Olde GnarlyWine - Lagunitas Brewing Company

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Olde GnarlyWineOlde GnarlyWine

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961 Ratings
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Ratings: 961
Reviews: 618
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 10.32%
Wants: 115
Gots: 73 | FT: 0
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: 961 | Reviews: 618 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of drxandy
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz to tulip glass, pours a reddish amber, great creamy looking eggshell head

smells of spiciness, heavy malting, alcohol, raisins

tastes rich and thick, hot alcohol, apples, thick malts bomb my mouth, has the lagunitas signature taste, bitterness, nice and complex

mouthfeel punches you in the mouth with flavors and alchohol heat, an overall great barleywine from lagunitas :D

Photo of Foxman
3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It pours a very clear and copiously carbonated bug-in-resin amber. Two frothy fingers of light tan head puff and pad for a time. Beads of lacing caulk the inside of the glass.

In the aroma, a deep draft of sugary toasted malt grants caramel and juicy fruit. A spritz of toffee intersperses a moderated mellow mist of light pine and citrus hops. A little dough and a lotta alcohol aerate ably.

Upon sipping, toasted malt is grandly sweet, twirling a twist of caramel and berry. Candy sugar and esters yield up apple Jolly Ranchers. Dry grapefruit hops work valiantly to crisp the venue, and actually drum up a muted bitterness that flutters into a poignant alcohol burst. Residual grain is again malty sweet, but a touch less so, and the finish, while hinting at a dry bitterness, remains cloying. Reasonably complex, it's about the malt, and that's not really a bad thing.

Full bodied, it's syrupy and slick, with more sticky patches than crisp glow.

This must be one Bunyan-esque grain bill to end up this big and have enough left over to be so lip-smacking sweet. Still, there are some nice things going on underneath. the ABV is hearty and joins the cloying nature to ensure judicious consumption. It's a somewhat different interpretation and far from the worst, though not really the best either, but while one is plenty, it's an enjoyable one at least.

Photo of russpowell
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this from beeronthebrain, cheers Khen, wherever you are???

Pours caramel/chestnut with 2+ fingers of sand colored head.

S: Some cakeyness & not much else

T: Boozey cakeyness, leafy hops, apricots, dates & dryness up front. Leafy & herbal hops sit along side all the sweetness as this warms. Finishes sweet, dry, with much honey & figs

MF: Chewy with moderate carbonation, nice stickyness, very good balance, skews a bit malty

Drinks pretty easy the heft would get to ya after a while. This seems more English than American as BWs go, but tasty non the less!

Photo of MrHungryMonkey
3.28/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3


Syrupy sweet smelling malt, with sluggish honey-like roasted sugars. Touch of alcohol suggests strength. Light fruit notes - apple. Almost no hop noticeable in the aroma.

Deep copper color with burgundy highlights, too translucent to detect degree of clarity. Minimal head, but while it was there is was really nitro-creamy one - mmm!

Nice round malt flavor greets my tongue displaying deep roast, toasty midtones, fruit sweetness, and rich, syrup sweetness. A light hopping compliments the fruit-like sweetness with floral notes and cuts into the sugar-like sweetness with citric notes. A deeper, darker roasted character develops as it warms, as well as alcohol flourishes. Hop bitterness grows as well, taking control over the finish. Body is fairly thick with minimal carbonation. Vanilla notes intermingle with the malt midway through.

Not my favorite Barley Wine style ale out there. I like the IPA-strength BWs, and this is a malt-driven brew with minimal hops. I'd like to try it with more hops. The hop flavor it has is good, but just not enough. It does have a nice complex malt flavor though; and it's really sweet - gummy bears came to mind a few times - but by no means is it too sweet like highly-malted, higher ABV beers can be. Also notable: the alcohol never reared its potentially ugly head. I'd say it is a decent after dinner kind of drink to seduce you into a slumbering state without smacking you upside the head with tasty hops.

Photo of Overlord
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I want to rate this beer higher. I really do. It's a solid beer that's only 3.29 for a bomber.

Pours an amberish red color with a big off white head. Nice carbonation throughout. Mouthfeel is decently thick.

