Odell Curmudgeon's Nip | Odell Brewing Company

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Odell Curmudgeon's NipOdell Curmudgeon's Nip
26 Ratings
Odell Curmudgeon's NipOdell Curmudgeon's Nip

Brewed by:
Odell Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by PhantomVodoo on 01-28-2001

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 26 |  Reviews: 25
Reviews by stegmakk:
Photo of stegmakk
4.35/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled date 2-23-05
Well I figured 2 years would be nice...Celebrating for some odd reason...oh yeah...Its Tuesday.
Poured a dark brownish red mahoganny with a thin light tan head. Left nice thin lacing down the glass.
Aroma of molasses and alcohol (not the harsh alcohol smell but the warm and inviting drink me kind of a good wine).
Taste was just wow. Not harsh but very nice mellow great mix of flavors. Tastes of molasses roasted raisins, and leaves a long aftertaste that I enjoyed.
Mouthfeel was a tiny bit thin, but still smooth and coating going down.
I wish I had more of these. A big thank you to whomever I traded with a long time ago to get one of these. It is a shame its been in my closet for a while...or it is?

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Beaver13
3.13/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

The Curmudgeon's Nip poured a clear mahongany with a smallish, creamy light brown head that quickly went to a collar and left a little lacing. It smells of molasses, tart fig and alcohol. It's pretty full-bodied, and very sticky/syrupy and almost cloyingly sweet. It's taste is sweet toffee and caramel initially, with an earthy, hoppy bitter finish that is kind of acidic. You can definitely notice an alcoholic warming effect right off the bat. I didn't think the sweetness and bitterness was very well balanced - way too sweet. I was pretty disapointed by this beer compared to the rest of Odell's offerings.

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Photo of Jason
4.74/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz brown long neck bottle with no bottling date though I was told this sample is around four years in the bottle now. On the label it states that it is an English style Barley Wine.

Appearance: Mildly hazed tawny amber with a varied sized bubbled lace, though when first pour formed a three fingered off white head.

Smell: Ripe figgy fruitiness, alcoholic esters very noticeable … smells a little like fresh mashed wort. Hops are vague in the nose but leave a light trace of leaf.

Taste: Silky smooth and light carbonation, massive chewy malt mouth feel with a touch of slickness from the sweetish alcohol. Faint rum raisin quality to this brew almost figgy in a sense. Healthy balanced twang from specialty malts, faded hops and the warming alcohol. Some cookie like maltiness within, hop bitterness is faded though in a nice mellow way with suggestions of rind and leaf. Spiciness comes from the alcohol and mingles with the grainy flavours right into the warming finish.

Notes: Simply amazing, comparable if not better to most of the English barleywines that are imported to the US. While tasting this beer I ponder how great life is and glad this beer could be here to complete me. Hard to tell that this is American brewed …

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Photo of bditty187
4.67/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark ruby/copper highlights, almost no trace of a head, skimpy, soapy. Still it looks mighty nice in my glass. No lace was produced. The nose is potent, kind of plumy, malty, alcoholic… very inviting and the summons only gets louder as it warms. The palate is wonderful, perfect interpretation of an English-style Barleywine… plenty of alcohol influences, sweet and malty, spicy, dark fruit (like plums), brandy-like. Tremendously flavorful. Little carbonation. Full body… chewy. Smooth. Very pleasant and quaffable… sip and savor! Best near room temperature. This was a pleasant surprise… if you are an aficionado of English Barleywines then seek this one out! Highly recommended.

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Photo of PhantomVodoo
3.88/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottling date: 02/28/03. Sampled at 1 year and 1 day.
Tan head. Hazed, coppery amber brew.
Aroma of rich, toasty malt and a significant earthiness.

Taste shows rich, sweet, toasty toffee and caramel malt. Decent hop balance. Significant earthiness.

Full body and a thick mouthfeel.
Good drinkability.

Overall, a good barley wine. Big thanks to bditty187 for the nicely aged bottle!

