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Olde GnarlyWine | Lagunitas Brewing Company

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Olde GnarlyWineOlde GnarlyWine

Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States | website

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.60%

Availability: Winter

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

Added by Todd on 09-22-2001

User Reviews
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Reviews: 723 | Ratings: 1,578
Photo of Gregaroo
4.34/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

5-12-16 - 2015 bottle poured into a short snifter glass. Dark orange in color with nice 1/2 inch head that returns with a quick swirl. Foam clings to the edge. Thick mouthfeel with just a bit of carbonation. This is truly a sippin' beer. This held up well, however just after a quick year. Will look for this again and keep a couple for a bit longer. Tasty.

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Photo of philbe311
4.59/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A - An active cascading pour yields just shy of two finger's worth of light-to-medium khaki colored whipped dense frothiness... Solid retention... Once receded there is a full rich creamy lacing and moderate collar... The color is a medium caramel with some reddish hues when back lit... Mostly still with just a few stray small carbonation bubbles seen towards the top of the glass... Beautiful rings of lacing clings to the sides of the glass...

S - A big nose that can be detected without even bring one's nose close to the glass... A definite malt bomb... Loads of overly ripened dark fruits... Molasses... Toffee... A light hop presence lingers a bit beneath the surface... Very pleasant and appealing...

T - The palate proves to be a carbon copy of the nose... Malt, malt and more malt... Sweet, but never cloying... Loads of brown sugar... Fig... Raisins... Overly ripe red grapes... Plums... Some subtle hints of caramel and toffee... The finish has a strong hop bite with adds an additional layer of depth and complexity...

M - Velvety smooth... Medium to full bodied... A bit sticky... A bit chewy... Very light carbonation... Goes down smoothly sip after sip... Rather exquisite all the way around...

D - A home run from the fine folks at Lagunitas... This is among the best (non-barrel aged) American Barleywines going... Combine with the modest price point, this one is stellar... Future release may prove to be case worthy as I'd be happy to have an ample supply in the cellar at any given time... Especially since this one would surely age well...

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Photo of BlueHeeler79
4.23/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz 2015

Look - a nice reddish brown.

Smell - very hop forward for a barleywine. Pine, cherry, plums.

Taste - Cherrys, plums raisins, with a definite hop bitterness at the end. Alcohol is hidden well.

Feel - a little on the thin side.

Overall - blurs the line betwern a barleywine and a high gravity IPA. Enjoyed it and would definitely drink again.

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Photo of fx20736
4.46/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bought a single bomber. Served in a Duvel tulip.

Look: Deep, dark copper amber. Natural white head, nice lacing

Smell: Sherry flavored malt

Taste: a glass of sherry served with toasted multigrain bread and mixed fruit jelly

Feel: smooth, slippery

Overall:a very good Barleywine

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Photo of OKbrew89
4.09/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a wheat beer glass (because I didn't bring my own glass). Pours dark amber with a massive head that recedes very slowly and leaves lacing all the way down the glass. Aroma of caramel malt, alcohol, resiny hops, and candied pineapple. Taste is caramel malt, piney hops, floral hops, brown sugar, and pepper. The alcohol really comes through with the pepper in the finish. Medium-high body and medium-light carbonation with a slight stickiness to it. There's some syrupiness to it.
This is good, but definitely sweet and somewhat syrupy. The alcohol really comes through with some bite. It has many well done, complex layers. This is good, but I wouldn't want all 25 oz in one session again. It is strong and distinguished, but was ironically light on hops.

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Photo of Ri0
4.04/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This is a nice American Strong Ale. It has pleasant sweet notes of toffee and caramel along with dark fruits of raisin and plum. The hops enter in with some citrus and lend a bit of spicy flavor. It all works well, but doesn't quite enter Barleywine territory for me.

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Photo of chinchill
4.09/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz 2015 bottle.
Clear dark copper colored body with a modest size head that has great retention. Fine lacing.

Sweet, slightly boozy aroma.
Well-balanced flavor with good complexity for style.
Excellent, smooth mouthfeel for over 10% ABV.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Thanks to Justin for sharing this 2 liter growler with Mark Tim and me. Enjoyed chilled in a tulip

The color is sort of ruby clear with thin tan head with fine beads. The smell is mildly fruity with a hop presence. The feel is very good with mild sweetness and assertive hop bitterness.

The taste has a familiar Lagunitas house flavor which is possibly yeast derived wtih a sort of fruity and slight pine-like hop taste. This is a decent barleywine that hides the alcohol well, I enjoyed several glasses it reminds me of Rogue's a little.

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Photo of mr-jj
3.92/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 10/15/15 - Poured into a snifter from a 22 oz bottle I've had for about 8 months.

