Blue Point Old Howling Bastard | Blue Point Brewing Company

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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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Reviews: 140 | Ratings: 300
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
1.91/5  rDev -50%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Reviewed on 8/9/08. On tap at the brewery. Pours a dull brown with a very small white head. Aroma is sweet, of brown sugar. Flavor is sweet at first, then an odd bitter, mustiness sets in. Syrupy palate, quite hard to drink. This is a very odd tasting beer...and I did not enjoy it one bit.
5/4/4/2/10 (2.5/5)

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Photo of ppoitras
2.35/5  rDev -38.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

750ml bottle obtained via trade with Plaid75. Thanks for the opportunity... Heavy orange-ish waxed cap & neck. Hand numbered as "Cert 72-05", indicating 2005 vintage?

Poured into a heavy glass chalice, formed a 1/4" beige head over the very cloudy orangey amber brew. Head is quickly down to an uneven layer of bubbles, with minimal lacing. Aroma is syrupy sweet, with whiffs of alcohol. Flavor starts with the sweet maltiness, then it gets kind of ugly. A flash of bitter hoppiness turns into some sort of long-lasting plastic-y bitterness that just won't go away, coupled with substantial alcohol burn. The alcohol part wouldn't be such a problem if the plasticness didn't make me think of solvent-welding. (Sorry, got all chemical eng for a minute.) Mouthfeel and drinkability suffer from the same fate. Don't know if the wax was part of the culprit, or what, but I'm not very excited about finishing the bottle. Maybe it'll grow on me.

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Photo of Biggness
2.72/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is the only Barley wine I have every tried, and chances are it will be the last. Some people love this stuff, not me, not my taste buds. It is a good novelty item, with a good story behind the name, but... just not up mmy alley. The bottle and art work are great. I would suggest only trying this as a novelty or if you REALLY love the taste of Barley

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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 Stunner97
2.89/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Appearance- murky and cloudy amber to redish orange brown, nice thick bellowing tan head off the pour, if look close can see decent carbonation streaming slowly,

Smell- not a very strong nose at all, faint hops and malt just nothing impressive

Taste- starts off rather plain malty up front and then on the finish a good little kick of hops appears, its got a decent balance and a decent finish that lingers on for a little, not a bad flavor what so ever, but certainly lacking alot of the complexity expected from a better barleywine,

Mouthfeel- moderate carbonation but the mouthfeel is where i feel this beer falls the furtherest short, just way to think and watered down for this style

Drinkabilty- this beer isnt hard to drink at all though you can certainly notice the kick of heat at the end, its an okay beer but not one I would buy again because for me to sit and drink a 10 percent beer it better have a decent complexity, just kind of a bland blah run of the mill barley wine, dont want to beat it up to bad cuz its not offensive but just another let down from a brewery thats never done much to this point to impress me

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Photo of Rastacouere
3.1/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Amber body with off-white head. Intense aroma of malty sweet flavors that are not too well blended (honey, maple). Sweet smokey and light hops are hidden behind the massive malty alcohol. Very sweet palate, alcoholic and moderately astringent. Poorly balanced. A smooth medium body keeps it from being a waste. A poorman’s barleywine... that is very expensive..

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Photo of OutFox
3.12/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Cant find the bottled on date on this thing. But reagardless 22oz bomber poured into a snifter.

A - Its a light sort of amber bronze color. Not what I expected honestly from a barleywine. Good white head and decent lacing.

S - Smells of alcohol, barley, raisins, and some other stuff. Has a sort of thick smell to it. Its musty and earthy. It has a super mild caramel roasted characteristic to it.

T - Same as the nose really. The caramel sort of sweetness is almost hidden. The first thing me and my compadre said to each other was 'its missing something'. I cant pinpoint it but theres a sort of dusty characteristic here that I dont really like.

M - This is what its was really missing for me. It doesnt have the weight or the body feel of a barleywine.

