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Ol' Fog Burner - Garrison Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Ol' Fog BurnerOl' Fog Burner

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

42 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 42
Reviews: 33
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 11.05%
Wants: 12
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Garrison Brewing Company visit their website
Nova Scotia, Canada

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  11.30% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes/Commercial Description:
The biggest of all beers, "Ol' Fog Burner" Barley Wine is an exceptionally mellow and complex ale. It's tawny copper colour and subtle sweet spiciness transcend boundaries and expectations. Suitable for cellaring.

60 IBU

(Beer added by: Seanstoppable on 04-24-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 42 | Reviews: 33 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by ThatWineGuy:
Photo of ThatWineGuy

Ontario (Canada)

4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased during the summer of 2009 when the family and I visited Halifax for the Tall Ships and to see my nephew. Cellared until today, this sample was bottled March 9, 2009, batch 1543/1544; shared today with biegaman.

Poured a murky burnt orange with a strange yellowish-tawny head. Lots of sediment. One finger head slowly receded leaving a ring that lasted only a bit longer. The smell was exquisite in my opinion, with a big caramel and candy apple nose. There are also whiffs of cantaloupe, "Christmassy spices" and rum cake. The smell of this beer is attractive and inviting.

I was also pleasantly surprized by the taste of this cellar-aged barley wine. There are layers of caramel, toffee and hard candy with a smooth and mellow delivery. The alcohol is extremely well incorporated into the presentation, very palatable, just the right amount of sweetness ... overall delicious! Substantial body is not the least bit overbearing.

While I'm not the biggest barley wine fan, I must say that this is one I truly enjoyed and, given the chance, I'd take at least six home with me next time.

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2011 22:13:39 | More by ThatWineGuy
More User Reviews:
Photo of Jeffry-Mazerolle

New Brunswick (Canada)

3/5  rDev -22.9%

02-27-2014 20:23:20 | More by Jeffry-Mazerolle
Photo of johnnnniee

New Hampshire

3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

11-10-2013 16:40:11 | More by johnnnniee
Photo of spinrsx

Ontario (Canada)

3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

500ml Bottle received in trade with cfrancis - thanks! Bottled Feb 2010

Appearance - Hazy brown colour with a small size frothy beige coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation showing and there is some fair lacing. The head lasted for around 2-3 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, caramel/butterscotch, dark fruits, booze

Taste & Mouth - There is a below average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, sweet butterscotch/caramel, and dark fruits. There is also some hops and some leathery/earthy notes.

Overall - Excellent stuff. 2010 bottle date and drinking wonderfully. It has some nice deep sweet and boozy notes and still a decent amount of bitterness. Perhaps a little unbalanced, but still very good.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2013 01:22:06 | More by spinrsx
Photo of juliusseizure

New York

4/5  rDev +2.8%

04-15-2013 01:05:49 | More by juliusseizure
Photo of phirleh

Ontario (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev +9.3%

04-04-2013 13:16:51 | More by phirleh
Photo of lgmol

Nova Scotia (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev -10%

04-04-2013 01:05:22 | More by lgmol
Photo of Ivanhoes_Backpack

New Brunswick (Canada)

4.18/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

500ml bottle picked up from the brewery in October poured into a tulip. Bottled March 2nd, 2012 - drank Feb 2013 almost a year later.

A - pours a ruby red, slightly orangey colour, one finger head.
S - very fruity, dates, hints of booze.
T - sweet, fruity, gives way to subtle spice, then bitter hoppinness that lasts on the palate. Very complex.
M - smooth, easy to drink.
O - for 11.3% this is a very drinkable barleywine. Love the look of the beer, the head, the colour... just beautiful! The beer is very complex, and I think the year of aging was excellent. Would love to age some more of these.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2013 20:32:37 | More by Ivanhoes_Backpack
Photo of DaPan

Ontario (Canada)

4/5  rDev +2.8%

02-14-2013 22:07:44 | More by DaPan
Photo of KalanM

British Columbia (Canada)

4/5  rDev +2.8%

11-29-2012 05:47:44 | More by KalanM
Photo of cfalovo97

Ontario (Canada)

2/5  rDev -48.6%

11-06-2012 15:22:52 | More by cfalovo97
Photo of Jeffo


4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Got this bottle last summer from a very generous trader. Lost all my info when my computer crashed, so I don't know who it was anymore. Cheers to whoever it was.

