Pike Old Bawdy Barley Wine | The Pike Brewing Company

very good
118 Reviews
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Pike Old Bawdy Barley WinePike Old Bawdy Barley Wine

Brewed by:
The Pike Brewing Company
Washington, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 04-10-2002

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Reviews: 118 | Ratings: 208
Photo of GClarkage
4.79/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

09/20/07- Purchased at Bottleworks in Seattle, WA.

Presentation- Vintagte 2006. 12oz bottle poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Burnt orange in color. 1/4 inch head which quickly evaporates. Lots of microscopic yeast infused with the beer. Seems a touch lifeless but has good color and does leave some light traces of lace.

Smell- Very nice aroma or deep caramel maltball notes with a nice hop punch of orange, pine and grapefruit.

Taste- Wow, this is one well balanced beer. The very sweet caramel malted flavor come into play first with a nice light alcohol warming sensation. Hops then jump in...just enough to know they are there, but not enough to totally outpower the flavor and goodness of the sweet malt texture and taste. Hops are pine and sugary grapefruit flavor.

Mouthfeel- Very smooth with a lower carbonation rate. Not quite cask, but has a bit of bite to it. Medium lasting sweet hop and caramel sweetness.

Drinkability- One of the better per style that I have had. I prefer a english barleywines, but this is a rare american one that is well balanced and one flavor (the hop or the malt) doesn't out do the other. Very good beer that I will be trying to track down again.

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Photo of joedon
4.62/5  rDev +20%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Expected big things from this beer. The recipe is from the men who "wrote the book" on barley wines: the Classic Beer Styles from the Association of Brewers (Fal Allen and Dick Cantwell).

Served in a snifter with a very thin, white head. Dark gold color and just a bit hazy.
Big malty aroma with some Englishy hops.
Taste is perfect for barley wine. Quite close to Old Ruffian with nicely balanced hop bitterness and a huge malt base. The flavor lingers on the tongue and leaves an aftertaste of hops. A very big beer!

Mouthfeel also was right on. Good body, texture and carbonation. Lightly carbonated as you would expect for a high-gravity brew.

This is a sipping beer; not the kind you swill down in big gulps.
Perfect for a cloudy Seattle winter.

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.6/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Im sampling a cellar temp bottle poured into a snifter. Vintage 2009 per the label.
The beer pours a clear copper to mahogany color with minimal surface layer of beige head foaming up and receding quickly to a sturdy edge layer.
Aroma is all toffee, caramel, brown sugar, and some raisins and plums. I dont get any hops and only faint idea that this is a slightly boozy beer.
First sip reveals a very smooth textured average to chewy bodied beer with minimal gentle rolling carbonation.
Flavor is sweet malt with brown sugar and caramel and maybe a bit of maple syrup notes mixing with just some brief hits of boozy warm alcohol. The beer is definitely a sipper, but I find myself surprised at how quickly the beer has disappeared from my snifter. I do get some suspended particles with the last few ounces of the beer poured into the glass.

I wonder if the beer is similar when completely fresh with the flavor profile and would recommend anyone else with the 2009 vintage to crack em open and enjoy.

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Photo of Kuaff
4.58/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Red-waxed 2013 bomber, decanted into my snifter at cellar temperature.

Wonderful presentation. A deep garnet color with a cap of tenacious tan froth that doesn't want to go away, and looks quite sudsy in general. Bonus barleywine suds (which are rare).

One of the best things I can say about an aroma is that it doesn't smell quite like any beer I've smelled before, and that has come true. This stuff has a unique mixture of fruit that is similar, but also distinctive from other barleywines I've had my nose in. The citrus I'm getting is lime and grapefruit, and there are also cherries, strawberries (whoah!), pineapple, and mango. Under all these marvelous fruits there is a nice caramel scent and some killer dank hops.

Flavor-wise, I immediately get a zesty zing of lime and grapefruit. The tartness transitions a bit to a sweeter, mellow raisin thing, but that sharp citrus is more or less with me for the whole ride. Some bodaciously sweet bread eventually develops toward the finish. At the end, astringent, bitter hops clean up.

