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 charlzm
3.44/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled, marked "best before 30 Mar 07", consumed on 11/4/07.

Pours coffee colored with very active carbonation. Modest head didn't stick around long. Aromas too faint to make out much of anything. A little thicker than water in the mouth: sticky in a good way. Muted flavor of cinnamon on initial taste with raisin appearing fully and suddenly a second or two later. Mostly sweet malt, but not too much so. No bitterness to speak of. Almost no alcohol character. Deceptive, aren't you Old Nick?

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

22 oz. bottle with a date of January 2007:

A- Ruby brown color with a beautiful creamy tan head, translucent in color, and lots of carbonation.

S- Smell was malty and sweet, most notably fruit (cherries), maybe some prune, some grape.

T- Taste was extremely sweet. I tasted some fig,prune, cherry. There was also a breadlike taste followed up with a metallic aftertaste.

M- Mouthfeel was more slick than expected, sticky coating on my lips from all of the sugars.

D- For a barley wine, this is as easy drinking as it gets. Very sweet and would be great after dinner. I enjoyed this but prefer my American Barley Wines.

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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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Photo of botham
4.3/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

pint bottle poured into a tulip. pours a deep copper color with garnet highlights. a couple fingers of light tan top it off, leaving no lacings.

aroma is huge on the malts, with caramel and munich dominating. fruity yeast is also present, fostering notes of grape, apple, and a touch of citrus. rich in the nose, though not overpowering.

taste is huge on the malts as well, with the same fruit notes and a mild alcoholic presence. caramel malts mainly, with a touch of chocolate malts as well.

mouthfeel is heavy, with a creamy texture and a smooth finish, and a mild bite from alcohol. lingering caramel and grape in the aftertaste.

drinkability is good. for a barley-wine, this brew is not overly rich or thick. this is a huge brew nonetheless, but it does combine the flavors into a refined profile. overall a great barley-wine. cheers!

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

16.9oz bottle served in a brandy snifter. Poured brown with some hints of red. Sparse head. Fruity, malty nose with raisins and molasses and a little alcohol. Medium to full bodied. Big malt flavor.
Not overly sweet, just a bit of hop bitterness to balance.

Good example of an English Barley wine. Very drinkable. I've heard this beer is not being made any longer, so drink it while you can.

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Photo of grub
4.52/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

TheManiacalOne hooked me up with this one as part of BC2. thanks mark!

1pt 0.9oz bottle. best before 17 AUG 07. sampled jan 22/08.

pours deep red-brown with a medium density yellow head. the head quickly drops to a ring around the glass and leaves only a few spots of lace.

aroma is great. tons of dark fruit - date, plum, raisin, fig. light alcohol. a bit of earthy hops. the fruit almost makes me think of a belgian strong dark, though it still maintains an english slant.

taste is great. slightly below medium bitterness level, mostly as a nice bittersweet and dark chocolate. light alcohol. the dark fruit is here again, though a little more subdued than in the aroma. big bread and biscuit malt. earthy hops. just a touch of sweetness coming through as caramel and fruit.

mouthfeel is good. medium carbonation level. medium-large body. i could do with a little less carbonation, but after some time sipping it settles nicely.

drinkability is great. this is an excellent english barleywine. nice big malt base, nice fruity character, mild english hops. perfect balance. maybe the time (since it's past its best before date) has done this one well, but it seems that it should be rated higher. an excellent example of the style.

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

1pt, 0.9 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. I had aged this for almost 2 years to see how it would turn out. Results were very good.

A = Opaque dark bronze color, nice large head of small and medium bubles with good retention, fair lacing as it recedes.

S = Hops, alfalfa, burnt hay (but in a good way), fresh cut grass, very complex with good balance.

T = Rich, sweet roasted malt flavors, with great bitterness. As with the smell this is complex yet very well balanced. Not an assault on the tastebuds like a lot of barleywines can be. Floral hints in the finish.

M = Medium bodied, good coating of the entire mouth, enjoyable level of carbonation.

D = A very good way to spend a relaxing hour. Very drinkable.

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Photo of WesWes
4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a dark brown color with a thick frothy offwhite/tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great. It is extremely malty. It has an intense burnt toffee aroma; what a treat! The taste is good. It has a smooth and creamy malt flavor that really screams of caramel and burnt toffee. It's rich and full bodied, but goes down velvety smooth. It's quite sweet with a mild warming in the finish. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is one fine beer. It's incredibly smooth for a barleywine. It's sweet and creamy up front and finishes warm with bit of dryness and burnt toffee notes; simply awesome.

