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Olde GnarlyWine - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Olde GnarlyWineOlde GnarlyWine

Educational use only; do not reuse.

718 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 718
Hads: 1,534
Avg: 4.08
pDev: 9.56%
Wants: 137
Gots: 273 | 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: 718 | Hads: 1,534
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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
4.09/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a dark ruby color with 2 fingers of head that slowly fades down to a nice cap that leaves lots of sticky lacing

S: Very malty with notes of dark fruit, caramel, toffee, and some alcoholic esters. Quite complex

T: Follows the nose. Dark fruits and caramel sweetness come out first, followed by touches of estery alcohol and toffee. Again, very malty overall. Finishes with lingering fruitiness and esters

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth but a little sticky

O: A nice sipping barleywine with a good amount of complexity and drinkability. Would definitely be a good candidate for aging just to let it mellow out a bit, although it's really not hot at all right now

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

22oz bomber bottled on 02/19/2015 poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear ruby with 1/2 finger of head

Smell: Earthy hop notes of pine and spruce with some bread pudding

Taste: Rich layers of earthy hops and toffee, dark plums, and raisins; hop-foward

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied and slightly sticky in the finish

Overall: Exactly what I want in an American BW. Very hoppy but balanced with complex malt layers. There isn't much here that needs to be improved and the price point for a bomber is amazing.

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Photo of samtrillo
4.17/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Vicious viscous ocean white head sits atop a deep amber base.

Smells of sweet fruit leather.

Tastes of sweet fig, raisin and caramel. Some cinnamon or clove on the end, as well. A bit too much bitterness, but surprisingly it helps this one by the end as barleywines can feel much too cloying by the end.

I liked it a lot and for the price you will literally not find a better barleywine.

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.77/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I picked up a bottle of Lagunita's Olde GnarlyWine a few weeks ago at The Lager Mill. I got to try this beer when it was really fresh and I liked so I thought I would pick up a bottle to review, so lets see how it goes. 2015 Vintage. Poured from a brown 22oz bottle into a snifter.

A- The label looks nice, it's pretty typical for Lagunitas and I don't find it to be too eye catching. It poured a nice amber color that takes on more of a red hue when held to the light with a finger and half of really light tan head that died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and it left lots of small spotty lacing behind. This is a good looking beer I have no complaints.

S- The aroma starts off with a lower amount of high sweetness with the hops being the first to show up and they seem to impart a mixture of candied citrus rinds and green onion aromas with the citrus rind hops sticking. Up next comes a slight alcohol aroma that leads right into the malts which impart some caramel malt and sweet malt aromas. This beer has a nice aroma, but I could go without the green onion hops, when it was really fresh it didn't show up much.

T- The taste seems to be similar to the aroma and it starts off with a lower amount of high sweetness with the hops still being the first to show up and this time the green onion hops show up almost as much as the candied citrus rind hops. Up next comes a pretty light alcohol flavor that goes right into the sweet malts and caramel malts. On the finish there's almost equal parts bitterness and sweetness with a sweet candied citrus rind and light green onion hop aftertaste. This is a pretty nice tasting beer. but I wish the green onion hops weren't there.

M- A little smooth, sticky, not too crisp, full bodied with a lower amount of medium carbonation. This beer has a pretty nice mouthfeel. but i wish it was a little smoother and not as sticky.

Overall I thought this was a pretty nice beer and a nice example of the style, when it's fresh I would give it a 4, as it is now I would give it a 3.5, so I decided to give it a score that was right in the middle to reflect that. I liked it, but it seemed to be just a little rough around the edges. This beer has ok drinkability, one glass is enough for me, I don't really have the urge for more than that, but I should be able to make it through the whole bottle. What I like the most about this beer is the appearance and how smooth it was when it was really fresh. What I like the least about this beer is the green onion hops, this beer would be better without it. I would buy this again if I knew it was really fresh, but other than that I don't think I would buy it again. I would recommend this beer if your a big fan of American Barleywines, but I can't say it's a must try beer. All in all I still like this beer, but I prefer it when it's very fresh. It's not a favorite Lagunitas beer. bit it is one above average for the style. Nice job guys, I just wish you would leave out the hops that impart those green onion flavors and aromas.

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Photo of TruePerception
3.76/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Lagunitas's Olde GnarlyWine. 10.6% ABV.

A: Two fingers of slightly cream colored head. Rosy red-amber. Very clear. Yellow in the dimple. Decent lacing.

S: Decently strong hop aroma. Mostly pine. Slightly resinous. Fruity note in the background, but it's hard to make out against the pine. Plum and/or orange, maybe.

T/MF: Definitely too hoppy for me. I thought 10.6 might enough to balance out 70 IBU, but I guess not. Molasses/tree sap flavor is the only remnant of the beer, itself. Plenty of resin, cigarette ash, and pine. Note my favorite flavors to find in a beer. Still a bit cold, so we'll see how it settles.

