Old Salty Barleywine 2004 | Heavyweight Brewing Co.

very good
47 Ratings
no score
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Old Salty Barleywine 2004Old Salty Barleywine 2004

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 BeerAdvocate on 10-30-2004

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Ratings: 47 |  Reviews: 44
Photo of bditty187
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hazy, orangey, brown in hue with a hint of copper. The head was beige in color; at its highest point the foam was only one finger. Head retention was fair; it faded quickly to a thin, soapy collar, largely naked in the middle. This little collar did last forever. The subsequent lacing was unimpressive; I could count… yep, three little globs. That is hardly noteworthy. Decent appearance. The nose lacks potency. I love Barleywines with a loud speaking voice. Oh well. On top of that, I can’t say this beer is very articulate either. I get lots of hints but no full on sentences. There are some suggestions of plums, dates, and caramel candy, sour wood with a smattering of spicy alcohol. Without question this beer is an English Barleywine because the malt smell deep and the hops don’t speak up. For the style the bouquet is lackluster, kind of thin with a kiss of metal at the end. So-so. The palate has the potency that the nose was lacking. With that said this beer is a bit heavy-handed and not in that charming kind of way. There are plenty of yummy qualities; I really like the deep, dark fruity taste with kisses of melons, raisins, dates, figs, and apples. In the middle, a smack of sweetness broadsides me. Whoa! I need a breather. Sip. Sip. Sip. I realize this is English and all but how about a little more hops for balance. A blast of bitterness after that sweetness would really kick ass. Caramel is good but caramel followed by some Fuggles hops is better! At the finish the sweetness continues and some butterscotch is now in the mix. This is a lazy beer; it really needs some hoppiness both in flavor and in bitterness. It would be good with cheese I would think, something soft and creamy (and equally lazy). However the carbonation is a bit low and I would also think the fat could not be removed and this would deaden the beer. Maybe all is not lost as all there is a sweetness and fruit. My review might sound “negative” but this is a solid Barleywine. Medium-full in body, the carbonation is low and sluggish which produces a mouthfeel that is laboring. Hot aftertaste. I can feel the alcohol on my brain and in my belly, which is okay with me. This beer is drinkable but I am very picky with Barleywines. I’d like more bite, more pizzazz, and less sweetness. What I am about to say might be sacrilegious… I cut the last 3-ounces with about 1-ounce of SA Triple Bock. Damn that combination was tasty! I made SA Triple Bock Light. HA! Whatever… It was yummy. I started craving havarti cheese. Excellent. Thanks shippos, I enjoyed this beer), I’m glad you including this dandy in the Secret Bunny Exchange!

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Photo of Truh
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Discovered a multitude of dead men on a dead man’s chest with this one on 4/13/2005. 12-oz. bottle poured like syrup in to a shaker glass.

Just a small, swirling vortex of nebular coating and a cuff around the edges; some sediment stuck in suspension. Very murky brown/dark amber hue with just a touch of natural light on the edges; wouldn’t even know if there is any action going on. Tons of sweet, sticky caramel on nose, no doubt due to the over-the-top malt bill; fruit cake and a little bit of pine resin float around as well. Dang, that is treacle and melted toffee filled to taste, like candy in liquid, bottled form. Malt is just humungous though somehow manages not to be overly jammy on the mouthfeel.

Unusual for me and the barleywines I have had the pleasure of tasting. Accustomed to a very biting alcohol heat, but this one hides it beautifully. Also, there seems to be a freshness that resonates throughout the pour, and not an almost mossy character that I associate with many others within this style.

