Old Boardhead Barleywine Ale
Full Sail Brewing Company

Old Boardhead Barleywine AleOld Boardhead Barleywine Ale
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American Barleywine
Ranked #249
Ranked #14,984
3.89 | pDev: 11.57%
Full Sail Brewing Company
Oregon, United States
Very Good
Old Boardhead Barleywine AleOld Boardhead Barleywine Ale
Reviews: 290 | Ratings: 384 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by Traquairlover:
Photo of Traquairlover
3.77/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Colts9016 for this bottle.

22-oz bottle poured into a snifter. 2007 vintage.

A = Slightly hazy medium amber with bone white foamy head, decent retention, medium lacing.

S = Sweet floral smells and even some almost soap like smells (in a god fresh way, not in a bad off way), light syrup with a little almond.

T = Slightly oaky, nice bitterness throughout beginning at front of tongue and really kicking in mid-palate and through a long finish.

M = A little too thin bodied, decent mouthcoating and level of carbonation that is present but not too stinging.

D = I enjoyed this beer, but between the bitterness and thinness, I'd have to rank it's drinkability down just a little. Still a very nice beer though and I would be happy to drink more of them.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of pat61
4.69/5  rDev +20.6%
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 csfcmitchell
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of sprucetip
4.16/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From notes. Pours very clear amber, active, modest off white head recedes gradually, pathcy lacing. Beautiful. SMELL richly sweet and malty, boozy, and banana estes up front. Dark fruit, faint grassy hops. Has legs. TASTE backing hop bitterness right there balancing the huge malty bases. Banana esters, boozy notes, and dark fruit follow. Strong sweet and bitter influences battle and balance, mostly, with some lingering bitterness. Sharper edges rounded off by the end. FEEL rich, full bodied and viscous. Alc warming, and some bitterness and drying in the finish. OVERALL fairly complex and balanced. Full, rich and tasty. Bit of lingering bitterness and dryness help make sure this one is sipped. Better than most Full Sail. At $4 a bomber, a hell of a deal!

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.03/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2006 vintage
May 2009:
Poured a deep copper amber color with a big dirty white head. Carbonation was big on this one. Nose is caramel, brown sugar, astringent a bit. Taste is light cocoa undertones, astringent, caramel, brown sugar and even a cheap wine like taste or texture. Not tasty at all. Mouthfeel is thin and not to pleasing, left a bad taste in my mouth. Wont try again and disappointing.Perhaps past its prime.
2008 vintage
August 2009:
Much nicer and creamier. More character with hop bite, caramel being more pronounced versus the 2006. Two years would be it for this brew.
2012 vintage
September 2012:
A: Ruddy ruby like color with moedrate carbonation presenting a nice white cap which quickly fades

S: Very faint, some sherry like notes and lighter fruits

T: Some sweetness, a fruit basket meets some sherry like wine characteristics but then flavor just sordove falls flat with a dry, lightly sweet finish and light bitterness. Booze is masked well.

M: Medium to big body, well carbonated

O: Average bwine but for $6 a bomber you cant go wrong.

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Photo of irishevans
3.37/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

pours a haze of orange in the body and a yellow/orange/tan head, with pretty nice retention. it seems to me to smell an awful lot like cohoho, a touch more malty and a major hop presence. the taste is dry and citrus all the way through and a "pale" floral finish. the mouth-feel is crisp and grows more so as it goes on, the yeast makes it a mid/slow drinker. overall not a bad choice, try her out if your into IPAish american barleywines, or even if like me you prefer a more malty selection, it's pretty good.

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Photo of AKBelgianBeast
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Old boardhead vintage 06

pours a dark peachy brown haze with amber tints. little head, but significant for a BW. Nose indicates that it is a very american style (west coast particularly) as it is clearly hop dominant. The taste follows with citrus and pine hop flavors. There is a clear malt presence here all the way through, but the hop flavors do dominate. If you like old ruffian you will probably like this. there are some sugary backbones, but mostly a hop bitter finish. A good offering from full sail. I am excited to see how the ones in my cellar do in 5 or so. Good brew.

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Photo of optiontwo
3/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

22oz. poured into generic pint glass
Why do barley wines always have old in their name?
Appearance: Clear brown/red with lots of streaming bubbles. A pretty two inch cream colored head sits on top with good retention.

Smell: Lots of American hops. Citrus bouqet, orange, grapefruit, lemon, with some spiciness and plenty of caramel malt. Smells like a pretty solid barley wine, let's find out.

Taste: The hops from the aroma don't come through in the taste as much as I expected making this a very malty barley wine. There's still a little bit of grapefruit and pine poking through but it is mostly caramel driven. Not a whole lot going on. Finishes bitter and dry.

