Olde School Barleywine | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

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Olde School BarleywineOlde School Barleywine
Very Good
2,687 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,687 |  Reviews: 1,095
Photo of Sammy
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I found it a cross between a traditional barleywine and an American Pale. It is an attempt to improve on the roughness of American barleywines, and I think by Joev they did it. The smell of barleywine, although surprisingly pale colour. Some hops and barleywine not over the top. Tasty if you care somewhat for the style. I do I do.
Had again 4 years later and found it rather ordinary barleywine, withd ecent mouthfeel and drinakbility.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Half finger head with minimal lacing on a crimson with light golden hues body. Aroma is very minty, sweet and boozy. Flavor is sweet with syrupy, bourbon, dark fruit and Chardonnay notes. Medium body and moderate carbonation. Too boozy and sweet for me but I was expecting this. A nice one to try but not your everyday beer obviously.

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Photo of jaydoc
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottled in 2010.

Pours an opaque dark amber color with a small 1/2 inch head that fades to an oily film on the top of the beer. Small bubble lacing on the drink down. Smells of candied fruit, apples, and alcohol. Taste is of tart apples, citrus zest, maybe some raisin/prune flavors. Very alcohol heavy on the finish. Burns the throat after each sip. Weird cooked vegetable taste too. Beer is kind of thick and sticky in the mouth. Drinkability is not at all that good. The off tastes I got along with the alcohol burn probably shut the door on this one for good. Probably would be better with some age on it.

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Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.94/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

this is a massive barleywine. 2011 vintage here, and I am thinking I should have given it another year or even two to cool out a bit more. this beast is hot! pours a dense amber color with a lot of yeast floating around like fish food, and a prominent off white head over an inch tall but not lasting a real long time. the nose is very alcoholic, predictably so, but there is also some interesting things going on here besides the malt. I pick up a lot of Mediterranean fruit notes, like figs, dates, and drying apples. it is sweet in taste, but not cloyingly so like many colossal barleywines. the dried fruits come through nicely, adding complexity to a huge grain bill and a lot of brown sugar sweetness. the alcohol cuts through everything, and when this beer warms up, it feels like liquor. the yeast adds a lot, and is obviously fairly sturdy, with some white toast sort of elements. decent carbonation really for what this is, and a predictably large body. this is a slow sipper, and even a twelve ounce bottle was a little more than I wanted, so maybe share this with a friend or a lover. I probably should have waited until fall to open this one, but curiosity got the best of me on a warm early summer afternoon. an excellent example of the style, in many ways more enjoyable than say a bolt cutter, with all the fruit happening in this. good effort.

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Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of GRG1313
4.24/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Really need to revisit this one again one day, I had this a long time ago when I was first getting into beers. I doubt that I fully understood what I had in my glass at the time. I remember the beer being a brownish color with a yellowish white head that had a light sticky lacing. The sme of the beer was monstrous, lots of malts and hops mixed with booze and some sweet dark fruits. The taste of the beer was also way over the top for me at the time. It was malty and sweet upfront, as it settled into my tounge it left a tingling sensation with a bitter aftertaste. The mouthfeel had a really thick feeling body to it. Overall the beer was much bigger than I expected. It's been a while like I said and I really need to have this one again I think.

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Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

Photo of nmann08
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of Taphouse_Traveler
3.67/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of metter98
3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear reddish amber in color and poured with a thin head that slowly faded away into lacy patterns of bubbles. A light amount of carbonation is visible.
S: There are fairly strong aromas of apples, cherries. grapes in the nose with notes of malty sweetness and hints of alcohol.
T: The taste is moderately sweet and shares a lot of similarities with the smell with flavors of apples and grapes. Some hints of alcohol are also noticeable.
M: It feels full-bodied, smooth and rather viscous on the palate with a light amount of carbonation. There are lots of warming sensations from the alcohol and some stickiness in the finish.
D: The beer tastes like it is very strong, but nowhere near 15% because a good portion of the alcohol is well masked, so it's a good sipper.

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Photo of t0rin0
3.76/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My roomate and I split one of these while watching the last of the dirty harry movies. What better way to enjoy the movie than by having a beer thats got almost as many percentage abv as the man with no name has confirmed kills in a short 90 minutes.

