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Blue Point Old Howling Bastard | Blue Point Brewing Company

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Blue Point Old Howling BastardBlue Point Old Howling Bastard
Very Good
300 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 300 |  Reviews: 140
Photo of cjgator3
3.86/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle

A- Poured into a snifter. Pours a nice dark amber color with a sticky off-white head that leaves lacing all around the glass. Looks great in the glass!

S- The aroma is a ton of sweet malt like expected from any good barleywine, and a good dose of hops as well. There is a pretty high dosage of alcohol in the nose as well. Smells good, looking forward to tasting it. 

T- The taste like the aroma is rich and malty up front with a lot of bitterness from the hops quickly filling in and lingering well into the finish. From top to bottom, a pretty solid barleywine so far.

M- The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Perfect mouthfeel.

O- Overall, I think this is a pretty solid barleywine. It has a very nice balance of rich malty sweetness and bitterness from the hops. 

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Photo of vfgccp
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
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 lovindahops
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

felt like some barleywine action today. Old Howling Bastard it is!

A- pours a lighter amber look with some impressive foam that ends up hanging around on the sides of the brew. The body of the brew almost glows. Nice floating foam on top that seems to hang around

S- great barleywine caramel scents with some candy and toffee flavors meshing in. There is dark fruit and fig flavor as well

T- dark caramel candy with a raisin finish. Sweet and not too alcoholic which is bizarre for the high alcohol

M- full flavor on the mouth. Heavy and thick flavor

D- this is one drinkable barleywine. You can barely taste the alcohol with each sip. Although it's very sweet, Old Howling Bastard is a drinkable beer!

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Photo of bSypher
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Serving type: Bottle poured into snifter

The appearance of this beer was amber color and very thick looking. When a flash light was shown on it, it remained opaque. It smelled of caramel and tasted similarly. As I got closer to the bottom the caramel taste seemed to get stronger. Like Boto said, alcohol isn't anywhere to be found in the taste. As for mouthfeel, it wasn't over carbonated and had a nice dry finish. Finally for drinkability, with it being a beer with 10% abv it went down very easily and had very little to no sting.

Overall: Awesome beer. I would recommend this to any beer drinker.

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Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks, as always, to the great MCLK. Thanks a ton Mark, I am so glad you moved down here. Bottle pours copper with light haze with gold hues and light tan head. The aroma has smooth dark to musty fruit notes and seem to bleed into a rye like spiciness, hops spiciness, full thick malty sweetness and a bit of heat at the end of the draw. The taste seems a bit organic and grassy moving into thick chewy malt sweetness, pine hop bitterness, a touch of pine hop flavor and grapefruit. It gets smooth and a bit grainy into the finish setting up a very pleasing finish. It leaves pine hops and fading yet faint sludgy sweet malts deep into the after taste.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A 22oz bottle poured into a snifter.
Cherry amber color, thin tan head.
Caramel malt aroma, fruit.
Definite caramel taste. The fruit aroma came across as raisins and plums. The caramel taste predominates.
Sweet, oily mouthfeel.
Nice beer, a good ending to our Super Bowl meal.

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Photo of Boto
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

220z bomber: This one pours hazy, orangish-amber color. There was very little of a just slightly tan head on it. It left a little lacing. The aroma is nice. Definitely a lot of malts, but some fruit notes popping up, mainly apricots and orange. Some earthy notes also. The taste is also good. There is a dryness and very subdued sweetness to this one. Some caramel, toffee, plus faint plums and raisins. Alcohol is not evident in the flavor profile. I bought this for the name, but will buy it again for the taste.

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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 steve8robin
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this in NJ on a trip to PA. Just looked interesting. 22oz bottle...

A: Murky copper color with a faint ruby hue to the brew. A thick 1 inch white head that fades at a decent pace. Good.

S: A very sweet malty boozy scent upfront. Some bready rye in the middle with some toffee and faint caramel on the backend. Good.

T: A sweet malty rye upfront quickly followed by some caramel and candi sugar. Some toffee on the backend. Good.

M: Medium body with a great balanced carbonation. A boozy dry finish. Good.

D: Goes down very easy despite the higher ABV. Very good.

All in all, this is a good brew. Definitely not anywhere near the best barleywine I've ever had, but a solid one. Definitely good to try if you like the style. If you don't like barleywines, then you probably won't like this.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a cloudy orangish color with good carbonayion and a nice white head

S: Caramel, apricot, toffee

T: Has a caramel malt backbone, sweetness, hops with fuits like apricots and and some other citrus

M: Nice, booze sting, medium to heavy body

D: Good

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Photo of alcstradamus
3.13/5  rDev -18.7%
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 tchenery
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Excellent rich amber color with off-white head. The beer looks beautiful.

