Young's Old Nick Barley Wine Ale | Young & Co Brewery PLC

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Young's Old Nick Barley Wine AleYoung's Old Nick Barley Wine Ale
Very Good
329 Ratings
Young's Old Nick Barley Wine AleYoung's Old Nick Barley Wine Ale

Brewed by:
Young & Co Brewery PLC
England, United Kingdom

Style: British Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Quaffer on 09-05-2001

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 329 |  Reviews: 315
Reviews by frank4sail:
Photo of frank4sail
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Copper to brown in color with a tan head. Larger bubbles than other selections of this style that I've tasted. Sweet malty nose and very malty tasting with a thick mouth. Not a lasting head.. but it is there for a while. This is a good brew but does not hold its ground in complexity. It is a solid winter night kind of brew or a great one during july that will ease the pain of a good sunburn.. with its 7.2% ABV.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.08/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a nice deep brown/red color with medium creamy head,smell was malty-fruity.Taste was rich and somewhat complex,starts out fruity with a good malty base as it warms the alcohol content becomes more evident.Pretty easy drinking for a high alcohol content brew.Rather well made like all the other Young's ales.

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Photo of RoyalT
3.03/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance – This burgundy brown Barley Wine had only a modest head that went down rather quickly.

Smell – The light, malty aroma had a bit of red wine to it along with some oaky notes.

Taste – There was a lot more thick, red wine at the taste. The wood came up much stronger as well.

Mouthfeel – This is big, almost full-bodied, and a bit on the heavy-handed side. I would have like to have seen a better blending effort here. Maybe it could benefit from six months in the cellar?

Drinkability – I though this BW was rather clumsy and ill-mixed, but the thick winey malt made this a drinkable ale.

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Photo of hopsleeroy
3.81/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Found this bottle at a gas station while filling up. Nice find at a random place.

A-very dark but not black, deep garnet color, very cloudy, 1 inch head that faded quickly, but laced while I drank it.
S-Smell reminiscent of sweet sherry with more dark fruits. Kind of reminds me of fruit cake with rum
T-Very malt forward as this is 2-3 years old the hops have faded. Quite sweet but not cloying, dark fruit flavors with alot of raisins and figs, booze booze flavor is ther.
M-Not too bad but would have thought it would have been a little creamier and smoother after so long. Good carbo after so long.
D-This is a definate sipper and it tastes sweeter the more I drink it.

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Photo of blitz134
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

DARK red-caramel color with a nice head forming on pouring. Aroma is slightly malty with some nice pine hop aroma in the back ground. A slight alcohol aroma rises up as well. The taste is interesting. The forefront of the flavor is mainly malts but seem to have a flavor of rye in it. There is a touch of hop bitterness in the background, a little bit of resin in that flavor. The overall flavor profile is slightly buttery which is why I say the taste is interesting. Mouthfeel is decent, not quite creamy but still smooth. Drinkability is decent as well, this one plays numbers with my stomach so I don’t think I could do more than two.

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Photo of Todd
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

An all around enjoyable barleywine, and a very solid choice. Malty, chewy and smooth with an even balance of ingredients.

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Photo of SamuraiJack
3.21/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This is an interesting beer as the flavour changed rather dramatically over time.
While it's not a *bad* beer, at the end of the day it's not to my taste I have to say.
Initial pour shows a very attractive red-brown rather foamy head that become nice lace over time. There is a strong sweet aroma with heavy notes of diacetyl and noticable alcohol.
Initial taste is one of overwhelming grain, fruit, butterscotch and alcohol. Very full bodied, but not balanced. As time passed, the alcohol begins to mellow and the malt and toasted grains begin to be noticable. The diacetyl becomes more noticable and sadly the hops never really rise to the occassion to balance out the other flavours. Aftertaste is one of sweet grain and butter toffee.
Not my favorite Young's beer.

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Photo of Beaver13
3.61/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The Old Nick pours a slightly hazy deep copper red. It has a decent light brown head that goes to a thin film and retains well.

