Old Salty Barleywine 2002 | Heavyweight Brewing Co.

very good
29 Ratings
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Old Salty Barleywine 2002Old Salty Barleywine 2002

Brewed by:
Heavyweight Brewing Co.
New Jersey, United States

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Todd on 12-19-2002

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Ratings: 29 |  Reviews: 27
Photo of whartontallboy
3.25/5  rDev -20.3%

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of Higravity
5/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My last bottle opened on my birthday-eve. I had hidden this one for so long I don't think I would have found it until I moved out if not for my cats, but I digress. I poured it into my thick walled Chimay chalice and the dark brown liquid still gave me a decent head. The smell was mouth watering mix of malty sweetness with caramel notes and still a touch of piney hops. Laces the glass as I drink it down and the taste is near orgasm. Malt driven with a hint of oxidation but not too much with still some tange to the hops. This holds up so well and I am truly sad that Heavyweight will be closing soon. Well so long 2002 it was a good year.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.88/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle from jcalbi as part of BIF15. Thanks for the opportunity. Brewed 2002, according to the label.

Poured into a Rapscallion glass, formed a 1 1/2" tan head above the clear burgundy brew. Head lasts very well, with heavy foam lacing, both incredible for style and age. Aroma is sweet malts, and fruity alcohol. Taste is just as the nose indicated, with a warming alcohol close. Mouthfeel and drinkability are superb. Creamy and smooth, goes down like nothing of this age and alcohol should. Only wish I had more...

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Photo of Sammy
3.8/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A good barleywine and beverage. Orange body with Very thin head. Scotch colour and scotch and bold barleywine flavour. Well carbonated. Saltwater taffy and malt. Molasses sweetness, fruity, citrus, medium bodied. Ages nicely and different than other barleywines in sweetness. Very quaffable.

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Photo of granger10
4.37/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The third version of the Old Salty vertical thanks to Shapudding.

This had a lighter red color with a bit of a head and some decent lacing. Aroma had much more hop precense than before. A fruity bitterness and earthy spicyness seemed present. Alcohol took the form of cream sherry. Lighter fruits were there with the darker fruits. The taste followed form. Light cherry fruits then some sherry and caramel came about. Quite vinous and great mouthfeel from these flavors. Spicyness was higher and maybe even more saltyness. The hop strike in the finish made this beer the best, most balanced of the 4 Old Salty versions I tried. Definitely worth a try.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.53/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Of my recent vertical tasting of Old Salty (2000-2004), I found the 2000 to be brilliant, and the 2002 to be my otherwise favorite.

2002. On the label, the Salty Dog looks in the mirror at his aged self... leaving the viewer to ponder. There are lots of possibilities here, and I think this might be Mr. Coleman's best label so far. It seems like only yesterday I bought a case of this, and now there's only one bottle left.... perhaps I have become the Salty Dog in the mirror!? Nah! That was only 3 years ago!!!

It pours a fairly-clear/slightly-hazy crimson and orange accented amber-copper body beneath a short head of creamy yellowed-ivory foam that holds immaculately and maintains a short wall of lace around the collar as it drops. No lace sticks, but the short wall is quite nice in itself. And for a barleywine, for it to hold its head to the bottom of the glass is quite remarkable. Additionally, the clarity it offers is pretty damned good considering it's bottle conditioned.

The nose is cereal-like, grainy, lightly cocoa-ish and drizzled with caramel. Ovaltine comes to mind. There's some soft fruitiness to it; a pinch of leafy/grassy/floral hops; and some alcohol. It appears almost candyish in a way, like cotton candy, but with some fresh cut strawberries and cherries on the side. It's enticing, to say the least.

In the mouth it's just lightly tingly on the tongue with a medium-full body and standard English-style barleywine carbonation.

