Old Boardhead Barleywine Ale | Full Sail Brewing Company

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Old Boardhead Barleywine AleOld Boardhead Barleywine Ale
Very Good
382 Ratings
Old Boardhead Barleywine AleOld Boardhead Barleywine Ale

Brewed by:
Full Sail Brewing Company
Oregon, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Murph on 05-14-2002

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 382 |  Reviews: 289
Reviews by Nerudamann:
Photo of Nerudamann
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a snifter glass.

Look - extremely clean looking amber or dark copper color, clear, with about 2 fingers of slightly dark off-white colored foam that rises fast and dissipates slowly.

Smell - definite hoppiness, but in a clean and crisp way. I'm not personally familiar with the hops, but an efficient mix seems to have been made.

Taste and Mouthfeel - a bit "grapey" in the feel as it sits in the mouth, already tingling a bit. Definite bite from the hops, which aren't cut back down by much. Still, the abv isn't permeating as much as it could. Texture is a bit fizzy but well-balanced.

Drinkability - bitterness is a little intense, but not in a bad way. Very nice complexity, and overall very drinkable.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of pat61
4.69/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: Slight chill haze clears as it warms to a brilliant deep amber to chestnut under a rapidly dissipating ½” off white foam collar that grips the glass producing thin sheets of lace.
S: Sweet big vanilla caramel nose with traces of wine and alcohol
T: Not as sweet on the palate as on the nose – the finish is a cascade of fruit and candy, some citrusy hops in the finish that grow in the after taste
F: chewy, creamy, warming, lacy, medium low carbonation
O: A big, bold barley wine for evening sipping.

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Photo of oberon
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

04 reserve bottle:Poured a rich bronze with a big 2 finger fluffy head that leaves sheets of lace as it settles into a nice frothy top.Whoo the Pacific NW presence hop profile is defiently in the aroma extremely piney and cedery its presence intermingles nicely with a juicy fruit and brown suger malt characterisitics.Very balanced barleywine quite sweet caramely upfront with a hint of brown suger but a real big piney,resiny hoppiness finishing alcoholic and warming.A real Pacific NW style barleywine here hopped to the tilt 91 IBU's,very tasty but one bomber is plenty for me as it sneaks up on ya.

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

Appearance – This ABW was a dark and murky orange in color with a moderate but very retentive head that left white foamy pits on top of the liquid.

Smell – The sugars here are huge for an Americanized BW. I’m guessing that it has really “malted up” over the last year or so. The sugars are winey, more like a dessert Riesling, then anything else.

The hops are light and hard to find. I can pick up some nice, sappy pine though and some rather strong spicing. The moderate alcohol notes rounded out the aroma nicely.

Taste – The taste follows the smell. This ale has big, granular sugars, light summer fruits, a piney hop balance (that is certainly a compliment only to the huge sugary base), and a sharp but respectful alcohol taste.

Mouthfeel – I really enjoyed the mouthfeel of this ale. It was full-bodied for sure, with a lot of sensations from the sugars and piney hops that released tons of saliva with every sip. The flavors were consistent right through to the finish, and the stiff but mindful alcohol was just right for a heavy beer like this.

Drinkability – This ale will go with just about any big dish but I really enjoyed drinking it on its own. It’s extremely well balanced (not a heavy-handed PacNW ABW . . . not that there’s anything wrong with that) heavy-hitter that proves itself to be the real deal year after year.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Full Sail. Unknown vintage. Appears brown with red-orange highlights and a thin tan head. Aroma of booze sugar, hop oils, sweet fruits such as melons, berries, and cherries. Sweet, sticky, and boozey feel but no alcohol is present in the flavor, just rich dark fruits and piney hops. There is also a hint of licorice. Extremely drinkable for a Barley Wine.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
3.87/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2005 vintage bomber.

Pours super hazy dark orange with an inch of light tan head on top. Looks murky! Aromas of deep rich caramel along with dark dried fruit accents and raisins. Puffs of alcohol as well.

First sip brings sweet caramel malts, fruity, raisiny and slightly spicy flavors as well. Bitter, herbal hops on the finish. No noticeable alcohol or oxidation.

Medium bodied, smooth and malty. Tasty stuff overall. Goes down easy and is holding up fine after 4 years. This is a good candidate for the cellar!

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Photo of blitz134
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2005 vintage.

Nice, clear caramel body with some reddish hues. Offwhite head that settled down to an inch thick. Lots of carbonation bubbles rise to the surface to support it. Lacing forms rings and sheets on the glass.

Caramel and cotton candy sugar sweetness. Lightly toasted malts along with some dark fruit aromas. Still has a piney hoppy aroma to finish it off.

