Irish Walker | Olde Hickory Brewery

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Irish WalkerIrish Walker
Very Good
338 Ratings
Irish WalkerIrish Walker

Brewed by:
Olde Hickory Brewery
North Carolina, United States

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.14%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
A long slow fermentation and cold aging makes Irish Walker a well rounded, complex Barley Wine Ale. Released only once a year, it exhibits malty sweetness, fruity esters, and hoppy balance. This ale will age well for years to come.

Added by oberon on 12-25-2009

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 338 |  Reviews: 100
Photo of billab914
3.06/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of farrago
4.24/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Half a finger of solid brown foam, lots of larger bubbles interspersed which probably hurts retention some, lacing is nonexistent. Murky brown color with a yellow aura, a few tiny bubbles, looks like a very slow moving river. The nose is muscular without seeking to overpower, German chocolate cake, butterscotch, caramel, rum raisin ice cream, spiced oranges, scone, there’s a smokiness to it which evokes charcoal or tar, plum and date fruit as well, overall it’s more heady than boozy, no burn to it. Full-bodied while trim for its size, perhaps it has lost soft baby fat over the years. Caramelized brown sugar, toffee and toasted coconut introduce the fig, golden raisin, maraschino cherry fruit flavors, really not anywhere near cloyingly sweet. Scone and breakfast danish breadiness. The cocoa has enough roast to tease out coffee notes. Carbonation is weak, however, does not feel sluggish. That earthy, charcoal things appears mostly as aftertaste, lingering the most. Very good balance and complexity, hard to say how much of this was present on release. Eminently drinkable at a swift rate which is not always the case with these sorts of beers. (2014 edition)

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Photo of MacMalt
3.89/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 2/2/2016. Poured into Olde Hickory pint glass. It pours a muddy, brownish-cola color with almost a finger of foamy, khaki-colored head and lacing that dissipated quickly. It's nose features sweet malt, caramel, brown sugar, molasses, and raisin; it's a classic Barleywine smell. It may be the age of the bottle but the flavor isn't as sweet as the smell. It's boozy up front with with caramel, raisin, tart cherry, and a hint of molasses. There's also a touch of hoppy bitterness at the finish and a slightly bitter after taste. This ale is medium-bodied with pleasant carbonation, and the 10.14% (the bottle says 10%) is surprisingly benign. Overall, the taste is a bit of a let down following the aromatic nose but it's nevertheless a very solid English Barleywine.

 777 characters

Photo of aasher
3.96/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of kingjohnh
3.49/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of MMOSNN
4.26/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

1-year-old bottle poured into a goblet (2016 version)
Look - deep mahogany with a very thin khaki head that completely disappears, except for a few bubbles and the occasional light lacing.
Smell - this is what I want from a barleywine. Raisins and toffee are very strong, along with brown sugar, sticky caramel, vanilla, and a layer of booze is most definitely present and rounds out all of the sweet notes mentioned.
Taste - this is a little disappointing after getting that rich aroma profile, but it still has some complexity going on. Notes of raisins and toffee are dominant, but there's also a lingering element of tart cherries, which is really surprising and pleasant. I also get brown sugar, actually it's more like molasses, and again, vanilla and booze lay kinda heavy on the tongue.
Feel - moderate carbonation, medium chewy body, very smooth.
Overall, I was, at first, disappointed with my first sip, but it's really growing on me. I purposely aged this bottle for over a year since I like this type of style aged, but now I'm wondering how it tastes fresh. Regardless, the cherry notes really make this special and changed my mind on whether it was lacking in flavor (especially compared to the nose). I'll definitely pick up more of this.

 1,256 characters

Photo of Jason_cs
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of darktronica
4.47/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of gratefulbeerhead
3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of BEER88
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of brewskifan55
3.84/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a tasting glass. Thanks, Shannon.

A: Deep brown with amber highlights. A one finger tan head that whittled down to a foamy layer.

S: Heavy malts with caramel, molasses and toffee.

