Blue Point Old Howling Bastard | Blue Point Brewing Company

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300 Ratings
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Blue Point Old Howling BastardBlue Point Old 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

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 140 | Ratings: 300
Photo of HamdenHector
3.86/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A: crystal clear; bronze in color; less that a 1 finger off white head that receded quickly to a splotchy cap; no lacing;

S: non-descript fruit; a little alcohol; earthy; as it warmed, it was all dark fruit and alcohol - like a rum soaked fruit cake; quite rich;

T: follows the nose with the addition of a spicy note in the middle; very mild bitterness on the finish that increases a little in the aftertaste; as it warms, dark fruit and alcohol come forward;

M: medium to full bodied; moderate carbonation; moderately dry finish; hides the ABV pretty well; even warm, the alcohol is quite soft;

O: this beer will sneak up on you;

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Photo of cwalter
3.76/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Amber in color. Immediately taste the hops up front. Then comes malts with sweet caramel. A little bit of nutiness with faint hints of vanilla at the end.

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Photo of brentk56
3.92/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours with a frothy ecru head that squats on the hazy copper liquid; good retention and a decent amount of lacing

Smell: Orange and pine hop tones waft about the fruity caramel base; resins and raisins abound

Taste: Caramel and raisins, up front, with the orange/piney hops quickly taking over through the mid-palate; the bitterness builds, after the swallow, overwhelming the malt profile

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation; somewhat creamy

Overall: An assertively rough barleywine that I suspect will benefit from a year or so in the bottle to achieve better balance

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Photo of Cyberkedi
3.97/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Comes out of the tap a barely translucent reddish brown; not much head, but that may be an artifact of the pour. Aroma is sweet and fruity, mainly apple, with a malty undertone. Flavor has woody, malty and fruity notes and quite the alcoholic bite - not for the faint of heart! Firm, smooth texture has plenty of fizz and an alcoholic edge. Let this bastard howl for you!

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.62/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Bob brought this in last night. '03 vintage, wtf?

Pours a clear light amber, with a small, less-than-a-quarter inch head, and no lacing.

Smells oxidized, and really leathery, in an interesting way. Underneath that I get a bit of caramel and toffee.

This didn't exactly age *badly* per se, but the aging definitely didn't help. Oxidation has very clearly set in, with hints of wet cardboard and sherry sweetness. There is no alcohol left, obviously, with dark fruits, caramel, and toffee.

This is light bodied, a bit thin at this age for a barleywine, with an oily mouthfeel. Definitely a slow sipper.

This was more interesting than good, honestly, but always cool to try an 11 year old beer.

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Photo of Florida9
3.25/5  rDev -14.9%

An amateurish attempt at a Barleywine. Color is an unpleasant cloudy effluent brown. No head. Aroma is sweet and malty with notes of brown sugar, vanilla, and raisin. Flavor is more of the same, but the taste is stale, oxidized, and thin. Not necessarily watery - just thin and fleeting. Medium body with a lower carbonation and decent viscosity.
An unimpressive barleywine. Didn't even bother finishing the bottle.

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Photo of John_Beeryman
2.75/5  rDev -28%

I found this beer to be overly sour and musty. Like old fruit and old socks sour and musty. Complex, but most of the flavors were not good. Color and head were good, but the smell matched the taste.

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
3.84/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

appearance: somewhere between amber and mahogany. A bit hazy. A thick compact impressive head on the pour. Still coats the top after a while. This is a looker.
smell: That nice butterscotch/caramel a Barley can sometimes have. Not a lot of depth but very nice. Has more of an English nose.
taste: There's the American Barley. Plenty of hop bite in the taste on top of the malty caramel.
overall: Decent enough.

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Photo of BarleyBeatsGrapes
4.34/5  rDev +13.6%
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 Dodo2step
3.91/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

P- Wegmans in Mechanicsburg, PA

A- 3 finger luscious head that peaks out above the wine glass I poured it into. that's right, the bottle suggests a wine glass. a light brown with copper tones that is somewhere between opaque and clear.