O - It was just ok to me. Ive had a lot of Blue Point beers and I love the brewery but this one just didnt hit the mark for me. Its a decent barleywine but I feel it needed more weight to truly elevate itself.

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Photo of alcstradamus
3.13/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Got this one a few weeks back as a gift from SpeedwayJim. Thanks for the ticks!

Pours a light copper color with a finger of head and a wall of lacing.

Aroma is sweet caramel and raisin with a strong floral hoppiness and some vanilla pudding.

The flavor is acetone forward (without the burn, just the flavor) with some raisin and spiciness in the finish. Some dark breadiness. Not the best flavor, but perhaps has some room to turn interesting in 3-4 years (of course, just as likely it may turn to crap).

The body is on the fuller side of medium with a low carbonation level that gives some wateriness. Pretty good.

Overall this beer was drinkable and even somewhat interesting, but not really noteworthy.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.16/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

10oz serving at The Devil's Den off the tap. Old Howling Bastard has a light golden with amber spots in the color and the white foam reached an inch with some froth and a bubbly look. Not much lace. In the nose I sensed a strong Amber Ale. A note of caramel malt and some light fruit such as apples, a bit of alcohol too. Overall not that interesting. Tastes include sweet malt, caramel, earthy hops, and some alcohol. Not that much going on. Feel is nearing full bodied and the carb is very low. Im glad I tried this off the tap before grabbing a big bottle. It's pretty tame for a American Barleywine.

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Photo of Tobe
3.17/5  rDev -17%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a ruby color with no head. There is a minor haziness to the appearance.

The aroma is sweet with a nice floral quality. There is a hint of alcohol on the nose. The flavor is full and a bit earthy. The hops are present in the flavor. A dry finish and a mouthfeel of hops coats the palette. A warming effect completes this experience.

After the beer rested there was a taste of fruitiness coming through.

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Photo of silentjay
3.21/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

light mahogany copper with a towering light tan head that slowly recedes, leaving chunks of lacing.

Lots of caramel, cereal grains, bread, and booze. not much else. maybe a bit of piney hops. very tame for the style.

lots of caramel, bready malts with plenty of booze. a slight bitterness tries to balance the sweetness, but falls short.

boozy medium bodied beer with a touch of prickly carbonation and a brandy-like sweet and boozy aftertaste.

It's not bad, but it comes nowhere close to many I've had in the style. It doesn't taste bad, but it lacks the complexity that really defines the style for me.

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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 Pahn
3.27/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bottle into Duvel tulip. Bottled 2009.

Appearance: Pours a dull, murky orange with a half inch frothy off-white head that dissipates quickly leaving small streaks of lacing.

Smell: Very full, sweet, and fruity. I get a lot of pear, and maybe some grape and apple. There's also a small, sugary note of cake. Inviting.

Taste: Where are the esters promised by the smell? Where's the deep caramel malt flavor promised by the bottle's label? The first sip is dominated by a funky, leathery flavor that's unexpected but quite good. It's nowhere near as full or sweet as the smell, with a thin but decent malt finish (a bit dry). There's a very muted hop presence, and a mild skunky flavor reminiscent of BMC. As I get deeper into the bottle, the fruit remains entirely absent. Also absent is any evidence of the ABV; alcohol is completely masked.

The finish quickly goes from roasted malt to a flavorless bitterness and an unpleasant sourness. It's not the bitterness of big hops, nor is it a deep or interesting sourness; it's just a build up of bad flavors and sensations. A bit of welcome sweetness emerges as the beer warms, but the beer remains, in a word, bland (with a bad finish).

Mouthfeel: Watery with a lot of carbonation.

Drinkability: While the ABV is well-masked and some of the flavors are good, the bitter/sour build up, watery mouthfeel, and general lack of interesting flavor render this beer's drinkability low.

