Olde School
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

Olde SchoolOlde School
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Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States
American Barleywine
Ranked #123
Ranked #11,372
3.99 | pDev: 12.28%
Mar 06, 2022
Oct 10, 2002
Very Good
Olde SchoolOlde School
Notes: Bold, yet smooth! Fermented with dates and figs, this bone-crushing barleywine has a unique flavor.

85 IBU
ABV varies from 13-16%.
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Photo of FBarber
Reviewed by FBarber from Illinois

4.39/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
2012 bottle.

Pours a mostly clear dark burgundy color. Thin off-white head forms and then dissipates pretty quickly. Aroma has notes of brown sugar, cardboard, dark fruits, and some rich malty notes.

Taste has notes of brown sugar, rich malts, dark fruits, molasses, brown sugar, a touch of cardboard, and some earthy notes. The dark fruits and brown sugar are so rich and developed in this beer - it's amazing how well they have developed and harmonized over time. Feel is smooth, rich, medium bodied. Moderate carbonation.

Overall this is a gem of a beer. This bottle is 10 years old, and yet its aged gracefully and is absolutely delicious.
Mar 06, 2022
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Rated by FxB

3.86/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
2017 vintage and it looks, smells, and tastes great! It still feels a bit hot to me. I am looking forward to this in another year or two.
Feb 06, 2022
Rated: 4.23 by DBosco from Massachusetts

Jan 26, 2022
Rated: 4.07 by mothmanscott from Georgia

Jan 03, 2022
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Rated by Spirgili_Klump

4.96/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5
My favorite, but where to buy it now?
Dec 12, 2021
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Reviewed by CTHomer from Connecticut

4.18/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
A: opaque; amber colored; 1 finger off white head that receded quickly to a thin collar; almost no lacing;

S: dark fruit; sweet malt; alcohol;

T: follows the nose with a bit of vanilla added in from the middle through the finish;

M: medium to full bodied; light to moderate carbonation; alcohol is soft and warming - not hot at all;

O: a great sipping beer;
Sep 15, 2021
Rated: 4 by Fettpopps from Massachusetts

Jul 20, 2021
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Reviewed by SHODriver from North Carolina

4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
A: Poured into a snifter to a deep golden brown which is topped by a dense and slightly rocky cream colored head which fades slowly to a collar around the glass with minimal lacing
S: Smells of faded piny hops, toffee, caramel, and brown sugar
T: Taste is faded piney hops which gives way to caramel, dates, brown sugar and toffee, hints of toasted malts as well along with just enough bitterness to keep things somewhat balanced. On the swallow there's a bit of alcohol before the piney hops come back with some slight earthy notes and some muted lingering sweetness comes in with notes of caramel and brown sugar
M: This beer has a body which is somewhat syrupy and on the heavier side of medium. Carbonation is fairly soft and muted, but it is there while the beer has a slightly drying finish
O: Overall this is a pretty solid beer. Really nice flavors and some solid complexity. I've been sitting on this bottle for about four years and it seems to have held up well aside from the finish being a little muted.
Jun 30, 2021
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Reviewed by Sigmund from Norway

3.31/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25
12 fl. oz. bottle, thanks to my son Steinar. Orange to amber coloured beer, clear first, hazy when the sediment is poured in the end. Big off-white head with an orangey hue. Strong aroma of malts with vinous notes, oak, alcohol and molasses. The flavour is intensely sweet and alcoholic, notes of oak and figs, with a certain peppery and hoppy bite which nearly disappears behind the alcoholic sweetness. You don’t expect a 15% beer to be "easy drinking", and this one certainly isn’t. Too sweet for me, still quite impressive. Would probably improve by aging.
Apr 30, 2021
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Rated by HopHead_ from Pennsylvania

4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
Apr 18, 2021
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Reviewed by Viaduck from California

4.24/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
The bottle was dated 2013 & was part of the 2021 Extreme Beer Fest. I could never wait 8 years for a beer to age. Pours a pretty shade of brown that is darker towards the bottom, missing a head. Aroma: caramel. Sweet taste. Flavors: Brown sugar, molasses, figs, caramel, boozy. This was the last beer tasted & at 15% I really enjoyed it but I forgot to finish my review.
Mar 19, 2021
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Reviewed by MartyMaltose from Washington

4.48/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5
2007 12 oz. bottle. Thanks Malt & Vine in Redmond, WA for being smart enough to keep these for all these years. I'll come back to see if you have some more.

Look: hazy with no head to speak of. Pretty disappointing getting started.
Smell: fresh and zesty, very enticing!
Taste: wheeeew! Strong and syrupy at first. Fruity esters much? Unbelievable. Then it starts settling, and settling, and you get in a groove...the alcohol starts taking over and I'm in love.
Feel: average. Who cares? This was AWESOME.
Mar 14, 2021
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Reviewed by vectornut from California

4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
Starts off with an amazing color and a really appetizing aroma. Taking a sip reveals a delicious, complex flavor and leaves a pleasant tingling sensation in my mouth.
Mar 12, 2021
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Reviewed by Siriusfisherman from Vermont

3.96/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
A really good barleywine, the way the fig and dates integrate into the flavor profile is wonderful. The beer was a tad sweet, but at 15% that is to be expected. One of the stars of the '21 extreme beer fest.
Mar 10, 2021
Rated: 4.06 by kmanjohnson from California

Mar 07, 2021
Rated: 4 by Blazer22 from Colorado

Mar 06, 2021
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Rated by snowmageddon from Massachusetts

3.68/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
Rating is for 2017 bottling.
Mar 04, 2021
Rated: 4.35 by alanp11 from New York

Feb 28, 2021
Rated: 4.24 by GregSemenza from Connecticut

Feb 26, 2021
Rated: 4.05 by Pinz412 from Pennsylvania

Feb 25, 2021
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Rated by BidYouABrew from Washington

4.7/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5
2011 vintage
Feb 21, 2021
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Reviewed by puck1225 from Texas

4.21/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Last of my Extreme Beer Fest beers! 2013 vintage.