The feel is thick, and carbonated to an ideal balance.

I could see how this particular barleywine may only appeal to those who also appreciate IPAs; it's pretty darn hop-forward. It's really a damn fine ale, regardless. I'll remember it for its multitudinous fruitiness.

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Photo of RyanLigeia
4.44/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2012 Vintage

Look- Pours a caramel, mahogany, slightly reddish orange color. Very dense and cloudy, hard to see through even when heald to the light. Nice sized head that dissapears quickly but leaves behind excellent lacing and a nice film over the top of the beer.

Smell- Very sweet caramel maltiness, candied sugar, slight hint of alcohol but I would never guess its 9.9% other than the fact that the scents from the malt are so..."THERE". Slight hint of candied figs and surprisingly a slight peach or apricot scent? Its giving me a boner.

Taste- The peach/apricot notes are definitely more prevalent in the taste than the scent. Not like a "fruit beer" by any means, it just has this refreshing sort of flavor underneath it despite being a 9.9% barley wine. First its sweet with the candied sugar flavors then an ever so slight bitterness follows. Alcohol is also slightly more detectable than in the scent but still not overpowering, it adds a nice touch to it.

Mouthfeel- So super smooth at first and the light amount of carbonation doesnt come through until the finish. Definitely some slight warmth from the alcohol in the finish but not at all assaulting or stinging. Just a comforting warming sensation. I'm sure the little bit of aging has something to do with this.

Overall- Even though an 86 is considered "very good" I still think this beer is underrated. I will admit though that a lot of that might have to do with the slight age put on this bottle. I can imagine this one to be a lot more hot and all over the place fresh off the shelf. Its unique in the fact that the flavors are just as bold as they should be for a 9.9% sipper barley wine yet somehow still manages to be dangerously smooth and refreshing (refreshing is NOT a word I would usually use to describe a barley wine). To top it all off I got this one for $3 on clearance at total wine n more...an absolute steal. I'm not sure what the average going price is for these bombers but Im assuming its not much more than that, so with that being said, I would definitely recommend this one to all the big beer fans out there.

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Photo of joemcgrath27
4.43/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Almost 2 years ago I found a bottle of 2009 Old Bawdy on the shelf at a local store. It was sticky and dusty, clearly it had been lost at the back of a shelf for a long time, and someone had finally pulled it forward. I snatched it up, and left it to age further until this past weekend. I was a little worried, it was either going to be glorious or god awful. I am happy to report that there result was indeed GLORIOUS!!!! So smooth with nice notes of toffee, still very well carbonated, and let me tell you it definitely kicked my mellow beer session into high gear! So glad I found it and waited on it, highly recommend aging this bad boy!!!

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Photo of lastauss
4.42/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sadly, the "powers that be," have decided no longer to make this tasty BW available in the bottle. Notable vintages, if you can lay hands on them: 1996 (has aged marvelously with lovely dry sherry notes)& 1998, which is still drinking like a malt-bomb, but I like that sort of thing in my BW's.

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Photo of Offa
4.42/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had the 2009 just now and it is an excellent, well-rounded barleywine with nice complexity and drinkability.

Nice, clear red copper, it has a small tan head very slowly shrinking to a ring and a few wisps, plus a tiny bit of lace.

Aroma is very nice, sweet brandy with fermented prunes, a lot of toasted dark bread, cherry pie, some spicey leafiness.

Taste is excellent sweet toasted bread with prunes, a hint of fruit cake, hint of rum, a lot of fruit joining later, and a spicey-peppery-leafy bitterness just taking over at the finish and lingering in the aftertaste with a nice yeasty juiciness. It is sweet up front before the bitterness joins. it almost becomes too spicey-bitter and hot in the aftertaste but backs away before it does. Feel is full and a bit creamy, but not oily or viscous, there is moderate carbonation. Alcoholic warmth is present but very gentle and it is not boozy at all. It maintains complexity and drinkability well, with nice malt, yeast and hop elements intermingling nicely for a well-rounded, complex character.

