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Olde GnarlyWine - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Olde GnarlyWineOlde GnarlyWine

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

928 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 928
Reviews: 617
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 10.29%
Wants: 104
Gots: 70 | 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: 928 | Reviews: 617 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of walleye


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

A big thanks to kramer17801 for this bottle. poured a a nice brown with a off white head that left some lacing. aroma, caramel, alcohol ( one of the things I like about barely wines), malts, med dark fruits. flavor the nic balance of malts and fruits was nice. the alcohol was burn was nice. would like to get some more of this.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2005 01:14:06 | More by walleye
Photo of Billolick

New York

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

on tap at the Blind Tiger Ale House in NYC. Pours cloudy soft medium almond, with a slight tan head. This one leaves a world class sheet of very fine lacing. Mild malty nose. This is a tasty barleywine, on the malty side of the beer spectrum. Soft and smooth. Dangerously drinkable. Sweet late. Simply a tasty, sweet and drinkable Bwine.

Serving type: on-tap

12-23-2005 02:24:08 | More by Billolick
Photo of AlexJ

North Carolina

4.58/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks for the bottle Warriorsoul!

This bottle from the twenty-aught-four release pours beautifully into my waiting goblet. A deep chestnut brown body with burgundy highlights and a thich rich head the color of oatmeal stays for a surprisingly long time. Thick sheets of lace are left in it's wake.

Aroma is carmelized sugars, spice, dark fruit, candied citrus peel, pine needles, and fruitcake soaked in brandy. Luscious hops are the highlight.

Flavor is certainly no letdown. Thick, chewy caramel malts flavors, loads of dried fruits, delicate spice, and hints of molasses, lead the way. The 70 IBUs have settled down nicely and the result tastes like deeply candied citrus peels drenched in melted pine sap. Complex and delicious. I've never had this fresh, but this 04 bottle is perfect.

Body is just above medium. Enough to support the complex flavors while retaining excellent drinkability. Texture is smooth, chewy, and sticky on the lips. I want more!

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2005 17:30:47 | More by AlexJ
Photo of SkeeterHawk


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

Appearance: Pours a very clear reddish amber color with a half inch of tan foam. There were very few bubbles rising, but the head looked like it was cast in stone and has no intention of going anywhere. Even after a minute, I can barely tell where the head has fallen a touch. There is obviously a good amount of lacing left on the glass after drinking.

Aroma: Lots going on in the aroma. There is rich resiny malts along with a healthy helping of hops. All this with an assertive spicy alcoholic presence make this beer one to contend with...just in the nose so far.

Taste: The taste is much more assertive than the aroma would suggest. There is a boat load of hops to greet you in the beginning. Lots of citrus and flowers try to mask the malt, but it's coming through! In the middle, there is a good bit of sweetness that is noticeable, but this quickly fades to let the bittering hops dominate the finish.

Opinion: This is a really nice beer. It is balanced a bit too far toward the hops for my taste, but it still has a formidable malty backbone for the hops to contend with. The balance is similar to Bigfoot, but there is a lot more graefruit in this beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2005 02:34:51 | More by SkeeterHawk
Photo of RBorsato


3.6/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Rusted copper/brown color with virtually no head. Pours thick ... Sweet malty aromas with a touch of alcohol and sweet malty flavors dominate with an alcohol finish; balanced OK by some aged bitter hop character. Full-medium bodied and creamy smooth.

Reminder to self: Try fresh next time.

Per label: 69.39 IBU & OG 1.096

1999 version
Tasted: 10/26/05

(12 oz. short brown twist-off bottle)

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2005 17:12:04 | More by RBorsato
Photo of meathookjones


4.63/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours out of the bottle with a dark reddish color body and a tall off white foamy head. Great head retentions and the lacing just sticks everywhere on the glass. Big hops here, citric hops over a sweet fruity and malty scent. A few different fruits going on with some caramel and a bit of pine resin. Very appetizing aroma. The taste hits you hard with big hops and big malt. Dark rips fruits mix with a variety of hoppy components, grapefruit, pine and floral notes. Caramel and a bit of alcohol. A dry and bitter finish. This is one big smelling and tasting brew. Very creamy and thick. Coats your mouth a bit. Hoppy ass American Barleywine done right. There is plenty going here and it really packs a punch yet remains drinkable as hell. This was a 2004 bottle and still packed quite a punch I would love to get this stuff fresh.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2005 18:44:28 | More by meathookjones
Photo of MuddyFeet

North Carolina

3.83/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this downstairs for the last six odd months and finally decided to give it a go. Much maltier than expected and the hop bill is not what I was expecting for a barleywine. Deep brick red in color with a whole lot of head. Lots of lace edging around the glass. Nose is full of malts. Flavor is slightly pinecone-ish, but the malts kind of outweigh the hops. Very sweet. Feels like apple cider (non-carbonated, non-alcoholic type) if it were not for the alcohol burn. Some dried fruit in there. This beer makes me think of Christmas Day as it is windind day. Slight thin body and perhaps a tad oily.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2005 22:55:25 | More by MuddyFeet
Photo of jakester


4.75/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I got this bomber at Union Jack's on the Manatawny. Has "Twenty 'aught-4" on the label. (2004-get it?) I drank this in a leaded wine glass.