Dark caramel and brown sugar flavors. A good bit of toasty malts, especially in the finish. Dark fruits, raisin and some plum. Pine and resin hops still linger, a bit of earthiness. A bit of an alcoholic edge, but nothing harsh. Maybe time has helped to smooth this one out.

Nice full, super smooth mouthfeel with just a touch of crispness from the carbonation.

This is a really nice beer. Super easy to drink even at its abv level. Good flavor profile and aroma. Nice body and smooth alcohol.

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Photo of JasonA
3.28/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 of 2 22oz bomber's received in trade, thanks KyGuy

Reserver 07 pours a translucent amber with only a bit, not even a finger, of head. Lacing present, even islands in the middle of the chalace.

Smells a flowery boquet (different but nice) grapefruit. Some ABV present. Not getting any hops, but very floral. Almost yeasty, wheaty, but I dare not say it.

Defininte piney hop finish. Strange bicuit, quite dry. This brew is more hop than malt. I know its an American BW, but I want malt. Much more malt. Im not getting it here. I got more hops, more dry biscuit than malt. Disappointed

Im getting more DIPA than BW. Where is my malt? Sits well like a BW, nice mouth carbonation. Creamy yet hoppy as desired in an American BW.

Its pretty drinkable, more as a DIPA/DPaleAle than Barley Wine. I mean I get some of the malt, but gosh ... the presence is overcome by the hops.

I got 1 more in tow for a couple years. Not sure there is much more to develop, but if kmore ABV/malt comes out it will be worth it

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Photo of NWer
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

Photo of Beaver13
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle, 2006 version. Pours a copper amber with a creamy white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is caramel, toffee and sweet melon with some biting peppery alcohol.

The flavor is a little sweet caramel and melon followed by a big harsh bitter hop and alcohol bang. It's pretty brash and over the top, but mellows some as I drink it. The mouthfeel is medium to full with smooth soft carbonation.

Overall, a nice American barley wine. It's very in your face, but not too much to not be enjoyable.

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Photo of Jason
4.27/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz brown bomber with a brewed on date on the side of the label, this is a beer to cellar or drink now … I could not wait.

Appearance: Deep reddish amber, hazed from the sediment but the lace is stunning. Almost looks like frothed milk on top.

Smell: Huge woody and veggie hop with a mind pungency of citrus and sweet pin sap. A sugary malty rummy sweetness hits the nose with a side of earthy yeast.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Smoothness is sublime, creamy slick mouth feel lift the heavy malt body down the throat. A whole lot of hops tear through the palate with a pungent bitterness, veggie flavour and citric rind overtones. Maltiness is there with some sweetness but seem to get pummeled by the hops a bit, they don’t hurt the malt that much just more or less make it cry into a soft submission. Good amount of alcohol warmth. Touch of yeast, ripe fruit (pears) and a layered caramel buttery flavour are throughout.

Drinkability & Notes: A godly brew, beers like this make me weep. First of all I can’t get it on a regular basis and may never have this beer again. Secondly I am so sad about the first I can’t remember. This Barleywine rocks! Oh yeah, it went great with some bbq chicken pasta topped with fresh feta.

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Photo of warriorsoul
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Many thanks to skyhand for this one...been sitting on it for a bit and had a hankering for a barleywine bomber...this is my selection.
Pours a light cherry color with half a finger of white head...thin, spotty lacing forms as it fades away.
Semi sweet in the nose...strawberries, citrus, and not much else...quite faint in the aroma.
The taste is where this one takes off...more of that fruity flavor, again strawberries with a bubble gum goodness.
This is the 2005 reserve and the hops are still tremendous...bittering the heck out of this bw and exactly what I was seeking. Too many hoppy barleywines oxidize fast, but this one is holding up beautifully.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied and the carbonation is a touch high...the alcohol is never really tasted, just a warming heat which comes with any beer pushing 9%.
A sipper this evening, but certainly drinkable as any in the style.
Very impressed with this brew from Full Sail...will need to find again.

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Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

'04 edition.

Color is a copper-infused dark honey. THICK head here. Lasted forever and really soaped up the glass. Lots of sweetness in the nose: brown sugar, Heath bars. There's just a faint note of a citrusy hop character as well. Flavor is decent. Very sweet. Lots of alcohol burn (too much?). The hops are able to poke through moreso than in the aroma, but don't do much to stop the avalanche of sweetness (bottle says 91 IBU...). Thick and creamy mouthfeel. Sits on the palate nicely and sticks to the ribs. Not as drinkable, due to the fiery burn in the belly. I wonder what older versions taste like after some additional aging?

