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:
No notes at this time.

Added by Quaffer on 02-26-2002

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 348 |  Reviews: 241
Photo of ElGallo
5/5  rDev +30.5%

Photo of rab53
5/5  rDev +30.5%

Photo of Lothar666
4.77/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Poured a dark ruby red mahogany body with a thick, creamy tannish off white head. Lacing was thick and sticky; no sediment was readily visible.

S- Sweet malts, candy, fermented apple, pear, grape and buttery toffee.

T- Taste is much more fruity than te smell; flavors extremely well balanced and complex. Candy apples, caramel, and sweet toffee with a delightful hop bite in the finish. Other fruit flavors form a delightful and complex medley of taste experience that seem to defy description.

M- Smooth, creamy, and very heavy with only the slightest warming sensation from the alcohol and a delightful tingle from the hops.

D- Extremely easy to drink for such a potent brew; the alcohol is well disguised beneath layers of delicious, complex flavors.

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Photo of Jmoore50
4.7/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This brew is absolutely amazing, maybe one of the best brews I have ever had. Ever.

The color is so nice, just that great dark amber brown that fills the glass so nicely. Then the head, just a subtle one finger head that came with a light tan color. The lacing was not very dominant.

The smell was great, brown sugar. I got small alcohol tints, just great. I also got a dark fruit, plum smell also. Great!

The taste is great. Has everything you would want in a great barleywine. It has a subtle sweetness that hits right after the great alcohol mouthfeel. You can feel it all over the place, absolutely awesome.

This is one of the best brews I have ever drank. I got one the other day, then drove back to the store to get another one. Just amazing.


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Photo of tonistruth
4.67/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- a fingers worth of off white fluffy foam, great retent, bronze brew underneath

S- citric hop, toasted malts, rich and sweet malts

T- toasted caramel malts and cookie like flavors with toasted grains in the aftertaste, zesty citrus and pine hop flavors, raw hop oils, sweet alcohol at finish

M- full and sticky, somewhat coarse

D- wonderful barleywine, great flavors, complexity and balance, highly recommended

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.65/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Oooo..I like it on first cracking the crown, rich, malty, sweet, boozy barleywine goodness wafts out from the start...pours a beautiful mahogany, deep crimson at base, with a sturdy slab of creamy pale-yellow foam above.
In the nose, it's classic b'wine: rich, complex, deep, dark notes, of leather, wood, cognac, cherries, grapes, some devilish spices, a wicked elixir, to be sure...and just the way I like it!
Taste: Huge mouthfeel, enormous, dominates every inch of the mouth, coats the palate with this thick, slick roasty, fruity, deeply divine deliciousness.... full-bodied, long, thick, fruity finish...wow, and the 10% abv does peek it's nose in early, you can taste it, and I currently like it...powerful prominence, this flavor, fat, full, and richly rewarding...this is a humdinger-inger of a barleywine, like Bigfoot's big brother! Each sip lets you slip into a new subsection of Nirvana, let the soul loose on tasting this one, brothers, so that the spirit can stretch farther while feeling it's joys in all it's complexities.
Big thumbs ...wait, how many do I have? well, they're all going up, up, up!

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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 maxpower
4.52/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Citus aroma,brown orange color, fresh pine-citrus hoppy flavor,alot of hops in this barley wine, but still very balanced, almost like an Imperial IPA, really great, I love this one.

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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 steve8robin
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%

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

22oz bomber, unknown vintage. A dark red colour with ruby edges, and a thin off white head of foam. Aromas are extremely hoppy, with booze and sweet caramel malts in the mix as well. The taste is very hoppy up front with a huge malt backbone and tons of sweetness in the middle. The finish is dry and lingering and very reminiscent of Double Bastard. The mouthfeel is thick, but not cloying and the drinkability is excellent!

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Photo of Sir_Goatman
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%

Photo of sinistrsam
4.49/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a red-amber but looked watery (looks can be deceiving) and left no lacing.
The smell was absolutely equisite: Coffee with cream adn lots of sugar, honey, vanilla, molasses chocolate malt and brown sugar. SO much going on here.
The taste was burnt coffee (not unpleasant) with chocolate, honey, and a little hop presence showing through. Very good.
The feel was very complex as well; a surge of dry and bitter hops up front with burnt coffee acrid-ness, then a fade into a bittersweet then sweet and smooth finish, Excellent.
Although very alcoholic, I'd say this is a very drinkable beer and a fantastic find.