Pours a beautiful clear reddish amber with orang tints. A beige colored 1/2 finger head of small bubbles forms on top. This quickly fades to a ring. No real lacing observed. That is the only slightly disappointing thing about this whole beer.

Smells like super strong toffee apples, big estery fruitiness, and starting to spoil grapefruits and lemons. A huge caramel smell is there also. In other words, smells fantastic!!! Alcohol rears it's head late.

The first flavor is dark gin soaked raisins, followed by very sweet plums and prunes. A pretty big hop bitterness and flavor is present, as well. The hop flavors are citrusy and spicy, like black pepper. For as big as this is, it's very well balanced. The aftertaste is dominated by sweet fruit and heat. Very nice representation of the style.

Mouthfeel is a mouthfull. Lip smackingly sweet, smooth and creamy, with a soft carbonation rolling across the tongue. A nice grab at the back of your throat from hop bitterness, and a warm, soothing hot flash from alcohol. I think I'm in love!

This is a fantastic representation of the style. It's tough to rate drinkability for barley wines, because they knock your dick in the dirt, but this one is really good!

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2005 16:52:01 | More by jakester
Photo of Gagnonsux


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

2004 vintage. The color is dark ruby brown with an average-sized, light brown head. Gnarleywine's retention consists of bubbles that ring around the insides of my glass. Aroma is of a rich, dark malt fruitness with an ample amount of citrissy hops thrown in as well. A small smell of alcohol is also present. The taste has an intensely rich malt character with the taste of dark fruits. Plenty of citric hops accompany an excellent malt flavor. A touch of alcohol is in the mix throughout and gets just a little stronger in the finish. Speaking of the finish, this beer stays on my tongue forever. Just great! Olde Gnarly has an awesome flavor that is well-layered and just hoppy enough to stay within the bounds of what I prefer in a barleywine. This is one of the best beers I've had in a while, so I've got to say it's highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2005 03:34:19 | More by Gagnonsux
Photo of Fish113d


3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Note: 2004 Edition (Twenty 'Aught-4) in a 22 oz. bottle.

AT room temp, it poors a reddish/ruby color with 1/2" of lightened light tan head into my tulip glass. Wonderfully clean looking with lots of pretty bubbles surfacing to the top. The head begins to dissipate, leaving a nice oily surface layer, with some decent cling to the side of the glass.

This is a very aromatic brew! I can smell some fruit, caramels, and nutty malts at over 16" away! Getting closer, I notice some plum aromas, along with a decent hop bite to it! The alcohol also tingles my nosehair just a tad. A slightly sour aroma comes through as well, reminding me of sour grapes or grapefruit. Pretty complex, but all subtle tones...nice!

Taking a sip, lots of sweet fruit (plums) jump out at me, along with a buttery almond flavor that backs it up. The hoppiness also comes through slightly, but a strong alcohol burn sums up the finish of this one in one word...HOLY BAT-CO-HOL! (Okay...3 words! haha)

Not much carbonation in this full body. Some dryness comes out due to the alcohol, but also nicely smooth as well. I will be trying the rest of this bottle chilled to see what else it gives me!

Although I enjoyed this one, the alcohol makes it a little more difficult to drink a lot of...I think a bomber bottle is plenty for anyone, but it is an enjoyable brew! Drink up!

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2005 21:05:08 | More by Fish113d
Photo of NeroFiddled


4.7/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2002. Pours a clear dark auburn body with gleaming orange highlights beneath a full head of creamy ivory foam that holds well and leaves short walls of transient lace about the glass.

The nose offers a toffeeish and surprisingly nutty maltiness that's accentuated by a touch of citrusy and slightly piney hops.

In the mouth it's full-bodied, dextrinous, and creamy-smooth with a very fine bubbled, restrained carbonation.

The same toffeeish and nutty malt returns in the flavor - like melted brown sugar drizzled over a nibble of a Butterfinger bar, and topped with a teaspoon of chopped cashews, almonds, and hazelnuts. Some dark-skinned fruit emerges along with the bitterness mid-palate; followed by a flourish of citrusy hops. It finishes raspy dry with a lingering note of caramel-sweet malt that slowly erodes leaving a residue of citrusy/piney hops and dull bitterness behind.

The GnarlyWine is a superbly rounded barleywine with an interesting and unique maltiness. With the exception that, at just 9.7% abv, the head retention could be better and some alcohol sneaks through, this is superb!