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Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased on my beercation at Holiday. 2006 release. Pours with a big head which settles quickly. Dark amber in color. Smells sweet & a little boozy. The taste is a fairly balanced mix of sweet, malt, and hops; tasty but not outstanding. Mouthfeel is a little thin for a barley but it is drinkable with an ABV of 9% and not much of an alcohol burn. A solid brew.


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Photo of magictrokini
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours murky brown with red highlights and a short off-white head. Nice lacing. Musty, malty aroma with wood, leather, and caramel. More caramel malt and leather in the taste, but blended nicely with the hop bitterness. The alcohol is warm but masked well. Long, sweet finish. A great barleywine.

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Photo of deebo
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of kingcrowing
1.37/5  rDev -64.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

22oz bottle poured into a sample, 2006 vintage.

Not good. Really not good. Infected and gross.

Pours a golden honey color with a small white head. Nose is sour and funky.

Taste is sour and tart its just a horrible drain pour. Mouthfeel is light and super sharp. Very bad.

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Photo of masikon
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazed amber-orange with a fuzzy off-white head on top. Smell is rich of sweet caramel and peppery alcohol, less hop aroma than expected. Taste is massive with a very full mouthfeel, licorice is very present and easily detected along with plenty of earthy malt....hop profile is present but not overdone, comes through with a slight citrus profile and the finish is tingly with spicy alcohol. A very good barleywine, full sail should be proud. This was the 2004 edition...perhaps that accounts for the more mellow hop profile than other American barleywines I have tried?

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

Pours a slow thick ruby brown red. Love the sweet smell. Hops not where I expected, nor as plentiful.

All kinds of taste sensations may be more readily recognizable because of the lack of hop domination in the flavor profile. Molasses, toffee seem there. Tastes like it was slightly aged in a plain barrel.

Mouthfeel, even more, some potential tart fruit, bitterness grows. Drinkability is tough, its a challenging beer, although one of the cheapest in this format.

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Photo of ADR
4.49/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

For 2002...

Creamy, creamy head of decent duration, somewhat murky garnet appearance. Spicy and hoppy aroma, some sense of ginger snap to the malty part of the nose...nice. Wow, another combat scenario between hops and malt, and its close to an all out offensive. Ginger and cinnamon augment a raw cocoa impression but are immediately countered by a sting of oily resiny hop...low carbonation lets this counterpunching complexity have full reign. Finishes with just a touch of a coating diacetyl and with a hiccup of alcohol and aftertaste. Big, big flavor profile here...a cheek twister.

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Photo of kevwcamp
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a snifter)
'08 on the bottle
A- The beer has a pretty dense brown body that glows red at the base with a creamy beige head that is bubbly on top but sticks to the glass in sheets after each sip.

S- The slight musty aroma turns into a new sneaker aroma with hops as the beer warms. There is a slight toasted grain note that also comes through as it warms and the finish of green hops smells fresh.

T- The rich slightly sweet taste of caramel malt gives way to a snappy slightly pungent hop finish that has note of pine and earth in it. There is a bit of a musty quality that also comes through in the finish as the beer warms.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a soft alcohol heat that finishes the beer nicely and enhances the hops a bit.

D- The big piney hops have some full pungency to them which is nice but overpowers the malt to much and moreso as the beer warms. I think with a few years of age this would be a different beer but I'm not sure there is enough malt to make it an interesting beer.

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Photo of LXIXME
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

Photo of IntriqKen
4.42/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear reddish orange with a small off-white head that melts quickly to a faint ring that is very sticky none-the-less.

Aroma is sweet, candied fruit...some lemon and orange citrus but mostly tangerine with some nice candied malt aromas.

Flavor is sweet light amber malt with lots of the candied fruits...again, mostly tangerine citrus, then some very fresh, green hops at the end.

Very unusual and light for a barleywine. Even lighter than many DIPA's I've had.

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

2009 Reserve bomber.

This beer pours a hazy orange-amber hue, with one finger of creamy off-white head, which leaves an elevated band of lace around the glass. It smells strongly of caramel nougat malt, and citrus cream. The taste is quite in line with the aroma - sweet creamy caramel malt, orchard fruit - cherry and plum, more evident as it warms, and a very mildly astringent alcohol warming. The carbonation is pretty much AWOL, the body big, in a new-money sort of way, smooth, but still tormented by the belligerent citrus hops, which carry through the off-dry, even finish.

A very representative example of what I like in a new world barleywine. Weighty, but well divided between the dousing malt, and supportive, sanity-providing fruity, bitter hops. Still moderately crazy in its own right, and plenty drinkable by the same measure.

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Old Boardhead Barleywine Ale from Full Sail Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.86 out of 5 with 382 ratings