Old Dipsea Barleywine Style Ale | Marin Brewing Company

Old Dipsea Barleywine Style AleOld Dipsea Barleywine Style Ale
Liked This Beer
3.8 w/ 94 Ratings
Old Dipsea Barleywine Style AleOld Dipsea Barleywine Style Ale

Brewed by:
Marin Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by stirgy on 03-03-2002

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Ratings: 94 |  Reviews: 55
Photo of GClarkage
4.77/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

04/20/06- Purchased at Beverages and More in San Mateo, CA.

Presentation- 22oz bottle. Vintage 2004, although not dated on label. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Lightly murky brandy colored pour. Light 1/4 inch head with light streaks of lacing.

Smell- Dark fruits and sweet candies galore. Raisins, prunes, plums and figs. Don't forget about the sweet caramel, milk chocolate, toffee and light nutty whiff.

Taste- So much caramel and toffee intermixed together. Fruits aged and soaked in alcohol. Almost has a light brandy flavor. Maybe even a touch woody. Light and minimal hops, but they are there. This one is all flavorful malt. That and the nice milk chocolate coating it puts on your tongue.

Mouthfeel- Just a touch to much carbonation for an aged bottle. Other than that, very smooth, creamy and coating.

Drinkability- This is one of the most flavorful barleywines I have had the pleasure of consuming. I wonder how this tastes fresh? This one was aged almost 2 years. Nice change of pace where you aren't bombarded by hops. Super malty and delicious. Almost found it to be more of an english style than an american barleywine. Whatever...it was damn good.

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Photo of mzwolinski
4.7/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Fairly clear garnet in color with a thin halo of a head. The aroma is a very nice toasty malt with fruity notes and hints of the alcohol to come. Taste starts off with a rich, sweet malt, develops some toasty notes mid-palate, a nice light (apple?) fruitiness and just a hint of pepper. Finishes with spicy, flavorful hops. Alcohol presence is very mild. Rich, full-bodied, and extremely well-balanced. This was a true pleasure to drink. Loved it!

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.52/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Another one of those familiar looking Marin Bombers screamed “you have not tried me yet – so buy me” from the Shelf. I hadn’t even seen this one before, so it was immediately snaffled.

It has the usual generic Marin Brewing Co. label; this one has a dark brown border with the words “Old Dipsea Barleywine Style Ale”. Listed as 9.0%ABV on the front label. Oh-oh!

Appearance: Dark cherrywood ebonious color with deep copper aspects. When backlit it has a massive auburn hue. A small, but smooth looking tan-brown collar-like head laces the glass with smattered rings & cobwebs.

Nose: One word, Malt-ethanolic. The label recommended serving this at 50-55°F, I did – but whatever temperature you prefer – the malt and alcohol just shines through this baby. Has a slight vinuous aspect as well.

Taste: Dominantly powerful alcoholic introduction coats the mouth with a huge flavor-packed malty backbone. Some dark skinned fruitiness mixes with chocolate raisins in the middle. The finish has a bitter hoppiness that bites hard at times. Very warming.

Drinkability: This is 9.0%ABV, and it certainly does not hesitate to let you know this. But it has a smooth strong malty dimension that takes the rough edges of the alcoholic compounds that can ruin a strong beer. The bitter-hop finish rounds off the harshness – a great strong beer with a good Drinkability.

Mouthfeel: Extremely powerful alcohol presence that dominates a malty mouthfeel. Highly warming with a bitter hoppiness and a rich malt vinegar turn at times, *very* nice.

Overall: This ‘SO’ reminded me of some Strong Cask Old Ales (Bullards Old) and other Xmas Beers that I used to drink in England over the years; the ones that have a powerful smack of alcohol and truly warm you. Many do not like the ‘alcohol’ aspect of Strong Ales & Barleywines – but I do. Another great beer from Marin, I’ll keep the other 2 bottles I have for a cold night, well that is if I ever experience one here in Long Beach, CA.

Bloody Fantastic!