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2005 19:18:06 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of jdhilt

New Hampshire

3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a three-finger light tan head, fades slowly and leaves some lace. Clear amber color. Light carbonation and heavy bodied. Nose is woody spices. Starts with a semi-sweet flavor, body is quite viscous, almost syrupy, smooth with a bite at the end as some hops kick in. $5.45 for a 22oz bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2005 23:13:12 | More by jdhilt
Photo of paterlodie


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

Yellow foamhead an brown and clear beer. Aroma is lots of carramellic malts, C-hops, alcohol and sweetish. Taste is sweet malty, caramellic alcoholic barleyjuice, fine but not 100% fresh.
Mouthfeel is negativly influenced by the enormous sweetness of the brew but further ok. Same for drinkabillity; cause of enormous sweetness stuffin you fast.

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2005 09:14:32 | More by paterlodie
Photo of goodbyeohio


4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

looks like a raspberry iced tea with a dwarfed barleywine head to it.. swirly-haze clouds on the surface and sticky on the lips and the rim of the glass.

smells delicious in its rich burnt brown sugar coated hop kick. decadent. scotch-like smooth alcohol infestation in my nasal cavity.

starts with a brief bitter jolt, eases into a smooth coating of maple syrup and candied fruit. creamy mouthfeel and hop accents follow, with a mild but encompassing bitterness. has the flavor density and complexity of a fine whiskey.

the drinkability of a crisp cali double ipa, and the sweet malts found in altbier. almost as good as brown shugga' and one of the best barleywines (fresh) ive ever had the pleasure to enjoy.

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2005 14:33:39 | More by goodbyeohio
Photo of mattcrill


4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks go out to absolutesites for the chance to try another Lagunitas offering.

Presentation: 2004 limited release (is everything from Lagunitas limited release?). Some fun banter on the side about brewing a barelywine.

Appearance: Pours a crystal clear garnet color with a fluffy tan head. Some small carbonation cascades up the side of the glass. Carbonation throughout the body as well. Head retention is pretty impressive.

Smell: Brown sugar, some pine hops (dare I say Bigfoot?), slight vinous character, cabarnet grapes all come out on the nose.

Taste: Dried cherries, brown sugar, slightly carmel, with some pine/citrus hops in the background and definitely in the aftertaste. Alcohol is present and provides a nice background but is not overdone. This is big, complex, and very nicely balanced.

Mouthfeel: Big, slightly creamy, almost like syrup. It's not that thick but it definitely coats the palate and leaves a warming alcohol presence down the throat.

Drinkability: One and done. A sipper for sure. Take your time and savor this one. This definitely ranks up there as one of my favorite barleywines and by far the best work by Lagunitas.

Thanks again absolutesites!

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2005 20:36:32 | More by mattcrill
Photo of allengarvin


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

2004 edition. Poured into a chalice glass. Appearance is copper-amber, dark and hazed. Lowish head but nice lacing. Sweet malts and sweet fruits, with ample grassy and spicy hop aroma, make up the nose. First taste is a lot of bitterness, with lemony, citrusy hop flavor, followed by sweet toffee malt. Finish lingers around forever. Smooth, chewy texture and a big mouthfeel.

A great, warming, late-night beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2005 20:02:15 | More by allengarvin
Photo of ppoitras


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

22oz bottle purchased as somewhere around here...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1" tan head over the reddish amber brew. Foamy head lasts well for the style, and lacing is also nice. Aroma is malty, with piney hops character sharing time. Taste is dominated initially byt the hops, fading into smooth maltiness and an obvious alcohol warming close. Mouthfeel and drinkability are both good, but could be even better with a bit less hops dominance. To each his own.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2005 23:00:37 | More by ppoitras
Photo of sinistermadman


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

This brew pours an almost transparent amber-orange while emanating a decent size head which lingers quite a while. Leaves a nice lacing on the glass.

Smell is subdued but hoppy. Smells spicy with an alcohol forefront. Taste is dominated by the hops, but subtle fruit and spice tones are evident. Very light body for a barley wine. Slight residual astringent tinges on the tongue from the readily available alcohol content. Simple and straight forward in its approach. Not very complex in my humble opinion, but a solid brew. Quite drinkable considering the style. Mouthfeel is sparse, very crisp leaving a residual hop taste. I guess I am used to barley wines that kick your ass, this one is too polite but it is very good. Cheers.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2005 23:58:16 | More by sinistermadman
Photo of stegmakk

New York

4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a nice carmel color with near perfect head and sweet lacing.
Aroma was of caramel candy like malt and fruity hops...
Taste. Oh wow. Excellent. Great mix. Pine/citrus hops first quickly followed by sweet toffee. Great barleywine. Not too alchoholic to be a kick in the pants, but just enough to notice...damn this is good.
Mouthfeel was a smooth silky brew from a god.
Drinkability..Tough call. While it took me two hours to finish one 22ozer it was because I was enjoying it all. I could drink this all night.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2005 05:53:44 | More by stegmakk
Photo of BeerResearcher


