Bourbon Barrel-Aged Old Dipsea With Brett
Marin Brewing Company

Bourbon Barrel-Aged Old Dipsea With BrettBourbon Barrel-Aged Old Dipsea With Brett
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American Barleywine
Ranked #137
Ranked #10,517
3.98 | pDev: 15.08%
Marin Brewing Company
California, United States
Very Good
Bourbon Barrel-Aged Old Dipsea With BrettBourbon Barrel-Aged Old Dipsea With Brett
Notes: 2009 and 2011 vintages have brettanomyces.
Reviews: 55 | Ratings: 94 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by Mora2000:
Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to bman1113vr for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a slightly hazy brown color with an off-white head. The aroma is caramel, toffee, dark fruit and butterscotch. The flavor is brett, chocolate, bourbon, oak, vanilla and butterscotch. Medium mouthfeel and low carbonation. Great beer.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of mothman
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to ipa247 for sending this one out.

Poured into Great Lakes snifter.

Pours 1/2 finger of light tan head. Color is fairly dark for a bwine, near black.

Aroma: Smells like a wild ale. Sour cherries, oak, light bourbon. It smells good, but doesn't really smell like a bwine.

Taste: Here are the bwine flavors. Big malt profile. Toffee, caramel, oak, more bourbon, cherries, molasses, dark fruits, and vanilla. Pretty decent.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, smooth, and slightly tart. Medium to full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends clean, but has some heat showing.

Overall, this was a very unique bwine. The bretty really didn't show to much, but there was some sour notes toit. Reminded me more of a ba quad almost. Slow drinking, but good.

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Photo of claspada
3.71/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2009 bottle.

Pours a hazy brown color with a smallish light tan head that recedes to leave some very minimal lacing.

Aromas begin with some tart sourness and light oakiness. As it warms I get some more caramelized malt backbone and some dark cherry fruitiness. Comes across as muddled however.

The tastes begin with a solid toffee and brown sugar maltiness. Next you get a slight bid of tart sour cherries and an muddy vanilla bourbon induced flavor. The brett yeast adds a complexity to the flavor profile but doesn't come across as a harmonious melange. The oak and dark fruit flavors emerge more and more as it warms. Some hop bitterness still lingers in the background into the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium to heavy bodied with a moderate to low carbonation. FInish is pleasantly dry thanks to the brett yeast.

Overall this was okay but not really a great beer. The brett yeast seems to have been asked to do too much to too hoppy of a base beer and the flavors fail to creat a harmoinous balance even after 3+ years. Drinks like less than 9% but you really dont want too much.

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Photo of jlindros
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Thanks to Andy (don't remember your BA name) for this one, 2011 vintage.

Pours a nice fizzy head to start, fades fairly quickly, decent spotty lacing, mostly hazy ruby molasses color.

Nose starts with sweet malts and light bourbon, big sweet candy malts, light esters, some vanilla like oak and maybe a hint of bourbon, sweet toffee and molasses, some dark fruits fig and date like, and light earthy hops, and faint hint of bready funk.

Taste is lighter, sweet toffee, candy, caramel, molasses, light bourbon and toasty vanilla oak again, bit of raisin and fig like dark fruits, light spicy hops, light warming booze, faint hint of bready funk. Finish has light spicy hops again, sticky sweet, booze warmth and a little tingle, light candy sweet malts lingering.

Mouth is med bodied, lighter carb, plenty of warming booze.

Overall pretty good, nice malts, bourbon, but the Brett is almost non-existant, just faint hints.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared with Matt, courtesy of Thorpe429. Thanks Mike!

A: Hazy, reddish brown color with very little head. The head hastily withers to a thin, wispy layer and leaves virtually no lacing.

S: Sweet malts, toffee, alcohol, an atypical scent that must be brettanomyces. I am quite unfamiliar with brett in this context, and find this beer quite intriguing.