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Photo of czechsaaz
4.51/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

For full disclosure, Old Dipsea is the first barleywine I ever tasted and what got me into the style. I've had it fresh, aged, on draght, bottled and cask. This one is a 3 year old bottle, cellar temp.

Aroma is still pretty hoppy for a three-year-old. Lots of malt character too. Some dried fruit, a touch of cofee and some wine-like tannic acid. Just a hint of oxidative sherry aroma.

deep ruby red and really clear. Huge lasting tan head. light rising carbonation. Really nice lacing as you drink it down.

Lots of malt sweetness, big on the crystal-type flavors. I get really interesting toffee flavors and some dried cherries. An awful lot of fruity fermentation esters. There's also some noticeable alcohol. Hop bitterness is really nicely in harmony with the malt. Hop flavors have pretty much disappeared. Lingering aftertaste of fruit.

Very full bodied. Carbonation level is spot on. Warming from alcohol is eveident but not distracting.

BIG beer. Couldn't drink a lot of it but a perfect sipper/winter warmer. One of the most consistant b-wines available IMO.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a 22 oz. bottle cellared at 55F for roughly 2 years. From memory, it's much softer and far more round than a freshly packaged bottle with less noticeable alcohol, a smoothed bitterness, and a less "sticky" maltiness (as well as a touch less carbonation). If you have it, let it rest! It'll be worth it in the end.

Marin always delivers beautifully malty beers, and the Old Dipsea is no exception. It pours a slightly hazy (with visible particulate in suspension... it IS bottle conditioned), deep chestnut body with an orange cast and ruby highlights. The frothy tan head holds exceptionally well (particularly given its 9.6% abv), and it leaves some very nice lacing about the glass. The nose offers a sweet caramel maltiness; a good whiff of light fruit (peach, dull tangerine, coconut, apple) from the yeast and hops and alcohol; and a touch of grassy and leafy hops that lay mostly in the background. The mouthfeel is superbly smooth and pillowy-soft with a moderate carbonation and full body. In the flavor, hops and fruit greet you upfront before the luxurious malt starts to warm and take over with its rich, caramel nougat and light toffee notes (there are even hints of coconut). Just as quickly, however, its bold bitterness crashes through and carries it into a lingering, dry and bitter finish that's drizzled with residual light caramel malt, and splattered with leafy and gently fruity hops (must be the Styrians!). As with any large beer, the alcohol content limits the actual amount that you can drink, but you'll really enjoy sipping this one on the back porch on a cool fall night or with a good movie. Especially when it warms! Very nice!

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Photo of hickmancase
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

Photo of Zorro
4.35/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a maple Syrup Thick deep brown beer with a light brown head. Opaque reddish brown beer that passes light just barely.

Smell is sweet and very malty with a fruit and pine scent that is a lot like Bigfoot kicked up a bit. Cherries, prunes and Papaya in the smell. Faint soy sauce aroma; this does smell a lot like a Baltic Porter.

Taste is sweet and VERY malty with a good fruit and figs flavor at the beginning. Slightly figgy and pruny with a good hop bitterness that doesn't take over, as many West Coast Barley Wines are known to do. Not that this lacks for hops and they provide some really tasty flavors themselves. Hop flavors are all tropical; Pineapple and Papaya are the strongest with some pine and a bit of citrus but not much. Good tasty and malty Barley Wine.

Mouthfeel is bordering on syrup.

One of the better Barley Wines I have tasted. This is comparable to SN Bigfoot after it has aged for 4 years, except this is fresh. This isn't a beer in the style that will likely get better with age; it is ready now and very tasty and balanced.

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Photo of HopHunter925
4.35/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Clear and amber/copper color.

S: Sweet caramel smell, as well as a fig or raisin.

T: Sweet and malty, with raisin, fig, and cherry. Brown sugar as well as an alcohol or booze taste, however not the overly boozy flavor that I was expecting. Very mild hop flavor. What I would expect from an aged English barley wine rather than American.

