Thomas Hooker Old Marley Barleywine | Thomas Hooker Brewing Company

very good
207 Ratings
Thomas Hooker Old Marley BarleywineThomas Hooker Old Marley Barleywine

Brewed by:
Thomas Hooker Brewing Company
Connecticut, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
This traditional American Ale blends copious amounts of five different malts and various English and American hops to yield a rich and flavorful brew.

We age our Barleywine in oak bourbon- casks to add vanilla and smoky notes, then blend these flavors into a full-blown sensory experience to enjoy on a cold winter's eve.
Old Marley Barleywine is extremely complex and full-bodied in flavor. The drinker will be rewarded by first letting a small amount warm in a brandy snifter , then sipping it, similar to a fine sherry.

74 IBU

Added by paceyourself on 03-01-2003

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 207 |  Reviews: 175
Photo of beergeek279
4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in the 500 mL cobalt blue swingtop bottle. The color is a dark tawny brown, with a good bit of yeast in the glass and just a bit of head. The smell is very chocolate/vanilla-ish, with a touch of plum to it. The taste has a very strong chocolate-like sweetness to it, with a bit of hop residue in the flavor, with a bittersweet aftertaste here, and has generally mellowed out the alcohol burn here. Mouthfeel is a bit flat, but that's mostly due to the gasket...seems about as thick as it should be. As for drinkability, this is a very rich and luscious barleywine, so pounding it all night would likely be out, but a few would be quite nice.

Thanks to counselor and BIF for this bottle. Troutbrook has been a source of great delight in the past, with the simply amazing Imperial Porter and the great Liberator, and I wanted to wait a little while to give this one a try. Despite the flaws inherent in the swing-top bottle that cause a bit of flatness and just a touch of oxidation, I can tell that this is a nice one, though seems more English than American (don't numb my tongue with hops here!) with a nice, rich flavor in the malts. Quite nice, and I'd love to try the later vintages!

 1,197 characters

Photo of bditty187
4.4/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Any beer label that uses the word “copious” is cool with me!

Coppery-ruby in hue, especially around the edges with a more pronounced dark crimson in the middle; there is something about the color of this liquid that I love! The head was beige in color; the foam reached a little over one finger in height. Head retention was decent; it faded fairly quickly to a bubbly cap. After awhile the cap faded to a scant collar; there was no subsequent lacing. Regardless, I really like how this beer looks in my glass. I love Barleywines. I love how the great ones smell. The first sniff made my mouth water. Oh, the joy! Big malty influences with dark fruits (raisins, dates, plums) and hints of caramel but there is a more pronounced influence of nougat. Bready. The hops were loud on the first sniff. I went back for a second whiff to pinpoint what I smelled. Where did the nose go? That initial big blast of beer is gone! What? Why? It doesn’t smell so great now, the bouquet is softly malty now with traces of spice like orange peel, oak, maple tree chips soak in it’s own sap. Vanilla hints. Alcohol vibes are soft but noticeable. Even at this less than heightened state the nose smells quite joyful and it has all the Barleywine qualities I like, I just can’t smell them as well right now. Inviting. The palate is good. I do wonder though, how this beer must have been fresh. I’m not saying it has aged poorly but the hops are not very loud. Where they ever? I don’t know. The malt backbone is fantastic though. IMO, it is much harder to brew a beer with a tasty malt backbone, anybody (*cough* Avery *cough*) can added tons of hops to cover their asses or drown your mind in gallons of alcohol. This beer does neither. I will admit the alcohol is fairly pronounced but not in that distracting way, the alcohol adds a few layers of flavor enjoyment, some heat, some spice, something to cut the sweetness. Nice. Loads of dark fruits, raisins, dates, prunes, are infused with brandy, figs, chocolate, one coffee bean, vanilla, and some maple syrup. At the finish are notes of extra sweet cola as well, maybe RC Cola? Whiskey notes. Traces of wood too. Brown sugar sprinkled on melons. Kisses of molasses too. The finish is hot and sweet, the beer ends on a very powerful note that says, “Sip me, you jackass!” I hate it when a beer scolds me. Marley is right though; this beer is a sipper. I love the malty complexity, I wish the hops added some more bitterness (there is some but if the hops could cut the malt this beer would be great. Only the alcohol is bold enough to standup to the malt, if the hops were louder the complexities would be unbelievable). Overall the palate is very tasty. I’m hard on Barleywines; the taste is not great (IMO) but its very, very good. Basically full in body, big and lumbering like Bryant “Big Country” Reeves. This beer has more skill though. Low carbonation, the mouthfeel lovely... its very comforting. Relaxing. Its tacky and mouth-coating but I like it. I think of it as motivation to eat cheese and meat with this beer. Drinkable? Hell yeah. Is the 9.6% a factor? No. I feel it on my brain and in my belly. It is a good, relaxing buzz. I’ll admit that. It’s a nightcap, all the way. This beer was lovely. I enjoyed every sip. Recommended. Thanks ppoitras for including this beer in the 2004 Secret Santa.