T: The beer is decent tasting. The flavor is unusual, but not off-putting, like I feared. Of course, it's malt heavy with some nice toffee notes. Bourbon comes through in the finish.

M: Medium bodied with fairly low carbonation and warming alcohol in the finish.

D: A fun and interesting beer. I'd have this again. This is a good bottle to share a few ways.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.82/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Poured a deep chestnut color with good carbonation, girty white head, lacing and bubbles

S: A a big hint at bourbon, sour cherries, caramel

T: Wow. Where do I begin? This beer is the shiznit. Taste hints at a tartness, grapes, cherries, light sourness with a rush of bourbon, booze, dark fruits, caramel, vanilla, oak
wood, Earth

M: Booze, warm, big body, clean and balanced despite so much going on. The barrel used for this beer was outstanding! Very complex beer.

D: Cant touch this! Drink it~!

If I could give bonus points for style this would get it!

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

22 oz. bottle courtesy of Bankhead - thanks! - shared at C'ville Beer Throwdown #3. Poured in to a tulip.

Appearance: An agitated pour - allowed to me because I got the tail end of this one - yielded a nice, fluffy head, one finger tall, light beige in hue, with average retention - helped by the hop addition and the brett, probably hurt by the alcohol level on this one - and some nice surface lacing (uniform, thin, foamy), a few faint dollops on the sides of the glass (erratic, looping and twisting along the curvature of the tulip), and a thick, pearl-like, dense collar around the edge. The beer itself is an attractive ruby mahogany, a deep and robust garnet that's perhaps a little more brown and less red than I'm giving it credit for.

Aroma: Caramel bourbony brett. Intense. A little spicy and boozy up front, and the aroma showcases the fruity nature of the base beer pretty well. The toffee and caramel notes of the barleywine are accompanied by tons of raisins, cherry, and plums, themselves soaked pretty thoroughly in bourbon ... slightly spicy, majorly oaky, with hints of vanilla and barrel sugars and coconut. The brett is more subdued in the nose than it eventually comes to be in the taste, though less so as it warms, revealing a few medicinal notes, bandaid notes, a few other decisively Brett-y hints.

Taste: A quality barleywine with a kiss of brett. The base beer is one I think I've had before - very malty, with tons of toffee, caramel, and brown sugar, but with a ton of spicy hop notes, very mildly citrusy, and mostly herbal in nature. The bourbon - as always - compliments the base beer perfectly, with the spiciness of the rye/whiskey complimenting the spiciness of the alcohol and the bitterness of the hops wonderfully, and the vanilla and barrel sugar characteristics playing off the malt aspects of the base beer well. The brett is almost lost here, contributing a slight amount of bandaid-esque and funky notes right around the middle section of this one. I don't know how much it adds, beyond a "hm, interesting," but it definitely doesn't take anything away.

Mouthfeel: Thick, chewy, syrupy, almost meaty, with a small amount of very fine, "deep" carbonation. A smooth, even body, which compliments most aspects of this incredibly flavor-infused beer well.

Drinkability: The slight amount of funk and huge underlying darkness is almost reminiscent of an oude bruin in places, now that I think about it. At 10%, its not the most drinkable beer I've ever had (or even the most drinkable I've had tonight), but what it lacked for in quaffability, if you will, it makes up for in flavor intensity and variety. Definitely worth seeking out.

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Photo of nmann08
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%

Photo of DaveHS
4.85/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The 2010 release, aged 10 months in Heaven Hill barrels.

Poured into a Belzebuth 3oz tasting glass. The color of dark stained wood, with a thin khaki head. No lacing.
The nose is as lush and inviting as you'd expect from a high quality barleywine. Ginger snaps, dates, bourbon oak, vanilla, bread pudding, light, almost undetectable phenols.
This stuff is freaking delicious. Light touches of cherry, pie crust, and butterscotch pudding play against flavors of pecan, caramel malt, and bourbon soaked wood.
The mouthfeel is soft yet thin, medium-bodied with just enough mellow carbonation to hold the whole thing together.
Wish this was available year round.

