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Old Godfather - Speakeasy Ales & Lagers

Old GodfatherOld Godfather

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

158 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 158
Reviews: 135
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 12.3%

Brewed by:
Speakeasy Ales & Lagers visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  10.20% 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: 158 | Reviews: 135 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of scottfrie


2.98/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into goblet.

A: Dark honey-brown iced tea color with a quarter inch of tan head that left a sheet of lacing on the way down.
S: Hints of sweet malt, grain, alcohol, citrusy hops and some type of sweet fruit. Not particularly smelly.
T: Malt, caramel, hops, alcohol and licorice, especially in the aftertaste. Slight cough syrup flavor.
M: Alcohol warms the back of the throat and is a little sharp at times. The warmth coats your mouth and lingers for a while. The alcohol overpowers the flavor just a tad, but otherwise the carbonation and mouth-feel is fine.
D: A decent beer but the aftertaste is a little off putting. The alcohol seems to dominant the flavor as well. Ageing would probably even out the alcohol and make the flavor more balanced. I may not buy this beer again, but it was worth the try.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2010 03:32:20 | More by scottfrie
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.58/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap at the Rattle 'N' Hum. Classic barleywine,unexceptional, with a little bourbon, a tad of chocolate, a tad sour. Dark colour with white head.Mouthfeel a tad above average. Malt complexity draws you in a bit, but taste does not quite live up to it.
Maybe better on cask.

Serving type: on-tap

02-21-2010 19:14:26 | More by Sammy
Photo of cleverbeername


3.55/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tap, 48*, pilsner glass

A nice lace, dark amber brown color body, seems a little lighter for style

S white flour, malt, hint of coffee

T rich and malty. fairyly straightforward

M coating but not too robust. Full bodied and dry

D nice because its not as high in protein and not as chewy. I could drink more than one, or a large format.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2010 23:42:19 | More by cleverbeername
Photo of markaberrant

Saskatchewan (Canada)

3.48/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - hazy, redish-amber, thick, light tan head, creamy, lace is already sticking to the sides

S - big typical barleywine smell, not much left for hop aroma, but clean, with thick carmel malt, nutty, lucious, really good

T - more of that straight ahead, nutty carmel, dense maltiness, not much hop flavour, bitterness is med, though the alcohol accentuates it in the finish, lingering, nutty, bready aftertaste, though the alcohol is somewhat in the way

M - medium body is just about right, smooth, somewhat creamy, alcohol burn seems a little much (this is an aged bottle)

D - a very solid barleywine, just a little too much alcohol flavour and burn for my liking

The alcohol presence really detracts from what is otherwise an outstanding brew. Over the course of an hour, I was only able to drink about half of it.

Thanks to Canucklehead for the bottle!

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2010 00:15:56 | More by markaberrant
Photo of imaguitargod


3.75/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark amber in color that pours to a very tiny head (gave it a rough pour) that quickly dissipates to a ring around the glass. I had aged this beer a year before sampling and the hops had definitely died down but where still noticeable! Big alcohol flavor up front with some fantastic maltyness. Tons of caramel malt flavors! Definitely enjoyable and after a long day of labor this went right to my head!

~Jonathan Passow

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2010 01:34:28 | More by imaguitargod
Photo of bheilman


3.38/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark/opaque brown color. Not the best looking beer. Has a decent scent but nothing that really catches your attention. I think caramel with the wiff. Lots of malted caramel little hops which is somewhat refreshing compared to most of the hop heavy barleywines I've drank recently, but the truth is I prefer the hop heavy drinks. Does have some oak or somewhat woody flavor in the taste too. Aftertaste does bring some hop bitterness and it is sort of alcohol tasting and leaves a warm feeling. Solid beer on a cold winter day. Not all that drinkable though because of the intensity.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2010 22:15:34 | More by bheilman
Photo of kiddynamite920


3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a snifter. Expecting a hoppy BW here considering Speakeasy's heavy hop hand.

A: Pours a murky, amber brown. Head built nicely, but faded rather quick as expected. A ring of soapy looking bubbles settled around the glass.

S: Smelled the malt presence as soon as I cracked the bottle. Very hot alcohol smell. Hidden behind that are the malts, which smell very sweet. Great floral hops and a lingering caramel aroma.

