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Old Blarney Barleywine | Moylan's Brewery

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Old Blarney BarleywineOld Blarney Barleywine
Very Good
347 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: 347 |  Reviews: 241
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.

 270 characters

Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of jaydoc
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
1.96/5  rDev -48.8%
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.

 541 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

almost more like an imperial irish red than a barleywine. pours a hazy dark red color with a decent white head. smells like an irish red, with a lot of dusty amber malts and a dry yeast variety. flavor is similar, but with just a hint of alcoholic sweetness characteristic of a barleywine. i would never ever guess this beer was ten percent. ever. mouthfeel is really weird, its almost flat. not from lack of carbonation exactly, but from lack of change from start to finish. it just sort of sits there doing nothing. i dont know, its not right in a way. almost dull in the mouth, but strong burn when you hold it in. hard to explain. overall a cool brew, but not a barleywine as i conceptualize them

 700 characters

Photo of spycow
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Hogtownharry: Poured a nice burgundy color ale with an above average foamy head with good retention. Aroma of sweet malt and some powerful hops. Taste has some caramel malt with some sweetness reminiscent of plums with an aftertaste that has some citrusy hops. Body is a bit too light for the style IMHO and alcohol was well hidden. Not bad overall but I generally like my barleywine to be more malt base then a hoppy affair.

 444 characters

Photo of largadeer
3.6/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance - Copper-colored with a hazy body and quite a bit of sediment floating around. The head disappears pretty quickly, but it's typical of a barleywine.

Smell - Fruitcake, brown sugar and caramel. Noticeable alcohol, but it's not unwelcome.

Taste - Sweet and bold with a dried fruit character (apricots, peaches). Notes of brown sugar and pineapple. More hops than the nose implies; it's nicely balanced with a long, bitter finish.

Mouthfeel - Slick and full-bodied, this stuff really clings to the palate. Gentle carbonation from bottle conditioning.

Notes - A quality barleywine from a fairly consistent brewery. Worth trying, especially for the price.

 665 characters

Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

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!

 942 characters

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.

 1,035 characters

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.

 463 characters

Photo of billab914
4.06/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured in to my Dogfish snifter. It had a great looking dark ruby color to it when held up to the light. A thin, frothy head covers the top of the beer. Good head retention and lacing as I drank it. The color was really awesome though.

The aroma has a rich maltiness to it with notes of caramel, toffee and chocolate malts. For an American version, it's a little more reserved in the hoppiness department but I do get a little citrus hops in it.

The taste shows a lot of really nice malty flavors to it as well. I get more caramel to it with some brown sugar sweetness and some toasted malts. Again, the hoppiness is pretty reserved but does seem to give it some good balancing bitterness in the finish.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with carbonation being on the lower side. Overall, I thought it was a very good version of the style. I really liked that even though it's an American version the malts still seemed like the star of the show. Very enjoyable beer to sip on this afternoon.

 1,006 characters

Photo of wethorseblanket
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%

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

 650 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle - $7.49 at Hop City in Atlanta, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a hazed, dark amber-orange body with just-off-white, sudsy head that settles out in a few minutes.

Smell: Appreciably sweetish, fairly malty, but with a good whiff of exposed alcohol as some aromatic notes of dried herbs, citrus, and tropical fruits flutter by.

Taste: Decidedly sweet caramel and toffee atop toasted grains and given a not necessarily needed dose of Domino-brand confectioners sugar. Flash of golden raisin. Hoppy tastes of orange and mango splashed with Rémy Martin and curt resins. Moderately bitter throughout. A sip of oversteeped tea, more raw sugar, and a fair amount of peppery alcohol leading to and beyond the bitter, drying finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation. Some small touch of stickiness.

Overall: Old Blarney is a barleywine blended up with a good degree of bitterness. It's a decent brew. Not great, but good.

 943 characters

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

"Baloney is the unvarnished lie laid on so thick you hate it. Blarney is flattery laid on so thin you love it."

--Fulton J. Sheen

Murky cherry caramel beneath a dense cap of orange juice soaked brown sugar. I'm happy to see half the snifter fill with foam and I'm equally happy to see its laziness in departing. A few swirls of sudsy lace don't hang around nearly as long. I like the darker, more turbid than usual appearance.

Although it isn't catapulting out of the glass, the nose is powerful enough to get the job done. Old Barley is big on sweet caramel, with a less than impressive hoppiness. That's probably because this bomber is an estimated three years of age. A hint of well-incorporated alcohol shouldn't be a problem on the palate.

