Olde Deuteronomy | Alley Kat Brewing Company

73 Reviews
Olde DeuteronomyOlde Deuteronomy

Brewed by:
Alley Kat Brewing Company
Alberta, Canada

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-18-2002

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Reviews: 73 | Ratings: 112
Photo of charlesw
2.48/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Color of brown sugar in water. Very little head, very beautiful lacing. You can see through it but not easily. Smells like brown sugar in water, man. That and oxidation (i'm sorry, the wet, earthy smell of the hardwood understory after a rainstorm in middle of fall). Which is interesting 'cause it sure doesn't taste like that. Wet and sweet up in front and around the sides and then just a huge smack of oily bitter all down the middle. All you can taste is that bitter. Whoa. The mouth is pretty close to on (I think it needs a little more carbonation) and the drinkability surely follows.

So. Yeah. I guess... This is a tough one. It meets the criteria for a 'merican BW but I don't like it. Yeah, I'd add a little carbonation and head and all, but, whoa, the flavor is so bitter and unpleasantly so (weird citrus, pinesol and something but WAY more bitter than those words alone describe).

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Photo of markaberrant
3.24/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

2007 version

A - Pours nice and clear, red/brown colour. Looks syrupy, no head, no bubbles, no lacing. I'm swirling the crap out of it in my glass, and I can't generate the slightest bit of cream on top.

S - boozy sweet caramel, just like the stuff on caramel apples, some piney hops

T - There is some good malt and hop flavour here, but it is totally ruined by the mouthfeel. Some of the malt sweetness is coming across as cloying, though it is mostly hidden by the hops... could possibly be underattenuated. Not much of a finish tastewise, possibly ruined by the mouthfeel.

M - Almost lifeless. Barely a hint of carbonation, the beer just sits there in your mouth like a heavy syrup, no creaminess, no bubbles. The alcohol is way too hot, I like a warming sensation, but this is nearly burning.

D - There is some serious problems with this beer, needs work.

I think this is a major improvement on 2006, I know they tweaked the recipe this year, and it is solid. The only thing missing is more hop bitterness, but for all I know it could be there; it is just getting obliterated by the hot alcohol. I believe Alley Kat uses a house yeast, and either it isn't suited for big beers, or they simply don't know how to ferment a large beer because 2006 had the exact same problem (among others). The alcohol is a real turn off here, and I love big beers. It may be just this bottle, but it only had a puff of carbonation. I was also surprised that it wasn't bottle conditioned... I can't recall if last year's was or not, but I have come to expect this in big beers.

I really want to support Alley Kat, and I would really like to have a dependable prairie-made barleywine, but Olde Deuteronomy just doesn't measure up.

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Photo of levifunk
3.4/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thank you to the Canadian BAs for pointing me toward some good beers while visiting...especially to hoser for the extra effort.

A- pour is red brown with low carbonation. Looks thick. Almost no head on an agitated pour.

S- caramel sweetness. Dark fruit. Alcohol, but not overly offensive. A bit of hops.

T- wow. Very sweet and fruity flavor. Then has an alcohol bite and a hops bitter bite. Seems to me to be either too young or not well balanced. There is a good array of flavors, its just that they are each quite harsh and don't flow with each other. I would hope time would mellow the beer out.

M- for as sweet and fruity as it is, it is really dry on the finish. It doesn't feel as thick as I thought it would. Carbonation is low but not out of range.

Overall- its not a bad beer, but there is definite room for improvement. If you have it, age it.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.52/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

(Served in a chilled bourbon snifter)

A- Dark auburn color that is slightly translucent at the neck of the snifter. A few bubbles at the top but no head to speak of.

S- A bit of roasted malt and some nice floral hops as well

T- Roasted malt with spicy hop bitterness. Grapefruit hop flavor mixed with a hint of alcohol warmth and sweet aftertaste finish the beer.

