Old Bounder | Boundary Bay Brewery & Bistro

very good
22 Reviews
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Old BounderOld Bounder

Brewed by:
Boundary Bay Brewery & Bistro
Washington, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.60%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-17-2006

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Reviews: 22 | Ratings: 39
Photo of snaotheus
4.28/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle split between a pair of tulips. 345 D-1 1316 is printed on the bottom, but I don't know what it means. Had it on tap at Boundary Bay a month or two ago, and loved it at the time, and bought a bottle to take home. I'm not sure this is the same year as the one I had on tap, but I thought it was supposed to be.

Pours a dark amber with a slight ruby tinge, a medium to small head, and lots of fine slow carbonation. Smell is rich, boozy, sweet and woody, overripe plums or cherries.

Taste is a nice contrast between sweetness and bitterness. They're there in roughly balanced proportions, but they exist almost separately. This tastes much better than it sounds. There's some coffee bitterness and a strong caramel sweetness, there's woody bite and the alcohol itself (noticeable, but not dominant). There's a strong piney bitterness in the finish. There's more of a fruity sweetness, maybe dates or raisins.

Mouthfeel is thick and comfy. Overall, this is a very good barleywine.

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Photo of Moose90
3.69/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2014 Vintage served on-tap in 2016, nearly two years old to the day.

A — Pours a leathery caramel hued amber into the glass. There is a creamy beige colored head that forms with some agitation. Manages to leave behind some sticky bits of lace along the inside of the small glass.

S — Smell is slightly sweet, but offers great dark malt and fruit notes, loads of caramel and maple syrup on the nose balanced with a plummy and jammy note as well.

T — Taste is smooth, mellow, balanced and harmonious, big notes of autumn maple, toasted caramel, toffee, pecan, peanut brittle, nougat, dark fruits, plums, dates, figs, jammy.

M — Full bodied, sticky, warming and boozy finish.

O — Fantastic overall, I can only imagine what this same beer would be like if it spent a year (or more), in Bourbon barrels. This beer is rather raw and syrupy when fresh, but man with a couple years on it, fantastic.

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Photo of brentk56
3.87/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: A fast fading head sits atop the caramel colored liquid, turning quickly into a ringlet though the lacing is impressive, with many dots, strands and legs

Smell: Caramel, dark and stone fruits and earthy hops

Taste: Malt forward, with a combination of caramel, fig, pear and nuts; grows more fruity, in the middle, with the hops arriving as well, adding an earthy bitterness; quite brash, after the swallow, with the bitterness a bit too much for the malty flavors

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, with moderate carbonation and some warmth in the gullet

Overall: A nice flavor profile but I think it lacks some depth in the malt and is overrun, at this stage, by the hops (not sure of the bottling date but it is within 6 months old, I would guess); perhaps things will change over time

Thanks, kemoarps, for the opportunity

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Photo of dirtylou
3.68/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22oz bomber, scooped at the brewery a few weeks back

A relatively standard barleywine - rich garnet body with some filmy lace. Big dark fruits - plum, cherry, apple. Wood, earth, booze. Perfectly fine, but nothing too innovative here. At $6.99 a bomber, kind of hard to complain here.

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Photo of jdense
3.92/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2009 vintage, shared with colleague 5.4.12.

Clear amber brown body with minimal head, pretty still. Light raisins, and molasses dominate the nose. Fairly sweet taste, burnt brown sugar, golden raisins, some citrus hops subsumed by the sweetness. Medium mouthfeel, very little effervescence, but not cardboard aromas or skank mouthfeel. The bottle, while tasty, may have been a bit past its prime, but it was fairly tasty.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage

A: Poured a deep amber color with a thin white head.

S: Caramel malt and dried fruits make up the nose. I also noticed some espresso or maybe even some bourbon.

T: The taste has a nice toffee flavor, very malty as I like it. It has a great amount of bitterness. Well hopped and well balanced with dried fruit in there, maybe raisins, prunes or even figs. Cherry, sherry,

M: The deep malts really leave a great mouthfeel.

O: Impressibe

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Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
4.55/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber courtesy of bvc, over on ratebeer, pours clear sparkling deep copper with thin off white head. The aroma has firm muted nearly moldy grapefruit, mild yet assertive citrus hops, pine, a mild level of spicy hops and a touch of floral. The taste has loads of various hops with smooth spicy hops, pine, floral, grapefruit and tangelo. Beneath all those hops is a thin layer of caramel and sweet maltiness. Great balance, great smoothness and a great American Style Barleywine. Thanks Boundary Bay!

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Photo of flexabull
4.18/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark amber color with a very nice off white head.

