Old Blarney Barleywine | Moylan's Brewery

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Old Blarney BarleywineOld Blarney Barleywine
Very Good
348 Ratings
Old Blarney BarleywineOld Blarney Barleywine

Brewed by:
Moylan's Brewery
California, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 348 |  Reviews: 241
Reviews by StoneTSR:
Photo of StoneTSR
4.12/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

APPEARANCE: Split a bomber at Poppy's Pizza in Estas Park, Colorado after a fantastic meal. I'm not generally a huge fan of Moylan's labels, but I really liked the brown label on the Old Blarney. It seemed to fit the style and the beer itself very well. More importantly, though, once it left the bottle, the Old Blarney poured a deep, copper-red with a thick, foamy and off-white head. Good looking.

SMELL: Dynamite smell with some strong chocolate flavors and a some sweet malty notes as well.

TASTE: Quite hoppy for a Barleywine with as much malt as I smelled in it, which is a good thing. Again, there was plenty of chocolate present along with some sweet notes, but it finished much more dry than most Barleywines I've had.

MOUTHFEEL: Silky and smooth on the way down, this had a nice, warming mouthcoating feel.

OVERALL: After debating between two Barleywines for dessert I am very happy we went this direction. It was an excellent choice to finish off a fantastic meal.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of asabreed
4.17/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bomber into a Thomas Hardy's snifter. Another cool but not overdone label, as far as graphics go, with lots of information and interesting color combinations.

Appearance: On the lighter side for a barley wine, with less amber darkness than I expected and more cherry red, with nice bubbles floating up, and more lacing left on the glass from the fairly fast dissipating than great head retention.

Smell: Much going on here. Bitter chocolate, stale coffee, mild tobacco, earthiness, burnt and roasted malt, brown sugar, hints of charcoal, bitter grapefruit, and dark bread crust. Kind of avoids one side of too sweet and malty or too bitter and hoppy for a nice balance of a pretty singular barleywine if you ask me.

Taste: I guess mostly what I'm a bit confused about is the odd bitterness that still happens even after it warms to room temperature. Too green perhaps? I'm not sure. The flavors in the nose come through well, but there's an odd meld of either rooty, earthy bitterness, maybe coupled with some grapefruit rind, but it seems oddly overpowering, especially over the flavors of the malt, which start to come through and then get kind of pushed back down. I just wish the flavors were able to get their way instead of having to fight through the bitterness. Yet it still doesn't remind me of a really hoppy American style in that way. I'm not sure if this making sense. Maybe it IS just a really hoppy ass barleywine and I'm not seeing it as that, wanting more malt flavors, as I usually do. At first, however, regardless, there are the nice hints of dark brown sugar, coffee, caramel, chocolate, tobacco, and earthiness, which does make it pleasant before the onslaught of peculiar bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Slightly creamy and a little chewy with more of a medium than heavy body, surprisingly.

Drinkability: This is such a rich, complex, and easy-going brew, especially when it warms to room temperature, but there's that bitterness I can't put my finger on. This will certainly be a bottle I'll get to cellar if I can, but it's certainly worth checking out, and I'm glad I did. As I said before, I'll be trying as many of Moylan's brews as I can get my hands on.

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Photo of oberon
4.23/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a rich copper with a creamy one finger head that that settles nicely leaving some light lace,deep intese fruity aromas with some underlying but very noticeable pine.Wow a big flavorful barleywine very Pacific coast piney and resiny upfront with a big fruity alcolholic finish the alcohol really hits.Just a sublime creamy mouthfeel and pretty slick going down the hatch and it warms the insides.Wow truley and awesome big brew a night cap that cant be beat.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.43/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Extremely thick and cloudy orange-brown in color with a beautiful head that went down slowly and laced the glass.

Smell – Nice sherry-laced malt aroma with a complex hop compliment. I can pick up a prickle of pine along with some fairly big citrus notes.