M- medium mouthfeel with a sweet warm finish

D- It tasted like a young ABW in the sense that the flavors were very separate but it didn't have the malt complexity to stand to much aging. I would like to taste it after a year or 18 months more on the cellar.

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Photo of beerbum05
3.55/5  rDev -13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Appearance - Medium head, medium amount of carbonation, red/light brown in colour, slight haze but mostly clear

Smell - Fruity and malty

Taste - Very strong ale taste, malts, definate alcohol bite at the end,

Overall - This was my first experience with a Barley Wine style of beer. It was a bit too strong for my liking. It had a nice taste initially but then the alcohol overpowers everything at the end.

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Photo of asnider
3.57/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2008 Vintage. Weighs in at 11.3% ABV (the bottle was labeled as 10%, but was scratched out by hand and 11.3% has been written on it; this was the case with all of the bottles that I bought recently, as well as one that I bought about 6 months ago). Served in a snifter.

Pours a very dark brownish red with very little head. Head quickly reduces to a very fine ring of lacing.

Aroma is very rich. It's tough to pick out everything that's in there, but I get definite notes of toffee, cherries, and perhaps even a hint of espresso. Very nice.

The flavour is as complex as the nose, with notes of ripe fruit, toffee, cherries, and a definite hop bitterness. It's complex and interesting, but I personally find the bitterness a bit overpowering on this one. The high hoppiness is par for the course with American barley wines, but I still feel that it could have been balanced a bit better with the rest of the flavours.

Mouthfeel is smooth and syrupy. Not much carbonation.

Drinkability is hindered somewhat by the high hop bitterness in this beer. I feel a bit strange for saying that, since I tend to be a fan of highly hopped beers, but for some reason it's just not doing it for me with this one. It's certainly not undrinkable, it's just not as good as it could be.

I'm going to attempt to age another bottle of this barley wine and review it after its had a few more months in the cellar. Maybe I'll pull it out and review it in early 2010...if I can wait that long. Hopefully, it will get even better with age.

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Photo of eat
3.66/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2008 vintage. An extra from a trade with Derek. Thanks a ton man! 10% ABV was crossed out with pen and rewritten as 11.3%.

Poured into a snifter. There was no head forming, so I up-ended the bottle in an attempt to get something happening. The head that did result, which only amounted to a thin covering, was most likely the slowest-to-rise I've ever seen. There was no head for literally three or four seconds before it formed, only to fade away mere seconds later, leaving a handful of large bubbles along the edge of the glass. I wasn't expecting much head at 11.3%, but being left with absolutely nothing is a bit extreme. I made sure the glass was impeccably clean, so it wasn't that. Opaque and a dull, woody brown. Can't say I'm too impressed with the appearance.

Lots of caramel, brown sugar, butter, alcohol, light floral hops. It initially smelled of dust, but that seems to have gone away as it sat. Quite sweet smelling, like a dessert.

When I poured this, it was much too cold and came off as cloying. After letting it warm to a suitable temperature, it's merely very sweet. There's a pretty significant bitterness helping to balance things out. Other than that: some caramel malt, cherry liqueur, really nice blend of earthy and floral hops, grain, light minerals. Big alcohol presence, though not unpleasant nor is it unexpected at 11.3%. Dry finish, with a lingering syrupiness.

The feel is good, syrupy medium body with light carbonation.

I was interested in acquiring this one because of its place on the Canadian Top 25. It's definitely an extreme beer amongst what's being brewed in Canada, but I found this to be sweet to a fault. I find it similar to Half Pints barley wine, but think that Burly Wine is a much better beer. I'm finding this to be a little difficult to drink, even as a sipper, due to the sweetness.

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Photo of Viggo
3.68/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear reddish brown, small white head forms, lots of lace. Smell is very malty, hops are definately there, can kind of smell the alcohol as well. Taste is sweet, with chocolate undertones, alcohol, pretty malty, dry finish. Not very complex, just kind of there. Mouthfeel is pretty full and chewy, high carbonation, very warming and an oily consistency. Good but lacking.