 3,361 characters

Photo of Wolfsdenbrew
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours with a minimal light tan head that dissipates quickly and leaves no lacing whatsoever, but typical of style. Its a clear ruby-brown like southern sweet tea.

Full of floral hops with deep, sweet malts and a bit of licorice.

So many flavors in this one...caramel, chocolate malts, prunes, figs, dates. A little bit of smokiness and vanilla underly all the fruits and malts. Nice big piney bite to this one but well balanced with all the malts. Hops linger for awhile.

Lightly carbonated, perfect for the style with nice thick body. Alcohol is well hidden.

This one justs get better as it warms in the glass!

 623 characters

Photo of talkingpoints
3.81/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This little jug of heaven brought in 2005 with a bang unfortunately the next day I paid the price for tackling too many of these bad boys. At 10 percent alcohol this barley beer packs a wallop. I remember the first taste was a little weird since I wasn't used to the barleywine taste, but I knew instantly that I liked it better than the Imperial Porter by Hooker. This brew had many distinctive features that grew on me with every taste and swig. It went down pretty well but heavy at the same time. The hops were abundant but not owerpowering but the beer got sweeter as I drank it. Like I said this beer was great but probably should have just had one since it was my first sitting with a barleywine beer.

 708 characters

Photo of edchicma
3.53/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to wyllder and Ted. After looking at some of the other reviews..I have a feeling my sample may have suffered from some outside elements (air, heat?). While it wasn't bad, it did not hit the mark like some barleywines I've tried. It pours a purplish amber with a nice head...very inviting. Smell had some fruity. port-wine elements, but also a touch of stale, cheap beer. Taste improved as it warmed and had some fruity alcohol elements. Mouthfeel is medium with a decent hoppy presence that dries the palate on the finish. Overall drinkability is ok. Perhaps this was meant to be aged longer. I don't know, but othe Hooker's I 've tried have been far superior to thi offering.

 683 characters

Photo of yankeeheel
4.62/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a turbid caramel brown with no head. Swirling it yields a yin/yang sheet of lace...nice. Looks thick. Smells nicely fruity. Perhaps some licorice and fig. Whirls around the tulip glass and I can't stop smelling it. Really ethereal. Brown sugar is the first taste I get, followed by leather and plum. Turns slightly bitter with a solid hop backbone. Doesn't dominate but helps build a well balanced profile. Long vanilla and oak ending caps off an exceptional barleywine. Mouthfeel is great and oily. This is a wonderful companion on a cold Maine night.

