Pike Old Bawdy Barley Wine | The Pike Brewing Company

very good
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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 Arbitrator
2.06/5  rDev -46.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

2009 vintage. Chilled bottle into a glass. Thanks, Eric. From notes.

A: Pours a clear, dark copper body with off-white head. Retention is short, and there is no lace down the sides.

S: This... smells... bitter. Like roots and medicine. I pick up a substantial barleywine malt aroma (caramel, toffee) and some flavoring hops (grapefruit), but boy. It's bitter on the nose.

T: The taste is no letdown. The bitterness dominates, obliterates, lingers, and pulverizes the palate. It's like eating crushed aspirin. Caramel and toffee try to fight back, and any lesser malts that might be present are completely overwhelmed. I can't taste much besides the crazy bitterness and some grapefruit rind.

M: Lingering bitterness. Have I mentioned how bitter this is? Because it's insanely bitter. It's slick, oily, sticky... The malts fall off fast. They never had a chance. It's not quite DIPA territory (too much crystal malt for that, IMO), but it's a contender.

D: I couldn't drink more than an ounce or two. Ick.

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Photo of harrymel
2.52/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed 12/22/10.
22oz bottle for $10 @ Bottles in Spokane, WA

2007 vintage poured from bottle to snifter.

A: Little to no head development, as expected from this three year ale. Shows dark copper ale with consistent stream of bubbles which dissipate almost immediately to the atmosphere.

S: Caramel, vanilla, pine, figs dominate this ale. Multifaceted, this beer gives at different levels. As my nose moves from the lowest point to highest, each primary characteristic owns a layer and mends with the background. Excited to taste.

T: Bitter. Too bitter. At three years of age, I expect BW's to develop a level of sweetness accentuated with the finest details of the specialty malts mixed into the backbone, but not here. If you can trudge through the mud of bitter thorns, you'll find orange rinds, vanilla, resin, grapefruit.

M: Low carbonation, slick feeling, puckers my buds with the bitterness. Sad thing. I swallow and it makes me develop a low level mucus bolus (similar to a loogy after milk).

D: At $10, and three years of development, this beer should at least be better than average. At this juncture, I feel bad I snatched up all three bottles they had, and gave two away for Xmas. Now I'm have to apologize.

All this being said, maybe this beer is great fresh. Given the amount of hops obviously used early in the boil, one would hope they followed through with more mid boil and finishing hops for more body flavor. For now though, can't hang with this one from a brewery with great beers.

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Photo of ChaseSams
2.58/5  rDev -33%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Review is on the 2011 brew. Initial smell is a light fruit with more toffee and caramel, not that great on the nose. A fairly clear brew, with some oxidation. It is a more ale-y than barley brew with it being more watery than a fuller body. Light with not a lot of bite. I give it an overall 3 mainly because of the price. Not that great of a brew.

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Photo of Mora2000
3/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2007 vintage. Pours a murky orange with basically no head. Aroma malty aroma, but not much else going on. Flavor is not real good, with malt and a tabacco flavor as well as some citrus hops. Medium mouthfeel and no carbonation.

This is the second time I have had this but the first time I reviewed it. I remember it being much better the first time, but since I don't have notes, I can't remember exactly what was different.

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Photo of maximum12
3/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sampled a 12 oz. pour at Brouwer's Cafe, 2009 Edition. The 2008 was on the menu but out when we descended this past week.

Presented via tulip: off-orange with a bubbly, happy little head. Smell is gentle malt, sweet, not much else.

Unfortunately the taste followed suit. Sweet; malt; maybe a hook echo of pine hops, but maybe not.

The lackluster beer of the evening. Not bad, I just didn't get anything off this one.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.06/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to nmann08 for sharing this bottle last weekend. Served in a Cigar City snifter.

Pours a moderate amber-brown color with a thin off-white head. Thin cap and collar. The nose carries some toffee, caramel, and light fruits. A bit oxidized. The flavor brings through a slight bitterness in addition to sweet malts and fruit. Medium body with good carbonation. Somewhat-dry finish. Just okay.