Its aroma is caramel malts and some slightly metallic figs and pears and a little alcohol. Some spiciness comes out as it warms.

The flavor is earthy malts, some figs, some molasses, some toffee, with a dry slightly hopped finish. It has a smooth mouthfeel with a slight stickiness and is medium bodied. There is a slight alcohol warming, but it is pretty well hidden. The alcohol does become more pronounced as it warms.

Overall, a nice barley wine. It is definitely a different breed than the American ones I've had so far - much sweeter and fruitier.

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Photo of Jason
4.13/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 16.9 oz brown custom bottle with no freshness date.

Appearance: Tawny reddish brown with an ample head, foamy at first but then subsides to a thick layer of light tan lace that want to stick to the glass.

Smell: Caramel sweet aroma, almost butterscotch which gives a nod to Mr. Diacetyl. Hints of chocolate and dark fruits come to mind also.

Taste: Full bodied with a thick carbonation that pushes hard on to the palate at first then smoothes out. Big on the fruitiness with esters and a vague solvent like alcoholic character running around. Touch of diacetyl give the impression of buttery toffee as the maltiness holds on with some sweetness and toasted grain flavour. Hops struggles to climb to the top and merely keep things in balance. Some vague hoppy flavours are left in the finish. Residual sweetness sticks around for the finish with mild caramel and sweet grain flavours.

Notes: A very palatable Barleywine, big on sweetness yet balanced and enough alcohol to push this beer into the category. This will be an ale I’ll go back to here and there without a problem.

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Photo of Billolick
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

550ml bottle, scarry looking devil on label. Pours dark amber, tiny bubble head, leaves nice creamy lacing. Heavyish body, malt malt and more smooth malt carry this one. Understated very british strong Barley wine style ale. Vinious notes, fair hop wallop comes in late. high quality sipper, great with dessert.

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Photo of badbeer
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer poured a very dark beet red with a half inch of head that dissipated leaving a bit of lacing. Smell is slightly malty and it had a smell of iron as well. Malty taste with a hint of plum and the faintest bit of alcohol warmth. This beer was nice and full bodied, was quite drinkable and a treat to have before bed.

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Photo of Byeast
3.82/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Apearance: deep deep semi opaque brown with reddish hues , thin , tan , sticky head.

Smell: roasty ,buttery/ bready , rich and sweet malt aromas , vary faint alcohol , hint of chocolate and plum.

Taste: Very full, well balanced, and smooth , sweet caramel maltiness , bittersweet flavors , some diacetly , bit of biting carbonation , just enough hop to balance, slight spice , bit of figgy fruitiness.

Mouthfeel: slightly chewy , carbonation starts of biting and smooths out.

Drinkability: A very drinkable barley wine , weaker(abv) than most iv'e had. Would be a good after dinner drink around the holidays. Probably good with spiced cakes , pie , fudge, truffles, etc...

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Photo of magictrokini
3.73/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark mahogany with a thick foamy tan head. Cherries, malts, and nuts are int he aroma. The flavor is sweet up front with the malts and sugar, then it slowly moves into a bitter finish. Lighter mouthfeel than most barleywines, and without the hop/resin base. Very nice brew.

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Photo of kpantz
3.72/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Executive Summary: A good, but not outstanding, barleywine. Tasty, but not mindblowing. Much more tame than some of the more extreme US attempts at the style. Have I been desensitized? Anyway, high drinkability for the style helps to win points.

Appearance: Pours a deep ruby into a snifter, with a small head that quickly reduces to a sparse film. Very little lacing.

Smell: Malts, raisins and alcohol. Good solid barleywine aroma.

Taste: Sweet to start, with some hop action towards the back. A bit of the raisiny/fruity flavor hinted at in the aroma. Warming alcohol effect is very nice for a cold night. I'm surprised the alcohol has such a presence; I've had far more subtle alcohol flavors in barleywines > 10% ABV. Interesting.

Mouthfeel: A little thin for a barleywine, but I must admit, I'm much more accustomed to the US versions of the style. Carbonation is appropriate.