 558 characters

Photo of Brent
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've always considered this sort of beer to fall into either the barleywine or strong ale categories - American barleywine? I've not been too quick to adopt this as a style, but it is probably a good description for this beer, given its incorporation of some serious hopping. Poured a dark garnet brown with nominal head. Aroma was dark fruit and hops. Flavors were complex and layered - first noted was the hopping - bold and a bit raw. An undercurrent of dark fruit and some oak tannin flavor. Bottle notes maturation in oak liquor barrels, but I didn't note whiskey flavors other than some caramel. Alcohol was well integrated into the flavor. Overall, while this beer is nicely drinkable right now, it seems young and rough - a year might help, but I certainly enjoyed it right now. Thanks to far333 for the sample.

 819 characters

Photo of Rastacouere
3.75/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

1yr old: Copper see-through body. Almost no head. Very nice nose containing rare to be found aromas like sugar cane though the focus is on centennial like hops which come out quite earthy, orangey, grapefruity though there’s a solid maple/honey malt base in there. Somehow, I was expecting more of an english-style barley wine, so I was stunned by the huge hoppiness this bears. Its palate is very dry, hoppy full of oily hops and a bit harsh ultimately, especially with that weird though slight tin/penny note hiding in a vegetal world. A bit light bodied, low-medium carbonation. Pretty good, especially aroma wise. Cheers Casey!

 632 characters

Photo of CharlesRiver
4.37/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beautiful 500ml swing top bottle. The sticker on the top clearly states bottled in 2004. Poured into a smaller snifter. Burgundy-brown in color with a small head that doesn't last. The smell is deep and rich. Reminds me a lot of Arrogant Bastard. Huge sweet malt backbone. Raisins and some port notes come through.

Taste isn't exactly what I expected. Some big smokey notes come through in the beginning. Giving way to malt and hops and ending with a nice warming feeling. Carbonation is very low but fits this beer perfect.

A great beer but needs a little time as the edges seem sharp. Time should blend these flavors together nicely.

 643 characters

Photo of wyllder
4.36/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Marley pours a deep, slightly clouded garnet, with a thin caramel head. He might be dead, but he looks quite appealing in my goblet.

The nose has a sharp, poignant edge to it. Behind that edge, it speeks of plums, raisins, chocolate and other scents I had a hard time distinguishing.

The flavor is slightly bitter on the front of the palate. By the midsip, bitter coffee, chocolate and a touch of plum all play out, along with some lovely alcohol hints. The aftertaste is a brilliant bitter coffee with some last, lingering, alcohol notes.

Mouthfeel is smooth, full and round, a delight to sip slowly on a cold October evening.

Drinkability is good, though I couldn't see myself drinking more than one of these in a night. One, however, is mighty satisfying in and of itself.

Overall, a terrific barleywine.


 831 characters

Photo of AlexJ
4.92/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've had 2 of these babies stashed in the cellar for a while and a cold, rainy, Oct. afternoon "forced" me to open one. Although I've had the pleasure of this glorious elixer before, I wasn't at home to review it.
--Glug-glugs out the sweet blue swing-top a beautiful deep amber/mahogany with a 1 in. head of golden-wheat. Veils of lace adorn my Delirium-tulip. Head dissipates but a thin hood remains.
--Aromas of Caramel, brown sugar, and malted milk sweetness burst from the glass. Then gobs of gooey piney, green hops hit you w/ a definate citrus/marmalade tone. What's this other level of aroma, kinda smells like fresh, heady marijuana. The sweet alcohol aroma is right there, drawing me further in. An alltogether explosive olefactory experience!
--Tasting unleashes a barrage of pure malty delight! Chewy caramel, brown sugar, date-bread, vanilla, and burnt English toffe are followed by an intense, tongue-coating blast of fresh hops. Mouthfeel is very full and lasting. The alcohol is well disguised but very warming. Finishes with a mouthfull of hops that doesn't plan on leaving any time soon!

Superb, absolutely perfect barley-wine! One of the best I've had and this is one of my favorite styles that I enjoy year-round. This definately rivals the grandure and sheer-deliciousness of Paul Davis's Liberator and Imperial Porter. This one will age well, I would like to see the hops a little more subdued by ageing so that wonderful caramel, malty yum-yum can come out and play!

