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.