Olde Deuteronomy | Alley Kat Brewing Company

72 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: 72 | Ratings: 111
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 wordemupg
4.53/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

on tap at the Hop In Brew feb1 2010

A deep ruby brown with a fingers worth of dense beige head that had average retention but even the thin film it fell to left good lace

S candied fruit with lots of caramel a little hops and booze

T loads of flavor, again dark candied fruit with a little burnt sugar mixing well with a caramel apple taste and some mild booze

M thick and syrupy with just enough carbonation to give it some life. this is a highlight in a beer that's not lacking in any areas.

D for a 11% brew it went down quick, dangerously quick. for a young barley wine it's wonderful

I feel lucky to drink this on tap it appears this is the first review from a keg. I read my old review for this from a bottle and after trying a bottle recently I think I was a little hard on it, a re-review may give the bottle a higher grade. just go's to show how quickly your taste changes. Please if you get the chance you must try this on tap, to the best of my knowledge the Hop In Brew is the only place you can do this

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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 Long813
4.02/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is an 2009 dated bottle received in a trade with wordemupg. The label is great.

G: Pint Glass

A: Dark copper body allowing light to escape around the edges. One finger of head that dissipated into a thin ring. Moderate lacing.

S: I could smell sweet malts as soon as I pried the bottle open. Brown sugar, toffee, caramel mixture with some fruitiness.

T: Caramel, dark & sweet fruits, hint of apple and spices

M: Medium-thick bodied with medium carbonation. At first it feel smooth and creamy, but soon after the alcohol hit and leaves a slight burn. Caramel and alcohol linger in the throat.

D: Second barleywine I've tried and tastes so different. It's a fantastic brew with unique characteristics.

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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 Shadman
4.23/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not sure how this ended up in Medicine Hat, but I grabbed 4 just in case I was dreaming....2009 vintage

Has the color of a strongly steeped orange pekoe tea. Very nice off-white head & tons of lacing all the way down my glass.

Tons of sweet maltiness along with some classic dried fruit aromas. Some def. alcohol esters as well which given the 11% ABV is to be expected.

Very nice. Renewed my interest in Barleywine. Sweet malt intertwined with the aforementioned dried fruit, candy sugar, and as my Buddy Bobsy pointed out, a decent amount of hop that makes it a most interesting beer.

Mouthfeel was quite slick and full.

Won't be everyone's bag, but certainly an excellent B-Wine and I look forward to trying some next winter after a little cellaring.

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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 ritzkiss
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz, 2008 vintage, split courtesy of Bobsy. Thanks for opening a want! Pours a typical barleywine orange/ruby brown with thin whispings of lace.

Nose is toffee, caramel, light roasting malts, hints of brown sugar and licorice, a slight ethanol bite in the back.

Nice English style taste and body, hard to classify this as American I think. Some roastyness, nice caramel sweetness, a faint bitterness with a slight hoppy note (still young), bread, raisins, brown sugar, some alcohol in the finish. Really a sweet, smooth drinker with just a hint of an edge that I can easily see smoothing out with a little time on the bottle.

A solid example, if not bordering on really good. Easily makes for one the best Canadian examples.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.14/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this at Volo, courtesty of biegaman! 2006 vintage served in a snifter. Notes are a little lean, as it came at the end of a long day.

A - Transparent ruby red, with minimal foam and lacing. There's a ring and some patchy foam on the surface but that's about it.

S - Vinous, dark fruits, berries, raisins, brown sugar, tons of caramel-covered apple.

T - Lots of grape, bready malt, still some mild residual hop bitterness, as well as a slight sour prune flavor.

M - Some surprising carbonation tingle, full-bodied, smooth and creamy. Lots of residual stickiness.

D - I've had this beer a couple years ago, and it hasn't lost anything in the aging process. It's among the best barleywines produced in Canada. Definitely a slow sipper, but the moderate carbonation keeps it from getting syrupy or cloying.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.37/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2007 version - it's been almost two and a half years, let's have a look-see. Same old cheap, malformed, thin gold foil enclosure, some shiny window dressing on their standard 12 oz brown bottle. This is another one of Alley Kat's line that hasn't had the generic label update of a few years back - I find myself missing these feline-themed works of art for some reason.