From a 500ml bottle into a snifter
Bottled on 18 January 2011

APPEARANCE: Pours a one finger, medium looking, off-white, cream colored head with decent retention. Head fades to a splotchy wisp. Clear mahogany red with no carbonation evident. A ring remains but leaves no lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Caramel malts, toffee, orange peel and some light citrus notes. Floral hops as well as some brown sugar. Bold and enticing. Lots of booze in there as well.

TASTE: Caramel and toffee sweetness, as well as some nice red fruits, such as raspberries and cherry notes. A dose of floral hops at the swallow, with some nice piney bitterness as well. A big, bold and lingering aftertaste of caramel and toffee sweetness, piney hop bitterness, floral notes, and some spicy alcohol. Very flavorful, complex and surprisingly balanced. Really nice stuff.

PALATE: Medium body and higher levels of carbonation. Creamy enough on the palate, goes down fine with a decent burn at the swallow and finishes relatively mouth-coating. A little light and overly carbonated, but passable.

OVERALL: This was really, really good. Lots of wonderful flavor and a big, bold, enticing nose as well. Unfortunately the palate is a little light for the style, as some more weight and creaminess would really make this a world-class treat. Still, as it is, this is a solid beer worth checking out if you get the chance. Cheers for the beers guys!

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2012 20:05:41 | More by Jeffo
Photo of papat444

Quebec (Canada)

3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

***2010 Vintage (bottled Feb. 17)***

Thanks to cjbmcdon for this one.

Poured from a 500ml. bottle, batch #'s 1788/1789/1790 on the label.

Appearance: A deep brown body with muddy red tints, like dark honey. Thick, frothy head (light tan) and thick coats of lacing.

Smell: Pungent aroma of raisins, cinnamon, caramel and spices.

Taste: Caramel, spicy, brown sugar, dash of cinnamon, some dried fruits and as it warms, leans towards a wood/leather flavor. Good but i found the spices got a bit in the way.

Mouthfeel: Bitterness plays a part, especially as it warms which makes it a bit harsh. Low carbonation and smooth but the heat is felt a bit.

Overall: Rich and pleasant at first but as it goes on, it gets to be a bit of a chore. I'm torn because it is good but also heavy. I've had higher ABV beers that drank easier. A 341ml. bottle would have been enough.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2012 12:20:24 | More by papat444
Photo of chickenm

British Columbia (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

11-20-2011 02:25:58 | More by chickenm
Photo of biggsbowler


3.6/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle - This was a pretty good barley wine. Between the caramel, chocolate, and coffee in the taste and smell, I felt like I was drink a coke. Ver malty, but with equal amounts of aromatic citrusy floral hops to balance it out.The body was medium and highly carbonated. This is my first barley wine from Canada and I have to say they did a nice job here.

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2011 13:21:47 | More by biggsbowler
Photo of jrenihan

Ontario (Canada)

4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled Jan 18, 2011.

Beer is a rather unusual maroon colour, quite reddish with brown aspects. A moderately sized beige head dissipates at a fair pace. Very little lacing.

Smell is very nice. Strong caramel malt, fruit scents (cherry is most noticeable for me) and a noticeable scent of alcohol. Quite strong and enveloping.

Taste is good, but not quite on par with the scent. The caramel malt is potent, the fruit flavours present but not as strong as the nose. Also, a little more fig and grape than cherry. The alcohol is very strong, which does obscure some of the rest of the flavours. Quite sweet. Finish is very boozy. Good beer, but I imagine it would be better with some age on it to allow it to cool down a bit.

Full bodied, moderate to low carbonation. Alcohol does burn a little. Otherwise quite a silky beer.

Quite a nice barleywine, but a lttle on the hot side. Would like to age one for awhile.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2011 02:14:03 | More by jrenihan
Photo of JohnnyBarman

Ontario (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tall bottle shared with friends as part of a Best of Nova Scotia beer tasting. Poured into the deepest wine goblets we could find.

Pours a rich amber-copper, like a rich honey. Clear, leaves a nice thick head, thin ring survives, bit of lacing.

Nose is rich and glorious: caramel, bread, toffee, chocolate, cherry, brandy, sherry, grape and a bit of booze. Very pleasant.

An incredibly balanced and delightful barleywine. Malty, nice big fruit and sugary notes, with a nice brandy and sherry booze character. A joy to slowly sip over the course of an evening.

