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

2003. Yellow body with some white foamy head. Lace noted, lots of it by the end of the glass, ageing has served it well.Barleywine taste is typical, on the hoppy side. Further glass reveals fruitiness and dry hoppiness Malty and quite drinkable. Noticeable alcohol.

Another interesting all-you-can-drink growler from Rudolph of Buffalo. In a word, smoke. Intense forest fire Smokey aroma, intense smoke taste. Bit of retained lace and nice initial head. Peary like a scotch. Offset should be barbeque and you don't need sauce.

immediate above may be something else and I will over those words over and the 3.7 when I verify.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: single finger head with poor retention on a amber with golden hue hazy body.

S: light on the nose for a barleywine with mostly sweet caramel malts and candied fruits. Intermixed floral, toffee notes.

T: This one is very good. The booze aren't too prominent. The malt profile is nice and the tangy candied fruit notes mesh well with the malts.

M: nicely smooth. medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: a fairly drinkable barleywine with a complex flavor and the right degree of booze.

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Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was pretty impressive I thought. This poured out as a nice dark clear looking brown color. The head was large at first but settled pretty quick. The smell of the beer didn't remind me too much of a typical barely wine, it was a little fruity on the nose. The taste was a little boozy but very warming. The flavors of some dark fruits some sugary notes really shine in this beer. The mouthfeel is a little thick and smooth. Overall I enjoy this Barley Wine quite a bit and would enjoy having it again one day.

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Photo of metter98
3.87/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear amber in color and has some hints of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high beige head that left lacy patterns of bubbles covering the surface.
S: There are moderate aromas of caramel and vanilla in the nose.
T: The taste has a light amount of bitterness with notes of citrus from the hops—grapefruit stands out in particular.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is quite drinkable considering its strength because the alcohol is well masked from the taste.

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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 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 oberon
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Pizza Plant on Transit,so I asked the bartender the style of this beer he says well its categorized as a barley wine but he thinks its a beefed up rauchbier so Isaid "hmm" a knowledgable barkeep kinda hard to come by.Poured into the goblet a slight hazed light amber with a thinner white head,cherry wood aromas big on the smoke with some dark fruit as well.Now this beer has a big smokey,woody profile like the before mentioned soaked cherry wood with some brown sugar and raisin quality in the finish.This beer is unique to say the least if you like smokey,woody flavors this is for you Iam glad I tried it it is very unique in my opinion.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.98/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Apparently a filtered beer, the Old Howling Bastard pours a crystal-clear orange-ish amber body with a crimson cast beneath a full head of frothy off-white lace that holds quite well and leaves some very nice spider-web-like lacing about the glass. The nose is more intriguing than captivating, with a hint of apricot amidst a mildly sweet and toasty grainy maltiness amidst some medicinal and subtly smoky notes notes that are oddly compelling (think Islay whiskey... in fact, I wonder if there's some peat smoked malt in there?). Across the tongue and down the throat, the bastard seems more like a tame old kitty cat: slick and smooth and ready for a nap! - It's only lightly creamy, but its full body is pillowy smooth. Aggressive in it's flavor, a blend of bready and subtly crusty bread (with a touch of apricot marmalade drawn across the top) is all but overshadowed by its smokiness, bold bitterness, clearly noticeable alcohol, and leafy and fruity hop flavor (there's some pineapple and perhaps watermelon - I wonder if they're using some nugget hops). There's alot in there, and yet it all kind-of blends together; and the hops and bitterness eventually overwhelm the maltiness almost altogether. It finishes dry, wiped-down with alcohol, and somewhat astringent with rogue smokiness, some leafy & citrusy hop flavor, and some delicate malt that sticks in the mouth. Within a few sips it starts to build upon the palate, greatly reducing its drinkability, and numbing the tastebuds. Still, its lingering character (not unlike its nose) can be intriguing. The bottle states that the vintage is 2003, and that it's good in 2004, better in 2005, and "awesome" in 2006... ... ... I guess I should have waited a year! - or two even!

