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Old Blarney Barleywine | Moylan's Brewery

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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

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Reviews: 241 | Ratings: 345
Photo of olympuszymurgus
1.22/5  rDev -68.2%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

It is rare I really trash a brew. Untill Moylans cursed me with this brew.

Opens with a pop, pours nice, looks like any other classic american barleywine. But then the smell rolls off. Banana candy, powdered sugar, booze. I sip. O god, this is horrific banana sadness covered in cane sugar. I can go no further. To the drain.

The thing is, I saw them, and grabbed three bombers. I hoped it was the one bottle. I hopes wrong.

Second? opened with some beer friends. Five or six sips, down the drain.

Third? opened with a BA with a great taste. A sniff, a sip, down the drain.

Does it end there? No. I made it to the brewery and had a taster of the same beer, and it was mildly less offensive. I started chating the brewer and he was kind and receptive. Until I mentioned the bad bottles. I wasn't fishing for a replacement, and was just giving him a heads up. He acted indignant, flippantly said "That's distributions fault for treating the bottles poorly" and walked off in a huff.

Moylans- Bugger off.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
1.96/5  rDev -49%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a clear dark iced tea color with a 1 inch puffy beige head that fades to film. Thin rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is almost non-existent with maybe some malt aromas. Taste is non-existent too. The taste is also super weak like alcohol mixed with water and barely any malt flavors. This beer has a decent level of carbonation but seems a bit on the flatter side. Overall, this is a bad beer with an extremely weak smell and taste. I really hope this is a bad bottle because I am very disappointed with this beer.

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Photo of martyl1000
2/5  rDev -47.9%

I realize there's the matter of subjectivity, here. But, my God, this was bad. I've rated 500 beers in the past three years. And this is my first drain pour.

It's all wrong for a barley wine. It comes off more like a confused Baltic porter: roasty to a fault and watery on the back end. The aroma is actually barley wine material. But flavor in the mouth makes me wonder if this bottle was stored improperly at my bottle shop, or what.

Gold and silver medals at the World Beer Championships? WTF??

Just to clear my name with all the fans of this beer, I'm now opening another barley wine in the wake of Old Blarney disappointment: Central Waters Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine. Oh, yeah. That's the stuff.

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Photo of SWMeyer4141
2.46/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Poured into Great Divide tulip...

Appearance-Dark burnt orange body. Just an absurd amount of of carbonation bubbles clinging to the side of the glass. The head is about 2 fingers with sticky lacing clinging to the glass. Very nice.

Smell-Faded hops, but I'm not going to think less of the beer, maybe I should drank this fresh. I think this is from the spring of 2010, I may be wrong. Smell is of subtle fruit cakeiness, and dark caramel malts.

Taste-Before even picking up the flavors it's hard to look pass the water down flavors of this beer. Yes, it taste's like a barleywine, fruity, caramel malt, slight chocolate in there as well, but it's just so watery. The finish is just of straight booze as well. This isn't enjoyable at all, not one bit.

Mouthfeel-Looks carbonated but it's definitely lacking it in the mouth. Watery, boozy, and just bad beer.

Overall-This beers been sitting in my closet for a long ass time and I felt like a Barleywine, I will not be finishing this whole bomber, pass.

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Photo of Offa
2.48/5  rDev -35.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I find this to be an uninteresting, rough, overly bitter barleywine.

Hazy reddish amber, it has a thin, bubbly off-white head with orange highlight that shrinks slowly and leaves a little weak lacing.

The aroma is malty caramel with a lot of hop, piney lemon-pulp and grapefruit.

The taste strong with burnt caramel but the malt seems to have almost nothing else. The hops totally overpower this with a sharp, rough bitterness that rides roughshod over the tounge and everywhere else, leaving behind a rough feeling and little taste except for a sharp pine-grapefruit rind bitterness. It's boring and rough.

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Photo of kennyo
2.61/5  rDev -32%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

22 0z bottle

Pours like a dark red ale with some brown undertones, big head that settles after a while but there is a fom cover throughout the whole glass. Sweet malt aroma, not a lot tho'. It has a nice barleywine taste but there is too much alcohol in the taste, back of tongue, back df throat. After the swallow, you get a cheap alcohol aftertaste.

First Moylans that I ever had, wil ltry other styles, if I can find them.

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Photo of sinstaineddemon
2.65/5  rDev -31%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - dark brownish red, too hazy to note carbonation, half a finger of rocky brown head, great retention

S - dark sweet molasses aroma, with a milky coffee sense to the nose

T - roasted malt flavor is dominatn, in fact its solitary, where's the barleywine sweetness? too much roasted malt character, it lacks that molasses sweetness and thicker barleywine typical body

M&D - decent mouthfeel, smooth, but not like a barleywine, needs more sweetness in the balance to make it more drinkable

 497 characters

Photo of bwyker
2.66/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from a 22 ounce bomber into a chalice. Served slightly below room temperature.