Smells of grapefruit, sweet malt, and alcohol. The taste is overwhelmingly sweet; just shy of cloying. If there are hops, they are grapefruit, as there is little to no bitter/acrid component to balance the overwhelming sweet malt. It's a high alcohol beer, and it tastes it.

Fantastic for the price.

Photo of rye726
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've had some good barleywines in the last couple of days and this one was by far the best. It is also a great deal at just over $3.50 a bottle.

2008 vintage poured into a snifter glass at a rather warm temperature.

It looks to be a redwood color with a silky tan head. Would be a five, but it dissipated rather quickly.

The nose is a rich stew of caramel, toffee, dark sugars, ripe fruits, complex alcohols and light yet well balanced citrus hops.

The taste certainly does not disappoint. There are hints of tart hops and big helpings of buttery malts. I find similarities to a fine cognac. A nutty candy presence is followed by a bouquet of delicate fruit with more toffee and caramel flavors. I have to give it a five.

A full creamy body silks over the palate. This is one hell of a beer and exactly what I look for in an American barleywine. Perfectly balanced and simply delicious. Definately a sipper, as a barleywine should be, but I could go for one of these anytime.

This was my first Lagunitas brew and it was absolutely divine. Can't wait to see how it ages.

Photo of dedrinker
4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep amber/ ruby color with a cream colored head. Distinct aromas of pineapple followed by lesser grapefruit notes. Sweet malts, sticky hops, warming alcohol form a lush and soft brew from the cask. The pineapple presence in the hops is very pronounced, and very pleasant; and always trailed by a hint of grapefruit. Slight hints of caramel/ port on the finish (as it warms) reminds me that this is a barley-wine and not some obscene double IPA. This is a nightcap that you can pull down over your eyes and hit that sleepy-time gamma state. Sleep with a toothy grin.

Photo of Slynger
4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Olde GnarlyWine pours a dark, clear, amber color with an orangeish tint. A slim, creamy, light caramel colored lid settles to leave very nice lacing.

Smells of sweet carameled cherries and oranges with cinnamon and brown sugar. Fresh, piney, hops help to really bring it all together.

Full and smooth as melted butter with a thick whipped cream creaminess. Sweet brown sugar and caramel, bittersweet toffee, sweet dark cherries, the heavy malty sweet flavors keep coming but is not too bold or overly rich. Earthy nutty as well, and nicely balanced with fresh orangey citrus and pine cone hops.

Another great Lagunitas offering. For sure one of the best barlewine's I've ever tasted.

Photo of IntriqKen
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a typical tea colored golden amber with a very small head of off white foam that melts quickly to a mere faint ring.

Aroma is very sweetly roasted malt with light brown sugar.

Taste is sweet roasted amber malts with cane sugar and a nice hop bitterness on the end.

Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth.

Aftertaste is sweet candied sugar and hop bitterness (citrus), but very clean and refreshing for such a heavy beer. Lots of hops in the finish makes this a very enjoyable barleywine.

Photo of champ103
3.63/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: This has a reddish/orange color. A two finger head forms, and recedes fast. Some nice lace is left behind.
S: Citrus hops dominate up front. Sweet candy like aromas, with some malt and alcohol.
T: That western American citrus hop flavor is up front with a nice bitterness and sweetness that is bordering on cloying. This has a long finish, with some sweet and fruity malt as the taste lingers.
M/D: Rich and creamy mouthfeel that coats the tongue well. At over 9% ABV this is a sipping beer. The alcohol shows a bit. Add that with the bitterness and sweetness, this beer is a little hard to drink.

A complex beer. Maybe a bit too bitter for my tastes. Though I still enjoyed this beer. Not one of my favorites of the style but something worth seeking out.

Photo of Portertime
4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Good ol' Lagunitas. Purchased the 22oz bomber at the liquor store I work at. Enjoying it chilled in my Samuel Smith pub glass. Pours a beauiful orange hued ruby color with a great, slow dissapating head yeilding some fine lacing. Now that I look at it sitting for a bit it has actually lightened in color too a iced tea look. Smells wonderful of sweet bread, kind of like buttered croissants. Lots of very floral hops also. Taste is tart with forward floral hops very butsmooth on the tongue for how young it is. This would be great aged.