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Photo of NEhophead
3.08/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 fl oz brown bottle served in a snifter.

Deep tea color with a mahogany hue. Slightly off-white, creamy head that is short-lived. Spotted lacing with decent strength.

Dark fruit flavors that are rather muted: grape, plum, red apple. The hop aromas are apparent, but rather stiff. Light caramel and toffee aromas.

First of all, as the aromatics foreshadow, the flavors are very muted and somewhat bland. Coffee and caramel, semi-sweet malt profile. Dark, vinous fruit flavors: red apple, grape, plum, and date. A lingering wave of alcohol cuts through the fruit flavor. Adjunctory grains and stiff, malted wheat linger in the aftertaste.

A full, medium bodied; mostly smooth and rather airy.

A very boring barleywine; nothing offensive, but the flavors never develop. Almost as if I were drinking a bland Bock...obviously not a compliment for an 'American Barleywine'.

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Photo of RedDiamond
3.11/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Old Bawdy is a whirlwind of strong bittering with dry, fruity flavor and polite malted constraint. It serves its essential purpose without leaping up to dance. The aroma is light and figgy and the tulip glass Pike serves it in reveals it as deep sorrel-maroon.

In early '09, I found the '08 vintage to be overly hopped or perhaps under aged. An excess of bittering gags the malts suggesting it might more fully evolve with a year in the cellar.

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Photo of CooperEllis
3.15/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

2006 12oz bottle, 8 oz into snifter. I believe via travisd13.

It's a cider colored pour, cery crisp from the neck of the bottle but as it settles in the glass there is a good deal of cloudyness and depth in the carmel coloring. Thick initial head down to soap bubbles in seconds.

Just booze and malt and booze and raisin.

The mouthfeel is a bit watery, I've been popping bottle recently that have been sticky, some cloying but this is very light. Still searching for that perfect mouthfeel in an aged bottle. The taste here may be diminished by this, as the dominent flavor is malt/molasses/booze and it's gone quickly with a bit of watery nutmeg aftertaste. The aftertaste is a bit like that bit of apple pie where you just end up with crust and it's like shortening and flour and a chunck of allspice and nutmeg so you take a shot of rum and coke to wash it down, but all you have left in your glass is ice and so you get a watery, boozy palate cleanser. That sounds a lot 'meaner' than I'm trying to be. It's just a very specific taste.

I'd give this a 'solid'. I'm still not sure if solid should be a "3" or a "3.5". I'm giving this a 3.5 because it is better than 'average'.


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Photo of Crosling
3.2/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Lighter colored for a barley wine, more of a light bronze or copper. Rich mouthfeel. Mild, mediocre flavors. Hints of tobacco leaves and dried caramel, red apple and highland scotch whisky. Don’t enjoy the flavors too much, to be blunt. Aromas are a little lacking as well, although it might be the most enjoyable element. An ok BW.

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Photo of Exiled
3.21/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz Bottle - 2007 Vintage

Thanks to Mora2000 for sharing this bottle.

Pours a ruby amber color with a small off white head. Smell is a deep bready caramel malt. Taste is caramel malt, brown sugar, some dark fruits with a slight smokiness. Medium mouthfell, low carbonation. Overall, I didnt much care for this one.

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Photo of loren01
3.23/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark ruby color, not much head/lacing
S: Smells slightly sweet, dark fruits
T: Sweet brown sugarry taste, figs, followed by a big bitterness at the end.
M: Medium to heavy bodied sticky brew
D: Decent, not great barleywine. It was pretty pricey. Might splurge on this every once in a while but there are barleywines just as good for less money.

