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Olde GnarlyWine - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Olde GnarlyWineOlde GnarlyWine

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

904 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 904
Reviews: 616
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 10.29%

Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  10.60% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
2011: 10.6% ABV, 69 IBU

(Beer added by: Todd on 09-22-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 904 | Reviews: 616 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of taylor714914


3.93/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2009 Vintage

Cracked the cap on this with a vigorous pssshhhh. Huge biscuit and honey malts with fruit cake, juicy cherry, and plums. Demererra sugar and honey sweetness are prominent. No alcohol presence in this, and a nice thick chewy mouthfeel. Intense flavors that make for a delicious dessert, but glad I had someone to share the bomber with, as the sweetness could become a bit too much after 12 ounces.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2013 02:00:19 | More by taylor714914
Photo of Libationguy


3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

(Had at the Brewpub. Listed as: Rye Barrel Aged Olde Gnarly Wine).

Hazy, medium-brown with an off-white head. Minimal carbonation. No head at all when served.

Rye bread, camomille tea, kirsch, pipe tobacco, molasses.

Dense on the palate with pipe tobacco, rye, mocha and milk chocolate, kirsch and orange marmalade.

Rich, creamy texture that carries on the palate.

Rich, robust, intense and very dense. Deep full flavor and a very long finish.

Serving type: on-tap

07-08-2013 02:12:42 | More by Libationguy
Photo of bishopdc0


4.19/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

At novare res was given a glass....the color is classic barley wine buy the glass and how it was served, free, definitely. Knock it up. The aroma is sweet caremel toffee butter delicious. The taste matches swwleet up front bit the carel and slight and I men slickeryfht roast come in to smooth the tongue. The finish is slightly ddru but beautiful. The eas a 2011 and is drinking perfect...stupid phone

Serving type: on-tap

04-18-2013 02:34:24 | More by bishopdc0
Photo of matttttYCE


3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

2011 bottle I've had in the cellar for some time.

Medium head and lacing. Off white coloring. Light retention. Slightly murky, ruby-orange liquid. Lots of syrupy and sweet caramel, toffee, brown sugar, dark fruits, hints of booze, bitter, somewhat faded hops, teryaki and soy sauce. The latter two are not detrimental overall, just slightly noticeable. Taste is much of the same barleywine goodness. Sweet, sweet caramel and syrupy toffee and big malts are foremost, with dark fruits, brown sugar, muted hop bite and light citrus flavor. Medium viscous consistency, smooth carbonation, medium-heavy body, and a filmy finish.

Overall this is a good barleywine and I think age is doing it well. Seems like it could easily go much langer before it starts going downhill. Anyways, this is certainly one worth trying.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2013 06:09:36 | More by matttttYCE
Photo of DmanGTR

New York

3.8/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap, review from notes.

Poured deep maple with a touch of clementine in the borders. Brilliantly clear, but nary a head to speak of and looked pretty dead from atop. No bubbles. The smell, however is a different animal. And yes, this is definitely a different animal. Big malts: lots of caramel, less toffee, more biscuit. Barely any bitterness detected, although there is a hint of citrus, maybe a grapefruit zest thrown in. But there is definitely some butter here. Not butterscotch, mind you, but butter. I'm not quite sure what to make of that, but sure, why not? Maybe a touch of golden raisins mixed in with the butter, rum, and caramel. Very sweet in that respect, but it's kept in check somehow by an invisible and undetectable hop cone somewhere. The body feels sticky but medium in quality. And lo! There is carbonation despite not showing up at first glance. Effervescent is too strong of a word here so I'll say it is decently carbed. Overall, not bad. Not one of my favorite barleywines.

Serving type: on-tap

01-06-2013 16:41:44 | More by DmanGTR
Photo of mick303

Ontario (Canada)

4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- opaque deep reddish brown, really attractive lacing and good retention

S- molasses, sticky caramel, leather, plenty of dark fruit, quite thick and rick, interesting.

T- thick boozey fruit, roast malt sweetness, long finish. Good but could maybe be a bit better balanced. Lots of coffee bitterness.

M- thick body, coating feel, slightly ashey bitterness, long finish. Alcohol is covered deceptively well for such a high ABV.

Overall a really respectable Barley Wine, pretty well executed, would recommend it. Lots of flavour and quite a nice sippable high-strength ale.

Serving type: on-tap

01-03-2013 19:10:30 | More by mick303
Photo of Gambrinus1184


4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22-ounce bomber into a small, rocks glass.

A: Poured a dark amber color, tinged with burnt orange and sienna beneath a flash of frothy, tan foam which left little lacing on the glass.