The flavor is rich with caramel, toffee, and slight molasses; and accented by notes of ripe red summer fruit (berries, cherries, apple), leafy/grassy/floral hops, and a spritz of mild alcohol. The bitterness is kept to a balancing minimum (or perhaps it's softened a bit with age), and it's superbly balanced; leaving it to finish dry and lingering with a dull bitter undercurrent and a residual smear of leafy hops and some licorice-tinged, molasses-like malt.

Brilliant! Utterly brilliant! Oh-so-English and Oh-so-good! Not to be missed!

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Photo of blitheringidiot
4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

HEAVYWEIGHT 2002 Barleywine Ale label. No ABV %.

Pours into a tylip with a frothy coating that hangs out for the party, quite easily aroused with a swirl. Brilliant ruby cloudy glow with plenty of settled particles that managed to comingle around.

Scents of sweet grapes, raisins, currants, bananas, Mostly Kraft caramel square like malts. That’s good malts. Dense raisins and figs aroma.

First swigs: Pancake dry malts and sweet fig and plum flavors. Smooth. No Awl-kee-hawl detected. This is an under the radar zinger. Cherry & dark fruit. Cherry ice cream syrup. Am I at IHOP drinking syrup? Caramel cubes malts.

This is a winner!

Re-reviewed from 06-06-2005 to 06-21-2005 from a case of vertical 4 packs via Beeryard last year. Looking forward to next year.

Barley wine is good. Happy beering.

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Photo of meathookjones
4.42/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Murky brownish red with a small cap of tan foam that disappears into the body fairly quickly. Sweet molasses and ripe dark fruit come out quite strong. Light smoky and mustiness to it add some interesting depth. Some caramel as well. Flavor starts off with a big sweet kick of fruits, plums, figs and other darker fruits with a syrupy molasses coating. Hints of smoky throughout and the cellar mustiness blend in well. Caramel and light brown sugar. Very robust and rich flavor. Mouthfeel is fairly thick with a sticky sweetness. Drinkability is great due to so many layers of flavors going on. Not sure if this brew has the same recipe each year but 2 years did this one wonders I am guessing.

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Photo of LuckySevens82
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle courtesy of Higravity and Secret Bunny '05.

Pours a hazy, tarnished copper color. A Tan head with decent lacing and retention tops this one off.
Aroma is very strong caramel. Toasted malts and a strong sweetness fill out the backbone. Fruit is heavy (peaches, cherries, green apples) as well. Smell is kind of musty, but that could just be because it's 3 years old. Some alcohol is evident in the nose as well.
Taste is very complex, which is nice and quite different from the aroma. Taste is sweet and just a bit chewy. Loads of caramel and chocolate dominate this one, followed closely by raspberries, cherries, green apples and a truckload of other fruits. A slight bitterness throughout and a hint of alcohol as it goes down balance this one out nicely.
Overall, a good barleywine. I would have liked to have tried this one fresh to compare side by side, but I can't complain as this is was a really good beer on all counts.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Beatiful, opaque burgundy body, plummish, raisiny, resting nicely under a creamy, beigish foam.
Aromatics speak up from first crack of the crown, wafting out dark fruits and the sting of alcohol...a close examination gives a ripe, pungent smell, all afire, glowing large with fruit and spice, akin to cognac, a powerful nose, one I enjoy keeping my nostril hairs atingle with...
Grapes, berries, cherries, yeast, cinnamon, cloves, pepper, juicy, pithy, all blended with glorious booze...a rich deliciousness, full of character, puckering, a little sweet, a touch tangy, very flavorful, but mellow, as well. Full bodied, rounded moutfeel, long, fruity finish.
This is damned good, held up fine in it's two years, and rewards this drinker well, warming and comforting in this Janurary freeze.
Belongs in every conversation about the best barleywines produced in the U.S.A.