Taste – This has a luscious malt character. The sherry is present but steps back a bit, replaced by refined table sugar and an assortment of fruits. Grapefruit, cranberry, grape, and a splash of orange, among others. There are also some good citrus hops in here, making this one a balanced brew indeed.

The thing that makes this for me though is the refinement of the flavors. Everything is even-keeled. All the flavors mix together perfectly. This is less an in-your-face extreme BW than it is a class act.

Mouthfeel – Impeccable! Of the bit BWs that I’ve had (Fish Tale, JW Lees, Hog Heaven, Gnarly Wine, Bigfoot, Old Guardian/Crustacean, etc) this is the smoothest. This one is full-bodied yet smooth as silk. Excellent!

Drinkability – If you want to introduce a friend to big Barley Wine’s, start him off with this one. This went down like Courtney Love at a rock concert. Awesome!

Comments – Hard to believe that this is 10.0 ABV. Great job from Moylan’s, and also to mickeymac for care packaging me this bottle that I otherwise would never find in a NW store. The good will and thoughtful nature of the BA family never ceases to amaze me.


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Photo of t2grogan
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Photo of Beaver13
2.82/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle. Pours a clear copper with a creamy off white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is VERY subdued - some caramel and cola with a little hoppy alcohol.

The flavor is sweet sugary caramel with a big abrasive tarrry alcoholic hop finish that lingers in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and slightly watery.

Overall, this is an unbalanced mess. It mellows out as I drink though. I managed to finish the bomber.

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Photo of Billolick
4.07/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ouncer bomber bottle, provides no freshness/vintage indication. Pours a shade of rich, dark honey almond, with a dark tan thin head and leaving just slight, fine lacing. Nose here is vinious and of some dark maple syrup. Rich, thick and flavorful Bwine, notes of honey, maple, sweet malts, with a moderate taste of hops in the finish. Mellow, smooth and worthy brew.

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Photo of mattster
4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Opened 22oz bomber, poured into Snifter glass.

At 55º Forms nice large bubbly head which dissipates to a ring of lace around top of glass. Color is a nice amber brown,

Smell is of a sweet caramel, Dark fruits, slight hops. Taste follows through with the same somewhat sweet profile. Very nice finish, has an understated "big wine" taste that makes me long for a good slab of steak or some wild game. I think this would go well with Whale also.

Finish is nice, not bad on after taste, really nice body. Alcohol and bubbles are just right for a 10%er, really drinkable, granted, 1 bottle is more than enough...

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Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle of unknown age obtained recently. Pours a dark amber with a thin head. Has a subtle smell of malt with a hint of booze. Taste is not overwhleming but it has a nice balanced taste of malt with some piney hops. It is very drinkable for the ABV of 10%. Solid American barleywine.


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Photo of magictrokini
3.64/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours reddish brown with an oily head. Viscous-looking. The aroma is awful, like a malty low-tide. The taste more than makes up for it. Heavy and sweet with malts and caramel. The hops eventually fight through in the end. Overall, it tastes like this beer should be aged before bottled.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.55/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: This massive beer pours a beautifully hazed mahogany amber tone topped by a conservative tan head beautiful small etched even lacing very fine but concentrically formed. Aroma: Sticky and juicy layers of hops with the barleywine malts very rich malt treat forming the base to be topped with copious amounts of piney west coast hops glazed with caramel or butterscotch very rich and warming good for the olfactories. Taste: Challenging complex tones but oh so rich and fulfilling juicy sweetness to the hop and malt combo wow this is good stuff the pine cone like hop tone dominates just enough doesn't overbear the palate. Creamy tones rush between the pauses of the bursts of the rediculous amount of malt and powerful hop presence very good stuff. Mouthfeel: Full bodied rich syrupy hop resin filled creamy fluffiness great profile big ass beer from california. Drinkability: The alcohol presence isn't overbearing toward the flavor but I bet after a big bottle of this one it hits you pretty decently, so it all depends how you judge the drinkability I judge it on the basis that if I could I would have bottle after bottle this beer seems like the one I would go for if I were in the mood for a full bodied lucious barley wine, I think it's amazing.