S: Wonderful, spicy aroma of candied fruits, dates, plums and apples and dried cranberries and apricot. A slightly boozy wafts from the brew, bringing some citrusy hop bitterness with orange peel in the nose as well.

T: Very sweet, rich tasting malts reach the palate first, carrying a mellow, boozy caramel and toffee sweetness along with it. The malts impart candied, tropical fruits and dried berries with orange peel. A grassy, herbal hop aroma brushes the sweet palate and washes back with a warming alcohol feeling.

M: Full bodied, sweet and a tad cloying, but an enjoyable, warming sipper nonetheless.

O: A very tasty American barleywine that aged beautifully after a year in the cellar. The near-11% ABV mellows quite nicely, leaving the complex, fruity flavors in tact while not compromising the bitter hop resins within. The booziness seems more restrained as well, allowing more subtle malt flavors to shine though. I wish I had another bottle to open in a year or two.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2012 00:57:39 | More by Gambrinus1184
Photo of bluejacket74


4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle, 2011 vintage. Served in a snifter, the beer pours reddish/brown with about an inch frothy tan head. Head retention is good, and there's also a lot of lacing. Aroma is nice, the brew smells like caramel, toffee, brown sugar, dark fruit and a bit of sweet booze. I think the taste is pretty much just like the aroma, but there's also some bready/grainy malt noticeable. It's very sweet and malty. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's very smooth and has moderate carbonation. I think it's a good brew, and at just $4.99 a bomber it's definitely worth trying!

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2012 00:19:21 | More by bluejacket74
Photo of Gatch


4.73/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Taste of Tops in Tempe, AZ.

A - Gorgeous hazy, ruby-reddish brown with golden accents. No head at all. Burnt sienna if I can get to the detail of a crayon.

S - Syrup, brown sugar, molasses, soy sauce, bbq sauce, teryaki (last three are serious), alcohol. Massive sweet malt and booze. Extremely inviting.

T - Awesome, seriously. Boozy, sugary, malty. Warming, caramelized sugars. Sweet, poached fruits. Not cloying, though. Very complex. Even some roasted coffee flavors in the finish.

M - Smooth, sweet, right amount of carbonation and booze. Like drinking a high quality scotch, but more brandy taste. The alcohol dominates but allows so many other flavors to come through.

O: Epitome of the style. Everything I expect an American Barleywine to be. Well done, Lagunitas!

Update 12/19/12: Forgot that I had drank this in the past. 2010 vintage at Meadhall in Cambridge for 12 Brewers of Christmas. Delicious beer to which the age has contributed nicely. Everything is exquisite. Huge sweet booze qualities and heavy hops. Awesome stuff.

Serving type: on-tap

12-20-2012 04:09:19 | More by Gatch
Photo of bushbeer75


4.28/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

1pt. 6oz. brown bottle - Vintage 2010 “Two-Aught-10”

Lagunitas Olde Gnarlywine Ale filled my snifter with a dark amber color. The ale had a smallish tan head made-up of small bubbles that held well and left behind sporadic clumps of lacing about my snifter. The nose is of sweet malt, dark caramel and toffee with light citrusy hops in the background. The flavor matches the nose, however, is “kicked-up” more than a few notches. The sweet malt backbone is dominated upfront, with brown sugar also noted. The hop bitterness is muted (maybe due to age); however, there is enough to help balance the ale. Mouth feel is full: sticky, and slick with a pleasant alcohol warming during the sallow. The drinkability is only limited by the higher ABV.

Lagunitas is correct, Olde Gnarlywine Ale is “Dog gone Good”!! It is hard to beat Lagunitas – good quality and good value.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2012 14:58:24 | More by bushbeer75
Photo of brewandbbq

New Hampshire

3.65/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle from 2000.

Pours dark brown with a half inch head of beige. A fine bead around the rim of the glass with a few dots of lacing for the duration.

Aromatics lead off with toffee, leather, dried malt, and raisins. Hints of chocolate and dark caramel follow through.

On the fuller side of medium bodied with a tacky, slightly syrupy mouthfeel.

Sweet malt with stale raisins starts the palate. Wet cardboard, chipped toffee, and a hint of oxidized chocolate follow though.

Finishes with sweet malt, wet paper, and cocoa-rubbed leather.

Very malt-forward with zero hops and still sweetish after 12 years. The oxidation is fairly minimal otherwise and the beer has held up pretty well.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2012 01:54:35 | More by brewandbbq
Photo of gustogasmic


4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes of a buzzed-out barleywine binge at Hopcat in Grand Rapids.

Straight-up copper. Translucent w/ little carbo action. Head is VERY sticky copper-tan, 1/8". Lacing is ridiculous- the beer coats the glass and leaves twirls and blankets.