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Photo of johnnieoz
4.39/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2011 Vintage, 22 oz brown bomber. 100th review.

Garnet hued with a decent off white foamy crown. Wonderfully fruity - plums, apricots, pears.

A sharp sweetness with flavors not dissimilar to a plum brandy at first. Then it balances out and finishes on the bitter side .

Very chewy, fruitcake ,or better yet, stollen comes to mind. Carbonation is just right for this style.

I was in the mood for this kind of Barleywine, more English than American, and other reviewers led me in the right direction. Not sure what this tastes like fresh but with two years on it, it is very reminiscent of Anchor's classic Old Foghorn, one of my favorites. I found this randomly in a bottle shop, not sure why they had the 2011 vintage out on the shelf suddenly, but I'm glad they did.

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Photo of wagenvolks
4.39/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2007 bomber into a pint glass, celebrating the completion of my 192-pg. Master's Thesis.

Pours a thick, hazy, copper-amber body with a thin taupe head that disspiates quickly to a ring of bubbles. The carbonation sluggishly rises through this one, and yet the head still manages to leave some decent lacing. Rich notes of floral hops, bready, caramel malts, brown sugar, tropical fruits, and a buttery alcohol note. Amazingly complex and intoxicating, and I haven't even taken a sip!

Bitter hop oils coat the tongue with floral notes and resin, while a spicy yeast esther in the middle adds some breadiness and fruit. The malt seems a bit outbalanced, but the hops are done well enough for me not to care. The body is gooey and thick, with an invigorating alcohol bite to the finish that pairs with a lingering bitter hop note. I'm glad I was able to bring this bottle home with me from Seattle...well worth the asking price and definately one I would seek out again.

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Photo of ccrida
4.38/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2006 vintage, 12 oz bottle poured into my Pike Pub tulip, Old Bawdy is pale auburn with a small and thick ivory head that leaves lots of lace. I really dig the pale color and light glow to this barelywine, which I served at cellar temp.

Smell is spicy and rich, with sweet caramel, sour citrus hops and a nice little touch of buttery diacetyl.

Taste has smooth caramel richness but is pretty hoppy, spicy with a firm bitter finish, and overall very distinct. I just really love the barelywine, there's a reason they wrote the book on the subject!

Mouthfeel is very nice, smooth and velvety with a dry finish.

Drinkability is very high, as this is fantastic. I'm normally prefer sweeter, English-style barelywines, but the bitterness and west coast hops are really showcased nicely here. This is pretty unique, probably closest in flavor to HOTD's Doggie Claws, but more balanced.

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Photo of omnigrits
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a straight glass from a 22oz bomber that says 2007 on the label. I bought it in 2010 so I've no idea if it was kept in ideal conditions these past couple of years.

A good-looking dark amber colour with not much head. Minimal lacing. I spy floaters!

The smell is heavy on the sweet things - malts, toffee, caramel... and an almost meaty aroma. This is picked up in the taste too. Very sweet up front with a bitter finish, but in between there's... something. It almost reminds me of a rich, thick, French cuisine red wine sauce. Some of you might not want that in your beer but it works for me, by Jove. I am not feeling either the alcohol burn or the 90 IBUs.

Decent mouthfeel with nice lack of carbonation. Overall, a very nice beer. I wish it wasn't 10% ABV or I'd drink it all night.

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Photo of tempest
4.32/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks again to Kroggdawg for sharing this one. This is a complex barleywine that's a bit undone by a rough alcohol feel. For the most part this beer is very well balanced. The malt is candy-like, big and fruity, quite similar to Sierra Nevada Bigfoot and finished with grassy and citrus rind hops. I'd say "Bawdy" is an accurate name for this one.

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Photo of Docer
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewing a 2008 bottle that must have been brought up from the archives at By The Bottle here in Vancouver, WA.

- Clear dark copper brew, had a few floaties in the bottle... not much. White fizzy head... leaves a nice thin pillow on top with some large bubbled rings of lace magic.