First impression on smell was marshmallows. It's a very warming and complex smell with notes of vanilla, peaches, and spices. It smells like a tropical mixed drink.

Very robust malt flavor that hints of grapes, raisins, and dark fruits. Very floral in taste but also very bready. Not much on bitterness or hops with this one.

The amount of malt give this beer a slick mouthfeel, almost oily.

It's cold outside and this beer is just about perfect for the occasion. It's very drinkable for a barleywine.

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Photo of JayQue
4.02/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Good Barleywine.. several reviewers mentioned date...I didn't see any year on the bottle. My bottle seemed fresh like raw Bigfoot.

Pours a hazy orange with a good size off white head...decent retention for 10.0 bv and thick, patchy lacing. Strong aroma, spices, fruit (pears, apricots) and it seemed like Belgian yeast.

Tasted good too. The fruit, caramel malt and spiciness were there. The elusive yeast aroma was not part of the taste.Not a lot of hops presence.

Mouthfeel is good...rich and boozy. The alcohol is a bit much but overall this is a nice, rich sipper.

Drinkability is affected by the alcohol presence. A slow sipper, I split the bottle and half is just about right!!! I usually don't age barleywines but this one would probably be totally awesome with the alcohol tamed

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Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev +3.9%
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 Stunner97
2.89/5  rDev -24.9%
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 russpowell
3.89/5  rDev +1%
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 urwithdave
3.31/5  rDev -14%
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 CHickman
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy amber red in color with a creamy 1 finger beige head that lasted a while; great lacing that leaves big foamy rings as it goes down. A very nice looking beer.

Smells of floral hops, sweet malt, caramel, rum, dark fruits, alcohol and light molasses and/or syrup. A sweet hoppy nose that is a lot sweeter that I expected from a barleywine.

Tastes like it smells, with floral hops, citrus hops, sweet malt, caramel, rum, dark fruits like raisin and dates, faint alcohol, molasses and/or syrup, brown sugar, faint burnt grains and an almost smoky taste like it was barrel aged. Really nice balance, that leans towards the sweet side, but is not over powerful as far the alcohol level goes. There is a slight kick to it like a rum or bourbon.

Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, with no carbonation, and a medium to heavy body that leaves a sweet burnt malt taste that fades like bourbon. This beer is chewy, yet somewhat easy to drink.

Drinkability is low for a regular beer yet high for a barleywine, as this is a slow sipper and but not one to drink all night. Tasty, but one to drink with caution as the ABV will creep up on you. It went great with the lamb stew that I had for dinner, complimenting it like a wine.

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Photo of fastsrt
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle in snifter

A: dark amber, thin head, good lacing.

S: carmel malts, earth, floral hops,

T: booze, malt, and hops, are stand out, there is no balance here, yet this one might age well though. flavors are rough, not much complexity.

M: great body, long lasting

D: This is a rough beer, there is booze, sharp hops, and astringency.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.4/5  rDev -11.7%
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 BARFLYB
3.16/5  rDev -17.9%
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 nickd717
3.6/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared at a tasting.

Pours a clear golden-amber color with an off-white head and decent lacing.

Aroma is caramel malt and light fruits, mild hops, and a little smokiness.

Flavor is sweet malt - pale and caramel - with light fruity esters along with mild hop bitterness. Above average to good.

Medium body with average carbonation and some slight hop oils on the palate.

Average-plus drinkability, and overall a solid barleywine, if nothing to write home to yo' mama about.

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Photo of koopa
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle purchased at DeCiccios in Ardsley NY.

Appearance: Pours a fairly pale amber (like Jurassic Park Amber, not like an amber ale) with honey folds. The crown is a half a finger, white, shows little retention and some lace.

Smell: Lots of lightly caramelized malt with a subtle amount of earthy hop presence. No sign of alcohol or hop bitterness in the nose.

Taste: Same as the nose but the finish has a moderate hop bite that adds a bit more complexity to it than the nose. Still a very straight forward sweet light caramel malty barleywine. Not very complex at all.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, not quite chewy but has a touch of heft and good carbonation. Pretty enjoyable.

Drinkability: The carbonation and light amount of malt and hops makes this one fairly drinkable despite the 10% abv.

It's caramel driven but not overly sweet.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
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 jwc215
3.81/5  rDev -1%
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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Blue Point Old Howling Bastard from Blue Point Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.85 out of 5 with 300 ratings
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