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Photo of Gusler
4.42/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours an unblurred burnished copper to mahogany color with a modest head that is frothy in texture and the residual lace a fine covering sheet upon the glass. Nose is sweet malt, caramel, with hints of almonds fresh and inviting with the start quite sweet, thickly malt, and the top middling in its feel to the palate. Finish is pleasantly carbonated, the hops spicy and not overbearing, but the aftertaste has a definite alcohol bite and a big time “Belly Warming” is felt almost immediately. No mistaking this for anything but a “Big Bad Boy Barley Wine” and I get to thank my “Most Favorite Bartender” Mel from Papago Brewery for bringing me this bottle from Colorado.

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Photo of Rastacouere
2.8/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pale copper, low carbonation, small short-lasting head. SYrupy aroma, a little medicinal, candyish. It's hard to believe a beer with 7,9% ABV can taste so alcoholic (rhum), even for a barley wine. Blind I'd never estimate this under 10%. Very sweet taste, lots of malt left, but also nice fruity counterparts t balance it up a bit, especially blackberries and cherries.

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Photo of marc77
4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Clear ruby hue. Head recedes into a thin, but steadfast light tan coating. Sparse lace remains. Notes of roasted, oily pecan and dark toffee waft to the nose upfront. Ensuing are rounded, woody hops and bittersweet, peppery ethanol hints. Stately butterscotch surfaces as the beer breathes. Mellow, and agreeably restrained aromawise. In flavor, the dominant malt impression is a combination of dark, treacle sweetened grainy biscuit and dark lovibond caramel with a roasted barley tinge. Esters meld with malt character to lend a subtle suggestion of caramelized prune. Gentle, inobtrusive hop bitterness quells residual sweetness partially, leaving a lingering buttery toffee tone. Understated earthy, humus like hop flavor and ester combination. A touch shy in viscosity to support the malt profile, with an overly fluid mouthfeel. Finishes with quickly fleeting hints of brown sugar coated praline, but isn't overtly sweet. A very tasty and well balanced strong ale that is both rich, but soft on the palate. A deceptively gentle brew, indeed.

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Photo of meathookjones
4.27/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was a 12oz bottle from 2003 that I got in a trade from bditty187. A slow forming beige head finally rose to a little over half an inch over deep thick brownish red body. The head died quicker than it formed leaving no lace in its demise. Aroma of sweet malt with notes of various dark fruits rose from the glass with hints of molasses and a touch of alcohol in the mix. This has a sticky sweet flavor that seemed to stay in your mouth for a while and also had dark fruit notes. Quite a warmer too as I warmed up real quick drinking this and it had a bit of an alcohol bite to it as well but not too much. Aftertaste was a bittersweet fruity one that was quite good. About a medium body with a sticky feel to it that warms you up nicely. Very tasty stuff here that I could drink a few of. Balanced enough that the sweetness is not overbearing. Give it a shot if you can find it.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.32/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle obtained via trade with meathookjones. Bottling date of 2/23/03. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a short-lived 1/4" of beige head over the somewhat murky reddish amber brew. Lacing is average, acceptable for a strong ale and/or barleywine. Aroma is initially of sweet caramel malts, but quickly gives way to dark fruits and alcohol. Taste is follows the nose, with sweet malts fading into a deep fruit that turns into warming alcohol notes. Mouthfeel is excellent, oh-so-smooth, and drinkability is wonderful as well. A nice strong ale/barleywine that doesn't kick you in the head, at least not right away.

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.02/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I scored this bottle from Bditty187, thanks for the hookup!
I am sampling at room temp in a snifter..

The brew pours a clear light mahogany color and develops a small offwhite head that fades very quickly.
Aroma is fruity sweet with ripe pears, white grapes, raisins, some hits of alcohol and some molassess too.
First sip reveals an average body with very gentle rolling carbonation. No real hint of the alcohol until it reaches my belly.
Flavor is malty sweet with molasess, ripe pears and raisins and some peppery spiciness on the swallow, I think this is the alcohol. Pretty smooth beer and relatively well hidden abv. A tasty treat for sure.