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle, into a Belgian tulip glass.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.61/5  rDev -36%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

BOTTLE: 1 pint 6 fl oz. Brown glass. Branded copper-colour pry-off pressure cap. Classic Lagunitas label design.

10.6% ABV. 1.096 O.G.

Cost was...$5.00 USD? Ah, Lagunitas.

Served cold into a pilsner glass and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Expectations are well above-average given the brewery.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: ~2 inches wide. Off-white colour. Creamy and soft-looking, with a nice even consistency. As full and thick as it should be. Leaves no lacing as it recedes.

Retention is stellar - ~12+ minutes at minimum - shockingly good.

BODY: Clear copper of average vibrance. Clean, with no yeasty or hoppy muck to be seen.

Overall, it's a typical appearance for a barleywine.

AROMA: It's quite hoppy, actually...shockingly so. Pine, floral hops, light hop oils, some resins...why is this so hoppy? Must definitely be an American barleywine. All I get hopwise is some (surprisingly light) caramalt and some pale malts. If I didn't know better, I'd think it was an IPA. There's no toffee, marshmallow, graham cracker, et al.

Aromatic intensity is average.

I'm a bit taken aback. It's just plain not a barleywine aroma. Way overhopped, but appealing outside of stylistic conventions.

TASTE: Has a caramalt and pale malt backbone. And damn, is it hoppy for a barleywine. Heavy notes of pine, resin, and floral hops provide the bulk of the flavour, with hop oils a distant second. There's a bit of biscuit, but no real toffee, marshmallow, etc. The faint brown sugar is a nice touch, I guess, as is some muted citrus zest. It's actually surprisingly plain and shallow overall, with no real intricacy or subtlety to its execution. Not a gestalt beer by any means. Too bitter to be well-balanced.

Average duration and intensity of flavour.

I don't dislike it, but it's not on par with the quality I've come to expect from Lagunitas. Has an obvious booziness that doesn't do it any favours.

TEXTURE: Smooth, wet, somewhat creamy, sticky, a bit soft in the third act, overcarbonated, and full-bodied. It gets the job done, but it doesn't accentuate specific notes or elevate the beer overall. A decently executed mouthfeel for a barleywine, but not one that harmonizes with the taste to any special effect.

OVERALL: I thought $5.00 for a barleywine was a steal, but now I'm not so sure. This is overhopped to its detriment, and misses stylistic fundamentals. Drinkable for what it is, but I do wish I had a friend or three to help me finish it off. Maybe it'd get a bit better with age? Not a beer I'd revisit, but I guess for its price you could do worse. A rare miss from the cats at Lagunitas. Very pedestrian.

C- (2.61)

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Photo of SpenCycle
4.86/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Awesome barleywine. I actually like it better than Old Guardian. For 10.6% it tastes like an 8% beer. Good malt presence, solid hops, and lighter than I thought it would be. For $4.99 at the local grocery store, you cannot find a barleywine for a better price! A+!

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Photo of Bosoxfan20
3.96/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Quite simply the best BW value out there at $3.50/bomber. Delicious fresh with an incredible balance between the pine hop notes and the caramelized sugars. Sweet, piney, toffee, earthy. Further evidence that no one does it better when it comes to great beers at a great price.

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Photo of justinp444
4.36/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Snifter glass on draft, it is a clear amber with a nice white head. It smells of sweet malts and earthy hops. Taste is of the same with some apple and dried fruit notes

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Photo of Beer-Revelry
3.94/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Brain Dead brewing, Dallas,TX in a snifter glass.

A - 4.50 - Dark caramel in color with a half finger of slightly off white colored, quickly dissipating head.
S - 3 - Quite simple and basic in smell. Just getting mostly a hop and malt sweetness here. To be fair it was quite chilled from the tap.
T - 4.25 - Sweet malts and hops, touches of caramel. Seems more like a strong old ale to me than a Barleywine.
F - 4.50 - Nice creamy mouthfeel.
O - 4 - A good brew, but not a perfect representation of the Barleywine style.

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Photo of Lucnifter
4.54/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful garnet color with lovely off-white head that hangs out for a bit.
The nose is phenomenal. Simcoe and Nelson hop aroma up front with some caramel malt and a touch of alcohol on the nose. The flavor is malty, fruity, and moderately bitter. It kind of stradles the line between American Barleywine, Double IPA, and Imperial Red. I have been hesitant to support Lagunitas after the whole Sierra Nevada debacle and I bought this one primarily because I wanted to try beers I haven't tasted yet and the price was reasonable, but this thing has surprised me and more than surpassed expectations. If you enjoy hoppy barleywines or even strong, amber Double IPAs, this beer is worth the try.

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Photo of DrewV
4.36/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

An interesting take on an "American Barleywine" style beer. Frankly, I'm not even sure if that's a real category, but it certainly seems to fit. Aroma is heavily infused with citrusy hops that loosely translate to the flavor. The flavor is fairly bold and leans towards the hoppy side. Nothing boozy, everything is in good balance. At 10+%, this is a real winner in the high-ABV category.