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass. Murky golden brown color with a decent initial head and lacing. Pleasant and taste smell of toffee and butterscotch. Nice dark fruit taste. Earthy booziness. Some residual metallic taste and a bit of residue. Feel a bit thin but overall a good treat!
Feb 17, 2021
Rated: 4.2 by Jcarriglio from Florida

Feb 13, 2021
Rated: 4.25 by cryptichead from Illinois

Feb 13, 2021
Rated: 4.65 by twenteone from Pennsylvania

Feb 12, 2021
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Reviewed by Weisenbeer from Ohio

4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Not my beer style but WOW I'm glad I tried this one ... I received and consumed the 2012 vintage as part of Extreme Beer Fest 2021 ... Bravo and thank you!
Feb 10, 2021
Rated: 4.18 by LXIXME from New Mexico

Feb 08, 2021
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Reviewed by mmalley from Massachusetts

4.18/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
2011 vintage

so thankful for BA, halftime and dogfish head + others for putting together this EBF.

this was for sure the best beer out of my box, so excited to try the 2011 and it didnt disappoint. So smooth.
Feb 08, 2021
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Reviewed by socon67 from New York

4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25
2014 vintage. Caramel color. Minimal head. Smells like a tawny port. Some notes from the wood aging, some english toffee. The fig flavor only came to me as it warmed. Seemed like a fig newton that has been sitting out a while. Finish was subdued, with a bit of warming that gave a hint of a chewy tobacco vibe.

So thankful to the EBF team, and to Sam for opening the cellar for this. It was appreciated.
Feb 08, 2021
Rated: 3.93 by NEBeerGoddess from Connecticut

Feb 08, 2021
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Reviewed by devo1980 from Pennsylvania

4.72/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75
Soooo smooth!! 2011 vintage! Wow! Maybe the best barley wine I've ever had! Strong sweetness melody with high ABV. Yum! I can't believe how smooth!
Feb 07, 2021
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Reviewed by BFCarr from New Jersey

4.26/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
2017 vintage, part of EBF. Pours deep copper with virtually no head. Aroma is dark fruit and alcohol. Taste is medium dark fruit with a pleasant sweetness. Taste evolves as it warms. Feels is outstanding, silky and coating, no alcohol burn at all. Overall, it’s hard to believe it’s 15%, it is and it’s delicious
Feb 07, 2021
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Rated by docr89 from Illinois

4.49/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
2017 bottle. One of the best barleywines I've ever had.
Feb 07, 2021
Rated: 4.88 by jcoleMA66 from Massachusetts

Feb 07, 2021
Rated: 4.21 by SpaethJam from New York

Feb 07, 2021
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Reviewed by Rug from Massachusetts

4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
2014 vintage, bottled 10/27/14, part of EBF Cyberspace 2021

Anddddd here we are, the 6th and final round of EBF 2021. I have wanted to try this beer since I got into the craft beer community about 3 years ago. I’m excited that the vintage I received is a bit older, but I would have been thrilled with any vintage I received. Let’s get into it

Pours a hazy, ruddy copper/brown with a finger of off white head that fades to a ring and leaves minimal lacing

Good lord, even after 7ish years this beer is so sweet in the nose. I’m picking up on aromas of molasses, sherry, candied pecans, marmalade, cacao powder, and medjool dates

Not quite as sweet in the taste. On the front end I taste some booze, marmalade, and sweet malt. The swallow brings notes of dried figs, brown sugar, pecans, sherry, and a hint of oak

A medium full body pairs with aggressive carbonation (especially for a barleywine) resulting in smooth, yet hot beer. Finishes mostly dry but with a nice sweetness

Hot damn, what a way to end my first EBF. I’m eternally grateful to this community. Great beer, great people. Cheers BA!!
Feb 07, 2021
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Reviewed by fostwal from New Jersey

4.83/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
EBF R2. Pours a dark ruby (held to light) with a white head that fades quickly. The cherry and stone fruit scents are amazing. I could just sniff the glass all night. Smooth sweetness with a nice warming finish. Very dynamic flavors and finish beer. Nightcap beer that should be savored.
Feb 07, 2021
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Reviewed by RbrtGroves from Idaho

4.11/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
A quintessential barleywine. Both smell and taste are indicative of a generic barleywine, but nothing sets it apart and nothing drags it down. At 15%, the drink is a great sipper (chilled or slightly warm.)
Feb 07, 2021
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Reviewed by thebeers from Pennsylvania

4.18/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Pours very dark orange-brown with a thin, short-lived tan head that quickly settles into a lasting crown.

Sweet aroma with fig, caramel and leather.

Figs, dates, raisins, caramel, vanilla, and leather in the taste. Really nice.

Thick, creamy, chewy feel with nice carbonation.

Really great mix of fruity sweetness with nice malt qualities. 2012 bottling.
Feb 07, 2021
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Rated by Manta200 from Kentucky

4.4/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Extreme beer fest
Distinctive licorice flavor.
Feb 07, 2021
Olde School from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 2775 ratings