T: Taste is quite bitter, malt presence is not the strong point of this barleywine. Hot, floral and almost has a spearmint taste. Has some oak flavors as well, smokey and hoppy haven't necessarily worked for me. A little too much going on here, could use some aging.

M: Mouthfeel, however is quite nice. Nice and thick, a bit syrupy. Has a definite barleywine feel.

D: Having some trouble with this one. A bit too hot. Definitely a sipper and I couldn't imagine having more than one, or even half of one at this point.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2010 06:03:13 | More by kiddynamite920
Photo of degerbah


3.08/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a light brown with almost no head at all. What head there is stick to the glass like glue. The beer smells extremely malty, almost to the point where it smells like unfermented wort. The sweet malty smell carries over to the beer which is so malty it is almost tongue curdling. This beer is the definition of too sweet. I feel that the beer was not properly fermented. Although there is a little bit of hops in the aftertaste this is a malt bomb to the point that it isn't as good as it could be if it was more balanced.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2009 03:13:33 | More by degerbah
Photo of tang3nt


4.25/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2006 vintage Poured into a pint glass a dark amber brown color with a small light brown head. Lacing is good. The nose is really sweet. Chocolate and caramel malt aromas. The flavors are very complex. To be honest I couldn't even put my finger on everything I was tasting! Mostly chocolate and caramel malt flavors, dark fruits - mostly cherry, with a nice hop bitterness on the finish. At 10.2% the alcohol is very well hidden at this point. The body was fairly medium for a barleywine, with good carbonation. As complex as it is, it is done well. Very balanced and drinkable, this one makes for a damn good barleywine. If you have the chance, cellar this for some time! 3 1/2 years did mine justice. This made my day!

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2009 06:36:53 | More by tang3nt
Photo of Jwale73

Rhode Island

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

12oz. bottle served in my ST tulip. Poured a hazy mahogany with a two inch, off-white, creamy head that lost about half its volume in seconds before eventually settling into a broken slick that coalesces into a band of bubbles around the perimeter of the bowl. Bright white strands of delicate lacing adhered to the sides of the glass during the tasting. Nose was malty, molasses, brown sugar and perhaps a suggestion of prunes. Taste consistent with nose; however, a little bit of hops bittering comes out in the middle and the dark fruit is exposed a bit more towards the latter half. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with a lively effervescence that breaks down the consistency of the body ever so slightly; mouthfeel is also a little oily. Pretty tasty barleywine I have to say. This is one of those hit or miss styles for me, but this was pretty enjoyable with a very well-hidden abv at 10.20%

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2009 21:20:53 | More by Jwale73
Photo of far333


3.6/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Slightly hazed ruddy orange with a head that rises up minimally and settles out quickly.

Aroma of pine sap and sticky ripe fruits and caramelized orange rind, plus some alcoholic vapors wrapped up in it all.

Flavor is sharp red grapefruit, orange rind and piney bitters with muted honey malt undertones. Hints of caramel and toffee, plus more ripe fruit. Alcoholic strength is present and noticeable.

Mouthfeel is a little watery, moderate carbonation, definite warming of the cheeks. Thanks to barleywinefiend for sending this one over.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2009 00:41:54 | More by far333
Photo of Overlord


2.28/5  rDev -40.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Wow. I was expecting to be pleasantly surprised by this brew, but was decidedly not.

Pours a sort of ruddy brown with an inch or two of tan head. Not bad looking actually.

Smells like ... pine, rubbing alcohol, and a hint of caramel. Seriously, what's with the alcohol presence? Barleywines shouldn't smell like like cleaning solvents.

Taste basically delivers what the aroma promises. There's a slushy brown sugary-y hoppy and caramel malty flavor to it, but the booziness is raw, unpleasant, and when meshed with a decidedly hop-forward flavor profile this becomes a decidedly unpleasant beer to drink.


Serving type: bottle

09-27-2009 08:14:31 | More by Overlord
Photo of ShogoKawada

Rhode Island

3.93/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured on tap at Sunset Bar & Grill.

A- Copper, orangey almost. Good pour but minimal head, which happens at 10%.