A very underwhelming barleywine. I can't see any reason to get this over the many amazing American barleywines available today. All that said, it's not a terrible beer. The musty, leathery note with the roasted malt that emerges at first is quite good, and the mild sweetness that the beer ends on is bland for a barleywine, but has more character than a lot of other beers. Also, while this definitely doesn't stand up to just being sipped and savored, it went rather well with the garlic pizza I ended up pairing it with. I wouldn't refuse this beer, but I wouldn't seek it out either.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.31/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz. bomber poured into two snifters.

Appearance - Beautiful red amber with a smallish head that fades to lacing pretty quickly. The beer clings to the glass very slightly when swirled.

Smell - I really don't get much, which is strange. I get some caramel and vanilla. Maybe some raisins. Perhaps more than anything I smell alcohol, though.

Taste - Malty start with some sweet toffee. Not a lot of complexity in the taste, but nothing to complain about. The finish is a strong hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel - It starts off quite thin for such a big beer and such a malt profile. As it warms, it gets a bit more syrupy. The beer really should be enjoyed at about 65F. Decent carbonation.

Overall - Nothing bad, just nothing of note. Indistinguishable malt flavors and some hop bitterness. I really didn't have any trouble finish both of my snifters, though.

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Photo of urwithdave
3.31/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at Mr. Beerys. Reviewing from notes.

A- pours amber in color. A fingers worth of off white head. Mediocre retention. A solid amount of lacing.

A- some hops and a bit of maple. I really couldn't pick up on anything else.

T- starts out with a piney hop punch. Not bitter, but sappy. Caramel malts come into play along with other subtle suggestions of molasses. A bit of citrus also. The alcohol is noticeable and provides quite a bit of warmth.

M- lighter side of medium. A bit to carbonated for me.

D- really just ok for me. Probably won't revisit this one.

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Photo of meatyard
3.33/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to AltBock for this gift beer-2009 vintage.

Pours a hazed, amber/orange with a 2-finger, ecru head that lingers but doesn't leave much in the way of lace.

The smell is all about malt and it's a sweet smell.

The taste starts out strong with the sweet malt but then a light sour, tangy taste becomes present. It's not objectionable, just odd. No noticeable alcohol.

Mouthfeel is medium, tending to thin & carbonation is moderate.

Overall: I think I would prefer a fresher bottle. Seems like there is something not quite right with this bottle what with the tanginess. It doesn't seemed to have improved with age.

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Photo of hippityhops85
3.36/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to MikeyMikee for throwing this at me as an extra. Always happy to try a new barleywine!

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a tulip. Copyright reads 2009 and I have no idea if that indicates vintage.

Pours a really nice burnt orange looks a lot like an IPA and not your typical barleywine. Huge off-white head with super tiny bubbles. Sticks around for a long time too.

The nose has a lot of piney hoppy notes to it. Some bready malts but the hops are dominating here. Fairly one-noted.

The taste is similar. I could see this being labeled as a triple IPA rather than a barleywine. I do get some citrus fruits. Lots or orange and grapefruit.

This is a good beer and that's really where it sits. Nothing stands out obviously bad about it but there's nothing that really sets it apart either.

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Photo of John_M
3.4/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

What do you know. Yet another retired beer that doesn't look to be very retired at all. Had this on tap at Max's the other night.

The beer pours a decent amber color, with minimal head, but decent lacing. The beer smells pretty sweet, and I don't pick up much more then some sweet cherry and vanilla flavors. On the palate, the flavors replicate the nose. The beer is quite sweet, with a cherry cough drop and vanilla flavor. The beer seems a bit simple and one dimensionable to me, and the abv. is really quite noticeable. Between the sweetness and abv., this was not the most drinkable beer in the world.

This is a decent barleywine, but I have to say I've had many better.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.4/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle in my Duvel tulip.

a - Pours a mahogany color with light carbonation and one finger of fluffy, off white head. Little bit of lacing.

s - Smells of sticky sweet caramel malts, sugar, ddark fruits, syrup, and bready malts.

t - Tastes of booze, toasted malts, caramel malts, and sugar. Little bit of fruit.

m - Medium to full body and ver high carbonation that stings the tongue.

d - An ok barleywine. Smelled very good, but the booze came out a little too much in the taste. Also a bit too carbonated. Probably wouldn't get again.