Color is pretty - almost mahogany with a thin white head. Nose is tropical and citrus fruit with a lot of rich malty and booze. Flavor is definitely Lagunitas - something about their malt bill is unique. Lots of caramel malts and tropical hops. Both are strong, but they aren't quite balanced for some reason I can't figure out. Body is medium/full with with moderate carbonation. Overall, a good barleywine that may benefit from more aging.

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Photo of neurobot01
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bomber dated 2/21/15 (about 8 months old) into a snifter at cellar temp.

Look: very nice reddish brown.

Smell: medicinal candy, brown sugar.

Taste: sweet in a sickly sort of way, mild hops, medicinal taste.

Feel: medium, a bit syrupy.

Overall: improved a bit from fresh. More well-integrated. Still has that odd medicinal taste I remember from fresh, but maybe a bit more muted.

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Photo of monkeybeerbelly
4.43/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

beautiful beer ! looks amazing a nice deep darkness is very appealing. nose is roasty toasty, with a nice malty, slightly smoky, and floral hop aromas. taste definitely follows the nose. just layer after layer of roasted malts and a nice hoppy finish. great sipper, and i would love to see what this looks like in another year or so

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Photo of SaxmanRick
4.43/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Fresh bomber of 2015 enjoyed today. Very reasonably priced.

Poured a large 3” off-white head which diminished but lasted at least ½” throughout. Beautiful sticky lacing in rings from top to bottom. Liquid is a golden/orange tint with little visible carbonation.

Moderate aroma with some caramel, biscuit and bitter hops. Little hint of alcohol.

Rich malt flavors with a bit of sweetness to balance the slight bitterness. Also some orange fruit, raisin. Nicely balanced, although somewhat young.

From start to finish, this had a creamy feel, but not driven by a carbonated feel. Very rich! This complemented the slightly milder overall flavor intensity.

A fine american barleywine…all the more appealing with its price point. I plan to buy another one for this fall and a few more for the cellar. I really think this will get better as it matures.

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Photo of HopsAreDaMan
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz, 2015 Vintage (bottled in Feb./March).

(Review completed hours after drinking, so I hope to review again next time I drink it fresh). Poured a ruby red color, with a nice frothy head. Nice aroma, mouth-feel and taste.

This was the first barleywine I have ever had. I had it not long after it had been bottled, back in April/May, and although I don't remember details about the aroma or taste, I remember really liking it. Now, roughly five months later, it seems the beer has changed. Overall I really like what has happened to it, and I look forward to seeing how it will mature after another 6 months.

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Photo of craftbeersweden
4.45/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Today I'm trying a Heineken! :)

Released in Sweden 2015-08-21.

Pours clear, copper colored with a hughe, three finger high, beige head that leaves a lot of lacing.

Nose: Orange marmelade, citrus, lemon zest, caramel, brown sugar, raisin, plum, biscuit and hops.
Taste: Sweet caramel malt, bread, biscuit, wood, honey, toffee, maple syrup, apricot and pine.
Body: Full body, medium carbonated. Oily, creamy texture. Soothing alcohol.

A great sipper!

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Photo of creepinjeeper
4.56/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bomber poured into a Solemn Oath snifter.

Look - Cream white head. Settles in to solid lacing that follows the beer down the sides of the glass. Body of the beer has the color of ripe plum flesh.
Smell - Stone fruit, wet bread. Bit of sweet.
Taste - YES! Sweetness, plum and stone fruit, little bit of biscuity malt. Hops and slightly bitter finish. Little bit of booze, too.More sweetness at the end.
Feel - Creamy, lingers om my tongue. Easy carbonation.
Overall - A totally delicious American Barley Wine.. So warming, so wonderful, so Lagunitas. I truly hate to see the bottle end.

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Photo of deadsincebirth
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I wanted this to be great but us Americans like our hops and this is no exception. Pours a pretty ruby copper. Smells of dank tropical hops, pine and a backend caramel. Taste is hops, hops and a cloying syrupy sweetness.The backend let's me know it is a barleywine with some Dark prune and burnt sugar and caramel sweetness. Overall too syrupy and hoppy as of right now. Drinks like a triple IPA (think Devil Dancer). After a few years I hope this mellows out and lets the malt bill come through.

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Photo of MaineBrewing
4.26/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - poured a beautiful dark mahogany And ruby body. The ruby isn't a highlight it is actually red, impressive looking. Short lived 1 finger off white head. Lots of legs little lacing.

S - intense sweet malt aroma with tons of fruit, plum, raisin, brown sugar, almost a dark cherry. Warming alcohol wafts through.

