Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99! (Limited time offer, US delivery only)

Olde School Barleywine | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Olde School BarleywineOlde School Barleywine
Very Good
2,669 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
firstprev| 2601-2625 | 2626-2650 | 2651-2675  | next → last
Ratings: 2,669 |  Reviews: 1,081
Photo of marburg
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fifteen percent, my ass.

This thing was obviously strong as evidenced by its effects and, perhaps, by its complexity. But it hardly seemed as strong as it was.

It's got a very lacquered wood look to it -- a sort of lazy, rusted orange tone. Served in a red wine glass, the brew's hearty aromas carry forth -- rotting apples, grapes, and grapefruit. The flavors push forth into a very sweet, candy apple flavor. An alcohol flavor is present but fleeting, and the beer drops into a sweet and mellow aftertaste.

Pretty damn good cap to a night of good brews at Dogfish in Rehoboth.

 587 characters

Photo of jcalabre
3.25/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Originally sampled on 4 January 2003. I am writing this review from my notes. Pours nearly flat. It has a hazy amber color w/ a thick feel on the tongue & a sweet finish. Definitely taste the malt & perhaps some honey-like flavor. Nice, but not great.

 251 characters

Photo of Wildman
3.72/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a hazy orange amber color and formed a minimal bubbly white lace that left little lace. Some sediment is present with just a small amount of carbonation. An aroma of malt, a bit of hops and caramel with a touch of citrus. A flavor of malt, and carmel with a hint of the alcohol present. The finish is of a medium body and slightly sweet with a warming aspect of alcohol.

 387 characters

Photo of Bighuge
4.42/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice looking copper color. A slight edge of bone white head is apparant. This beer smells awesome. The scale is tipped more in the favor of malt than hops (ala Old Ho). Deep juicy caramelly malt mingles with alcohol and grassy hops. Upon tasting, I have a hard time believing this has 15% a/v. While it does indeed warm the tummy, the ethanol taste is lacking on the pallete. A slight amount is detected, but not much, which is surprising. The malty and fruity sensations of this barleywine really take the center stage. The fruitiness is akin to Arrogant Bastard in a way. The tropical nuances of fruit. Like mango, pineapple, grapefruit, coconut, grapes, apricot,nectarine.....damn, this is tasty. And the carmel malt backbone is very sufficient and enjoyable. The hops provide a slight bitterness that intertwines with the slight sting of EtOH to give this beer a little fire. Mouthfeel is a little light if anything. Carbonation seems just right. This beer is WAY too easy to drink for the power it packs. If I don't watch what I'm doing, this bomber could be gone in less than 20 minutes.

I just got schooled...thanks to cokes.

 1,135 characters

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

I am having trouble calling this a barley wine. Of course, since it's 15% ABV, I'm also having trouble finding the right keys on my keyboard.

Very powerful. Slightly sour taste at mid-tongue. This is not like any other barleywine that I've ever had -- not deep and burning, but high and sour and bitter.

Thin head, cloudy butterscotch in color.

Chewy in the mouth. Citrus flavors in the sourness.

This was an enjoyable Sunday afternoon beer, but I would not call it a barleywine. That being said, I am not sure what I would call it.

 545 characters

Photo of Jdiddy
2.62/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

While I am a huge Barleywine fan, I just do not like this beer at all. It is sickening sweet. Color is a nice amber with a small foam white head. Smell is that of Apricot an fruit. The taste is very fruity, some yeast and no hop taste to be found. Tastes like something went wrong with this beer. I have tried it twice to make sure I did not get a bad batch and it was the same. Would not try again.

 399 characters

Photo of avylover
4.6/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wow. This beer delivers the goods in every way .Golden honey color and very translucent. Looks thick but lighter in color than your average barlywine. The smell is sweet & floral, but the taste opens up with all sorts of fruity flavors!! Mango is heavy at the end..Yum!. The mouthfeel is great on account of all the flavor keeping your tastebuds working overtime. Would love to drink all night, too strong...damn! I would never guess 15% on this one. Awesome!!

 460 characters

Photo of scottum
4.87/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

So stoked to see this on tap so I just had to have it. Tastes ever so smooth. Very fruity. The 15% is so well hidden. This is one of my all time favorite brews. It needs a bit of age, but it is damn good young aswell. If you see this on tap, snap up the chance to have yourself a glass. Otherwise, buy two of the the corked bottles and bury one as per directions on the bottle.