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Photo of Rastacouere
3.4/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2002: Totally headless pour, dark copper, no apparent carbonation. Aroma consists of ripe fruit, vinous grapes, a few berries, rich caramelic and pruney malt, but also a weird aspect closing to leather and salty smoke (am i just influenced by the name or what?). Restrained hoppiness and bitterness in mouth are accompanied by wine-like raisin and orange fruitiness, mostly sweet altogether, but not overly so. Still medium mouthfeel, rather bold and alcoholic finish (definitely not unpleasant in this case) with smoke hints, almost meaty. English-style enough, but this does not impress me particularly unfortunately and I love barley wines. Thanks to TAR for that one.

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Photo of nomad
2.9/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

To me, it was a mukry dark amber beer, with very little action on the pour, maybe a sliver of head that didn't stay. Surely no lacing or other prizes for the swimsuit competition.

Smelled of lightly spiced brown sugar with a heavily sweet scent of cherries and molasses. An alcohol tone close to that found in cordials wafted about with a prune-like tone as it opened. Altogether overbearing in its sticky sugars.

Taste is awful close to cloying, as cherry sweetness is dominant. Faint roast flavor with nary a hop accent, it opened to thin caramel and prune flavors. Finishes with a low vegetal bitterness and creaminess. Rounded but dull moderate mouthfeel - flat carbonation but not viscuous or smooth to balance.

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Photo of sponberg
4.77/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pulled this one out from the deepest darkest corner of the fridge where it has resided for the past year in a paper bag, just to see what happened with cold aging.

Cloudy dark amber - rather muddy, actually - with a thin white head. Aroma of fourteen or so different sweet malts and some hop spiciness alongside some whiffs of alcohol. The aroma says "I'm a good dog - drink me and I'll be your friend."

This beer is like drinking a dreidel. Sip it and the flavors start spinning and don't stop until three minutes after the sip is gone. Liquid velvet across the tongue with a bit of pinpoint carbonation to awaken that big pink organ in your mouth (don't go there). All sorts of flavors then hit and disperse, almost like fireworks - apricot fruity malt dipped in caramel here, dry cocoa there, figs over by the horizon, toffee front and center, spicy noble hop vapors atop the mouth, alcohol coating the back of the tongue, coffee with cream in there somewhere... astounding. The complexity of this beer is exemplary. What really got me was the aftertaste - I don't know that I've ever had a beer whose aftertase changed three times after the swallow. Whatever kind of alchemy Tom has figured out, it works. One of the rare barleywines that almost begs another bottle just to watch the fireworks again.

Exceptional brew. Thanks to Davo for the bottle - gracias, Evil!

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Photo of PopeJonPaul
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a cool "Old Salty 4-pack" ('03, '02, '01, '00) last time I was at Heavyweight.

2002 looked like delicious unfiltered cider (read: mud) with a grainy, caramel smell. Sugary, chewy, with butterscotch, caramel, cinnamon, cherry flavors. Great smooth milky mouthfeel and drinkability, very little to no carbonation. I will have to stuff one of these away to see how it ages over the next few years.

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Photo of mzwolinski
3.45/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Medium brown in color, with a thin tan head. Aroma is sweet and malty, with a hint of dark fruit. This beer, in spite of its name, is sweeter than most barley wines I've had, though perhaps this stems from the relatively low level of carbonation. Malt is caramely, with a light fruitiness mid-palate. This develops into a more full-bodied plum flavor toward the finish. A bubblegum sweetness lingers throughout the sip. Hops lend a bit of floral flavor to the finish, but not enough to balance -- a bit cloying for my tastes.

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Photo of CRJMellor
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky, deep orange and light brown hue with no head and little carbonation evident.
Aroma of caramel, oranges, raisins and sweet flowery hops.
Flavor is super sweet caramel apple, full blow citrus orange and a hint of sweet bitterness.
Mouthfeel is sweet, sweet and sweeter. Really escalates all the way through. Just a hint of light bitter at the end cuts the sweetness. Beer has aged very well.
Drinkability is very nice, would like to taste this with some carbonation but still very nice.
Thanks to beerluvr (again!) for this great HW offering.