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Photo of Cascadia
3.25/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

It comes in a twist-off so that'll tell you something. Dosen't bother me, I love a barley wine that's easily opened. It pours a nice golden straw yellow, maybe a little light in color, but nice. Hoppy nose, very strong bitter hops aroma. Tastes hoppy as well, not as much malt flavor as I would have hoped for. I like my barley wines with a little more malt/hops balance. This won't be tops on my tasting list, but considering the ease of transport, I will no doubt buy some more for lazy fishing trips and the like.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.28/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a cloudy red orange color with a creamy off white head that dissipates quickly. Smells of vanilla, caramel, pine, brown sugar, and a touch of alcohol. Taste is resinous with a thin caramel and brown sugar that slides away almost instantly. Lots of pine and bitter resin midway and into the dry finish. Light carbonation, medium bordering on thin body, bitter, sticky, resinous mouthfeel. This one is only ok. The body is a bit thin for my taste, its acridic in its bitterness.

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Photo of tr4nc3d
3.33/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

2007 vintage. 1pint 6fl oz bottle poured into my snifter

Pours a light brown to slightly light murky amber color. Slightly tan 2 inch head. The head is very bubbly and frothy. Great head retention that last throughout the beer leaving behind sticky lacing clinging to the sides of my glass.

Huge malt smell is what comes out of this beer. Huge toffee and caramel malt smell dominate with hints of raisins, figs, and black licorice coming in behind. Talk about a huge malt smell!!!

Sweet toffee and candy sugar taste upfront with a hint of hop bitterness coming in the end.

Full bodied with a slightly high carbonation and a dry sweet aftertaste that lingers in your mouth.

Too sweet for my liking.

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Photo of Ek0nomik
3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured In: Snifter
Attained through a trade.

Appearance: An aggressive pour results in a light auburn color with barely half a finger of head sitting on top. The head retention is extremely low; it's gone within a few seconds. After multiple swirls in my glass, I haven't been able to get any lace on the side of my glass. There is absolutely no effervescence.

Smell: The nose is extremely malty, with a lot of sweet, dark caramel and toffee coming through. A big whiff results in a slight tingle from the ABV. Pine and a little bit of orange peel come in through the nose as well.

Taste: Very sweet caramel and dark brown sugar flavors up front. Much too sweet to be honest. Some molasses shows up, but then it turns into a nice soft citrus flavor from the hops, including orange peel and just a little bit of grapefruit.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, sticky, chewy all of the characteristics of a big beer.

Drinkability: I really enjoy the American barleywines that are more hopped up that give them a candied like flavor and aroma. This one is a little more malty and sweet than I'd prefer, but I still enjoyed this quite a bit and I'm glad I tried it. Definitely made for a good weekend beer.

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Photo of akorsak
3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Vintage 2007 purchased at Liquid Solutions.

A: The barleywine has an orange tea color, brown and orange with the focus on the latter. The color is full enough to obscure it with a dark tint. A finger and a half of head has laced nicely around the upper quarter of the glass.

S: The nose is all barleywine, thick and loaded with malts and hops. Brown sugar and molasses are augmented by a lush pine presence.

T: The a;e is very hop forward but not as much as the nose would indicate. Pine hops coat my mouth immediately, sharp but fleeting. They are followed by a smokey flavor that isn't quite rauch level but very noticeable. It adds a full tangy flavor that cuts into the hops nicely. The malt side isn't as full as I'd expected either, rather tame. On the plus side, the booze never rears its ugly head.

M: The mouthfeel never really gets assertive. The nose psyches me up for a hoppy malt bomb but the taste never brings that to fruition. Too bad, as the nose is decent.

D: Not much punch. A bigger hop profile or more astringent mouthfeel would go miles.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.46/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 01/15/12 notes. Bottled shared by nmann08; thanks Nate. Poured into a tulip. 2010 vintage.

a - Pours a reddish brown color with one inch of off white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of caramel malts, dark fruits, and toffee. A bit oxidized, and a little faint. Pretty average.

t - Tastes of caramel malts, toffee, dark fruits, lightly sweet fruits, bready malts, and toasted malts. Better than the nose.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Pretty easy to drink for 10% ABV.

o - Overall a decent barleywine. Nose was a bit faint but the taste was much better. Would like to try a fresh bottle.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.46/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

"If I hadn't been President of the United States, I probably would have ended up a piano player in a bawdy house."

