Old Salty Barleywine 2003 | Heavyweight Brewing Co.

Old Salty Barleywine 2003Old Salty Barleywine 2003
47 Ratings
Old Salty Barleywine 2003Old Salty Barleywine 2003

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 11-17-2003

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 47 |  Reviews: 46
Photo of HopStoopid120
5/5  rDev +21.7%

Photo of kmpitz2
4.15/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

6 oz sample from 12 oz bottle. Pours a amber tinged brown color wiht no head and no carbonation. Nose is all about malty. Very sweet raisin, fig, brown sugar with a moderate alcohol puff in there. I like it. Flavor is just as malty and sweet as the nose, though with a more harsh roasted flavor. No real strong flavors. Real good balance. I like it. Feel is very thick and syrupy. No carbonation here. Overall, a nice brew. The nose and flavor really draw me in. I would bet the ABV is around 9-10 on this, so drinkability is very good for that range. Solid brew.

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Photo of clvand0
3.68/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a dark amber color with a small head that doesn't hang around and doesn't leave any lacing on the glass. The aroma has a slightly harsh hop presence with some caramel malt aromas. The flavor has a lot of hop character for an English barleywine. Lots of hop flavor and lots of bitterness. There is caramel flavor in there too, but it's dominated by the hops. The mouthfeel is moderate and the drinkability is just ok.

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Photo of granger10
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The final installment of the Old Salty vertical thanks to Shapudding.

Murky brown in color with a large head. Where did that come from? Lots more carbonation than the other Old Salty offerings. More citrus in here than the others and alcohol seemed a little boozier. Caramel and butterscotch are stronger here as well. Taste is really sweet and thick. Alcohol leaves a kick as well. Nutty flavors rest underneath along with some lighter fruits and citrus. The hops aren't as good here as they were with 2002 and seem almost out of place with the thick malts. Lots of flavor in here, almost too much. Good, but give it another year and it might be very good.

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Photo of meathookjones
3.68/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark cherry wood colored body with a smallish light tan head that leaves a slight scattered lacing around the glass. Strong fruity esters in the nose with plenty of sweetness and a touch of molasses. Light underlying caramel as well. Flavor starts with a big sweet fruitiness and plenty of caramel malt. Touch of molasses. Sweet finish. Pretty thick and creamy not quite sticky sweet. Good all around but the 2002 was better and had more depth. I would not turn this one down though, tasty stuff.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.32/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured into the glass slightly hazy with particulates and deep amber golden brown with a tan head which rose very tall and fell very slowly to lace the glass.

The aroma was deep caramel maltiness with a nutty character that reminds one of Munich malt. The caramel maltiness was not only present, it is intense. Dark fruits, namely raisins were present as well and added to the complexity. The aroma also contained a light biscuit character.

The flavor was malty with a very nice caramel malty sweetness and enough bittering to balance the beer. Bicuit flavors emerged after the intial sweetness subsided on the palate. The beer was very effervescent due to a high carbonation level. Raisin fruit flavors added to the complexity.

The finish was off dry with lasting caramel, raising and biscuit into the aftertaste. The body was medium full, but the carbonation made it seem much less. Alcohol warming was present after consumption but never really played a part in the aroma or in the flavor.

12 ounce crown capped (not a twisty) stubbie bottle. I really enjoyed this beer, it could use a slight bit less carbonation and perhaps a few more years aging to increase in complexity. The bottle says bottom fermenting yeast, can it be so?

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Photo of mentor
3.78/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Starchild for providing this one. Sat in my cellar about a year before I opened it tonight (April, 2005). Pours a tan head of 2-3 fingers over a cloudy caramel-brown liquid. Actually a very mild smell. Caramel and alcohol with some bock character (which took me by surprise). A bit of woody zing of orangish qualities makes me think Goldings hops, but I may be reaching here. Late, a smell of plum rides in on some of the alcohol. Tastes brown sugar and fruity to start with a dandy alcohol burn. The sugar and fruit then give way to a toffee caramel with possibly some hop bitter. Then back with more fruit (raisins and plums) that appear to have a light dusting of chocolate. A less pleasant alcohol then erupts as the beer goes down the throat. I get some oak barrel character, although I don't know if this beer was barrel-aged. Thick mouthfeel and actually fairly carbonated (not what I was expecting for this barleywine). Overall it was pretty nice. I wish the alcohol were a bit less sharp at the end. That was the noticable aftertaste I'm left with. The sweet and hops mixed well in the thick liquid but, IMO, were lost under the alcohol. Another year???...might have been better for me to cellar it longer.