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Photo of musicforairports
3.41/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at The Ruck in Troy.

Pours a darker amber, with some head and a bit of lacing.

Smells of malts, kind of like a Scotch ale, raisiny scents noticeable. A bit of alcohol as well.

Tastes is very malty and robust. Very decent, but I could use a bit of a hop bite somewhere in here for some balance.

A bit creamy on the mouth. Really not a bad beer in anyway, but I'd prefer a bit of hops somewhere in this rather strong and rich flavor profile.

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Photo of abgba121
3.41/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Reddish amber and cloudy, about one inch of head and good lacing that remains

S: Very malty and sweet, almost caramel and molasses, no hop aroma

T: sweet up front, slight hop bite in the middle, I can't detect alcohol at all, especially surprising for this strong of a beer, and there is a little hop flavor on the finish that lingers slightly

M: moderate carbonation and regular feel make it easy to drink

O: A decent beer I probably won't buy again, but maybe a bottle to age a bit and try again.

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Photo of Derek
3.42/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2003 vintage.

A: Orange-brown with some floaties, white head, no retention, initially some good lacing.

S: Nectarine, pine, orange rind, marmalade, cotton-candy, alcohol.

T: Marmalade, nectarine, light spicing, modest bitterness. I think it would probably be better fresh, rather than cellared.

M: Moderate body has an odd acidity.

D: It's not overly enticing, but its easily approachable.

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Photo of hopdog
3.45/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2000 Vintage with the thickest wax I've ever seen Took at least 5 minutes to dig through!

Poured a medium and cloudy amber color with small sized off white head. Aromas of caramel, dark cherries, light alcohol and somewhat vinous. Very nice aroma. Tastes a little bit of a let down any showed signs of its age with tastes of caramel, fruits, alcohol and a little vinous (all on the weaker side).

Notes from 12/12/05

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Photo of jjayjaye
3.47/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Vintage 2003. Hand labeled 225. Rates a 5.0 on the label art scale. First experience was from a small keg the folks brought to Holiday Valley Beer & Wine festival in Ellicottville, NY a couple of years ago. IMO it stoled the show. Judging by the looks of the waxing over the cap and dried lines of the product all over the top of the bottle I'd assume that there were some bottling challenges. This one pours clear and a light shade of amber color with a wispy thin white head that's gone in a flash. Not a lot of lacing going on. Quite a bit of light colored sediment settled on the bottom of the bottle. I like the smell but its a little off. You get some of the 10% ABV right off the bat, but it also has a rich sweet caramel malty character as well. There is an unlikely corn starch piece also. This one seems under carbonated and lighter in the mouth than you might think from the nose. There is quite a bit of whiskey in the flavor that over powers the caramel taste some. Definitely a sipper. I'm glad that they bottle some. Neat idea. I remember enjoying the cask more.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.48/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: A beautiful coppery-amber is filled with a medium dense and moderately paced effervesce creating a misty haze of tiny bubbles. The head is modest in size, beach sand in color with a good retention all the while layering a meaty coating on the glass for lace. Nice coloring.

S: Malty and hoppy nose, sweet caramel grains and toffee meets a touch of fruitiness of cherries and apples. The hopping is generous of sweet floral notes mixing with some alcohol on the finish but very manageable for 10%.

T: Sweet toasted caramel flavor with some unfermented sugars is warmed by an alcohol presence , but much like the nose is very manageable for its 10% nature even at warmer serving temperature. Dry caramel apple, dried cherry fruitiness is topped off by a evergreen hopping. Strong caramel and pine finish with a boozy cough medicine alcohol flavor at warmer temperatures.

M: The body was much lighter then to be expected per style. Medium base would be a stretch. Warm alcohol, boozy becoming apparent after the swallow.

O: After a few of these you just might find yourself howling ala the name. Decent example but ill stop there, appears easy at first but doesn’t go down without a fight.

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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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