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Photo of trevorwideman
3.69/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

341ml bottle poured into a snifter. 2006 vintage, sampled in September 2007, a little more than a year old.

Pours a murky brown colour, semi-translucent, with lots of hazey sediment. Some reddish highlights. Mild carbonation. Sticky lace clings to the glass, not much in the way of head though, even after a vigorous pour. Aroma is pretty intense. Figs, tamarind, caramel, butter, alcohol, graham crackers, vanilla, molasses, rum, and nuts. Very Christmassy.

Flavour is a bit messy, and dosen't immediately display a lot of the good things that the aroma suggested. There's a bit of sharp metallic taste, sour, a little soapy even. There is a lot to like here though, butterscotch, earth, dried fruits, nuts, molasses, a bit of alcohol with bitter dark chocolate in the finish. Decent flavours, they're just a bit messy and undefined. Mouthfeel is medium, but thinner than I was expecting, and it seems watery for some weird reason. Mild carbonation. This is drinkable, but it's not the best Barley Wine ever. I'm looking forward to trying it again from the cellar in a year, I hope that the flavours define themselves and harmonize a little better.

Update: Jan 13, 2009

Carbonation is holding up, and the aroma is still enticing with lots of caramel, butter, graham cracker and raisin notes. Flavour is mellowing a bit, but still has that sharp metallic note off the top. I may age the other bottle 2 more years to see if it rounds out some more.

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Photo of Derek
3.7/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2008 vintage.

A: Hazy copper-brown with a thin ring of light tan head, no retention, some leg/lace.

S: Dark raisins, rum, raspberry, cotton-candy, brown sugar, plum, figs, christmas cake & orange rind.

T: Plenty of plum, dark raisin, raspberry, cotton-candy, dark caramel, treacle, hints of roasted nuts & chocolate, good bitter-sweet balance, light tartness. Alcohol is well hidden.

M: Modest carbonation with some residual sweetness and a drying alcohol finish.

D: A sipper.

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Photo of liamt07
3.73/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of wordemupg, 2010 vintage. 341ml shared with a friend in a pair of snifters, vintage listed at 11.4%ABV.

Pours a translucent mahogany, less than a finger of cream coloured head. Only a collar remains in terms of retention. Nose has toffee, some candied notes, brown sugar and a bit of alcohol. Taste is quite sweet upfront, some candied pomaceous fruits (candied apple in a way), some toffee and finishes with some warming alcohol. Lingering sticky sweetness, and good weight in the body. Fairly low carbonation, medium mouthfeel. More of an English barleywine it seemed, not alot of hop character here. Simple and effective, but I wanted this one to carry more 'weight' in terms of body feel and overall flavour.

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Photo of chickenm
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2010 vintage. Thanks wordemupg for this one! Pours a dark amber/brown color with a thin off-white head. Modest aroma of burnt caramel and molasses. Flavors of caramel, vanilla, raisins, and alcohol. Medium to full body, low carbonation, mouthfeel is a little syrupy and quite warming as well. This is a good, but not great barleywine from Alley Kat.

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Photo of zhanson88
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Olde Deuteronomy pours a bright ruby/scarlet color with a finger of butter colored head. Recuces to a ring around edges of glass with no lacing. Even with some swirls the head doesn't last too long.

Smell: Sweet caramel malts, candied sugar, and a combination of light citrus and piney hops.

Taste: Good caramel malt sweetness up front. Very tasty. Candied/brown sugar, followed by cirtus and piney hops. Lingering malty sweetness and hops on the finish. Pretty good. Not overly complex but the essentials for a solid baleywine are there.

Mouthfeel/Overall: Between light and medium bodied with fairly low carbonation, but stops well short of being creamy. Pretty solid barleywine overall. It really has a nice balance of malt sweetness up front and hops on the back end.

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Photo of MeisterBurger
3.77/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a ruddy chocolatey brown with a thin head that quickly dissipates to a collar. Good clarity. No lacing to speak of.