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Photo of jpbebeau
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased from Green's on Ponce in Atlanta.

Pours a hazy dark copper color with a 1.5-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a patchy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of sticky caramel malts with hints of toffee and larger amounts of hops - mostly pine but with some leafy notes.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Somewhat muted caramel malt flavors kick things off and gains hints of toffee and butterscotch shortly afterward. Midway through the sip mild hop flavors join in - mostly earthy notes composed of pine and herbal flavors - and intensify through to a solidly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I finished my glass without a problem and could have another.

Overall I thought this was a solid barleywine but I was hoping for a bit more after being a very big fan of Moylan's other beers. Nothing exceptional but nothing bad, worth a shot.

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Photo of InfernoBoss
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of IntriqKen
3.33/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Undated 22 oz. bomber.
Poured a deep, deep amber with a healthy tan colored head that last...lasts...and finally melts to thick sticky lacing.
Aroma is toasted malt, canied apples, raisens and alcohol.
Taste not as sweet as the smell...alcohol gets in the way...sweet toasted malts, coffee and heavy fruits (apples, prunes, raisens grapes) make their presence felt but always fighting the alcohol.
Aftertaste not as sweet as I expect from a barleywine and without the hoppiness of Bigfoot...very drying and definate alcohol.
A decent barleywine, but not my favorite and this kind of beer I like to savor, so I'll pass on getting another one. Not sure if I'll finish this bomber...I have a 12 oz 2005 Bigfoot chilling just in case.

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Photo of Dewey0603
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep rich clear ruby with a giant head. The head lasts forever leaving great lacing. The smell is strong with dark fruit, alcohol and bread yeast. The taste is rich and creamy with hops, dark fruit, and a "bisquity" flavor. A b/w with more hops than other's. Not bad,but different. The m/f is heavy with all flavors mixing well. A good beer,maybe too hoppy,but still worth a try.

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Been sitting on top of this one awhile, figured it was time to release the liquid from its prison. After the pour, a classic-looking barleywine sits in the snifter: candy-apple red turned to rust; bountiful off-white head (which disappears under all that alcoholic weight to a scummy skim and a crown); small lace splats 'n' splotches.

Nose is somewhat subdued, considering the style and ABV. There's a layer of alcohol over everything else--the vanilla, the toffee, the spruce tips, the cherry/fig/raisin. Sherry-like.

The aroma apparently doesn't give up all the beer's secrets, as it's a somewhat different beast on the tongue. Not sure how old it is...I held onto it for several months at least (a record for me, maybe), yet it still feels pretty green, hops-wise. It's mingled nicely, though, with the sherry-like alcohol and beastly toffee/caramel malt. There are flashes of dark fruits too, but it's mostly the alcohol and hops that dominate right now (right into the finish, too, which is pretty dry, as barleywines go). I'm sure further aging what bring out what appears to be a pretty interesting malt character.

The mouthfeel is slippery, buttery, round, with the perfect amount of carbonation--not too much, not too little. Were it creamier and a little thicker, it would be a perfect "5."

As said, I'll bet this would do even better with some aging. I guess here's where I make another plea for mandatory "bottled on" dating. Would be a great help to us beer consumers who give a crap about those kinds of things. As with all Moylan's stuff I've had so far, I'd definitely buy this again.

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Photo of Sammy
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Port Carlsbad Pizza Port. Taste great on-tap for a barleywine. Reddish amber with white crowning head. White lace. Hoppy all the way through. Meal in a bottle not requiring food. Noteable yeastiness. Good carbonation, Well malted and Balanced.Medium mouthfeel.

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Photo of augustgarage
3.94/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into my snifter.

Sienna body which glows a rust/orange-red when held to the light. Bleary but fairly clear. Very thin off-white head which recedes to a faint skin and a tiny collar. Very oily legs with a smattering of tiny sandy lacing which seems to simply evaporate.

