Stoudt's Barrel Aged Old Abominable | Stoudts Brewing Co.

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Stoudt's Barrel Aged Old AbominableStoudt's Barrel Aged Old Abominable

Brewed by:
Stoudts Brewing Co.
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Phatz on 12-18-2006

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
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Reviews: 44 | Ratings: 70
Photo of waltonc
3.34/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I'll start with the mouthfeel and appearance. Major gusher alert here. I had to use pliers to get the cork out, and then a volcanic eruption of foam gushed from the bottle. Not a good start. WTF? WAY too much carbonation in this beer. Absolutely absurd four inch head.

S/T: Not a very complex beer. Sweet dark fruit, vanilla, oak, and toffee. Taste is also kind of nutty, with woody tannic flavors.

D: Not drinkable enough to sell in a 750 ml bottle, but that's what Stoudts did anyway, for some bizarre reason. I wouldn't bother with this, given the price.

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Photo of goatgoat
3.41/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks for the opportunity, DIM.

Pours with a head that explodes out of the glass. It starts bubbling up and I think "hell, it's a barleywine, not much will come of it..." seconds later I have a pool of tan foam on my counter and a whiff of whiskey in my nose. The rocky head falls slowly into a thick cap, leaving sticky lace. Color is a clear deep garnet red.

A deep inhalation reveals a spicy wood character. Other players are sweet fruits and a boozy alcohol. Fairly simple in the malt section, but boosted by the barrel aging.

Taste has the whiskey woodiness center stage while the malt character is waiting in the wings. There's a brief flash of citrus American hops late in the sip, but that's quickly shushed by the spicy alcoholic finish.

Seems light for a barleywine, though much of that could be contributed by the carbonation and alcohol dryness.

For me, the balance between whiskey and barleywine is skewed too much to the former. Though I haven't aged any beers, seems like it would mellow that and bring back to center.

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Photo of DrJay
3.88/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of todd1. Thanks!
Clear, tawny brown with a fine beige cap. Good head retention, a bit of sticky lace. Aromas of caramel and vanilla, a little wood, citrus and grass, slightly cheesy. Moderate bitterness, citrus and orange hop flavour hit up front, followed by caramel sweetness. Nicely balanced with some alcohol, oak, and toast. Full bodied, lowish carbonation that gave it a creamy texture, warmth, dry from wood tannins. Solid overall.

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Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
3.9/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to tpd975 for bringing another in a long long line of amazing brews to the weekly tasting. Pours clear copper with thin tan head. The aroma has pulses of sweet dark fruity esters moving into vanilla, oak and booze. The taste is smooth and near silky with malt and dark fruity ester sweetness followed by wood, vanilla and booze. This is just so smooth and tasty and carries a fairly full wood sensation from front to back. It seems to achieve a nice balance between barrel and barleywine notes. Upon further inspection it does lean some toward barrel rather than beer.

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Photo of rhinos00
3.97/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Jettanbass9 for hooking me up with this Christmas in July beer! 750mL split amongst four people. Poured into snifters.

A- Pours copper, amber color. Produced a fingers width of off-white, cream colored head. Dissipated pretty quickly. Mild, soap-like lacing.

S- Very, very nice. Combination of various complexities. Big, sweet malt character with hints of dark fruit in the background. A bit of vanilla and toffee come in the mix as well. The whiskey and toffee almost give off a nutty wood like aroma.

T- The taste suffered tremendously from the extremely high carbonation. From what I was able to pick out, the ingredients in the nose were definitely here, just somewhat muted from the carbonation. After 15 minutes of swirling my glass was I finally able to get a glimpse of the full potential of this beer. Had sweet malt background, with a soft vanilla, wood flavor. A touch of whiskey in there as well with some caramel.

M- As stated above, WAY too much carbonation.

D- For such a big beer, the whiskey barrel aspects had mellowed very nicely and gave off nice vanilla flavors. However, the overcarbonation really kept this beer from giving off its full flavor.

Overall, this was a good BA barleywine, but it did have the potential to be great. Sadly, I will most likely never get to find this out.

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Photo of Zorro
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled through a trade with Northertimber.

Chill hazed medium reddish brown colored beer with a small tan head.

Smell is sweet and fruity with lots of fig, plum and cherry scents. Chocolate and light vanilla and a trace of Bourbon, for a barrel aged beer this one is quite restrained in the whiskey department.

