Olde School Barleywine | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

very good
2,652 Ratings
Olde School BarleywineOlde School Barleywine

Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 15.00%

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

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,652 |  Reviews: 1,079
Photo of quindog
4.49/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I should preface this brief review by saying I'm drinking about a 8-10 year old bottle that has been in my fridge since the day I bought it. No expectations, and I must say it is fantastic. Very smooth, with no burn for 15%. Carbonation is perfect, and flavor is a sweet, but not overly sweet, malty beverage. Notes of raisin and other similar fruit. In closing, this beer ages very well, though I'm not sure how good it is fresh. I don't drink a ton of barley wine, but consider sucaba and bourbon county to be the gold standard. This beer is up there with them, minus the bourbon barrel. Though I must say, I don't miss the barrel much in this 10 year old version.

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Photo of Dragginballs76
4.14/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours deep dark purplish color with off white head.

Aroma - Ripe orange, fig, dates, sweet with a touch of booze.

Taste - Oh yeah date , plum, vanilla and oak. The alcohol is well pronounced in the taste.

Feel - Medium bodied well carbonated a little heat from the alcohol

Overall - A tasty barleywine great flavors.

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Photo of _nickg_
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of briandschorr
4.27/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

As a fan of Barleywine, this is a strong beer that those new to Barleywine might really enjoy. Originally Barleywine got its name because it was an alcoholic beverage with an ABV comparable to wine that was made with malted barley. This beer is one that I found to be lively, fruity, and bittersweet. Amazing copper color, the taste is one of brown sugar, dark cherries, and fig that are balanced just right for my palate. Big on ABV and big on price but well worth the money for a once-in-a-while treat. Sip from a tulip glass and enjoy.

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Photo of SkyyNapalm
4.09/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Ickiwotog
4.9/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is delicious! Doesn't taste like high alcohol content, very smooth. I would definitely buy this again.

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Photo of JoeLev
3.67/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of MikeWard
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a tulip. no freshness dating, but this is a fall release so I'm gonna guess 9-10 months old.

orange/brown/red body. light carbonation up the sides of the tulip. small off white head which maintains leaving minimal lacing.

the nose is faintly of dried fruit.

dried fruit and alcohol burn are the primary tastes. it does feel far less than the 15abv advertised. It's an American barleywine, and the hops have certainly faded, leaving a quite tasty drink.

getting close to full on the mouth, slow burn from the abv on the finish.

Overall, an above average slightly aged American barleywine. might be more enjoyable at a year old on a cool winters eve.

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Photo of BeerDawgs
4.19/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2016 version

L - Copper with very little clarity, thick looking, 1 full finger of head and some lacing left on the brew and glass

S - boozy, dried fruit

T - Dried fruit and boozy, just like the aroma. Raisons, brown sugar, dark cherries, and figs

F - Full body and well carbonated.

O - Great, slow sipper brew.

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

Photo of Boone757
3.99/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Eamonn-Cummings3
3.94/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz can into a speiglau tulip glass.

Look is a reddish amber with s thin off white head.

Aroma is boozy and fruity, smells like high abv beers I used to drink to get drunk when I was new to craft beer aka not a lot of balance.

Taste is boozy and fruity very intense.

Hot and unbalanced, but the fruitiness is nice.

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Photo of lobos62
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of BB1313
3.59/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottled on 1/18/17. 12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours a hazy glowing copper with a nice small creamy khaki head that slowly falls leaving nice thick retention and sticky lacing. The aromas are nice. Lots of sweet caramel along with some vanilla. Dark fruits are there. Lots of malts. The flavors are interesting. It has an odd taste up front, but it finishes nice. It finishes spicy. It's hot and slightly boozy, but nothing over the top. Hints of citrus. Raisins, figs, plum and black cherry in the mix. There's a balanced sweetness. Solid malt backbone. Mouthfeel is nice. It's full-bodied with moderate carbonation. It's fluffy and slick. Makes for a nice sipper.

This is a solid barleywine. Personally, there are some odd flavors that somewhat hurt the experience, but it's still ultimately enjoyable.

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Photo of Buck89
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Look: slightly hazy orange color with a modest but persistent off-white head.
Aroma: sweet orange, toffee, caramel, some date presence.
Taste: sweet malty rush at first, followed by a rich citrusy bitterness. Nice rounded sugary date flavor on the finish.
Feel: full-bodied but not sticky. Smooth feel with moderate carbonation. Slightly hot on this finish but does not feel like a 15% beer.
Overall: a nice sipper. The mix of sweet and bitter works for me

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Photo of majorbase2
3.86/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark amber color with a moderate sized light brown head. Recedes quickly, leaving a small amount of lacing on the sides.

Aroma is dominated by booze and dark fruits. Prunes, raisins, and a sweet mixture of brandy and wine on the back side.

Taste is fairly similar to the nose, but the alcohol, aside from a bitter bite from the get-go, surprisingly gives way to a sugary sweetness shortly. Prune and fig are pretty strong, with some dark cherries on the back end. Very bitter and sweet, but once again not as boozy as you'd expect at 15%. Gets sweeter, almost too sweet, as it warms.

Medium-heavy body, low carbonation. More drinkable than you'd expect at 15%, but that quality will cause this to sneak up on you if you have more than one.

Overall, one of those beers that's more of a must-try than a must-have. Definitely interesting, but with this price tag will probably pass on in the future. Big on alcohol, but still balancing taste, but nothing to write home about.

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Photo of Imperialjake
3.94/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Dewsby
3.79/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of ajm5108
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very clean amber, nice head that settles into a silk lacing. Aroma has some warm caramel malt with some esters on top - not overwhelming, adds a moderate a little lite bourbon touch. Taste is pretty balanced - moreso than many DFH brews - and really felt more like an English old ale than the American barleywine it is listed as. Rich caramel malt, vanilla, and again a nice kiss of bourbon esters - you'd almost think this was barrel aged. No real dates or figs to speak of, but it is still quite tasty. Mouthfeel is pretty hefty but not distractingly so.

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Photo of stratusjeans
3.62/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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
4.75/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottled on date of 1/18/17
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 - It blurs the line between a quad and a barleywine. This is for both barleywine and spirit lovers. Fantastic beer.

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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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Olde School Barleywine from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
3.93 out of 5 based on 2,652 ratings.
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