I've seen many reviews that say this beer is "the same as Brown Shugga", but let me just say that this is completely not true. I have had a Brown Shugga immediately after drinking Gnarlywine and the Brown Shugga is MUCH sweeter and less hoppy. Brown Shugga is more finely carbonated and has a smoother mouthfeel. The difference is night and day. If anything, it is closer to Undercover Shutdown, but still is not the same beer.

Bottom line is that this beer stands alone by itself in the Lagunitas lineup. Definitely worth a shot at $5 for a bomber.

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Photo of clayrock81
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured a clear copper body with one finger head and left a lace ring around glass. Aroma is a little boozy, with touches of dark fruits (figs, prunes). Hoppy beer, smooth, medium strength body, little bit of heat on the finish. a little sticky from the malts, mostly some toffee or caramel sweetness and these balance with citric, hoppy, earthy flavors and touches of dark fruits. Pretty well built and strong, holds up and I like the extra hop notes.

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Photo of irongator
4.31/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Wow! I wouldn't really think this is a barleywine. It's way more of a hybrid for me. Reminds me of their WTF which they stopped making for some stupid reason. Hoppy but not overly so. Great balance. Not really a good representation of a barleywine, so if that's what you are looking for choose something else.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Haw River Farmhouse Ales teku glass.

A- Pours a reddish dark amber color with a 1/4 inch light tan head that retains well before becoming a thin ring around the edge of the glass and a sheer crescent shape of surface foam. Resilient lacing clings to the glass leaving large clots behind.

S- Sweet nose full of dark fruit, caramel and burnt sugar with the pungent hops rounding everything out in a way that suggests orange peel.

T- Also sweet with the malt providing a bready backing. Moderate hop bitterness bounces off the sweetness. Every element works harmoniously to create as balanced a drink as possible with the ABV being as high as it is.

M- Somewhat syrupy but also prickly from the medium carbonation and a body leaning toward the fuller side.

O- Of the sweeter Lagunitas offerings (Undercover Investigation, Brown Shugga, Hairy Eyeball), this is my favorite. The sweetness actually accentuates the hop flavors and bitterness rather than muddling it, resulting in a high drinkability factor.

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Photo of tekstr1der
4.48/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Ruby-copper pour, with dense off-white foam. Slightly sweet, metallic aroma of alcohol and caramel candy. Sweet, nutty, alcoholic flavor. Finishes nicely with subtle grapefruit. Smooth and scrumptious!

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Photo of ajm5108
4.21/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very similar to Brown Shugga, has a nice crisp pine hop aroma followed by a semi-sweet malt / burnt sugar taste the leads into a medium dry grapefruit finish.

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Photo of WesMantooth
3.77/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I enjoyed this a lot, but it really isnt much of a barleywine. American or English. Fairly sweet with a strong caramel malt base and dark sugars. Tastes very similar to Brown Shugga.

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Photo of preago
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2015- Citrus & piney nose almost like Nugget Nectar. Sweet though nicely balanced with the hops & alcohol at the end. Needs a few more months to mellow out a bit. Lagunitas never disappoints in terms of value, will pick up a couple more & break them out around Christmas.

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Photo of CHickman
4.06/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Twenty-Fifteen version pours red copper color with 1 finger creamy tan head that was full of bubbles and faded about average time that leans towards slow, leaving really good spotty lacing as it went down.

Smells like a fresh hopped IPA with an initial blast of citrus hops and some fruity sweetness that then turns to rich malt, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, syrup, piney hops, booze like rum, some fig or raisin and then some peat moss or earthy notes. The way this started I thought it would be very hoppy, but the malts settled it down and kept it smelling like a barleywine with nice balance. I expected aggressive hopping and it turned out enjoyable, as I suspected it would.

Tastes of zesty citrus up front like lemon and grapefruit that are bitter, followed by some caramel, brown sugar, maple syrup, piney hops and then a mix of fruit like cherry, rotting pear and an old orange. A second wave of flavors start with some toffee and booze, then include biscuit, buttered wheat bread, Sweedish Fish candy and butterscotch. The booze seeps through like dark rum and is warming, but not offensive as it adds a nice kick to the brew. The aftertaste is like pineapple and toffee and borders on too sweet, but this young bottle has enough hop bitterness to hide the ABV enough that it was a nice sipper.

Mouthfeel is creamy and almost milky on the tongue, with a heavy, chewy body, mild carbonation and a sweet finish that was slightly bitter. The liquid has some weight to it, but if you take it down slow it goes down pretty easy with minor heat.

Overall a nice hoppy American Barleywine that I would definitely have again. I’d like to see what a year of age does to this so I’ll buy another Twenty-Fifteen bottle, especially at this price point - very reasonable. It was Doggone Good.

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Olde GnarlyWine from Lagunitas Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 718 ratings.