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Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of OlieIPA
4.94/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ran into a bottle of this stuff at Lone Hill Liquor earlier today...glad I picked it up.

A: A nice amount of head and carbonation to go along with the dark and red hued body. Lacing on the thinner side, but pretty standard for the style.

S: Molasses, vanilla, bourbon, wood/oak, and dark figs; very complex and robust at the same time...just about perfect.

T: I tend to run into very sweet and overly done barleywines, but this one is the complete opposite. Bold, robust,complex and perfectly balanced...this particular barleywine exhibits all the qualities you'd expect out of a Firestone Anniversary ale. Tons of dark fruit that is balanced out, not engulfed, by the bourbon...along with wood, vanilla, cotton candy, and residual sugar.

M: Almost silk-like in both texture and carbonation.

D: Could have literally demolished the whole 22 oz. bottle to myself...too bad I had to share it with my friend. :(

Overall: Not just one of the best barleywines I've encountered...but perhaps a top 10-15 brew I've ever had. A must try. Cheers!

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Photo of DavoleBomb
4.62/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a snifter. Big thanks to psiweaver for a chance to try this. I think I'm reviewing the correct one. It has the same "2009 Bourbon Barrel Aged for Ten Months" sticker as the pic.

3.5 A: Super dark brown color. Nearly black. One and a half fingers of fizzy beige head that falls quickly and doesn't leave any lacing.

4.0 S: Yep, this is the brett one. That was easy enough to figure out. Lots of funk in there and also some fairly assertive acetic acid. Perhaps the brett brought a few friends along as I've never had this much acid from brett alone. Brett is horsey and barnyard and with the bourbon there is leather, oak, and vanilla. I can't smell much of the underlying barleywine except for some plum and raisin fruitiness. The funk and bourbon are the main attraction here. As the beer warms a bit, caramel and toffee maltiness comes out as well as stronger bourbon aroma.

5.0 T: Wow. I'm really amazed at how well this beer comes together in the taste. I thought it would be a mess, but it's anything but. Somehow the brett, bourbon, and barleywine form a holy union of deliciousness. Barnyard funk is a perfect complement to the leather, oak, and vanilla bourbon. I never would have guess that to be the case. The acetic acid in the nose is hard to come by in the taste and I think it's absence is for the best. The barleywine gets to shine alongside the bourbon and funk this time. Rich toffee and caramel. Plum, raisin, currant, and perhaps even some black cherry. Booze is barely noticeable, but it's presence is well received.

4.5 M: Medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Very creamy and very smooth. No problems here.

5.0 D: This is one hell of a beer. There's so much right with nothing wrong. Unlike a lot of bourbon barrel brews, the bourbon in this is complementary and doesn't steal the show. The addition of funk played out better than I ever could have imagined.

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Photo of ghaverfield
5/5  rDev +25.6%

Photo of emmasdad
4.67/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love Marin's Old Dipsea from back in my California days. Having missed out on the BA versions offered last year, I made sure I was able to grab a bottle from this year's batch (plus the brett sounded different, to say the least).

Poured from the 22 oz bottle (identical to the regular version, save for a little oval sticker advertising the 10 months this one spent in barrels).

Pours a beautiful garnet color, touched around the outside by ruby highlights, and capped with a good inch or so of dense light brown foam.

On the nose I get bourbon, along with some dark fruit, a little caramel, and way in the back some of the advertised horsey funk.

A bit funky on the palate, which starts to show even more as it warms, along with a good amount of bourbon, some vanilla, more funk and a somewhat subtle, but very enjoyable tartness on the finish.

A stellar example of barrel aging, and a somewhat unique experiment that works very well.

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Photo of nickd717
3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hmm so this beer was "intentionally" infected, was it? Interesting...

A fairly nice pour, this beer has. The color is a deep translucent reddish-amber-brown, and a light beige head sticks around atop the beer for some time.

