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Old Godfather - Speakeasy Ales & Lagers

Not Rated.
Old GodfatherOld Godfather

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

183 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 183
Reviews: 139
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 12.07%
Wants: 15
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Speakeasy Ales & Lagers visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: frank4sail on 02-18-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 183 | Reviews: 139 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Gueuzedude


3.53/5  rDev -7.3%

Pours with a frothy, initially one-finger thick, light tan colored head the quickly dissipates to a spotty covering of foam. The beer is a brilliantly clear, amber tinged red color when held up to the light, and it is so clear that it shows just a touch deeper, yet similar coloring just sitting in my glass. As I poured this brew into my glass I seemed to get purely malt notes, yet hops are the first thing I notice when I go in for the first draught of the nose. The hop aromatic notes are comprised of a green herbaceous note and some light citrus character. Really though this beer's nose is about the rich malt character. Concentrated caramelized malt notes dominate with notes of toffee, toasted grain and a fresh cracker / biscuit character. The combination of malt and hop aromatics at times takes on notes of bergamot and even candied orange peel.

Definitely sweet tasting, though not syrupy, but the sweetness tastes as if it has been filtered too much. I get the sense that some malt complexity has been lost to some overly aggressive filtering. A fair amount of hop character has been packed into this brew; notes of citrus are prominent as are sharper notes of menthol and pine. There is a nice bitterness here as well that is quite big at times. The hops actually provide a nice sharpness throughout the flavor profile; at first sharp, tongue tingling, herbal notes are noticed, but these move to a clean bitterness and a sharp citrus note.

This beer is pretty good, but in the end it really seems like it has been filtered a bit too much. This would be much better as a bottle conditioned, unfiltered beer.

Purchased: Liquid Solutions, OR

02-08-2007 22:34:28 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of mentor


3.6/5  rDev -5.5%

Reviewed about 6 months ago, but just posting now. Thanks to wezil for this one ala BIF33.

Pours a half finger light tan head that settles to a thin layer. Mildly cloudy orange brown liquid. Smells strongly of pine. Pine rides alcohol, giving it a pine-sol character. Caramel malty is beneath and has a mild hazelnut. Some biscuit malt and some plums appeared as the beer warmed.

Tastes piney, but not as strong as I was expecting. Alcohol gives the pine a medicinal quality and some sherry-like characteristics make an appearance. Hop bitterness is fairly low, lower than the sting from the alcohol, which I also consider a bit low for the style. Aftertaste is wet sweet and caramel malty. Some nut and a touch of chocolate. American b-wine is a style I’m not tremendously excited about and this beer is safe all around for the style. Flavor intensity is mild in all regards for the style (hops, malt, alcohol sting), making this perhaps the most drinkable of all American B-wines I’ve tried. Medium body and modest carbonation. Light pitted fruit flavors became more intense as the beer warmed and made a significant improvement in filling out the flavor profile.

01-08-2007 03:14:34 | More by mentor
Photo of TastyTaste


4.1/5  rDev +7.6%

Appearance: Orange copper color, lighter than usual. White head, slow even fade.

Smell: Light alcohol and brown-sugar malt sweetness. A little raisin?

Taste: A little raw alcohol and malt dominate this flavor, but overall smooth and well-blended, especially when it warms. Peaks with honey drenched sweetness, then fades with some moderate hops. Good, overall.

Drinkability: Nice to try different BW's, and this one is a little different then many out there, mor balanced. Thanks to Zorro for the bottle.

01-06-2007 22:41:17 | More by TastyTaste
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

3.88/5  rDev +1.8%

Poured a deep reddish color with a tight formed one finger head that left no lace behind,great balance to the aromas with a pretty big hop presence brown sugar and gummy fruit intertwined with a lingering piney hop really made for a promising beer.Sadly the flavors were more one sided and they really didnt hammer their character home,sweetish brown sugar and cherry notes hit first off,a nutty alcohol soaked cake kinda presence comes thru as it warms,as for the hops they are there but not real big hitters giving off somewhat of a herbal finish.This is a nice barley wine quite flavorful if the hops on the palate would have matched the nose it would be off the charts in my mind.

12-21-2006 00:23:51 | More by oberon
Photo of 1whiskey


4.6/5  rDev +20.7%

12 oz bottle poured into a stemless red wine glass. Pours out a very pretty reddish-orange with a large, billowing head which quickly dissapaites due to the high ABV.