T - complex yet refined malt flavor, as in its not brash more mellow but still a lot going on. Like the aroma has tons of dark sweet fruityness, raisins and plums, brown sugar, toffee. Hops are there, a nice pine cuts through the malt to add another dimension, they are also present in the finish, providing an ever slight bitter, but not enough to balance the malt. So it finishes on the sweet side.

M - very thick and low carbonated, finishes sweet, smooth, and warming.

O - overall a great example of the style, looks great in the glass and the taste is complex, strikes a great balance of that deep malt character with some good fresh hop notes throughout. Alcohol is present and warming, great accompaniment to this rainy summer night.

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Photo of BIll_Currie
4.37/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

best smelling beer i've ever had from them. beer store was selling really cheap so i picked up two bottles. color was a deep auburn. we warmed it up a bit coming out of fridge. i find barleywines better when they arent too cold. taste was outstanding.

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Photo of seedyone
3.62/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 1

On tap at Rattle n' Hum, NYC. Deep amber visual with elegant lacing yields a vague fragrance but robust body & taste. Well balanced as barleywines goe with a slight alcohol burn. At 10.6 ABV, don' take this to the beach but at altitude it could add a different element to your weekend.

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Photo of vfgccp
3.76/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

2015 bottle, opened Jun 2015

A - A beautiful looking beer. Depp mahogany red. Light tan head with great retention and lace.

S - Sweet malty biscuit, honey, light woody hops and pumpernickel bread.

T - Net sweet flavor profile loaded with bread-crust, caramel and biscuit, with honey and woody hops through the finish.

M - Smooth, medium-light frame. Lighter than what I typically look for in the style.

O - A nice barleywine and a great value for the price, but lighter and less complex than some of the best examples of the style.

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Photo of Oldejoe
4.4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Looks. Golden reddish amber, semi frothy head.
Smell. Pungent, barleyish, cooked sugars, herby.
Taste. Front both tangy and malty, back dry and hoppy. Yum. Good stuff.
Feel. Good substantial feel, sparkly on the tongue.
Overall. Lots going on here, all of it good. Might be my new favorite barley wine.

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

From a bomber into das boot..creamy foamy head and tea like color with nice lingering lacing..molasses like flavor that warms up nicely..mmmmm yummy.Prost.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Deep Ruby/orange color. Off-white creamy head stands at Two-finger height. Thin, patchy lacing.

S: Pineapple juice, mango, sliced apricot. Some earthy and piney hops. Booze soaked fruits. Figs. Cocoa powder, bread crust, scones. Smells like some nice English malts.

T: Big malt character. Lots of toasty bread crust. Dark caramel, toffee, treacle syrup. Pinch of brown cocoa. Dank and piney hops. Booze-soaked figs and golden raisins. Lighter tropical hop notes of pineapple, mango, and apricot pull through. Toasty/bready finish.

M: Full bodied and rich. Round, firm, coating, hefty. Soothing alcohol warmth. Low carbonation.

O: A nice American barleywine with a distinct hoppy Lagunitas house flair. The Lagunitas website recommends toasted coconut creme brûlée or pineapple upside down cake as pairing options. This is spot-on. The creme brûlée would complement the sweet and toasty malt flavors nicely, while pineapple upside down cake would accentuate the tropical notes that pull through in this beer.

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Photo of mac31
4.14/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

2015 version

Big syrupy, sweet nose with some backend citrus, hoppy notes.

The taste follows the nose. Intense sweet entry, as close to cloying as a beer could be without actually being cloying. Big quaffs of cooked caramel and roasted malts. Dark fruit present from the malt selection. Sweetness rolls in to big, clean bitterness. Hops are slightly floral and citric. The floral notes and bitterness keep this reddish, brown brew from going over board on the sweetness. Bitterness dies down after the palate is more adjusted. Roastiness noted in the finish, along with some lingering hoppiness. Body is syrupy, coats the mouth. Carbonation is low.

What's nice about this brew is that as it warmed and the flavors evolved, the hoppiness came to life, the sweetness toned down, and some nice, warm orange citrus hues popped up.

I really liked this brew once it warmed closer to room temp. I pulled and poured it at 45F. Serve it closer to 55F and you'll be able to enjoy a nice, straight forward American Barleywine. Or serve it at 45F and get the full range from sweet to hoppy.

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Photo of WhiteHillsStore
4.07/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a really nice deep amber color with a nice head that lasts although is a bit thin. The smell has a very boozy nature to it and it's hard to pick up anything else except wood. The taste though was much more complex than the smell would allude to. With alcohol mixing with the sweeter notes of caramel and toffee with heavy wood burn on the finish.

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Olde GnarlyWine from Lagunitas Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 723 ratings.