Old Salty Barleywine 2003 | Heavyweight Brewing Co.

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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: British 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.

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Ratings: 47 |  Reviews: 46
Reviews by maybrick:
Photo of maybrick
3.97/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow, what an unusual brew. I understand that this is actually made with lager yeast. The beer is very dark and mysterious, the nose is well, intriguing, and the taste, WOW!. Definitely needs to be close to room temperature, it's enjoyable to note how the brew changes as it warms. This review is for the 2003.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.17/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a medium orange with some orange tint to it with a very thin sheet on top.Aroma is roasted with almost an herbal quality with some dried fruit in there as well.Taste is hugely malty with some sweet caramel notes,as it warms the alcohol really comes thru.Not to much hop here but thats ok with me,I find it pretty drinkable for the alcohol level,well done.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Wicked cloudy brown in color that screams, “I’m full of sugar and other goodies.” The head was reserved as is often the case with big, high alcohol Barley Wines. The tan foam that did top the mug though was beautiful and full of life.

Smell – Oh, yeah. As LBB said, this is old school. The sherry and oak aromas are musty and smell like they’re coming from 100-year-old wooden casks. The sugars in this one are just plain crazy. The noticeable alcohol confirms my reasoning on the head.

Taste – This is old school for sure and not for the faint of heart. No, it’s not your “getting to know ya” Barley Wine. No, it’s not your West Coast hopped BW. No, it’s not the beer that you want to introduce your girlfriend to because she loves Cabs & Merlots.

This is the down and dirty meat-n-potatoes Barley Wine that you buy your friend who thinks Jack Daniels is for sissies. This reminds me of Old Woody.

The malts and sugars are soaked up in this ale, and it still hasn’t quite warmed yet. It is also incredibly balanced. The oak and sherry are huge and border on overpowering but stay within limits. The sugars are complex and top notch. The caramel malt base is here too as well as a few hops.

The fruits are astounding. This is one of the richest reserves of fruits that I’ve ever tasted. Every dark and overripe fruit imaginable is represented here, soaked in alcohol and sugar.

Mouthfeel – If this was any thicker you’d have to eat it with a spoon. My jaws start moving when I smell this stuff, and my lips are sticky after the first sip. Full-bodied? You betcha!

Drinkability – I just couldn’t stop drinking this ale.

Comments – This was very similar to a lot of ales that I’ve had in the Strong/Old category (such as the Old Woody that I mentioned). It is by far the best “old school” Barley Wine that I’ve tasted to date. A huge, big BA thumbs up to jcalbi who was thoughtful enough to send me this bottle as part of the Christmas Exchange that xlperro coordinated this year. It made for a very merry holiday season indeed.

Update – A huge gesture by skyhand brought this bottle out of the cellar for her 2006 Broken Fridge party. This is an awesome EBW. It has lost a little body with age (I would call it more medium-bodied than full) but traded up with an incredible, musty, cellared character that made this one of the highlights of the evening.

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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 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 Billolick
4.47/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

nice and dark,a bit cloudy...maintains a soft mini bubble head and leaves lace. Nose of malt,alcohol and yeast. Nice creamy, smooth mouthfeel....strong malt on the tongue and again alcohol, somewhat muted but present. This is a very flavorful, nicely mellowed and smooth Bwine. Very drinkable for the style. Well done Tom B and Heavyweight!

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this one up at it's release party in the Pittsburgh market, yes Tom Baker was in attendance passing out free samples good time. This is a three month aged version that the Sharp Edge had been sitting on, I think I liked the samples I got from Tom a little better but this is still so tasty. Appearance: Pours with a huge fluffy tan head leaving thick bars of lace upon a deep ruby hued body this beer looks excellent. Aroma: Full toasted malts and slightly burnt sugar plums and other fruit tones also invade the senses with some finishing hops topping it off. Taste: The toasted nut character really took ahold here a nice syrupy mix of sugary sweet with the toasted nut lager flavor are going down some caramel malt highlights so refreshing and drinkable. Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and texture is like syurpy goodness flowing down the gullet, nice brew. Drinkability: I think it's excellent and I don't even know the abv on this puppy or ol' Salty dog either way the lager yeast makes this barley wine style incredibly crisp, smooth, and drinkable yet still incredibly flavorful, cheers to that.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
3.27/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Just got back from Heavyweight's openhouse and I thought it went over very well. Although I, and my 2 friends, didn't stay long it was interesting to see the brewery and their fans.