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Photo of BrewMan13
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Has a head like I've never seen...I had to pour it into a weizen glass so it didnt overflow. Must have taken 20mins to pour it. Which is conveniently the time it takes to warm to ideal serving temp, but not too much. Appearance is just barely see-through, otherwise a dark burnt umber. But no beer should have a head that big, so I deducted just a tad for appearance.
This is one dense beer flavor-wise. There is no doubt this is an English-style b-wine as it is just packed with sweet malty goodness which stops just shy of cloying. Alcohol is unlisted--but is somewhere between 9-12% according to their site---and you definitely notice as you get a nice tummy warming. Perhaps a tad bit of alcohol in the taste, and it becomes slightly more noticeable as it warms. A very slight toastiness at the finish. This thing is just dense malt--and I love it--I'm really liking Heavyweight lately.
Definitely a filling beer (I'm drinking mine now after a dinner of gnocchi--sorry stomach ;)
Even a fan of big beers like myself would never drink more then 1 of these a night---its too dense and high in alcohol. But I seriously liek this and my hats off to Tom and Peggy for brewing such a flavor packed brew in this day and age. Just another thing I love about craft beer...Cheers!
(hmm, I wonder if I said dense enough times...)

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Photo of warriorsoul
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Cornboy for this one....
Pours a deep, dark amber w/ an unbelievably amount of head...I believe it is actually increasing as time goes by...sounds like a bowl of Rice Krispies in my snifter. Lacing is a carbonated mess on the side of the glass.
Spiced hop aroma hits the nose first, followed by vanilla and just a touch of alcohol. At warming, it hits like a root beer float....yummy.
The flavor is nice...a unique take on the style. A very malty barleywine...taking the front seat w/ the hops hanging out in the back. Again, very slight alcohol detected...gives me a "warming" sensation almost immediately.
Carbonation is perfect and the mouthfeel is splendid...although no one flavor is jumping out at me, it is well balanced and fairly drinkable.
I would recommend and will try this one again.

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Photo of WesWes
2.93/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The beer pours a nice ruby red color with a huge offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a very rich malty scent that boasts of pale and loads of crystal malts. It also has a not so great hop aroma that is grapefruit-like. The taste is average. It has a very bland malt flavor that is complex, but not very tastey. The hop flavor is subpar also. The mouthfeel is average. It is a full bodied beer with more than adequate carbonation. This is probably the worst barleywine I've ever had. The hop characteristics are terrible. I also has a bad malt bill. It time for the drain pour.

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Photo of yen157
4.18/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fairly vigorous pour gives it a stable, orange-tinged tan head. Only 2/3 of the bottled was poured, so it’s a crystal clear deep orange-amber with very few visible streams of carbonation. Rich, sweet nose with notes of overripe plums and hard orange candy. Spicy, boozy alcohol is also present. At times a faint whiffs of smoked bacon, too. Hmm… Spicy alcohol teams up with the noticeable hop bite (rather rare for Heavyweight) to counter the huge, yet slick malt. Not cloying by any stretch of the imagination. Carbonation is low, so this beer is very slick and quaffable which is dangerous since every sip leaves the palate and throat glowing from the alcohol. The flavors start getting awkward when it gets too warm; IMO this is best consumed at cellar temperature.

This is a great barleywine now that it has a few months on it. I hope it achieves the superior greatness the 2001 (which was its inspiration) after a few years.

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Photo of Shiredave
4.28/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This pours a very deep, dark amber color. Carbonation is steady, supporting a low, pale tan head w/ steady carbonation and stubborn retention, great streaks of lace.

Aroma is rich and sweet, fruity notes of watermelon and banana along with bready boiling wort. Hints of alcohol come forward as it warms.

Huge sweet malt flavors explode with the smallest sip - lush and heavy, just shy of syrupy. As it swirls around in my mouth, its like chewing on warm, pecan encrusted toffee - chewy and scrumptious. Hop and alcohol join forces to slap the back of the mouth with a tangy sharpness while the raw grain sweetness coats the the tongue in a sugary ( Golden syrup) blanket. Seriously malt dominated beer, but balance come through with interesting herbal hop flavors and firm bittering.

Full bodied and very complex. Each swallow leaves a new combination of flavors behind. Finish is warmly alcoholic with lots of sugar coated fruit notes.

As a rule, most "experts" say Barleywines should be enjoyed at room temp. or slightly chilled. I usually agree, but with Old Salty'04, I prefer it chilled to 55 deg.F +/-. When this puppy gets warm, it beomes very thick and gnarly - hard to drink for me any way. This can only get better with age Im hoping.
Truly Magically Delicious!