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Photo of kbub6f
4.49/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bought online, ground shipping (unrefrigerated), a couple of months in my fridge, served 45F, reviewed 45F-65F.

It took some vigorous pouring, but I got a beautiful, french vanilla-colored thick head. It collapses fairly quickly leaving dense lacing. The color of the beer is deep red-brown.

The nose is alcohol, ripe fruit, malt, caramel, toffee, fresh bread and wine. Complex. The beer begins with sweet caramel and toffee, giving way to a malty middle with hints of chocolate. The hops take their time, but when they get here they show up in droves. There is a very hoppy finish, but the beer starts so strongly sweet that the hop bitterness is really nice for balance. The aftertaste is bread, toffee, hops. And jujube. Very warming.

This is a delicious beer. It's balanced in the sense that there's so much of everything that no one thing can dominate. Amazingly, it's quite drinkable even cool (unconscionably drinkable for 10%). Warm, it's heaven.

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Photo of charlesw
4.48/5  rDev +17%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Amber. Not deep, not light. Looks amber, man. Amber. I said it and I'm sticking with it. It has head. And lacing that NEVER goes away. Ever. Not under any circumstances.

Smells malty and grassy and weird.

Tastes... Malty and bitter and weird. Weird? Talk to me about this weirdness, dude! Well, you know... Weird. Like rotting grass, I think. I mean... Not like rotting meat, but like grass smells after a week on the compost pile and when you turn it over. That's exactly the smell and the taste. Weird. Really really weird. I get some cardboard as well both in smell and taste. A crisp, clean bitterness to it but enough of that and enough body and sweetness to really count this one as a barleywine. But... The off flavors...

Rereview 1/10/9
Deep amber/brown with a small head of tiny, beautiful bubbles that last and last and last...
Smells of malty goodness (sweet caramel malts) and freshly mown grass.
The taste is fantastic - nicely sweet and malty that is very evenly balanced out with hop bitterness. Almost as good as a Smutty, you know? There's brown sugar, maple, caramel (with all of the sweet cream that implies)... Freshly turned wet leaves. And and and... Malted milk, maybe? Some interesting sweetness on the sides of the back of the mouth. Crazy good.
A touch on the thick side in the mouth. Come on, guys! This should be a really easy fix!
All in all a freaking amazing beer...

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.47/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bomber,

A: Pours a deep mahogany with a mild off-white head, solid retention, spotty lace.

S: Great sweet almost oxidized malt character, light hoppiness. Great smell.

T: Delicious full malt character. Not a huge hop flavour, but it makes its presence felt, especially with that hit of mint at the end that glides into a long finish. Well balanced for how big it is, never boozy, a good flavour.

M: Full-bodied, soft carbonation, very easy going, elegant.

O: Since Moylan's has no dates on their bottles I'm wondering how old this, since it has some characteristics of 1 to 2 year old barleywine. But I believe this is it probably at its best so I will review it as such. This is a beer I had a long time ago, probably '05 and haven't had since so I wanted to revisit it. Great barleywine and at under $6 a bomber a real bargain this day and age. Really good.

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

Hear me now. This beers rating in no way reflects how good it actually is. As a nightcap, it poured a deep brown mahogany color, with a very active head. Slightly piney, with hints of chocolate. Tops for its style in taste. A virtual cornucopia of flavors. Chocolate, orange, rye bread, grapes, hops, malt, bitter, sweet, dry, and the list goes on.

Absolutely one of the best American Barely wines out there.

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Photo of mickeymac
4.4/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It's brown with a trace of red and has a big tan head. Hops are swimming in it and really hit you in the nose, along with lots of malt. It's got all sorts of flavor: a bit of chocolate, fruit, and toast. It's a very heavy beer, with a solid mouthfeel. The beer is warming and definitely a contender for a cold rainy night.

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Photo of smttycty
4.38/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Many of us, I presume, are hedonists. We look for pleasure where ever it may be. Often times it is sitting in front of keyboard and monitor anticipating the freshly poured version of liquid heaven sitting before us. The soundtrack to "Cinema Paridiso" comes through the speakers. The time has come, time for that first sip....

Tonight it's Moylan's Old Blarney Barleywine. It's beautiful in my Sam Adams glass. Perfect cellar temperature. An intriguing deep hazy orange. The minimal carbonation rises slowly from the laser-etched bottom of the glass to a rich, glossy 2F crown the color of tea with milk. The lacing is not thick but viscous.