In spite of its (estimated) advanced age, this is still a powerfully delicious ale. My impressions from the nose are borne out on the taste buds. Little tributaries of Calvados (apple brandy) flow into a sticky river of melted caramel and pureed brown fruits; ripe figs especially.

I wish I knew ahead of time which barleywines to drink fresh and which ones to drink aged. As far as I can tell, this one is in its sweet spot right about now. If more brewers put bottling dates on their labels, I'd be able to tell when 'right about now' is in the terms of Old Blarney's lifespan.

There's still a decent amount of bitter hoppiness left over. The finish, especially, is where the hopheads will get their fix. There's no question that alcohol is a contributing member of the flavor profile. However, nearly all of the heat has gone by the wayside, leaving nothing but a considerable amount of belly warming... that eventually becomes extremity warming.

If I had one wish, I'd ask for a slightly bigger mouthfeel. A beer this caramel-like deserves a more caramel-like viscosity. It's more than adequate, especially as it sits, but I see a little room for improvement. Now that I think about it, age may be playing a factor.

Moylan's brews a whole slew of good beer. I'm happy to report that Old Blarney Barleywine Style Ale is among their best. A fresh bomber might be too much of an alcohol bomb, so I'm glad I cracked the crown on this bottle when I did. If you like barleywines and don't suffer from poor impulse control, cellar a few of these beauties and then reap your reward.

 2,350 characters

Photo of drewone
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of mikesgroove
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Twenty Two ounce bomber that was acquired via the last Barley wine BIF. Been sitting in the fridge for a couple months, so I figured it was time to crack it. Let it warm up to room temperature and decanted into an oversized wine glass. Consumed on 07/29/2008

The pour was nice, a light golden brown with a hint of amber to it. On the lighter side for a Barley wine for sure. A nice semi off white head of lace which reached a height of about 2 inches before settling down to just a thin film across the top. Rich side glass lace deposited some nice amounts down the side as it went and some good carbonation could be seen streaming skyward.

The aroma was very sweet. Lots of caramel malts and dark fruits playing around in here. Light hoppiness in the initial aroma, but it was soon overtaken by very nice earthy and grain like properties. The initial wave of the taste was dominated by an earthy hoppiness that literally drown out everything else, nice and bitter with a decidedly bready middle to it. This then morphed seamlessly into a nice dark fig like taste that then carried the rest of it through. There were some touches of pine, and rum soaked raisins in the back, but nothing terribly out of the ordinary. I have to say through this just did not blow me away. The alcohol was extremely well hidden and this made for an easy sipper, but there was nothing that really stuck out to me. Nice medium bodied ale with good carbonation though kept the profile feeling just about right the entire time.

Overall not bad, but really quite forgettable. I have had much better barley wines, and this came in good, don't get me wrong, but I was really looking for a little bit more out of it. Still though more then a solid call and something I would not mind going back to again.

 1,780 characters

Photo of womencantsail
3.31/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: The pour is copper/dark amber in color with a soapy looking tan head.

S: The nose is sort of a bland, uninteresting blend of brown sugar, molasses, caramel, and toasted malts and bread. Perhaps there are some dark fruits in there too, but it's a bit of a reach.

T: Typical, basic barleywine flavors here. Bread forward malts with some caramel, toffee, and a lot of toasted malt flavors. There's a moderate level of hop bitterness and some hints of alcohol.

M: The body is nothing too out of the ordinary: medium, and the carbonation is moderate as well.

D: Not a bad beer at all, but there's not too much about it that is interesting either. No real reason to come back to this one with so many other good barleywines out there.

 735 characters

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

Gift from Bruce, thanks for the opportunity!
Pours a slightly hazy golden brown with a smallish tan head that persists for bit before leaving spotty lace on the glass. Aromas of dark sugars and fruits with brown sugar, caramel, cherry, plum, and orange providing the bulk of the nose. The flavor is sweet with brown sugar and caramel and lots of rich juicy dark fruits. A touch of alcohol and a bit of earthy citrus hops provide a nice balance to mix. Medium to thick body with a light to moderate level of carbonation and a sweet fruity slick mouthfeel. This a very nice barleywine, its very smooth and tasty, I'm surprised its flown so far under the radar until now.

 669 characters

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.

 480 characters

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Old Blarney Barleywine from Moylan's Brewery
Beer rating: 3.83 out of 5 with 347 ratings
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