Anyway, Old Salty 2003 BarleyWine was one of the samples at eh bar there (along with scotch ale).
Old Salty had a nice reddish/purplish/brown hue with little head. The aroma was very raisiny with hints of molasses.
The taste was warm with a raisins present. Unfortunately for Old Salty I despise raisins.
Despite my hatred od raisins Old Salty was a nice BarlyWine that I'm sure would be an enjoyable beer to many.
Old Salty

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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 beerluvr
4.05/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Even a hard pour only manages to rouse a minimal off white colored head comprised of very fine foam that settles out over cloudy deep tea colored liquid tinged with wisps of russet. The nose has hints of dark fruit, caramel, light bubblegum. The taste is a blend of chewy/biscuity malt sweetness, bitter yet floral-tasting hops, and alcohol tanginess. Hops really shine through after swallowing...long and pleasantly bitter. The finish shows yet more alcohol felt in the throat mixed with sweet fruitiness, mouthfeel is smooth and luxurious. Another fine effort, and another fine candidate for some extended cellaring. As an aside, it's really mind-blowing to know that this is actually a Lager, brewed with good ol' Lager yeast...hard to believe yet true.

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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 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 CRJMellor
4.42/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a reddish/maroon color with honey highlights. Very thick as evidenced by sediment suspended in the thcik beautiful porridge. Absolutely devoid of any head but alcohol tannins visible on the glass.
Aromas of caramel, wheat bread, toffee, earth, raisin, plums were noted.
Flavor of sweet malt with a heavy, yeasty bread quality. Slight bitterness present to offset all of the sweet malt is done just right to bring a little balance to this malt bomb. Flavors are very complex and enjoyable and really open as the beer approaches room temp. Spicy and highly alcoholic kick on the back end.
Sligh mineral and gritty feel. Nothing to evident and doesn't detract but feels like "hard" water.
Very, very drinkalbe. This one left my craving another.
Thanks to beerluvr for this beauty.

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

Old Salty pours a dark amber with a large brownish head that has good staying power. There is a great smoky, malty smell to it with a good whiff of caramel and a little coffee. The taste is a very complex blend of malt, hops, alcohol, and that caramel undertone. It has a certain smokiness but not as much as a stout. Although this is different than some other barleywines, it has a great barleywine feel in the mouth. It is a slightly thick brew that is really drinkable. It tastes like another, but unfortunately I only have the one from a heavyweight variety pack that included two Perkuno's Hammer and a Lunacy.

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

i think we have a winner, and luckily i saved the best for last. old salty 2003 is the last from my vintage pack and definitely the best. it pours a reddish amber colour, much less cloudy than the previous years' bottles. again, the minimal, off-white head is present. smells of malt, biscuit, earth and fruit. maybe a bit more of a bread feel to it than previous versions. the taste is virtually the same as the smell, but bolder overall. yum. hints of spice througout are a nice touch. the alcohol presence is limited moreso to the finish with the 2003 version. this is one of the most drinkable barley wines i've ever had the luck to sample. it really is quite nice and just beats out the 2002 in my eyes. i guess the fresher versions are more to my liking than the older ones. old salty 2003 is damn tasty.