Smells like brown sugar, sweet golden raisins.

Very sweet and spicy, just a little hot. An awesome bitter bite- the hops are all there. Aftertaste is sweet, golden, sticky as heck. As it warms, a ruby syruppiness starts to really glow. The alcohol comes through the nostrils after each swallow. Certainly a cellar-temp kind of beer. Very nice.

Serving type: on-tap

09-13-2012 14:59:28 | More by gustogasmic
Photo of LiquidAmber


4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from 1/2010 notes. Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a dark reddish brown amber with a one finger light tan head that dissipated quickly to a ring around the glass. Intense hops on opening the bottle with a great aroma of herbal and piney hops and caramel malt. Hops dominate the beginning of the taste, then sweet malt and fruits develop. Finish is sweet malt, somewhat boozy, light hop finish. Creamy medium bodied. Interesting and fun to drink. One of my favorite barley wines.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2012 23:04:51 | More by LiquidAmber
Photo of TheRealBigC


4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice translucent deep amber color with a thick off-white head that settles but never disappears. Smell and taste are huge and diverse. Lots of the sticky sweets and very prevalent booze. This one is a really slow sipper based on that alone, but the sticky, chewy mouthfeel slows you down even more. Not inappropriate for the style, but also not perfect. For me I was worn out before finish my 12oz. pour, but I loved the first half of it! Definitely worth a shot.

Serving type: on-tap

08-07-2012 19:49:16 | More by TheRealBigC
Photo of DrinkSlurm


4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from tap at Alewife Baltimore into flute? There are plenty of nice snifters sitting around...I can see about 20 from my seat at the bar. Anyway...
Still poured a thick molassess looking burnt brown with an orangey hue; thick tan head to boot. Smells of caramel sweet malts, sugary molassess.
Taste is really nice. Thick sweet caramel and brown sugar, dried fruits, and heavy booze flavor. Great almost toasted caramel aftertaste. Its big time boozey but nice and mellow. Its thick, creamy, and heavy. I guess there is a reason for the winter release of this one.
Overall, really nice brew and one I'd imagine would age very well.

Serving type: on-tap

07-23-2012 21:55:27 | More by DrinkSlurm
Photo of draheim


4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz (2011) into a snifter. Pours a clear amber w/ a 1-finger sticky khaki head, moderate carbonation.

Aroma is an equal mix of herbal/floral hops and sweet caramel malt. Toffee, brown sugar, butterscotch.

Taste is also a blend of bitter and sweet. Vanilla, floral hops, chewy malt, rum-soaked figs. 10.6% ABV is very well-masked. Tasty and balanced.

Mouthfeel is thick, sticky and chewy with a bitter aftertaste.

Overall, pretty much what I expected from Lagunitas. A solid interpretation of the American barleywine.

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2012 03:47:53 | More by draheim
Photo of azdback


3.73/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Bruery tulip. Ruby red color, pretty clear with some small floaties and small carbonation bubbles that lead to a huge two finger head that is light tan in color and creamy in appearance. Lace is sticking well in a spotted ring pattern.

Smell is huge malt sweetness. Red hard candy and caramel and molasses. Surprised there isn't any alcohol detected by my nose. As it has warmed the alcohol is becoming apparent in the nose.

Taste is much like the nose. Hard candy, caramel and honey. There is some bitterness to this. I can't believe the hops have survived for over a year, but it is what it is.

The mouth is smooth and silky but a bit crisp. Carbonation is round to spritzy. Body is full and the finish is long and wet.

Overall I enjoyed this but it is definitely not a heavy hitter. It is though a great Barleywine at a great price. A must if you come across it.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2012 04:11:14 | More by azdback
Photo of Etan


4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a brandy snifter. 2011 edition.

A: Pours a clear walnut-ruby with a tiny off-white head. Really nice color. A little bit of lacing.

S: Molasses, burnt sugar, mushy fig and prune, grape juice and raisin. A hint of alcohol behind.

T: Powerful malts fill the palate: fig, prune, raisin, banana bread, sticky molasses and brown sugar, all over a sort of astringent bitterness and subtle warm, spicy alcohol. Some caramel-covered roasted grain in the finish.

M: Nice tingle of carbonation, thick mouth-feel.

O: A bit of astringency in the taste, but besides that this is a sweet, bold, warming, tasty barleywine.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2012 03:11:50 | More by Etan
Photo of shand


4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a snifter. Lovingly held onto for a bit over a year.