The aroma is wonderfully fruity, with plums and raisins and prunes caramel and brown sugar and a good dose of alcohol.

The flavor is intense, as strong chocolate covered raisins meet caramel, plums, berries, prunes and a little nuttiness. Warming alcohol with just a hint of bitterness lingering in the dry finish.

This is full bodied, thick and chewy. Good carbonation. Very warming in the chest.

Overall a decent enough barley wine, nice and warming for the winter months.

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Photo of grub
3.8/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

got this bottle courtesy of presario as part of CanBIF3. thanks trevor!

341ml bottle. 2006 vintage.

pours deep ruby red, beautiful colour really, with a scant bit of very fine off-white head. no lace.

aroma is good. tons of rich caramel. alcohol. big biscuit malt. hint of grapefruit, but this one is really dominated by the caramel and malt. touch of date. maybe just a little vanilla too.

taste is good. another big blast of caramel. nice warming alcohol. biscuit and bread malt. low bitterness level. very light sweetness. hint of orange and tangerine.

mouthfeel is good. low carbonation level. medium body. feels just a touch thinner than i'd expect.

drinkability is good. nicely balanced, good solid malt base, and overall quite enjoyable. i know it's a year old, but i'd still expect a little more hops, at least as bitterness, to be present. still, it's pretty solid.

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Photo of DrJay
3.8/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very clear, deep caramel amber colour. Beige, thin head of small bubbles, decent retention and good lacing. Nice malty aroma, caramel, ripe fruit, raisin, light alcohol, some spice (nutmeg?). Lots of complexity. Flavour is much more muted than the aroma, which was a little disappointing. Still, there's malty sweetness and a mild bitterness. Alcohol warmth appears at the short finish. Flavour seems more like a strong/old ale, but still tasty. Medium/low carbonation, medium/full body, off-dry finish. Overall, a good beer, just not as big or aggressive as some US counterparts.

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Photo of TCgoalie
3.82/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Notes from 5/7/11

A - Caramel red. Not much carbination, head, or lacing.

S - Aromas of rum soaked cherries, maple syrup, and musty basement.

T - Maple, dusty carpet, mild must hops, and a touch of plastic.

M - Sticky feel and quite syrupy.

O - A solid offering but not the best BW that I've ever had.

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Photo of elricorico
3.83/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Decided to crack one of the bottles of the 2006 version that I've been holding on to. First time with this vintage.

This beer looks very red, almost a cherry red in the glass. It is dark, not quite opaque, but certainly blocks a good amount of light. Only a faint ring and a couple of small pools of tan head formed.

The smell of this one is fruitier than I remember. I get cherry and melon aromas. There is a dusty smell as well that sits on top of everything else.

Fruity to taste, cherry mostly, but almost a fruit punch impression. A bit of dry spicy flavour hits, then the alcohol takes over. Alcohol finish is much more medicinal than the last time I had one of these. I do like the overall effect.

Thick and syrupy again, but I find the carbonation a little prickly on the lips. Not bad, but a little to sharp for a sipper.

Good, but not yet great. There are more bottles in my cellar, so there is plenty of time to watch this one change.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle (2005 vintage courtesy of Presario): Poured a deep amber color ale with a nice small dark foamy head with excellent retention. Aroma of caramel and figs is clearly evident and it seems this barley wine is more akin to the English style then the US hops heavy style. Taste is very enjoyable with some nice roasted caramel-like malt, sweetness reminiscent of figs and a nice bitter finish. Body is a bit thin for the style but alcohol is well hidden. Good stuff and glad I have some other bottle for aging.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to Mattsander for this bottle.
2011 Vintage. Poured in to snifter.

A - Deep copper colour. Carbonation appears very low as almost no head forms on the pour.

S - Sweet toffee, brown sugar and caramel dominate. Some floral and lighter fruity notes are als present.