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.15/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap 2/15/09 at Track 84 in Warwick, RI, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a light reddish brown color with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is very bready with caramel, brown sugar and a good amount of hops.

T: The taste is likewise quite bready up front with sweet flavors of caramel, brown sugar and fruit. A decently strong hops bitterness brings a good balance and there's a touch of smokiness in the background. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty goes down dangerously easy, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, it might not be the best barleywine that I've had, but it's a nice stronger beer that is good to sip on for a long time.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.53/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2003 vintage.

Appearance: Pours a clear, orange-amber body with a small, frothy, white head.

Smell: Rich, sweet-smelling caramel maltiness with a toasty hint to it. Raisiny fruitiness. Distant citrus peel and wood bark notes.

Taste: Sweet, candyish caramel and toffee maltiness. Slightly toasty. Dehydrated citrus peels followed by a medium hop bitterness. Just a tad woody. Finishes fairly dry with a lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A fine, respectable barleywine, at least at five years out.

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Photo of russpowell
3.89/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The LAST bottle from my Florida min-haul, here's to good memories! Love the label

Pours an effervescent amber with 2+ fingers of tan head. A trace of lacing & zero head retnetion

S: Breadyness & cakeyness & fusel alcohol once warm

T: Follows the nose, loads of marmalade, plums & some brown sugar up front, some herbal woody hops up front. Plums & toffee dominate as this warms along with leafy hops, this seems as much an English BW as an American... Finishes dry, fruitty & with a nice toffee sweetness &

MF: Chewy, low carbonation, pretty warming

Drinks fairly easy, I would love to try some fresher for comparison purposes

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Photo of Slatetank
4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at Brass Rail Deli in Campbelltown, served chilled in a Sam Adams perfect pint.

A - The color is medium honey amber shade w/ very good clarity and 2 fingers of ecru w/ tiny beading. The ale has a rocky top and visible carbonation which moves slowly upward. Streams of lace cling to the glass well

S - Good aroma of hops in the nose w/ gentle citrus and light stone fruit esters w/ a mild sweetness in the scent w/ light alcohol odor

M - The barleywine feels moderately full on the palate with moderate bitterness as well, the texture is mildly sweet w/ malt blending well. There is a dry element from both the malt and alcohol giving a warm feel yet there is light roast and mild caramel smoothness

T - The flavor is bitter upfront and has mild citrus peel elements w/ piney bitter notes and follows w/ mild malt chewiness and bits of stone fruit and subtle acidic grapefruit giving a nice intense flavor w/ a light toasted note from the malt w/ a subtle floral hop taste that adds a lemony tinge in the finish

D - This is a pretty hoppy American Barleywine which may make you think of Double IPA's, but the line is thin there anyway. The malt backbone is there giving a sufficiently full malty anchor. This is very tasty I would recommend this and I would like to see what is like in the bottle after a short aging

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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 vfgccp
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

- Sampled at the Blue Point Brewery tasting room -

A - Orange amber.

S - Faint booze and brown sugar.

T - Malt, booze, candied rosemary, coriander, pepper.

M - Medium body with a semisweet finish.

D - The booze and bitterness slow you down a bit.

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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 tdm168
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at World of Beer Raleigh. Served in a snifter.

A - dark amber with a soft, dense, off white head that has great retention

S - fruity, citrusy, candy sugar

T - citrus, bread, alcohol, bitter, piny, sugar

M - warm, medium bodied, a bit thin at times

This is a decent barleywine, though a bit thin. It has a nice hop character which helps to counter the sweet sugar. A fuller body would help this tremendously, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

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Photo of jwc215
3.81/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours slightly hazed copper with a foamy white head that holds up rather nicely. Actually, it holds up more than "rather" - nice retention that haolds up throughout. Rings vanish as it progresses, but new rings form, and stay awhile, as the drink progresses.

The smell is mild, though comes through a bit more as it progresses. It is minty with a fruity accent - mango, peach, apricot and pear. Caramel with herbal notes come through. Very nice - just not quite "robust". Interesting - not quite classic "Barleywine"... more of an attempt at a fruity version of a DIPA? In the end - nice, but on the thin side...