Aroma is interesting. Your usual notes of caramel malt, toffee, bourbon, -bal, and vanilla are all there. Some hops as well. Then you get a slight bretty aspect that really isn't too disconcerting at all. I'll be damned.

Flavor is mostly sweet, but there is just the slightest hint of cherry-like tartness. Huge caramel malts and toffee, smooth bourbon, oak, and vanilla. Very slight funk from the 'myces.

Surprisingly smooth and slick on the 'feel given the brett presence. Feels for the most part like the usual version. Medium-full body with good carbonation level for the style.

Fairly drinkable. I'm surprised to have really enjoyed this beer after expecting it to be a train wreck.

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Photo of womencantsail
2.24/5  rDev -43.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A: The beer pours an opaque mahogany color with almost no head whatsoever. Just some tan foam that forms with the vigor of the pour.

S: Butter? Yes, definitely butter on the nose with some sweet vanilla and butterscotch. Some toffee, bourbon, and oak are there and there are some undertones of tart fruits, specifically sour cherries.

T: The tart fruit flavors are a bit more noticeable here on the palate. Seems to be mostly sour cherries and plums for the most part. Definitely some caramel and toffee with less butter than was evident on the aroma. Certain some bourbon, vanilla, and oak, too.

M: The body is medium with a low to moderate carbonation and an alcoholic warmth/burn.

D: Too bad this beer has gone down this road because the "regular" bourbon barrel aged one is quite good. Seems that the bugs that were "added" to this beer have really begun to take over.

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Photo of JoeySchlitz
4.45/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Just now getting around to reviewing this - but have had 3-4 over the past 6 months and each time have been very impressed with MBC's effort here.

Pours a dark root-beer brown with mahogany trim at the edges when held up to the light. A light ring of tiny bubbles forms at the edges, but as it warms and when swirled around in the glass a thin foam cap forms. Looks great.

The primary aroma is sour cherries and really reminds me of a muted RR supplication. There's also a bourbon alcohol mixed with spices in the background. The first bottle I split with waltonc, I remember being completely perplexed with this one, and not sure if I were to expect an infected beer or a sour.

The first sip proves both of those assumptions to be wrong. The flavor of the base barleywine comes through with brown sugar, spices, very faint hops and a slight touch of sour cherries at the tail end. Although I'm not a huge fan of the base beer, when aged in bourbon barrels (and spiked with brett), turns this in to an absolutely fantastic beverage. The bourbon barrel rounds out the flavor with a nice warming sensation in the gut.

Moderate carbonation on a medium viscosity beer, which borderlines on being too light. I think this would be the only downfall (albeit very minor) but probably a result of the brett.

One of the better barleywines that I have had and the additional layer of sour adds an immense amount of complexity. Well done and I'm glad that I've got some more in the cellar for future enjoyment, as it seems to be holding up nicely.

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Photo of vacax
4.62/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark ruby brown and around a finger of thick, rich caramel colored head with lots of retention, fair lace. Aroma is richly complex with malts, toffee, maple, even a bit of coffee, then the brett character adds another twist with red berries and a rustic character that meshes very well with the bourbon.

The initial flavors I get are a lovely combination of bourbon and butterscotch, not boozy or cloying, a very nice balance between malt and alcohol, which is what a barleywine should be all about. Maple are also there and a pervasive, yet attractive funk is there that brings out some fruit qualities. The finish has juniper berries, butterscotch chips, and a long caramel malt endnote. Full body, maybe the barrel thinned it out just a touch though, despite the lovely head (which is indicative of carbonation) I found this one settles into my desired level of low-moderate CO2.

I was a little concerned about the brettanomyces character in this beer, why mess with a perfectly sound formula? Well, I can admit that this works exceptionally well. The funk is light and highlights the malt, and the bourbon is present but never quite takes over. I have had this twice in the last week, it is drinking wonderfully fresh, highly recommended. It will also be interested to see where the brett takes this beer, though I do think it is ready to drink now.

