Appalachian Walker
Olde Hickory Brewery

Appalachian WalkerAppalachian Walker
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Olde Hickory Brewery
North Carolina, United States
English Barleywine
Ranked #20
Ranked #982
4.39 | pDev: 7.29%
Jan 15, 2023
Jan 12, 2016
Appalachian WalkerAppalachian Walker
Notes: Appalachian Walker is our award-winning Irish Walker barleywine ale aged for over a year in brandy barrels.

Geoff and Charles Alexander of Appalachian Vinter have commissioned this beer for a cause. A portion of sales is contributed to the Puzzle Piece Project which supports research of autism and gives support to those affected.
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Photo of MacMalt
Reviewed by MacMalt from New Jersey

4.41/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Bottled on 3/1/2022. Poured into a pint glass. It pours a dark cola-iced tea color with a small, ecru-colored cap that dissipated rapidly leaving a thin film of foam and modest lacing. It has a really aromatic nose with lots of toffee, brown sugar, raisin, fig, roasted malt, leather, and a whiff of tobacco. As it warms I also smell the influence of the brandy barrels. The initial taste is more bitter than the smell would indicate with earthy char and bitter hop notes. The rest of the flavor, though, is spot-on with the sweetness of brown sugar and caramel/toffee and abundant raisin, fig, and sweet malts. As it warms and breathes I notice the brandy, which adds oakiness to the already complex taste profile. The mouth feel is thick and creamy with moderate carbonation. This batch carries a 12.04% ABV, which is warming but not overly distracting. Overall, Appalachian Walker is a stellar English Barleywine whose bitterness reminds me of the American variant. I agree with the World-Class score.
Jan 15, 2023
Rated: 3.86 by RochefortChris from North Carolina

Jan 14, 2023
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Reviewed by dbrauneis from North Carolina

4.46/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
A: Pours a clear but almost opaque dark mahogany in color with moderate amounts of fine active visible carbonation rising along the edges of the glass and moderate ruby red + garnet red + chestnut + amber colored highlights. The beer has a two finger tall fizzy foamy tan head that slowly reduces to a medium to large sized patch of thin film covering approximately 35% of the surface of the beer and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of toasted + caramel + toffee + lightly roasted + chocolate malts with slightly heavier than moderate amounts of caramel + toffee + brown sugar + dark fruit (cherry + fig + plum) sweetness. Moderate aromas of leather + tobacco. Moderate aromas of red wine + vanilla + toasted oak. Hints of earthy hops and brandy booziness.

T: Upfront there are moderate to strong flavors of toasted + caramel + toffee + lightly roasted + chocolate malts with slightly heavier than moderate amounts of caramel + toffee + brown sugar + dark fruit (cherry + fig + plum) sweetness. That is followed by moderate flavors of tobacco + leather. Then there are slightly stronger than moderate flavors of red wine + vanilla + toasted oak. Finally there are hints of earthy hops. There is a light amount of roasty + hop bitterness that fades away leaving moderate brandy booziness lingering.

M: Medium to full bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth with a moderate amount of alcohol warming in the finish.

O: Easy to drink with well hidden alcohol and a very pleasant smooth mouthfeel. Very enjoyable with lots of malt complexity but the sweetness is well balanced out. Brandy barrel aging complemented the flavor and aroma quite well.
Dec 25, 2022
Rated: 4.21 by fehrminator from North Carolina

Nov 13, 2022
Rated: 4.7 by msscott1973 from North Carolina

Oct 29, 2022
Photo of CarolinaCardinals
Reviewed by CarolinaCardinals from North Carolina

4.43/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
Picked up a single 12 oz bottle from the Appalachian Vintner in Asheville 7-8-22 for $6.87. Bottled 3-1-22; consumed 10-26-22.

Beer poured a clear reddish brown with an okay off-white head.

Nose is very nice, notes of dark fruits dominate along with a touch of red wine.

Taste is a large malt base with strong notes of figs and plums. Brandy barrel aging lends red wine and vanilla. Finishes adequately oaked and hopped which gives it a very nice balance. Outstanding!

Mouthfeel is medium to large bodied and very smooth.

Overall this is a really well balanced barleywine. Was scared it would be too sweet but the brewing team did a nice job preventing this.
Oct 26, 2022
Rated: 4.27 by oberon from North Carolina

May 01, 2022
Rated: 4 by JamesLeung from Florida

Sep 27, 2021
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Reviewed by Treyliff from West Virginia

4.49/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
22oz bottle poured into a tulip
Bottled 6/5/18

A- pours a dark brown in color with a one-finger foamy off-white head that reduces to a ring

S- bold brandy notes on the nose up front, with vinous red grape notes, followed by aromas of caramel, toffee, brown sugar, leather, pipe tobacco, rum soaked raisins, black cherry, chocolate and vanilla

