Old Dipsea Barleywine Style Ale | Marin Brewing Company

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Old Dipsea Barleywine Style AleOld Dipsea Barleywine Style Ale

Brewed by:
Marin Brewing Company
California, United States | website

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by pezoids on 03-03-2002

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Reviews: 54 | Ratings: 92
Photo of cjgator3
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle

A- Pours a dark brownish amber color with a light tan head.

S- The aroma is very sweet and malty with dark fruits and hints of caramel. Not much in terms of hops to note in the nose.

T- The taste starts off extremely smooth and very sweet side with some toffee and brown sugar with some alcohol coming on in the finish. The taste is pretty solid, but I would have enjoyed it even more with a greater hop bitterness in the finish to balance out the sweetness.

M- The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation.

D- Old Dipsea is pretty damn drinkable considering the high ABV. It is a solid barleywine that is definitely recommended.

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Photo of tonistruth
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- deep copper and unfiltered, light tan head about one finger tall, decent retent

S- dark and dried fruit, toasted malts, and graham cracker

T- well balanced and mellow, light itric hop flavor that is not very distinguishable, majorly toasted malts and graham craker flavors

M- smooth and rich, medium body

D- mellow and non offensive barly wine, nice balance of flavors though not very complex

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a medium copper color with virtually no head. The beer looked thick and syrupy. Lots of fruit, hops and caramel in the nose. Taste was balanced ok. Mellow hops and fruity alcohol and sweet malt. Some warmth from the alcohol. Some earthiness. A distorted barleywine..just didnt do it for me. Still not a barleywine that impressed me and I wouldnt buy it again. For the money many more bwines out this to shame. Had on tap and it is much better but out of the bomber...no thanks

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Photo of ChillMike
3.6/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark reddish brown with a small tan head that leaves some nice lacing all around the glass.

S: Very pleasant aromas of sweet malts, caramel, fruits and a tinge of citrus. Quite nice.

T: Very sweet taste, almost a grapey/wine flavor, not too in your face. Pretty decent taste.

MF: A bit "flat" and I'm not really referring to the carbonation, that's just the word that comes to mind.

D: Not too bad, I'm sure I'll pick one up again, barley wines aren't a constant in my fridge anyways. Pretty solid effort from the folks at Marin

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Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.97/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've looked at this in the cellar for a while now and finally decided it's time to go for it!
A - dark reddish brown color, hazy thick appearance, nice light tan head that hangs in there for quite some time.
S - Rich sweet- boozy caramelly malts, some citric hops
T - Similar to the nose but throw in some raisins, bitter and lightly citric hops and booze.
M - full bodied, nay almost syrup yet not quite cloying. Nicely carbonated with a nice balance between sweet malt and citric hop lingering aftertaste.
D - A sipper and a an adventure.

I would have this again.

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Photo of lackenhauser
3.92/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Muddy mahogany in color. Fair amount of head. Nice caramel and malty aroma with a definate amount of hops in there to boot. Slick and sweet malt flavor. Very floral hop taste-not the overwheming bitterness of some US BWs. Treacle and caramel tastes. Body is somewhat "strange". Seems to be "pushing" itself a bit more. Almost too full if there is such a thing. Very, very enjoyable and drinkable. Great caramel flavor in this one. Somewhat "odd" in places and I cant put my finger on why. Still a great beer.

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Photo of SkinnyElvis
4/5  rDev +5%
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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Photo of rkuhnel
3.97/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bottle a hazy red to brown with a medium tan head and moderate lacing. Nose was of fruits and floral hops, and the mouthfeel was rich. Flavor was sweet malts and hops. and you can sense the alcohol. Finish somewhat bitter with a nice hoppy finish.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Sampled May 2007
Pours with a slightly cascading, initially three-finger thick, amber-tinged, tan colored head that has some staying power. The beer is a clear, dark, purple tinged, deep amber color that shows some ruby hues around the edges if held up to the light. The aroma is a rich mix of malt and hops; aromatic notes of caramel, toffee, sweet citrus, bergamot, caramelized-candied orange peel, tangelo, lychee and a touch of warming citrus brandied alcohol overtones towards the end. Biscuit malt notes, slightly roasted soda crackers are noticeable in the finish if you really dig for them.