 377 characters

Photo of marc77
3.58/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Turbid dark amber hue, topped by a vanilla white head foam rim. Bubbles rise lazily due to the high apparent viscosity. Ripe, peachy esters upfront in aroma, ensued by pine laced citrusy hops and a waft of mellow caramel and butterscotch. Hints of biscuit and heaty fusels surface as the beer breathes. Surprisingly tame aromawise. Mild toffeeish, melanoidin sweetness at first in flavor morphs into a fructose laden candy like, fruity, red licorice impression. Mellow carob and butterscotch undertone initially complements the light caramel and biscuit malt presence, but diacetyl becomes progressively more pronounced and begins to dominate. Mild hop bitterness leaves residual sweetness mostly uncontested. Muted floral hop flavor, with a herbal tinge. Full bodied, with a creamy, tongue coating, heavily dextrinous mouthfeel. Quite heavy on the palate. Finishes with a snap of bready malt yielding to an oily melange of hot butter and maple syrup. Olde School is quite an odd, but enjoyable brew. It's reminescent of a barleywine and hot toddy combination. It eventually weighs heavily on the palate, partially due to the pronounced diacetyl and unhindered residual sweetness. A fine bellywarmer nonetheless.

 1,212 characters

Photo of purplehops
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Olde School pours a hazy amber orange with an off-white head that leaves a nice lace pattern on the glass. The aroma is floral hops, citrus, apricots, cloves, some caramel, and alcohol. The taste starts with a hop and coriander bite that quickly fades to lemon and barley flavors with hints of juniper and raisons. The finish is refreshing with some carbonation on the tongue along with flavors of caramel and biscuit malt, citrus, evergreen, and dried fruits. The aftertaste is malt and fruit with faint hints of hop bitterness and alcohol. Mouthfeel is medium heavy with a nice balance of carbonation and only a slight syrupiness to it.
Overall a nice Barley Wine that balances malt and bitterness along with alcohol very well. IMHO it is a little rough around the edges though. Perhaps ageing will make this a most exceptional Barley Wine. The alcohol does sneak up on you; so beware.

 888 characters

Photo of sponberg
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bright amber, slightly cloudy, chance of snow, with a persistent head and a fruity/alcoholic nose.

Starts out really fruity - full of ripe apricot, pear, and sort of tropical (mango? pineapple? Something from the South Pacific) flavors with a yeasty undertone, some toffee/caramel sweetness, and a balancing hop spice/alcohol warmth that makes it VERY quaffable. The finish gets warmer, and that's the only time that you'll notice the alcohol. This is 15%?!?!? Wow. Cannot tell from drinking it. Danger, Will Robinson! Two of these will have you searching for license plates. Sneaky as hell.

A very, very tasty barleywine in the lighter color, fruity-malt vein. Hides its alcohol better than the Raison D'Etre, which is a bit more than half as strong.

 757 characters

Photo of Jason
3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml brown champagne magnum with a “Packaged On” date on the side of the label,

Appearance: Dull and hazy orange amber colour, haze is from both chill haze and very loose sediment in the bottle. Light carbonation creates a thin off white lace.

Smell: Herbal veggie hop aroma with an orangey backing, a touch buttery and alcoholic in the nose as well.

Taste & Mouthfeel : Creamy slick mouth feel with a light to moderate carbonation the provides a little smoothness amongst the semi-dense body. Big maltiness laced with ripe fruit and earthy yeast. A hidden alcohol lays under a twang of fruitiness and earthy yeast. A little buttery and the hops drop a spike of bitterness. Alcoholic warmth comes soon after with a spicy kick.

Drinkability & Notes: Big flavours are bursting with aleish ripeness, where is the 15% abv? There is alcohol there but I have had smaller barleywines that can’t hide the alcohol like this. Watch out on this one as it catches up with you.

 997 characters

Photo of beerluvr
3.53/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a thin, short lived white head over lightly hazy gold/copper-colored liquid. Nose is a bit musty, apricot-ish and other fruits too. Taste is surprisingly on the thin side for a beer of such alcoholic content. Notes of fruitiness, tartness and malt blend together, with a winey flavor popping up in the mix. Hoppiness lays in the background, not dominating at all. Alcohol heat and flavor is very unexpectedly subdued here. Finishes up with sweetness that dries out just slightly in the end, an average barleywine at best.

 532 characters

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

Another really interesting offering from our friends in Slower Delaware. Medium copper in color, just a trace of head (though, to be honest, there was more than I expected given the 15% potency). The smell is surprisingly mild, though certainly not offensive in any way. In a way it smells a bit like (and this is kind of odd) Orange Crush. In fact, upon the first taste that's exactly what popped into my head -- a rather hyped up version of Orange Crush. Not necessarily bad, just different. Of course, there are other flavors in there, such as molasses, tropical fruits, some subtle hop bitterness. And yes, alcohol, but not nearly as biting as you might expect from a beer of this strength, which perhaps makes it just a tad dangerously drinkable.