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Photo of kbub6f
4.57/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The head is beige, bubbly and noisy. It's like a Coke head that dies more slowly and less evenly. The beer is an almost clear, amber-brown. Lots of fine carbonation. The aroma is of sweet candy, nuts and fruit. Yum. It starts sweet and nutty with some apparent alcohol. The middle is butter. Butter. Very malty, thick and tingly. Loads of alco in the finish; also, nutty, spicy with a nice bitterness. Very good. I do love a buttery beer. It's super malty with a nice balance of hops. But I sure hate waiting for that head to die: it's so slow!

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Photo of merlin48
4.09/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served into a tulip glass at cellar temperature. Wow! Serious overcarbonation here. Enormous, beige head takes up 90% of the glass, and overflows onto the table even with a third of the 12 oz bottle poured. A slightly hazed copper body is finally revealed, with large clumps of foam sticking to the sides of the glass.
Interesting, and complex aroma is fruity with citrusy orange, caramelized apples, subdued grassy hops, and a suggestion of ethanol burn.
Mouthfeel is very highly carbonated with a medium body. Slight alcohol burn, but somehow manages a pleasing smoothness.
Taste is malty, with syrupy fried or caramelized apples, some dry orangepeel, and grassy hops. Finishes dry, but with some mouth coating syrupiness.
Good drinkability with plenty of complexity. Challenger hops and Lyles Golden Syrup are among the ingredients listed on the label. Nice take on an English barleywine, and an excellent winter warmer.

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Photo of crookedhalo
3.82/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazed tawny copper color with a volcanic beige head. I poured about 4 oz. into a 12 oz. snifter and it took up the whole space. As the head subsides, a quick swirl brings back a good inch of head. My understanding it that the bottles are hit or miss in the carbonation department. Rich and extremely malty with an equally extreme hop character (Challenger). Sticky and sweet, with a decent bitterness and a long alcohol-laden finish. You know you're getting tipsy off of this one. The higher carbonation level seems to enhance the alcohol punch. Certainly a sipper and works great as a nightcap or a warmer on a cold winter night. The bottle's not bad, it was much better and smoother on-cask.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.18/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours with some viscosity. No head forms. A thin collar of beige cream leaves spotty lace sporadically down the sides of the glass. Sweet bread pudding, rumcake type of aroma. Medicinal as well. The flavor is sweet and boozy. In an enjoyable sort of way. The heat mixes in nicely enough with the melon and cherry and cantelope tones. Hops are utilized merely to provide balance it seems. Malt flavors are big and assertive. Caramel and toffee and nougat... This beer has some nice depth. The mouthfeel is appropriately on the low side of the carbonation spectrum and the body is damn near full, making this brew nearly syrupy. Such is life, this is a tasty barleywine, and in reality, unlike any other I've had.

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Photo of francisweizen
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Keg conditioned from the hand-pump at the EBF. I was told this batch was not bourbon aged, but who knows for sure? Aromas are in fact boozy, sweet, and malty with a nice hoppy bite on the tail-end as well. I also get some oaky vanilla notes as well, maybe this batch was oak-aged, or maybe I am just crazy. Taste is lovely. Sweet, big-ass malts battling a nice load of hops, sugar, spices, and more with some more vanilla-like oak hints as well. Mouthfeel is medium bodied if a little too thick and the drinkability is very good for a barleywine. Always a good beer, but the keg-conditioning really worked wonders for this.

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Photo of GeoffFromSJ
4.02/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This year's batch seems quite good. For my tastes, the carbonation levels could be higher. There doesn't seem to be much head on the initial pour, but it comes on strong then goes away. A nice murky brown color.

While smooth, I again think there could be a bit more carbonation. Very smooth though. The taste of this one was not as hot as others have commented. Different batches, according to Tom Baker, used different strains of yeast.