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Photo of cubedbee
4.09/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a dark amber color with a thin tan head that fades away to nothing within 30 seconds. Smells very sweet and doughy, a mixture between sugar cookies and biscuits, with a dark fruity note like alcohol soaked raisins. Nice malty flavors, a little maple syrup, caramal, and honey coming through, and a noticeable taste of salt which put me off a little. Also, can feel the alcohol warming my stomach almost immediately. Moutfeel is medium and very smooth---this goes down nice for a barleywine. Overall this is a very nicely balanced barleywine that I could have a few of on a cold day.

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Photo of garymuchow
4.17/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to peziods for this sample.
Aroma presents with a mild malt sweet with a little fruit. Oxidation qualities appear a little later and then it gets deeper and richer. Aroma stays prominent throughout.
Virtually no head, showing only a ring. Darker color head that others. Brown red slight gold.
Taste shows nice combination of heavy fruit, sherry tones and alcohol (which I felt immediately in the stomach). Hop bitterness is quite low and mild. Fruit has a particularily sweet accent without excessiveness.
Thick, heavy, syrupy, smooth. Low carbonation and soft. Well done feel.
I so enjoy the heaviness of the feel and how it combines with the fruit flavors. Nice simultaneous complexity of the flavors.

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Photo of Sammy
3.35/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Promise of a good brew with barley, roastiness, chocolate malts. Very nice dark appearance. But the second Heavyweight I have had, and I am underwhelmed by the sourness. Ok in aftertaste. Needs more malty taste to cover up. Or some other good taste. Thanks Lubiere for sending.

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Photo of Southernbrew
3.77/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Porus a medium-brown wiht a small, bubbly head.

Aroma composed of a moderate bitterness, faint alcohol and a bit of sweetness.

Medium-full bodied and actually quite smooth. A noticable alcohol flavor flashes and is followed by a moderate bitterness combined with a dark fruit flavor. A salty flavor comes through that is a bit off-putting, however. A decent hoppiness exists for being an English barley-wine. I do think the alcohol is a bit hot as well, even after some aging.

One of the better English barley wines I've sampled, just a few small changes could make it great. Thanks to a friend for bringing this back from DC.

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Photo of scottum
4.22/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I can not believe that this has been sitting in my cellar for a year and I have never reviewed it. Well let us get down to business.

This beer pours out a deep hazey amber with a small off-white headskie. The taste is certainly salty, but the huge malts come through huge with an ample hop balance. I am not a salt lover so the saltness hurts the flavor in my opinion, but even I do love the flavor, and I would imagine that a salt lover who loves big beer would love it even more. The mouthfeel works great and this brew just goes down the hatch. I'm liking this one much much much more aged a year than I did fresh.

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Photo of 99bottles
4.07/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Even with a forceful pour, this b-wine settles in a tulip with only the thinnest of laces. A rich ruby-garnet body is immensely tantalizing.

Smell: A very sweet malted nose (according to the bottle, from lots of English Pale) lends scents of sugar cookie, biscuit, and maple candy.

Taste: This is a cookie. A big old sugary cookie. The hops have subsided into only sweetness. The initial bitterness of any hops has long since been kneaded into the sweet malt and only shows a slight taste in the finish. The malts aren’t cloying though. That’s what impresses me so much is that this barleywine doesn’t weigh too much. Maple syrup, corn syrup, sweet decadent candy.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, though it drinks very easily considering the sweetness of the malts. NOT Cloying. Not. It really impressed me, and certainly surprised me after the rich smell. Very good job with the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Good, if not great. A sumptuous b-wine and a great sipper. I don’t know how much of this sweetness I could take, but the easygoing mouth and utter delight of tasting this make it a real contender amongst the other good barelywines. Ages nicely. Good for Heavyweight for listing all the ingredients on the label.

