Old '99 Barleywine | Barley Creek Brewing Company

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19 Ratings

Brewed by:
Barley Creek Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by NeroFiddled on 08-05-2002

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 19 |  Reviews: 15
Reviews by NeroFiddled:
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.1/5  rDev +34%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Named for an original gravity of 1099, not the year! This 22 oz. bottle was from 2000. Brownish in color with fairly clear ruby highlights and a deep cream colored head. The head needs a little coaxing and doesn't last, but has very fine bubbles a leaves just a little bit of lace throughout the glass. The aroma has a gentle fruit note alongside a dark caramel malt and a touch of hop. The body is medium and the mouthfeel is a little light. The flavor is mainly malt, well balanced with an earthy hoppiness. There's enough hop bitterness to show it's presence, and to balance the beer from being overly sweet, but restrained. Very well done. Very much an English-style barleywine. Easily their most impressive beer. Very enjoyable.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of jakester
1.7/5  rDev -44.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

I had this on tap at Barley Creek. I'm reviewing it because they need to see this.

Arrived in the typical brandy snifter, a very cloudy dark amber/purple with a rapidly disappearing film of light tan bubbles. No lacing on the glass.

The aroma was dark raisins, prunes, and dates, with a slight vinegar in the back. Some dark malt smells also. Smelled ok, but then...

Tart barleywine? I mean almost overwhelmingly sour. How the hell does a barleywine get sour? At O.G. 1099, it has to be high alcohol, right? Is it designed to be sour? I should have sent it back, but I didn't.

Mouthfeel is at first sweet, then the old sourness storms through.

This is the worst barleywine I have ever had.

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Photo of Ralphs66
3.8/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After trying an offerin from this brewery at the resort down the street, I decided to take the kids to dinner on site and try something. This was my choice. I don't drink a lot of Barleywine so my comparison universe is limited. It's a sweet beer. Smell and taste. Caramel abd vanilla are prominent as is some green apple. Color is nice; copper with a strong yellow haze. Not too bad. The abv is hidden nicely and after one snifter, I may just have another....

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Photo of joeysmokedporter
3.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served on draft in a brandy snifter.

A: pours a mahogany color with a purple(?) highlight to it. About 1 finger of head that quickly dissipates, not surprising to anyone who has ever had Thomas Hardy's Ale.

S: Grain, dark fruit, plum, fig; slight aroma of sweet bread

T: Starts with that sweet toasted bread flavor, moves into the mixed dark fruit, plum, fig, raisin, very slight bit of cherry flavor; finishes with a lingering dry bitterness.

M: Heavy feel is appropriate to the style but average or slightly lighter than other barley wines. Carbonation level was appropriate given the style, on the low side compared to other beer.

D: This is definitely a sipper. I thought about having dessert with this but still had a good part of the day ahead of me. I first had this a year ago and went back for more this past weekend on my annual trip to the poconos.

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Photo of JohneHoodlum
3/5  rDev -2%

Photo of Phatz
3.82/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had the opportunity to try Old '99 Barleywine on-tap at Barley Creek over Memorial day weekend, while my family was on vacation in the area. I cherished the opportunity to get out though the beer was slightly less phenomenal than I had hoped.

Appearance: Served a dark brown color in a snifter glass. Very nice lacing coats the glass.

Smell: Musky rich thick caramel malt in the nose with a hot alcohol presence.

Taste & mouthfeel: Juicy sweet wet barley malt, thick and muddle tasty mess of flavor with a hot alcohol character and the aftertaste leave me with lot of orange peel flavors coating my mouth and throat. There is a bitterness and at the same time a very sweet jolly rancher candy, over ripe bananas and a bit of pucker sour hot alcohol medium body feel.

Drinkability: This is a sipper beer and one best enjoyed in a 6 ounce snifter. And one is enough.

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of Pav5069
3.75/5  rDev +22.5%

Photo of SadMachine
3.75/5  rDev +22.5%

Photo of IPAchris
2.5/5  rDev -18.3%

Photo of hopdog
3.57/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Barley Creek Brew Pub. 2001 Vintage.

Poured a deep/dark brown color with a very small sized off white head. Aromas of toffee, dark fruits, lightl smoke and light chocolate. Tastes of chocolate, hard toffee candy, some dark fruits, and tart grapes. Sweet with a ightly tart and sour finish. Alcohol content well hidden.

They wouldn't sell me a Growler of this. They said what would anyone want or do with a Growler of beer this strong.

Notes from 6/28/07

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Photo of JimmyK77
1.51/5  rDev -50.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Cask barleywine sounded like a cool idea! Not this one. First, I was sitting at the bar, so I got to watch the bartender pump the beer into a metal glass, then pour from the glass into my snifter (to remove the head) - demonstrating a lack of understanding of cask beer.

Nevertheless, it was presented in a snifter - dark brown with a light one finger head. It lacked the cascading bubbles due to the odd pour, it just looked like an already settled cask beer. I knocked the appearance score down for this as it had just been drawn.

What really made this experience over-the-top bad was very prominent green apple flavor/aroma, probably from poor yeast health producing acetylaldehyde. It was such a strong component that I really didn't notice or feel the need to distinguish other flavor/aroma components.

The mouthfeel was light without the body or alcohol feel I'd expect from a 11% beer.