 1,495 characters

Photo of nogoodreason
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It glugs out of that gorgeous blue bottle and it's garnet beauty with little carbonation.

Rich and sweet, like a pilsner malt on steroids. There are rum-like characteristics, white grape, vanilla, some brown sugar, cinnamon and raisins... there's a doughy bread pudding like malt sweetness. Incredibly drinkable.

I'm glad this isn't a huge bottle or it would kick my ass. I'm left warmed and awed... wow oh wow. My favorite barleywine to date. Incredible.

 462 characters

Photo of mzwolinski
3.82/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Marley was flat, to begin with. Flat as a…umm.. an uncarbonated beer. Well, OK there was a *little* carbonation to be found, leading to thin wisps of tan head floating atop the beer. But not much. And this head ain’t coming back on Christmas Eve, neither.

The scent is predominantly malty, though there’s a fair bit of spice from the alcohol, and the hops give a rather citric character to the finish.

Pretty hot in the mouth. Malt hits first with something of a caramel character, but is quickly overpowered by Heavy citric hops and a big alcohol finish. This yields to a slow, tingly, aftertaste that leaves one smacking one’s lips with the taste of slightly burnt toffee and vanilla.

Moderately full in mouthfeel. Mellows out a bit as it warms, but it certainly needs to age a bit.

 797 characters

Photo of HiroProtagonist
4.62/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Old Marley was served from a really neat cobalt blue flip-top bottle. In my Duvel tulip, the beer was a vibrant orange-ruby tinged mahogany brown color and was blanketed by a thin but persistant tawny head that left nice sheet lacing. The nose was smooth and roasty, with fat n’ chewy musty-caramel maltiness and a stupendous fresh hop bouquet of herbal/ cannabis-like resiny and berry-limey citric notes that envelope the senses. Eagerly, I moved in for a taste. I found bold and roasty sweet cookyish eathy-musty caramel malts, a perfect level of resiny-aromatic and limey citric bitterness, and a rich bitter smokey nutty finish that held a interesting cocoa powder quality. The body was wonderfully smooth and full, and the carbonation was energetic enough to keep things lively. Old Marley is a well-crafted barleywine: big but balanced, deftly bittered, and lucidly aromatic. This beer should age well but its fantastic now.

 931 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.57/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Marley was dead, to begin with, dead as a doornail ...or so I thought,(but what's so dead about a doornail?)and, yet, he's here in this bottle, waiting for me to drink him...funny, huh?
Dark crimson color, nice, if thin, layer of beigish foam on top.
Nose bespeaks of everything I want out of a barleywine, dark fruits, cherries, berries, currants, plums, , with a wicked, alcoholic twist, mingled with maple, spices, anise, more...beautiful....marvelously complex....oh, very nice.
Drink now, if I dare...Big, fierce, buzzing blast on the palate, big hoppiness, huge fruitiness, rich maltiness, no, "rich" doesn't qualify, it's a tonnage going on here. Tasty, tasty, tasty!
This does wonderful things in the month, sets it ablaze and soothes again with delicious flavors. Has great potential to enter my pantheon of favorite, it's a shoo-in, f'gettaboutit!
Plentiful flavor, not too punishing in alcoholic strength, very warm, with a full body, and a long, fruity, toasty finish, this is a winner. Classic barleywine, all the way!
Happily, I've got a couple bottles (thanks sulldaddy and wyllder!), and can stash one away for a rainy day!

 1,160 characters

Photo of ecoboy
4.38/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One sentence may be all you need to know about my sampling: I followed it with a Thomas Hardy 1987 and the Old Marley's character and flavors were still instantly memorable. Pretty damned impressive.

Head has rosy and orange tones in the off-white. Very fine bubbles in the carbonation.

Aroma and flavor are matched. Sweet raisin/prune and coffee pervasive. Redolent with dark dried fruit. Still fairly fresh when sampled but noticeable warm and warming. Good bitterness factor above and beyond the expected for style. Outstanding.

