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: English 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.

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 329 |  Reviews: 315
Photo of RidiculedDisplay
2.45/5  rDev -38%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured into an oversized wine glass.

Appearance: Pours a nice black-amber. Head is about a half-finger with some white foam haze resting on the top of the liquid. Lacing is splattery and fine. Pretty nice looking, fits the bottle color scheme and the Devil motif pretty well.

Smell: A sweet malt smell, but nothing particularly overpowering nor inviting. Raisins, cinnamon, and dark fruits. Almost a lager-like aroma to it, and a sort of vinous quality that reminds me, unfortunately, too much of Newcastle "Brown," which consistently makes me want to puke. Not a good aroma for me.

Taste: Even worse on the vinous Newcastle lager-likeness. Raisins, plums, alcohol, a slight smoke otherwise. Not my thing.

Mouthfeel: Decent carbonation, otherwise a little spicy.

Drinkability: I can't recommend this beer, as much I would like to. I had heard great things about Old Nick, so I'm surprised at my reaction. Just too much like cheap wine or something to me. Not, again, my cup of tea. About halfway through the bottle, this became a drain pour.

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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 BamaScholar
2.61/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

while its true i haven't experienced the length and breadth of barleywines, this guy didn't leave a real smile on my face.

i don't want nor can i skew my scores all to one number because it wasn't altogether bad i just felt like i was drinking cough syrup strictly for the ABV content. indeed, one tastes the alcohol less in tripels and traditional wine than here. it is overripe, puckeringly sweet, and stiff to swallow and sip.

i hope to try old fogron, old crusty, and j.w. lees to advance my knowledge of the style, but this fellow was pretty one-dimensional.

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Photo of froggyfrog
2.76/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. embossed bottle of Old Nick courtesy of BA brother Phatz.
Served in my Canadian beer glass courtesy of BA friend Goldorak.

Headless thin dark brown color with red hues reminiscent of birch beer.

Not much going on in the nose. A very mild barley malt smell also brings alcohol and faintly spicy hops.

Pleasantly full malt flavor and mouthfeel. Sweet and slightly syrupy, but dry.

This is a very straight forward brew. Not much complexity anywhere.

Not remarkable on any front but still enjoyable. Given the large number flavor-packed alternatives to this beer available within the BW style, I doubt I'll come back to this.

From Young's I'd recommend the Double Chocolate Stout hands down over this Barley Wine.

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Photo of Brent
3/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pretty assertive, as you'd expect of a barley wine, with a huge sweet, malty caramel flavor. Still, it seemed not to have a lot of depth beyond the big malt, fairly one-dimensional.

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Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3/5  rDev -24.1%

Photo of 6demonbag
3/5  rDev -24.1%

Photo of dsa7783
3.02/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

From a 1.9 fl. oz bottle copped from Shop Rite Wine and Liquors in Caldwell, this beer pours a dark, ruby-red color with minimal head.. smell is heavy full of prunes, figs, extreme malts, brown sugars... Taste complements the aroma... very rich, thick, and malty, with a heavy mouthfeel that lingers on the palatae... a very rich, and thick brew... wouldn't want to down too many of these in a single setting... a monster-like brew that completely dominates... very thick, rich, and flavorful that goes above and beyond with too much thickness... poor drinkability due to the heavy flavors and taste... this is certainly a sipper... worth a try if you're a fan of the style, although I'm not sure if i'd purchase this one again...

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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 Jessefive
3.04/5  rDev -23%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

This beer had a nice sweet, malty flavor that was offset by a unimpressive thin body and virtually no head. I was able to pick out some prune and coffee flavors. There was a gently bitter finish. It was a very drinkable, though unremarkable barleywine.

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Photo of redteg02
3.05/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: a medium to dark brown with a slight tan head. Head dissapears in seconds and does not come back.

Smell: dull roasted smell

Taste: a mild sweetness counteracted by a slight bitter

Notes: although the poor score this is not a bad brew. it just wasnt what i had hoped from a wine ale. it lacked the intense flavors and smells that the wine ale is known for. i would recommend this for a try to anyone who likes darker beers.

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Photo of TheDM
3.06/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This brew poured a small head of fine to medium sized light brown bubbles that as it receded left very little lacing. Its body was a translucent dark brown. It has aroma that I was unable to place It was not bad, but not much to my liking either. It was a very strange brew for me and is the least liked of the beers from Youngs that I have tasted to date.

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Photo of jackndan
3.08/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Old Nick barley wine: Deep brown color, with a tannish off-white head that sticks. The aroma is pleasant and understated, little bit of alcohol. The taste is very flavorful, with predominate malts, sweet and biscuity. Strong alcohol taste and warmth, probably more than the 7.2% would otherwise have indicated. Decent session brew.

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Photo of khiasmus
3.1/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Slightly cloudy dark amber that pours with a finger and a half of head that drops to a soapy layer in moments.
A bit of grainy malt in the nose, but overwhelmed by an almost hot-pepper spiciness, along with clove, nutmeg, and black pepper.
The flavor is much the same, with a thin and quite sweet malt backbone being supported by a bit of spice, though not as spicy as the nose. The finish has a bit more of that spice, and the sweet/spicy are really the only elements of this beer.
The mouthfeel department is a bit thin and watery, with low carbonation and a hint of warming in the finish.
I did not find this to be a very drinkable beer, and it certainly felt a bit thin, even for an English barleywine. What I missed the most, though, was any element of complexity: it seemed to be simply a two-dimensional beer: sweet and spice. Worth a try, but lacking a bit IMO.