M: Smooth and light for a barley wine. Light carbonation.

D: Very drinkable. While I expected more of a boozy taste, I enjoyed the more malt forward flavor. Very smooth and hides the ABV well. I'm glad I grabbed more than one bottle.

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Photo of SBPCGuru
4.35/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into my Stone Double Bastard 9oz. glass. The gargoyle on the side of the glass is gviing his approval to this beast of a beer. No head,mild/none lacing, but a ring of head around the edge of the glass. Appearance is a medium amber color. Not sure what I taste, but I taste the hops at the aftertaste, and some raisins in the middle of the swig. Alcohol is not masked as well as other Barley Wines.

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours brilliant deep copper to chestnut under a 1” cream to tan foam collar that provides layers of intense flavors that mask the alcohol, heavy lacing tan
S: spice, cinnamon, cardamom, light roast on the nose with some chocolate.
T: Fruit, prune, chocolate, faint coffee, a hint of tobacco in the finish with a dusting of hop and some cocoa on the end, pleasant lingering malty after tastes.
F: Thick and chewy, medium low carbonation, soft in the mouth, slight alcohol warming.
O: A big assertive barley wine that is touch sweet but nicely balanced with the alcohol.

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Photo of jklecko2
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of jvillefan
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of champ103
4.22/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours dark amber/brown color. A one finger beige head forms and recedes after a minute. Light lace is left behind.
S: Warm, toasted malts. Chocolate, toffee, bread. Along with dark fruits. A really inviting malty nose.
T: Like the nose, really inviting and warm malts. Toasted malts, chocolate, toffee and dark fruits. A substantial sweetness, but not cloying at all, with plenty of other malt flavors to keep one occupied. I keep coming back to this.
M/O: A full body that is not overly viscous or sticky. Moderate carbonation that becomes really smooth. A warming sipper that is really enjoyable to come back to again and again.

It has been years since I had this last. Good to come across it again. With some of the newer trendy beers in my tasting group being all the rage and everyone fawning over the latest kitchen sink stout, blond coffee cream ale, or poorly made fruited/vegetable Berliner Weisse, this easily stood out. A great malt character that draws me in and makes me want to drink more. Not just move on to the next tick in line.

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Photo of Mark
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I work in a school which entails me being outside quite a bit. It's been cold and damp lately so this type of beer has been craved. I had this beer as an after dinner nightcap. Color was very dark, a mahagony if you will, head retention was almost nil, lacing sparse. Smell was of fresh fruit, I thought pineapple or orange. Very smooth hoppy taste also had said fruit overtones. Solid backbone of malt. This ale was much smoother than others of the type, I found some of the others very raw. alcohol became more pronounced at the end of the glass. Good rounded mouthfeel. 9% is hidded fairly well, I thought this a good beer and it's birthplace is top notch so I wasn't surprised.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.19/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A bottle from my cellar aged between two and three years. Very nice- cellaring has been kind to this beer. Pours a murky brown with a thin ring, not the most attractive beer at this point. Smells surprisingly earthy with a touch of fruity and piney hops. I'm surprised that the hops are still so noticeable after so much time. A few vinous sherry notes at the end. Tastes very full bodied and still fruity along with some sticky pine notes, some sherry, and a sweet finish. Very smooth and rich while still mellow. Quite nice still.

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Photo of Sammy
4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from City Beer Store. Good grapey-winey aromas. Brown colour with some brown head. Above-average, creamy mouthfeel, caramel malts. Bourbon, and some coconut, a bit of peat in finish.Nicely done, great for style,very drinkable. A tad boozy, a bottle is a lot of booze.

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Photo of WetCoaster
4.12/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: The color catches you right off the bat, a clear, glowing, rich coppper with a small tan head with short retention. Mild carbonation. No lace, but legs on glasswall.

