Olde Reliable | Laurelwood Public House & Brewery

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8 Ratings

Brewed by:
Laurelwood Public House & Brewery
Oregon, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
2007 - released in limited edition 1-liter swingtop bottles and draught.

Added by msubulldog25 on 11-30-2006

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 8 |  Reviews: 7
Reviews by sinistermadman:
Photo of sinistermadman
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 limited release.
Served from a big ass 1L wax sealed swing top bottle.
Pours a clear, dark amber color with a finely carbonated head after a vigorous pour. Foam soon settles to a slight ring leaving a stratified lacing in my snifter. Smell is boozy with ripened fruit nuances and an appealing earthy aroma. In the interest of full disclosure I do have the beginnings a cold, but it still smells good, and very alcoholic...

Flavor is quite soaked in alcohol with bitter chocolate, plums, leather and basically innumerous other flavors that make themselves known after every sip. Nice caramel/chocolate tinged aftertaste that doesn’t feel intrusive. Alcohol presence is felt as an aftereffect, but is not too overbearing. Much props for not being cloying as some barley wines can be. This one is aided by a medium-full mouthfeel that doesn’t feel too sticky. Smooth body with a slick presence on the palate. Drinkability is only impaired by the fact that this brew is packing a high abv. Still, a good example of the style that just adds more kudos to my already high opinion of this brewpub.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of HopHead84
3.23/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

1L bottle received as a generous extra in a trade with maltmaster420 a year or so ago. 2007 vintage.

Pours dark copper with a 2 finger, frothy beige head. The retention is good and leaves some lacing on my glass.

The aroma is filled with caramel and sugar. The hops have all but faded, but what's left is earthy. Dark fruits are evident as well as some noticeable oxidation.

The flavor is sweet caramel malt and the oxidation is stronger here than it was in the aroma. Dark fruits are present again, as well as a very low level of earthy hop character with a little bitterness.

The mouthfeel is pretty bad. Very watery and thin. I should have consumed this last year; it's past its prime.

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Photo of BraatenBrew
4.5/5  rDev +20.3%

Photo of ccrida
3.56/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1 liter swing-top cellared since the release, poured into my Delirium snifter, Olde Reliable is clear auburn with an impressive off-white head with long last, leaving nice lace.
This is my second time having this beer from the cellar. I had one about 2 years ago, and it tasted over the hill. This one at 4 years old is tasting much better, must have been a dumb phase.

Smell is pretty rich, graham cracker, with a little caramelized sugar. A pleasant floral note as well, liliac, very interesting.

Taste is similar, nice malty richness without being to oxidized. Which is surprising, since this is my second time having this beer from the cellar, and the one I had about 2 years ago tasted over the hill. This one at 4 years old is tasting much better, must have been a dumb phase. Really a nice surprise to see how this is developing, a great example of why cellaring takes much longer then most people realize to actually achieve results.

Mouthfeel is getting a bit thin, but not watery, and still an impressive amount of carbonation.

Drinkability is quite good. This was really enjoyable, I'm glad I held on to it. Maybe not the best vintage BW I've ever had, but certainly respectable!

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Photo of msubulldog25
4.35/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is Laurelwood's entry at the 2006 Holiday Ale Festival in Portland. I dislike reviewing based on 'Festival' pours but this one is worthy of adding to the BA list ASAP.

EDIT (03/2008): This has now become a winter release seasonal for Laurelwood, recently bottled in limited-release one-liter wax-dipped swingtops as well as kegs...

A: Pours a hazy chestnut brown with 1-finger of creamy ivory head. Head retains well, all through the pour. Because of the cloudy plastic tasting cups, my appearance grade is based more on seeing it presented in the clear plastic pitcher prior to the pour.

S: Big fruity sweetness. Toasty caramel character with spices and a only the faintest hints of alcohol.

T: Juicy hops with a heavy malt sweetness. Citrus and pine, balanced and bold.

M: Creamy and surprisingly smooth, one of the finest, most well-balanced barleywines I've enjoyed. Full mouthfeel, but with a cleanness I really appreciate. Not a heavy, syrupy beer at all.

D: An easy drinking, 'sneaky' kind of ale...barleywine strength but with the drinkability of a much lighter gravity beer. I hope this will become a mainstay in the Laurelwood seasonal lineup.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.03/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a deep copper color with a small white head.Nose is caramel, sugar and sour funk. Taste is funky sour, caramel with drak fruits and booze. Mouthfeel is pretty boozy, sweet, funky and sour. Seemed pretty thin overall and not the best bwine I have ever had.

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Photo of grumpy
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Well, at least the swing-top easily broke the wax seal, thereby sparing me the annoyance of carving with a knife for 15 minutes. But I digress....

Pretty typical American BW here - hoppy (though more balanced than many), with boozy, chocolate, caramel, and fruity flavors. Dark amber, light tan head with moderate lace, full carbonation, medium body, aroma matching the taste.

I don't think this one is quite ready. It doesn't seem to have come together yet. I think I'll wait at least 6 months before cracking another. Perhaps an update later on.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.56/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear, garnet-hued body with a full, foamy, off-white head.

Smell: Altogether fruity aroma with scents of toasted malt and home-made caramel sauce.

Taste: Toasted malts, a touch of grain, and an undeniable caramel sweetness. Candied cherry fruitiness. Good punch of earthy hop bitterness. Touch of alcohol. Drying, fruity finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Some creaminess to the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Pretty good! There's more cheer than chore to finishing this bottle.

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Olde Reliable from Laurelwood Public House & Brewery
Beer rating: 3.74 out of 5 with 8 ratings