 751 characters

Photo of cokes
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml. Bottled either October or November of 2002 (notching on the label is not clear).

The olde school bully. Beefy, husky, and powerful, but somewhat dim and underdeveloped at the same time.

A blurry peach bodied brew with very little up top. Just a momentary appearance of a pale tan head.
Nose of rum soaked mangoes. For a brew of this strength, the nose is prepubescent.
This menace greets you on the playground with one fist full of peaches in heavy syrup and the other full of toffee. Both land direct blows, but your lunch money is not so quickly surrendered. Kicks to the ribs exclaim hues of oranges, rum, sugar, and beets, seemingly borrowed from it's little brother, Raison d'etre. Did you spite d'etre? As this is appears to be from the same gene pool, albeit with a few years' worth of hair and growth.
Continued blows to your sheltered body, as the alcohol notes form the kicks to the head.
More impressive in substance than style. This one has the bulky body to rule the school yard, if not the fighting moves to achieve it. Thick as the neck of a 200lb sixth grader, yet, not obnoxious or cloying.
No bruises are left after the 15% pounding. Tauntingly drinkable, and wrath-masking.

 1,213 characters

Photo of Murph
4.02/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly hazy peachish/orange color with some smallish floaters in there as well and a minimal creamy white head that sinks to the thinnest of films. Sweet malty and fruity aromas with some spiced apple and slightly alcoholic undertone. Thick maltiness and a big apple and vinous fruitiness still has a tough time of masking the 15% alcohol. However the alcohol only has a nice warming effect which is perfect for a cold day like today. Apples and some slight spiciness give this a nice winter touch. Smooth warmth from the alcohol and malt give this an amazing drinkability for its strength. Excellently drinkable brew. This is damn good for being as young as it is. I am definitely looking to get some of this and put it away.

 736 characters

Photo of Bierman9
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Time to head back to School... Poured a medium-to-dark copper color, perhaps a tinge of orange in there, with a little haze thrown in. I thought, or perhaps wished, it was darker in color. There was practically no head at all, but what was there left a hint of lace in the glass. Nose had a mix of some sweetness, a touch of fruit, and some alcohol. Nothing really stands out, though. Body turns out to be medium to medium-plus, and it is fairly smooth as it wends its' way over my tongue. The flavor had some malty sweetness, as well as an alcohol warmth. I was somewhat let-down by the lack of complexity here, though. None of the layers of dark fruit flavors that I sometimes (most times?) see in barleys were evident. Does the flavor profile improve with age on this one? Mine was just recently bottled. Not bad, but many better examples of the style out there, imho. Prosit!!

overall: 3.8
appearance: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | mouthfeel: 4.5 | drinkability: 3.5


 976 characters

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

15.5% ABV - touted as "The world's strongest naturally carbonated beer", partially made possible through fermention in the secondary, and priming with the yeast from the World Wide Stout (which contains Champagne yeast). A cloudy, peach colored body is topped by a thick and creamy off-white head. The aroma is quite fruity with notes of raisins and figs, but some higher alcohols are clearly present as well. The body is medium/full with a very fine carbonation that leaves it quite creamy in the mouth. The flavor is rich and sweet with loads of caramel, molasses and maple syrup as well as some fruitiness and a tingling in the mouth & warming in the throat from the alcohol. The sugary flavors linger in the long lasting finish. Very nicely done with interesting fruit characteristics and a nice sweetness, but the alcohol is a bit too "hot" to give it any real drinkability. Still, very unique and worth trying.

 917 characters

Photo of frank4sail
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted 10-8-02 Monks Dogfish Head Beer and Spirts Dinner.
Touted as the worlds strongest naturally fermented barleywine. The brew is made with dates and figs, this sugar naturally punps the abv.. to what I don't know (sorry). This brew was brewed in June and bottled in Sept. it will be released Dec. 10 in bombers. Beige in color with a nive tan lace, the beer has a malty alcohol nose with a little hops in the back of the nose. Smooth silky fruity taste (figs) with lots of malt in your mouth. Thick and fruity.. this brew has a big bold finish. Not as dry on the tongue as many other BW's I've tasted. The brew does numb the tongue. I think this will greatly improve with more time in the bottle. A review edit will be done as I cellar one of these for next year!!

 778 characters

firstprev| 2601-2625 | 2626-2650 | 2651-2675  | next → last
Olde School Barleywine from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 3.98 out of 5 with 2,669 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.