--Harry S. Truman

2006 vintage. Bronzed orange peel with lemony orange edges. Despite a high-altitude pour, the butter colored cap maxed out at a fat one finger. It's a good looking slice of foam that is laying down more thick lace than most double-digit ABV beer.

The nose is less impressive. The malt bill consists of pale, wheat, crystal and peated. A hint of peat is definitely present, but I would never have been able to come up with that on my own. For such a killer hop bill (see below) and a stated IBU count of 90, there isn't much hoppiness emanating from the glass. A whiff of alcohol doesn't help.

Pike Old Bawdy would be better with a higher percentage of crystal/caramel malt. There's almost none of that English toffee flavor that I enjoy so much. With less than abundant malt flavor, hops need to take over. Unfortunately, they don't do so in this beer. As a result, alcohol is too noticeable, even at greater than one year of age.

The hop bill is fine: Columbus, Magnum, Chinook and Centennial. For some reason, though, they don't deliver the flavors usually associated with them. Sure, there's some amount of orange liqueur and candied grapefruit rind, but it's relegated to the background. The beer isn't *that* old. Besides, there's still a truckload of bitterness present that has no trouble cutting through the sweetness.

The mouthfeel is appropriate for the style. Even though it isn't a standout, I can't find any chinks in the armor. It's full without being overly sappy and has a gentle carbonation that is almost a requirement in beer of this size.

Pike Pub & Brewery has always struck me as a solid brewery that doesn't produce anything overly spectacular. I had somewhat high hopes for Old Bawdy Barley Wine, but it didn't deliver in the end. Here's hoping they change the recipe from year to year.

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Photo of stckhndlr
3.47/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- has the deep color of red raisins. A little bit of head. But the color really stands out to me. It has an inviting hue to it.

S- a bready smell with fruit. A touch of cherry.

T- lots of raisin. Hop finish with a touch of faint cherries.

M- has a thickness to it. Really fills the mouth and coats the palate.

O- overall this is a great beer to sit and enjoy. Very easy to drink dispite the 10% abv.

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Photo of delta490
3.49/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Nice barley wine color, deep brown, slightly murky with a ring of tan head. The aroma is good, mostly sweet but lacking in any depth. Same for the taste. It's good but pretty one-dimensional. Medium-bodied with a persistent carbonated tingle.

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Photo of uvachief
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber during a bottle share into a brandy snifter. Copper red color with minimal head and lacing. Looks and smells like a barleywine. Aromas of malts, dark fruit and booze. Can't decipher the fruit or the booze. Medium body in the moth with light carbonation. Very boozy with raisins or plumbs I am guessing. Little hops during the taste as well as the back end. Sweet notes in the aftertaste. Well balanced as nothing overwhelms but that is what disappoints as well. Nothing really dominates to give you something to hang your hat on and it is just there in the end. Traditional barleywine which generally do not have a lot of flavor to me. Not bad but not great either.

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Photo of porntipsguzzardo
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer smells like marijuana. It smells like weed, it tastes like weed, and there's little bits of sediment in it that look like weed. I find this extremely odd. And I don't like weed very much, it makes me paranoid, but thankfully I didn't get high from drinking it.

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Photo of CharlesDarwin
3.52/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Originally reviewed March 25, 2007. 12 oz Bottle thanks to Dr. Bill. Ecto-cooler aroma, with rising cold fruit. Still amber pour. Carbonation alights in the moth, with a quickly decent malt move into scorching hop heat. The fusels burn over a pile of fuming hop cones. Piney and dry. Fins nips of scotch and tar among the ruins. Bigfoot inspires. Dries nicely and then torches the back of the throat. Will age nicely.

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Photo of capeannbass36
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2009 bottle
A- Heavy handed pour into a Duvel tulip.
Clear, dark orange copper with a 1-1/2 to 2 finger off white head that fades quickly. Light lacing.

S- Barleywine malt aroma. Slightly sour and bitter.

T- Starts a semi malty sweet. Ends somewhat bitter. Too bitter for me to rate higher.

M- Medium to full body. Mildly carbonated. A bit sticky.

O- Not terrible,but a bit too bitter for my liking. Certainly packs a punch for 10%.

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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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