Mouthfeel: Even though I could see all those bubbles in there when I first poured it this beer is lacking carbonation. The fact that it doesn't have enough carbonation makes it too smooth and creamy.

Drinkability: Not so horrible that I won't finish it, but I wouldn't want anymore.

Overall: The feel and texture of this beer is where it really suffers but it could also use a little bit more complexity in the taste. There's so many great barley wines out there, I'd pass on this one. Can't beat the price though, 4 bucks for a bomber.

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Photo of nmann08
4.75/5  rDev +22.1%

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

A big 22oz bottle of the 2008 vintage from my man ritzkiss - thanks Eric!

Pours a deep and rich orange with a white head that diminishes to a collar and leaves a few streaks of lace. Classic American b-wine nose of citrus mixing in with toffee is also joined by light floral notes. Light citrus (orange and grapefruit) gives a decent bitterness at first sip, but this soon gives way to a big toffee body, with lots of brown sugar. Spicy and warming finish points to the alcohol, which is otherwise well-concealed. Mouthfeel is just below full, with a light and smooth carbonation. Straightforward and easily drinkable... I liked this one.

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Photo of maximum12
3.08/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A bottle of the 2007 split in half. Thanks to wasatch for the bottle, traded for it before I realized it would come to Minnesota this past year.

The Board is a rather murky, amberesque shade of red, nothing clear about this beer, my dear. Smell is nothing special, mostly alcohol.

Taste is a rather unsettling mix of sweet, heavy, & more alcohol. I don't think I could've had the whole bomber if I'd tried.

A rather standard, unremarkable American Barleywine.

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Photo of JAHMUR
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of darklordlager
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Full Sail Old Boardhead Barleywine '08
A: Surprisingly--opens to a bit of foaming over. Pours a dark garnet, bordering on a light brown with a good 1/2" head that sits stably. Looks very confident. Nice lacing as it goes down the glass.

S: Dark fruit and citric hops dominate. 2-row and loads of caramel malt, along with a hint of malt extract. The hops take on a lemony-pineapple quality, which is interesting. Alcohol is detectable in the dark fruit, which gives it only a slight medicinal quality. A nice raw/grainy scent comes out a bit more after it warms some. Not unpleasant by any means.

T: Dark fruity with caramel malt up front, fading into a grainy 2-row malt base with some bitterness from the hops. Nice and citric near the finish, which lets you know the hops haven't quite faded away yet. Light prune and fig are noticeable, but certainly not in-your-face. Alcohol is fairly well incorporated, yet it sticks out a bit--could probably use another year or two at least. The nice residual bitterness from the hops aids in giving it a "refreshing" element.

M: Low-medium carbonation (perhaps I accidentally shook the bottle a bit before opening?) and avoids the syrupy quality some barleywines can have, for the most part as least (just a bit syrupy).

D: A well done and affordable barleywine from a brewery I am just getting acquainted with. Could definitely use another year or two on it to mellow out the alcohol and meld the hops and malt, but after that--I see this being a very good barleywine.

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Photo of PeprSprYoFace
3.23/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my Old Guardian glass. Pours a redish amber color with a small head that dissapated fast. Nice lacing though.

Smell is not much. Smells kind of like an IPA past it's prime. Kind of like a DFH 90min.

Taste is pretty good. I like my barelywines heavy. Needs more malt backbone to lessen the alcohol burn. Bitterness is good.

Mouthfeel is too thin but carbonation is good.

Overall I would drink this again if given to me but I prob wouldn't spend my money on it. Maybe if I could get it on tap somewhere.

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Photo of bum732
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2009 bottle pours a hazy burnt orange, decent creamy head that dissipates. Smells of rich caramel and toffee, some dark fruits, hint of chocolate. Tastes of caramel malt with just a touch of chocolate roastiness. Just a bit of hop fruitintess melds with some bolder dark fruit flavors. Moderate clean bitterness leads to a slight sweet roastiness along with a prominant alcoholic bite. Moderate mouthfeel.

A solid barleywine, nice flavors with good bitterness to counter. Quite drinkable except for the fairly strong alcohol. Mouthfeel was a tad thin, but overall, very enjoyable.

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Photo of DmanGTR
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of ckeegan04
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Vibrant amber and orange with a thin off-white head. Lots of bubbles quickly rising to the top. Clear color.

S - Rich malty aroma, lots of caramel. Strong alcohol aroma as well. Citrusy hoppiness present as well. Very malt forward aroma.