Perhaps I should have tried this before I tried the 120 minute IPA as this seems to be milder version of that beer in terms of smell and taste. The beer poured into our pint glasses with a nice 1/2 inch head that actually stuck around for a little while (a bit different than previous reviews). The beer was a bit light in color for a barleywine and was a copper color that was quite clear.

The smell was strong of the grapefruit hops mixing with alcohol. Again, very similar to 120 minute IPA. The sweetness of the malt in the background was a little stronger than I expected. It was a nice compromise. The flavor was real strong on malt and hops but little to no alcohol could be detected until it was swallowed. It burned going down.

Overall its a very drinkable barleywine, but with an intensity like this it might be advisable to warm your palate with another beer first to fully enjoy this.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.4/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Impressively smooth considering the alcohol content and the hop additions. It picks up on all the plumb-ey, prune-ey, dates, and figs that I expect in a BW. The hop flavors are pronounced, but not overly agressive like most. This makes for an impresively easy drinking beer. I get some molassas and honey flavors into the body and through the finish that I like. Although the flavors are better balanced, this is by no means a lighter BW. It still packs a punch in the flavor, alcohol, and body categories. it's just better balances and aged.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.4/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Truncated review since I had to do this on my phone at a crowded bar. 2011 vintage served on-draught at the Blue Palms Brewhouse earlier this month. Expectations were above average. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a two finger beige colour of nice cream, thickness, and retention.

Sm: Dates, fruit, caramel. A mild strength aroma.

T/Dr: Hides ABV well. Fruit-forward, with dates and vague dark fruit character. Quite malty and well layered. Very drinkable for the high ABV. I like it.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Good carbonation. Good presence on the palate. Suits the flavour profile well.


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Photo of WillieThreebiers
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of emerge077
2.88/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Sampled on tap in a mini-nonic pint, not something i'd seek out again.
Burnished orange color, bright golden clarity. Some white froth on the surface forming a thin layer of foam that leaves little lace, not that it's expected with the super high ABV.

Aromas of caramel, toffee sweetness, light fig, and some perceptible alcohol sharpness.

Thick and syrupy, lower carbonation. Palate-numbing booze that deadens the flavors a bit, though there are some muted dried fruit notes. Not picking up on much hop flavor, there's a tiny bit of earthy bitterness, but it's hard to discern up against the heavy alcohol astringency. This is just not that drinkable, the booze is a bit rough. Maybe the heat mellows over time, but based on this draft, it's not really worth the time & money to find out.

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Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into signature tulip glass, bottled in 2010A. Pours hazy reddish copper color with a 1 finger dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big raisin, plum, cherry, fig, date, pear, apple, caramel, brown sugar, toast, toffee, brown bread, light herbal, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good complexity and balance of big fruitiness and dark/bready malt sweetness; with great strength. Taste of big raisin, plum, cherry, fig, date, pear, apple, caramel, brown sugar, toast, toffee, brown bread, herbal, light pepper, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Slight earthy/peppery bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of raisin, plum, cherry, fig, date, pear, apple, caramel, brown sugar, toast, toffee, brown bread, and yeast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice complexity and balance of fruitiness and dark/bready malt sweetness; with zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a smooth, fairly crisp, and lightly slick mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent barleywine style! All around great complexity and balance of fruitiness and dark/bready malt sweetness; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of zeff80
4.07/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a cloudy, reddish orange color with a small, thin, white head. It left soapy residue on the glass.

S - It smelled of sweet caramel, roasted malt, and dried fruits.

T - It tasted of raisin, sweet malts, candy sugar, and subtle bitter hops.

M - It was very smooth and soft with a chewy mouthfeel. A full-bodied beer.

D - This is a great tasting barley wine that is simply too strong to drink in large quantities.

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Photo of brentk56
4.28/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear dark golden body with a fluffy white head that leaves a pastiche of lacing marks around the glass

Smell: Lots of rum-soaked fruit flavors - apricots, figs, oranges - all of which are subsumed by the alcohol smells

Taste: Remarkably smooth fruit and toffee start; orange tartness kicks in mid-palate along with a jarring amount of fusel alcohol flavors; a touch buttery on the finish

Mouthfeel: Fairly heavy body, somewhat syrupy; low carbonation

Drinkability: Taste when only three months old, this brew shows some very interesting character and unusual flavor; I'll look forward to seeing what this is like with some age on it

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Olde School Barleywine from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 3.98 out of 5 with 2,687 ratings