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Beer Review:
Dogfish Head Olde School
Milton, Delaware, USA
By: George Zhen

January 20, 2005

(Luqa, Malta) - At this point, regular readers may have realized that the Hopper Crew has a soft spot for the fine brewed beverages of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery of Milton, DE here in the US. You must forgive us, especially those of you in Europe and elsewhere who can't get this beer. It is especially good and we love pretty much everything they do. It is something that is endearing about our country, and to us it represents the "good side" of what we can be. An innovative blend of capitalism, style and conscience. Imagine that.

So, as we were in Malta without so much as a Budweiser available to us, we dug back into the hidden cooler and found this 4-pack of barley-style ale from Dogfish called Olde School. Expensive, high in alcohol and dubbed as a "barley-wine style ale". Interesting. Heck, it's Dogfish, it must be good!

Opening this beer, one realizes that this is not so much a traditional beer as a real craft brew of sorts. It smells sweet and complex, and as usual with DFH, the alcohol is masked pretty well. The color is a medium rose-like golden peach with a minimal head that leaves the sides clean - no real lacing to speak of. Not a traditional beer performer here with it's tight, little bubbles, but interesting nonetheless.

The scent and flavors of sweetness are enough to discourage the regular beer drinker, but there seems to be enough hops to balance the taste out nicely. The big malt taste is bracketed with tinges of sweet sugar, vanilla and other sweet,wine-like flavors, all of which are brought back to beerdom by the unobtrusive presence of hops. Very nice to drink. In fact, it is, like most things Dogfish, DANGEROUSLY drinkable.

Why so dangerous. 15% ABV, that's why! This is the most potent brew we have sampled to date, and man, you best be careful with this one, mate. Split this 4-pack up with a friend unless you want to pay for it the next day. It drinks so nicely that the temptation to ingest more can be overpowering. Nothing wrong with that, as long as you have a driver and a day blocked out on the calendar.

One of our goals is to become Dogfish Head completists, sampling each and every brew they craft. We have a long way to go, but Olde School Barleywine Ale measures up to everything DFH has come to represent. Now if we could only figure out a way to share this most amazing brew with the rest of you!

Beer Tasting Scorecard
Dogfish Head Olde School
Attribute Score
Head 3
Color 5
Taste 5
Flavor 5
Effect 5
Overall Score 4.6

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