Old Saguaro Barleywine Style Ale | Sonoran Brewing Company

16 Ratings

Brewed by:
Sonoran Brewing Company
Arizona, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
The Old Saguaro Barleywine is our tribute to the beauty and longevity of the Saguaro Cactus. Aged for over 1 year, this smooth robust brew is packed with rich malt and hop characteristics with hints of dried cherries and grapes. Like the Saguaro Cactus this unique brew only gets bigger and better with age, creating a drinking experience to be savored.

60 IBU

Added by BeerBeing on 03-31-2006

Bros Score:
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 16 |  Reviews: 11
Reviews by rdickey:
Photo of rdickey
4.25/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear reddish amber into a goblet. Despite a rough pour, it's Melvin from Pulp Fiction: one body, no head.

Smell: Without the bubbles, it's a little harder for me to get a good fix on the nose, but it's definitely sweet and you can feel the alcohol coming through.

Taste: This beer is a lot more balanced than what I expected given the nose. Obviously you can have a big range in American barleywines, but this is near the middle of the spectrum, and in a good way. Honey sweetness starts, followed by a nice hop bitterness that isn't an over-the-top American hoppiness - it works nicely.

Mouthfeel: Very good - the bitterness in the finish cuts the sweetness such that the relative stillness of the beer is just about right.

Drinkability: Well, it's a barleywine. By design, you don't want to have more than a couple of these, but you'll be quite happy having a couple of these.

 904 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of jaydoc
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of wethorseblanket
3.58/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of RBorsato
3/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of grub
3.77/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Viggo shared this one. thanks eric!

22oz bottle. sampled july 1/09.

pours slightly hazy reddish brown, showing a great fiery red colour when held to the light. the small dense tan head drops quickly and leaves only a few spots of lace.

aroma is good. light alcohol. rich caramel and toffee. lightly toasted white bread and biscuit. bit of cracker. light alcohol. light citrus. earthy and a bit spicy. the malt profile is pretty american, but the hops lean a little toward the english barleywine direction.

taste is a little odd...but interesting. sort of a sweet and sour combo. light caramel sweetness with a bit of a grapefruit and slightly lemony sourness. there's more earthy and spicy character here too, definitely not the typical pine and intense citrus american ipa/barleywine styles are known for. lightly toasted white bread. bit of cracker.

mouthfeel is good. fairly large body. medium-light carbonation level.

drinkability is good. the alcohol is hidden very well, feeling more like 6% than over 9%. definitely not your typical american barleywine, and certainly not my favourite, but it's interesting and enjoyable none the less.

 1,148 characters

Photo of emmasdad
3.25/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Another vintage rating that needs to be added for my records. Picked up a 4 pack at Trader Joes. Poured a cloudy amber color with a little light brown head. Aromas of dark fruits, caramel and toffee. Medium bodied on the palate, a little tart, dark fruits and caramel.

 268 characters

Photo of Viggo
3.76/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle, big thanks to GregMcQ for sending this one my way!

Pours a lightly hazed dark orange, some gold, thick off white head forms, settles to a thin layer and ring, big lacing on the glass, looks pretty good. Smell is neat, sweet and malty, agave nectar, honey, very sugary, raisins and apricot, fruit, floral, nicely balanced, a bit vanilla/woody. Taste is pretty interesting, very fruity, almost cactus like, honey and agave nectar sweetness, sugary, sour apples, alcohol is almost nonexistant, grapefruit juice, lightly acidic, touch of caramel in the finish with a light tartness, really neat. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low to medium carbonation, super smooth and the alcohol is insanely hidden, the sweet and sour character is neat. Not a standard barleywine but I enjoyed it quite a bit, really cool. Thanks Greg!

 834 characters

Photo of HopHead84
3.08/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks snojerk123. Copper with dark red highlights and a small beige head that recedes quickly, leaving no lacing.