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Photo of ColoradoBobs
4.19/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Okay, what is it? English Barleywine or Old Ale? Jason calls it the former, the website calls it the latter; and the bottle says, "Barleywine style ale" on the front, and "a rich, traditional English style Barley Wine" on the side.

12 ounce bottle, with a brewing date of "032006." Hmmmm. That's pretty doggone recent for a beer that's supposed to the "retired."

Whatever, I'm pumped about this.

Clear dark orange-amber body under an ample off-white head that shrinks in a couple of minutes to a thin ring with plenty of thick lacing.

Great smell of rummy raisins, figs, pumpernickel bread, some clove and malted malty malt.

Taste is all of the aroma with a spicey and peppery front note. Really sweet and malty, but there is an excellent hop balance. Wow, what a great surprise from Odell's! Please tell me this baby has come out of retirement -- I just bought it at Liquor Max a month ago!

Mouthfeel is round and warming -- the alchohol is definitely there, and I'm guessing 9%.

Drinkability is down a bit because the alcohol is so present.

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Photo of Suds
4.24/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear chestnut brown with a thin, lasting head. Smell is nutty, almond and wood….malt and alcohol. Taste is predominately alcohol and a resin-dominated grainy maltiness. Full, substantial and very soft mouthfeel. This is a sweet beer that doesn’t overdo it. At times it seems mellow, and at other times incredibly flavorful.
Certainly worth looking for…and having again.

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Photo of HiroProtagonist
4.12/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Odell Curmudgeon’s Nip was served from a 12 oz. bottle. In a pint glass, the beer was a rich, brilliant reddish orange hue, and lacked any substantial head, save for a ring of off-white foam. The nose was wonderfully aromatic, with a delicately sweet raisiny maltiness and a complementary floral hop boquet. This barleywine had a excellent flow of flavor. The richly roasted, vibrant rummy raisin malt base slowly rose in intensity and spicy sharpness over several seconds as it sat on the palate. Following this wonderful peak was a snappy dried fruit bitterness that left lingering raisin/apple flavor. All of this goes down with a great rythym and balance. Warming. The body was wieghted superbly for the style and flavor, but I found the carbonation to be lacking somewhat. As the balance of this barleywine was excellent, it was quite drinkable compared to others in the style. Simply excellent. Big thanks to prAna for making this review possible.

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Photo of brewcrew76
4.32/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a hazy orange copper with a thin tan head.

S - Dark fruits, plums, figs, malty. Hint of alcohol in the nose.

T - Wow, this one is nice. Sweet malt up front with figs, raisins and plums joining in. Some piney hops thrown in that balance this one nicely. Alcohol is present but not overpowering.

M - Medium to full body but smooth with little carbonation. Slight warming as this one goes down.

D - This one is very tasty. I did not realize it has been retired when I opened it. I only wish I had more around.

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Photo of rye726
4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Glad to have the opportunity to try this. Nice beer, not sure why they stopped making it. Not sure on the age of this bottle. Pours an amberish brown with a nice beige head. Taste has sweet malts, fairly simple. Not too much going on, but a decent beer.

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Photo of Bierman9
4.12/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Time for a nip. It fills the glass with a rich, deep, auburn color. It is nearly clear, but for a slight haze. Head was practically nonexistent, though, save for a slight gathering of froth around the edge of the glass, which leaves a hint of lacing. Despite the lack of a topping, I still give it a 4.0 for the lovely hue of the Bier. Though I love the over-the-top citrus hoppiness of US versions of Barleywines, this aroma is a great, and welcome, change. It emits loads of sweetness melding with caramel and toffee notes. Mmmm...!! Body hovered in the medium range, though I thought it could be fuller. Yet is still made a fairly smooth journey over the tongue. Like the nose, the flavor has more than enough sweetness and malty, caramel attributes. Toffee, dark fruit flavors, and even a suggestion of chocolate also come into play here, in this rich, and subtly warming brew. Very pleasurable! Thnx to bditty187. Zum Wohl!!

overall: 4.1
appearance: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | mouthfeel: 4 | drinkability: 4


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Photo of francisweizen
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This barleywine poured a deep, dark chestnut red colour into my chalice. The aromas were heavily alcoholic, with a spicy fruity flare up front. In the middle I nosed dark fruits, figs, plums, and christmas pudding. The taste is quite lovely and consists of spices, alcohol, dark fruits, and nice hops in the finish. The malt profile of this beer is to die for and that definately makes the drinkability very good for a nice, big, English-style barleywine. The mouthfeel is creamy and smooth. This is the perfect christmas eve drink. A domestically brewed Young's old nick!