T - Dark caramel, toffee and brown sugar flavours dominate. Raisin and some stick hop flavours come through - some fruity esters and floral notes.

M - Medium body. Sticky. Light carbonation.

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Photo of BigBry
3.97/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was the Beer of the Week at Bottlescrew Bill's, on sale for $3.95 for a bottle, 2005 Vintage. The waitress was a little taken aback when I ordered it. She was freindly about it, but wanted to make sure I knew what I was getting: "it's very strong, it is very bitter, not many people like it". I know she was just doing her job, because I'm sure lots of people don't know what to expect and end up complaining to the serving staff.
Poured a hazy, deep amber color, with a small beige head. Foam shrank away quickly, no real carbonation to speak of. Lots of malt aroma, along with fruits and spices. Taste is mellow (comparatively) and the complexity of flavors hides the high alcohol. Malty sweet with a mild bitterness at the end. I didn't think it left a bad bitter aftertaste though, again kind of mellow. The alcohol warms, but doesn't overpower the taste. Very well done, not 'over-the-top'. Greatly enjoyed this one.
Now have a 2003 and 2005 in the cellar waiting for the perfect time.

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

2003 edition, many thanks to Beersignal for giving me a bottle to sample.

A nice caramel brown, with very light greyish head.

Smelled very hoppy, something I'm not used to detecting in barleywines. Usually, the caramel sweetness of the malt and/or the phenolic/alcohol that floods the nose makes the hops too subtle for me to detect, but not this one. Maybe it's a sign that it was a little too young, but I enjoyed it at lot anyways.

The caramelized malt came out really strong the first two-three sips, with a very hoppy finish that mellowed out to that warm alcohol feeling coming down from the bottom of the tongue all the way down the neck. Coats really well and would make a great winter warmer, if I wasn't so impatient. If I ever get another one of these, I'll cellar it a few years, because this one shows great promise.

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Photo of Proteus93
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of a series of Canadian beers I am tasting through the week on vacation. Dated 2005 on the bottle:

A: A hazy, rust-orange colour. A creamy topping of head, rich and a little thick looking.

S: A little musky and/or perfume-like. Some orange(peel?) and slightly floral hoppiness. A notable alcohol presence towards the back, and a little bit of a maltiness peppered by that alcohol presence, which is rather nice.

T: Spicy malts, with a hint of caramel flavour. A note of orange-citrus, and a bit solvent-like.

M + D: Medium-heavy body, as the style will often have. A little bit sticky, but the flavours are not as intense as some I have had, so it doesn't have a very negative effect. A reasonable, 'not-too-hot' barleywine. I can often have a little bit of trouble with these if they are too flavourful and 'potent feeling,' so it's nice in that sense. I look forward to trying another one or two while here.

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

This is the 08 vintage I've been aging in the cellar.

A- This pours a copperish brown into a tulip glass. Orange/ruby tinges when held up to a light. Small tan colored head and not much lace to speak of, which is to be expected.

S- Sweet malts, brown sugar, dark fruits, and alcohol. I also get a little bit of hops as well.

T- This starts out very sweet from the malt, sugar, and dark fruit. It starts to turn bitter, but finishes sweet again. The alcohol is noticeable, but not overwhelming.

M- Thick & chewy, modest carbonation. A little heat from the booze remains in the mouth, especially with the more you drink.

D- Aging this has rounded out the flavors and helped with the bite from the alcohol. A nice brew from Alley Kat and one I look forward to every year.

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

from notes:

rusty russet brown with flam edges. Soda pop head is virtually non existant with no lacing really. Aromas of dark fruits and heavy bready malts, a bit of caramel a hint of whiskey. Taste follows through, this is quite sweet, hops are there but buried deep behind this wall of malt on the back palate. Raisins and figs come to mind, finish is warming with just a touch of smooth, sweet warming alcohol. Mouthfeel is medium>thick, drinkability is good.


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Olde Deuteronomy from Alley Kat Brewing Company
4.08 out of 5 based on 112 ratings.
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