Old Knucklehead Barleywine | BridgePort Brewing Co. / Brewpub

BA SCORE
88
very good
222 Ratings
Old Knucklehead BarleywineOld Knucklehead Barleywine
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
BridgePort Brewing Co. / Brewpub
Oregon, United States
bridgeportbrew.com

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Todd on 12-16-1998

BEER STATS
Ratings:
222
Reviews:
98
Avg:
3.98
pDev:
11.81%
 
 
Wants:
44
Gots:
24
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 222 |  Reviews: 98
Photo of graybayou
2.25/5  rDev -43.5%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

Overpowering taste of sickly alcohol.

37 characters

Photo of charlesw
2.3/5  rDev -42.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

On the dark side of murky, orange. No head. Weirdly bitter and unbalanced. Bitter... Well, not as bitter as a Pliny, but it definitely reminds me of one. I imagine that all good barleywines are. The problem, here, is that there is no body/sweetness to balance that out. So, for an American BW what this has is hops. It could use malt and body.

Call it an American Strong Ale and you're probably fine. Maybe even an Old Ale (well, drop the hops, up the color). But BW? Nah.

 473 characters

Photo of bespin15
2.5/5  rDev -37.2%

Photo of drone
2.62/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Photo of jakon
2.69/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

22oz bottle purchased $4.49 on 4-2-8 at Whole Foods Portland.

This beer pours a copperish hue with a needing-to-be forced two finger tan head that recedes at an average pace while leaving behind uniform rings of sticky lacing.

Not picking up much bourbon in the aroma. Mostly a caramel/brown sugar sweetness sitting atop a malt backbone and a very light hop presence. Grain alcohol.

The taste first reminds me of malt liquor. I can taste the bourbon, but it comes across very raw and medicinal. The hops provide bitterness, but not much in the way of the more subtle flavors.

Overall, this was a disappointment for me. It's an ok beer, but I was just expecting something better.

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Photo of smttycty
2.88/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It took a second aggressive pour from the bomber to get a decent crown. Good legs and decent lacing on my snifter. Reddish brown semi-opaque body. The nose was nice but not pronounced. Peaty sweet malt tones with an obvious alcoholic hit.

The first sip stopped me in my tracks. I looked at the bottle again. Yes, it says barley wine very clearly. This is the driest version of the style i've ever sampled. Not really what I want from a BW. Lots of alcohol, but no real off flavors to stop me. There is hop character in back but it doesn't linger. Kind of an oaky bourbon thing with a clean finish. The carbonation is just right for the medium to heavy bodied brew.

Weird! Definitely not what I'm look for in a barley wine, but drinkable in a one-before-bedtime kind of way. Either way, with BridgePort's long history in the craft beer world I think they need to practice a little more on this style.

 901 characters

Photo of FtownThrowDown
3/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a auburn brown in color with a reddish highlights.
Smells of spent hops and slight malts.
No barrel aging or bourbon to be found in this beer at all. Still a good amount of spent hops showing in the flavor. Still a good amount of carbonation going on in the flavor. Nothing special gong on here. Move on.
Drinkable, but nothing special.

 342 characters

Photo of mhaugo
3/5  rDev -24.6%

Photo of ricecracker420
3/5  rDev -24.6%

Photo of Kiniey01
3/5  rDev -24.6%

Photo of BigMikie
3/5  rDev -24.6%

Photo of jrob21
3/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of JoelClark
3/5  rDev -24.6%

Photo of BlueSpader
3.19/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.23/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a deep amber color with a tiny head of white foam. The head fades super fast leaving almost no lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the beer consists of a mix of a sweet and hoppy smells. The strongest of the aromas is that off a caramel smell, which is mixed with some fruity smells of raisin and plum. The hoppy smells are mainly herbal and earthy in nature, with these aromas all mixing with a decently strong boozy oak smell producing a rather moderately hopped and boozy aroma overall.

Taste – The taste begins a mix of sweet and hop as was depicted in the nose. Some caramel and a little bit of molasses are the forefront of the sweet and are mixed with a hint of apple and raisin at the start. Along with the sweet, is a little bit of hop, with it mainly of an earthy and herbal nature. The two hop flavors grow stronger and stronger as the taste advances to the end and are joined by a decent boozy taste. The boozy taste begins initially as a more warming vodka flavor, with it taking on more and more oak and sharp booze as the taste gets to the end. With the sweet fading a little bit and slight increase in the maltiness, one is left with a rather boozy, harsh, and somewhat sharply hopped barleywine flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is quite thin for a barleywine of 9.2% with a carbonation level that is on the slightly higher side. A thicker body and lower carbonation would have certainly been better for the style and made for a more flavorful and less boozy tasting brew overall.