The beer pours a mostly clear, but with fine swirling sediment, medium orange-brick amber hue - a lot like poorly mixed iced tea - with one finger of loosely foamy, and mostly bubbly beige head, which wisps away fairly quickly, leaving a few random instances of sea-spray lace around the glass.

It smells strongly of rum-steeped raisins, lightly biscuity caramel, overripe apple and black fruit - plum, mostly - brown sugar, and a remote leafy, earthy hoppiness. The taste is warm, bready caramel, thin molasses, stewed prunes, a bit of tannic red grape must, and leafy, citrusy hops, which increase in intensity, along with the subdued alcohol, as it warms.

The carbonation is pretty tame, barely perceptible in its innocuousness, the body a decent medium weight, and maybe not as full as it could be, but smooth and sticky in its uber-maltiness. It finishes on a drying trend, the residual hops finally screwing up the courage to do something about it. The 9.9% ABV is indeed a constant reminder, maybe a wee bit too forward up front, but thereafter lurking in the background, consigned to the promise of being very close to breaking through.

I have made the mistake of including a couple of these bad boys when making a mixed sixer at the brewery. Later, at the campsite, or wherever, their added kick reminds me (usually the next morning, 'cause they taste so good, especially after dark) of their potency. So, while quite easy to drink - if you're accustomed to the style, that is - they are not something to be trifled with, because if you do, they'll knock you on your fat cat ass.

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Photo of bobsy
4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Here's a beer worthy of my citizenship celebration. One of my favourite Canadian barleywines with a good few years on it, and well kept at my favourite bar. It doesn't get much better than this. 2006 vintage. I love the picture on the bottle. If the beer didn't have me at the name, it would get me with the picture of the fat majestic cat and the flying kittens pouring beer in the background. Kudos to Alley Kat for that one.

Classical barleywine appearance - a ruby/brown body with a small cream coloured cap, which slowly diminishes to a spotty film and gives up a nice amount of lace. It has the clarity and radiance that I look for in a barleywine, so we're immediately off to a good start. Sweet caramel aroma, with light spicing, and sticky fruit flavours of fig and plum. Tastes of honey, caramel, dark fruits, and well integrated warming alcohol. Brown sugar is present throughout making the dark fruits almost jammy and providing a really good springboard for the other flavours. A touch of sharp hoppiness helps to prevent things from degenerating into a malt bomb. This drink is on its game. Mouthfeel is medium, with pretty low carbonation, which is almost perfect for the style.

This is a very drinkable, and a fine beer, holding up well as it enters its fourth year of maturation in the bottle. A lot of Canadian brews are under appreciated because they don't have the buzz and hype attached to them like some other beers, and that's a shame because this is a top-notch barleywine worthy of the upper echelons. Buy it and try it folks, you won't be disappointed.

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Photo of bloberglawp
4.63/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2007 edition sent to me by someone during a CanBIF, sorry dude, can't remember who and when this one was sent, but thank you for the beer! Cellared for aboot 1.5 years and served at 12 c in a "la fin du monde" belgian style glass.

Pours a solid dark whisky cooper, amasing huge tight head that settles down to a un-even film and laces aggresively to the glass, awesome looker.

Aroma of figs, candi sugar and dried fruits (plub, apricot) a faint aroma of cristalised caramel sugar. Rich a full mouthfeel without being cloying, amasing flavor of barley sugars and a extremely balanced hop bitter bite at the end to bring this beer back down on its feet.

Abso-freaking-lutely delicious, find it drink it! I want more.

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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 prosper
4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2007 version. Looks tasty. Dark, reddish brown. Slightly hazy. A small amount of sediment in the bottle. Smells of esters and carmelized sugars with a slight citrus-y hops background. There's a slight phenolic presence as well. It tastes much like it smells - lots of deep dark fruits; prunes, cherries, apricots, grapes. Hardly any carbonation at all. There's a solvent-like medicine flavour in it. Sort of like a bitter cherry cough syrup. An interesting beer. Not really sure whether I like it or not.

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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 irishkyle21
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours like a light cough syrup. Not that much head, some lacing. Has a reddish brown color.

