Olde School Barleywine | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

BA SCORE
88
very good
2,648 Ratings
Olde School BarleywineOlde School Barleywine
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States
dogfish.com

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
2,648
Reviews:
1,076
Avg:
3.93
pDev:
12.72%
 
 
Wants:
255
Gots:
783
For Trade:
45
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,648 |  Reviews: 1,076
Photo of Bonis
3.91/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Shade1951
2.96/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Wow. Not sure about this one. DF Head just about never misfires, in my experience. I am tasting this as I write, and at the moment, I am disappointed.

The appearance is reasonably barleywine-ish. Cloudy, dark brown/amber. The smell is quite boozy. Sure it's 15% ABV. Even so, I really get that alcohol on the nose, and not in exactly a pleasant way. I guess the other smell would be that of dark dried fruit - figs maybe. A very small hint of sweetness.

The flavor somewhat follows the smell, except for the sweetness. It's a dry brandy/cognac flavor. It's not bad... but it's not what I prefer in a barleywine. Given the high ABV, this beer is obviously a sipper. But the dry, bordering on unpleasant flavor insures that one doesn't drink much at a time.

Now that it has warmed a bit, the flavor may have improved... a bit. Or maybe my palate has adjusted. I still would not describe the flavor as good, though.

I purchased a 4-pack, and I'm glad that's all I bought.

For me, it's an extremely rare misstep from Dogfish Head. If you really like dry brandies, cognacs, you may find this beer to your liking. It just doesn't work for me.

 1,143 characters

Photo of Bartleby91
3.43/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of gopens44
2.76/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.25

Smells nice and sweet but sorta drops off after that. Nearly off puttingly hot muddled anything else in this quizzically thin as hell beer. If hard pressed for descriptions on the rest of the flavors, I'd go Windex, diesel and whatever that smell is in KMart, in that order. So the mouthfeel stays thin like a diet cookie until the very finish when the oil slick (perhaps from the diesel taste) rolls in. I'm having this on tap, so maybe the secret is to age bottles. Dunno, but if that's the case, stop kegging it.

 520 characters

Photo of Sabtos
3.45/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sparkling apricot-red with a soft, frothy off-white head.

Smell is sticky, dank booze, with cherry, raspberry and apple skin.

Taste is toffee, apple, booze, butter, Werthers, and herbal medicine.

Hot.

 203 characters

Photo of 2ellas
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of JamesLeung
5/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of Birdlegs
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of gobuccos
4.17/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Warren2621
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of yuenglingfan101
4.75/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bright to medium color kinda reddish orangish color. Very strong but goes down very smooth for a beer of 15% abv. Kinda bourbony taste and it just a perfect for Dogfishhead

 173 characters

Photo of tekstr1der
3.71/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Amber-mohagany pour with ring of tan. Aroma is mysterious with a syrupy malt seeming to be balanced by a strange bitterness. Wow that innocuous smell is deceiving, the flavor is full-blast with alcohol ruining it all. There are hints of various good tidings such as the sweetness of fig and date, as well as brown sugar. Unfortunately the booziness quality - almost whiskey-like, dominates and ruins for me. I've had plenty of 11-13% brews where the alcohol is well-hidden and barely noticeable. At just a few percent higher this stuff unravels, and likely requires extensive aging.

 584 characters

Photo of hogrider
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Nice and boozy, I like the fruity taste. Hog

44 characters

Photo of Thy_Philosopher_King
2.44/5  rDev -37.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

This just isn't my beer. Maybe it's hint of wine, or the fig and date brew, but it just isn't feeling like the type of brew that accomadates the palate of this guy. It's striking and pretty, but the kick is that of a tequila shit. Which I'm not too fond of drinking when I'm having my mind set in in drinking beer. It has a cool bottle, and a beautiful look, but the feel (besides the drunk) isn't all too spectacular.

 419 characters

Photo of whatname
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of DaverCS
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a filtered dark orange color with ample alcohol legs.

Aroma is of booze, sweet malt, citrus, and perhaps dark fruits. Alcohol dominates the aroma.

Taste is on the thicker side with the alcohol biting near the middle-end of the sip. Chest warming and definitely some astringency. A good amount of sweet malt, toffee, caramel, and a kiss of fig. Some spicy hop character is notes just before the alcohol sets in.

Overall, this is just alright. The booze detracts and doesn't add anything. I see this pairing well with a glass of water due to the thickness. It gets a 82/100.

 581 characters

Photo of muchos
4.36/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Rootscipio
4.21/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Muss42
4.21/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of SaxmanRick
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Brutaltruth
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A stunning ale from Dogfish from the 12 oz bottle in a snifter via a friend
from work who has discovered the joy of full bodied ales----
Welcome to the dark side Kevin---we have cookies and Thank You
very much for this treasure!

This BEAST pours a luminous red tinged amber with a nice head of off
white foam that settles to a thick ring, thin layer, and features some nice
sudsy lacing. Nose of dates, figs, strong booze, brown sugars, golden raisins,
and assertive herbal and floral hops. Flavors follow the nose with rich brown
sugars awash in figs and dates with a nice strong grape and white raisin note
on mid palate with strong pine and herbal hops blanched in strong booze
reminiscent of rum. Excellent mouth feel; medium full body; extremely
warming and boozy, medium low carbonation that keeps this one lively
to cut through the sweetness, and a sweet hopped finish.

Overall one of the best little barely wines I have ever had and a testament to
great brewing with a high ABV that is balanced in it's presentation.

Cheers

 1,042 characters

Photo of zonker17
4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Copper colored draft pour with insignificant head, no lacing. Slight booze on the nose, dried figs, some toffee, almost like sherry. Boozy like a mixed drink, sweet but not overly, balanced bitter finish. Heavy body and low carbonation.

 236 characters

Photo of HardyA
4.46/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Timc32
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of drunkenmess
4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Olde School Barleywine from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
3.93 out of 5 based on 2,648 ratings.
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