Olde School Barleywine | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

very good
2,634 Ratings
Olde School BarleywineOlde School Barleywine

Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 15.04%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Bold, yet smooth! Fermented with dates and figs, this bone-crushing barleywine has a unique flavor.

85 IBU
ABV varies from 13-16%.

Added by UnionMade on 10-10-2002

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,634 |  Reviews: 1,069
Photo of stratusjeans
3.74/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of GOBLIN
4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of bigpoppa67
3.96/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of EmeraldMist
4.88/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Look - Poured into snifter, murky rust in color, lighter burnt orange highlights, a thin off white head, alcohol legs all over.
Aroma - Red grape, granola, slight brandy sweetness, clean but peppery alcohol, wintergreen. Intoxicating.
Taste - Doughy up front, deep grainy flavors, sweet red grape, tannic, fruit flavors are there but they aren't overly sweet. Funny enough I taste more orange than fig or date. Has a marmalade note. Bitterness is on the higher side but keeps the beer balanced. Sweetness dies down towards the end. The finish is slightly tangy and has a fantastic clean and peppery alcohol.
Feel - Medium-Full bodied, oily, fine carbonation, slight warmth, dry. Alcohol is more apparent in taste rather than feel.

Overall - One of my all time favorite beers. It blurs the line between a quad and a barleywine. This is for both barleywine and spirit lovers. Easily one of the best beers I've ever had.

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Photo of Coffeeist
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Ozzylizard
3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$ 14.00 (Including tax)/four pack ($ 0.292/oz) at Franklin Beer, Franklin, PA.
Bottled 01/18/17. Stored at 60 degrees. Served at 60 degrees into a hand washed and dried Jester King snifter.
Aroma – Not much. Smells a little sweet and slightly like old dates.
Head large (Maximum four cm, aggressive pour), tan, medium density, short retention, diminishing to an irregular three to ten mm frothy ring and a heaped layer.
Lacing – none.
Body – dark amber, clear.
Flavor – begins sticky sweet with the dates being predominant. No trace of hops, alcohol, nor diacetyl.
Palate – full, syrupy, soft carbonation.
Appearance 4, Aroma 3.5, Flavor 3.75, Palate 4, Overall 4.

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Photo of Barracudas
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Salinesnake
4.36/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of andrewjframpton
4.57/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of travelguy
4.4/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of sohearn
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of MattinHouston
4.51/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I don't know what vintages people have reviewed here but 1/18/2017 came out delicious. I'm a high ABV fan usually DIPA with some quadruples thrown in there with various imperial stouts. This tastes great warm even. I can't compare it to any other beer even barley wines it has some fruity dates notes but a definite barley beer taste underneath. I think this is the best 15% abv out there! Although after a disappointing 2016 120m IPA I still bought another at $10/a 12oz. This was a 4/pack for $19 I'd suggest others to give it a try.

 540 characters

Photo of tvenne
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of caburdette51
4.6/5  rDev +17%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of andrewh995
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a very a hazy deep red with almost no head. Smells of sweet malts and booze. Tastes of dark fruit, booze, caramels, and sweet malts. Medium mouthfeel with low carbonation. Overall an incredible beer. I only aged it for about 2 months but it's delicious.

 259 characters

Photo of EMV
3.77/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Dogfish Head tulip

L: Cloudy dark golden amber pour. 2 fingers of off-white head. Solid retention and sticky lacing.

S: Boozy... dark sugars and figs. Fruity and malty... caramel.

T/F: Very rich... caramel, toffee, and dark sugars. A malt/sugar bomb mixed with very aggressive booze/alcohol. Almost too much so. Almost tastes like a port. Fruit character is in the background... fig and apple skin. Wouldn't have picked out dates if it hadn't bee on the bottle. Thick in body.. moderate carbonation... a bit more than expected. Some hop bittering at the finish but not much in the way of hop flavors. Finish and aftertaste is warm booze and candy sugar.