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Photo of Erix
3.59/5  rDev -7%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pint glass from bottle
Appearance: Hm.. I wish I didnt have to do it, but when I opened my bottle, the head slowly started growing out, like a mutant brain or alien slime in a 50s horror film. Took quite a while to pour the whole thing, as it left behind a nice, if massive, off white rocky head. Probably the nicest (if also excessive) feature in the appearance, as the body was a murky, almost opaque brown, not too unlike the bottom of a jug of cider. Oh well.
Smell: Malt. Doesnt smell spoiled, so I think that this beer was just plain overcarbonated. I get plum, and a kinda musty sourness. I get a little alcohol too, but it mixes into an interesting dark fruit odor. Hmm...
Taste: Malt here! Much better than I was expecting from the smell! The maltiness follows through in a good way, and there is actually a little bit of hop character there to try to tame the malt. As if that would be possible. A maltster's answer to the IIPA. That plum is still there, but now mixed with some rasin, and a slightly more than healthy dose of alcohol.
Mouthfeel: Warm. I guess thats what Coors Light mean.. this beer feels very warm and flavorful, so I guess their beer is the opposite. Anyways, the alcohol contributes some burn here, which I think the sweetness of the malt only heightens. You can really feel the thickness of the sugars dissolved in each bottle!
Drinkability: For how much malt and alcohol (I'm assuming) this beer has, it is relatively easy drinking. I'm just sipping it for sure, but it does seem to make you thirsty for more as you sip. Of course I don't want more than one right now, but what do you expect from a barley wine.
This beer really needs to age. I'd love to try this vintage in a year or two, but malt on a Maltese falcon! This stuff if still going to be pretty absurd.

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Photo of SaunaKing
3.43/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This bottle may have been frozen in transit when it was shipped to me. When it arrived it appeared tightly capped but there was a drop coming from under the cap and bubbles in the airspace. The bottle was as full as when bottled.

I cracked it open and it poured a rich dark copper like a very dark tea. A nice thick head from an agressive pour that was creamy and left nice lacing. The head retention was pretty good - more than I expected from my 1st barleywine - i had read that the head on a barleywine isn't much.
The aroma was powerful and smelled of overripe berries.
My first impression on taste was that this was the complex flavours that were new to me and the strength of the brew. It basically overpowered my pallet. There was a hint of black currants. Very flavorful but I can't see myself drinking more than one of these. Not really my cup of tea. I would like to experience some more of these to develop a taste for them because they really do have lots of flavour. Really like no other beer I ever had, going to take some getting used to. The taste upfront was ok but the finish really got me - there was a warmth in the finish as well as a noticeable alcohol burn.

A good introduction to the barleywine to me. Looking forward to trying the other two in my fridge.

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Photo of Citadel82
3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brewed by our favorite local brewers at Heavyweight Brewing in Ocean Township. Rich and thick this is a beer for a cold winters night.

Pours a cloudy dark ruby amber in the chalice glass. Minimal head though it does leave nice lacing on the glass as it is consumed,

Aroma is Caramel and toffee with a lactic creaminess reminiscent of a sherbet with a trace of alcohol and floral hops.

Taste is sweet malt fading into sharp hops then alcohol with a long hop bittering finish. Not sure but I am not tasting the citrus notes typical of Cascade and the other west coast domestic hop varieties.

Body is heavy and full with nominal effervescence. A sipping beer for sure.

Delightful on a cold night like this when you are home for the evening. I can't wait to try it again in a few months to see how it develops.

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Photo of TackleDummy
3.15/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I'm drinking this very young in January of 2005. The pour was a dark iced tea color. This is my second bottle. The first left a head so large I could not fit the entire 12 ounce bottle in a 16 ounce glass. I was more careful and poured slowly this time, and the head was very small and of a beige color. As advertised, the beer is very malty. There is a bit of sweetness in the taste, but the bitterness is hard hitting and long lasting. The alcohol is also very pronounced.