The taste starts out fairly sweet with a substantial brown sugar flavor like a Belgian brown ale. No over powering bourbon flavor here just a slight trace in the aftertaste. Doesn't taste boozy but the burn in the chest suggests otherwise. Slightly smoky but not that much and there is a little bit of oak tannins present.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Not a bad beer but not one I would buy again either. Nothing wrong with this but now that I have tasted it there are many others like it out there that are better. Worth a try once but not good enough that I would seek it out again.

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Photo of AgentZero
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dirty brown with a little reddish tint. Big head with left a little bit of lacing behind.

S - Caramel, toffee, sweetness. The barrel aging is evident in some vanilla notes.

T - Woody barrel influence comes through strongly with strong vanilla and bourbon taste comes through and then is mixed nicely with the caramel and sweet malts.

M - Medium bodied with good carbonation. Feels a little sugary.

D - Fairly drinkable, although I find barleywines get hard to do fast.

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Photo of rtepiak
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a pretty textbook english barley wine. Pour of a murky amber brown brew with a small head. A finger of off caramel head. Nose of bit-o-honey, pollen, malt, and brown sugar. The palate is nice and malty sweet and a nice lemon zest tart. A nice blend that doesn't get separated alcohol/malt liquor.

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Photo of mikey711
4.02/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a monsterous head that has lots of breaks between bottles leaving big gaps. The beer itself is a murky looking brown, but there is some transparency when held in the light. Also one the head settles there is only a mild amount of lacing left behind

S: At first all i could smell was caramel and toffee without a hint of barrel, but as it warmed a bit more there were nice vanilla notes and a touch of smokiness as well as a nice whiskey boozy aroma. A touch of breadiness is also present

T: heavy vanilla note to start that is quite agressive and overpowers but of the caramel and toasted flavors. A very nice whiskey flavor is present as well. A bit more earthy wood presence would have been nice.

M: It has a very nice and smooth feel with no heat present aside from the whiskey. It could be a bit creamier but overall is solid

D: Splitting this bottle is the way to go, but a few glasses would be ok

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Photo of akorsak
4.02/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A corked and caged 765 mL bottle purchased at the brewery approximately one year ago. This has been sitting around so long that I realized I need to check it out.

A: The barleywine is deep amber color, a shade or two lighter than the bottle it was served in. For the record, the bottle is a darker-than-normal amber. The ale appears crystal clear with only a thin strand of carbonation appearing. The head was sizeable, even in this Sam Adams glass and laces nicely all around the mouth.

S: The aroma is barleywine, thick with grainy malts that have a vegetal/tart aroma. Only on deeper searching do some vanilla notes emerge that suggest barrel aging.

T: The first sip is a bit of a disappointment. Despite the evidence of carbonation in the head, the flavor lacks the kick that carbonation would deliver. Getting over that, the barleywine has all the calling cards of some time spent in the barrel. Vanilla notes appear prominently, adding a sweetness to the already sweet barleywine body. As the ale warms the lack of carbonation situation improves, revealing a soft bourbon flavor. The ale is far more bourbon than barleywine, leaving a corn mash finish long after the sip is gone.

M: The sweet bourbon has done wonders on the beer, even with the distinct lack of carbonation. This is a great sippin' beer, one that Stoudt's should repeat regularly.

D: The 9% abv is well hidden within the beer. The mixture of barleywine and bourbon is a nice pairing and this beer does it right, preventing either flavor from dominating.

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Photo of tpd975
4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge thanks goes out to Dim for sending over this rare treat.

A: Pours an orangish hue with a full one finger head. Good retention and lots of floaties in this one. Nice spotty lace all the way down the glass.

S: Nice sweet caramel malt up front. Darkened brown sugar, toffee, and resinous pine with a touch of barrel goodness.

T: Barel comes through nicely in flavor. Nice sweetness from the malt. Caramel, molasses, and brown sugar duel equally. Nice fresh oakiness with a touch of vanilla and a boozy burn.

M: Medium in body, smooth, rich, with great carbonation.

D: Damn fine Barleywine!

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Photo of hoppymeal
4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy, muddy copper and rust color with a good size cream head that very slowly recedes. Aroma of raisins and dates, a soft sweetness, somewhat caramel like mixes with an appley alcohol. Also a little leathery in the aroma. Prune and sweet fruity plums taste hits the palette first, a soft powdered sugar sweetness gently glides across the tongue. Nice leather and woody characteristics are easily noticeable in the taste as well. Definitely not huge in body, on the heavy side of medium, soft and creamy with a decent drying finish and a hint of alcohol at the back of the throat. Very nice beer, decent amt of fruit aroma and taste and the ba characteristics were a nice complement.