Feels like a lightly carbonated sherry, low carbonation and thin bodied. Slick.

A stand up barleywine - wish I had more to enjoy as summer turns into fall and the nights become colder. A wonderful introduction to the style. No ageing really required - this was a relatively fresh bottle from this year's batch, but a year in the cellar couldn't hurt.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2011 03:48:54 | More by JohnnyBarman
Photo of biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 03/09/09 and sampled 18/08/11. Thanks Dad!

As is typical for a bottle-conditioned beer, the second pour looks drastically different from the first. What begins a candy-apple red becomes a butterscotch brown and what was clear and lambent becomes absolutely turbid. Having seen both, I can fairly split the different (even despite the fact that what's in my glass now gives the term “blah” new meaning).

This bouquet is sweeter than any dessert you care to name and every bit as sexy as any swimsuit model; candied cherry and butterscotch liqueur resound with decadent richness. If I could capture this in a recipe I'd have the the world's best coffee cake. Alcohol esters are noted but are pacified enough so as to lend complexity without singing any nose hairs.

Two plus years of aging may have tamed the beer, but it hasn't stripped it of its luster; a bounty of flavour inundates with every sip, from the initial chilled state right into the room temperature period. Leathery dried prunes and cherries are met with toffee pudding, as the flavour department abounds with sweetness. The alcohol has a brandy-like complexity.

What I look for in a barleywine is a sweet, slow sipper with a wealth of flavour - and that easily describes Ol' Fog Burner. It is potent enough to force you to take your time but not so much so so as to make the 500ml impractical. Indeed, the fruity, drying, toffee-ish and somewhat pine-y resin that seeps into the gums on the finish is almost enslaving.

Beers are like pillows: the best ones are which ever ones work best for you. Some like their barleywines hoppier, some maltier, some stronger and some more mild; Ol' Fog Burner strikes a good compromise between all camps and is definitely the kind of beer that I, personally, could cuddle into bed (or at least the cold cellar) with. Next time I see it I'll buy at least 3.

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2011 22:25:45 | More by biegaman
Photo of joemcgrath27

Alberta (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

from notes...
A - Deep ruby brown clear, generous head dissipated slowly
S - Brown sugar, butter, sweet apple and grape, and fresh toasted bread
T - Thick sweet molases, grape jelly, burnt sugars, earthy hoppiness, with an alcohol sweetness in full swing but the kick well in check
M - Thick and creamy to start, thins and drys with alcohol presence
O - this is a big brew that put me on my ass in short order, very flavourful with the alcohol flavour well integrated without being a burden, will definitely buy this again

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2011 04:24:07 | More by joemcgrath27
Photo of Yoonisaykul

Quebec (Canada)

4.4/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Feb 2010 Vintage. 10.4% Given to me by bobsy!

Opened using my (hopefully soon to be trusty) Taps magazine butterlfy opener. First beer ever poured into my Taps snifter which is actually the recommended type of glassware on the label.

Feeling a little excited.

A- Feels heavy as it pours which I love. Nice khaki head with what seems like a mix between cherywood and amber. Almosgt opaque.

S- Smells great right from the bottle. This seems like a perfect mix of chocolate and orange hoppiness. Like a chocolate orange.. although I don't really like chocolat oranges but this smells great.
Beautiful wafts of alcohol. Some very appropriate darkfruit and other more tropical/orchard fruit which I can't quite put my finger on. Another one of these airfreshener beers you could smell all day.

T- Pretty much like the smell but hops are a little less orange and a little more piney. So rich. A little grassy too in the finish especially. Alcohol is very strong but delicious. Lasting bitter wood and grass in the after-taste. Very sweet, could be sickening to some. Maybe a bit of clove?

M- Right when it entered my mouth... This is thick. I love this type of barleywine. Medium carbonation offering just a bit of tingle but a whole lot of foam. Pretty dry especially considering how sweet it is.

O- This was a terrific experience. The smell and the mouthfeel are exactly what I look forward to when cracking open a barleywine. Alittle muckiness in the taste but that's just because I'm looking for it. I bet this would be very good fresh too.

I'd definitely buy this and recommend it to barleywine lovers. A little surprised to see this is listed as an English Barleywine though..I guess I need to taste more. thanks Rob

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2011 01:15:42 | More by Yoonisaykul
Photo of andrenaline

Ontario (Canada)

4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The 2011 version @ 11.3%... A high hitter indeed!

