Tickle Fight
Solemn Oath Brewery

Tickle FightTickle Fight
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American Barleywine
Ranked #347
Ranked #35,914
3.69 | pDev: 12.47%
Solemn Oath Brewery
Illinois, United States
Very Good
Tickle FightTickle Fight
Reviews: 11 | Ratings: 117 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of JohnnyHopps
3.74/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - The beer poured a copper color with a white head.

Smell - The nose was lightly piney with a cracker presence.

Taste - My first thought was that this tastes like a piney car air freshener. Dry malts are accompanied by little hop presence. There is a cardboardy note that suggests a level of oxidization.

Mouthfeel - There was little in the feel to put this over the top as a big beer.

Overall - There is a reason for low reviews on this beer. It is not terrible, just okay.

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Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
4.21/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Clear light brown-orange body that looks syrupy, only a ring of off-white head forms. The label has phenomenal contrast between shiny/matte with excellent detail in the illustration... a zombie grappling a multi-eyed ring-nosed equestrian?? I'm not sure what's exactly going on, but that's besides the point: this label is sex. Nose offers much more unopposed warmth and depth than I was expecting from the description on the label: it's almost entirely caramel, butterscotch, toasted malt, vanilla, and oddly sweet raw malt, followed by a small sampling of citric hops. The flavor doubles down on this warmth while simultaneously incorporating more bitter/acidic hops, which in turn only amplifies the appreciation of the malt. It's a glorious upwards spiral of warm and sweet caramel/butterscotch boozy maltiness and underpowered but antagonizing bitter orange rind hops. It isn't the most powerful beer on the planet, but it handles its shit well. The body is viscous and a little oily, definitely sticky, and heavily weighted with carbonation that does well staying in the shadows.
Especially considering that this was not barrel aged (and thank goodness for that, because it preserves its price and thus value), it has a damn lot of character and warm notes that seem to go beyond what unadulterated malts should be able to accomplish, all the while hiding the booze, managing to put the malt at the forefront without making it cloying, and adding hops but not letting them even get close to becoming prominent. If I had reviewed this a year ago in my more lenient stage it would probably be a few points higher, damn myself for trying to become more judicious right as I open up a wonder like this. Needless to say, this is a shelf-steal, and my thanks go out to SO for the experience.

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Photo of bwood06
3.54/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

My wife is a big fan of barleywines so she ordered this one up during a recent trip to SO's tasting room, during which time we met a couple of our good friends for some brews prior to dinner. Despite my wife's penchant for barleywines, I was lucky enough to receive a few sips in order to log a proper review of this beer.

This beer pours a deep red, almost mahogany, hue and is clear with a thin, off-white, frothy head that dissipates very quickly to a ghostly thin lacing. 3.75/5 The aroma is pretty much all malt with deep red fruit, red wine grapes, dates, raisins, and musty hay all coming out quite strongly. It is very sweet, but musty. As the beer warms a bit of soapiness comes through as well. There is an odd savoriness to the aroma that comes out as the beer warms up as well. 3.5/5 The flavor profile is, as with the aroma, pretty much all malt, and is lead off by a bit of caramel that quickly transitions into sweet red wine grapes, dates, and raisins. The musty hay from the hay makes its showing about halfway through the sip and is joined by a bit of grass and peat moss. The flavor is sweet but not overpowering, and a bit soapy as the beer warms up. Also as the beer warms, an odd savory notes shows up that throws me off a bit. Bitterness is negligible with no lingering bitterness. 3.5/5 This is a full bodied beer, as expected, and is light on carbonation. it is wetting, coating, and just a bit cloying at times. There is no dryness and no lingering dryness. 3.75/5 I can't say that this is one of the better barleywines that I have had, but it is still decent. It is very complex in both aroma and flavor profile and stays true to the style. 3.5/5

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Photo of jackass
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Tough critics here. Is it a great barleywine? No, but its quite good and one previous reviewer said it best...more like a very boozy DIPA and that's ok by me.

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Photo of Mattress00
3.31/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Serving: 22 oz bomber poured into a 14 oz tulip.

A: Opaque orange color with a one finger thick, white head that quickly dissipated into spots of lacing. Appealing .

S: Slightly boozy in the nose followed with an orange, sweet caramel aroma. Hint of band-aid. Other than the initial orange, not getting much fruitiness or hopiness that I would have expected in a barley wine

T: A bit of sweetness followed by a good booze rush. Unbalanced towards bitter - not in a bad way - but it does follow up with some sweet, citrusy characteristics. After a few sips, can feel the effects as it warms my belly. The flavors mellow out as it warms but the tingling on the back of the tongue is still present.

M: I don't like huge mouth-heavy feels to my barley wines, but I think they've done a pretty decent job on this one for my taste buds. Tongue feels it more than anything but in a good way.

O: A boozy barley wine that won't make you pucker or make you feel like you ate a candy bar. Drinkable if consumed properly - don't slam this one down but try to enjoy it as a sipper in a tulip glass. The price point is very affordable (I bought 3 more for cellaring.) The layout of the label is a bit amateurish and I don't care much for the use of only three colors (dark blue and black with white lettering) but the artwork is very cool and it doesn't look like much of a tickle fight is going on. Would I buy more? Probably not but I'm hoping the aging will improve it.