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Photo of HimerMan
4.05/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice corked and caged bottle poured into my Delirium Tremens.

Very nice pour, a very nice offwhite head that is fluffy and very aromatic. A ruby brown color, not too dark, with a really nice redish hue in the light and a copper/tan head.

Smell - the hops smell young, as though the finishing hops was really added at the very end of the boil, or an insane was put it. Smells a bit like Kent, but not sure.

Taste - This is a really great aged barleywine, and definitely has the ability to be aged for a while. Nice malts mixed in the the flavor from the barrel, actually really well balanced. Many time a lot of breweries want to make a beer that is barrel aged - this is one where the marriage of barrel aged and a nice barlwywine go together without err.

Overall - this is an excellent brew. I hesitate to give it more than it is worth right now as I believe that this will benefit tremendously from some time in the cellar. As mentioned before, the hops smell very young, and with proper aging and patience, this has potential to get very new characteristics.

Find these, but try them in a few months. You will not be disappointed with this now - but you should love it in time.


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Photo of joepais
4.12/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Dim
This bottle is from the second release.
I spilt the bottle with a few fiends we poured into Portsmouth tulips and it produced a large tan head on top of a reddish brown body.

The aromas of the whiskey barrel are strong on this brew I also picked up some light hops as well. It really became more pronounced as it warmed.

The flavor of the barrel was also the fist to hit you I'm glad I like whiskey. The bitter from the hops and heat from the alcohol come into play as well. This had great carbonation, if you swirled the glass the head would revive all over again. The feel of the brew in your mouth was medium as well

I liked this barleywine but I was glad I spit it. One glass is enough at a sitting. The general conscientious was that this brew is still young and need's some age. I would have to agree. I am glad I have another to due just that. Thanks Dim, I'm sitting on the next bottle for a few years

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big ole 750 received from DIM quite a long while ago.. I shared this one on Saturday at the Pennsylvania vs. Ohio beer tasting.. Thanks a Ton Dan... Probably my most favorite trader ever.. no shit.

Poured into a big balloon wine glass.. good head and lace.. the brew is a crystal clear amber... pretty..

The nose is nice and very balanced.. caramel with toasty malts.. once it warms up a tad, there is a bunch more wood and vanilla blossom

More "English" than American for sure.. fruity esters really are present with some toffee and perhaps too much lite caramel.. a really firm pale malt essence is present from the beginning to the end... the wood is much more "American".. slightly tannic and just enough vanilla.. The body seems a tad light.. maybe the carbonation is a touch high.. but the flavors and the aromas are very very pleasing... Sam seemed to think that I was being to hard on this one.. ehhh.. maybe.. This is actually a 750 that I could probably finish over a couple of hours and never really feel sorry for not sharing.. it takes some time to really open up.

Thanks Dan for the incredible trades... I truly appreciate the sentiment... a good man and a better BA.

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Photo of shamrock1343
4.16/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I have had this bottle since Xmas 2010. Stoudts is a great stop after going to Hershey.

Nice copper color with a great nice white foam head.

A nice barley smell.

The barley at first with a nice hop finish.

A nice smooth mouthfeel

This is a great English Barleywine.

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Photo of Viggo
4.17/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Christmas tasting with biegaman, grub and ThatWineGuy. 750 ml bottle provided by biegaman.

Pours a cloudy orange, light brown, thick off white head, lots of lacing on the glass, settles to a very thick layer and doesn't want to go away. Smell is neat, toffee, lots of wood, fruits, vanilla, rhubarb, apples, some spice, bread, very cool. Taste is very woody, dates, toffee, lots of fruit, vanilla and oak, bread, spicy bitterness, very oaky finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low, soft carbonation, very smooth. The wood is pretty well integrated, this was quite a treat, thanks a ton Jan!

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Photo of Vancer
4.18/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Good grief, been sitting on this BW for years - sent by zrbrrt (wow, he hasn't been on BA for a year now 
In the Get Bombed BA club. MANY THANKS JOSH!

Crisp and clean mahogany brown from the cork and caged 750ml, thin ivory head jumps up but dies quickly. The high alcohol is holding down any lacing.

Woody and resinous barleywine (perfect English style), the orange liquore taste has really mellowed over the years. The barrel aged sherry hints sneak in and add to a marvelous brew. No way this is a 9% brew, way to light tasting.