T- bold brandy notes follow the nose; dark vinous grapey notes up front, followed by a big hit of caramel sweetness. Mid-palate gives notes of dates, figs, raisins, anise, black cherry and pipe tobacco. The finish gives more brandy, oak, vanilla and chocolate. Brandy and caramel on the linger

M- medium body with moderate carbonation leads to a creamy mouthfeel that continues into a velvety smooth, slightly warming finish

O- a huge barrel influence works well with the base beer to create a new experience with an already solid English barleywine
May 01, 2021
Rated: 3.81 by StoutAtTheDevil from Alabama

Mar 22, 2021
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Rated by KWPUN from Florida

4.69/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
Great beer. Almost like a smooth wine
Dec 12, 2020
Rated: 4.75 by TylerJ from Iowa

Nov 23, 2020
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Rated by pathman from Ohio

4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
04/30/20 bottle @ home
Apr 30, 2020
Rated: 4.4 by Eyedoc27 from Illinois

Feb 11, 2020
Rated: 4.04 by Mikexw from New York

Oct 18, 2019
Photo of Benish
Reviewed by Benish from Utah

4.14/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Appearance: poured a dark brown with no translucence. No head as well. One could say this looks like...prune juice.

Smell: wow. Instantly dark fruits soaked in brandy. Also notes of toffee and vanilla. Kinda smell like mincemeat pie.

Taste: sweet and boozy with notes of dark fruits and heavy flavors of brandy. Almost like a cocktail infused beer thanks to the brandy. Some vanilla and toffee enhancing the sweet burnt character. A touch of dark cherries.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Very little alcohol presence. A little sticky as it warms up.

Overall: very approachable Barleywine. The brandy is really the highlight, giving an almost cocktail-like quality.
Aug 14, 2019
Photo of Arjen
Reviewed by Arjen from Netherlands

3.93/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Bottle @ Brouwerij de Molen (volunteers gathering), thanks for sharing John & Petra! Pours a dark brown colour, mostly clear, with a light brown head. Aroma's are sweetish, toffee/fudge and fruit. Flavour is moderate sweet and moderate bitter. Medium bodied. Long finish, quite bitter and somewhat woody. Not too much barrel, but also not too sweet. Quite nice.
Jun 16, 2019
Rated: 4.49 by BeardedWalrus from North Carolina

Mar 31, 2019
Rated: 4.6 by lebriarjr from North Carolina

Mar 03, 2019
Rated: 4.37 by jak from North Carolina

Jan 23, 2019
Rated: 4.45 by tdm168 from Pennsylvania

Aug 04, 2018
Rated: 4.25 by Spaten454 from Texas

Jul 21, 2018
Rated: 4.5 by Fireman_RK from North Carolina

Jun 28, 2018
Rated: 4.25 by rspauldi from Texas

Apr 16, 2018
Rated: 5 by gia7272 from North Carolina

Jan 24, 2018
Rated: 4.22 by adidaswp from Illinois

Dec 12, 2017
Rated: 4.73 by beer_guy_nc from North Carolina

Oct 18, 2017
Rated: 4.46 by lupercmda from North Carolina

Sep 20, 2017
Rated: 4.25 by IrishColonial from Texas

Sep 13, 2017
Rated: 4.25 by t2grogan from Arizona

Sep 04, 2017
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Reviewed by brentk56 from North Carolina

4.84/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
Appearance: Pours a burnt caramel color with a wispy head that fades in about 30 seconds; leggy, with dots of lace sticking

Smell: Caramel, fig, date, chocolate and Brandy

Taste: Caramel and oak forward, with dark dried fruit flavors of date and fig building; a hint of chocolate, in the middle, and then the Brandy takes over; moderately boozy, through the finish, with the Brandy blending with the other elements in the finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with low carbonation

Overall: Olde Hickory is a master of the barrel-aged Barleywine program and this is the top of the line; my only complaint is that they need to produce more examples of this style; as my grandmother used to say about her bridge game, "When a suit has begun, play it like a son of a gun."

Thanks, aleckpa, for the opportunity
Aug 13, 2017
Rated: 4.25 by Bunuelian from Minnesota

Aug 08, 2017
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Rated by Newbeergeek1 from Maine

4.4/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
I feel lucky to have picked up a bottle of this.
Jul 23, 2017
Rated: 3.66 by DanGeo from Michigan

Jul 16, 2017
Rated: 4 by rodmanfor3 from Vermont

Jul 08, 2017
Rated: 4.37 by bcp5296d from North Carolina

Jun 21, 2017
Rated: 3.75 by mklisz from New Hampshire

Jun 07, 2017
Rated: 3.83 by Coorsy from Massachusetts

May 25, 2017
Rated: 4 by oline73 from Maryland

May 25, 2017
Rated: 4.66 by Jason_cs from Florida

May 21, 2017
Appalachian Walker from Olde Hickory Brewery
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 69 ratings