Aromas are of dark ripe fruits, plums, strong grains, and some earthy hops.

Taste is very full flavored, but not overwhelming. Grainy, with some toasted nuts, hints of rye, oak, and dark fruit sweetness. Finish is slightly dry and crisp, with some earthy bitter hops.

Mouthfeel is very good. Nice and smooth, very full feeling too.

Drinkability is surprisingly easy. This is a very nice Barleywine, I was impressed by this one. Well done Boundary Bay.

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Photo of chumba526
4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appears translucent brownish red with a small tan head.

It smells of molasses, caramel, and brown sugar there is undertones of citrus and nutty malt.

It tastes initially like sweet oranges, there is a bit of dried fruit sweetness as well. Notes of caramel and molasses come through in the beer. There is a bit of a coffee like bitterness in the finish. The beer is very smooth. For a barleywine this is very smooth. There is a perfect blend of sweetness and bitterness. Neither the bitterness nor the sweetness is overpowering.

The carbonation is moderate low and adds smoothness to the ale.

The drinkability is very good. The beer goes down quite smoothly. For a barleywine it is very smooth. This is a great barleywine. Worth seeking out.

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Photo of Briken
3.86/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Ol' Bounder is a clear, dark umber with a thin brown head. It has an overpowering alcohol aroma with just a hint of a little something else underneath. There is a good taste underlying the barley/alcohol flavor. Anise, toffee, and what seemed to be figs. The mouthfeel is a thick, sweet molasses that coats the mouth and seems to hide some of the flavors if it isn't sipped and had with food. It is fairly well balanced although slightly on the acidic side.

From other reviews, the on tap version is much better. The taster I received that made me buy the bottle did seem to have a little something extra that this was missing. I guess I'll just have to wait until next time.

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Photo of bobsy
4.27/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2005 vintage courtesy of Derek and popped at our big bad barleywine tasting. Considering the ridiculous amount of barleywines we drank that evening, this one was one of my favourites.

Pours a rich copper with a small white collar. Not much in the way of retention or lace, but I think this is probably a result of time diminishing the carb more than anything. The aroma is more English than American at this point, as the hops seem to have mostly dropped out. There's a lot of caramel and rich dark fruit, along with a glug of sherry. Surprisingly, there's still a nice amount of hopping present, though I'm sure it's a mere shadow of its earlier strength. To a large extent assertive malts have taken their place, with brown sugar, biscuit, raisin, and a splash of warming alcohol. The sweetness is more or less balanced by the remaining hops. The years have obviously reduced the carbonation, but its making this beer drink smoother than ever.

This was an excellent beer of one of the better aged bottles I've come across. It would be nice to taste this one fresh to see what changes have been wrought, but right now it gets a big thumbs up from me!

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Photo of ritzkiss
4.32/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber of 2005 vintage, brought by Derek to Rob's great barleywine tasting - thanks Derek!

Pours a dark auburn, not much head and even a swirl around the glass fails to raise much of anything - guess the carb is on the downward swing.

Nose is classic barleywine, how it should be done. Balanced yet rich caramel, toffee, raisins, faint grassiness still.

This has smoothed out really nice, a very drinkable barleywine at this point. Caramel, bread, toffee, earth, raisins, light nuttiness, still a faint hop presence, light alcohol in the finish. Smooth and full mouthfeel without being overpowering or cloying, sweetness balanced by a nice earthy dryness. This was one of the highlights of the night!

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Photo of RedDiamond
3.7/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A big maroon-colored beer with an uncommonly sweet aroma of dried and fresh fruit. The smell and taste ring with vivid notes of strawberry backed by a hearty hops infusion and strong bittering.

Bounder is a wide-bodied ale with engaging winter spice elements, sluggish carbonation, and no untoward heat from alcohol. Very nice, though I suspect a year in the cellar might round out some sharper contours.

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Photo of beertunes
4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in goblet at brewery. Very thin head, with minimal lacing. Deep mahogany color. Strong alcohol presence in the aroma. Very strong alcohol bite in the flavor. More of a hop presence than I prefer for this style. This beer is very hot when new, but smooths out nicely with age. Very thick, sticky body. A lot of lingering flavors. Very drinkable for a Barleywine. If you are trying this beer new, this years batch, it can be on the hard to drink side. But this beer ages very well, with even a year making a huge difference, which is why I'm rating this beer so high. I've been fortunate enough to do a vertical tasting of the 03-07 vintages and the older ones were absolutely magnificent. Don't judge this solely on the current vintage. Cellar a case of bottles each year and your patience will be rewarded.

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Photo of John_M
4.23/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This has always been a favorite barleywine of mine. Was very happy to see it on tap at the brewpub a while back.