Photo of WesWes
4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a translucent brown color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great. It has a nice burnt toffee and hops scent along with a mild alcohol aroma. The taste is great as well. It has a dry burnt toffee flavor that goes down easy and finishes warm with a nice subtle hop taste. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a very good barleywine. I've been looking for it for a while and I finally found it at the Blue Tusk in Syracuse. I highly recommend it.

Photo of jwc215
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle, poured into a snifter:

Pours reddish copper with a thin white head that soon becomes lasting wisps. Some lacing sticks to the glass.

The smell is of brown sugar, caramel, earthy notes, a whiff of alcohol, pine, floral notes and some graininess.

The taste is a near explosion of flavors. Malty - toffeeish, caramelish with brown sugar. There is an aggressive bitterness (piney/herbal/citric) that has American West Coast written all over it. There's a rum-like alcohol punch in the finish. There's a great balance with the complexities and bitter/sweet. Wonderful stuff!

Reaches full-bodied with the typical syrupy body for the style.

Big, bold and balanced. The alcohol makes itself known, as do the complexities. A slow, but enjoyable, sipper.

Photo of amiles
3.58/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a mini La Chouffe tasting glass.

A: Semi hard pour creates a very tall tan head which seems to last forever. Body is a golden amber color which looks lightly carbonated.

S: Suprisingly not a big aroma from this one. Though when smelt closely I pick up caramelly big hops.

T: The taste is much bigger than the smell, which makes me happy. Hops and malty, slight alcoholic afterburn. Little bit of spice lingers.

M: Quite nice, the carbonation is just right for this style.

D: Barely wines are typically sippers so I can't mark it down for that... I don't think it'll be a problem finishing this bottle though, but that'd be it for me.

Photo of BeerSox
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber into 8oz snifter.

Deep clear ruby red with a tan one finger head that slowly settles to a rim along the glass. Stringy and spotty lacing here and there.

Sweet hard candy aromas, like a strawberry Jolly Rancher, along with sharp hops. Some of the alcohol makes its way in there.

The malts give a smooth grain base which sets up the citrusy and spicy hop flavor. The hard candy is repeated in the flavor. Full bodied with good carbonation. There is a flavor that I can't quite put my finger on, but is ubiquitous to all well made barley wines. It's a burnt grain flavor that reminds me of coffee grounds. It's a good flavor that's just another component of the complexity of the style. The finish is lingering hops that slowly fade along with the alcohol.

This is a well crafted Barleywine that delivers complexity without overpowering the mouth. Sweet candy flavors mix with bitter hops to make a good balance. Even with almost 10%ABV it's a drinkable beer. Recommended.

Photo of IBUnit63
3.88/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

With a Twenty'Aught-8 in our midst, off to the BMS mug you go...

Clean and stable on the pour. 2 1/2-finger head with the beginning of some nice lacing. Body has sparse bubbles emanating from its copper/natural black cherry/mahogany appearance.

LOTS o' live hops in 'dis raaaht heyuh....floral and caramel sweet - flavorful aroma on both sides of the ball

Plenty of viscosity - sweet caramel syrup - hops go from floral to moderately soapy - this limits balance. Alcohol is present. This could use an in-depth chem class.

Mouthfeel provides more balance and unity with warmth - Chewy, viscous, tangy on teeth - powerful.

This has a heavy alcohol bite and is also strong in weight - let's consider this one a pleasant sipper.

Photo of Halcyondays
3.65/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz. bomber, for a great price, only $3.29 at Whole Foods in Tustin, CA,

A: Pours a red/mahogany brown, with a firm, though light tan head, with nice silky lacing.

S: Dark fruit and sugar predominately, hint of fig.

T: Big on the sweetness, this is one of the lighter hopped ABA's out there, but it is still quite hoppy. Sweetness contains lots of treacly maltiness, fig, raisin, and brown sugar/molasses, with a bitter pine hop backbone.

M: Could be just too sticky sweet at times, but all around not bad, full-bodied and warming.

D: A good beer, but 22 oz. seemed like a bit much, especially at the end of April, would have prefered a 12 oz. serving of this ale, would have again in the future though.

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had already picked up a couple barley wines at the Spec's Warehouse, but couldn't resist this at $3.29. Served in a snifter, the beer was a dark amber color with a small head that left a little bit of lacing. It had a sweet malt aroma, along with a little bit of floral hops. Fairly big sweet malt taste, with some hop bitterness showing up later. I would call it assertive, but smooth, in the mouth. Good beer.