The aroma is sweet caramel and very sugary with just a little toffee. The oxidization is pretty noticeable here, imparting cardboard and sherry notes.

The flavor is very sweet, a little too sweet and sugary. Notes of dark fruits are evident, as well as noticeable alcohol. The oxidization is pretty noticeable. The finish is sugary with some toffee.

Skip this. There are too many great Barleywines out there.

 526 characters

Photo of beerpadawan
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of ATLbeerDog
3.73/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful rusty red/copper color with a non existent head, way below average lacing and hardly any carbonation. The dominate smell is heavy fruit with citrusy floral hops and mild malts. First taste is light and very sweet like honey, and not much of a hop note. Finishes with a bitter aftertaste. Light in body and taste. Not bad for a sipper.

 352 characters

Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
3.55/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Courtesy of RB's own kp. Pours amber with a bit of haze and short lived white head. The aroma is musty sweet malts, pine hops and a touch of sour tartness. The taste begins with crystal malts and pine hops mixing with sour tartness. Interesting, a sour barleywine. Very cool. The modest tartness and pine hops play against the mild malty musty sweetness creating some balance to the experience.

 394 characters

Photo of Patrick999
3.31/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a rather limp, clear amber. I know this is a strong beer, but come on, this looks flat. I was able to muster some bubbles with some very hard swirls of the snifter.

S - I get a strong, jammy orange marmalade, along with a little acetone. And rum cake.

T - A burly beer, this is quite sweet up front and bready, with a surprising degree of hop bitterness that tries to clean things up on the back end, but the sweetness wins out. Alcohol is here, but it isn't a terribly unpleasant alcohol, more of a nice Cointreau-type sweetness.

F - Pursuant to the appearance, though not flat as initially feared, this isn't carbonated enough. It is somewhat syrupy.

D - This is not my favorite beer, though I'm sure my scores reflect a certain bias, as I am not the biggest fan of English barleywines. However, I'll be happy to put the other two away and see how they develop in a few years. Pretty easy for me to drink, however, as limp under-carbonated beers tend to be simply because they go down with little or no associated burping.

 1,041 characters

Photo of murrayswine
4.18/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It pours a beautiful ruby red/amber with a true barley wine head, as in, it has none. the smell is huge ripped hops backed by oak and more oak. then comes the sweet malts, it's heavy like molassis.
On the taste, it's very big, but, a lot like Kentucky breakfast, astonishingly smooth. Lots of hops, but more like british hops. I know he uses the same style malt for everything he makes, but it sure as hell doesnt taste that way.

Highly Recommend

 451 characters

Photo of t0rin0
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of GatorBeerNerd
2.86/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle that a friend shared with me. Poured into a standard pint glass.

A: Pours a nice dark copper brown with a 2 finger thick head. It dissipates quickly down to a covering of bubbles. It had a little bit of lacing.

S: Sweet syrupy aroma with hints of caramel.

T: Reminds me in an odd way of southern style sweet tea. It has a hint of caramel flavor as well. There is no balance at for me in this one. You can not taste the alcohol at all.

M: Very thick and creamy. No in mouth carbonation. Not exactly enjoyable to roll on the tongue.

It is overpoweringly sweet. I really didn't have a lot of desire to go back for the next sip.

 643 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.8/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a lightly hazy, garnet-hued body with a tiny, thin, white head.

Smell: Candyish caramel aroma with a solid raisiny fruitiness and a hint of toasted bread and dried citrus peel.

Taste: Sweet candied maltiness with a subtle taste of caramel squares. Hint of grains. Golden raisins and a tiny splash of sweet vermouth. Medium-high bitterness. Tablespoon of whipping cream. Citrus and spice on the bittersweet finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: I could use a bump to the fullness of the body, but otherwise it's a decent Arizonan barleywine.

 592 characters

Old Saguaro Barleywine Style Ale from Sonoran Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.55 out of 5 with 16 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.