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Photo of Suds
3.72/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Twenty-two ounce bottle with a sealing-wax coated cap. Pours a deep, woody brown color with a very think, disappearing head. The aroma is very fruity, with a serious ester and yeast character. Underneath the fruit, there’s a bit o alcohol, and a sugary maltiness. I prefer more of a clean malt and alcohol sensation in my barley wines, this one seems to have a chaotic jumble of sensations that don’t come cleanly together. Taste is mainly malt, with an alcohol warming. There’s a slightly tart sensation as well. Sugary, and heavy in body…it’s not extraordinary, but worth having nonetheless.

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Photo of WesWes
3.18/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer pours a dark brown color with a 1/2" offwhite head that fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a dry, malty scent that boasts of pale, crystal, and some roasted malts along with a mild hop aroma. The taste is average. It has a large burnt toffee flavor that alcohol ridden. It goes down slow and finishes quite dry with some off flavors. There appears to be a subtle smokiness as well. The mouthfeel is average as well. It is a medium bodied beer adequate carbonation. This is an average barleywine. It's just dry with too many off flavors and that alcohol burn. There are many better choices out there.

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Photo of number1bum
1.8/5  rDev -41.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

I had this on tap tonight with dinner at the restaurant. It was awful...

It was served in a brandy snifter and was a murky dark brown with absolutely no head.

Smell was the first indication that this was going to be bad. It had some fruit aromas in it - primarily prunes and maybe a bit of raisins - but beyond that it smelled pretty bad. It smelled sour and a lot like a port wine.

The taste and mouthfeel were just awful. Again, it was sour and tasted like a fizzy, carbonated and cold port wine. It was overcarbonated and only medium-bodied, which added up to make it just plain all wrong. It said on the menu it was aged 6 months...I'd like to know in what? A conditioning tank or a moldy port wine oak barrel? I'd guess the latter before the former.

This is hands down the worst barleywine I've ever had. I don't know how to put it other than that. Avoid at all costs.

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Photo of jackorain
1.86/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Sampled this beer at the brewpub on November 8th, 2007. I am entering this review from nots during the tasting. rest assured I have a vivid memory of the experience.

A-Poured from the tap and nearly to te rim of a 10 oz snifter. 1/8 coating of light tan tight head covered a dark brown liquid that showed ruby highlights. The 1/8 head quickly disapated to nothing but a thin little collar. Minimal sheeting lace that fell quickly back into the glass after each sip.

S-Very earthy and fruity with an alcohol zing. There is definietly some DMS here, sulfur is very evident. Not a good smell.

T-Earthy and spicy hops, sweet fruit, southern comfort, raisans, hint of coffee and chocoalte. Wet cardboard. Not very good, quite a messactually

M-rather thin of body for a barleywine, barely medium, I'd say. Carbonatio is very light, it is nearly flat. I can handle this in a barleywine if there is good flavor to hold it up but...

D-I really don't think I need to go into too much deatil here after what I said above, But I barely madeit through the one, while they packed up a variety case for me. In fact, I began to rethink my purchase while I drank this.

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Photo of Nay
1.51/5  rDev -50.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Got it on tap, served icy cold, which helped mask some of the wretchedness. Spuce/juniper dominates the aroma and flavor. If you like that kind of thing, you might like this beer, but I (and my companions) found it completely undrinkable.

If you can get past the spuce (and I really couldn't), it's a cloyingly sweet barleywine, mostly flat, unimpressive mouthfeel and appearance. It tasted oxidized to me, but really hardly a fault compared to the disgusting spuce flavor. Possibly the worst barleywine I've ever tasted, including moldy ones.

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Photo of Nutleybeer
3.41/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I saw the prior reviews...my tasting was not that bad. Unsure if they got a bad batch or what.

It is served in a snifter glass...listed as 9.9% ACV, and while strong, not as strong tasting to me as many other barleywines. Also a little darker in color. The taste was a bit smooth. Decent enough, not my favorite at their brewpub, but clearly drinkable.

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Photo of TimDuMont
4.88/5  rDev +59.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

When my brother recommended this Barleywine to me I had no idea exactly what I was getting into. This was EXCEPTIONAL. When my friend Jay and I got to the brewery/restaurant, the first thing I asked for was a glass of Old '99 and the waitress told me they didn't have any. I was rather dismayed. But on the tour of the brewing facilities I asked the tour guide when the next batch might be done so that I could stop back again. He told me that they had about a 3rd of a keg left in the back that they were giving out just to tour groups. During our tasting we enjoyed many great beers (I can't wait until their brews are more widely distributed) but waited to have the Old '99 because it would overwhelm the other tastes.

Upon the end of the tasting I finally got my chance. And let me tell you, I was not disappointed by any means!

The color is a deep rich reddish-brown.

The nose is sweet and fruity.

Upon first taste you will notice dark fruit such as plum and maybe even a hint of pomegranate.

The finish is wonderful with slight hints of coffee and dark chocolate.

Overall, this is an amazing experience. If you can make it over to Barley Creek, this is a *must have*.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed on 07/03/2009. On cask at the brewpub. Pours brown with a thick tan head. Aroma of sweet malt--medicinally sweet-- and acetone. Flavor is very very sweet with some sourness and booziness too. Not terrible but it's good good either. Much too sweet.

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Old '99 Barleywine from Barley Creek Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.06 out of 5 with 19 ratings