Old Howling Bastard | Blue Point Brewing Company

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Old Howling BastardOld Howling Bastard
Very Good
302 Ratings
Old Howling BastardOld Howling Bastard

Brewed by:
Blue Point Brewing Company
New York, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our special barley wine is made with English 2-row barley and Vienna malt. Its robust, malty, caramel flavor is balanced by lots and lots of hops, giving it a great depth of character.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-19-2002

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 302 |  Reviews: 140
Photo of BK2084
5/5  rDev +29.9%

Photo of cestlavie
5/5  rDev +29.9%

Photo of Djkraz
5/5  rDev +29.9%

Photo of jamaga69
4.75/5  rDev +23.4%

Photo of blameo
4.75/5  rDev +23.4%

Photo of ceberly
4.75/5  rDev +23.4%

Photo of Thickfreakness
4.67/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours the color of fall into my DFH signature glass! Orange/Yellow/Brown with highlights of each depending on how you twist the glass! A peach tinted, 1 1/2 finger of foam lays on top... fades kinda quickly... but leaves a ton of spider webbing all around the glass! Damn near perfect to look at!

S- Sweet caramel, ripe apple, pungent and piney hops, with an underlying nose of fresh cut figs, prunes, raisins and brown sugar! I wish I could get a candle that smelled like this!

T- Exactally like the smell but with a nice bitterness from the hops. Sweet caramel/candy corn... fresh cut apple sourness, bready yeastiness, pie spices, and lovely dried fruit! Some vanilla and smokey wood notes underneath. This is fuckin' brilliant! One of my all time favorite BW's!!!

M- Chewy like buttered raisin bread. The sweet, sour, and bitter blend seemlessly together to create an almost fresh bread-like feel. Sometimes it's more caramel than apple... and the next sip is more buttered popcorn and fig!!! I don't believe this is aged on wood, but it has a nice vanilla/oakiness that really envelopes your tongue!

O- Damn near perfect! The bottle cap says 10th anniversary '99-'09, so I'm wondering if this had been sitting around for a couple of years developing into this... I've always loved this once a year brew... but this one, tonight... DAMN!!!

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Photo of lehows
4.52/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First off, this beer is NOT retired, and it never was...Anyway, poured a redish amber color, small but thick off-white head. Wonderful lacing and decent retention. Aromas of fruit, hops, alcohol tinged sweetness, and caramel. Taste hits you up-front with a sweet alcohol quality, sharp hops, smoked wood, caramel and fruit. Delightfully complex and surprisingly smooth. A great barelywine, Blue Point seems to have refined this brew a lot over the years. Definitely recommended.

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Photo of DavidSeanNJ
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


Poured into an 8 oz. glass...

Really beautiful looking barleywine. Dark copper/reddish hues. Massive cream colored head, nice lacing. Smells delightful- dried fruits, figs, and sugars. Taste was not overly sweet/cloying. Nice hop presence and well balanced with the malts. Candied sugars, prune...great flavors....excellent brew right here. I will seek this out again and pick some up to age.

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Photo of poopsmitherson
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

Photo of jtb0608
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

Photo of Icemann383
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of cosmicevan
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

stopped by the brewery to grab some swag and scope out old howling bastard on cask and was pretty surprised that I have no review on this one asi had it many times. brew showed up a deep amber brown with a thin creamy head. has a wonderful caramel nose and taste. the body is super creamy as I would expect on cask. cask really works for this beer. there is a subtle bitterness to the finish that is just right. one of my fav barleys and fav local beers on cask, gotta love it! what a treat!

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Photo of smi
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

Photo of wisrarebeer
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

Photo of Twig2848
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

Photo of shapudding
4.46/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap and cask at Mugs in NY! (Schweet!) Very dark and clear amber rubied, but you can see through it. This bit of lovliness came to me served in an English pint, what a way to start out our pubhopping! Huge khaki creamy frothy head sitting over a half inch high. Smooth and silky, just glides over your tongue. Sweet and orangey, deeply malty, caramel sweetness, nice hoppiness. Not too strong heavy, or intense at all, one of my buds said it seemed like a triple IPA. Really enjoyed this one, was glad to have stumbled onto it after wondering about the $17 bottle I just passed over about a half hour before hitting this.

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Photo of ommegangpbr
4.43/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on-tap at the Ginger Man in NYC. It reminded me quite a lot of a chocolate stout. This is not something I would have expected after reading reviews about this from a bottle which just goes to show once again the differences that can exist between the tap and the bottle.
A pleasure to drink if you like that sort of thing. It was a lot like drinking a classy well crafted chocolate soda. Lots of textures going on. The 10% alcohol says hello for the first couple sips, then sneaks behind you and whacks you in the head from time to time. I could easily see being content after just having one of these and I can just as easily see wanting more.
I'll have to see just how much this differs from the bottle.
So far, one of my best barley wine experiences.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

"maddening howls fill the streets as further spreads the plague." - The Black Dahlia Murder

As clear, beautiful an auburn as I've ever seen. Creamy, crustacean white head lounges on top and wraps, thick, lacey arms around my glass. Simply beautiful.

