Ol' Fog Burner - Garrison Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Ol' Fog BurnerOl' Fog Burner

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

47 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 47
Reviews: 34
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 10.46%
Wants: 15
Gots: 7 | 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:
Beer added by: Seanstoppable on 04-24-2009

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 47 | Reviews: 34
Reviews by biggsbowler:
Photo of biggsbowler
3.62/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

More User Reviews:
Photo of JohnnyBarman
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

Photo of biboergosum
4.23/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

Photo of Sammy
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2009 version, it may not have aged optimally even over such a short period in its long expected life. Unfiltered look. Taste, a little spicey. Sugar sweet aroma.A tad above average mouthfeel. Hits the style, an above average beer though unexceptional.
Thanks Liam.

Photo of Yoonisaykul
4.44/5  rDev +13.3%
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

Photo of joemcgrath27
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
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

Photo of Mandrake
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber, nearly blood red, with a very nice cream coloured head that lasts well, given the style, and leaves a bit of lacing. Smell is quite fruity, dates and prunes, with a strong note of molasses and some spiciness. Sweet, not overwhelmingly complicated or powerful. Taste is a bit out of whack, too much caramel and not enough fruit or hops, with a definite note of alcohol. Mouthfeel is undercarbonated, and the body not quite full enough for my liking, and drinkability is good enough, given the style, but not great. A middling effort which should have been much better.

Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep copper color ale with a light foamy head with some retention and minimal lacing. Aroma of dry fruits with distinctive notes of plums and figs with some well balanced sweetness. Taste is also a quite complex mix between some dry plums and figs with notes of balanced sweet caramel malt. Body is about average with good carbonation and no signs of alcohol. Very well done overall and glad that brewer still see the point of brewing barleywine without throwing a ton of hops at them.

Photo of ZorPrime
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

Photo of IronDjinn
4.18/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

Photo of papat444
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

Photo of spinrsx
3.89/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

Photo of liamt07
4.16/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from Long813 a while back, 2010 vintage. Bottled on Feb 17, 2010, batches 1788-1790. Into a snifter.

Poured a brilliant orange-red, with some darker browns intermingled. Cream coloured head that lasts forever, huge lacing. Great looking beer. Big notes of caramelized dark fruits, caramel malts, candy corn, brown sugar. Very sweet all around. Taste has some bigger toffee flavours, more raisin and bigger dark fruits to be found deeper. More brown sugar and a prevalent sweetness throughout. Huge malt offering overall. Just above medium carbonation. Fantastic drinkability; this has sat in my cellar for about a year and there's no hint of alcohol. That is, until I tried to stand up.

Re-reviewed with a 2009 vintage, shared with Sammy and Steve. Batches 1533-1544, into a tulip. Similar appearance as above, nose has big caramel and toffee, huge maltiness. Taste has rich dark fruits with some subtle alcohol. Quite sweet. Didn't age gracefully, I preferred the 2010 vintage (4-4-3.5-4-3.5)

Re-reviewed with a 2011 vintage, into a tulip. Consumed alongside with Glenora barrel aged version. Bottled Jan 18, 2011 - batches 2094-2096. Appearance still the same, moderate retention and light lace. Nose of plummy dark fruits, molasses, briwn sugar, syrup, toffee and caramel. Some alcohol. Taste has tootsie, toffee brown sugar and more plummy dark fruits. Chocolate peeks in in the finish. Medium full, sticky and enough alcohol. Quite tasty. 45/4/4/4/4

Photo of ludachris
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled February 17, 2010

Pours a marvellous scarlett red hue that hazed by a strong amount of carbonation and bits of sediment that float lazily in no one direction. One finger of creamy beige head tops this beer displaying great retention (considering the ABV) and leaving a pleasing amount of webbed lace.

The nose is complex with notes of caramel, toffee, brown sugar, and hints of vanilla meshing with candied and chewy fruits such as raisons, grapefruit, and even some sugar coated pears.

Sweet and syrupy on the palate with the caramel, vanilla, and brown sugar notes really taking prominence but being nicely balanced with a subtle dose of grapefruity bitterness that sits at the back of the tongue, lingering in the end as the rest of the fruity notes, which play as more of a backbone, die out.

Heavy, syrupy, and very rich in the mouth. A good balance is struck amongst its great depth and complexity, and the 10.4% ABV makes itself only detectable in the warming feel in the stomach. I cracked this one open a half an hour ago and I'm not sure I'm even half way done. This is the epitome of a sipper in my books.

I'm still very new to the Barleywine style, but didn't find it too hard to enjoy this one. I still have an '09 in my cellar and I'm excited to see how it will age over the next couple of years.

Photo of nighthawk
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500mL bottle with vintage and batch number clearly marked on label. Poured into pint glass.

Ruby to plum body with copper hues, almost clear, with a generous off-white (faintly yellow) head. Reduces to a thin ring that has good retention.

Toffee and alcohol predominant on the nose, with mild spice like pepper or sharp cinnamon.

Mild fruity taste at first (reminiscent of plum and dark cherry), then kicks it up with a sweet caramel and alcohol blast. Mild spiciness near the middle. Potent, yet mellow. When the beer warmed even more, I noticed a leafy, slightly bitter taste on the finish.

Sticky mouthfeel, but not heavy, with light bubbly carbonation. Alcohol's evident on the finish.

A sipper, certainly nice to chase away the fog and rain on a cold spring evening...but it'll put some fog in your head. Drink at cellar or warmer; this beer's a beast when served cool. Seems to hit all the points of a barleywine, but feels somewheat middle-of-the-road.

Edit: Cracked open a bottle at about 6 months. This beer matures wonderfully, mellowing and really letting that sweet fruitiness come through.

