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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 Sammy
3.88/5  rDev +1%
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 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 StonedTrippin
3.8/5  rDev -1%
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

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Photo of largadeer
3.6/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
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.

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Photo of oberon
4.23/5  rDev +10.2%
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 NeroFiddled
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%
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 TheManiacalOne
4.35/5  rDev +13.3%
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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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.3/5  rDev +12%
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.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.8/5  rDev -1%
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.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.31/5  rDev -13.8%
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.

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Photo of russpowell
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
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 billab914
4.06/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.55/5  rDev +18.5%
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.

 1,265 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

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Photo of tdm168
3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
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 feloniousmonk
4.65/5  rDev +21.1%
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 Billolick
4.07/5  rDev +6%
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 GClarkage
3.3/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

04/25/06- Purchased at Beverages and More in San Mateo, CA.

Presentation- 22oz bottle. Undated, but know from my files that it was bottled in 2004. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Murky brown in color with a light auburn highlight. Light sediment rests on the bottom of my glass. Much larger head than expected from an aged barleywine. Full inch +. Lacing, however, is pretty nice.

Smell- Smell is very nice. A bit of sweet caramel, chocolate and roasted malt. Maybe add some alcohol coated raisins as well.

Taste- Super dark roasted malts, a not so nice stale taste. Maybe like a very stale batch of peanuts. Also seems a bit chalky. Maybe like a stale batch of malted milk. Hops are there and make the taste a bit more tolerable. Gets a bit better as it's consumed. This bottle had never been chilled. Always kept at 60's temp in the closet.

Mouthfeel- Overcarbonated for a barleywine for sure. Lightly warming and a bit sugary towards the finish.

Drinkability- Won't let this beer keep me from trying this fresh eventually down the line. Not really happy about this bottle, but it was drinkable...but not by much.

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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.

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Photo of WesWes
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark ruby red color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a warm, malty scent that boasts of burnt toffee and caramel malts. It's rich with a mild hop presence. The taste is good. It has a smooth, warming flavor that goes down easy and finishes malty with a nice hop bitterness. It's full of caramel and roasted malts. It has a wonderful burnt toffee taste that is complimented with a nice hoppy flavor. It may be a little too bitter, which lessens the impact of the hops. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is damn good barleywine. It's rich and flavorful and highly drinkable.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

"...a perfect finish to any meal" - bottle label. Well, I just had the #2 at In-N-Out Burger, so this should go well. On to the beer:

Deep brownishy amber color with hues of orange. The headn is somewhat creamy, and holding up well. Moderate firepower in the nose, some toasty notes and a fruity tease, the latter being somewhat syrupy. Toffee emerges as the beer warms. In the mouth, dry, astringent toast and hoppy, piney notes sting the palate. Faiont fruity and peach notes are buried underneath that dominating blanket of flavor. Dry toffee bits too. Alcohol? Yes, it's towards the back, akin to rubbing alcohol. Quite dry overall.

An enjoyable barleywine from Moylan's. This is a beer made for sharing with a partner, not that one person can't enjoy this over a long night.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear clean darkish amber color, some carbonation, tiny head, not much lacing afterwards. Scents of sweet malts, hops, and caramel. The taste is sweet and malty, and pretty hoppy, there's is a nice caramel taste as well. Medium body, a nicely blended brew, well rounded, alcohol is hidden very well. Very drinkable, a nice brew from Moylan's, pretty underratate brewery.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a creamy, three-finger thick, tan colored head the is quite dense; it lingers quite a while and slowly forms a rocky, craggy surface as it slowly subsides back down in to the brew, leaving a layer of Belgian Lacing all the way down. The beer is a rich amber colored hue when held up to the light. It has a few chunks, despite being handled pretty carefully, and the beer is a drab, deep amber-brown color as it sits on my coffee table. The aroma is quite malty, with a sweet edge, a bright fruitiness and a solid toasted malt note towards the end. The aroma is somewhat muted on the hop side of things, at least for an American Barleywine; there is some contribution to the fruitiness (perhaps some black currant notes), and there might be a hint of herbal character. Overall this one is dominated by malt character in the nose.

The taste is quite sweet up front as well; the sweetness carries through to the finish, where, in combination with the alcohol, reminds me a bit of a sweet dark rum. There are definitely some molasses like notes here as well as sweet toffee and caramelized notes. The hops are a bit more evident in the flavor, but again contribute a bit to the fruitiness, some definite soft herbal notes and a bitterness that, while not excessive, provides a nice bite to balance the malt sweetness. The flavors I am picking up from this beer are myriad, let's see if I can pull some out; I get hints of bergamot, a dry toasted barley huskiness in the finish, fruity note of cherries and raisins, almost a honey note as well as lots of other notes that I can't quite pick out. This beer is certainly dominated by carmalized malt flavors, in combination with the sweet, straight-forward malt character, makes for a sipping brew. Speaking of sipping brews, this beer is perhaps not quite as thick as the sweetness level would suggest. It definitely is a hefty brew, but seems to go down pretty easily, at least at this stage (hey what do I know though, the only reason I am drinking this beer in the middle of the night is because I could not fall asleep).

With all the straight forward malt sweetness found in this beer, I would suggest that a bit more hop flavor and hop bitterness would make this more drinkable as a young Barleywine. As it is though this should age pretty well; the sweetness should mellow considerably over the years and the beer should pick up lots of age malt complexity with time as well. I am enjoying this beer now though, I just need to make sure to lay a couple of these puppies down.

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