A - Pours a nice ruby red with a finger of head with solid retention and some sporadic lacing.

S - Slightly ripe with an earthy hop scent to it. Cedar and pine hops dominate with a slight caramel scent on the finish.

T - ABV is surprisingly well hidden, though the alcohol sweetness is still rather present. The earthy hops come through, though they're nicely complemented by some toffee and caramel malts. A tasty barley wine with a delicious hop presence.

M - Medium bodied ale that goes down smooth, and finished with a touch of dryness. Given the bitterness of the ale, I was surprised that this was not more dry.

O - A high quality barley wine and a quality offering of the style. Definitely worth while and am glad I was able to take it for a spin!

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2011 07:13:59 | More by andrenaline
Photo of biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 version, from January 18, and 11.3% ABV this time around. Quite a pleasingly tactile and attractive foil-capped 500ml bottle.

This beer pours a clear, bright red brick amber hue, with three fingers of fine, tight creamy pale beige head, which displays frustratingly sturdy retention, eventually rendering some frozen sea-spray swaths of lace around the glass as it glacially recedes. It smells of caramel toffee, stewed raisins, citrus cream, Fig Newtons, a little bitter pine hops, and a mild alcohol edge. The taste is sweet Toffifay caramel malt, brown sugar syrup, softly boozy bundt cake, a whiff of Yuletide baking spice, and a surprisingly assertive, while at the same time indistinct, bitterness. The carbonation is agreeably subtle, but still noticeable, the body medium-full in weight, nice and smooth, with a crisp creaminess. It finishes still dancing the same extravagantly bittersweet jig - complex, sugary, and sauced malt, entwined with tongue-twitching, zingy hops.

A splendid-tasting barleywine, one which blurs the distinction between the American and English styles, so a few points off for that, even though it is so Canadian, mais non? Remarkably well hidden big booze, and the over-aforementioned balance prove this to be a solid winner.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2011 22:49:44 | More by biboergosum
Photo of BDTyre

British Columbia (Canada)

3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This years version is 11.3%. Bright copper, with a nice fluffy light cream head. Creamy, sweet malts. Caramel, raisins, brown sugar and cinnamon. A little bit of butter too.

The creamy scent is tempered by a decent alcohol burn, and this comes through in the taste. Brandy, raisins, alcohol, rum, bread and caramel all mix in the taste. Oddly enough, I even get a definite green apple taste. It hides in there, but after a few sips it becomes quite noticeable. This actually compliments the other flavours quite well.

Smooth body, though the carbonation is noticeable. Definite alcohol burn. Nicely done, a very nice taste.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2011 06:04:07 | More by BDTyre
Photo of ZorPrime

Quebec (Canada)

4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received in a trade in 2010 with liamt07. Tasted early 2011. This beer was bottled on February 2010.

Tasting notes:

Color is caramel like, brown, thick. Little head, but very dense. Color is a lot like mud. Should be tasty!

Aroma: Intense caramel notes and spices. Very rich in the aroma, complex too. Light notes of burnt. I like this. Tastewise, the beer simply explode in the mouth. Wow, lots of stuff going on and all I like. Spicy caramel. Rich. Warm. Long persisting taste too.

Body is heavy. Alcohol is noticeable just a little. This is a true sipper. Drinkability is good.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2011 17:35:37 | More by ZorPrime
Photo of IronDjinn

Alberta (Canada)

4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 500 ml brown embossed bottle, red foil around neck and cap. 2011 edition. Pours out a stunning clear bright coppery hazelnut hue, creamy beige head that is short but retains.

The aroma is just as mesmerizing as well, caramel, licorice, orange, floral notes, currants and dates. It almost reminds me of Turkish Delight.

Perhaps a bit too sweet for my liking, the flavour otherwise delivers nicely. Sweet toffee and figs up front, floral and fruit characteristics in the middle, with orange zest and smooth rum/raisin on the finish. Quite clean for such a big beer.

Medium-bodied mouthfeel, velvety smooth texture, with moderate carbonation.

This would have utterly won my heart had it not been for the extra sweetness, but even beyond that it is a complex and flavourful English Barleywine that should be sought out, and I'll be definitely picking up more to enjoy. So far my favourite offering from Garrison to this point.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2011 04:20:22 | More by IronDjinn
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Ol' Fog Burner from Garrison Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 42 ratings.