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Photo of Jon_G
3.18/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

I went into the beer store today with nothing in particular in mind, and the artwork and accompanying name on this beer made it almost impossible not to purchase. According to my bottle, 11.5%. Nothing showing born on date or anything of the sort. Poured into an Irish pint and about 1/3 of the way through... here we go!

A: 3.5/5 -- Poured a very dark amber / light chocolate color. Thick foamy off-white head that lingered for a few minutes before dissipating to a ring that is omnipresent. Spotty lacing with a few lace "islands". It's a pretty drink.

S: 3/5 -- Initial smell quite sweet. Caramel maltiness up front followed by something fruity I can't quite put my finger on, fading into caramel again with a faint tinge of alcohol.

T: 4/5 (2.5/5) -- Full flavored. Sweetness masked by high hops and malt. Citrusy. As it warms it mellows and becomes more earthy. Leaves a toffee influenced alcohol burn, an aftertaste that lingers and fades into a slight alcohol tingle. A slow sipping drink to sit on and enjoy. Trying not to let the breezy and chilly weather affect the taste rating, seems perfect for autumn.

M: 3/5 -- Thick and heavy with an oily hop feel. Noticeable warm alcohol feel.

O: 3.25/5 -- Not confident I would go out of my way to purchase this again, but absolutely wouldn't turn it down if offered. Definitely one to split with somebody, becomes quite cloying towards the end. I want to give it a better rating because the artwork is just so damn cool, and the name is quirky. Unfortunately I have no choice but to throw this in the "This is better than some but worse than many" category.

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Photo of hreb
3.06/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

I had to a pick up a 22oz bottle of This Most American Of Barleywines with totally badass art on the label and a totally commensurate name printed at its bottom. Served in a pint glass it appears syrupy orange in the glass with big soda bubbles and a malty sweet aroma familiar for the style. Zow, this is a seriously hopped out barleywine. I can see what they meant about massive American style. It starts and finishes sweet, but there's a ton of IBUs in the middle. The flavors don't complement each other at all.

I think I would have liked this better as an Imperial IPA. It's not though: the malt should be lighter in color, the hop profile should be more citrus and more aromatic, and the attenuation should be crisper. No, this is just a harsh barleywine, one that borders on undrinkable. The kind of brew that makes English barleywine enthusiasts complain about how Americans have bastardized the style -- but rightly, for once.

Note: my 2014-vintage bottle claims to be 10.% alc./vol.

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Photo of Fcolle2
3.9/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours hazy burnt orange in colors with some amber hues. Half finger head has decent retention and is off white

Smell is good, there is a good citrus and pear like hop aroma before a rich husky caramel malt dominates the midsection.

Taste is good and follows the nose.there is a fair amount of orange like citrus hop flavor and a high alcohol presence. Malt is somewhat sweet and very rich with husky grain and toffee flavors.

Mouthfeel is good. Lots of hop oils and a huge sticky body is cut with moderate carbonation along with a somewhat hot alcohol presence.

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Photo of Treebs
3.47/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Had on tap at Wild Monk, served in a 10 oz. snifter.

A: Pours a mahogany color with a yellowish head forming on the pour. it recedes to a thin ring that leaves some splotchy lace down the glass.

S: Caramel and crystal malts on the nose with some sweetness and fruitiness. A little pine sap as well. Underlying booziness reminding you that it's %11.

T: The booze comes out much more in the taste than in the nose. The alcohol isn't medicinal, but rather slightly fruity. Not hot at all. It mixes with the fruity hops and pine tree like sap flavors with a heavily sweetened malt profile. Slight bitterness.

M: Light to medium bodied, drinks like DIPA. Medium carbonation with a sweet finish.

O: The really drank like an old, boozy DIPA. I would have liked a heavier body with some more dark fruit flavors to bring it into the barleywine territory. Not bad overall though.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.55/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a chalice at WhirlyBall - Vernon Hills.

Felt a touch awkward ordering a Tickle Fight at the bar, but, hey, it could've been fun if taken more literally... Anyway, this stuff pours a clear sunset amber topped by a half-finger of wan khaki foam. The nose comprises candied ruby red grapefruit peel, light maple syrup, pine sap, pineapple syrup, and a light twinge of booze. The taste brings in more of the same, though now the fruit and pine are sharper, more bitter, and there's a vein of sweet caramel pervading, criss-crossing with the vein of booze. The body is a hefty medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a nigh chewy feel. Overall, a nice barleywine, one that approaches being a tad too powerful for its own good, but luckily falls just short of that cliff.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.73/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a tulip)
A- This beer has a slightly dense warm aged copper body with a sticky light beige head that last the full beer.

S- The green grassy hops give way to a sweet big sugary caramel malt sweetness in the finish.

T- The perfumy sweet malt leads into a ginger spice heat in the finish with some vanilla flowers that turn woody as the beer opens up.

M- The medium mouthfeel has an alcohol heat in the finish that boost the ginger heat.

O- This beer has big floral flavors mixed with big sweet malt and big alcohol warmth that is just to much for me. The ginger spice is just too big aswell. It was nice to taste but I couldn’t get through the whole glass.

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Tickle Fight from Solemn Oath Brewery
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 117 ratings