This beer pours out a muddy brown color with a small head. The aroma is sweet, with dark fruits and malts, yet still maintains a bit of a hop presence. On the tongue, the caramel malts and dark fruits are the main attraction. There's a bit of bitterness that keeps everything in check. The mouthfeel is thick and fairly carbonated, and the drinkability is farther good for the ABV. Overall, this is a rather good and inexpensive American Barleywine.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2012 04:40:35 | More by shand
Photo of Tone


4.23/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, dark amber color. 1/3 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and good lacing. Smells of sweet malt, alcohol, citrus hops, hint of caramel, and a hint of roasted malt. Fits the style of an American Barleywine. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of alcohol, sweet malt, hint of roasted malt, hint of caramel, citrus hops, slight syrup, and a hint of dough. Overall, good appearance, great aroma, blend, and body.

Serving type: on-tap

03-23-2012 13:22:39 | More by Tone
Photo of lurpy1


3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Flamin' Grill in Sacramento. Was cautioned that this keg has been around awhile. Apparently, not a big seller. To the waiter this was a problem, to me, a little more age on a Barleywine.

That being said, the pour is tired looking. A vague amber, no head, no panche, it just sits there all murky.

The smell is a bit subtle, but is heavy on the malt. Some caramel flavors, with grain and raisin in the backdrop.

Taste comes and goes with a heavily sweetsy, grainy, appropriately barleywiney flavor. Some sips are better than others. Occasionally, the dark fruit is overly pronounced. But I still like it.

Mouthfeel is a bit too fizzy for me, but did have a real nice stickiness to it.

At the end of the day, somehow, Old Gnarlywine is a beer where the whole is much greater than the sum of its parts. The taste was good, the consistency and smell were a little better than OK, but when it was gone, hey, I missed it and wish it was more. There is something intangibly great about this beer, a little, uh, sumpin sumpin (rimshot) going on. I will buy this again for shizzle.

Serving type: on-tap

03-23-2012 00:58:13 | More by lurpy1
Photo of JohnnyMc


4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours a very beautiful dark amber color and has a nice amount of a darkish brown head.

The aroma is very malty heavy, with caramel, toffee and plums rounding this robust smell.

Taste is very similar to the smell. There is a lot of malt right up front, there is a nice sweetness that comes from the toffee and caramel and the fruit adds some nice complexity. The hops are present, but the take a backseat compared with the rest of the taste.

I really enjoyed this, but would like to see how it tastes with some age on it. After 3/4 of a glass this was getting a little too sweet for me, but it's still a great Barleywine.

Serving type: on-tap

03-02-2012 22:29:17 | More by JohnnyMc
Photo of BerkeleyBeerMan


3.73/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Ruby copper body with beautiful beige head with fantastic lacing and retention.

Smell: Very sweet caramel malts with toffee notes. Orange and assorted citrus. Plum, dark fruits.

Taste: Piney hops. Sweet malts with backing piney hops. Burnt sugar and fruity flavors. The alcohol is hidden and the beer warms into a delicious treat.

Mouthfeel: Medium chewy body with lots of syrup. Good clean bitter finish.

Overall: Overly-sweet at first but enjoyable as the beer mellows out in the glass. A good desert barleywine.

Serving type: growler

03-02-2012 08:21:17 | More by BerkeleyBeerMan
Photo of HardTarget


4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2003 bottle, sampled Feb. 2012.

Appearance: No real head, just a murky brown glass that glows with back light. Doesn't show any legs.

Smell: Prune and raisin, leather and a little malt extract. Heady but not particularly alcoholic a bit of rum soaked dark sticky fruit, dates, figs, purple grapes.

Taste: Some brown sugar flavor backs up all the smells offered. For all the complex flavors going on, it's really very mild. The alcohol has faded out almost entirely, making this fairly dangerous stuff.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, low carbonation goes almost still.

Overall: Feel a little weird making my first review of this beer from a 9 year old bottle. Been looking at it for a few years now and glad to finally crawl inside. Cellared like a champ, recommend putting bottles back for as long as you can stand it.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2012 00:18:52 | More by HardTarget
Photo of Jimmys


3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

served on tap at Mad Fox Brewing Co. for their 2nd Annual Barleywine Festival. Sunday, 2/12. review from notes. 2011 vintage.

A: the darkest of the 4 sampled. amber hue. best head/retention/lacing of the 4.
S: caramel and toffee dominate. a lot of sweet candied malts for something that is more of a battle between malt and hops.
T: similar to the nose, caramel and toffee. bitter hop bite keeps things balanced. little bit of heat.
M: moderate amount of fizz. full bodied.
D: drinks more like an american strong w/ a sizable malt body here. however, certainly a reasonable amount of bitterness keeps things balanced. ranking #3 of the 4 tried.

Serving type: on-tap

02-13-2012 15:23:29 | More by Jimmys
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Olde GnarlyWine from Lagunitas Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 904 ratings.