The taste is of steely caramel, and tropical fruits - mango, towards banana/coconut? and citrus - apricot, peach, a hint of grapefruit(?). A hoppy BW, though not bitter... Not quite sweet either. I liked it, and found more complexities, as it progresses, raising my taste score to the higher of the two scores I had in mind...though with "some" generosity... I liked the taste - though something unusual about it... more of a soft DIPA... It has a grainy finish. Alcohol shows, yet doesn't interfere much in taste or smoothness.

The feel...that's my issue here... while it does drink quickly enough, with ample carbonation and firm malt backbone, it seems to lack the full body that a BW should have. A few less bubbles would probably work just as well. Still, it does have a smoothness to it and fruity flavours do hang on.

This is a fruity BW. If you're looking for a fruity BW that is high in abv that is not raw, and you don't mind the bit of thinness of the body, certainly grab this one. My gut instinct on aging this? Would doubt it...but, just a guess.. Anyway, might not fit style guidelines the way it should, but I would say this is an interesting BW that should be checked out.

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Photo of Billolick
3.87/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

on CASK at the G man in NYC. Dark brown with a fluffy white head, nice roasted malt, hoppy and yeasty nose. Bready, whole wheat malt notes, alcohol fairly prominant , medium bodied, very smooth mouth feel, hops a bit muted, could use some more IBUs to balance things out. ( I tried this one AFTER the Arrogant bastard, so it might have been a tough act to follow) The cask pour seemed somewhat "mushy" in the overall balance of this brew.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.65/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer on draft at the Pizza P in Dupont circle, served in a snifter. Beer is yellow / dark amber with a thin white head, no lacing really, moderate retention, low carbonation.

Aroma is sweet and nice, fruity with great yeast character.

Beer is thin and sweet with a lot of fruitiness, berry flavors in the beer, it is a little hot, finish was a little dry. I don't think I'd have it again but it is a fine barleywine.

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Photo of liamt07
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Jason, 750ml into a snifter. 2009 vintage I believe.

Poured an orangey-brown with a cream head. Thin film and a thick collar is left behind, looks quite nice. Nose is caramel and toffee, some orange and interesting but not off-putting underripe banana notes. Taste has alot of citrus (lemon and orange come to mind intitially), caramel, alcohol, and finishes with a significant hop bitternss. Medium mouthfeel, and a bit of a higher carbonation that feels a bit amplified in the finish. Sticky, boozy and bitter. Enjoyable.

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Photo of tempest
3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well this was interesting. Looks a dark red with a shot head. Smells a little smokey and sweet. My first taste sure surprised me. I was expecting American Barley Wine and my first flavor was smoked cheddar. Ah yes, its a smoked barley wine. Recommend for fans of smoked beer and BAs looking for something a little different.

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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 WesWes
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a deep red/amber color with a thick frothy off-white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a warm, caramel scent that indicative a slow sipper beer. It's not especially hoppy or complex, but's it's solid and well done; mostly caramelized pale malts. The taste is good as well. It has a dry, malty flavor that's slow going down, yet quite enjoyable and delicious. Again, not especially hoppy, but well brewed and malt forward. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a very good barleywine. It's smooth and easy drinking; an excellent winter warmer.

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

Blue Point : Old Howling Bastard

A ruddy brownish color, small head forms and dissipates. Hoppy citrus aroma, bright hop notes, honey, sugary malts. In the flavor profile, oily, piney, resinous hops and barleywine like flavor from the malt. Toffee, sugary malt, solid hop bitterness throughout. A big beer, but achieves balance. Small alcohol presence for such a big beer. Overall, if you like a good hoppy barleywine, this could be for you.

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Photo of plaid75
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 Vintage on tap at the brewery.

Poured a dark copper hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a heavy barley malt with elements of dark drug and candy sugar.

The taste was toward he maltier side of the style with tones of caramel, raisin and apricot. Good herbal hoppiness as well.

The mouthfeel was typical of the style with a suprisingly dry finish.

Overall a complex and user friendly barleywine.

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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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