Drinkability: I'd say this is one of the more drinkable barleywines I've had. Relatively low ABV and lighter mouthfeel contribute to a brew that's quaffable in larger amounts than its US brethren (Insanity, Olde School, Monster Ale, etc.).

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Photo of ADR
4.32/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark and dull mahogany brown, mostly opaque -- nice brown 1/4 inch head. Pretty aromatic, viney and clovey, some rum smells. Medium bodied mouthfeel with a lot of flavor for the strength of this Barleywine. Mellon, fresh grape, and baking spice. Individual malt flavors are most noticeable at the end, comes off dense and sweet at first. That gives it an interesting profile to me. Not a toxic strength, but a nice Barleywine.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.73/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Deep ruby tone with a nice sized tan head really sticking to the glass and leaves a even solid ring of lacing. Aroma: One malty treat here vinous fruit tones in the background not detecting any hoppage, not bad aromatic qualities here. Taste: Forms a fluffy sweetness mild fig and plum notes a little harshness comes from the unbalance of hops and malt here cloyingly sweet for me. Mouthfee: Ample body a bit light and creamy not bad though not complaints solid carbonation: Mouthfeel: Not feeling this beer not enough hops good English style but hand me a west coaster this one is just to sweet for me I am liking more balance in any drinkable ale.

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Photo of jeonseh
3.86/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From a bottle I picked up at Citywide Liquors and poured into my crystal Snifter glass.

A - looks just like a barleywine should look. A dark ruby color with a slight cloud to it as well. Has a nice bag head that sticks around thru the glass. the head is a cream color with a light ruby tinge to it as well. Leaves a ton of lacing down the sides as well which is always nice to see when drinking any beer.

S - nose is rather fruity with a nice maltiness in the nose as well. Smells a mix of the darker grapier fruits like plums for examples and also a bit like a tarter grape juice. Lots of caramely and sugary sweetness that is in there as well. Also a slight alcoholic tinge that remains in the nose that you can pick up. Not really too alcoholic but then again it is only 7.2% for a barleywine.

T - Taste at first is kinda fruity with a bit of plum and also taste a bit like a Belgian esters. There is a light alcoholic taste in there as well that is not at all overpowering but is barely noticeable. There is also some spiciness that is mixed in there that goes well with a light hops presence that I can detect. I actually like how there is some hoppy bitterness in there that helps to offset some of the sweetness and fruitiness in the beer. I think it is a pretty cool aspect of this brew. A bit of caramely stickiness as well that is mixed in with a light sweetness that sticks around in the mouth most of the time. The sweetness goes well with the fruiter aspects of the beer. Tastes also a bit like a light port and after sitting in the mouth for a while I get a taste that is a bit like cranberry juice mixed with grape juice as well. Overall a nice barleywine which is well balanced but the flavors are not overly pronounced.

MF - At first there is a light carbonation that hits the mouth and sits on the tongue and that is mixed in with a light cloying stickiness. Actually a bit light in the mouth for a barleywine compared to some of the others that I've had and I think that hurts the MF some especially given some of the other BW's I have and the thickness that I have come to expect from them. . Leaves a nice alcoholic warm feeling in the mouth after the beer goes away which reminds you that you have drank a nice warming barleywine and also leaves a bit of a tart taste in the mouth as well that makes your mouth slightly pucker.

D - overall a good barleywine that is actually pretty easy to drink for the style which i guess goes well since it is only 7.2% which is on the lower end for a barleywine. It is not at all overpowering nor super sticky in the mouth which I have found with some of the other ones as well. While most barleywines are pure sippers, this one is one that you could actually drink a couple of them. A good beer but not one that really blows us away. I would see it being good with some cheese since it plays off the port aspects of the beer.