T: Oooh, the sweetness comes on strong with a thick, malty/caramel essence. Booziness mingles with dark fruits and toffee. A slow sipper for sure.

M: Medium to heavy with medium, chewy carbonation.

O: Way too sweet for our tasting group. Perhaps some aging may take it back a bit.

 487 characters

Photo of jschott75
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of calcnerd
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of dbrauneis
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Note: 2014 Vintage

A: Pours a lightly hazy but opaque very dark mahogany/reddish brown in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation rising along the edges of the glass and moderate cola brown highlights. The beer has a finger tall fizzy foamy tan head that reduces to a medium to large sized patch of very thin film and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of toffee, caramel, and dark fruits (raisin) over lighter aromas of dark + nutty malts. Light aromas of oak.

T: Upfront there is a moderate to strong flavor of dark, caramel, nutty, and toffee malts with a moderate to strong amount of sweetness and moderate flavors of dark fruits (raisins). That is followed by moderate amounts of whiskey-like booziness and oak. Finally there is a light flavor of earthy + spicy hops which contribute a light amount of bitterness which does not linger for long leaving a lingering sweetness + booziness.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Moderate amounts of alcohol warming through the finish.

O: Very enjoyable and pretty easy to drink considering the strength (not sure how this one is fresh as I have always had it with at least a year of age on it). Really nice dark fruit aromas and flavors along with the more traditional barelywine notes and a touch of whiskey.

 1,361 characters

Photo of Thirstygoat
4.19/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Klourie
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of RochefortChris
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of SharkNado
3.91/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of angrybabboon
3.83/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Consumed 3/11/16

Cheers to Bilco for this beer, split with Goblinmunkey7

A: Deep, dark brown with some burnt amber highlights - pours with a medium size, light beige head, fades to a wispy cap, retains a small collar, leaves some spots and streaks of lacing

S: Big, sweet, and chewy malts - malt-forward, as any self-respecting barleywine should be, with some caramel and amber malts, caramelized malts, amber malts, caramel, molasses, toffee, biscuits sprinkled with sugar - some dark fruits, figs, plums, raisins - some heat to round things out

T: Big and malty, with some caramel malts, amber malts, caramelized malts, cooked malts, caramel, molasses, toffee, sweet bread, bread crust, sweet biscuits - earthy notes - some dark fruits, figs, plums, raisins - sweet, but it should be, but maybe a touch too much - lightly nutty - some alcohol heat, again, appropriate for the style

M: Nearly full body, very smooth, low carbonation, finishes with lingering earth and sugary fruit

O: Irish Walker, Texas Ranger

This is a good example of an English Barleywine. The malt profile is solid, with tons of caramel, toffee, molasses, and dark fruits. It's a little too sweet, overall, but I'm not going to complain too much. For all I know, this could smooth out after aging for another few years. As for now, it's good, but not mind-blowing.

 1,345 characters

Photo of Zonian1
3.52/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of redfish2942
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of mothman
3.87/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Tan head. Copper brown color.

Malty. Toffee and caramel. Sweet. Light molasses and raisins. Brown sugar.

Medium bodied. Easy drinking. Nothing crazy though.

 158 characters

Photo of Apellonious
4.21/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22 oz bomber bottled 5/27/15 poured into a tulip glass.

A - Dark, dense, brown/ruby with almost a purple hue. No head or lace on first pour. 2nd pour yielded one finger of tan head that moved quickly to a thin lace.

S - Rich fig, caramel, oak, vanilla/brown sugar and bread.

T - Follows the nose, adding in molasses, dark fruit, nuts, and some well hidden booze.

M - Dense, full, low carbonation. Almost chewy, gets sticky.

O - A very warming, tasty, slow sipper for a winter evening. Have to pick up another and let it sit for a few years.

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Photo of HopsForBrains
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Mikexw
4.07/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

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Irish Walker from Olde Hickory Brewery
Beer rating: 3.97 out of 5 with 338 ratings
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