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Photo of LittleBreeze
4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Tasting Party 10/26/2007

Old Nick

6 oz goblet sample

Not sure now this barley wine managed to escape me!
Smells of caramel and raisins or figs. Not as sweet as other barley wines. Subtle. Malty. There is faint hop bite at the end. Smooth drink. Very good.

This is a barley wine that could be paired with several types of food.

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Photo of DanGraser
4.73/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bought the bottle from Half-Time Beverage in Poughkeepsie, NY. Served in a Young's pint glass.

Appearance: Dark, root beer color. Exposure to brighter light reveals deep ruby colors.

Smell: Least sweet of the barley wines I have tasted. Smells of sweet dried fruits, floral aromas, some brown sugar notes.

Taste: Barley wine character sweetness immediately detectable though not over-whelming. Pleasingly balanced by raisins, figs, while light vanilla and brown sugar sweetness appears late. Faint bitterness leads to a dry finish with some spice that finishes quite clean.

Mouthfeel: Smoothe and silky with a faintly detectable effervescence. The best part of this beer!

Drinkability: Keep'em coming!

Overall: Though this is not your standard barleywine with less alcohol and sweetness than most, its balance is amazingly complex and maintains its barleywine character while embracing drinkability and mouthfeel of less strong ales. One of my favorites, please don't stop making it!

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

1 pt .9 oz bottle
Best before 20 Sept 07.

Today is 11 Oct 07 but I'm really not all that worried.

It sits dark in a snifter, "root beer colored" would describe it well.

Scents or raisins, some caramel and bread.

Oh my, distinct dark chocolate when tasting, hints of coffee, figs, and alcohol on the finish. Theres also a lingering bitterness suggesting hops.

It's slightly sticky and heavy, definitely substantial. A nice experience.

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Photo of shererjt
3.53/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a clear, deep mahogany color with a large, creamy, tan head. Aroma was sweet malt, raisins, caramel, and maybe some fruit. Body was medium-to-full. Malt first, then hop bitterness with some hop flavor late. Mouthfeel was smooth and creamy. Very drinkable for a big beer.

Not my favorite Young’s beer or barleywine, but still tasty. On the light side for a barleywine, but that’s okay with me. After doing my review I noticed that the bottle I had was 4 months past its “Best Before” date. I didn’t notice any off-flavors except perhaps a tiny bit of oxidation that came out as it warmed, but it wasn’t bad or even inappropriate for the style. Still, I will try to sample this again soon.

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Photo of zeff80
3.92/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a dark, copper color with ruby flecks. It had a foamy, off-white, three-finger head. It left some nice lace.

S - It smelled of malt, dried fruit and spices.

T - It tasted spicy and peppery. Had a burnt toast maltiness.

M - It was crisp and dry. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a very nice barley wine. It is not overpowering, just nice and smooth.

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Photo of MaltyGoodness
4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16.9oz bottle

Pours a very pretty chestnut brown with ruby highlights. Creamy tan head that thins. Nice lacing on the glass.

Sweet caramel malty aroma with a light nuttiness.Very light hint of herbal hops.

Sweet caramel malt taste upfront with a mild nutty flavor. Medium bitter bite midway with mild herbal hop flavor. Finishes caramel malty sweet.

Medium-full body, creamy texture.

A very nice example of an English barleywine. The ABV being on the low end for the style makes this brew extremely drinkable. Definitely recommended.

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Photo of beeragent
3.76/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass from a bottle. The beer poured a medium brown, forming a creamy 1 1/2 inch head. The aroma is a strong mix of what smells like sweet malt and alcohol. The taste is a good amount of sweet malt, along with a little alcoholic aftertaste. For a barley wine, the alcohol wasnt as nearly noticeable as expected. The mouthfeel was also suprisingly smooth. Overall, not bad for a barley wine. I could definitely see drinking this again.

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Photo of IPAcraig
4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this bottle at The Leon Pub in Tallahassee. It had been in their beer fridge for some time. The best before date read: 17 aug 2007

A - Pours a dark brownish amber red with a creamy light brown head. A very nice looking beer.

S - All malt. It has a big maris otter character, with a caramel goodness. no hops to speak of.