Right now the beer is a bit harsh. It should mellow with age, so get yourself a few and stash them away to break open on a rainy day a few months from now.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

8/22/2004 Bottle date, Sampled January 2005
Pours a hazy rich amber hue with perhaps some orange highlights. The head is a frothy creamy, light amber brown color. The aroma is sticky with Lupulin laden hop aromatics. I get notes of bergamot, rum, chewy caramelized malt, rum, and even some bready, toast type notes as well. This beer is definitely sweet and also a bit fizzy as it hits my tongue. The palate is quite a bit thinner than I was expecting. In fact it is a bit too thin, which causes this beer to be a bit more harsh than I was hoping. The alcohol is also quite evident, and the finish is a bit hot. The hops are quite evident, with notes of citrus, tangerine, a hint of pine, and a bit of lacquer. As the beer warms up and oxidizes a bit in my glass it starts to pick up malty notes of salty biscuits, lightly tasted dark breads, and caramel.

This beer is a bit young, and I am a bit sad that I opened this beer at this date, I really should have held on to this for a couple of years before cracking this open, and I recommend that you do that.

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Photo of lackenhauser
3.17/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a murky brown color. Decent carbonation level and a nice head that leaves some good lacing. Malty aroma,slightly sweet. Somewhat phenolic and yeasty. Phenolic up front. Almsot Belgian like. Not sure what yeast they use but its a very dominant flavor. Some sweetness in the finish. Big full body Only an average beer overall. Might mellow out and mature some with age. I wonder how much sugar is added. Reading the label there are a lot of other fermentables in there with the malt. Theres a lot of other barleywines Id grab first.

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Photo of faernt
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I'm drinking this young. I'll try to get another to age but I was in an "I'm curious for a new barleywine" mood. It pours with a one inch head which hisses as I fill the glass. I can't get all of the 12 oz into a glass that usually takes 12 oz. I start to pour again and the sediment has become suspended in the remainder and I stop. I decide to take the yeast hit and wow! what a sweetie....it's a malty one as promised.
The yeast hit aside I go back to looking at this pour. The head has calmed down and rests pillowy with fine bubbles and dense lacing on the sides of the glass. It certainly looks well made. It's a dark copper under the ivory head. Second look...the head looks more like slightly toasted merangue.
The first taste is again sweet but not that of the yeast hit. The head is creamy and is simultaneously with the taste a beguiling combination. I like the multiple sense experience.
This is a dessert barleywine now. I'd try it with flourless chocolate cake. It's still almost too sweet now. I wonder if it will gain portlike characteristics over time. Thanks Ted S for the sample.

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Photo of oxmasterscream
3.59/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Looks like a glass of murky, unfiltered iced tea. Head is a simple, nearly non-existent ring.

Smell: Just out of the fridge, big brown sugar smells combined with sour fruits, some spice and big-time phenols.

Taste: A flash of brown sugar, some sour fruits and a harsh alcohol burn followed by a well-rounded bitterness. A lingering sweetness competes with a long-lasting bitterness. Hints of vanilla toward the end of the glass. Seems to taste a hell of a lot like Baltus OVS. A little harsh fresh... perhaps some time will do this one well.

Mouth: Barely carbonated. Thick and malty full.

Drinkability: Just ok fresh. I won't be racing back to my 4 pack for more just yet. Maybe in a year, my opinions will change. There are other barleywines I'd much rather be drinking fresh right now.

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Photo of beerluvr
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a modest yet fine bubbled creamy off white head settling over hazy amber/red liquid. Dark fruity nose with alcoholic fumes in back of them, fruity yeast esters in here too. Taste is...well let's just say there's some alcohol in this young bad boy ok? Hot, young and brash in it's potentcy, but not a bad thing. Also a good dose of candyish sweetness, caramel, cookie-like doughiness, fruit, and very sufficient hoppiness combine for an over the top flavor profile. As mentioned in earlier reviews, this will age like a dream! Finishes long bitter and powerful...just give it some time to mellow out.

I'm sure that as it ages,the somewhat lower marks for smell, mouthfeel & drinkability I initially gave it will rise...it's just too "new".

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Old Salty Barleywine 2004 from Heavyweight Brewing Co.
3.86 out of 5 based on 47 ratings.
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