- Huge sweet thick maple brown sugar caramel malts... this puppy smells smooth. Still some grassy earthy hops present.. caramel cream.

- Smooth robust and flavorful brew... roasty brown sugar and caramel malts.. very distinct caramel and crisp sugary notes... wow... what a tasty barleywine, I am impressed!

- Medium bodied... slightly creamy smooth, a touch sticky but overall smooth sailing.

- This slightly aged bottle of barleywine is absolutely delicious and is hitting the spot. For me barleywines are hit or miss... and this is certainly a hit. If you have old bottles of this sitting around... bust one out!

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.28/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

One of my favorite BWs of all time. Had at the source. Great vibrant orange and mahogany color, perfect 1" head, clings to the glass.

Aroma, sweeter than hoped for, but delectable. Taste, not as sweet, but a glorious union of hops and sweetness, with a dash of alcohol presence. Pine, citrus and apple all together. Dry, slight wood presence in the mouthfeel. Even notes of caramel and vanilla in the background. Pine/citrus most prevalent.

Not a bad price for its effect. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Vancer
4.28/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Ol' Bawdy be pouring a clear amber mahogany from the 2007 220z bomber, and a frothy ass tan head bubbles up, leaving sticky Brussels lace in the Corsendonk tulip. Great start.

Then the aroma is classic BW; caramel, malt, and a touch of winter spice. Quaff was all of these, add an orange liquor hint, then a tangy hop finish American style. A touch of the 10% booze slightly singes the mouth, but it'll heal in a few minutes. A bit thin in body, but this is nitpicking.

American BW's are one of my big favorites; this one nails it to a tee. Thumbs up. Thanks to my son for the mule of bringing it back from Seattle.

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Photo of SFLpunk
4.27/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz brown glass pry-top bottle. OG 1.096. IBU 90. 10% ABV. 2007 edition recently purchased at Julio's Liquors (Westboro, MA).

Appearance: A beautiful hazy amber, great cascading and tall tan head that leaves thin spotting.

Nose: Crisp orange and lots of caramel. Lots of dark caramel. Toasted nuts, fresh cream, cashews and white chocolate.

Palate: Round and luscious. Lots of caramel malt, some slick alcohol, cream carbonation and some bitterness towards the finish and warming alcohol. Flavors are dense and dark. Rich caramel chews with some milk chocolate and walnut flavors. Medium-full bodied. Finish is longgg with some hop leaf flavors.

Notes: Super dank. Love it. Never had this before, but I'm presuming the 2/3 years of age has greatly helped this brew. A great score.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008 Old Bawdy bomber poured roughly into an Imperial pint glass. Because, honestly, where else would you put it? Two or three little glasses???

Appearance: Hazy deep chestnut body beneath a massive head of frothy tan. Excellent head retention. Excellent lacing.

Aroma: Yeast and fruit and pine and dark caramel, all balled up tight. I get more yeast and pine than anything else really, but it's not brash, it's kind of soft. And what fruit is there is very nice. It's kind of soft like dried fruit, and not juicy in any way.

Taste: The first sip delivers piney hops and darkly caramelish malt. Beyond that I get more of the fruitiness. And more of the yeastiness. I even get some mint (most likely from a combination of dark caramel and piney hops). It becomes very rounded. Certain flavors appear at different times. It's not cut and dried like some other barleywines, and that lends it complexity - yet at the same time it's superbly rounded and balanced. And, to be honest, it's all put right out there - there are no hidden flavors in the background waiting for a cue to jump out! The bitterness is solid, but it stops at being stoic, and it doesn't interfere otherwise. And the alcohol plays the same game - a bit of presence is needed, but it simply stops at that. And the combination of the two is more than enough to put a leash on this puppy.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with a decent enough amount of carbonation to keep it gently spritzy. Smooth. Just lightly creamy.

