Dismiss Notice
Hello, is it beer you're looking for?

Learn more about beer. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for as low as 68% off the single issue price.

Subscribe now →

Olde GnarlyWine - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Olde GnarlyWineOlde GnarlyWine

Educational use only; do not reuse.

713 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 713
Hads: 1,508
Avg: 4.08
pDev: 13.97%
Wants: 134
Gots: 270 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  10.60% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Todd on 09-22-2001

2011: 10.6% ABV, 69 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 713 | Hads: 1,508
Photo of Carthoris
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

This is my first Barleywine so I'm not sure if it is a good example but I have thoroughly enjoyed it. It has the perfect blend of sweet and floral with a slightly bitter finish. It smells amazing as well which is a huge plus.

 225 characters

Photo of 29mikoyan
3.44/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 1 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

A very excellent barley wine! It has hints of fruits such as apricot and citrus, some mellow flavors similar to red wine. Also some hints of aged whisky. The only thing I hated about this beer is that it isn't aromatic like other ales.

 235 characters

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

Poured into a snifter. Deep red/mahogany hue with a creamy off-white head. Fruity, caramel, toffee, piney/earthy, sticky/syrupy and mild alcohol. A great big beer in a bomber for only $4.

 187 characters

Photo of Jwale73
4.09/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2015 vintage. 22oz. bottle served in a tulip. Pours a mahogany hue with a loose, quarter inch, cream-colored head that disperses towards the shoulders creating a frothy ring and a residual soapy slick. Clarity is translucent. Nose expresses fruity notes, a hint of toffee and a light/earthy spicy quality. Taste consistent with nose with a residual bittering that lingers between quaffs. Mouthfeel is light-medium in body with a pleasant, even carbonation falling shy of lively, a slightly oily texture and a trace of alcohol heat at the finish. Overall, an exemplar of the style and at a great price to boot.

 614 characters

Photo of Brutaltruth
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed from the 22 oz bottle in a pint glass. This nice barley wine pours a bright, clear, copper orange with a solid off white head of thick foam that leaves great lacing and slowly dissipates to a thick ring. Nose of candy malts and sticky piney hops, and a dash of dark raisins. Flavors are a lot like the nose, sweet malt bomb up front and sticky piney hops to the sides and rear with a slight raisin note. Complex---no, delicious? YES! Smooth coating mouth feel with moderate carbonation that is lightly prickly adding to the hop bite with a sweet hoppy finish. Excellent. Dangerous ABV is hidden well. Even better!


 639 characters

Photo of Mongrel
4.02/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful looking red-hued beer with big, creamy head.

This is like Lagunitas' take on SN Bigfoot, just with less hop bite and a little more of a candied flavor. Nice creamy/slick mouthfeel with a moderately long finish. Not terribly complex, but wayyy drinkable (read: dangerous).

 282 characters

Photo of 81tillinfinity
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Four bucks for a barley wine and a Damn tasty one at that. Score all around. Rich, malty, with a dash of hops, alcohol not very present. 2015 bottle good with no age will see next winter.

 187 characters

Photo of Foyle
4.48/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Reddish brown with a small white head.

Aroma: lots going on here. Bready, caramel, biscuit along with pine, citrus and grassy hops along with fruit (raisins).

Mouthfeel: heavy and a bit chewy with a mostly dry finish.

Taste: Rich roasted barley, caramel, brown sugar, balanced with strong bittering hops.

Overall: outstanding.

 344 characters

Photo of ONUMello
4.23/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

2015 edition 22oz bottle poured into a pint glass
A: Burnt orange with a one-finger head that slowly settles
S: Toffee, caramel, citrus zest from the hops, barley, a hint of pine
T: A big beer. Hop-forward with lots of caramelized sugar, layers of hop complexity, a big dose of malt and a long finish
M: The size of this beer from a flavor standpoint almost makes the mouthfeel suffer. It's just too big and assaults your mouth from every direction. Malt, hops and alcohol all explode. Can't really fault it for what it is but sip it slowly
O: I almost think I opened this too early and if I find another bottle will try it in a year. It's quite tasty now but I think with age the complexities of the flavors will deepen and the mouthfeel will tame

 748 characters

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

good....kinda like the brown shugga.....but its thicker and more syrupy.....a lot of hop bitterness yet really sweet.....not sure I could drink the whole 22oz bottle....its a sippy beer.

 186 characters

Photo of BucannonXC5
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ratings are correct below, but I changed some marks above to make the final rating as close as possible with Beer Advocate's "revamped" system. The 3.95 overall rating is accurate.