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Photo of mentor
4.05/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bottle of this a while back and finally got a chance to drink it. Bottle date is 032006. Since this is only 02/2006, that must be the best by date. Hard pour gets a nice creamy tan-brown head of half a finger in size. The beer is a cloudy orange rust...but some of the sediment made it into the bottle. Smells caramelly sweet with a mild alcohol sting. Hint of nutty and very ester fruity. Something else I can recognize, but not quite place. Fresh nutmeg? Tastes simply divine. Wet sweet malty with caramel and a hint of chocolate. Strong fruity esters fall away to a late rising alcohol. The alc isn't very intense, but what there is is rough and burny. Also near the end, and into the aftertaste, is a light piney hop flavor. Light like fresh spruce tips, rather than dark and brutal like pine tar. The aftertaste also holds an interesting game of tage between fruity and malty. Plus a very gentle drying chocolate. A whirlwind of activity on my tastebuds. The body is a bit light, but has a creamy smoothness about it. Like a very fine dextrinous quality. Just a note, near the end of the glass, the focus of each sip became a rough burny alcohol. I'd be hard pressed to be interested in any more.

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Photo of Crosling
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Aged for about 10 months before opening. This beautiful ale is sitting in front of me right now! I'm excited.

Pours a dark magenta in color with a white head that diminishes quickly and leaves small islands floating on the beer and a nice ring around the glass. Some lacing but the head fell to such a small size and it was nearly impossible for a decent lace to occur. Too bad, i'm a sucker for a good lace.

A nice nose on this one! Almonds abound with figs and plums. Alcohol extreamly evident in the nose as well.

As I am sipping on this I am wondering what this is doing to my stomach. This tastes fantastic but my stomach seems to be trying to lure me away from this ale. I have to keep going. It tastes so good.

Nice bounteous mouthfeel with lovely hints of plums, raisins, figs, rich malts and a nice bitter hop finish. Alcohol is warming and dominant especially as this ale warmed to room temperature. Absolutely fantastic flavor.

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Photo of Mitchster
4.24/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 02-2003. Pours out to a cloudy deep-caramel brown, forming a small beige head with poor retention and sparse lacing. Carbonation is mild to moderate. Aroma is full with raisins, prunes, dates, vanilla, caramel, and some floral hops. Mouthfeel is smooth and cloying with a dense, syrupy body. Taste begins with raisins and dates, with a huge amber and pale malt bill...lots of sugars with predominant sweetness careeningly balanced by the mild bitterness of floral hops, however there is a moderate level of hop flavor towards the end. Reminds me a bit of Sam Adams Triple Bock, as there is a touch of maple syrup and toast in the finish which lingers into the aftertaste. A touch of alcohol is evident in taste, but also warms the pipes as it goes down. Cleanly fermented. As it warms, I notice it tends to become a tad dry in the finish, as the alcohol becomes more noticeable.

This is one of the better barleywines I've had. It's not abrasive and quite smooth and emphasizes the malts over the hops, which is personal preference.

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Photo of bigbeerdrinka
4.02/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a deep mahogany color with ruby and deep amber highlights. A small white head appears about a 1/8 inch high and leaves a slight amount of lace on the glass. Aromas are all over the place on this beer. There are dark fruits consisting of grapes, figs, plums, with a nice slight alcohol presence in there that may best be described as port and brandy like. Also there are some slight malt aromas and a little sugary presence as well. Upon first sipping this beer was just zinging on the pallate. Alcohol notes were almost the first thing present in this brew, showing off a very brandy like flavor. Follow some of the fruity characteristics of this beer shine through, showing off some figs and grapes, with some other fruits mixing in there as well. Finally this beer finishes strong and warm, with some malty background tones, a nice slight sweetness, and a finishes alcohol that just sticks on the mouth. Overall this beer is full bodied and rich in flavor, with only a slight amount of carbonation. A nice beer for the style..