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Photo of ByTor2112
3.31/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

After a long day in the mountains picking out a Christmas tree and shopping with the family, I knew it was a perfect evening for this Barleywine. Old Nick poured a deep copper almost reddish-brown color. Thin head that did not last long. Nice malty mouthfeel with just enough hops to give a slightly bitter finish. Alcohol was present but did not over-power the malt charachter that hinted at some caramel over-tones. Young's makes great beer and this Barleywine is just right at 7.2%. Cheers, Joe

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Photo of rastaman
2.5/5  rDev -36.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Quite sticky and malty, i don't really favour these types of beers and this is no exception, i'll have to give it another go someday given the high ratings by some BA's, but not really my cup of tea.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.32/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in an imperial pint glass)

A-This beer pours a deep mahogany body that is opaque but clear on the edges of the glass. The head is a nice creamy mousse of light tan with a gentle slow carbonation underneath.

S- Nice full nose of dried fruit with hints of red wine and some faint molasses sweetness. There is also a nice caramelized malt smell that is strong.

T-The flavor is bursting with malt in many different complementary flavors like a nutty note, some raisin/port notes, and some caramel maltyness. There is a note of chocolate in the background with a nice alcohol taste in the finish.

M- This has a full chewy texture with a very faint alcohol warmth in the finish.

D- This beer has a great complex malt flavor with good depth. Even though it is only 7.2 %ABV it has a nice alcohol warmth in it. This is a good solid English barley wine with lots of complexity.

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Photo of SetarconeX
3.69/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A decent looking dark browning color, with perhaps a hint of red, but nowhere near as much as some others here would seem to have you think. Some malts on the nose, with perhaps just a tinge of a slight metallic scent, but not too terribly heavy.

Wonderful taste, however, nicely toasted, without tasting burnt, and with a hint of grain. Finishes remarkably clean, with a faint, toasty bitterness on the aftertaste. Much more drinkable than I would have imagined. I'm pleasently surprised by this one.

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Photo of IntriqKen
3.66/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served at 60 degrees F.
Poured a deep amber...almost black with a nice one finger cream colored head that melted to significant lacing.
Aroma is dried fruits and sweet malts with a definate alcohol scent. (almost medicinal alcohol scent).
Taste is lighter than it looks....dark dried fruits, vanilla, raisins, alcohol.
Mouthfeel is thinner than I am used to for a barleywine, however still nice with buttery texture and full carbonation.
Aftertaste of warm alcohol in the back of the throat while the pallete continues to delight the sweet dried fruit, butterscotch, and raisin tastes.
Nice Barleywine....particularly with the more average ABV level even thought it tastes and feels much heavier.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
3.33/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Young's- Old Nick Barleywine

Appearance- dark bood reddish brown with a thick creamy head.
Smell- Strong alcohol and dried fruits. (raisin, prune)
Taste- Immediate strong alcohol followed by thick sugary sweet syrup with a blend of fig, prune, raisin, and dates.
Mouthfel- strong medicinal alcohol and syrupy suar.

Overall- A beer that's alcohol is too present. It had a nice warming of the tongue and throat but just too sweet.

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Photo of tastybeer
4.08/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep burgundy brown color with a subtle glow hidden within the black. Smells very sweet, yet not too sweet at all. Candy caramel apples, rasberries, plums, and a clear toffee and creamy buttermilk presence. Tastes like a lot of plums, and sweet juices with more creamy toffee lightness. A mellowed out britich barleywine, and very very pleasant all around. Nice and smooth mouth. Goes down ultra ultra easy for the style.

I'll definitely get this again when I feel like a relaxed but wholesome barleywine.

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Photo of findlayfan
4.08/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Haven't had one of these in years - picked up a 500 ML last month at Vine & Table (formerly Kahn's) in Indianapolis. Best by date of 17 Aug 07, but that should be close enough for a barleywine (even a "mild" 7.2% one).

Poured into Imperial pint: dark-but-clear red/brown body with 1"+ off-white head. Sweet, malty nose - almost reminded me of a doppelbock.

Some doppelbock qualities in the taste as well and a medium mouthfeel.

Very pleasant way to finish off a winter evening. If there's such a thing as a session barleywine, this is probably it.

Nice to get reaquainted!

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Young's Old Nick Barley Wine Ale from Young & Co Brewery PLC
Beer rating: 3.95 out of 5 with 329 ratings