Nice aroma on first sniff, very sweet and fruity. I detect apricot, pineapple, brandy, even brown sugar almost immediately. Some pine and citrus is in there somewhere, but overall the sweet fruit notes dominate the aroma. I'm really looking forward to tasting this.

Wow. This is really smooth for a young barleywine. Very mellow fruity flavor....all of the flavors noted in the aroma melded together...throw in some orange for good measure...then tone it down into a nice smooth dessert beer. Initial burst of hop bitterness dies out as quickly as the head did, while a sherry-like quality (minus the alcohol, which is VERY well hidden) takes over the palate.This is really easy to drink, not at all what I expected. Most young barleywines slam you over the head, but "The Godfather" takes a seat next to you and settles down for a nice fireside chat. Perfect for a cold winter night.

Mouthfeel is also a suprise for a barleywine. While most barleywines are thick, syrupy, and chewy, this is smoth and medium bodied...almost effervescent (ok not quite) in it's carbonation. As for drinkability, I've never had a barlywine this drinkable. 10.2 % ABV???? Pffft. You'd never know.

This is a must-try. Highly recommended, especially for those looking for a smooth dessert beer.

12-16-2006 05:43:42 | More by 1whiskey
Photo of tcfishler


2.17/5  rDev -43%

Clear reddish garnet with a decent head for its ABV.

Nose is expressive, with a bit of roastedness and a lot of piney hops. A little bit of fruit in the background.

Palate is fairly lively, with a sensation of acidity but also a fair amount of sweetness. Plenty of bitterness courtesy of the hops, and a sharp alcoholic bite too.

A bold hoppy barleywine, for fans of the style only.

12-08-2006 02:37:42 | More by tcfishler
Photo of isaac


4.28/5  rDev +12.3%

12 oz. bottle to snifter.

A- Golden copper with thin, eggshell head. pretty and inviting. thin lacing that fades into small specks on the glass.

S - Smells like hops, but candy coated. very interesting.

T - Starts off bitter, with the grapefruit-like flavor of a very hoppy IPA or DIPA, but then fades into malty sweetness, with slight breadiness in the finish.

M - Very nice, not too heavy, but thick enough to support the big flavors.

D - An enjoyable barleywine, not my favorite style, but pleasant nonetheless.

11-25-2006 02:30:18 | More by isaac
Photo of flexabull


3.68/5  rDev -3.4%

Pours a nice clear amber color, a bit of a head, and what looks like a decent amount of carbonization.

Smells are pretty good. Aromas of raisins, sweet bread, and a hint of malts and hops.

Taste is just like the aroma, interesting how it just follows the aromas. There is a tad more of a hop character in the taste, but not too much... pretty good stuff.

Mouthfeel is good. You taste the flavors right away, and they linger a bit too.

A pretty good example of a barleywine... didn't blow me away, but is certainly worth a try.

10-31-2006 00:47:27 | More by flexabull
Photo of MaltyGoodness


3.45/5  rDev -9.4%

12oz. bottle - 2006 edition - thanks to jhammerly

Pours a hazy brown-amber with a very small white head that promptly disappears. Lightly speckled lacing on the glass.

Aroma of piney hops and caramel malt with a slight booziness as it warms.

Sweet caramel malts upfront that slide into a mild bitter bite and a wave of piney hops. Fininshes sweet and malty.

For a barleywine with such a high ABV, the body seems somewhat thin for the style and the carbonation is very low.

A fairly decent barleywine overall.. I enjoyed the bottle and drank it with relative ease, but won't be seeking to trade for any more from this year's release.

10-28-2006 04:22:17 | More by MaltyGoodness
Photo of BlindPig


2.42/5  rDev -36.5%

A- 1/4" light tan head. Clearish amber color.
S-Alcohol seems strong. Some malts backing it. Maybe sweet fruits or sweet hops.
T-Alcohol taste with warming. Malty character. Light bitterness in taste and grows in aftertaste. Some strange flavors also.
M-full body, sticky, low carbonation.
D-It's not good at all couldn't even finish a 12oz bottle of it. Some very strange flavors.

