Beer Profile: Olde School

Profiled by Ken Carman

Dog Fish Head’s Olde School
abv 15%
Milton and Rehoboth, Delaware

Damn. I hate to do this. Dog Fish has become such an icon as of late, and I’m a big barleywine fan. In fact, despite all the hoopla that usually turns me off, I like a lot of what DF does. Their 120 is magnifico. But this is just not right. I will let the bottles in the 4 pack age, maybe that will improve the taste.

The problem here is too little malt, too much alc for that amount of malt and a cloying sense that speaks of unfermentables and hops out of whack. Essentially: out of balance. The carmelized sense I get also seems out of place.

Has the taste of raisins. Liquid raisin wine. Says on site “fermented with dates and figs.” Well, that explains the raisin-like sense. But it dominates, in my opinion. Says, as it ages, the fruit will come out more. Please, no?

Yellow, light head: very promising. But it falls down to the taste. Am I getting acetaldhyde here? Not to the nose, but maybe to the taste: sour apples… perhaps. If not apples, definitely some inappropriate sour and just a wee acidic. And I do wonder if some of this may be a hop problem. There are some hops that could exacerbate the brassy, sour, apple-raisin sense.

The 15% would also be less imposing with more of a malt sense.

I recommend Old Foghorn or Bigfoot. This one misses the mark. If I remember, I’ll do another profile with 6 months of dust or so on the bottles.