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Photo of shapudding
4.04/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Had one of the other years at a tasting and enjoyed it, so grabbed this puppy when I saw it!
Nice amber color, peppered with flakes afloatin' alll throughout it it... Man, can you say floaters??? Sweet scents, almost bubblegummy. So sugary and caramelly, bit of portwine in there though. Smooth and creamy, not much carbination, good. Nice and malty with a bit of a hoppy undertone. Caramel flavors, tastes kind of like when you are making your own caramel from sugar and water....
Thick feeling, yet not too heavy. Almost creamy, more like silky, Maybe a bit too flavorful to be highly drinkable? But this is still damn good.

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Photo of rajendra82
3.92/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Shipped to me by Foxman in a brown 12 oz. bottle with clearly marked as 2003 vintage. The label says to stash this beer away for a year to discover the magic of bottle maturity. But since this is my only bottle, I am going to enjoy is as a six month old adolescent.

The beer is cloudy reddish brown in color with almost no carbonation. Looks exactly like iced tea after the brief initial fizzle wears off. There is very little lace as well, most likely the result of the high ABV.

The smell is like a fine wine with plums, cherries, brown sugar, and spiced alcohol. The aromatic profile is very Belgian Dark-esque. The taste is very fruity malt that was detected in the smell with a candy sugar sweetness added to it. The hops are quite bitter and make the beer feel spicy and dry in the mouth, but they seem to have taken more of a secondary role at this age. The alcohol makes itself known with a strong burn at the back of the throat, especially as the beer warms. The beer feels a bit thin on the palette for the style, but this may be related to the age.

Overall a solid Barleywine that makes a good sipping companion on a late night, especially, if it happens to be your birthday.

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Photo of PopeJonPaul
4.08/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep ruby red color that was remarkably clearer than I expected (though still a bit cloudy.) Mild smell of molasses, small thin head. Tootsie-roll caramel sweetness, even a little nutty, with a small hop sourness to balance it out and a mild berry undertone. Good mouthfeel and drinkability, a bit on the sweet end but still a great barleywine.

Busted out one of the '03s to see what it was like before it ages, am going to age the rest as I think it will mellow the sweetness somewhat, we shall see...

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Photo of blitheringidiot
4.4/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Label does not indicate ABV. No freshness date, but it's a 2003 Barley Wine.

Dark sunset, slight carbonation slips up.Darkest of the four. Tiny teeny suds.

Smells bitter, tangy, Belgian sour. A bit of horse blanket.

English Pale Malt, lots of it. Wheat malt, buiscuit malt. Dark caramel malts.

Smooth, not as smooth as 2000. Complex. Mellow Dr. Pepper and black cherry. Warmest flavor. Almost Belgian.

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Photo of jahred
4.29/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Many thanks to beerluvr for sending me this in BIF 6.0. Bottle says 05/03. Consumed 05/04. Pours a reddish brown color with a very small white head that disappears rather quickly.

The scent on this beer is wonderful. Rum, honey, malt and sherry. You know this is going to be a good beer. Old Salty (in its '03 incarnate) is very thick, rich and malty. There's a strong honey tasty, backed by a slight hoppy aftertaste, and then a very long, lingering spicy alcohol taste.

I'm still confused as to how exactly this is a bottom-fermenting barley wine, but it tastes great, so I won't complain.

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Photo of Foxman
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It pours a cloudy, deep amber, a shade or two short of ruby. Less than a finger of white head barely exists before it dwindles to virtually nothing. Sticky flares of lacing cling to the glass.

The aroma delivers a dense cloud of toasted malt, sweet and earthy, along with the gentle perfume of hops. A mellow bitterness blinks on, and then off. Vapors of alcohol dance rather furtively.

Upon sipping, there's a thick, cooked malt sweetness that borders on syrupy, but never becomes unmanageable. Notes of caramel and honey bounce about, enlivening the middle ground. A touch of molasses mingles with hints of berries near the end, before a dry shallow hops bitterness lingers lightly at the finish. With the moderate hops presence, it achieves a pleasant and playable balance, complete with a stream of warming alcohol.

Medium to heavy bodied, it lubricates and coats, and never cloys. The muted glow at the finish lingers and fades slowly.

