Appalachian Walker
Olde Hickory Brewery

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English Barleywine
Ranked #29
Ranked #1,723
4.41 | pDev: 7.26%
Olde Hickory Brewery
North Carolina, United States
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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Reviews: 12 | Ratings: 57 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Benish
4.14/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

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Photo of Arjen
3.93/5  rDev -10.9%
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.

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Photo of brentk56
4.84/5  rDev +9.8%
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, run it like a son of a gun."

Thanks, aleckpa, for the opportunity

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Photo of AngusOg
4.75/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from bottle into snifter glass, this is from the first batch.

Has this delicious taste that some other Olde Hickory barrel aged beers have, that reminds me of bitter dark chocolate, but there's a lot of complexity too; Brandy, wood, leather, dark fruits and raisins. Really fantastic brew!

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Photo of DVMin98
4.74/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

On tap at Olde Hickory Station. Deep, deep brown in color. Mild head. Smell is toffee, brandy, malts. Flavor is amazing. Nice barrel characteristics. Booze. Toffee. Raisins and brown sugar. Thick and chewy mouthfeel. Overall, this is an amazing English style barleywine. Crazy good

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Photo of Fantific
4.87/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a medium brown with little head. Smells amazing, sweet molasses, toffee, possibly some chocolate. Has a very warm, sweet, complex taste, and lots of that cherished OH barrel flavor. This beer is a masterpiece and cements OHs legacy as the best in the business with barrel aged beers. This rivals the Omega Point.

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Photo of brewskifan55
4.28/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Taster glass. Another great one from Shannon.

A: A rich dark brown with ruby highlights around the rim. Very little head; a tan ring that left pretty quickly.

S: Brandy gets your attention followed by dark fruits (featuring raisins), anise, vanilla and a port-wine quality.

T: Raisins, brown sugar, leather, smokey oak and a lush touch of brandy on the finish. Sweet and luscious. Boozy. As it warms, flavors enhance.

M: Medium to high with medium, chewy carbonation.

O: A bold sipper to be enjoyed with friends and a possible cigar. This one is deadly good.

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Photo of AppaZappa
4.55/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured 12.31.15 bottle into Olde Hickory snifter. Look is a deep, dark brown-almost black-with a feint head and fantastic lacing. Smell is brown sugar, raisin, leather, with touch of vanilla and alcohol. It smells a lot like Omega Point. Taste is raisin, brown sugar, leather, vanilla and then the brandy comes with some oak at the end. The result is strikingly port-like and the finish is shockingly brandy-like and just sits in your mouth. The feel is smooth with very slight carbonation, making it pleasantly chewy and viscous.

Another absolute stellar offering from Olde Hickory. Thanks to red_beard_00 for the chance to try it.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.74/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a Delirium Tremens snifter. Label says Bottling Date: 12/31/15.

A- Pours a dark brown color with a 1/4 inch tan head that retains a bit before becoming a thin ring around the edge of the glass and a tiny center patch of sheer surface foam. Not-so-resilient lacing leaves small clots behind.

S- Rich aroma of raisin, oak, vanilla, milk chocolate and port-like sweetness.

T- Bam! Caramel, toffee, raisin, oak, vanilla, pecans, it's all there in a melange of sweetness with a huge raisin aftertaste. So easy to drink too. Sure, the booze is there and there's also some barrel astringency but they both work so well within the construct of the flavor profile. A slow sipper but hard to sip slow because it's so tasty.

M- Silky smooth with medium-low carbonation and a full body.

O- Now, you have to like sweet things in order to really love this beer, and I do, so I love it. I rarely encounter such intensity of flavor that takes all of the great qualities of port and concentrates it into a lower ABV offering. Bravo.

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Photo of Mantooth
4.91/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Very happy to live close enough to this brewery to pick up most anything they pop out of a barrel. OHB is the most underrated brewery in the country - (IMO) - which is saying something considering how well reviewed their beers typically are.

This beer is similar to Omega Point in many ways. The color - deep garnet with a good light behind it. The wonderful nose and taste - raisins are most certainly involved (as others have stated), leather, caramel - but the major players in this game (certainly not to understate the previously mentioned wonders): CHARRED WOOD AND BRANDY. Wow. And the finish lasts for days. Absolutely wonderful beer.

I'm forced to compare the numerical score I've just given this brew to the ones I dished out to Omega Point, Carolus Magnus, Calico Jack, (the ridiculous) Blendiculous 1, Lindley Park, Event Horizon, Tale of Two Barrels releases... Reviews are subjective - and perhaps I've elevated one of the Olde Hickory releases above another due to whatever stimulus - the bottom line is this - each and every one of those beers is absolutely amazing.

Another stunning beer from my favorite brewery. If it comes out of a barrel - nobody does it better.

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Photo of BirdsandHops
3.88/5  rDev -12%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Huge raisin, date and caramel bomb. Sweet, dark fruits dominate the aroma and flavor profile with the brandy and oak coming through on the finish along with some leather. The beer is moderately boozy and sticky sweet. Very Port-like.

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Photo of Zh78888
4.67/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Killer. Olde Hickory Barleywine (Irish walker) + barrels delivers again. Like Omega Point, this is also a raisin bomb, except this comes with a present brandy after flavor. Never hot, though, or tasting like alcohol.

Leathery, raisins, some coconut. Only knock is that the mouthfeel isn't huge, but it honestly helps with the drinkabiity.

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Appalachian Walker from Olde Hickory Brewery
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 57 ratings