O: Well... booze. Reminds me of a nice port, and at 15%ish ABV it drinks like one too. A bit too boozy to be an easy drink. One to sip on a cold night... possibly share with a buddy. Becomes more interesting/full as it warms.

 942 characters

Photo of Braz
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of akolb
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Scott17Taylor
4.38/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark amber with large head that dissipates quickly.
The aroma is charmel malts, dark fruits, dates plums etc, and a resinous piney hoppiness.
It's a really sweet barleywine, it's syrupy dark fruits. The Carmel sweetness gives way to an orange marmalade before finishing with a pronounced, but not overdone resinous hop finish.
Overall, this is great out of the gate and I can't wait to see how it ages.

 409 characters

Photo of AlexFreudenberg
4.17/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of zbooks
3/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of evanwoertz
4.9/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of woodychandler
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

As the eradication of the Bottle Backlog here at Chez Woody continues, the next brewery's horizontal to be conducted is that of DFH with this beer being my last for the time being. On to the next from here!

From the bottle: "A Barleywine style ale brewed with figs & dates"; "This beer ages with the best of 'em"; "What you have here is a bottle-conditioned Barleywine style ale. DIRECTIONS: Open bottle, pour contents into two snifters. Enjoy. OR: Walk-hand-in-neck into the middle of the woods. Use a shovel to dig a 2 x 2 hole three feet deep. Seal the bottle in a plastic bag. Place in hole & pack with dirt. Memorize location & leave. Return exactly one year later. Dig up bottle, open & enjoy."

I am coming to embrace the idea of Pop!ping the cap & proceeding with a gentle pour, rather than an aggro one. Less chance of a mess + it gives me the opportunity to conduct an in-glass swirl. In this case, I raised just over a finger of foamy, light-tan head with moderate retention that left decent lacing in its wake. Color was Coppery-Brown (SRM = > 17, < 22) with NE-quality clarity. Nose had a LOT of fusel heat atop layers of caramel; leather; dried, dark fruits and pine resin. Phew! In sum, it was like the rush of inadvertently inhaling olde school model glue as a young man in the mid-1970s. Mouthfeel was big, full & viscous, befitting a behemoth like this. The heat was overwhelming on the tongue, but upon swallowing, the caramel malt and minty pine flavors really came to life. Inhaling to catch my breath, it was like a dichotomous cool heat rushing through. Finish was hot, dry, minty and yuge! Yuge, I tell you!

Mine was a fresh 2017 bottle, but I will revisit it again, either with a vintage from this same year or with something from my cellar.

 1,770 characters

Photo of drdiesel9483
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Look - Auburn color with really no head very very slight skimming and slightly hazy.
Smell - boozy with dark red fruit like dark red cheeries and figs
Taste - strong booze taste with dark bitter fruit
feel - heavy fizzy bold
Overall - to much carbonation. I think this beer would be a lot better with out so much carbonation. I'd lessen the booze as well.

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Photo of weareallfalafel
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter (in two installments, of course). Pours a hazy auburn color with a half inch of off white head that falls quickly. Smell is booze, tons of booze. A little bit of dark fruit (the dates and figs) and maybe some hops, but mostly alcohol. Taste is a lot easier to decipher. The figs and dates come out a lot more, some vanilla, lots of toffee, a hop bite, and then a good bit of alcohol in the finish. Feel is a bit slick, but not too much and feels pretty full in body, with a little alcohol burn in the swallow. Overall, it's big and a bit intimidating, but if you let it warm a bit and sip it slowly, its easy to love as well. I'd recommend it, but definitely not as an everyday drink. Maybe age would do it well, too, but I tend to not like old barley wines as much, due to that soy sauce/brothy quality. If you like big, boozy barley wines, I'd pick one up!

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Olde School Barleywine from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
3.93 out of 5 based on 2,634 ratings.
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