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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 GreatPondBrewer
3.96/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

1/2 gallon growler from Half Time

Very interesting brew. Poured a wonderful dark scarlet hue with a thin filmy yellowish head and little to no lace. Smell was a little too raw, with tons of young esters floating about on top of a mass of sweet malts. Taste was wonderfully smooth, with a huge cherry sweetness morphing into a deep doughy malt base with a hint of hops, finished with a heavy dose of alcohol and spicy notes. This is certainly a malt monster of a barley-wine. Mouthfeel was bordering on flat, but it worked wonderfully well in this brew allowing the complexity of the taste to take center stage. No one can say that Heavyweight doesn't push the envelope and thanks for that!

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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 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 sulldaddy
4.44/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I pour this brew into my snifter. It pours with a very small beige head and fades very fast. The color is mahogany with ruby tints shining when held to the light.
I get ripe plums, raisins, and maybe biscuit on the aroma. SImilar to a scone I think. Also a faint hint of alcohol comes through.
The first sip reveals, very fine gentle carbonation and medium body. There is also a slightly syrupy texture.
Flavor is similar to aroma, plums, raisins and alcohol. The alcohol is only noticeable on the swallow and once it hits my belly. I get a bit of a drying finish that makes me want to take another sip.
This is very easy to drink considering the complexity of flavors I experience and the overall richness of the brew.
This is a truly tasty brew!

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Photo of Gavage
4.69/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy bronze color with a thin head. Some large bubbles cling to the rim. The aroma is very complex, sweet, and wonderful - almost wine like. The flavor is also complex as a thick sweet malt is joined by cherry, raisin, and grape tones with some slight bitterness.

The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. The malt seems to coat your tongue and the flavor stays there for a long time. You can have more than one of these in an evening. This is one of the best barley wines I have sampled.

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Photo of IrishRedRock
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally got me some olll' Salty. I had read the reviews how this, technically, is a lager, and wondered, "why?" I see now right on the bottle that bottom-fermenting yeast is used...quite interesting. Aside from it being on the bottle, I don't think I ever would have known...

Body has a glowing red hue to it, with only a few scant bubbles and no head. I'm expecting little carbonation in the mouthfeel as well, annnd....I'm right. Smooth as silk. There are some roasty, smoky notes in the nose with a touch of sweet malts and alcohol. Not very hoppy, either in flavor or aroma, which I was a bit taken aback at. The malt profile in the flavor is very high. The bottle explains the guys at Heavyweight pretty much went nuts on the malts used in brewing this, and it shows. Big malty backbone -- caramel, a hint of chocolate, some grassy, wheat flavors in there as well. Very light, crisp hoppiness in the finish, but I would like to see some more hop flavor come through overall. Furthermore, though it has a bit of candy-apple sweetness to it, there isn't much to take note of, which is unlike many other barleywines I've sampled. Don't know if this is a good or bad thing. Alcohol is easily detectable throughout. This has got to be pushing 11% ABV. A tasty barleywine nonetheless. Aging my other 3 bottles should be interesting. A "session" barleywine, if there is such a thing?

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Photo of HappyHourHero
3.43/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Light brown colored head poured thick, eventually fading to a thin coat while clinging to the glass for dear life. The beer is an orange mahogany color, a little hazy, with a bit of carbonation rising gingerly to the surface. It smells kind of funky, kind of like skunky burnt grapefruit. The initial milky caramel flavor is cut quickly by a bitter piney taste. As the beer leaves your mouth it coats the back of the tongue with a tingling alcohol feeling and warms your stomach as it settles. The body is not as thick as I expected. I've got three more in the fridge, but I'm not sure I'm into this beer. Let this one warm up a bit, otherwise the bitter bite and alcohol cover up caramel and raisin flavors.

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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 dmarch
4.44/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours with the consistancy of motor oil. Very thick. A deep murky copper color with minimal carbonation and no head whatsoever. Very sweet and malty and heavy on the ripened fruit aroma like raisins and plums. Very thick mouthfeel almost makes it feel like eating a meal. Hard to believe this is made with lager yeast. Still fermented at ale temperatures?

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