Type: 22-oz. bottle
Glass: Karl Strauss 26th anniversary snifter glass
From: Barons Market in Alpine, Calif.
Price: $4.59
Purchased: April 27, 2015
Consumed: April 27, 2015
Misc.: 2015 release

Poured an auburn, caramel, clear color with 2-to-3 fingers of khaki, tan, rocky head. Good looking bubble streams coming up from the bottom of the glass. Average spotty lacing on the sides of the glass. Good retention on the top all the way down. (Sight - 4.13)

First smell and I could tell it was a Lagunitas beer. Kind of how like I can always tell it’s a New Belgium or Sam Adams (that’s not a bad thing, just saying). Got sugary caramel, brown sugar, toffee, semi-boozy rye, Cascade and floral. Kind of reminded me of a Brown Shugga’ and Lagunitas Sucks. (Smell - 4.00)

Taste followed the nose with candied sugar, brown sugar, caramel, Citra, light earthy rye, floral, Citra, Cascade, light molasses, toffee and light grapefruit late. (Taste - 3.88)

Medium body. Creamy texture. Average carbonation. Long, hoppy, warming finish. (Feel - 4.00)

This was a pretty good American Barleywine. I’d have it again for sure. (Overall - 4.00)

3.95 | 89 | B+

 1,340 characters

Photo of Fargrow
2.89/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

An unnecessary amount of hops in this barleywine. But instead of turning it into a DIPA, Lagunitas managed to make this kind of a mess. Maybe I didn't like these particular hops, or the combination of malt & hops. But this was not very good.

 241 characters

Photo of zac16125
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle into a snifter
no bottling date (assuming latest vintage)

A: Crystal clear, a nice mahogany color with ruby hues, 1.5 fingers width of light tan head that has good retention before dissipating down and leaves a few small patches of lacing. 4.5

S: Very sweet, candied sugar, caramel/toffee, sweet apple, floral and piney hops, boozy. Everything I look for in an American Barleywine. On point. 4.5

T: Like the nose, its quite sweet. Caramel/toffee, candied sugar, fruity esters, some citrus rind and piney hop bitterness, a bit of subtle booze. One of the sweeter American Barleywine’s I’ve had. 4.25

M/D: Full bodied, carbonation quite low but appropriate, ABV is noticeable but well restrained, and drinkability is pretty good. 4

O: Really nice barleywine here. I would expect nothing less form Lagunitas. 4.25

 844 characters

Photo of AndrewMichael
3.99/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle, 2015 edition at 10.1% poured into an oversized wine glass. Good balance malty up front with a bitter and sweet finish. An enjoyable barleywine.

 159 characters

Photo of nelsonhf
4.28/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: Beautiful dark amber color with thick amber foam that stays there forever; smell: abit of hops and sweet, very subtle; taste: starts almost sweet then progresses to slightly bitter and ends with a bit of alcohol; fell: smooth and balanced. It's hard to tell exactly what it tastes like: it feels like the tastes are dancing in your mouth

 343 characters

Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.21/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

On tap at Half Pint Pub in Rochester, NY.

This one pours a clear orange-ish, with a very small head, and no lacing.

This smells fairly abrasive, boozy, and hoppy- admittedly, not the type of barleywine I prefer. There's a big sweet caramel aroma as well.

I feel this needs a year or two to calm down, at this point it's just too abrasive, too boozy, too hoppy, and just too much. There's a lot of malt sweetness, and really bitter piney hops, and some grapefruit. Just not a fan, to be honest.

This is medium bodied, with a bitter and slightly grainy mouthfeel, and a moderate level of carbonation.

Meh, pass.

 614 characters

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

Look: Pours a nice shade of brown with a fluffy tan head that leaves good lacing

Smell: Caramel, plum, raisin, malt

Taste: Dark fruits, a nice subdued bitterness, malt, caramel, hints of tobacco

Feel: Full body, good carbonation

Overall: A pretty good example of the style, though it seems more subdued than typical American Barleywines, feels like it has been aging for 6 months already

 391 characters

Photo of jasonpeckins32
4.09/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Transparent deep reddish-brown in color. Easily holds a nice cream colored head for a few minutes.

This smells heavily hopped, very citrusy and resiny for what I was expecting.

That same hop profile continues into the flavor. Citrusy. Resiny. Heavily hopped.

Mouthfeel is very nicely done. A bit thicker than medium-bodied. Good carbonation.

This is a quality barleywine.

 382 characters

Photo of mwave
4.34/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Super barley wine, strong, with an APV of 10+, excellent flavor, great look and feel. This is no simple brew, this is a potent barley wine that delivers on flavor, feel and punch. Definite raisiny oak barrel flavors, sweet in the back of the mouth with sharpness and bite up front. One of my favorites.

 302 characters

Photo of larryarms847
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark rusty copper orange with a light red hue and a thick finger of off-white foam that quickly dissipates but leaves webbed lacing.