A great day for this great brew, this sipping brew went down way too easy and quick.

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Photo of fartingdog
4.18/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours with minimal head- a deep rich color with a deep ruby hint. Not too much going on in the aroma- maybe subtle vanilla notes. First impression was that it was a little thin in flavor and on the mouthfeel, but after a few sips it starts to show the complexity. The whiskey flavor is quite subtle. Slight bitterness to the finish.

My first impression was of being a little dissapointed as the maltiness and robustness wasn't there (being more accustomed to the American BWs), but as I work thru the glass, I am finding it quite enjoyable- the flavors are very well balanced and there is no one that dominates. This is somewhat mild compared to US barleywines, but it is definitely in line with an English BW, and a damn fine one at that.

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Photo of ColForbinBC
4.19/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

750mL bottle corked and caged, poured into an imperial pint

Pours deep ruby in color with a two finger light tan head. Head was big and foamy and left some moderate lacing. A mild amount of active carbonation is visible.

The smell is dominated by the barrel aging, Whiskey, oak, figs, plums, raisins, vanilla, cherries, brown sugar, and some lightly toasted toffee. Very broad nose.

The whiskey hits you off the bat then settles to a bready, brown sugar flavor. The fruits, figs/raisins and warm vanilla leave a lingering sweet finish. Very mellow and a little boozy. It was a bit overwhelming at first, but I really warmed up to it.

A medium body with a big, silky feel. The vanilla, cherries and plums really allow for a warm, creamy mouthfeel. A decent amount of booze in the finish.

This guy drinks like a 13%'er. A definite sipper, but very enjoyable. I'm keeping my eyes open for this guy again.

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Photo of rayjay
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Original release, no idea who sent me this beer it was so long ago! Possibly akorsak or zrrbrrt?

Deep carmel colored beer, almost dubbel looking without being so brown. Throws an attractive looking cask-like foam.

Oxidized at this old age. Once you accept and/or learn to overlook the oxidation a wonderful beer appears. Smells and flavors of old school british brewing. None of the heavy, angry alcohol and viscosity of many big American barleywines, this is a big, round, Marris-Otter based ale that remains tamed but expresses it's wild side. Dried fruit esters, but they are balanced. Lots of hops, but the bitterness is gentle and the aroma is mild. Dusty and woody like an old book, and a slight tart note in teh finish as the beer warms. You even learn to enjoy the oxidation in this case.

Stoudts Double IPA is more of a barleywine than this in terms of aggressiveness and alcohol presence, and this beer is more like a big brother to the (retired and sorely missed) Y2K IPA.

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Photo of Sephiroth
4.21/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to hopdog for this bottle. The cork puts up a fuss before coming out, looks like a tobacco sunburst Gibson Les Paul in my glass. Some foam clings to the side. Smells buttery, a little toffee also.

Tastes very restrained for a barrel aged barleywine, but right on for an English one. The bourbon is barely perceptible by itself, instead it melds with the malt to create a puree of flavors, caramel and toffee, vanilla, no tannins from the oak. There are some leafy hops in the background. The beer does not feel thick in the mouth, but maybe a little syrupy. I think this would go well with food, unlike most beers for me. I bet this is great from the cask.

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Photo of nickd717
4.23/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by someone - don't remember who - at DLD. Thanks to whoever it was.

Pours a clear medium reddish-brown color with a small off-white head.

Aroma is very nice: sweet caramel malts, brown sugar, oak, whiskey, and slight fruity notes.

Flavor is also great. Way better than the non-bal aged version, but then again, what isn't? Barrel aging is the best invention since...I don't know...the Sun or something. Sweet caramel malts and toffee - but not too sweet - with brown sugar, candied dates, coconut, oak, whiskey, and vanilla. Very complex. Just the right amount of barrel.

Medium-full bodied with a smooth mouthfeel and medium-low carbonation.

A great barrel-aged barleywine overall. I am impressed, Stoudt's.

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Photo of CrellMoset
4.23/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL corked and caged bottle courtesy of urwutuh8, vintage unknown - 2007, perhaps? Thanks! Poured in to a snifter.

Appearance: A foggy, smoky ruby, crystalline, not hazed but dark enough that it's practically impenetrable. Direct light - you know, like, with a flashlight - reveals numerous streams of dancing bubbles, lively and frisky, racing up with such an energy that they don't even bother following the path of least resistance up the sides of the glass, instead zipping straight to the surface with the utmost haste. Lacing on the sides of the glass leaves a little to be desired, clinging in only a few places and then only halfheartedly.