10-09-2006 21:58:03 | More by BlindPig
Photo of czechsaaz


3.25/5  rDev -14.7%

Very fruity fermentation aroma. I'm getting a big malt backbone with apples, peaches, plums and all kinds of fruit. There's some hop aroma, but it takes a bacseat to the malt. I smell some interesting malt that seems a little like Vienna but it's not easy to pick out. Some sniffs is like Vienna and others seem like dark crystal.

Light amber, on the light end of what I'm used to seeing in a barleywine. Smallish but lasting head with food lacing. Very clear. Small rising carbonation.

Flavor is kind of strange. I get a lot of malt flavors, but there's some overripe fruit thing going on. Kind of like DMS but not really. Kind of like diacetyl, but not really. This is weird because there's something there that my palate doesn't like but I can't quite put my finger on what it is. Hop bitterness is pretty high and there's good hop flavor in the mid palate. But whatever that flavor is keeps me from really enjoying it.

Full bodied and smooth. Creamy on the toungue.

That off flavor keeps me from really enjoying drinking this so it gets low marks for drinkability. It's a tough glass for me to get through.

10-05-2006 08:00:34 | More by czechsaaz
Photo of Pooba001


3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Poured from bottle into Corsendonk tulipish glass. Started with a good head, but that didn't last long. Color was a deep golden amber or light bronze shade. Tiny legs. Smell is grain, alcohol, floral hop, malt sweetness, and a hint of citrus.

Taste is unimpressive. Sure there's sweet from the malt and bitter from the hops, but it just doesn't seem like this beer has the depth to measure up to Old Ruffian, Old Guardian, Bigfoot, or Old Numbskull. Just doesn't come together terribly well.

Mouthfeel isn't great. Thin for a big barleywine. My drinkability notes say "this beer isn't worth its ABV."

09-16-2006 03:14:57 | More by Pooba001
Photo of hoppymeal


3.55/5  rDev -6.8%

2006. Pours copper to amber in color and clear with a very slight cream head that fades back to nothing quickly. Initial aroma is citrusy hops, sweet vitamin c like orange scent along with some grassiness. There is also a large alcohol aroma, like smelling hard liquor. The nose is pretty much dominated by the hops and alcohol. Taste is similar, there is just a hint of sweet orange before the buds get slammed good with a large bitter and dry hop and alcohol bite. This beer is definitely rough and raw. I do enjoy its kick you in the head aggressive hops and alcohol but it seems very much like a dipa. I'd like to see if some age would mellow this out, although not being bottle conditioned, don't know how long this one can go in the bottle. I enjoyed the raw character here but would like to see a little more on the flavor side as well.

08-23-2006 03:02:09 | More by hoppymeal
Photo of blitheringidiot


4.22/5  rDev +10.8%

**The eyes are watching you***
Simple engaging classy painted label bottle with the best damn barleywine name ever?

Pours a copper and brass auburn hue with a filtered clarity topped with a strong ABV trounced faded thin khaki head cap.

After stealing a page from Anchor Old Foghorn, the scents are flour biscuit and deep fruit fig and pear. A hint of awl-kee-hawl booziness creeps in under a veil of caramel sweetness.

First swigs: Rugged malt and fig fruit booziness follows through with a cherry, orange peel punch. Big fruit flavors meld with a silky texture to undertake a creeper of a barleywine. Wow! Bitterness is rounded off with a sweetness quickly covered.

Feel is a smooth creature that rolls on and off the tongue despite the sizzle. An oily barley that beguiles as it entertains.

Last swigs: Sweet silky orange pear schnapps barley. Well done fresh, but if this is worthy as a cellar dweller, it would be surprising. Seems to be delicate, but time will tell. Hidden 10.2% ABV. This one is worth seeking. Go forth and seek! Trade if you must all fellow barleywine junkies.

08-18-2006 05:58:58 | More by blitheringidiot
Photo of cheers2beers


4/5  rDev +5%

Thanks to Boolshot for this bonus beer.

Appearance: Ruby red and a deep orange glow. No head at all except a thin white collar floating around my snifter. No laceing to be found.

Smell: The aromas seems to be piney hops, honey, sweeted caramel maltiness and a pungent alcohol vapor.

Taste: The hoppiness seems to play a great role, this barley wine is very well balanced. The alcohol doesnot get in the way even thou it is fairly potent. Brown sugars , molasses, honey, and nice caramel malt. The hops seems to come back in the finish as well.

Mouthfeel: Well balanced! Slick, and thick and yet dry at the same time. Medium amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: Not bad at all i would love to try this again on a later date.


