Olde School Rules

February 21st, 2006 by Kevork

Roughly the color and with the same amount of carbonation as cream soda, Dogfish Head Olde School Barley Wine Ale looks harmless. At $13 a 4 pk and 15% alcohol (not a typo) it is far from it. A ‘howdy doody-esque” character is on the label almost saying, “Hey partner! C’mon over here. There’s nuthin a’matter. Now Drink me. Open me up and drink me!” The greenish-yellow cap with a triangle with an exclamation point is your only warning.

I was shocked at first sip to taste copper. Full on, bit my lip, there’s a penny in my beer copper. I don’t know if this is a common bottling mistake, or if it is another problem; my beer production knowledge is minimal. I decided to let the beer sit for a minute, and whether it dissipated or the alcohol began to wash over me – I don’t know.

This is a crisp and light beer for being such a powerhouse. It has all the finesse of a British pub style ale with the kick of Colt 45. Having tasted the actual Liquor de Malt, I can say that the aftertaste is strikingly similar to that available in ‘glass kegs’. Dogfish Head is a brewery that also creates spirits, so it’s not suprising to come across a beer that tastes like somebody poured gin in it.

I’m sure some find it foul, others find it fun, this beer is unusual and a MUST if you like Barley Wine.

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