What's most remarkable about this beer, however, is the height at which the head levels out to and how long it stays at that height. From an initial peak of about two inches, this one began to gurgle and foam downwards, and I assumed it would fade quickly in to oblivion as so many high-abv%/barrel-aged barleywines do. Not this one. Settling down in to a gorgeous one finger of sandy, raw ecru, the surface of the crown is fine and uniform but not without its imperfections, sort of how a freshly fallen snowfield looks on the coldest of mornings. I presume it's being continuously replenished by four years of pent up carbonation in a thinned out body, but: 1) I can't tell due to the opacity of the body, and 2) who cares? It looks great.

Aroma: Plums, raisins, cherries, all glazed in an abnormally springy brown sugar and macerated with 30-year-whiskey. A very cola-like nose, equal parts prune juice and Dr. Pepper, with hints of vanilla, cocoa, stone fruit, coconut, and cinnamon oil mingling with herbal hops and wet cardboard oxidation.

Taste: Dry and vinous, malty and fruity, spicy and smooth, this is a beer of contrast and dichotomies. This one's all over the place in a good way (that's another way of saying it's complex). First, speaking to style, it's decidedly English - strong fruityness, roasted and toasted malts, and a lightly bitter and herbal hop backing provide a great palette for the whiskey. But more on that in a moment.

The malt base is dry but robust: glassy, dark toffee is halfway between caramel and toast and bookended by both of the aforementioned, along with hints of raw and brown sugar. The fruit sugars are even more fantastic - the interplay between yeast esters, hops, and malt sugars gives suggestions running the gamut and hitting every stop in between. Plum, apricot, cherries, and the slight tartness of figs are some of the most prominent notes, but definite raisins bring up the rear. Sherry-like oxidation weaves in and out of the fruit notes as well as the whiskey and barrel overtones, a masterful if inadvertent side effect of aging this one for what I believe to be about four years now. The barrel adds plenty of vanilla and coconut, though the spice, heat, and burn of the whiskey has certainly faded with age - it's now a well-refined tingle, with the spice mingling well with the aforementioned flavors. It's almost cola-like at points, maybe reminiscent of root beer

Mouthfeel: A little overcarbonated at the beginning and a little undercarbonated near the end for too long, this one spends a little too small a block of time in that nice sweet spot. The body itself is generally not that sticky, fairly well attenuated, with a tad hint of slick oilyness contributed by the hop addition, perhaps. I imagine it's also thinned out slightly by the barrel contribution.

Drinkability: An interesting bag. My one biggest complaint was that - after 4 years - despite what this one had gained in mellow smoothness and maturity, it had lost a lot of its bang, its flavor, its panache. It's at a good point now, though I'm not sure it's at a great one, and I can't tell in which direction it ought to improve (i.e., if it's past its prime or coming in to it). I'm inclined to say past its prime, due to the relative lack of intensity contributed by the whiskey and the slight oxidation and high attenuation of the base beer. As it stands, it's a 9% abv English barleywine - with no hint of heat, and only slight spiciness and hints of estery alcohol notes suggesting its true alcohol content - that's not all about the whiskey, though it may have at one time been. If you got 'em, I'd say drink 'em now - it's likely not dropping downhill quickly (as it's still quite good), but it may get there eventually.

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Photo of sponberg
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly cloudy dark amber with a finely beaded white head, which soon leaves but a trace of its former glory. Aroma of vanilla and bourbon, faint earthy hops, and toffeeish malt, with an alcoholic component coming on strong as it warms.

Starts with a combination of toffee-like, almost marzipan-like, maltiness - I've noticed this sweet-almond flavor in more than one bourbon aged beer and really enjoy it - with an underlying bitterness and a fruity, aromatic warming surge o' alcohol. The alcohol grows as it warms, as it should IMO. There are hops, but their presence is solely flavor and bitterness, contributing an apricotlike flavor in the middle somewhere. This baby's got a lot of cool flavors going on and manages to tie them together very nicely. Finishes as it started. Great, slick, smooth body - not lacking at all. The sheer weight of the thing prevents more than two at a sitting.

I wonder how this would age - it tastes like it's had a lot of time to self-contemplate already, and I don't know that another year or two would do much for it.

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Stoudt's Barrel Aged Old Abominable from Stoudts Brewing Co.
4.18 out of 5 based on 70 ratings.
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