08-11-2006 02:12:39 | More by cheers2beers
Photo of Westsidethreat


3.2/5  rDev -16%

A: Looks like a semi cloudy garnett color with a butter cream colored head...most of which has collapsed. Some stray bubbles still rest on the surface with a healthy ring around the glass.

S: Sort of soapy with some pinesol, tangerine, raspberries and graham crackers. Unbalanced IMO

T: Begins malty with some fruity/berry notes. Immediately some soapiness takes shape and dilutes the attractive fruit notes. Unfortunately the soapiness lingers longer than I would like (for the rest of the beer actually). A spark of bitterness occurs and embraces the palate and finishes the finale of the beer.

M: Medium body with a bit of a fluffy carbonation.

D: As far as barleywines go, this one is a miss.

08-10-2006 05:47:43 | More by Westsidethreat
Photo of Beerzebub


3.98/5  rDev +4.5%

Fairly dense looking quarter inch head, but dissipates fairly quickly. Big, lazy bubbles. Red. Delicious nose of fig jam, mild cheese, crusty bread, maybe cherry pie or strawberry rhubarb pie. A beer I want to sink my teeth into.

Alcohol certainly shows itself on the palate, but no more than expected. Fruit and honeylike malt sweetness. Finishes with lingering grassy, floral mint and sage, and alcohol. Refreshing, at least for a barley wine. More fizzy than I expected from the appearance, but not overly so; the creamy mouthfeel works with the honey.

I liked this, particularly for the nose (not to mention the psychotropic firepower!). Had it without food, but it would be perfect for a picnic of cheese sandwiches and bocce (on foot!). This beer's worth a try, even if you're apprehensive of the style, as I am.

07-25-2006 09:08:23 | More by Beerzebub
Photo of MLegendre


3.8/5  rDev -0.3%

A: A clear red/amber. My pour got absolutly no head, and lacing that disapeared so quickly it's not even worth mentioning. Looks like a glass of apple cider.

S: Wow, I can smell it before I even hold it up to my face. Very sweet and fruity, kind of like cherries.

T: First sip, my tongue is attacked by an onslaught of flavor. The hops and alcohol immediately bite the tongue before the sweet malt takes over only to be taken over by the bitter hops in the aftertaste. The hops become stronger as the drink warms. Alcohol is fairly noticeable, but not too overpowering.

M: Medium bodied, not too thick, decent amount of carbonation.

D: For such a big beer it's very easy to drink, maybe too easy. Not something I would drink too frequently, but something I would love to have again.

07-14-2006 07:17:58 | More by MLegendre
Photo of poluti


4/5  rDev +5%

Pours a red orange in tint, pretty light looking with a slight layer of see through head.
Smells malt driven as is typical of barley-wines, however I could still sense hops, which is interesting.
It is extremely malty, I could almost taste cherry. Fruity taste made it an awesome flavor, and there was def. an alcoholic punch to it, which is to be expected in the style.
It feels thick but not too thick for the style. It coats the mouth well but I sensed a little too much carbonation for my liking.
This is very drinkable and capable of warming me up on a cold evening.

07-08-2006 21:30:22 | More by poluti
Photo of Phocion


4.08/5  rDev +7.1%

2006 bottle. Poured into a pint glass, dark bronze color with a minimal head which quickly fades into a light lacing.

Smells predominately of citrus and hops, though light for a barley wine. The hops fades away the longer the beer sits and is gradually overpowered by the sweet malt.

Nicely balanced for an American barley wine, but not too complex. Very malty, nutty, and a butterscotch/molasses-like sweetness with a defined but mild hops finish and citrus undertones. Alcohol is evident, but fairly well hidden considering this one passes the 10% mark.

Medium-bodied with very light carbonation and a very smooth and creamy feel.

This one is probably TOO drinkable. Delicious, very smooth and with relatively little hops/alcohol taste for the style and ABV. Actually somewhat refreshing as well, all things considered. This one could be scary.

07-05-2006 00:54:34 | More by Phocion
Photo of Zorro


4.43/5  rDev +16.3%

Carefully poured in to the glass to leave out the sediment. A clear amber to bronze colored ale.

Smell is intensely fruity to the nose. Fruity and quite peppery too. Lots of cantaloupe melon and fig aromas. The intensity of the fruit aroma makes you not quite notice that this is quite sweet smelling also. Lots of black pepper aroma to this one, but no hop aroma.