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Photo of marc77
3.14/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Garnet in hue w/ brilliant clarity. The initially thick tan head settles into a thin layer that leaves a loose lace. The signature lightly tart, fruity Young's yeast estery aroma are followed by dark caramel malt sweetness, and a hint of black licorice, but there's not much else there aromawise. Lots of residual sweetness in flavor & assertive deeply caramelized, dark crystal malt flavors upfront, then fruitiness & biscuit malt notes ensue. I'm left waiting for additional flavors to add complexity, but none materialize, unfortunately. Hop bitterness is overly understated, thus leaving this beer quite sweet. Lightly bodied for style. Finishes w/ mild roasted notes & table sugar sweetness. Perhaps I'm accustomed to richer, more complex barleywines, but I found Old Nick one dimensionally sweet and a touch weak.

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Photo of tavernjef
3.14/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Nice looking deep dark mahogany with a solid fluffed froth just under an inch tall, big bubbles appear opposite from the pour, settles silky and whipped creamy with a tannish hue, finally dissipating to a thin ring, lace in spotty drippings. Aroma is faint of sweet malt, somewhat caramel and toffee sweet with some dark fruityness of plum and dates, no hops detected really, a bit floral, but seemed more like a dopplebock nose then anything. Taste is all malts and lightly flavored with mostly some toffeeish flavor coming through with some hinting caramel and dark fruit of plum and some raisin. Hops where are you? There's an emptyness to this that's just plain and boring. Finishes dry and with woodish notes lingering. Its mostly all malts, and not very thick and or charcterized with a fullness that I expect out of a BW. Maybe I've had too many Batch 6000's lately but this was quite boring and I nearly gave up at half way but I kept the sacrifice going in the name of trying all things good or bad. Feel is a bit thin in places but has a good medium body with a lingering light chewy smoothness that was really the only thing I found to my liking, somewhat; but is overall a overly malty and weak offering and will skip even conceiving opening my bottle from 94'. Passable.

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Photo of Bunnyhop
3.15/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A clear,medium dark, reddish brown barleywine style ale, with a small to moderate white head. I smell malt and raisins. At first I taste pepper, and malt, followed by a flavor reminiscent of madiera, finishing with a hoppy bitterness. In my mouth it is firm and oily. Overall, this beer is alright for its style, but I didn't care for its bitter finish.

(source: ABC Baymeadows; Jacksonville, FL)

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Photo of travolta
3.16/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Apperance: Creamy, tight butterscotch head. A fiery amber color. Head retention is decent. The lacing is there, a little bit.

Nose: Strong, heavy malt with a tiny bit of hops and butterscotch.

Taste: Thick malt with a syrupy taste which pulls behind it a little bit of hops. Sweet and crisp.

Notes: not a very fun or interesting barley wine, but a good example anyway.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.17/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is a brleywine???
Poured a dark ruby with a thin, white ring of carbonation. Smells of dried fruits. There's a hint of alcohol. Flavors are big on dried fruits, toasty malts, cane syrup, and herbal hops. Great bitter balance that matches the sweetness well. However, it tastes more of a stromg ale than a bwine. To thin for a good barleywine so I ranked it low on the taste and mouthfeel.

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

deep ruby coloring with a thick head that just won't quit. almost impossible to see through, even when held up to a bright beam of light reflected off ice covered sheets of snow. poetic, eh?

smells of mild cherries, malt and some hops.. a sweet spice or two.. ginger? mild scent.

tastes bitter, dry, and hoppy. fresh herb profile and a light fruity taste barely noticeable over the spice. leaves you with a hearty mouth coating of fresh hop taste.

not my cup of tea for a barleywine... too hoppy and lacking in the warmth of abv. drinkable though, and i refuse to slam it because it ain't my bag.

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Photo of kbub6f
3.25/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bought locally (Grapevine refrigerated shelves), a few days in my fridge, reviewed 50F-65F.

I poured this beer vigorously and got a fairly large, tan, bubbly head that condenses to a really nice layer of heavy cream. Eventually it dissipates to a thin film of tan foam. The lacing is fine, but disappears. The color of the beer is deep red/brown.

The smell is sweet and fruity with toffee and yeast. I really like the aroma. There's a "pre-front" aroma of dust (inhaling just before tasting).

The beer starts a little too sweet for me. Lots of caramel. Then molasses. The finish is bready and slightly cloying. The feel is not bad: it's creamy, but there's no warmth.

With this much malt, I need more of everything else. This one wasn't bad, but it really didn't do it for me: no "wow!".

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Photo of Wolfsdenbrew
3.26/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours with a light beige head that dissipates quickly. A very deep ruby brown, moderate lacing and clear.

Aroma is light with a bit of licorice and a light hop bouquet.

Taste is sweet malts, caramel, prunes, figs, light piney hop finish.
Needs more hops and malts.

Moderate carbonation level, little bubbly for a barleywine, and a littlelight on the body.

Overall an okay barleywine.

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Photo of dungaree
3.27/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

My first English barleywine so I'm not exactly sure how its supposed to taste or present. But here goes:
Poured dark ruby brown. Smelled sweet. Hard to put my finger on the taste but it was thin. Definitely could tell it came from Young's because it tasted like other Young's brews. I'm not that impressed with my first barleywine experience.

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Photo of charlottebeerguy
3.28/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served from a 1pt .9 floz brown bottle. Best if before 04/06. Into a chalice.

Beer pours a nice garnet color with a light tan head about an inch high. Head seems to sit several minutes.

Smells with hints of crisp fruit and caramel.Some sweet malts I am also picking up.

Sweet malts are present on first taste along with what taste a little fruity, pears mabey. I was also tasting the higher alcohol on the finish but not overpowering. nice for a cold night

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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