 537 characters

Photo of rabidawg
4.58/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Absolutely stunning blood red. Seems to be fairly carbonated for a barleywine, but the head and lacing are fantastic. Creamy, frothy one-inch head that looks like meringue and stays until the very end. Amazing.

Smell: Interesting mix of old and new world aromas, with the interesting mix of hops. Slightly smoky, with big notes of burnt sugar and toffee.

Taste: Extremely creamy in the mouth, so the head was a good predictor. Slight initial alcohol presence, followed by a luxurious sweet malt rush, which itself is quickly swept away by substantial yet gentle hop presence. Sweet and spicy, then dry and oaky, with a noticeable whiskey-like finish. Excellent, excellent beer, even on a warm summer night in Georgia.

 736 characters

Photo of Boilermaker88
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presented in a 500ml swing-top bottle with a thin sticker over the top stating it was brewed in 2004. I poured about a third into a small brandy snifter as suggested, held it in my hands for a couple minutes, and let it warm up a bit.
This barleywine had the color of a brick wall - a nice dark maroon hue - topped with a tiny tan head that quickly melted away to a thin ring but could be conjured up again momentarily with a small amount of aggitation.
The nose was quite enticing. Sweet and fruity with vanilla, sherry and woody notes. Also a bit of caramel and toffee and, as it warmed, some gentle hints of alcohol.
The taste was magnificent. Initially, a sweetness akin to caramel-dipped apples and some pear notes. Then a rock candy flavor briefly presented. As it warmed up an alluring oak flavor washed over my tongue as did a light wood smoke note. Lastly, a balancing hops bitterness came out in the finish. The feel was full, syrupy without being cloying, and gently warming.
I'm not a huge fan of barleywines but this offering by Troutbrook is awesome! First their Liberator d-bock, now this. Hats off to Troutbrook Brewing for delivering such a tasty brew. Big thanks also to pbrian for hooking up this West Coast BA with a CT gem.

 1,248 characters

Photo of Bighuge
4.43/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Nice looking deep, crimson color. A thin light brown head recedes to a small, bubbly collar. Some nice caramel maltiness on the nose with some notes of toffee, nougat and vanilla as well. The taste starts out with a nice, smooth maltiness. Toffee and caramel derived malt flavors. There's a nice nougat center to this flavor. Sweet flavors dominate but are held in check with a little alcohol spiciness and some bitter hops. The alcohol presence as a whole is fairly light. I don't notice it unless I TRY to notice it. This is one drinkable Barleywine. The body is a little better than medium and the carbonation is right on.

Hats off to Troutbrook. I've had 3 of their's now and all were top notch.

 703 characters

Photo of Boto
4.6/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottled 2004 version (per the label tape): Ahh, this looks nice. The cobalt swing-top bottle is a nice start. Opens with just a little "pffft". The beer comes out a dark reddish-amber color. There is a light head that is gone very quickly. The aroma is lightly sweet, with some oakiness. Maybe a hint of coffee also. The taste is quite good. It's been aged awhile before it got to the bottles, which is evedent by the relative smoothness. It could sit awhile longer, but it is drinkable now. A bit of a roasty/smoky flavor to it. Also, there is a bit of a mellow whisky taste to it. Also hints of fruits. VERY complex, and also quite good. This gets better by the sip! I don't have last years to compare it to, but based on my notes this was much better!

 754 characters

Photo of nixhecks
4.7/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'll agree, the attractive swing-top bottle is what caught my eyes at the store. Poured much darker than most barleywines I had tried, very deep cherry-mohogany color with no head and barely a trace of carbonation. I smelled hints of oak, hard candy, apples, grapes, barley (of course), a bit of cocoa, and the tinniest bit of floral hoppiness. The taste was delicious, unbelievable really. there was a definite woody, chocolate malt essense to it. Syrupy in mouthfeel, this brew coats the mouth with a sweet, fruity, barleywine goodness, and finishes with a warming alcohol affect and a dry hoppiness. I did not expect this, although was surely hoping for it when the 500ml bottle rang up at $6.99. A must buy for barleywine fans, I think this may be my all time favorite. Very easy drinking and well balanced while remaining complex and unique. Awesome!!