Raisin, caramel, toffee, and grapefruit.

Caramel and toffee are much more pronounced, the raisin is still there, but much more subdued, and the grapefruit/citrus comes out much more as well and has a bit of a juicy tropical fruit aspect.

Heavy-bodied, light-medium carbonation, chewy, juicy, dry finish.

Overall, one of my favorite barleywines to date!

 497 characters

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours relatively clear and the color is a deep copper red. Khaki colored head that peaks at about a finger's width and holds well before dying down to a thin, broken layer of surface suds and a fair ring around the edge. Mostly spotty lacing with a chunk or two that clings to the glass.

Smell - Red grapefruit along with caramel and a hint of raisin. Subtle chocolate.

Taste - Follows the nose. Bittersweet grapefruit hop that is moderate but consistent throughout. Sweetness that rides that edge between caramel and toffee. Leafy bitterness. Vague hints of chocolate and tobacco rise up in the finish. An undertone of astringency from the alcohol.

Mouthfeel - Thick and full-bodied with moderate carbonation. Sticky, near syrupy texture.

Overall - Pretty delicious, but nothing they haven't shown us before. Actually somewhat reminiscent of Arrogant Bastard, believe it or not, only thicker and not quite the hop bite of the latter. They sure do love their signature grapefruit hop profile don't they? Can't even do something different for their barleywine. No surprise, but still a bit of a letdown.

 1,120 characters

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

1 pt 6 flz oz bottle, bottled mid Feb 2015, poured into a tulip glass

A - Pours dark ruby red and brown, clear, with one finger head that moves quickly to a creamy lace.

S - Picking up the signature Lagunitas citrus hop aroma, dark fruit/fig

T - Follows the nose, picking up some orange and a touch alchohol heat.

M - Carbontion is fairly active for a barley wine. Very full mouthfeel.

O - Finally came across this one, been looking forward to trying it. Well made, I would rate it in the upper tier of American Barleywine category based on what I have tried so far.

 578 characters

Photo of mfnmbvp
3.93/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle, no apparent bottled on date present, 2015 vintage. My first encounter with this beast, the legendary barleywine from Lagunitas.

Poured into a clear balloon snifter.

A - It pours an astounding ruby colored body with excellent clarity. About a finger of soft bubbly khaki head that retains.

S - The smell is pretty boring and muted, in all honesty. Hoppy, piney, mildly acidic, mild alcohol fumes, some caramel malt presence.

T - The taste is basically the same as the nose: lots of sweetened caramel malts, sticky, sugary, with lots of bitter resinous hops lingering hard on the palate.

M - The feel is smooth, creamy, & easy-drinking, especially for the high 10.60% abv. Medium-bodied with good carbonation.

Overall, a fairly generic example of the style, I'd say, but well-built nonetheless, and you can never beat out Lagunitas on pricing. Would be interested to see how a bottle of this stuff ages.

Lagunitas Olde GnarlyWine -----4/5.

 963 characters

Photo of FickleBeast
3.89/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Vintage 2015. 22 oz bomber poured into a Stella chalice.

Pours a clear ruby-amber color with a full two fingers of fluffy foam that cascades up the glass. Aroma is is mostly sweet crystal malts, with some plum and raisin notes as well.

Taste is quite sweet, with some plum and a hint of cardboard. Quite boozy if you let the beer engulf the back of your tongue. I can barely notice the hop presence behind the thick, boozy, sweetness. Extremely viscous.

This is a behemoth of a brew, nice to slowly enjoy over the course of an evening. Would be hard pressed to finish this even in the time it takes to enjoy a meal.

This was value-priced, worth picking up another bottle to cellar for a few years.

 711 characters

Photo of Kuaff
4.68/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

In my snifter at around 283 Kelvin.

Pretty beige cap of foam which lasts long, and a stunning deep crimson color. Dazzling.

It smells sweet and fruity like caramel, honey, lemon, orange, mango, and pineapple, but there's also more. Kind of a dank, herbal, grassy side, with ever so subtle earth and leather. Really really nice!

Fantastic flavor. What strikes me especially is the potency of the citrus, which is delectably tart and zesty. There is definitely some sweet brown sugar or caramel, but it's balanced by a (I want to say savory) quality which is the sum of astringent pine, dank hops, woody earthiness, and a toasty thingy. Yup. Definitely detecting a toasty thingy.

The feel is magnificently full, thick, and sticky. I am pleased.

Truly a stellar barleywine. And it totally has that signature hoppy Lagunitas essence in the finish. Quite a pleasure to have it dressed up in the form of a fine barleywine.

 921 characters

Olde GnarlyWine from Lagunitas Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 713 ratings.