Photo of idResponse
4.63/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A fine fine brew done well again this year!
Pours a beautiful dark red with a fine finger of head that dissipates into a silky thick lacing around the edges. smells of a citrusy pine crisp morning in a logging camp, like fresh cut trees. it tastes like a bittersweet symphony of succulent honey and lightly roasted pine nut. it feels excellent in the mouth with plenty of carbonation and does not leave the bitter beer aftertaste so many barleywines tend to do. a smooth and easily drinkable brew! Lagunitas certainly knows their barleywine! Thanks guys!

Photo of neenerzig
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank a bomber of this recently. Poured into a pint glass. This beer is a clear medium copper color. The head is a good inch when poured, eventually settling to a very thin surface layer and ring lining the inside of the glass. Some malty biscuit and fruity hop aromas are present. Has a sweet, malty flavor upfront along with hints of caramel and brown sugar and some citrus hops and other fruits such as touches of grape and maybe a slight hint of cherry. The hops seem to fade and the beer seems to taste sweeter as it warms. It took me a long time to finish this. Has a crisp and smooth, full bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. The high ABV is definitely noticeable and that's the main thing that keeps this beer from being more drinkable that it is.


Photo of pattyhopp
4.58/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

C- Reddish mahogany and clear
S- fruity, cherries, hops, malty biscuit, dark fruits,
T- sweet caramel and brown sugar, more cherries and dark fruits, grapes maybe

very drinkable for such a high abv, got for only $5...great deal, considering most high abv's are upwards to $8. Definitely need to buy more before its gone!

Photo of ElGordo
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a burnt orange hue, topped by a fat finger's worth of creamy, off-white head that leaves a lacy ring around the glass. Aroma of mildly sweet, biscuity malt, some fruity hops, and a generous bit of alcohol. Palate is sweet malt up front, with a good dose of sticky, fruity hops emerging before the swallow. Notes of biscuit and concord grapes are present before the sweet, warming finish. Body is full and a touch creamy, though not as sticky as most barleywines. A tasty offering, to be sure, but not in the top tier of barleywines I've had recently.

Photo of Gtreid
3.83/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep, deep dark ruby color, with one finger of creamy reddish head.

A: Big floral and citrus hops, with some roasted malts.

T: Very nice. Big hops and finishes with a nice alcohol sensation.

M: Again incredible, very creamy feel for such a full body.

D: For a 9.7% barleywine this was very drinkable. I will be follwing the advice on the bottle next time and picking up three. Cheers.

Photo of Stoneman78
3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2008 Vintage poured into a Duvel tulip glass

Pours a translucent deep mercurial red hue, bit thick and foamy off-white head sustains, thick lacing

Smell is caramel malts, dark fruits, brown sugar, light chocolate and alcohol

Taste is sweet malts and dark fruits which open up to grassy, earthy hops and alcohol burning, tones of cocoa, toffee and molasses, finishes sweet and boozy

Mouthfeel is medium/full-bodied, creamy and smooth texture, moderate carbonation

Drinkability is moderate, this is a good example of American barleywine with a slightly higher emphasis on the hops, alcohol sensation is biting throughout and hinders sustained drinking, not a bad beer to try out if you like the style

Photo of goochpunch
2.5/5  rDev -38.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

2008 bottling

Pours out a still-looking red amber with a head that is here and then gone. Smell is hot alcohol up front. Underneath is a vague sweetness, cooked fruit, really toasty malts and a hint of caramel. Way too much alcohol and not enough other stuff to back it up. Taste is very syrupy-sweet at first with some toastiness from the malt. From all the grain used in this to give it such high sweetness and alcohol, you'd think they could at least give some complexity to the beer. Some citrus and pine hops come in the finish with an awkward bitterness. Hops bring more bitter than flavor to the table. Not overall disgusting, just heavy-handedly 2-dimensional (SWEET then bitter [kind of]). Mouthfeel is nice, however. Viscous, slick, and smooth. The body could be a little heftier though, I suppose. Really not drinkable. Give this a couple of years and maybe something interesting might come out of this mess.

Olde GnarlyWine from Lagunitas Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 961 ratings.