Appearance: A musty golden amber body, with a modest cream-colored head. The clouds of foam in the center of the glass seem to be pulled still by the sticky malt monster below. Faint lacing slides down the glass with each sip.

Smell: A powerful alcohol aroma stands out, as does a heavy dose of burnt caramel and dark fruit sweetness.

Taste: The taste is very similar to the smell. Rich caramel sweetness all around, with a whiskey like finish. Hops are in here somewhere, but hard to detect any bitterness through the heavy sweet malts.

Mouthfeel: Heavy bodied, with a strong alcohol burn in the finish. Chalky at the start, ends very dry. Burning felt in the throat down to the bottom of my stomach.

Drinkability: Definitely an after dinner slow sipper. I don’t imagine too many barley wines score high in this category; however, this one could stand to work on smoothing out some of the malts and alcohol. Maybe some time at cellar temps could mellow it out. Traditionally, Moylan’s isn’t too shy with the hops, so it’s surprising this one doesn’t have more hop character. Not a bad beer, but needs some improvement.

 1,228 characters

Photo of goblue3509
2.73/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a slightly hazy coppery reddish orangish color with a two finger off white brownish head, which recedes to skim. There is some good lacing left on the glass. The aroma is of caramel, dark fruits mainly raisin, pepper, and molasses. The taste has a caramel malt backbone with a big molasses and raisin/date taste along with a hint of tea. There wasn't much if any of a hop presence, and the dark fruits tended to dominate. The mouthfeel was creamy and slick with a nice alcohol feel. The drinkability is average, it is an okay barleywine but not the best in class. It was an okay drink, I took down the bottle but didn't really desire any more than that.

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Photo of Beaver13
2.82/5  rDev -26.6%
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 mnstorm99
2.86/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Nice copper pour, but a small white head that does leave a ring, and nice expected lacing.
Aroma is malty alchohol, and a little flowery hops but not enough for an American BW.
Not sure if this one was bad or not (I will update if I try it again), but everyone talks about the hops in this, and as I can detect them, there aren't enough. This one tasted more malty to me and more like an English BW. It was ok, the sweetness was almost cloying to me and desperately needed some hops to balance it.
Mouthfeel was nice smooth and easy to drink as far as body goes.
I had a hard time finishing this beer, and would have a hard time spending the money on another bottle.

 666 characters

Photo of jmdrpi
2.91/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle, no date

appears a hazy orange-red dark copper color, with 1/2" off-white head. good head retention.aroma is malty, with some piney hops.

taste starts sweet and malty, a little boozy. but a lingering minty flavor that is off-putting. mouthfeel is a bit sticky, coats the mouth. good level of carbonation.

overall - average at best.

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Photo of scruffwhor
2.95/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Ruby-esque copper color. Flash in the pan head, but I like the bubbling.

Boozey toasted malt syrup of sweet white bread crust some plums and prunes. Pretty WARM aroma though.

Thin mouthfeel upfront, with some abv% warmth. Some toasty figs, light caramelized prunes, sweet biscuit crust, and maybe some sweet plums. But keep in mind there's a strong underliying abv% presence in the flavor and mouthfeel. The palate is thin and warm. This is not a bad sipper. Keep in mind, I've been holding on to this beer for over a year, and this American barleywine is a bit too harsh. I will not buy again.

 598 characters

Photo of ArrogantB
2.96/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Dark orange-brown color, clear. Aromas of booze, nail polish/acetone, dark fruit. Leather and tobacco flavors, ash, cheap chocolate, not really what I was expecting. This is totally different than any barleywine I've ever had and I'm not sure i like it.

 253 characters

Photo of KJH
2.97/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This is the 2007 Old Blarney

The beer still smells sweet with a hint of honey. Some hop aroma is present in the malty aroma.

The initial taste is smooth and clean. Most of the hops have faded and it's closer to an English Barleywine where the malt flavors dominate. Late in the taste the hot alcohol starts to reappear in the back of the throat.

This would be more drinkable if the lingering taste was not so hot. Initially drinkable but the longering hot alcohol ruins the experience.

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Photo of 4000qtrap
3/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2 Reviews here. The 2008 and 2009 both aged 1 year. Score is for 2009 version.

Old Blarney Barleywine 2008 Reserve (Moylan's) Reviewed Jan 2010 B+
Source/Serving: Draft

Smell: Flowery with residual grapefruit notes that have faded slightly (likely) due to aging. Rich, sweet brown sugar and caramel with a hint of vanilla and cabernet notes.

Taste: Grassy, fruit skin bitterness at the outset which slowly gives way to mellow and dark, but not at all roasty, malts. Extra, almost overripe fruit notes and dark caramel ride on top of the mellow bitterness that's present throughout. Astringent alcohol is noticeable. Finish is very, very dry with continued fruit skin and grassy notes.

2009 Version Review
Source serving: Draft. 2009 version aged 1 year.

Beautiful ruby color to this.

Smell: Heaps of brown sugar, some spiciness that's mostly clove, nice ample syrup with a hint of an oaky edge.