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Photo of SixpointJMH
4.17/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

moving on to round three of the salty pack: the 2002 pours a cloudy brown iced tea-esque colour. once aagin, the minimal head dies down to nothing. the smell here is sweet again, like the 2001: bubblegum, candy, banana and other fruit, malt and earth. gone is the buttery/caramel flavouring from the previous two. the taste her is less sweet than the smell, and a bit woody. warming alcohol effect but no alcohol flavouring. nice malt balance throughout. the finish is dry with a trace of the caramel that was gone from the smell. it's still here and is quite nice at the finish. this one seemed to be aged just right. right now it's my favourite in the series, but the 2003 is still to come.

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Photo of Boilermaker88
3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks go out to frank4sail for placing this in among all the other goodies that he sent me for the Christmas gift exchange. Presented in a 12oz bottle as depicted, Old Salty 2002 had a turbid ochre color and a firm ½" vanilla hued head that slowly shrank down to a small cap, leaving behind thin tendrils of lace.
The smell had elements of maple, caramel, bready malts, and dark fruit. As it warmed up, a more potent nose-grabbing alcohol note came to the fore along with hints of floral hops and butterscotch. The taste had a powerful maltiness and almost syrupy cramel sweetness that bathed the palate. Prunes and raisins also asserted their sweetness across the tongue, followed up by a slightly nutty flavor. Again, as it warmed, the alcohol essence really began to take a more central role, as a wine-like flavor carried through the finish with a mild hops-induce bitterness. The feel was full, rich and almost cloying, and the alcohol left a nice warmth down the throat and in the stomach.
I've not been a big fan of the barleywine style but this was pretty darn tasty. I found my glass to be nearly empty far more quickly than I would have imagined. This brew from Heavyweight is as much a malt-bomb as some double IPA's are with hops. A real treat.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.67/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Thick brown in color with a smallish but stubborn head that receded to a sixteenth of an inch or so and then just stopped. I love watching vintage ales pour from the bottle.

Smell – The 2003 reminded me of Old Woody. This one reminds me of Old Woody’s crazy half-cousin. The oak and sherry flavors have had a year to settle in, and boy are they wicked. This has got to be the strongest oak-aged sherry aroma that I have ever smelled.

Taste – This is almost beyond description. The flavors from the nose arrive in force, but the mature malt base is amazing. It is extremely sharp and seems to have broken down just right into some terrific sweets.

There’s a light hint of cocoa here along with “extreme” cane sugar. The maple is concentrated and very sweet. This Barley Wine aged incredibly well.

Mouthfeel – Full-bodied and well-blended with age. The alcohol sensation is serious and not for the faint of heart.

Drinkability – This was the fastest 12 ounces on the planet. It will keep for another year or two but is very drinkable now.

Comments – My BA Bud jcalbi sent me this along with the 2003 as part of the Christmas Exchange, and it was a very neat experience to be able to taste the two vintages for comparison purposes. This one was a gem for sure and a real treat for the holiday weekend. Big thanks for this wonderful surprise and also to xlperro who put on the Christmas Exchange this year.

PS: Compare to the JW Lees offerings.

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Photo of UnionMade
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Retried this beer, after aging it about 3/4 a year. 2002 bottling.
The beer pours a cloudy reddish ochre brown, completely opaque. A light mist of head floats atop the beer, never gaining size, but never leaving the beer, either. Light lacing on the side of the glass. Great retention, particularly for how little head there is.
Aroma is malty and powerful. A heady caramel maltiness, with apparent alcohol and mild hops. As the beer warms up, a paint thinner floral esteriness comes through, with hints of prune, date, and a touch of light butterscotch.
Flavor is massive. Giant maltiness creating an almost syrupy sweetness, changing to a lightly bitter alcoholic finish. A touch of yeasty nuttiness. Chewy and caramel-like, with a slightly buttery mouthfeel. Mild smokiness as the beer warms up, with a hint of paint thinner esteriness. The aging really matured the malts, and allowed some of the stranger flavors to really come through. I'd guess that this will continue to age and grow for years to come. A great barleywine, one of the best, in my opinion.