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Photo of comat0se
4.58/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Ok... a chance to revisit this one. And it was well worth it... This beer is much MUCH better than the stuff I tried on cask. Pours an awesome deep copper with a light orangeish-tan head. Aroma is sweet, malty, with citrus and hints of lemon and alcohol. Flavor is rich and full, malty, lightly sweet with a balancing bitterness. This is followed by an a slight aftertaste of metal and moderate amounts of alcohol fumes. Mouthfeel is thick but not syrupy, with medium carbonation. I'm sure this one could really benefit from some aging to take some of the bite off of the alcohol.


(Old Review)

appearance: 3
smell: 1.5
taste: 1.5
mouthfeel: 3.5
drinkability: 1.5

Odell's Old Curmudgeon's Nip
Tried at 1st Annual Boulder Strong Ale Festival
Listed as an OG of 1.097

I think something must have been wrong with the cask, or keg whichever it was. There was some serious nastiness going on here.

Aroma: Cigarette smoke combines with nasty ocean water, or water from a swamp, sulfury.

Appearance: Hazy dark-brown, zero head, flat looking

Taste: Unfortunately, the aroma carries over into the taste. The first half of the flavor is a very murky, smoky, muddle of nasty water, including an unhealthy dose of saltiness. The second half is almost promising with a malt sweetness and fruit richness, but then the finish comes back with a very gross flavor and destroys whatever headway the second half made.

Mouthfeel: Fairly creamy mouthfeel, thick

Overall: I don't know what happened but it wasn't pretty. I didn't want to finish the rest of this sample. I feel fairly confident that this had suffered some contamination of some sort.

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Photo of afsdan
4.75/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Equal parts brick red, orange and weathered bronze, absolutely choked with particulates of all sizes. The orangish ivory crown is surprisingly large and stubborn, given the fact that the ABV is probably somewhere in the vicinity of 8.0-9.0%. It looks especially rich and creamy as it deflates, and deposits a circumferential sheet of lace that is interrupted by medium-sized holes of clear glass.

I don't care much about style designation when it comes to old ales vs. barleywines. I'm also not able to point out the relevant differences in most cases. Having said that, Curmudgeon's Nip smells more like the 'English Barley Wine Style Ale' that Odell says it is. The nose is rich and malty and boozy fruity, with that Christmas fruitcake aroma that I've come to know and love.

Give me a hoptastic American barleywine any day, but for a more sedate, malt-focused beer, this one more than holds its own. The mouthfeel needs to be a fraction more full since that would allow the wonderful flavor to linger longer on the palate. After almost three years of repose (bottled on 02/23/03) the alcohol has been effectively tamed.

The usual fruit flavors are present. Brandy-soaked cherries, ripe figs and dried orange peel chief among them. The beer doesn't taste dark enough to be considered raisiny, however. I might have preferred it a little bit younger (my fault since I've been cellaring it for almost two years), but it's hard to argue with such a smooth, civilized sipper. Nip would be perfect in front of a roaring fire... bearskin rug or not.

My initial impression of the mouthfeel was that it was too light. With time, though, it's becoming more viscous. The incredible silky smoothness increases drinkability quite a bit. However, the beer is still best enjoyed if one keeps the name in mind and limits oneself to little nips. If my current degree of numbing is any indication, the ABV has to be closing in on 10.0%.

Odell Curmudgeon's Nip is a solid example of an English barleywine. It's a shame the brewery has decided against making it a regular offering since I'd love to sample it at various ages and determine which one suits me best. Thanks to prAna for the final bottle from my first ever BA trade.

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Odell Curmudgeon's Nip from Odell Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.17 out of 5 with 26 ratings