Taste: Very smooth, semisweet caramel and spice overall. Up front there is smooth ripe berries and sweet caramel with some underlying banana. Residual hop bitterness shows in the middle with a grassy and piney edge with slight tobacco notes and burnt wood along with a moderately dry, spicy edge. Finish is quite bitter, dry, herbal, and spicy.

Compared to the 2008 version which I really liked this was a bit disappointing. Similar overall but less intense, less fruity, less vanilla.

 1,388 characters

Photo of davexisxrabid
3.04/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I've tried this barley wine on two separate occasions just to be objective so here goes...

Amber colored with a small head that dissipates quickly, probably owing to the high abv.

Aroma is of sweet bubblegum and piney hops.

Taste is slightly sweet malts at the onset with a big rush of hop bitterness and a lingering metallic bite at the end.

The metallic aftertaste stays on your palate for a while and is a bit unpleasant, especially because this is a barleywine and meant for sipping and enjoying, not chugging.

Not really drinkable in my opinion - I thought my first attempt at drinking this barleywine may have been a spoiled batch or over-hopped but twice in a row left me feeling none too pleased. This barleywine just isnt for me.

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Photo of Mdog
3.06/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Murky orange-brown, good head.

Smell: Low aroma, some breadiness, citrusy.

Taste: Sharp astringent bitterness, very dry. Hidden deep in there is some brown sugar sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Kind of thin.

Drinkability: Not too impressed.

I'm usually up for trying barleywines, this one is very dry and seemingly low in malt balance. Almost makes me think of a "brown" IPA with its thin body. Not too good.

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Photo of htomsirveaux
3.1/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

22 oz. bottle tried 27 Jan 2008.

Pours with a medium sized tan head. Moderate carbonation. Clear garnet red color with copper highlights. Smells of dates, burnt raisins, and vanilla. Starts with a fair amount of citric and piny bitterness and stays that way. Some raisins and dried fruit in the middle. Alcohol is noticeable throughout, especially in the finish. Medium heavy body.

Flavors are decent but not very easy to drink, maybe would improve with some age.

 465 characters

Photo of champ103
3.11/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a slightly hazy reddish/amber color. At first a beige head rises to over two fingers, but gently recedes. Some light lace is left behind.
S: An acidic and acrid malty sweetness. Plenty citrus grapefruit and bitter hops. Alcohol burn lingers
T: Burnt caramel malt sweetness. Bitter grapefruit lingers on forever. Some alcohol
M/D: A full body with medium carbonation. Sticky and syrupy. Alcohol shows its self everywhere, and it is a little harder to sip on than I would like.

Not bad at all. Kind of a mix between an English and American Barleywine. It doesn't quit work for me, but still worth a try.

 611 characters

Photo of stevoj
3.13/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Grunt fill from Albertsons. Initially thought it may have gone flat, but it's a mild pour with a fairly heavy weight. Mahogany pour with a ring if beige head. Malt and molasses on the aroma, taste also is malt forward. A bit of a tang on the tail end, finishes sweet. Doesn't seem overly boozy.

 294 characters

Photo of CharlesDarwin
3.2/5  rDev -16.7%
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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Photo of jdhilt
3.21/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a one finger, light tan head that fades slowly leaving some lacing. Cloudy ruby color. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Roasted coffee nose. Starts and finishes with a burnt spicey coffee flavor, lingering bitter aftertaste, still its drinkable but there are much better barleywines like N'ice Chouffe Belgian Barley Wine. $6.10 for a 22oz bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

 390 characters

Photo of pjwilson
3.21/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

this brewery is so hit and miss it's insane. for every amazing beer they have, they match with complete strike out duds. this is beer, while not a complete dud, is pretty blah, imo.

appearace: a highlight of the beer. shimmering amber color with a huge head, three fingers full. the beer leaves intricate lacing in the white wine glass as it settles down.

smell: like an aged bigfoot, but toned down alot. caramal and bisquit. decent but lacking a certain "snap" found in hairy eyeball or aged bigfoot.

taste: again similar to the aged bigfoot i had recently, but not as good. more water. this beer was in the fridge at the store, but it could be aged i have no idea. sheets of caramal, but the taste just over all is watery. there is also a booze presense.

mouthfeel: too thick

drinkability: yeah the bottle will be finished, but i'm not really into it. sooo many better barlelywines and finishing this bottle was some what of chore.

 952 characters

Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.21/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Clear amber with a ruby tint. The huge frothy head is slow to rise and even slower to fade, but it leaves thick rings of lacing in it's wake.

S - Aromatic pine, spicy peppery hops and a hint of faint citrus.

T - A hint of vanilla over a light caramel malt, however, a spicy peppery hop dominates the flavor. Aftertaste is simply the evolution of the peppery hop. Fairly one-dimensional and not that great of a dimension to boot.

M - Thick, smooth, pretty refreshing.

D - Alright. The taste is mediocre, but the rest is nice.

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Old Blarney Barleywine from Moylan's Brewery
3.84 out of 5 based on 345 ratings.
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