Overall – Not really one I enjoyed too much. The hops were OK, but the oaky and harsh booze mixed with a little bit of sweetness at the end really took away from the beer as they just did not meld very well. For those reasons and the rather poor mouthfeel, the brew make for one that I will not frequent too often.

 1,949 characters

Photo of bkeller04
3.25/5  rDev -18.3%

Photo of AxesandAnchors
3.25/5  rDev -18.3%

Photo of Bloodbuzz99
3.25/5  rDev -18.3%

Photo of Whiskeydeez
3.25/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Tone
3.42/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 2.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, mahogany. 1/4 inch head of an off-white color. Slight retention and slight lacing. Smells of sweet malt, alcohol, yeast, liquor, and slight wood. Fits the style of an American Barleywine. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with an average carbonation level and a noticeable bitterness. Tastes of sweet malt, alcohol, yeast, liquor, strong hops, and slight wood. Overall, strong body, liquor dominated body and aroma, and weak appearance.

 456 characters

Photo of Gavage
3.43/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: clear deep dark burgandy in color with a nice 1/4" head that slowly faded. Some spots of lacing developed.

Smell: general sweetness and a bit of alcohol are picked up by the nose.

Taste: strong malt level here with prunes and raisins bringing an extra sweetness. A bit of dark chocolate is detectable and this is mildy bitter. Alcohol is definitely noticeable.

Mouthfeel: basically smooth, almost syrupy on the tongue. Heavy bodied. Flavors last forever on the tongue after swallowing.

Drinkability: so-so. The overall flavor was a bit better than average but this just did not excite me at all to think about having another. Try it but your mileage may vary...

 686 characters

Photo of bditty187
3.44/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

No 011, 2003 edition with Fred Eckhardt on the label.

Murky bloody cherry-brown in hue, when held to a light influences of tawny-gold are found. It is a lovely color. A beige head reached a sad fourth of a finger in height and it quickly faded to a collar. The subsequent lacing was nil. The nose is a big burst of alcoholic fruit juice, strong aromas of cherries, plums, pineapple, and raisins with suggestions of sugar, nutmeg, and bubblegum too. The potency is huge. Big, round maltiness. I really like the bouquet, fantastic fruitiness; I can’t wait to see if the palate can match this intensity. Mouthwatering inviting. It is drinking time. The palate is disappointing. Period. Where are the flavor complexities? Upfront is alcohol heat, sugar, and a bit of yeasty spice, in the middle the maltiness is flat, it tries to be juicy and amble but this attempt is paper-thin. The finish quickly pushes through as a suggestion of tropical fruit and plums find a home. However the alcohol heat reemerges and it just sat on my lips. It burns. The promised fruitiness of the nose is never delivered. Where the hell is the enjoyment? Is this sample just too young? The sugariness becomes cumbersome. This is felt in the mouthfeel too, I found it very thin, especially for such a big beer, medium-light in body. The carbonation is also small. The drinkability is low because the alcohol is harsh and the palate is lacking in complexities and is basically unrefined. Couple this with the fact I can’t see myself drinking this again. There are way to many great barleywines I could spend my money on. I bought one 12-ounce bottle in Loveland, CO. I could not recommend this.

 1,672 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
3.47/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hits those brown and dark red notes with a noticeable degree of sediment/solid particulate floating around. is it yeast? Aroma imparted caramel sweetness and a little bit of cascade hoppiness.

Came off like an imperial winter warmer. Dark fruit like bitterness enhanced by the hopping. Some woody malt tones bringing in toffee notes to balance the caramel. Malting isn't super heavy. Prolly thinner than your average barleywine.

 435 characters

Photo of bcsbeer
3.49/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Deep ruby caramel tan head speckled lacing lines the snifter. Aroma: Deep alcohol and fruit surrounded by a barrage of caramel toned malts and a mild hop character. Taste: Piney bitterness comes to the palate unbalanced heavy handed on bitterness not enough hop flavor or sweetness to even everything out, plus it lacks a big lucious alcohol infused fruit finish that I was craving from a barleywine. Mouthfeel: Medium body smooth soft carbonation. Drinkability: I have to mark this down due to the unbalance overall a decent west coast b-wine but nothing I would crave to get all the time.

 602 characters

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Old Knucklehead Barleywine from BridgePort Brewing Co. / Brewpub
3.98 out of 5 based on 222 ratings.
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