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Olde Deuteronomy | Alley Kat Brewing Company

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Olde DeuteronomyOlde Deuteronomy
114 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 114 |  Reviews: 75
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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Photo of biegaman
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(2006 Vintage) Sampled February 2007, this time by a fireplace! Pour reveals a rather flat, candy-apple coloured body. A pleasent aroma, slightly resiny, tree-sap like qualities from the over-generous amount of hops. Some light alcohol notes blended in as well. Mouthfeel still a little 'hot'; I could see this improving with age. Ripe flavours - sticky crystal and caramel malts, an overcoating of hop bitterness, with lasting notes of sherry, fig, dates, and strong apple taste. Quite a nice barleywine, a great Canadian offering.
I look forward to more vintages in the future.

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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 vanrassel
4.12/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a dark amber with a one-finger, creamy head. An intensely fruity aroma greeted my nose, like rummy Christmas fruitcake and bready malt.

The bread theme carried over to the taste, with a pleasant raisin bread flavour and only slight alcohol despite the 9.4 per cent ABV (for the 2006 edition). A bit of an alcoholic burn lingered in the aftertaste, but it finished mostly dry. The low carbonation and smooth body made this extremely drinkable, despite the high ABV.

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Photo of Orrshow
4.4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This bottle is a 2005 version so it has had a short time to age.

Appearance – This one pours a nice looking cloudy brown with a slight redness to it. There very little beige head on top which dissipates to a ring.

Smell – Typical Barley Wine smells here and all in a good way. Lots of alcohol, wood, some rum, hops, caramel, and butter. I like it.

Taste – Mildly sweet with some alcohol on top. It’s very smooth. There is caramel and toffee as well with some bitter hops which are somewhat citrusy. It’s very tasty and balanced.

Mouthfeel – This beer is fairly silky and viscous. Nice toned down carbonation.

Drinkability – Superb. I couldn’t stop sipping.

Olde Deut is always a good choice. A very solid Barley Wine which I look forward to aging!

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Photo of Noxious26
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

341ml bottle poured in a snifter. This is the 2005 edition.

Cloudy, deep bronze colour. Light beige head is thin and quickly disappears. Carbonation streams lend a cool effect as they run up the curved sides of the glass.

Aroma is sweet and fruity with more traditional beer scents (malt and hops) in the background. Has a slightly medicinal quality to it.

The strong, rich malt profile hits you right off the start. Bold, full and round, this first flash of flavour is exemplary as the malt is highlighted by touches of sweetness and caramel. The hops enter to balance things out in the middle. The finish becomes a dance of flavours (hops, fruit, sweetness, malt, alcohol and medicine) all winding around one another and giving a slightly different ending to each sip. Aftertaste is a little medicinal, which is a turn off.

Medium bodied with little carbonation. There is a definite alcohol bite at the finish at warmer temperatures. This bite, combined with the medicinal quality, hurts the drinkability somewhat.

This is a nice barleywine with rather high pros and very low cons. The rich maltiness at the start is simply tremendous. In other barleywines I've always found the last sip in the snifter to be the best, but with this one, the first sip was the best. When the malt flavour first hit me I was totally won over, but the medicinal aftertaste left something to be desired. The obvious alcohol bite is another detraction (in my opinion), but I could sit back and just smell this brew all day. Take the good with the bad though since there is far more good than bad in this beer. I'm seriously considering getting my hands on another couple bottles (next time I'm in Alberta) to cellar for a year or two and do side by side tastings with other barleywines I'm cellaring. I think that a bit of aging would smooth things out nicely.

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Photo of 3Vandoo
4.29/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big mucho merci to Cwrw for providing me a bottle of the 2003 edition during the last CANBIF.


A dark ruby beer with no head retention at all, she was headless nonetheless, very light carbonation, wine like color and impressions.

Her smell was very malty, with caramel and toffee touch, with very aromatic hoppy touch.

her taste was different that the smell, it was hoppy at first, then with sweet note of maltness and followed by an alcohol warm, then finish with a floral hops touch and a shy hoppy bitterness.
I also noted some cherry like flavors, and it reminded me of a sweet nectar.

again thanx Cwrw

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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 pootz
4.17/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2005 edition. Looks like a typical barley wine...dark amber, moderate cap. The aroma was very unique with a lot a strange aromas melding to work well....grapes and dried fig over some floral hops and slight mustiness...there was a distinct sweetness in the aroma but it was more like succulent fruit than sweet malt. Substantive body. The thing that makes this barley wine stand out is absolute silky smoothness and a wonderful departure of bready-treacle-fruity malt flavors that completely mask the alcohol. The best domestic barley wine I have rated to date. I intend to buy a dozen to cellar.

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Olde Deuteronomy from Alley Kat Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.08 out of 5 with 114 ratings
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