4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz dark brown bottle. No freshness date, except the "Twenty 'Aught -4" printed on the label.
It pours a deep ruby-hued amber with a good-sized beige head.
The aroma is a light and heavenly mix of floral hop, sweet malt, along with a hint of vodka.
This is a sweet, deeply malty Barley Wine! Tastes of sweet Sherry and honey come to mind at first, then buttery caramel and a hint of pineapple add to the complex nature of this rare brew. A taste of pears comes and goes.
The hops just leap out and shout for their equal share of attention against this big sweet malty foundation. Pink grapefruit, lemon zest and peppery spices provide an edgy, sharp bite, which comfortably leads to the lush golden rum-like finish.
This is a well-conceived Barley Wine, though I doubt that cellaring will significantly improve this brew's character.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2005 04:39:19 | More by BeerResearcher
Photo of assurbanipaul


4.53/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich chestnut color with a thick khaki head. Aroma is multifaceted, alcohol fusels with fruit and some maltiness. Nice lacing and head retention

Taste is also rich and multifaceted. Lots of sweet, bready malt and puckering hops but with a fair amount of fruit. Some very light grapefruit, some caramel, lightly buttered toast, biscuits and honey. Not a strong alcohol presence in the flavor, which keeps its drinkability high.

Mouthfeel is velvety and sticky but not weighty enough to slow down. Spot-on, just-to-style barley wine, not overburdened with hops that require years of aging to cool off. Drink this one fresh, it's just perfect as-is.

Twenty 'Aught-4 vintage, 9.7% ABV

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2005 02:44:31 | More by assurbanipaul
Photo of carln26


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

This beer poured a clear deep copper to ruby color with a thick tam head. The nose has a nice balance of caramel and toffee from the malt in addition to grapefruit and hop flower from the hops. The taste is more malt than hops. I guess I’ve become used to hop bombs, and this has a much more subtle with the citrus and floral in some Barley wines. It has a gentle warming effect (nice as I feel a cold coming on), and a slightly slick mouth feel. Very nice beer. I appreciate the subtle characters.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2005 14:29:18 | More by carln26
Photo of sulldaddy


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

I am sampling a room temp 22 oz bottle in a 10 oz snifter. The beer pours a clear red color with a 2 cm creamy soft beige/orange head foaming up. Head fades gradually to a thin surface layer.
The aroma is a mix of citrus hops, biscuity yeast, and some sweet caramel malt and fruity/berry scents. First sip reveals a soft creamy textured brew with very fine and gentle carbonation that adds to the silky mouthfeel of the brew. Very enjoyable physical presence.
Flavor is similar to nose, some toffee and sweet malt mix with the citrusy hops and give off some lemony flavor. Some ripe dark fruit flow through towards the end while a hit of peppery alcohol comes through just to remind you its a barleywine. Overall the beer is fairly smooth, but the alcohol makes it a definate sipping beer. I enjoy this brew, but dont think I will be drinking this bomber very quickly.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2005 01:31:38 | More by sulldaddy
Photo of WetCoaster


3.85/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: A deep bourbon amber with an off-white head. Medium, with good retention. Soaping lacing. Mildly carbonation.

Smell: Powerfully malty with an underlying--but also quite powerful--pine hoppiness. Uh... nope, that's it.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Whoa, shotgun blast of creamy toffee malt and pine resin/citrus rind hops. Sugary, raw and a bit bitter through the finish. The body is lightish for a BW, medium with just a bit of carbonation.

Drinkability: In its current state, it's intensely sweet, intensely hoppy--it's just intense, period. Maybe I'm having an off day, because I seem to be in the minority here, but IMHO it's raw and not particularly interesting at this point. I'd give it a year or so and come back to it.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2005 07:59:29 | More by WetCoaster
Photo of feloniousmonk


4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Edition Twenty-Aught-4, as indicated on the label...
gotta quote the label: "The first sip is for thirst, the second one for pleasure, the third sip is for knowing, and the fourth for pure madness." Yeah, they got me pegged!
Dark, devilish, deep crimson color, with a flush, creamy cocoa head atop.
Aroma: big, bright fruits...malt and hops are at work, and at play, and doing well with the account...nice, nice, nice...
Taste: a huge mouthfull, an immense mouthfeel, all the richness of a well-crafted barleywine, dense cherries, plus alcohol, rich in malt, some hops, but so thick with classic barleywinish flavor...just like I like it..too tasty...very nice.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2005 11:01:04 | More by feloniousmonk
Olde GnarlyWine from Lagunitas Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 928 ratings.