Old Salty Barleywine 2005 | Heavyweight Brewing Co.

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Old Salty Barleywine 2005Old Salty Barleywine 2005
21 Ratings
Old Salty Barleywine 2005Old Salty Barleywine 2005

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

Style: British Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by IrishRedRock on 11-01-2005

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 21 |  Reviews: 17
Reviews by BuckeyeNation:
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.73/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark candy apple red with almost no head formation. The 2004 Old Salty that I had not too long ago had a very nice cap, but this one went nowhere even after an increasingly vigorous pour. I did see a barely covering film at one point, now gone except for a thin rim where air, beer and glass meet. Classic, gem-like barley wine color though.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised that there's very little nose to the nose. The same lack of aerosolization that resulted in almost no foam production is resulting in almost no aroma emanating from the snifter. Inward sloping sides can only do so much. I pick up a faint whiff of boozy fruit and could easily identify the beer as the correct style if blinded, but I'm not impressed at all.

Now we're talking. At least the flavor hasn't been seriously impacted by whatever resulted in the above difficulties. This iteration of Old Salty isn't a flavor bomb by any means, but it's still a good English-style version that possesses the characteristic malt:hop balance that aficionados love.

I figured that since this beer hasn't yet seen its first birthday, it'd be significantly more hoppy than the 2004 bottling. I figured wrong. I can only conclude that the brewery was only kidding when they said that it contains 'lots' of hops. Either that or my 'lots' is lots different from their 'lots'. Since I've never had a really hoppy English barley wine, I'm not upset in the least.

Malt is in charge, as it should be. Despite the 11% ABV (very well masked by the way) this is not a Big Beer. There isn't an overwhelming amount of malt and the mouthfeel isn't all that thick and isn't syrupy in the least. The flavor profile is focused on cherries and berries macerated in the finest quality fruit brandy. Light caramel and oaky vanilla notes are present as well and provide needed depth and flavor interest.

It's amazing how composed and how gentle this beer is given its age (or lack thereof). I can't imagine that cellaring would do it much good at all since it's exceptionally smooth as is. I like a little more raucousness in my barley wines, but first-timers could do worse than to cut their teeth on this particular beer. I should say 'on beer like this' since the brewery won't be creating any more Old Salty, Perkuno's Hammer, etc. Still hard to believe.

This 2005 version isn't quite the beer that its immediate predecessor was, but it's still a enjoyable sipper that is the very definition of the word mellow. The generous ABV is doing a great job of assuring that some of that mellowness rubs off on me. I sure will miss these quirky little gems put out by the best little brewery in the Garden State. Heavyweight is dead! Long live Heavyweight!

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More User Reviews:
Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of Metalmonk
4.12/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Small tan head reduces to a skim for the duration, but the gorgeous dark caramel color is why this one looks so nice.

BIG malt here, with a syrupy, hoppy kick, and that's just the aroma so far. Some caramel and alcohol come through too. Even a hint of Belgian candy sugar as it warms. Wotta nose.

Scratch that: make it HUGE malt. Almost reaches the point of novelty, but it's not without balance, as hops chip into the profile, as does a caramel/molasses element. Even a slight sourness in the finish, helping to add depth. There's a brandy/plum-like liqueur thing happening as it warms. A bit left-of-center from the traditional barleywine mold.

Mouthfeel is buttery and creamy, surprisingly not as thick as expected from the flavors present. Slight heat thanks to the alcohol, but for 11%, it's masked very well.

Not exactly a quintessential model of the style, but a wonderful left-turn with plenty of character, lots of depth...and gobs of malt.

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Photo of Beertracker
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of Franchise
3.72/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a dark brown with red highlights that leaves a cloudy eggplant body and an off-white head. The smell is terrific, rum soaked fruit, caramel malt, piney hop aroma with a buttery backdrop. The taste is prune juice, with a honey sweetness that stays spicy on the tongue and highly carbonated. The finish is sweet somewhat fruity to balance a minimal hop effort.

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Photo of NiceGuyMike
3.09/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Dark amber in color with nearly no head. Very light aparent carbonation. Smells of nice sweet fruits with some alspice and molassas. Tastes similarly but very much magnified, but without the nice fruitiness. Very strong alcohol does mingle well with the taste, but over all extremely intense flavors. Little carbonation exists, full bodied. Very thick feel when combined with sweetness gives it a syrupy feel which isn't too nice. One beer a night is enough for this guy. And then not every night at that.