This beer has a medium fullness to it, that is perhaps a touch light for a barleywine, but given that this predates the Double IPA phenomenon, it is quite appropriate. The malt sweetness really accentuates a candied orange peel-like flavor; fresh, vibrant and citrusy, this is a really clean, fruity hop character. The beer finishes with a toasty malt character, as well as a lingering sweetness and a touch of balancing bitterness. The bitterness is not at all abrasive, but does have a hint of astringency to it, perhaps accentuating a touch of herbal pine-like character, and even hints of dusty cocoa powder.

This is a really nicely crafted Barleywine; it is not the biggest or the baddest, but is clean, well balanced and quite vibrant tasting. It is quite quaffable too, which at 9% is certainly a bit dangerous. One of the better Barleywines I have had in a while. Actually it is one of those Barleywines that I think is meant to be drunk young, as I don’t think it will improve with any real age to it.

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Photo of BeerRun13
3.63/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a super dark cloudy brownish with no head to speak of... maybe a slight film with a more aggressive pour. Still provides some good sticky lacing.
Slight raisin date aroma. A little peppery.
Fruity and roasty flavors. Some date notes. Caramel. Hoppy mid to a strong bittering finish.
Full bodied and low carbonation. Warming all the way down. Still super smooth with a slightly dry and bittering finish.
Yummy and smooth. Easy drinking barleywine.

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Photo of Westsidethreat
3.62/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a deep raisin burgundy color with a very fine roasted marshmallow head. Fallen almost completely, only stray pads of foam remain with a faint ring around the glass.

S: Fruit leather, caramel corn, vanilla, figs and vinous wood.

T: Very malty and slightly acidic. Some toffee and brown sugar which moves quickly to dark roasted fruits...sort of charred prunes, peaches and cherries. Mixtures of vanilla, oak and rose pedals. A strong and pronounced dirty bitterness begins subtely then moves towards the forefront, climbing until its the most dominant aspect of taste. Bit of alcohol bite at the end due to lack of age.

M: Full bodied with an ok carbonation

D: Not a fan of the dirty bitter aftertaste. This beer could use some age.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.77/5  rDev +25.2%
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 Zorro
4.35/5  rDev +14.2%
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 DogFood11
3.6/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Almost porter like appearance, on the dark end of things, healthy white head, coat like lacing.

This is a fairly balanced offering for the style. Caramel, Light spunky fruit presence. Hops are more of a moderate background balancer. Towards the end its sweet fruit again leading into a fairly

Its like night and day, I just sampled the SN Bigfoot barley and opened this to side by side them. Marin's offering is largely on the fruity, malted caramel side of the house and SN is huge hoppy citrus, young. You'd have to be a beer enthusiast to the millionth power to know these are in the same style because they are miles apart.

In the end I'd have to say this is a fairly easy drinking barleywine. If you want to ease your way into this style this may be a decent starter.

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Photo of RootedFool
4.12/5  rDev +8.1%
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 czechsaaz
4.51/5  rDev +18.4%
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 baiser
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slick, clear, dark copper colour with virtually no head. The beer looked thick and syrupy. Lots of fruit, hops and caramel in the nose. Taste was very balanced for such a potent beer. Mellow hops, medicinal flavours, fruity alcohol and sweet malt. Some warmth from the alcohol. Some earthiness. Overall, very much like an english style ale to me. Pretty good barleywine.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%
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 SBPCGuru
4.35/5  rDev +14.2%
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 WetCoaster
4.12/5  rDev +8.1%
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 watermelonman
3.84/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is definitely dark for the style. There's not much head or lace. The color tons are nice, however.

This stuff just smells great. It's clear but potent and gives a hint of strong flavor. The taste is almost of a strong old ale, but with a lighter body. The alcohol content is definitely well-blended.

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Photo of alexgash
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
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 Mark
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
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 beerguy101
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mahogany color, medium head. Aroma is fruity and malty. A milder flavor and taste to this barleywine. Its not one of those smash you in the taste buds with a mallet style barleywine, it more subtle and mellow. Malty with a very definite chocolate, coffee and caramel flavor, there is also a bit of pineapple and fruit. Nice flavor, and hides the 9% alcohol very well. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is smooth. Aftertaste is malty and slightly sweet.

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Photo of jcalabre
3/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I originally sampled this beer on 8 December 2002. I am writing this review from my notes.
I guess I'm spoiled as far as 'big' beers. I've had quite a few great beers from noted micros like Stone, Alesmith, Victory, DFH & Kalamazoo Bells.
This beer is an average barleywine. It didn't 'wow' me. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't great.

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Old Dipsea Barleywine Style Ale from Marin Brewing Company
3.81 out of 5 based on 92 ratings.
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