Olde School Barleywine | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

very good
2,642 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

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,642 |  Reviews: 1,074
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.

 337 characters

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.

 812 characters

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

 456 characters

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.

 984 characters

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.

 556 characters

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.

 883 characters

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.

 680 characters

Photo of VABA
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.

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Olde School Barleywine from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
3.93 out of 5 based on 2,642 ratings.
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