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: 299
Photo of auxiliary
4.12/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance - Nice amber color with a small white head.

smell -Sweet smells here, caramel and some hops.

taste - Sweet taste of caramek and ends with some bitterneess and a kick.

mouthfeel - Medium body.

drinkability - Nice sipper here. Enjoyed this beer. Has some kick at 10%.

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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 barleywinebrewer
4.33/5  rDev +13.4%
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 roopy40
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a sifter from tap

A - Rich ruby in lit background, otherwise darker brown. Small head from the pour, no chance for retention, but some lace was left behind.

S - Raisin, cherry, perhaps prune and the alcohol was definitely present in the nose.

T - Nice, sweet taste, again the fruit is there and some hop bitterness in the finish, alcohol again, but not unpleasant.

M - Syrupy and thick, medium body with great carbonation.

D - I would be in trouble if I sat with too many of these. The alcohol is there in the nose and the taste, but I still like this barley wine a great deal. You know what you're getting yourself into with this style, so enjoy carefully. It is extremely drinkable.

Overall I liked this offering from Blue Point and wouldn't hesitate going after it again. If you like barley wine, try this one.

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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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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 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 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 aerozeppl
4.21/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On cask at Mahars

A: Just what you want a barleywine to look. Minimal slightly brownish white head. A nice deep caramel/toffee color.

S: A nice spiciness up front. Tons of malt. Some hint of booze in the back. Had a little bit of that smell all big cask beers have which I love.

T: Super malty with some nice spiciness. Hints of wood with the faintest hint of hops in the back.

M: Nice thick full bodied beer.

D: Had a pint of this over two glasses. Went down nicely. Really nice beer. I have been enjoying their cask offerings as of late.

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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 dewalt
3.92/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tasted this on tap, and served in a goblet. It has an unexpected strong aroma of pineapple, and even tastes slightly like the fruit, sweet and syrupy. Mouthfeel was fine. Fruity flavor helped cut the strong alcohol taste, and made this very drinkable.

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Photo of garcia2a
4.12/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found and enjoyed yet another one of these in an old deli on the upper east side that for some reason, always has a few older tastys laying around. Perfect for today's lunch!

This beer pours a bold orange color, slightly hazy with almost no carbonation. Extremely thin head that left an almost non-existent lacing.

The bouquet is rich with caramel and sweet, yet toasty malt. On the backend there is a bit of alcohol as well as some raisins and prunes.

On first sip, the malt and caramel are the first to hit the taste buds. As the tasting progresses, some sweet fruit and what I think is a tinge of clove hit the tongue.

This is a full-bodied, smooth tasty that does cloy as the tasting goes on. That does not hamper the drinkability though, as barley wines can be lovely. This beer is a total winter sipper, but for me, always enjoyable.

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Photo of mcallister
4.12/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A light fiery orange/red barley wine. Possibly polished amber in color. A small white head appears and fades into a foamy topping of joy.

Great nose on this. Oxidation, prune, sherry, fig, smoke,date, fussel alcohol burst with a citrusy edge. Loaded with fruit character. Caramel and light date with a piney hop trace.

A very different barley wine. Very smokey in the middle and finish with a meaty appetite. Earthy and a bit of alcohol spice. Toffee and caramel with some fig, date, prune, oxidtaion, brown sugar and peach hiding behind the smokey flavors. A bitter finish on the piney side. A good odd barley wine.

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Photo of Gmann
3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ML Capped Bottle. Pours a light golden color with some reddish highlights. The head was almost non-existant and settled into a light ring around the glass. The aroma is of aged grassy hops and a noticable alcohol aroma. A nice big hoppy blast kicks things off. The hops seem to be aged and have grassy, woody and citrus characteristics. Not a very strong malt presence and there is a noticable alcohol flavor. The feel is light with rather soft carbonation, finishes sweet and slick with some alcohol burn. A hoppy brew with plenty of alcohol presence. A decent drinker.

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Photo of BBM
4.02/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer pours a cloudy rusty gold color into the glass. White rocky head resides atop the brew for the duration, and there's a nice amount of lacing around the glass. Aroma is sweet and strong, unlike most old bastards I know.