 856 characters

Photo of counselor
3.33/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a problem offering, some off flavros, Not as up front as some of the other premium barleywines, subdued and subtle - nothing wowish here to make me remember the beer - never the less a decent brew on a cold rainy day. Deep dark reddish color with a thin head. The body was a little thin, slidng past the gums with alcohol and hop notes. Spices, cloves, pepper notes with alcohol flavors dominated. Some off flavors of soap and wood - I wonder if this is right - clean glass? - yes. just something off about this beer that doesn't make it bad, just makes me wonder every once on a while..

 587 characters

Photo of CRJMellor
4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As others have mentioned Troutbrook makes some of the coolest bottles I've ever seen.
Pours a deep amber hue with some orange highlights. Thin off-white head on the pour with a few spots of lace on the glass.
Aromas of vanilla, peat and scotch with some spicy hops and lighter malt tones.
Flavor is initially dominated by the oak and vanilla notes. Really tastes like some more poured a shot of Bushmills in my barleywine. Some spicy hop notes cuts the strong scotch characteristics and really enliven the palate.
Mouthfeel starts alcoholic and malty and then shifts to a spicy, somewhat tangy middle and finishes with modestly bitter and a warming alcohol hit .
Drinkability is good, but strong oak, vanilla and bitterness sort of takes your taste buds out of action for the night.
Thanks to PBrian for the bottle.
Xaipe Bro.

 837 characters

Photo of tavernjef
4.23/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Solid dark brown, nearly black with mahogany highlights, thin off-white/dusty yellow head that singes away to leave an ever present firm collar and whispy skim, some webby lacing sticks. Aroma is oaky boubon sweetness with ethonal soaked cherry mixed with caramel. The alcoholic vapors really become evident as it warms and gets shallow. Not as potent or as complex as I like, but it gets better as it breathes. The taste has a deep dark cherry sweetness soaked in boubon, coated with caramel and dusted with cocoa making for a nice thick chocolate finish coming through late. Hops are milding with a bit of a floral/piney bitterness in the middle and in areas of the finish where its slightly spiced and loaded with a leveling smooth warming quality thats nice to behold. Feel is nice and smooth, good maltiness, big, bold, creamy, with a warming alcohol thats easy to handle. And again, gets real nice as it sits. A pretty darn nice barleywine here, some nice little boubon notes make for an interesting mix between its sweetness and overall milder hop tone and creamy feel. Thanks goes out to mickeys01 for the classy, blue, swing top bottle!

 1,145 characters

Photo of marburg
4.62/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Remarkably elegant bottle. Pours with a sophisticated bubbling of thick, syrupy, gel-like brew. Lightly roasty malt aromas dominated by sweet, carmelized brown sugar and some delicate, tickling floral fragrances that lie somewhere between lemon, melon, and tulips. Liquid smoke meets hickory turkey bacon in its sweetness. (Have CPK Jamaican Jerk pizza, which has a very smoky bacon topping to see more clearly what the hell I'm talking about.)

Incredibly fluffy feeling and drinkable for such a rich-smelling beverage. Perfectly balanced barleywine flavors; full bodied. Resinous, astringent finish wipes clean a very sweet caramel flavor with hints of alcohol and spiciness.

This is the definition of a complex brew. It's subtle and refined, and while you can certainly drink right through this, ignoring its greatness, it really begs you to slow down, enjoy the ride, and notice what it has to offer.

 909 characters

Thomas Hooker Old Marley Barleywine from Thomas Hooker Brewing Company
3.99 out of 5 based on 207 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.