combine for a flavor that I hope will smooth out over a few months. I agree with the previous reviewers that this has some DIPA characteristics at this stage. I agree, but it's not as smooth as some of the DIPA's I've had. There's some rough edges to this beer.

Mouthfeel and drinkabilty are decent, but this was a little on the thin side for a B-wine. Drinkability takes a ding due to the harshess.

Thankfully, AKSP sent me a 6-er of this. I will re-visit in a few months to see how this offering chages (and hopefully mellows).

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Photo of tastybeer
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.

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Photo of tdm168
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.

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

12oz single, one of a couple brought from NC on blackie's tractor

bottled 11/22/05

appearance: pours a pale glowing amber, lighter than the norm, a light white head forms and dissipates to a small ring rather quickly

smell: hops, hops, and more hops. an overload of juicy citrus hops aromas, piney, slightly nutty, thick alcohol, sweet caramel malts underneath the bouquet of hops

taste: super hoppy, way more reminiscent of a DIPA than a barleywine, which is probably partially attributable to freshness. Pine flavours hit the hardest, very resinous, fresh pine tasting...citrus hop flavours also quite abundant - grapefruit, orange, tangerine, slight apricot. sweet caramel malt backbone, alcohol masked quite well

mouthfeel: very smooth, very light bitterness, mild alcohol...i will echo the "too thin" notion

drinkability: easily drinkable, alcohol not a detractor

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Photo of silver0rlead
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.

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Photo of KevinGordon
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of wedge
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.

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Photo of blackie
4.05/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance: A low, slightly off white head is produced by the pour into my snifter. In about half a minute, only a collar of carbonation is left around the inner edges of the glass, along with some rogue bubbles on the surface. The beer is a medium copper in color.

smell: This is a barleywine big on floral, resinous, green hops. I love the hops used here. Their character is not light, but is such that it lets the lighter fruit aromas of the fermented malt come through while still taking center stage. Not as extreme as some, but definately up there. A decent amount of malt aroma lends a hint of light fruits. Hints of tropical fruits and candied citrus are noticeable. The ethanol is very well disguised, being only slightly noticeable. I can definately detect the typical CBC aroma.

mouthfeel: Carbonation is near medium, and the body is a little thinner than medium. Slightly slick on the tongue, especially as it warms.

taste: The flavors lent by the malts and by the hops are in just about perfect balance. There seems to be more hop flavor than hop bitterness, and it tastes great against the sweet, fruity flavors of the malt.

drinkability: Very drinkable and tasty, a potentially problematic combination.

This beer is named in honor of HB 392, the bill that ended an age old law prohibiting beers over 6% ABV from being sold in North Carolina. A bottling date of 11/22/05 is printed on the label. Served at cellar temperature. This beer is extremely fresh, only two days in the bottle. I am curious to see what a little aging will do. Purchased three six packs from the brewery. I would've love to have scored this beer one level higher on both flavor and aroma, but it needs a little complexity. A very good barleywine, no doubt. Especially considering that this is the first high alchol beer created by this brewery since being freed from the confines of a ridiculous law.

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Photo of Bluescooter
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of barleywinebrewer
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.

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Photo of MaltyGoodness
3.8/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle provided by AKSmokedPorter

Pours a hazy orange amber with a creamy white head that thins. Nice lacing on the glass.

Huge aroma of piney hops and a hint of sweet malt.

A bit of malty sweetness upfront which is quickly consumed by a big resinous hop flavor with a bitter bite. Finishes slightly sweet with a lingering piney hoppiness.

Full body with a rich creamy texture.

Easy drinking barleywine. Once it ages a bit and the hop flavor mellows, I think this could be a real gem.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle from Secret Santa AKSmokedPorter. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" dark beige head above the dark copper brew. Head lasts nicely, with acceptable frothy lacing, especially for the style. Aroma is sweet malt with an alcohol tinge. Taste is light spiced syrup, overcome by brash fruity alcohol flavor and warmth, and a bitter aftertaste. Mouthfeel is pretty harsh, and drinkability is somewhat limited for the same reason. Might mellow with some more warmth, time will tell.

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Photo of CWiggins
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.

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Photo of hopdog
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

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Photo of TastyTaste
3.97/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Lightly hazed dark copper color, sizable off-white head that fades to a thin layer of bubbles. A little bit of lacing present.

Smell: Wow, impressive hops in the nose. Extremely sweet and fruity, citrus tang, with some bubblegum. Very nice, a fine bouquet of hop goodness.

Taste: Smooth but not weak, the flavors are all assertive. Malts are fairly dry up front, hops finish this one out fairly bitter, a little metallic, but very nice. Raisin and a little woodiness also there.

Drinkability: An above average Barley Wine, although not the best, it's hard to complain about an easy drinking barleywine such as this.

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Photo of Amedlin18
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
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...

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Photo of sitarist
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.

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Photo of lackenhauser
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.

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Photo of orfeu
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.

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Photo of brentk56
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

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Photo of hunteraw
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.

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Carolina Old 392 from Carolina Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4 out of 5 with 40 ratings