Smells of caramel malts, spicy hops, light citrus and brown sugar.

Tastes of sweet caramel malts, faint alcohol and hop bitterness. This is more on the malty side but still has a good hop bite. Thanks to Pintbypint for this one.

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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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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.23/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: How appropriate after seeing the musical "Cats". Hopefully, this'll make more sense. Pours an opaque, reddish-brown body with no head (that's not exactly how I wanna see cats).

Smell: Strong aroma of spice, caramel malts, sauteed fruits, and burnt sugar.

Taste: Rich, sweet maltiness with a fruity raisin and plum taste that really jumps out at'cha. The dessert-like sweetness is inadequately countered by a light, earthy bitterness and spicy alcohol hints. Still finishes sweetish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Pretty tasty stuff and I even like the label.

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Photo of Absumaster
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to plucier for this beer. Edition 2005. It pours muddy, brown color with a very thin head that is almost non-existent.

Smell of strong boozy alcohol on top of a woody and caramellic and dextrinous malt backbone. Also some tartness that adds an aged old ale smell to it.

Taste is very alcoholic, warming with a definate tartness, hot. The dark malts give hints of caramel, wood, berries and sour cherries. All together almost like a wood aged red wine with mild astringent aspects. The yeast has died and gives some autolyses, but somehow this also adds to the complexity and maybe causes the tartness. Body is pretty thick, sweet and sticky, but typical for a barleywine.

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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 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 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 Cwrw
4.37/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2007 Vintage is here, this time clocking in at 9.9%. Same labelling, same botteling.

The first sensation I had after twising the cap was a distinctly sweeter profile than previous vintages. Pouring into the glass the beer assumes a light-ruby, mandarin colour, with little head. Yes, the aroma to me is definitely sweeter, more full of buttery almond and caramel notes. Plenty of hopping too, but it remains similar to other vintages.

The body hits the tongue full and creamy, with slightly tingling carbonation and a medium to high bitterness in the finish. Again, this 07 tastes sweeter, tastier. Full of cooking bread, strong resinous hopping, candy sugar, mollasses, bitter chocolate, raisins, roasted almond, and plenty of dried fruit, as well as some yeasty esters.

Mm. I'll say this--far above fresh 2005 or 2006s. Much preferable. To me, the 2007 has hit the mark, finally! After trying the 04-06s, I felt Olde Deut was good, but not quite "there" in terms of balance as a barley wine. Wait till you try the 07--something is distinctly "different" from previous years, and I love it.

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Photo of niangelo
4.48/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle, 2005 vintage. I just looked in the fridge, and it called my name...

I've been rubbing my hands over this one for a while. New to the practice of aging higher-alcohol beers, I was eager for a stab at it.

Pours a thick caramel-bronze. The carbonation hesistates before coming to the surface. This is a thick beer. The head is minimal, but it sticks in place due to the viscosity. The beer is cloudy and semi-transparent.

The head reveals some hops, a whiff of alcohol, a prominent malt that features some dates.

At first sip, I'm treated to a cascade of notes... first dates and plums, with some dark malt characteristic and caramel. Then as it warms up and the thick brew travels around, it transitions to black cherry and raisin notes. Finally, with a little sweetness and a little hoppiness, it finishes with a meandering rye bread and walnuts.

What a beer. Hats off to the Kats.

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Photo of Mandrake
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a rather hazy orange-brown, with a good-sized medium tan head that is retained very well and leaves moderate lacing. Fruits ( cherries and grapes) and caramel over big and spicy hops. Bit of alcohol sweetness, but nothing to complain over. Taste is reasonably balanced, though definitely to the hoppy side. Great malt backbone though, with plenty of complexity. Bit of yeastiness and the sweet caramel from the smell is present, with the hops showing throughout and dominating in the finish. Mouthfeel is good, plenty of body, very warming, and with a decent bite at the end, and drinkability is very good. Nice effort. While it's drinking well now, this seems like it has good potential for aging. Thanks to CBA for the trade.

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Olde Deuteronomy from Alley Kat Brewing Company
4.08 out of 5 based on 111 ratings.
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