The beer pours a coffee color brown color with good head retention and lacing. As expected, the beer is very sweet and malty on the nose, but with hints of underlying citrus from the hops. The flavors on the palate replicate the nose, but that sweetness is backed up with some firm hoppiness. The beer is quite rich with flavors of vanilla, butterscotch, coffee and cherry. The mouthfeel is quite plush, and the beer has a long, smooth finish. The beer is pretty drinkable, but with some noticeable warming from the abv.

A very nice beer from Boundary Bay.

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Photo of ccrida
3.4/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2005 vintage, listed at 10% at the Uber Tavern in Seattle, WA. Served from draught into a snifter, Old Bounder is a hazy dark garnet with a small egg-shell head that leaves medium lace.

The aroma is heavy with the recognizable maltiness of BW, caramel and booze, like rice pudding.

The taste is pretty heavy on the fusels, with a strong amount of dry alcohol character, behind which lies some spice, plastics and noble hop bitterness. While age has smoothed it out, it's still pretty astringent.

The mouthfeel is pretty smooth but still a bit thick, medium bodied .

This has just a bit to many phenols to be really drinkable, but still, I can tell I'm lucky to be drinking one with some time on it.

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Photo of Derek
4.42/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I picked it up from the brewpub in Dec '05, same time I got the one for Jay (tasted by Sammy & Viggo as well). Going by their reviews, this has aged REALLY well.

A: Amber-brown, light tan head, very little retention or lace.

S: PINE, toffee, sherry & a little fruit-bread.

T: Piney, resiny hops are assertive all the way through. Mild toffee sweetness is overpowered by the hop bitterness. Dark fruit and some quality malt in the background. Although the hops seem to have mellowed, they still dominate.

M: Full body is surprisingly quite creamy; modest carbonation; some acidity. For an American barley wine, the mouthfeel doesn't get better than this.

D: If you love hops & bitterness, it's a good drinker. A bomber will get you bombed!

After a long day at work this was perfect. It paired REALLY well with some left-over, spicy baked beans (with pork).

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Photo of czechsaaz
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

'03 Vintage

Nice pine hop aroma with a ton of malt behind it. I get caramel and honey and vanilla aromas.

Reddish brown, clear with a small head that leaves a little ring around the rim of the glass.

Lots of brown sugar and caramel malt flavor. Good fruity fermentation and yeast character. There's also a little bit of phenolic that comes off as smoky. Lots of complexity.

Big bodied with an appropriate light carbonation level.

Really nice beer, very drinkable at 3+ years old.

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Photo of carln26
3.7/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The color was dark copper to amber, and topped by a thin tan head. The nose has light caramel, mild citrus orange, and a little bourbon on the finish. The flavor was a combination of mild citrus and floral hop, dark caramel, vanilla, and just thee lightest touch of bourbon. I don't believe this beer is oak-aged, but I definitely get some of this bourbon barrel character. It's subtle, but it's there. The finish is just a touch harsh. This is a beer that could use some aging. Nice stuff, just needs some time.

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Photo of DrJay
3.62/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Mostly clear, deep ruby/amber colour with a spotty, light tan head. Caramel and figs in the aroma along with mild hops and prominent alcohol. Rich toffee and caramel flavour barely keeps up with the aggressive bitterness. Fresh, green hops in the middle. Alcohol is quite forward here as well. The bitterness and a bit of molasses really linger. Decent texture and body with moderately low carbonation. It ends up being quite dry, both from the intense hopping and strong alcohol. This barleywine is still quite young. It's brash character should mellow a bit with some aging. Thanks for the pick-up Derek!

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Photo of Viggo
3.82/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a burnt brown, clear, small off white head forms, goes pretty quick and leaves some spotty lace. Smell is very malty, figs and dark fruits, some alcohol, lots of toffee, little bit of chocolate. Taste is similar, lots of figs and toffee, some molasses, alcohol finishes it out, lots of bitterness in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation. Bitterness was a little bit unbalanced but I thought the malt was well done, would have again, and my parents live 20 minutes from the brewpub, a trip is in order. Thanks DrJay!

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Photo of Sammy
3.28/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Very alcoholic aroma
Pours light, thin yeast head..that makes it darker and
Darker as it sits in glass
Malt, scotch, a Sipper
Unpleasantly Bitter aftertaste, not enough balance
Date,fig. I found it had somethng but was unfinishable.Too much alcohol in palate that wouldn't be integrating, wouldn't go down
thanks Dr. Jay
Had again 4.5 years later, not very good for the style, some coconut.

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Old Bounder from Boundary Bay Brewery & Bistro
3.95 out of 5 based on 39 ratings.
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