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Photo of beerluvr
4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cellared 2002 version:
Pours with an off white head that settles into a dense layer on top of the hazy reddish brew. Nose is funky and fruity, some smoke, dark fruits and maltiness. Taste is slightly winey/tart, then fruity and alcoholic with a dash of hoppy dryness. A light body for a beer of this stregnth, yet satisfying nonetheless. Finshes with more fruit and hoppiness.

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Photo of frank4sail
4.28/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2002 Bottled version.

Sweet rich smell with nice fruit (plum, peach) presence. Dark ruby color with lots of tiny bubbles in the goblet.Big rich thick sticky lace and beige 1 inch head. a beautiful lasting look. Rich thick and robust intital taste. Bitter peach and prune flavors swirl around the tongue in a balence of sweetness and bitterness. As the brew warms it becomes more flowery/citrusy in its taste with a touch of blood orange. Being brewed in April 2002 this is still quite young and shows great balence at such a young age. Major intense conplexity and still very drinkable at such an high ABV. The head on this brew is gravity defying. Smooth full mouth. A beautiful lookin' brew. I can't wait to drink the other three that will be in the cellar for some time!

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Photo of Suds
4.53/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2002 Vintage.
Wow! This is one phenomenal beer. First, some serious pressure built up in the bottle....the twist off cap exploded with a loud pop rather than a hiss.
Pours a deep, ruddy brown with an amazing head. The foam is thick, deelp, soft, stickey, and everlasting. High carbonation and a lot of yeast. Served in a tall tulip glass, this beer is something to see.
Aroma is a mix of alcohol, malt, and a pleasant woodiness. The aroma isn't as intense as a lot of great barlywines, but it's still quite nice.
The taste begins with a ripe fruit, berry sweetness. Midtaste fades into a malty sweetness, and the finish is very creamy and smooth. Wonderful yeast fullness and thick mouthfeel throughout.
Great beer! I'm sure to have many more.

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Photo of MJR
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled April 2002.

Appearance: Pours a rustic and muddy mahogany with orange highlights. An over-achieving, light tan head starts out as a third of the glass, then fades to a persistant cap. Pouring the sediment towards the end darkens and muddies the liquid even more.

Smell: Unique nose on this one... Instead of the usual malt and hops aroma, this barley wine has heavy tropical fruit and earthy notes. Alcohol-soaked cherries are hidden in the muck. Very sweet and sugary.

Taste: Quite sweet with a fruity explosion on the palate. Tons of tropical fruit...pineapple and mango the strongest. Alcohol-soaked cherries, raisons, and plums dance across the tougue. There's a hefty alcohol taste and sensation, but it's softened by the heavy, but not-quote-cloying, sweetness. Once you get past the fruits, there's an earthy, leathery, bready character that tries to balance things out a bit. The flavor actually gets a bit sweeter right before the finish, which is a bit short and abrupt. The hops finally show up at the very end, along with an alcoholic aftertase.

Mouthfeel: Rich and creamy with a mouthfeel that's on the heavier side of medium. Lots of carbonation helps it from becoming too syrupy and cloying.

Drinkability: Reasonable good for the style. Barley wines don't score that well in this area for obvious reasons, but this is the black sheep of the family. I'll venture a guess and say that this is what a barley wine from Belgium would taste like, with it's heavy tropical fruits and considerable yeast contributions to the flavor profile. Easily one of the most fascinating brews I've encountered to date.

A 'thank you' goes out to Davo for including this one in our trade.

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Old Salty Barleywine 2002 from Heavyweight Brewing Co.
4.08 out of 5 based on 29 ratings.
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