Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Review: Dogfish Head Olde School Barleywine (2011)

Dogfish Head Olde School Barleywine (2011 edition)
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Milton, DE
12 oz bottle
Served in Dogfish Head Signature Glass
Date on bottle: Bottled in 2011 (purchased 10/2011; aged 1 year, 1 month)
Reviewed on 12/1/12 

This barleywine pours a hazy golden amber color with a thin bubbly off-white head with moderately good retention.  Not much carbonation. Good lacing.

On the nose, malt and alcohol are the upfront, dominant aromas.  Slight caramel, slight whiskey, slight grape-like fruitiness, with some hints of bread and yeast.

On the palate, malt, caramel, and alcohol are the dominant flavors coming through, with some whiskey and even some slight hops coming through more on the back end.  Mild notes of fruit.  Some sugariness coming through as well.

Mouthfeel is a bit harsh with the prevalent alcohol taste.  There's some decent bitterness, with a touch of dryness.  After some time and a few sips, a good smoothness emerges beneath the alcohol.

Overall, a quite strong, interesting barleywine that has some decent tastes beneath a hot alcohol taste at the front.  As far as my memory goes, this beer has mellowed a bit over the last year, and it would be interesting to see what it would be like after two years of aging.  Beyond the alcohol and malt flavors, caramel, whiskey, and some fruity notes come through and give it a neat and distinguishable profile.  A nice one to savor.  Nowhere near being sessionable (no surprise given the ABV).

Score: 92

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