Saturday, January 30, 2010

Dogfish Head: Olde School Barley Wine

I figured I'd take a break from the stouts for a little while and try something outside my typical diet of ambers and pales (and stouts). I haven't had a barley wine in quite some time, but Dogfish is generally a safe pick, so I grabbed their "Olde School."

Unfortunately, Dogfish scored less than a ringer on this one. I give them some props for managing to pull off a 15% ABV brew, but like their 120 minute IPA, this one is way too sweet for my tastes. The predominant flavor is a vaguely fruity malt flavor, and while there is a reasonable amount of hops in here, it's completely overpowered by the other flavors. What's more, the sweetness sticks around on your tongue for quite a while with this one, which--combined with the alcohol taste--leaves you feeling like maybe you should be reaching for a chaser.

Barley wines are supposed to be big, unorthodox, and bold in flavor. But if it's a flavor that your not particularly fond of, bold can be bad. I applaud Dogfish for their willingness to push the limits of brewing, but this is one that I don't think I'll be seeking out again.

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