Pike Old Bawdy Barley Wine

February 3rd, 2009 · No Comments · Beer Reviews, Washington Breweries

For yesterday’s bi-weekly beer review in the P-I (which may soon be ending, as many of you know), my submission was for the Pike Old Bawdy Barley Wine:

For those not familiar with barley wine, the name is derived from the high alcohol content found in these beers. The Pike Brewing Co. (in the Pike Place Market) first introduced Old Bawdy in 1991, and the beer is named after one of Seattle’s early bawdy houses (brothels) that used to occupy the same space where the brewery was founded.

Old Bawdy pours a gorgeous copper color topped with abundant foam. The taste is a mix of sweet caramel malt that is balanced with enough hops to more than match up with the 10 percent alcohol by volume. For such high alcohol content, the beer is quite smooth.

The Old Bawdy ages well; it is really at its prime with one or two years on it. The 2008 vintage costs about $9.99 per 22-ounce bottle, and Pike also has recently released limited bottles from 2006 and ’07. For the ultimate tasting experience, try Pike’s vertical tasting of Old Bawdy, including six vintages, on Feb. 8.

I’m a big fan of the Old Bawdy, and I’d highly suggest going to the veritical tasting on Feb 8 at the Pike Pub (details on the event calendar). I went to a similar tasting at the pub last year, and it was a pleasure to taste various older vintages. I’m guessing we’ll see some older vintages, and maybe another Oak Aged Old Bawdy at the upcoming Barley Wine festivals around town as well.

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