S- sweet caramel malts dominate the nose at first. it actually smells like a caramel chew candy. alcohol is the other smell I gather.

F- sweet and sour caramel malts with alcohol. brown sugar and raisins/dates comes out on the back end. I also gather some sort of citrus hop as well.

M- booze booze and booze. Warm and strong alcohol feeling as it goes down the throat. In the mouth it feels slightly overcarbonated but the flavors compensate well for that.

O- A good barleywine. it has been awhile since I have had a barleywine and this one I would have again. The caramel really sells me on this beer.

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.26/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Drinking a 2008 bottle at cellar temp. The bottle is wax sealed capped 750 ml.

I pour the beer into a stemless wine glass and get a rich chestnut colored beer with some ruby highlights and minimal beige head. There is a large sediment bar at the bottom of the bottle so I decant towards the end and leave the sediment behind.
The aroma is dark fruits and malt with toffee and brown sugar, I also get just a little booziness. No hiding that this is a big beer so far.

The first sip reveals a sticky thick body with minimal spacious carbonation. Coats my palate with each swallow and is a fairly heavy beer on the feel.
Flavor is what I got on the nose, with malt up front caramel, brown sugar, plums, raisins, general sweetness. This rolls to a slightly dry and bitter finish, which I attribute to the alcohol more than hops as I havent found them anywhere throughout this sampling.
This is a big robust beer yet somehow I finish my glass fairly quickly and am surprised when the bottle is gone.
I would buy this again and wonder how different it was fresh?

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Photo of rdilauro
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

For starters, Barley wines have never been a big hit with me. I've tried a number of them and also felt that the malt just hit you in the face too much.
So, this one started off on the right foot. The pour was clean, dark brown, not black but you could see the fullness of this beer. The aroma no question was of malt and I also picked up a bit of chocolate and something spicy, but could not figure that out.
The initial taste was bold and full. But it was very balanced, there was just enough malt, just enough body and the abv helped balance everything.
The finish was smooth and very satisfying

So now, after about a dozen or so barley wines, I have find another one that I have liked. Thats two for me!

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Photo of jeonseh
4.33/5  rDev +13.4%
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 facundoCNB
4.06/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

a beautiful clean amber pour with 2 fingers of detergent looking off-white head, slow dissipation, nice creamy looking lacing left behind. smells very sweet, hints of caramel, raisins, barley, oak, vanilla, banana. a somewhat bitter flavor up front.. almost charred wood feel to it.. banana, strawberries, raisins, caramel, honey, barley. full/medium body, easy to drink with medium carbonation.

overall this is a pretty nice barleywine.. nothing out of the ordinary, but it's one of the better local ones i've had. definitely one of the better blue point beers as well.

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Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled in late 2012. Pours lightly hazy red-orange color with a 1 finger dense cream colored head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of big caramel, brown sugar, toast, toffee, biscuit, raisin, floral, pine, light nuttiness, and toasted/floral earthiness; with some light spicy alcohol. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of malt, hop, and fruity notes; with good strength. Taste of caramel, toast, biscuit, toffee, brown sugar, raisin, floral, pine, nuttiness, and floral/toasted earthiness. Fair amount of earthy pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, brown sugar, toast, toffee, biscuit, floral, pine, raisin, nuttiness, and toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice balance and complexity of malt, hop, and fruit flavors; with an excellent bitterness/sweetness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a creamy, slick, and lightly sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an excellent barelywine. All around great balance and complexity of malt, hop, and fruity notes; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of RickS95
4.32/5  rDev +13.1%
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 DevilsCups
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle to tulip.

A - On the lighter side of the barleywine spectrum. Light brown/mahogany, off white head that dissipates pretty quick. Nice lacing and soapy layer on top. Only slightly hazy.

S - Big bready malts. Almost like a white bread crust. Slight red licorice in the back. Pretty nice. Not hop forward at all.

T - Bready malts with that red licorice taste. Like a twizzler. Very pleasant. Faint hops on the back end.