Delicate yet effervescent aroma like freshly released fragrance from the first blossom of spring. Barleywine brings out the poet in me. Cherry wood, peach, tangerine, and honey drenched in nougat, caramel and sweetness.

Gran Marnier orange citrus, silky caramel and luxuriously warming alcohol. Mouthfeel so creamy it caresses my tongue like a harm of silk pillows.

Old Howling Bastard may be the result but Seductive Pirate Wench or Viking Thunder Goddess seem like more appropriate titles. I that some have aged this 2 years or more but at about the one year anniversary I find it to be just about perfect. I like my barleywine punchy though.

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Photo of BarleyBeatsGrapes
4.34/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First off, I like barley wines. I've had a few different brands and I overall like the style. Old Howling Bastard ("OHB") is an excellent representative of the style. I agree with other posters here that there are better barley wines out there but this is a great brand to use as the "standard" representative of the style. There will likely be better brands and there will likely be worst brands depending on your taste but the OHB is a great, balanced, everyday barley wine suitable for most palettes. An extremely enjoyable beer!

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Photo of jeonseh
4.33/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A - Orange brown liquor color with a small head and light carbonation. Glows warmly

S - Orange, caramel malt, brown sugar, malt sweetness. Light lemon and alcohol as well

T - Caramel sweetness up front with brown sugar and dates. Orange hops and a lemon lemon from the hops, rock candy, and light alcohol near the back end as well as rowok the back end Really a great balance between sweetness of the caramel and dark fruit and the light bittering properties of the hops.

M - Medium body with decent carbonation and a thick syrupy body. Finish is light astringent

O - This was a rather impressive non-BA barleywine that has a great balance between sweet, malty flavors and the fresh hoppiness found in some barleywine. This is definitely one of the better hoppy barleywines that I've had.

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Photo of barleywinebrewer
4.33/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

so, I'm browsing the beer store and I find this blue point barleywine. Yup, I'm a fan of the style so this becomes my purchase. Upon checkout the cashier notes I got an 03 vintage barleywine and explains how this style gets better with age. He hasn't tried this yet but thinks about it often. I smiled, thanked him for his input and said I was looking forward to the bottle. No relevance at all to the tastes, just and amusing side not to the overall experience....

2003 vintage consumed Feb 2009. Blue wax top that took a little work to get through.

A - beautiful golden amber color with a nice off white head.
S - caramel, wheat, honey, abv.
T - candied oranges, caramel, citrus blossom honey and a touch of wheat.
M - full bodied, nicely carbonated, smooth, resinous and a nice light warming effect.
D - a sipper to be sure. a well aged bottle which I'm quite happy to have enjoyed!!!

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.33/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, Vintage 2003 "Consume 2004 - Good / 2005 - Better / 2006 - Awesome"... it's 2007, so my guess is 'super awesome'?... well, it wasn't all that, but it was very good...

A - clear, amber color with a huge tan head that settled down to a thin layer, leaving lots of sticky lacing.

S - sweet malt & fig aroma, after it warms you can smell some alcohol.

T - sweet malty taste all the way through, abv is noticable after the beer warms.

M - excellent carbonation for a 4 year old brew, sweet, sticky, warming feeling.

D - good drinkability, sweetness and abv keep this at a '4'.

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Photo of RickS95
4.32/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

22 ounce bomber

Good looking for the style. Muddy brown and thick, looks like nasty river water after a good storm. The head is a dingy white, a finger thick at its best, and leaves a thin lace.

One of the best smelling barley wines, its full of malt with a ryeness to it. Also, there's a hit of citrus which isn't something I expected, but made for a nice surprise. Very floral with a splash of vanilla.

Very pleasant taste for a barley wine, English toffee comes to mind. Again, there's a vanillaish taste. Lots of malt as you'd guess. A caramelly finish. Hops are definitely there, but don't overwhelm.

It's smooth and buttery, and exceptionally smooth for the type. There's a hint of sweetness early on that turns to citrus before the bitterness takes over. Along the way, a buttery feel works in conjunction with the citrus and bitterness for a pleasant drinking experience. Full bodied, the high alcohol is well hidden, though you'll still want to sip it.

Overall it's a good beer, much better than their oatmeal stout I had last night. It's easy to drink and goes down smoothly.

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Photo of Duhast500
4.32/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a stemmed glass.

The color is a dark but clear amber color with a finger or two or foamy head.

The smell is a hard lemon and is a really strong NY brew. There are some brick walls of grainy fruit flavor that gives a you wallop.

The taste is a lot like the aroma, a mix of some really expressive flavor kicks hard. Sweet with a citrus flavor that has a bit of a tangy feel to it ever so slightly.

The feel of this beer is light, it has been waiting to jump onto my taste buds and pops a bit right at the end. A reall wonderful beer.

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Old Howling Bastard from Blue Point Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.85 out of 5 with 302 ratings