Drinkability: I can't think of another barleywine that is more PAC-NW, but maybe that's because I've just had 10 ounces. In that vein, it's pretty freakin' drinkable. The pine can be a stopper for some, but not for others. And I think the malt component, bitterness level, and alcohol are all well done. I really enjoyed it, and I think it fits into the American style quite nicely - a classic, in fact! Worth trying to be sure!

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Photo of smcolw
4.23/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Impressive, thick head. Cloudy orange, amber color. Extensive chunky lace on the glass.

Strong brown sugar and molasses smell--very rich aroma.

Excellent blend of flavors--slightly sweet, strong alcohol with a good kick of hop bitterness at the end. Yet, the swallow has a fortified wine air to it. Bittersweet aftertaste. Rich liquor as expected.

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Photo of RickSawyer
4.22/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2007 Vintage no bottled on date.

Pours a caramel, red oak brown with a small but lively cream head that dissipates into a scatter of large bubbles. Smells strong. I can smell it from the table as I type! Sweet, brown sugar, fig, molasses, oranges and raisins. A slight hint of spicy, minty pine hops come through the end but sweetness dominates this nose. Taste begins with sweet bready malts dominated with brown sugar, strawberry, raisin bread... very nice! A bit of balance from the hops comes in with hints of piney spice, a bit of mint and orange. Finishes a little too hot and dry. The mouthfeel is a bit thin overall. Drinking much more like an English Barleywine right now... sort of reminds me of a young North Coast Old Stock Ale right now. Certainly could use some time in the bottle.

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Photo of andrenaline
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Props again to my main man joemcgrath27 for the sharesies on this one.

A - Pours a hazy copper colour, thumb of head with solid retention and no real lacing.

S - A nice citrus hop presence, amidst some toffee and caramel. Delicious smelling barley wine indeed.

T - I'm certainly a fan of the hoppier barley wines and this one does not disappoint. A nicely balanced citrus hop and toffee malt flavour off the top and a caramel apple flavour lingers on the palette.

M - Solid carbonation makes for a nice smooth, easy drinking experience.

O - Overall, a fantastic example of the style and one of my favourites to date. I could take down a bomber of this on my own, no problem.

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Photo of StoneBrewFanatic
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a rich copper into my goblet with about one finger of off-white head, very nice retention and lacing.

S - Big caramel malts, toffee, brown sugar, hops, dark fruits, a little earth and a touch of alcohol.

T - Rich caramel goodness, toffee sweetness, brown sugar/molasses, a hint of hop bitterness and a little heat on the finish, but overall a very nice barley wine.

M - Medium to heavy in body, a little chewy, but overall smooth and creamy.

D - This is one of the better Barley Wines I have had lately, very drinkable and very delicious, my only issue is the $ for a 22oz. bomber.

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Photo of HardTarget
4.19/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Not a lot to look at. Brown, short lived head, kind of a murky looking liquid with lots of hazy.

S: Mmm... hops are earthy and pine, like a forest. Plenty of malt base to hold them in.

T: Yum! Heavy but easy. Deep brown sugar with perfect balance in the hoppy pine needle finish. Very grounded and pleasing. Great flavor without a hint of alcohol.

M: Heavy body, some oil in the finish.

D: Wow, MORE. So easy, so smooth, why am I drooling? The prime example of iron fist in velvet glove. This beer will do it's damage, but you'll never see it coming.
Hit me again!

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.19/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a dark amber with a full off-white head. Leaves tons of sticky lace.

S: Fruitcake, brown sugar, some grapefruit from the hops. Smells like a classic American barleywine to me.

T: Much of the same as in the smell. Rich malt flavours backed with a heavy dose of American hops. Like a junior Bigfoot, but still big and brash.

M: Rich, chewy, but surprisingly easy drinking for its size.

O: This was a surprise. A $3.99 barleywine that's this good. Easy buy.

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Photo of BWood
4.17/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Tastes far better than it looks .Exceptionaly smooth barleywine. Smells of typical barleywine so not much going on there but it does have good head. I will definitely be buying this again

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Pike Old Bawdy Barley Wine from The Pike Brewing Company
3.85 out of 5 based on 208 ratings.
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