M - Thinner side, but not overly so. Fairly middle of the road.

O - Not too bad. Worth a try for sure. Tame for a barleywine, so it would be a good beginner brew.

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Photo of Suds
3.97/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is a chestnut colored liquid with a very slim head. Mostly still and very clear. The aroma is of malt and some booze. The taste is warming, sweet, and had a firm mid taste of bitter hops. Resiny hop flavor through the finish. Sweet. Full in body. A good, but not great, barley wine.

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Photo of beerluvr
3.94/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Nice eggshell white head melts into hazy deep copper liquid contained in the appropriate 0.3l Victory snifter. Deep doughy/biscuity sweetness then the hop makes itself known in the nose...very much the "olde Englishe" style 'wine. The taste is long and complex, more biscuity notes and hefty sweetness here, hops are an afterthought yet noticeably felt on the tongue, not very much alcohol detected given its heft. Finishes long and warming, nice interplay of hop and malt, malt winning out. Very nice authentic English style. I see a malt bomb here with cellaring. Good job Blue Point!

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


A: Pours a cloudy light caramel color with a small off-white head.

S: A little cardboard oxidation, treacle, sweet caramel, dried peaches.

T: Cooked apples, leafy bitterness, molasses, brown sugar, some bready malt.

M: Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation.

O: A decent hoppy barleywine, but it's getting a bit of a stale feel to it from the oxidation creeping in.

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Photo of MickeyCass
4.27/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very nice Barleywine. Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a snifter. Hazy reddish-brown with a nice finger of pale white head. Aroma about ad good as it gets. Fresh- baked bread with a hi t of sweetness and alcohol on the nose. Fairly similar in terms of taste. A little thick but deliciously good. Not THE best Barleywine style ale I've had, but pretty high on the list!

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Photo of jt31914
4.17/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer was surprisingly good to me. It has a little bit of a light color, but the head and retention is nice. The lacing is beautiful for a Barleywine.

The smell is the best part. Nice Bready aroma that is a bit unusual for a barleywine but is very pleasant and enhances the beers flavor.

The taste is very nice and i was surprised by how delicious the beer was. it is not my favorite barleywine, but it is certainly an upper tier barleywine. A very nice bread character from the Vienna malt and a nice hop presence. The booze is not overwhelming and overall i find this to be a stellar barleywine.

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Photo of cvm4
3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a bright amber but murky. Thin, one finger head that's eggshell in color.

S - Malty, candy sweet, spices and slight piney hops.

T - Spices & burnt caramel start you off. Turns fruity with maltsand ends slightly bitter.

M - Medium bodied & medium carbonation.

O - Pretty good barleywine...

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Photo of weeheavybutdieting
3.72/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Growler from Ale Yeah, Roswell, GA poured in a Sam Adam's Lager glass

A: Copper penny. Closer to a pale ale than a barleywine.

S: Mostly toasted malt scent with a hint of caramel and spice.

T: You definitely get a full taste of the hoppy spiciness up front. It quickly gives way to the alcohol esters and then rolls into the creamy and sweet malt on the back end. Not an overly sweet barleywine at all. Really quite balanced for the style.

M: A light and crisp feel. Fairly refreshing. Probably from the specific gravity.

O: This is a good well balanced beer. It is a good representation of a not to sweet not to toasted malty barleywine. If you avoid barleywines for the sticky sweetness then you owe it to yourself to have a go with this one.

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Photo of nrbw23
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a murky copper color with a faint ruby hue to it. A nice white head pops up, head has pretty solid retention and leaves some really nice layered lacing.

S- Smell is pretty sweet malty and boozy. A good amount of spices come forward and a bit of Earthy hops.

T- Quite a bit of spice up front with some burnt sugars and toffee. A fair amount of tropical fruits too.

M- Medium in both carbonation and body.

O- Not too bad by any means. Pretty solid for the style for sure.

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Blue Point Old Howling Bastard from Blue Point Brewing Company
3.82 out of 5 based on 300 ratings.
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