Appalachian Walker
Olde Hickory Brewery

Appalachian WalkerAppalachian Walker
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Olde Hickory Brewery
North Carolina, United States
English Barleywine
Ranked #29
Ranked #1,006
4.38 | pDev: 7.31%
Jan 09, 2024
Jan 12, 2016
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 muchloveforhops3
Reviewed by muchloveforhops3 from Montana

4.32/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
A big thanks to @CarolinaCardinals for this!
12oz bottle poured into a Coin Toss Belgian-style tulip; first experience with Olde Hickory; label indicates 9.58% abv

P deep mahogany w/ some murkiness; tiny tan cap
N just divine; dark sugars, molasses, apple, brandy, spice, and caramel
T falls off just a bit here at first after the huge nose; initial flavors are caramel, apple, and a touch of oxidation; gets quite a bit more complex and cohesive as it warms though; a lot going on here- ends up being a tasty blend of dark sugars, caramel, apple, spice, and booze; raisins and grapes make an appearance; the apple and spice notes take on freshly-baked apple crumb cake character; the alcohol is very well-incorpated
Mf an airy, yet satisfying mouthfeel; med to med full-bodied w/ high carb; more carb than anticipated, but it works well
O a really nice barrel-aged barleywine; awesome nose, solid profile, and a unique mouthfeel for the style; drinks ridiculously well for the abv; happy I was able to try it!

Review date: 12.27.23
Bottle date: 09.24.20
Jan 09, 2024
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Reviewed by Beersnake from California

4.35/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Poured at fridge temp. Pours a nice dark brown with an inch of tan head. Looks great! The nose is fantastic. Immediately picking up brandy, raisins, toffee, plums, and big malts.

The taste is wonderful. Toffee, molasses, brown sugar, super smooth brandy, raisins, honey, and a candy sweetness. This is just so smooth. Sweet, but not too sweet. Slight boozy, but not too boozy. Nice malts and dark fruit. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, a bit sticky, and comes with a nice sweet toffee aftertaste.
Apr 21, 2023
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Reviewed by DIM from Pennsylvania

4.31/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
The boozy grapes are prominent but not alone. I also get plenty of sweet dried fruit, brown sugar, cocoa, plums, and maybe almonds? There is some bitterness coming in at the finish, mostly wood I think but some hops as well perhaps. The exhale is dry red wine. Excellent barleywine that's been on my radar for some time now, thanks Tom!
Apr 17, 2023
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Reviewed by hman43 from North Carolina

3.96/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Look: It pours dark chestnut brown with a bit of clouding. It has a tan head with low head retention.

Smell: It has as strong nutty aroma with toffee. There are some raisin notes in the background.

Taste: There is a depth of flavors with starts with toffee and a bit of caramel. There are some nut and raisin notes in the background. There are brandy notes with light wood.

Feel: It has a full body that is not quite chewy. There is a bit of sweetness in the finish with the bitterness.

Overall, a good combination of complex flavors with the brandy and wood adding complexity to the barleywine.
Apr 15, 2023
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Reviewed by MacMalt from New Jersey

4.41/5  rDev +0.7%
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 +1.8%
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
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Reviewed by CarolinaCardinals from North Carolina

4.43/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
4-16-23 notes: Getting notes of figs and brown sugar. Barrels lend some cherry/dark berry notes. Brandy tries to balance the sweetness and it does within the limits of the EBW style.

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
Photo of Treyliff
Reviewed by Treyliff from West Virginia

4.49/5  rDev +2.5%
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 +7.1%
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
Photo of pathman
Rated by pathman from Ohio

4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
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 -5.5%
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
Appalachian Walker from Olde Hickory Brewery
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 73 ratings