S- candied plums, sugary malts. Boozy, for sure,

T- Malty, a tad bready, with an all-around sweetness. Tastes boozy, much like the nose. Still, solid flavor profile.

M- Smooth considering the ABV. Nothing amazing, but respectable.

D- Moderate. This beer might be a bit better if the ABV was toned down a bit. As it is, it's too hot to have more than 1. Still, boozy and tasty. Would buy again.

Serving type: on-tap

08-03-2009 21:40:42 | More by ShogoKawada
Photo of Ryan011235


2.73/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a snifter on 6/22/09

Poured half the bottle - split with a fellow drinker.

A - Cloudy lighter brown hue; sort of muddy looking - similar to pond water. Poured a negligible head. Minimal lacing.

S - Sweet aroma, plenty of candied malts in the nose with a boozy smell.

T - Hints of caramel, the taste of something burnt & a subdued hop presence. A touch of alcohol in the finish.

M - Moderate carbonation, yet rather slick on the tongue. There was a tingling sensation that had staying power, kind of an boozy numbness.

D - I found this beer to be rather disappointing. It came across as lacking balance or at the very least, one dimensional.

Notes: Aged about 6 months. It just didn't work for me, but I wouldn't be entirely opposed to giving it another shot someday.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2009 05:53:43 | More by Ryan011235
Photo of necrat

Rhode Island

3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a very cloudy dark brown color. A small head remained with a small amount of lacing at the top of the glass.

It had a nice toasty malt smell with hints of what I felt were almost coffee , toffee-ness.

It tasted less coffee than it smells but its definatley got a strong almost sweet maltyness to it. You can taste the alchohol in it but it's not overpowering.

Its got a nice mouthfeel. Not overly carbonated.

It's a very drinkable beer and I would get it again.

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2009 16:34:44 | More by necrat
Photo of jackofclubs


3.93/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

from the bottle to a sniffter

A copper with a big fluffy white head

S apricot warm brandy malty and other fruits

T not as good as the smell the apricot was not as pronounced alchohol was present but not overpoweering

M still could be thicker medium for the style

D a good brew the smell was the best part

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2009 19:29:57 | More by jackofclubs
Photo of strengthdoc


4.22/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured from the bottle with a hazy amber/mahogany color. The aroma was sweet and malty with an apricot character. There was a nice malty taste, but not overpoweringly sweet as with some barleywine ales. There is a mild taste of hops in the finish that quickly gives way to an alcohol warmth. You can taste the flowery bitterness which hides any alcohol in the taste.

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2009 05:09:19 | More by strengthdoc
Photo of supercolter


4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This is one of those beers that I thought was going to thoroughly out-muscle me. It was a long battle but apparently I won. Appearance was very good, nice red color with decent hops and very good lacing. Smell is great, almost scary though- very boozy with a dark fruit plum and fig yeast. Lots of tobacco and very well hopped. Taste is similar but almost too boozy at first for my liking. Only a minimal deduction in my book because the taste is very good. Also brings some spice to the table, peppery.
Mouthfeel is heavy and oily, just the way it should be. Drinkability- a big beer and definately one to session.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2009 03:57:58 | More by supercolter
Photo of Wetpaperbag


3.55/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A- A nice redish brown color. A ring of foam around the rim.

S- The smell is very potent with alcohol, gin like for the most part. There is a great rich malty/hoppy fragrance that smells good.

T- There is a strong gin hop taste to this. The hops seem faded in a dead way and not bright and crisp. A cherry taste is slight as well. The alcohol is present in the taste, almost tastes like that of absolute vodka.

M- Thin, too thin for what I like in my BW.

D- Fairly drinkable, would have enjoyed more thickness.

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2009 02:38:52 | More by Wetpaperbag
Photo of lacqueredmouse


4.28/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a darkish amber colour, with a tall frothy head of cream coloured bubbles. Body looks quite thick and viscous in the glass, not so much from the pour. Some lacing. Looks pretty good.

Big, boozy aromas on the nose - port, brandy and cognac. Lots of sweet residual sugar characters, caramel and musk. Certainly smells like a fortified wine, but not in a bad way. Jus big and rich and heavy.