Taste is neutral spicy and bitter in the first sip. Bitterness however doesn't take over this beer and remain a kick in the back of your mouth in the after taste. Sweet tasting mostly the flavor of brown sugar and mild fruitiness of plums. There is an additional fruity flavor here that I can't ID, basically it is juicy fruit gum. Quite nice flavored if a little lacking in complexity.

Mouthfeel is good.

A thoroughly enjoyable Barley Wine here. What it lacks in complexity it makes up for in great flavor and aroma. I especially like that hops do not take over the taste like too many beers like this do now days. SN Bigfoot is hoppy but not every brewer needs to copy it. Highly recommended.

07-02-2006 21:56:28 | More by Zorro
Photo of pjwilson


3.88/5  rDev +1.8%

I don't really care for big beers in the heat, but this slight dip down to the 70's means a perfect chance to try a good american barely wine. Will this one live up to the challenge? 2006 bottle.

appearance: pours a very clear amber color. speakeasy doesn't filter their beers, and that it very obvious here, as the beer is super clear, more than any BW i've seen. decent but small head.

smell: some toasted malts, no hop bomb here. deeper sniffs reveal a strong booze element. I nice blended thing. This is reminding me a off North Coast's Old Stock a bit.

taste: quite a tasty malty barelywine. the alcohol presence is huge here, yet just blended enough with the malts to work. the malts bring to mind sheets of toffee, leaving a linger sweetness in the mouth. yet not a thick bw by any means.

mouthfeel: that typical speakeasy lightness in the beer, ie watered down. it's watery for a bw, but again, works for this beer.

drinkability: despite the light mouthfeel, this is a very slow sipper, think scotch. very slow sipper, and i'm glad it's in 12 once bottles.

A nice purchase, for a no sense bw, although, i can't see wanting more than every few months, which is no problem because i'm sure these will cellar great. frankly this tastes a little young at 5 months, i will cellar at least one another full year.

06-14-2006 07:00:02 | More by pjwilson
Photo of BradBLR


2.48/5  rDev -34.9%

I was a little disappointed in this beer. I am a huge fan of the other SpeakEasy Brews, but this one did not cut it for me. When I poured it into the glass it had nice brownish amber color with a nice pale yellow head.

There was not much of a smell, except for the smell of alcohol. the taste was that of mostly alcohol, a slighty malty flavor foloowed up by some hops. However everything was mostly over powered by the taste of the alcohol. The mouthfeel was fair, but I thought it was failry thin for a barley wine.

Over all not one of my favorities, and I am sad because I have enjoyed all of speakeasy's other beers. I will give it another try after my next bottle has had a chance to age a little bit.

05-08-2006 19:25:15 | More by BradBLR
Photo of clickpush


3.93/5  rDev +3.1%

Pour: bottled marked as 2006 vintage to tulip glass. Comes out w/ absolutely no head and hardly any lacings. It's a transparent burnt-sienna hue and has no visible carbonation.

Nose: The smell is very light and the beer requires a lot of agitation to bring it out, but what does appear is quite pleasant. Smells of vanilla cream, pears and butterscotch before drinking. After getting this beer in my mouth a sweetcorn aroma came up from the back.

Mouth: Bananas and nuts, nice and sweet, up front upon entry. Toffy-ish in the back w/ an excellent balance of sweet and bitter. Also, although it's not visible in the pour, there is a nice amount of carbonation that comes with this beer. It has an excellent, long lasting bitterness in the back of the mouth and slight tanginess on the sides of the tongue - flavors of malts and cereals. This beer, at 10.2 abv, gives a nice, warm alcohol feeling that stayed with me for at least 2 minutes after just one sip. Excellent flavor and great mouthfeel from the carbonation and warming alcohol in the mouth & throat.

05-04-2006 18:20:34 | More by clickpush
Photo of ReDave


3/5  rDev -21.3%

Bottle marked 2006 [probably needs to cellar a bit] Dark dark amber, almost brown. NO head, NO lace. Smell very malty. Taste somewhat sour malt and hops present, but i'm guessing that several months of lagering will help this rather unmelded taste. Somewhat drinkable now, hoping it will be very drinkabe in 6 months

04-30-2006 01:17:03 | More by ReDave
Old Godfather from Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
86 out of 100 based on 183 ratings.