Slightly musty and spicy aromatics with dried fruit, cloves, and honey. Esters suggest persimmon and perhaps a faint touch of vanilla.

Deep, toasty malt, very earthy and peppery with a hint of carbon. Bitterness ramps up mid-palate, but the hop flavors never really surface over the intensity of nearly charred sweet malt and barley grain. Very dry almost burnt finish surrounded by light fruit notes. Somewhat unusual, but enjoyable.

Velvety, medium-bodied, and a little chewy. Mild astringency and fairly low carbonation. ABV is very well hidden and sneaks up on you.

A little one-note, and surprisingly dry - but worth a try if you're in the mood for a slightly different take on the style.

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Photo of tdm168
3.97/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to jtd1969 for bringing this to the Barleywine tasting.

A - clear amber with a soft, short-lived head

S - bread, sugar, faint hops, alcohol

T - bread, sugar, alcohol, faint dark fruit, some chocolate

M - full bodied, well carbonated, warm

This is a solid beer with solid flavor. It's rich, sweet, bitter, and a tad boozy. I enjoyed it, but I did wish it was a bit more malt with some caramel. With all the Barleywines out there, I'm not sure I'll be having this again.

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Photo of McMatt7
3.51/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Moylan's Old Blarney pours a very hazy deep chestnut body with orange highlights beneath a creamy yellow-tan head that holds well and leaves some nice lacing about the glass.

The nose offers a sweet caramel maltiness with a good whiff of fruit (apple, tangerine, peach, coconut) from the yeast and hops and alcohol. Some delicately piney hops also make their way through.

The mouthfeel is superbly smooth and pillowy-soft with a moderate carbonation and very full, dextrinous body.

In the flavor, piney/citrusy hops and fruit greet you upfront before the malt delivers its rich, caramel nougat and light toffee notes. A solid bitterness and splash of spicy alcohol crashes through and leads to a lingering, dry, bitter, and spicy finish with some residual fruit, piney hops, and a touch of caramel-drizzled maltiness.

It's full, to be sure, and nicely rounded. An excellent example of the west coast style American barleywine!

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Photo of beerluvr
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This pours with an off-white whipped cream head, over hazy amber liquid. Intense malty nose with dark fruit notes as well. Taste is smooth mouthfeel with a superp blend of heavy duty malt mixed with restrained but ever present hop bitterness, fading into a long, long malty finish. This one helluva 10% ass-kicking beer!

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Photo of russpowell
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours caramel/orange with 3+ fingers of sand colored head. Murked up a bit at the end of the bottle. Good head retention & above average lacing

S: Breadyness & caramel, plus some piney hops & some booze as this warmed

T: Huge piney hops & a bit of breadyness up front. More piney & grapefruit hops, cakeyness with more caramel, plus a touch of grainyness as this warms. Finishes with some tangerine hops, a touch of honey malt, piney & lemony hops & a bit of dryness. This got better the warmer it was

MF: Chewy & creamy, skews hoppy like you'd expect

Drinks a little slow, but If you like your Barley Wines big & hoppy, this is your huckleberry

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Photo of CharlesDarwin
3.2/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Originally reviewed on May 4, 2006. 22 Oz Bottle. Clear ruddied sienna poour, with a tan foam head. All I can reach out of the aroma is a distant waft of an Ecto Cooler juice box, seriously. I would have scored much lower on aroma, if it hadn’t been a memory evoker of my Ghostbuster days. Flavor is a week, dusky sweet malt, with caramel and bananas, then a fairly strong rush of hops, but they don’t really play the role they should, for me at least. They’re distant and amalgamated into a consistent one dimensional hop presentation, mostly in a lemongrasseqsue style. Smack of lemon zest. Palate seems heavily watery to me, but I will admit that it seemed to hide the alcohol extremely well, especially for a 10% that doesn’t seem to have too much depth. Some toffee lingers.

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Old Blarney Barleywine from Moylan's Brewery
Beer rating: 3.83 out of 5 with 348 ratings