Photo of sweemzander
4.24/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

500mL bottle poured into a snifter. Bottled on March 09, 2009.
Huge thanks to whomever gave this to me, it was so long ago I cannot remember who.

(A)- Pours a murky yet pale blush red/mahogany color that produced a low layer of off-white colored bubbles.

(S)- A rich fig/raisin/toffee sweetness with just a tiny bit of cranberry fruit in the background. Bits of honey too.

(T)- Same as the smell. Has a good rich malty background with a bit of candied vanilla-ish fruit and a light bitterness at the end.

(M)- A good carbonation level and balance. Malty, but has just the right amount of hop bitterness to balance it just right. Has a nice light tart cranberry fruit that creates another nice complexity into the mix. Smooth, but with the right amount of warmth for the style and 10.3%ABV.

(D)- Personally for me, English style Barleywines have been really hit or miss. However, this guy has all the right stuff. Great malt mouthfeel with a great balance and fruit character. I am surprised that this has so few reviews; seek this one out Barleywine lovers!

Photo of Long813
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dated: March 09, 2009
From: Garrison Brewery

A: Dark murky dark body with one inch of off white head. Retention is poor and leaves little lacing.

S: Sweet but mild mixture of caramel, toffee and brown sugar. Figs are also in the mixture and some hops.

T: Mellow, but good. Sweet malty base with figs and a touch of hops. Much more fig character then I'm use to.

M: Medium bodied and medium carbonation. Although it's well bodied, it still has a water like texture. Alcohol has subdued quite a bit and is only slightly noticeable. Leaves a hot malt finish.

D: Aged for a little while and this not bad! I'll be testing this years batch up later on. Nice one Garrison. Sipper for sure.

Photo of Derek
4.11/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled March 9, 2009.

A: Deep copper with a frothy, light tan head. Excellent retention & lacing. Exceptional for a brew of this strength.

S: A musty, earthy aroma followed by sweet caramel, figs, brown sugar & orange rind.

T: Sweet caramel, toffee, nut, figs, brown sugar, sherry, earthy orange-rind, good bitterness, alcohol is remarkably well-hidden.

M: Fairly full body has some residual sweetness; modest carbonation, smooth & creamy.

D: Highly drinkable for a brew of this strength.

Photo of jrenihan
4.09/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

Photo of lgmol
3.82/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

The 2015 version is more vigorously hopped than in the past. It is the first time that it has been dry-hopped. It also finishes drier than in previous years. Right now it is tasting more like a really big DIPA. The hops are pretty piney but not altogether unpleasant. Interested to see how this one ages.

Photo of grover37
3.47/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

500ml bottle purchased from the brewery in July '10. Drank almost exactly a year old on 2/18/11, bottle on 2/17/10.

Appearance (4): Clear, very dark red or mahogany. About a finger of cream head reduces to a ring and a big patch that goes away eventually.

Smell (4.5): Strong caramel and toffee. Some sweet orange mixes with bitter grapefruit along with some darker fruit like raisin or plum and a touch of ethanol.

Taste (3.5): A bit of the fruitiness up front with some bitterness and then comes the caramel and toffee shortly thereafter. The middle is a bit sweeter caramel and the finish is very sweet, almost too much so, with the toffee flavor lingering for awhile.

Mouthfeel (3.5): Medium to full bodied and low carbonation. A bit slick on the palate but very sticky and a bit cloying in the finish.

Drinkability (2): This is not oen to drink all night. I split the bomber and it's taking me a while just to finish 8oz or so. It's a pretty good barleywine, particularly with 12 months on it, but still too sweet.

Photo of andrenaline
4/5  rDev +2%
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!

Photo of PEIBeerGuy
4.45/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This O'l Fog Burner from Garrison looks great. It has an interesting, cloudy, orange-brown colour. The head starts slowly, but rises high and fast enough to stop the pour. A tall, amber head forms and lowers, leaving no real lacing on the glass.

The smell is great. I expected something sharp, but it's quite pleasant, and surprisingly like a strong IPA. You can smell sweet toffee, fruits like pineapple and orange, even a bit of coffee. Just a hint of alcohol.

It has more of an interesting flavour than I expected, too... it starts off tasting like an IPA, with pineapple (it reminds me a fair bit of BrewDog's Hardcore IPA), but with a bit of an alcoholic taste & feel on the sides of the tongue. It's bitter, but not so much in the finish. The bitterness doesn't last long, which is nice. Toffee/malt flavours, and a bit of a roasted quality. Just a hint of roasted coffee on the exhale. The aftertaste is only slight, and the bitterness / alcohol doesn't linger.

The feel is a bit fizzy at first... like a burst of it. The bitterness only lasts a minute longer than the fizz. The alcohol is there in the feel, but not too strongly.

It's quite drinkable, especially for a 10.4% alcohol beer! I also like the fact that, on a bit of an empty stomach, it left me with a bit of a buzz! ;)

Photo of wordemupg
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle poured into chalice may9 2010

A deep ruby red with a few bubbles slowly floating up to a fast falling two finger head that left good lace while it lasted

S heavy caramel and brown sugar with some candied fruit

T again all I smell but a touch of booze but considering it's 10.4%alc the liquors well concealed, I also pick up on a little nut and honey

M thick and syrupy with enough carbonation to fluff it up a bit as it enters your mouth, quite smooth and makes you lips stick together just a tad.

D I like this beer a fair bit but I couldn't see myself drinking it outside of spring (Calgary's spring) it's just a little hot but it's a young barley wine after all and I will drink it again

I'm stoked I have another one of these in the mail to cellar because I could see this one doing quite well with some time under the stairs. I have to thank Moniker for sending this bottle out west

Photo of ThatWineGuy
4.29/5  rDev +9.4%
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.

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Ol' Fog Burner from Garrison Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 47 ratings.