Overall I didn't care for this. It was too intense. The smell had me going at first, but the flavors are too much. I've had thier baltic porter and found similar intesity. Not sure of that style either.

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Photo of DarkerTheBetter
2.78/5  rDev -24%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours very dark for a barley wine and has almost no head. Looks more like a porter.

Smells primarily of alcohol and raisins.

Tastes sweet like grape juice, cherries, pine tar and has a caustic alcohol sting to it. There's also a strange oat flavor in the finish.

The mouth feel is awful. Its thick and flat and does nothing to charge up the flavor. However, it is revitalized if you swish it around between your teeth, but I don't think that this treatment should be required for a beer.

I didn’t like this beer so much at first, but the flavor grew on me. It’s just a shame that the mouth feel takes the wind out of the sails of the taste. So, if you can separate the mouthfeel from the flavor, its really rather nice.

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Photo of TastyTaste
4.27/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle hand carried from New York City.

Appearance: Body is very dark maroon, very hazy and murky. Head doesn't last long, quickly fading to only a ring around the glass.

Smell: Sweet toffee up front, raisin, a little smokey, minty, and piney.

Taste: Smooth and highly malty, raisins and coffee. Well rounded, finishing with only a light hoppiness. Not a sharp edge in sight. Very mellow, with an ABV well-hidden. Not as overly sweet as some UK and US offerings, I like that.

Drinkability: Easy, that is the best way to describe it. Flavorful yet mellow, one of the more enjoyable beers in the style, in my opinion .

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Photo of IrishRedRock
2.24/5  rDev -38.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Pours densely flat, with no head to speak of. Only trace of carbonation is the occasional bubble rising to the top. Magenta amber colored black cherry. Cherry notes prevalent in the nose as well as sweet malts and caramel. Wine-like consistency on the palate. Absolutely zero carbonation. Not a whole lot of flavor here either; very mild sherry and red grapes, and the alcohol does not hide. Possibly because there's not much else here to mask it.

Next to drinking this at the brewery, I have to think this is one of the freshest samples, which scares me a little. I can't imagine aging this is going to make it better, but I love and respect Heavyweight so much and the beers that Tom Baker makes that I certainly will buy another bottle or two for the cellar. But I'm not expecting a whole lot. In a blind tasting I'd have guessed this beer was aged for a really long time and had hit its peak years ago. Absolutely flat and lacking flavor, even when warmed to room temperature. Hopefully others have a better experience with this one.

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Photo of beveragecaptain
3/5  rDev -18%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12 ounce bottle. Pours out a dark ruby color with no head at all. In fact, from the pour it appears this beer has no carbonation. Harsh acohol in the nose with some fruit and spice. The flavor is pretty good: Malty with lots of dark fruit and spices. However, the lack of carbonation emphasizes the heavy sweetness and high alcohol. Drinkability suffers. This beer isn't bad, it just tastes like the brewing process is only half finished.

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Photo of jaluria
2.98/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Dark brown in color with an off-white head that left behind a touch of lacing. Aromas of alcohol, plums, malt, and caramelized sugar seemed apparent. The taste is quite malty with a slight hop bitterness in the finish with a astringent aftertaste. The jaw-dropping sweetness of this beer was just too much for me. Flavors of fruit were, for the most part, masked by the taste of alcohol. Just too much going on in this beer without any of it's elements working together. I won't be having this any time soon. A rare miss by Heavyweight.

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Photo of HopStoopid120
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of Foxman
4.04/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It pours a dusty, dusky muddy brown, like light coffee in a clear cup. Initially head-free, a thin halo of whitish foam curls up the side of the glass, and eldritch swirls of fine foam conjures up on the surface. Pin-thin lacing rings the inside of the glass.

The aroma brings a solid hook of toasty grain sweetness from the left, and a jab of currants, dark cherries and caramel from the right. Touches of hops and yeast and alcohol make dutiful cameos to complete the round.

Upon sipping, there comes a storm tide of cooked malt sweetness pushing a cloying clout of cherry and caramel. The prongs of sweetness fade slightly to a more vinous presence, partnered with sinus-tickling tendrils of alcohol. the hops avoid real distinction, but they dampen what could have been a rock-candy runaway sweetness, and they also dry the finishon top of the tongue, granting the sides to a sugary vestige.

Pretty much heavy of body, it has a syrupy way that clings and coats and loiters a while, with a very neutral feel at the close.