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Photo of alcstradamus
4.57/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with a finger of head. Aroma is a nice blend of citrus hops, caramel, toffee, and lemon zest. Wouldn't think this was a barleywine if I didn't know any better.

The flavor is much more barleywine-like, however it seems to be at a midway point between the American and English styles. Wow, this is tasty! Lots of citrus hoppiness but not much bitterness. A nice caramel sweetness. Some chocolate and oak notes. Extremely flavorful yet well balanced.

The body is full and carbonation is low and appropriate. Overall this is just a fantastic beer. Very unique, and it reinforces my faith that the barleywine style can be among the best in the world when done right.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.23/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to psiweaver and hopsbreath for getting me out bottles of this.

A: Pours a moderate mahogany with a nice tan head and very minimal lacing.

S: Not too much going on here considering how much really should be going on here. A bit of the Brett comes through along with a bit of malt, but not much bourbon.

T: Brett comes in a bit, as does the malt. Again, not too much--if any--bourbon character. Not sure if this just isn't well balanced in general, or if it's at that point of limbo where the Brett is starting but hasn't brought through enough character to really carry the beer.

M: A bit dry and a bit hot. Fairly thick.

D: Fairly low. I just can't figure out where this one is going. Luckily I've got more to cellar, so I'm thinking (or maybe hoping) that I'm just getting to this one at the wrong time in it's development. Looking forward to revisiting this.

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Photo of kbutler1
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle. Dark brown reddish color with a tan head. Smells more like a wild than a barleywine. Reminiscent of Odell Saboteur in some aspects but much better. Oaky notes ever so slightly. A very wild and different taste. Brett wild start, sweet raisins, dark fruit with very little hop characteristics. Smooth. Slight alcohol taste. Medium mouthfeel.

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Photo of Gonzoillini
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of chcfan
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of corby112
3.45/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy dark plum color with a half finger light beige head that quickly settles into a thin ring.  Minimal spotty lacing.

Sweet, slightly boozy aroma with a decent barrel presence countered by leathery malt, toffe and dark fruit.  Hints of dry oak, bourbon, vanilla and spice followed by notes of dark cherry,  plum and grape.

Medium bodied with a strong barrel presence that slightly overpowers the other notes.  Lots of dry oak and alcohol flavor but not much heat, vanilla or sweet bourbon.  Could use more body and bourbon flavor. The barleywine  flavor is overpowered with subtle leathery malt, toffee and caramel and there's also a strong dark fruit presence.  Becomes more complex but as it warms but is still lacking in bourbon flavor.  It is becoming more dry and spicy but still not balanced enough.

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Photo of kaseydad
4.26/5  rDev +7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 Vintage at room temperature.

Had one last year but was too tipsy to review it so a year later I am taking another stab at it.

Pours a flat cola brown with a start of beige foam that made an appearance to the party but didn't stay long. Nothing overly impressive but that could be from the age on it.

The smell is great. The brett definitely shines through and jumps to the front of the nose. The sweet malt in the back is there but steps back from the critters taking over. Dark fruits abound with some light honey. The booze is still very present as well. I'm liking this.

The taste is a hybrid of a BW and sour. Almost switches from the aroma. The barleywine "fruit" is heavier while the critters are more subdued but definitely there. Slightly sour notes and mild funk. Slightly medicinal. Light banana. Bitter on the finish and a noticable boozy/warm tummy finish.

Slick mouthfeel.

Overall I was impressed with this beast. Much is going on here from first sip to last. If you like a Barleywine without the hoppy bite and a touch of funk, this is it. A little sweeter than some BW's but this works well. I may have held this longer than some, but the alcohol punch and blending of the ingredients was mighty fine in my book. Have a 2011 in the cellar and look forward to drinking that mid year 2013.

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Bourbon Barrel-Aged Old Dipsea With Brett from Marin Brewing Company
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 94 ratings