Smell: Oh, sweet mother of god--this is what the panties of angels must smell like. An incredible blossoming, booming, flowery perfume. Malt hits first, a rich caramel, followed by ripe apple, cherry, a bit of dark fruit/raisin, followed again by a variety of hop spice and citrus. Damn.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Strong hop presence right off the bat. Mouthfeel follows suit, with full body, mild carbonation and coating hop oil. The taste is very bold, but oddly, no particular flavor really stands out. There's the grapefruit rind of the hops, a chewy caramel malt, a ripe apple buried beneath and white pepper into the finish. It's not novel or extreme, but it's really, really good.

Drinkability: Well, I mean, come on, it's almost 10% and so thick it gets into your pores; you can only drink so much of this stuff. That said, this is a really well-executed barleywine; it has all of the flavors and intensity with out any rough edges or imbalance. A plus-sized model--big but beautiful.

*Note: Brewer warns to drink fresh--don't cellar!

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Photo of RootedFool
4.12/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into my Duvel tulip bowl. Looks and feels thick on the pour. Narrow, tan head, somewhat ashy. Body is a very hazy deep brown, opaqe. The smell is hugely sweet: candied raisons, brown sugar, glazed donuts, a sturdy peppery hop background -- very big. Taste: Hops kick the sides of my palate upfront, heavy, grapefruity and peppery; sweetness sweeps in through the middle, succulent alcohol-soaked fruit (the high ABV is present but balances nicely); finishes with some mildly unpleasant acidity, gritty. Overall, delicious, and very powerful. A beast. Mouthfeel is thick and rib-sticking. Nice for a cold night like tonight.

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Photo of stephensinner
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of brotherloco
4.06/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22oz capped bomber. 2012 bottle aged for a year in the cellar. Served in a snifter.

Drinking side-by-side with the barrel aged version.

Pours a hazed root beer brown with a razor thin beige head. Settles to a thin ring. No real lacing.

Aroma of molasses and brown sugar along with some sherry like oxidation. Dark fruits. Small amount of booze.

Flavor has a dry birch beer quality at first. Gets a touch sweeter through the middle. Roasty notes emerge in the middle and through the finish.

Medium-full bodied with fairly low carbonation. A very smooth and creamy mouthfeel.

I like both versions of this beer and don't think I have a favorite. The barrel aging and brett make the variations fairly different.

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Photo of jmaddox84
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Photo of steve8robin
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this on a work trip to CA. Glad to get to the west coast. 22oz bottle...

A: A super dark beer with deep red ruby highlights shining through. A 1 inch tan head that fades at a decent pace. Good.

S: Some sweet sugary malts followed quickly by some nice caramel and toffee in the middle. A hint of breadiness on the backend. Good.

T: Kind of more like a scotch ale here. Some buttery alcohol bit upfront. Some sugary malt follows in the middle with some caramel and roastiness on the backend. Good.

M: Medium body with a great carbonation. A nice creamy finish. Very good.

D: Goes down good.

All in all, this is a decent beer. It almost has like a Hi-C flavor blended in. It's good, but a hint too much sweetness. Not horrible, but s good beer. No need hunting, but try if you have access.

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Photo of alexgash
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a ruby-brown with a sticky tan head. Good lacing. Smell is rich, sweet, caramelly malts, rum, some hops (but not Bigfoot big). Taste is of sweet malts, raisins, rum. Alcohol is definitely there! Hops come in, but are not too big (especially for a west coast BW). I like the malt dominance, reminds me of Old Stock Ale. Finish is sticky and bitter, with linger butterscotch syrup. A big beer, but mighty drinkable

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Photo of NWer
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of SkinnyElvis
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased during my SoCal beercation at Holiday. Brownish appearance & it smells a little sweet and boozy. Flavor is malty and sweet but the taste is not overwhelming. I don't think aging this would be a good idea. Mouthfeel is smooth and it is drinkable for a barleywine. Good example of the style but not a home run of a barleywine. Still, a solid brew from Marin.


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Old Dipsea Barleywine Style Ale from Marin Brewing Company
Beer rating: 60.6% out of 100 with 94 ratings
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