T - Same as above except with a slight lingering bitterness on the back of the tounge. The flavors of this beer have really come together; caramel and nice cinnamon are also present. Fresh, the beer has a bit of a "cleaning products" flavor, but aged this is not apparent. The only knock is that fresh it has only a modest amount of hops, but aged they are barely apparent at all. A good smooth beer, with lots of character.

M - Creamy and really accentuates the malts

D - So smooth for a barleywine. Very flavorful but mellow.

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Photo of BucBasil
3.73/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Poured into an imperial pint glass from a bottle branded with fire and a smiling devil. Pours a nice cola color - dark brown with hints of ruby when held to the light. Head is two fingers thick, foamy, tan and dissipates in about a minute or so. Some lacing is evident.

Smell: Hard to determine this one... Clean hop notes come through at first but there is also a nice roasted malt note somewhere in there. Faint but pleasant overall.

Taste: Tastes and feels like a cola when entering the mouth, giving way to a sort of dark fruity hop character. Finishes strong with a chewy dark chocolate note. Smooth.

Notes: This is great beer that I will definitely pick up again.I'd be curious to see how this one ages, because it's fantastic when fresh. This one kind of reminded me of a doppelbock, which is in stark contrast to the not so pleasant, ultra-bitter experience I had with the other Barleywine Ale I've had. Good to know there's a good range of flavors in the style.

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Photo of DrJay
4.18/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What a beauty of an English barleywine! I actually sat on this bottle for about a year before opening and I wasn't disappointed after the wait.
It poured clear and dark, sort of a mahogany colour with ruby highlights. Light brown foam rose off the pour and showed superb head retention for a barleywine, producing some solid lacing too. The aroma had a big toffee component, with dried fruit (prunes and figs) ever-present in the background. Bitterness was a bit mild, but still solid, with plenty of toffee, dried fruit, and bittersweet chocolate. Overall, the flavour was pretty sweet and malty. The carbonation was very creamy and well integrated, giving the texture a bit of lightness even with the medium/full body. Very nice. A highly drinkable barleywine with no alcohol evident. Mild, yet very tasty.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.6/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16.9oz. bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a dark reddish brown color with a large off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a spotty lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malt, dark fruit, brown sugar, some hops and some alcohol.

T: The taste is malty with flavors of brown sugar, caramel, dark fruit and more alcohol than a beer with 7.20% ABV should really have. I’ve had several beers with a much higher ABV that don’t leave the same sting that this one does. There’s a decent hops presence that provides some balance. The after-taste is bitter-sweet.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium-to-heavy carbonation, clean finish.

D: Tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, because the ABV is on the low-side for the style, this is one of the more sessionable EBW’s that I’ve had, especially if you can get past the alcohol burn. Overall, however, it's not one of the first beers that I would pick.

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Photo of maddogruss
3.67/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This was a nice barley wine.

A: Poured a dark brown, almost blood colored body with no head or lacing of any significance.

S: Pretty malty smell with slightly alcoholic undertones.

T: Pretty malty taste, almost like a bock, with some slight alcoholic presence in the aftertaste. The alcohol was not overbearing at all.

M: The mouthfeel was pretty solid. Nothing too thick, but pretty rich and full-bodied

D: For a barley wine, this is definitely a drinkable beer. It will not burn your throat or scourge your stomach. The beer itself did remind me a little bit of a bock with a higher alcohol content, but the brew was very smooth and suprisingly easy to drink.

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Photo of BeerZack
4.04/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear deep mahogany color with fine bubbly head that displays good lacing.

Sweet bready malt, raisin, marshmallow, and caramel all in the nose. Some alcohol as it warms.

Tastes not so complex as the smell implies; raisin-bread flavor with hint of roastiness and some hop bitterness on the finish.

Feels light and creamy yet full bodied.

Nice and drinkable overall, but it is on the low end of the abv% spectrum for a BW. Great for the price and availability.

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

Mild English Brown toffee sweetness and light floral/herbal hops. Chocolate and richer malt notes.

Orange amber, halfway clear. Great head and good retention.

Tamely assertive malt and hops. Fairly clean malt bill with hints of chocolate and roast along with a medium-light toffee sweetness. Medium-strength floral hops with milder citric and herbal notes. Medium to medium-light bitterness. Medium-high dark fruitiness.

Medium-thick body with subtle carbonation. Chewy malt.

Nice. Tasty and significantly beefy. Worth the price. I’d get it again.

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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