So, again, Heavyweight comes through with a tasty big beer. The malt vs. hops balance is right in line, and the thickness of body gives off a filling vibe. The ABV does more than just warm, winding its way headward, but it comes with the territory, and it's worth braving for one or two more. It intrigues and interests, and that's a combo that works real well in my world.

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Photo of ElGuapo
4.35/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A dark brown colored brew topped in a thin layer of tannish foam. The aroma has a lot of spice in there. There is a huge hop aroma as well as some nice malts and fruits.

It is a big-bodied barleywine with a great deal of drinkability. If there is a session barleywine for me, it is this one. Big blasts of bitter hops are well balanced with loads of malts. There are roasty flavors in there as well. Dark fruits also let their presence be known. It is smooth with a medium level of carbonation. Definitely one of my favorites.

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Photo of TheJudge
4.05/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer had a nice dark amber pour, without too much head. A very nice aroma, malty but not overpowering. It felt very nice on the tongue: not too fizzy, not too heavy. There was no particular aftertaste, although by the end of the bottle, I was ready for it to be done. It seemed to get heavier as we got more into it.

Overall, I've had much worse barley wine. I would definately have this again.

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Photo of BCMan
2.75/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A very aggressive pour generated zero head. It seems flat. Color is a deep caramel with a redish tint. The nose is sweet with malt character. The tatse starts sweet but finishes rather bland. The mouthfeel is quite thick and seems almost syrupy. Swirling the glass in attempt to stir things up showed the thickness of this brew. It coated the walls like wine would...hence the style I suppose. It also coats your mouth as you drink it. I should've takeb the labels advice and shelved it 'til next year. I hope is was a bad bottle because I know Heavyweight brews good beer.

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Photo of sponberg
4.8/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark slightly cloudy copper with a thin head that still persists until you wish you had another to fill your empty glass. Big time toffee-caramel aroma with some slight whiffs of fruit and alcohol.

There's tasty, and there's damned tasty, and then there's that level of deliciousness where you try the beer, put down the glass, and stare at it in admiration - not because you want to, but because you have to. I put down my glass at least twice, maybe three times. The combination of massive malt, a healthy but not huge hoppiness, and a lager(!) yeast has resulted in one hugely impressive barleywine. Dark caramel, toffee, dark fruitiness and some estery complexity all draped over a subtle but present alcoholic background. The hops are mostly present as a balancing bitterness, although some Doppelbock-like spiciness is also present. This is a barleywine for malt mavens. Big, balanced, and chewy. One of the very few barleywines (Old Ho and Druid Fluid are the others that come to mind) that would get tired of me before I'd get tired of them.

Easily in my top 5 barleywines.

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Photo of marburg
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Kaplut goes the beer as it splashes into the glass, looking like some sort of warmed caramel-flavored hair gel. Lots of fruit. And caramel. No matter how hard I tried, I could not convince myself I didn't smell a lot of caramel in this beer. Halloween time! Caramel apples or something. Hints of rubbing alcohol float around at just the right (or wrong) moments.

Tastes quite nice, very easy for a barleywine, frankly. Rolling malty flavors slide over the tonngue. Malty, syrupy sweetness. Super thick. Moves from butterscotch and melted brown sugar to darker, deeper flavors -- Belgian-style estery fruits. Finishes with surprisingly little alcohol flavor. Um, hello, My name is Old Salty, and I'm fucking tasty.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
4.4/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A dark red-brown body, topped by a effervescent half-finger beige head. Caramel mixes with dark fruits in a subdued nose. Mouthfeel is delightful, lush and full, thick across the tongue, a strong bold statement. A thick malt body crashes through the gate of the mouth like galloping horses, with the hops as riders, balancing the sweetness. Because sweetness abounds, malt and syrup and treacle, but in everything there is enough of a balance. There's a deep, dark fruitness among the sweetness, and the subtlest kiss of hops at the end, and an aftertaste that conveys contentment. So good, I'm already looking forward to another, but I may stash the final two for awhile. Highly recommended.

This is brewed with a lager yeast. Why? Why not? Perhaps a secret Brewer Tom Baker learned traveling in his Tardis.

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Old Salty Barleywine 2003 from Heavyweight Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.11 out of 5 with 47 ratings
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