The nose is surprisingly soft. Vanilla and some fusel alcohol wafting. Soft and sweet. First taste is a smooth impression of wood-aged bourbon with a splash, and the alcohol warming to go with it. But nothing breaks the surface as walnut, leather, and a custard sweetness appear in the blend. The finish is an assertive, lingering hop sonata with an oh-so soft edge. Mellow and masterful.

Full bodied with a soft carbonation, the mouthfeel after swallowing is not thick, as might be expected, but silky. Some sessions are hit, some miss. But always we demand the heart and soul of our brewmasters. Then we kneel before them when they give it to us.

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Photo of stewart124
4.38/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark amber with golden head. There are little sediments present in the beer. The smell is very nice with floral hints and a high fruity hoppiness. The taste is smooth and almost like syrup with flavors of caramel, molasses, citrus fruits and spices. A delicious blend of spices and strong malts and the alcohol pleasantly warms the stomach. Very nice aftertaste of strong/old malts and a hint of pine. A nice barleywine. Delicious.

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Photo of uberabr
4.37/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had this one on tap up at Moylan's and now I'm having it from the bottle. A little more heady and hoppy on tap, this one's maltier and more rich.

Poured from a bomber into a belgian gobblet. Appearance is pretty standard, nothing fancy. Deep caramel brown. Light one-finger head settles quickly, carbonation and lacing are decent.

Smells crisp and refreshing. Fresh green apples, cinnamon, caramel, and brown sugar. Subtle hints of citrus malts and ginger. Very sweet and aromatic without being overly so. Taste is rich, creamy and sweet. Very nice. There is a mild sour fruityness from the booze that is offset perfectly by sweet molasses and a sugary malt backbone. I can feel the booze but I can't taste it. Excellent. Cream and butter round out the pallate and a gentle bitter hop grassyness adds to the complexity.

Mouthfeel is moderate; light and a tad watery. Not very much carbonation, but this works well with this style as it lends to its "wine" side. Drinkability is excellent. Another great brew from Moylan's.

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Photo of mdagnew
4.37/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

650ml bottle bought from Beersofeurope.co.uk...

Poured a deep coppery russet colour into a brandy snifter. Creamy head with some coppery tinges poured quite thick and rocky then faded to nice light ring around the edge of the glass. Barely any carbonation... some light frothy lacing...

Aroma - Lots of spicy piney hops, strong floral / perfume notes, peppery, herbal notes, caramel / honey sweetness, some burnt sugar notes, spicy fruits (apricots, oranges, some light figs), strong resinous notes, toasted bread, light biscuity malts, some faint leathery traces, grassy...

Taste - Strong peppery / spicy / floral hop bitterness to the fore followed by lots of caramel and malt sweetness, some spicy fruits (bitter oranges, tart apples, some figs), candied peel, dark muscovado sugar traces, herbal, some anise, toasted bread, some woody notes, warming alcohol comes through...

M&D - Very smooth and creamy with just a little bite underneath. Full bodied... dangerously drinkable at 10%

Overall - Another excellent US barley wine... definitely recommended...

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Photo of srandycarter
4.37/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- I had a feeling about this one as I poured it. I wasn't even close enough to smell it, but the beautiful, viscous liquid looked like melted caramel and drew me to it. Not much head, lacing thin.

S - Thick sweet malt, bread and booze.

T- Same as smell, only more so. Major delicious flavor, and although lots of sweet stuff, efficiently bittered and the end and well balanced.

M - Coating, thick, good carb.

D - I WOULD drink it all night, if it wasn't so high an ABV.

A great effort by Moylan!

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle that was at least 2.5 years old, into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright copper color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains brown sugar, citrus, dark fruit, caramelized malts, some alcohol and a good amount of hops.

T: The taste starts out with a brief alcohol bite that is quickly followed by a hearty malt character and sweet flavors of caramel, citrus, dark fruit and brown sugar. The hops presence is still pretty strong for a beer of this age and makes me curious to try this beer fresh. The mellowed balance that you find with aged barleywines is certainly there especially after the beer warms a bit. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Very tasty, goes down dangerously easily, not too filling, strong kick, very good representation of style, this is a very good high-octane beer that seems to have benefited greatly from age.

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