Feb 4, 2009

2007 Pike Brewing Old Bawdy

Last week I received a package from Pike Brewing after the announcement of their 20th anniversary and launch of the 2008 Old Bawdy Barleywine. Expecting a bottle of that specific release I torn open the packaging to find two bottles — neither from the 2008 batch. To my surprise there was a large 2007 and a smaller 2006 packed lovingly in bubble wrap. Obviously, I was giddy like a school girl (sorry for any mental images and resulting distress that may induce).

Beer Label: Pike Brewing

My only worry, however, was the ability to compare these aged versions to the more recent, younger bottling. That concern was fleeting at best and quickly evaporated this past weekend as I opened up the 2007 during Sunday’s Super Bowl.


The Old Bawdy poured a dark amber in color with a reddish tint. The small head disappeared quickly to only a wispy, patchy lacing.


The nose wasn’t as aggressive as some of the older Barleywines I’ve had recently, instead only hinting at subtle fruits (pear and orange peel) and soft caramel malt characteristics. There’s is a healthy sweetness in the nose that gave me the impression that this one was going to be on the syrupy side.


The first thing I noticed with the initial sip was that the beer came across as nearly flat. It wasn’t completely lifeless, but it certainly was slick with only the slightest carbonated tingle. That certainly didn’t deter me from enjoying the beer. The alcohol presence (10% ABV) is definitely there, but is not overbearing. The taste is pretty much on line with the aroma: decent pear and orange notes along with the caramel sweetness. There’s also a nice, yet slight, hope bitterness in the finish.


I’m not sure if I was still stoked on getting a couple of vintage bottles, but I really enjoyed this one. It’s not as complex or as demanding of your attention as some Barleywines, but it’s balance and character make it a thoroughly drinkable brew. The bottle that I enjoyed during the game proved to be a lovely sipper that left me warm and comfortable.

I’ll be enjoying the 2006 bottling this weekend, that’s for sure.

Rating: 3.5/5

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