It starts by threatening a stampede of overly-cloying cotton candy sweetness, but the artfully cloaked hops work behind the scenes to rein in the maltose avalanche and to help differentiate the distinct but blended elements. That initial scare can't be disregarded, but it can be forgiven. It's a warmer with a muscular ABV that sets the head to swimming, so lack of caution would likely swamp you. Still, it's an enjoyable fireside sipper, a nice release in what has been a strong annual series.

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Photo of cbl2
4.13/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

$8.25 4 pack 11.00% No best by date.


Earth toned and still with a hint of orange, slight bubbles percolate the surface, but a head does not arise.


Sharp biting sugar dominated by alcohol marinated figs, smells dark and earthy.


Mouthfell is superb; flavors begin sweet and plumy with a ripe fig quality that only intensifies as the beer warms. All the while a growing sensation of alcohol warmth ratchets up. Gumballs come to mind for some reason. I liked this in 2004, and the 2005 doesn't disappoint. Not overly complex, this focuses on the malt aspect, largely neglecting hops, but that's ok with me. A fantastic offering from a fantastic brewery that sadly is no more...

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Photo of Vancer
4.02/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Old Salty 2005 really hit the spot! But damn, never saw a pour like that before – hazy oak brown color, but NO head or even much carbonation. Even an aggressive pour resulted in zilch. Glad to see a thick sediment ring on the bottle bottom to up the pour score.

Nice aroma of caramels and malty bourbon, Quaff noted a start of caramel and chocolate malt to start, and a fairly hot bourbon mash finish.

Rich and robust at the beginning of the bottle, thins a little towards the end and as it warms. This was like a glass of mellow sherry, enjoyable and sipable for a hour. But no carbonation or head?

A goodie sent by BRoss242, Gracias!

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Photo of blitheringidiot
3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Stubby screwcap bottle opens with a wimper. Label is a dog in jail.

Pours with a stormy russet hue and a non existant top. Looks like dark tea.

Scents are a nearly quad like deep fig fruit and melon. Some hot heat is detectable. Loads of different fruit scents compond the aromatic situation.

First swigs: Dark fruit takes over. Fig and plum flavors. Even seems to be a belgian yeast strand too. Hmmm...I wonder. Boozy for sure with a rye grain aspect. A bit raisin flavor and focused. Some root beer and much brown sugar sweetness.

Feel is a tad thin for a barleywine however it is still amazingly drinkable. The big ABV is invisible.

Last swigs: A barleywine meets quad. Not sure if this is an American or an English or what!

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Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of Citadel82
4.25/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy garnet into the snifter. Aroma is malty sweet, earthy, alcoholc. Taste is sweet caramel and refined sugar drying to a respectable hoppy finish. There is lots of fruit some alcohol and a nice dry dose of hoppiness at the tail. mouthfeel is thick and slick coating the tongue and palate and enhancing and prolonging the enjoyment of this fine winter brew. I suspect some cellaring isi n order but this brew is so damn tasty it aint going to happen...

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Photo of assurbanipaul
3.34/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy, dull brown, flat, no head even with a rough pour. Aroma is heavy, malty and sweet with dark fruit juice and maple syrup.

Taste is identical to the smell: Heavy syrup, maple flavors, sweet malt. Dark fruit with raisins, prunes, rich with brown sugar. A very light bitter flavor, but no trace of alcohol. A very light brandy or malt schnapps nature.

Mouthfeel is medium for the style, good and clean. Nice for the style but rather one-dimensional. 2005 edition.

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Photo of NoLiberty
3.82/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours from another originally designed Heavyweight bottle into a Chimay goblet. The head is almost non-existent and therefore immediately disappointing. The color however is beautiful - rich walnut color with deep burgundy edging.

The aroma is also subtle and doesn't add much to the experience. Slightly warm with good dried fruitiness.

Taste is incredibly sweet fruit, almost candied. The alcohol is well hidden by flavors of grapes. The finish is not at all clean; lingers and calmly builds. General mouthfeel also leaves something to be desired and also lacks any ability to carry the flavor effectively around the mouth. Carbonation is too noticeably low, almost syrupy.

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Photo of johnniemarg
3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip.

Appearance is a murky, nearly opaque, muddy brown color. No head whatsoever.

The smell is sweet and malty, notes of plum and the alcohol is present as well.

Tastes as earthy as it looks. Smooth. Sweet malt with notes of earth and plum and some alcohol spice.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and oily in texture. Minimal carbonation.

This is a highly drinkable beer. Smooth, but the flavor is not particularly special to me. A little plain.

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Old Salty Barleywine 2005 from Heavyweight Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.66 out of 5 with 21 ratings