This is one of those barleywines that grab you by the palate and won't let you go. It's intensely sweet, a touch bitter, and very alcoholic. It's incredibly thick and a definite sipper. Overall this is a real bully of a beer, but it's right on target if that's what you're looking for.

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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 JoeyBeerBelly
4.33/5  rDev +13.4%
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 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 cbl2
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

3/25/2007 $16.99 750 mL 10.00% Vintage 2003. Bottle says: Consume 2004 - Good, 2005 - Better, 2006 - Awesome. This magically appeared this week at Gary's Wine & Marketplace in Madison.


Pours a golden orange in hue with a thin film of tan head that is persistent.


Aromas consist of honey and flowers with a dash of tropical fruit and alcohol thrown in.


Smooth chewy mouthfeel accompany this sweet honey flavored ale. Touches of flowers are present, as is some hot alcohol on the finish. Finish is slightly hoppy, though the sweetness wins the day on this one.

A very respectable barley wine. Perhaps not worth the $16.99 I paid for it, but enjoyable nonetheless.

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Photo of PEBKAC
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Via the Brazen Head cask ale festival; 10oz serving.

Drippy & deep, with mostly tobacco & that new leather smell on the nose. Taste was a whole lot more though, with macerated dark cherries, nougat, & even orange rind that gave it a little spice. The pretzels were kind of stale that night, so it was easier to pick things out. A faint burning plastic aftertaste keeps it from being absolutely delicious.

The alcohol made its presence known, but was more warming then anything. Combined with the weighed down feel & consistancy of the beer, ten ounces was more then enough for me to enjoy.

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Photo of killergreenbulli
4.13/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I Enjoyed this fine ale @ the Brazen Head cask ale festival 2/23/07

The old bastrd was served in an American pint glass. Quite cloudy,nut brown, with a mahogany hue, no head to speak of being from a cask.
I found the nose to be a bit tame, maybe I am used to the strong hop character of other American barley wines, A sweet malty aroma, with a nice hop finsh.
The first burst of flavor is a lovely malty, chewiness that is in your face. Than layers of, leather,tobaco, and cuurants.
Like all old bastards, this perticular one is thick. Great mouthfeel, smooth, velvety, slick.
All in all a nice barley wine that deserves some attention

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Photo of lehows
4.52/5  rDev +18.3%
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 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 warriorsoul
3.87/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Growler filled at the brewery...$16.
Pours a cherry amber color...just a skimming of bright white lacing either.
Nice aroma of rum raisins, cherries, and some earthy hops too.
The taste is where this one shines...mildly sweet and pretty darn bitter. The alcohol finds its way to the pallet, but not distracting...just reminds you to respect this offering.
Hops linger in the aftertaste, along with a smokey finish that gives the style a unique spin.
Mouthfeel is as thick as many in the style and the carbonation is a touch low...goes down fairly easily which can be very risky.
Another good beer from a brewery that is putting out some nice offerings. Definitely not retired, as I snagged a 750ml from the cooler on the way out.
Very well received...

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

Blue Point Old Howling Bastard
25.9 oz green bottle
Vintage 2003
Purchased at the Blue Point brewery in Patchogue, NY
Served in a large snifter glass

I made a recent trip to the Blue Point brewery earlier this week and finally decided to take the $17 risk and pick up a bottle of the Old Howling Bastard. I have the AC on full blast and I'm ready to see what this beer is all about.

Pours a light shade of brown and an orange tint with an intersting thin lace on top. I swirl this around in the snifter glass and random spots of sticky lace appear.

The nose reveals whiffs of brown sugar, fresh Band-Aid peel, light spices and sweet malts. I also detect a funky, medicinal quality in the background.

Juicy, sweet prune malt backbone with a spicy black pepper bite. A touch of rubbing alcohol sharpness, but this beer is smooth and complex enough to hold up. Highlights of a smokey peat quality, orange citrus twang and caramel malts. Bittering hop presence.

I paired this up with Cracker Barrel extra sharp white cheese and it worked incredible with this brew. A solid barleywine overall. Very nice to sip and quite mellow after sitting for three years. Maybe a tad overpriced at $17, but I enjoyed it just the same. If you have the chance, check this out. Hats off to Blue Point brewery for making this caliber style of beer.

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Blue Point Old Howling Bastard from Blue Point Brewing Company
3.82 out of 5 based on 299 ratings.
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