Olde School Barleywine (Aged 2 years) – Dogfish Head Brewery

From Milton, Delaware’s Dogfish Head Brewery comes their “Olde School Barleywine”.  This bottle was brewed around January 2015 and consumed January 2017  The beer pours a deep chestnut brown colour with an off white head.  The aroma consists of dates, figs, brown sugar, toffee, syrup and earth.  The flavour is of dates, figs, dark fruits, brown sugar, toffee, treacle, sweetness, earth, bitterness and alcohol.  The alcohol content comes in at 15% with an IBU of 85.  At 15% this is a huge beer but it is also very tasty and not as boozy as you would expect.  If you can find this buy a few bottles.

Commercial Description: Fermented with dates and figs, this smooth barleywine has a unique flavor.  The concept for this beer came from an old cellerman’s manual Sam came across (for more on that, check out the video below).  At about 15% ABV, this beer is a great candidate for aging. Over time, the beer dries out and the pit fruit flavors come forward and the hops recede. Our recommendation? Grab a few bottles when you find it — enjoy one now, and age the others for a bit. Let us know which you prefer!  For more on the Olde School Barleywine (and our potential Olympic bid… yeah, there really is no connection, but it is in here anyway!), check out our Quick Sip Clip.

Food pairing as per the brewery:  Almond-stuffed dates, pumpernickel, tart cherries, Blue cheese with honey.


Bourbonic Plague (2011 Project) – Cascade Brewing

From Portland Oregon’s Cascade Brewing comes their “Bourbonic Plague (2011 Project)” a North West Sour Ale (porter) consumed in late 2014.  The beer pours a cloudy deep brown with a very small tan head.  The aroma consists of sweet cherries, dates, vanilla and big tartness.  The flavour is of sweet cherries, dates. (very fruity), vanilla, spices, oak, earthy, some roasted malts, leather, tobacco and a sour tart finish.  The alcohol content comes in at a big 11.5%.  This beer is by far the most approachable of any Cascade Brewing beer that I have had.  It was sour to be sure but not as sour as any other beer Cascade Brewing has in their lineup.  This beer is worth every penny and I wish I had more of it!

Commercial Description:  This NW style sour ale is a blend of spiced double porters thta were aged up to 18 months in Heaven Hill Bourbon barrels before aging on dates and spices for up to an additional 12 months.  Complex aromas of dark malts and spices combine with sweet vanillin and notes of Bourbon.  Rich Bourbon, vanillin and dark fruits with notes of dates, oak, leather and tobacco dance on the palate.  Tart dark fruits and a warming Bourbon flavour finish this off as only Bourbonic can.


Southern Cross Belgian Style Red Ale – Hawai’i Nui Brewing

From Hawai’i Nui Brewing out of Hilo, Hawaii (The Big Island) comes their “Southern Cross Belgian Style Red Ale” sold in 650ml bottles.  The beer pours a cloudy amber/brown colour with an off white head.  The aroma consists of dark fruits, caramel, toffee, Belgian yeast and earthy hops.  The flavour of this beer is of dark fruit such as dates, caramel, Belgian yeast, bitter earthy hops with a sweet and sour kick and an ever so slight alcohol kick.  The beer comes in at an alcohol content of 8.3% and an IBU of 58.5.  This beer is quite nice and I tried like heck to find more bottles to bring home and cellar.  As it is I was only able to find one extra bottle.

Description from breweries website:  Originally our winter seasonal brew, Hawai‘i Nui Brewing Southern Cross is now available year-round. As with our other beers, Southern Cross is named for something special here in Hawai‘i. Since the southern sky lacks an easily visible pole star, the vertical axis of the Southern Cross is commonly used to mark south. Southern Cross beer is a Belgian-style Double Red brewed with a Belgian Yeast Strain. Big caramel maltiness and light toffee notes are accented with a subtle citrus character (jackfruit) from the Belgian yeast strain used to ferment this beer.  Goes well with heartier dishes such as pork, duck, or game.

Ingredients:  Simcoe (bittering) and Centennial (Aroma) Hops and Two Row, C-75 and Carapils.

Check out about more Hawaiian beer and where to buy it!


Forgot to take a picture until a little late.  Oops darn holiday drinking!

Dark Island Ale – Orkney Brewery

O’hare’s Beer Club October Box

From Scotland’s Orkney Brewery comes their “Dark Island” Ale.  The beer pours a dark ruby colour with a tan coloured head.  The aroma of this beer is quite nice with roasted malts, chocolate, figs, fruit and toffee on the nose.  The flavour of this beer is quite nice with coffee, chocolate, roasted malts, figs, dates, dried fruit and an aftertaste of hops bitterness.  The brew has an alcohol content on the low side at 4.6% and an IBU of 50.  This beer was very smooth and had a very pleasing flavour.

Key Ingredients
Chocolate malt, crystal malt and wheat give this beer its smooth, full-bodied, maltiness and sweetness; First Gold and Goldings hops combine with the malt flavours to deliver the winter fruits and dried fruits aspects

Food Pairing according to O’hare’s Beer Club notes are as follows: Cedar plank salmon, Pheasant stew

Click here to check out the October Box