Slick and creamy mouthfeel, with a big sweet alcohol presence. Lots of vinous oak characters, lots of malty rich sweetness, and even a slight alcohol afterburn. Residual bitter character, and a lingering breath of booze fumes - it seems to dare me to breathe in after taking a sip.

A fantastic barleywine. One light on the hops, and focusing just on the big, alcomoholic flavours. Certainly a sipper, but in my opinion, this is what a true barleywine should be. I've had too many that just turn up the hop volume and wind up too similar to a DIPA. Very good indeed.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2009 00:58:30 | More by lacqueredmouse
Photo of DIM


3.6/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a: This was a clear, peachy coppery color. It poured with a minmal soapy head.

s: Perfumed, alcoholic fruit aromas of raisins and plums. Muted perfumed and piny hops, plus I swear I smelled some oaky tobacco.

t: Dry, perfumed dark fruits, sweet, oaky tobacco, and a little solvent at the end.

m: Maybe a little thin and watery, with very gentle carbonation.

d: There is "002" written on the label, I wonder how old this is? Other reviewers mentioned how hoppy this is, but I didn't get much in the way of hops. This has mellowed into a pretty nice b-wine. I'll look for a chance to try a fresh one.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2009 10:44:34 | More by DIM
Photo of bitterthebetter


4.5/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a hazy light light brown with copper undertones and a off white head

rich barleywine aromas of malt, notes of caramel, candied sugars, piney hops, slight fruit notes of lemon and faint apple

sweet caramel malt upfront, with candied sugar, molasses, piney hops leading to lemony and grassy notes on the finish. slight biscuity malt as well on the dry, slighty spicy hop finish

medium bodied, good sweet yet not overpowering malt with caramel and bready notes dominant leading to a crisp, present, solid hoppy finish that really balances the beer out. a truly pleasant warming feeling 2 minutes after the first sip

an excellent American Barleywine. medium body, smooth, malt forward but with a sturdy enough hop backbone to provide structure at exactly the right time, and no trace of the alcohol. many flavors are also present that flow really well into each other creating a truly excellent barleywine, I know I'll be buying more

Serving type: on-tap

03-16-2009 04:43:39 | More by bitterthebetter
Photo of sulldaddy


4.3/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I am sampling a cellar temp bottle poured into a snifter. The beer pours a clear golden to amber color with minimal beige hed foaming up and fading rapidly to islands and edge layer. The aroma is not robust but is complex. There is some white grape and light fruity notes, mixing wtih caramel malts, a bit of brown sugar pokes around as well. But also a solid dose of herbal and piney hops. The nose is balanced and enticing.
First sip reveals an average body with some stickiness to the texture, but not a lot. Almost no carbonation is present, the bubbles that exist are incredibly fine and barely register on the tip of my tongue.
Flavor is sweet caramel and brown sugar, lite fruit and some herbal tea like hops on the finish. No real hint of ABV anywhere, a very easy drinker for a barleywine. Well crafted and tasty, I would grab this one again.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2009 03:38:06 | More by sulldaddy
Photo of tigg924


3.73/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: 1/2 inch head, big carbonation, light brown, some salty looking sediment in the pour

Smell: hops, citrus, malt, and sweet fruit

Taste: the taste is complex. hops and malt dominate, but there are tastes of pine, honey dew melon, biscuity caramel, and alcohol

Mouthfeel: predominately strong, bitter, and dry...a semi-sweet finish

Drinkability: I found this to be more and more complex as I drunk it...Initially I was blown away by the hops, but after the first blast, more flavors are apparent...Not sure if I will get this again, but it is wonderfully complex.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2009 05:51:40 | More by tigg924
Photo of bbothen


3.3/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into Sam Adams high tech beer glass.

Pours a clear caramel color with a thick & frothy 1 finger deep tan colored head.

Smells of sweet malts, some chocolate, toasted aromas, some faint hops & booze.

Bready sweet malts, citric hops, noticable booziness, bitter, somewhat harsh, strong medininal taste and unbalanced to my palate.

Thick, medium bodied, moderate carbonation, lingering booziness.

The flavor profiles here are not my favorite, so this is a one and done for me. Not bad, just not to my liking so much.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2009 02:09:42 | More by bbothen
Old Godfather from Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
86 out of 100 based on 158 ratings.