T - Very sweet initially with some brown sugar and caramel. Alcohol quickly provides a nice warming. Hops are present but dominated by the malt and alcohol. Some citrus and spicy mixes.

M/D - Medium bodied, a little on the light side of what I expect from barleywines. Alcohol is very strong and knocks the drinkability down a touch.

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Photo of youradhere
3.09/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2008 Vintage

Pours bright and clear ruddy amber, off white head that leaves nice cap of lacing. Smells of mango, sugar, slight booze, cherry, sweet malt. Taste is candy-like artificial fruit, some citrus followed by a pithy hop bitterness that cleanses the sugars from the palate, making this a clean drinker. Carbonation is medium as is the mouthfeel; I think that the carbonation is helping to lighten the body making it seem thinner than it actually is. Overall not bad, but I can tell that the hop bitterness well get to be too much after one bomber.

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Photo of Kelp
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of angelmonster
4.16/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is the 08 vintage

Pours a nice big 2 finger beige head. Body is dark amber brown in color and partially opaque. Head retention and lacing are pretty good

Smell is mostly of floral hops, some sweet malt is also there. Alcohol is faintly present in the nose.

First taste is sweet caramel malt. The hops are blended nicely and complement the malt very well. They are more floral than citrusy and not overly bitter. For 9%, the alcohol is very subdued.

Mouth feel is very nice. Smooth and well carbonated, especially for a barleywine.

Drink ability is very high for a barleywine. Very flavorful and complex, alcohol is hidden well. Glad I bought some more to cellar for a year.

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Photo of coldmeat23
3.22/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

GLASS: Snifter
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 45 degrees

Pours a dark mahogany color. An almost three-finger head of creamy tan foam sits on top. Retention is very good and lacing is full, almost curtain-like and nicely sticky.

The smell is hugely yeasty and bready, which is a great thing for a barleywine, IMO. Another good thing is the nice malty presence. Light caramel notes mingle with mild notes of floral hops. A nice touch of brown sugar pokes through, also.

The maltiness is very understated. What happened to all of the breadiness that was in the nose? Under-ripened dark fruit notes mixed with bitter astringency. Hops notes of grapefruit and pine, but not really in a good way.

I expected this to be much more full-bodied than it is. It's only medium bodied, at best. Sure it's smooth, but it lacks any real creaminess. Sad thing for a barleywine.

I totally thought that this would be better than it is. If I ever get the chance, I'll try another bottle, in case there may be something wrong with this one. If that one tastes the same, I won't drink another one, though.

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Photo of mtstatebeer
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

02-09-11- 22 oz bottle, 2008, served in a snifter glass. Pours a hazy, red-orange color with a decent, frothy off-white head, lacing throughout. Aroma is sweet, toasted malt, vinous, pine hops, and alcohol. Flavor is sweet malts, resinous, wood, spicy, and alcohol. Mouthfeel is medium, syrupy, almost cloyingly sweet, but balanced with a large amount of bitterness. Overall a decent beer.

Edit: Review of same beer on 21 Nov 12. Similar aroma, much more of a dark fruit/raisin aroma and a bit oxidized, no hops at all in the smell. Flavor isn't as sweet, still wood and spicy, much less of an alcohol bite, Mouthfeel not syrupy or sweet as before. This one aged into a solid barleywine.

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Photo of DaveJanssen
3.51/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Split a 22 two ways, poured into snifters. Reviewed 8-19-2009.

Ar: Rich dark fruit, cherries (artificial) in chocolate, heavy plums, alcohol, tropical fruit hitns, heavy toffee and caramel, raisin, wet and sweet, light resin, light pineapple, light raspberry, heavy caramel

Ap: light tan head, lace, leaves fine dusting of head, clear pink/amber

F: Cherries, raspberry, citrus and tropical fruit, grapes, cherry is artificial, alcohol, toffee and syrupy caramel, tons of syrupy sweetness, malt dominated but hops come through at end (more hoppy than horn dog and moylan's barleywine), tartness to the fruit throughout the beer, lightly rough from toasted/burnt sugars and alc, candy sweet, kettle caramelization

M: medium mouthfeel and syrupy, not as full as other examples, rough alcohol at the end, low carbonation

O: artificial and thinner than other examples, if it is going to be this sweet i want it to be thicker, want more hops

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Photo of cbarrett4
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pretty nice barley wine style here. Poured from tap, nice copper hue, good head and lace retention.

Nice rich and sweet nose, some grass and herb notes but much more sweet fruit and spice. Rich and silky on the palate with great sweetness and firm finish. Alcohol is high but not really noticeable. Good effort here!

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Old Boardhead Barleywine Ale from Full Sail Brewing Company
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 384 ratings