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Olde GnarlyWine | Lagunitas Brewing Company

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Olde GnarlyWineOlde GnarlyWine

Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.60%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
2011: 10.6% ABV, 69 IBU

Added by Todd on 09-22-2001

For Trade:
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Reviews: 730 | Ratings: 1,599
Photo of vfgccp
3.76/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

2015 bottle, opened Jun 2015

A - A beautiful looking beer. Depp mahogany red. Light tan head with great retention and lace.

S - Sweet malty biscuit, honey, light woody hops and pumpernickel bread.

T - Net sweet flavor profile loaded with bread-crust, caramel and biscuit, with honey and woody hops through the finish.

M - Smooth, medium-light frame. Lighter than what I typically look for in the style.

O - A nice barleywine and a great value for the price, but lighter and less complex than some of the best examples of the style.

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Photo of Oldejoe
4.4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Looks. Golden reddish amber, semi frothy head.
Smell. Pungent, barleyish, cooked sugars, herby.
Taste. Front both tangy and malty, back dry and hoppy. Yum. Good stuff.
Feel. Good substantial feel, sparkly on the tongue.
Overall. Lots going on here, all of it good. Might be my new favorite barley wine.

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Photo of raiderob
4.19/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From a bomber into das boot..creamy foamy head and tea like color with nice lingering lacing..molasses like flavor that warms up nicely..mmmmm yummy.Prost.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Deep Ruby/orange color. Off-white creamy head stands at Two-finger height. Thin, patchy lacing.

S: Pineapple juice, mango, sliced apricot. Some earthy and piney hops. Booze soaked fruits. Figs. Cocoa powder, bread crust, scones. Smells like some nice English malts.

T: Big malt character. Lots of toasty bread crust. Dark caramel, toffee, treacle syrup. Pinch of brown cocoa. Dank and piney hops. Booze-soaked figs and golden raisins. Lighter tropical hop notes of pineapple, mango, and apricot pull through. Toasty/bready finish.

M: Full bodied and rich. Round, firm, coating, hefty. Soothing alcohol warmth. Low carbonation.

O: A nice American barleywine with a distinct hoppy Lagunitas house flair. The Lagunitas website recommends toasted coconut creme brûlée or pineapple upside down cake as pairing options. This is spot-on. The creme brûlée would complement the sweet and toasty malt flavors nicely, while pineapple upside down cake would accentuate the tropical notes that pull through in this beer.

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Photo of mac31
4.14/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

2015 version

Big syrupy, sweet nose with some backend citrus, hoppy notes.

The taste follows the nose. Intense sweet entry, as close to cloying as a beer could be without actually being cloying. Big quaffs of cooked caramel and roasted malts. Dark fruit present from the malt selection. Sweetness rolls in to big, clean bitterness. Hops are slightly floral and citric. The floral notes and bitterness keep this reddish, brown brew from going over board on the sweetness. Bitterness dies down after the palate is more adjusted. Roastiness noted in the finish, along with some lingering hoppiness. Body is syrupy, coats the mouth. Carbonation is low.

What's nice about this brew is that as it warmed and the flavors evolved, the hoppiness came to life, the sweetness toned down, and some nice, warm orange citrus hues popped up.

I really liked this brew once it warmed closer to room temp. I pulled and poured it at 45F. Serve it closer to 55F and you'll be able to enjoy a nice, straight forward American Barleywine. Or serve it at 45F and get the full range from sweet to hoppy.

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Photo of WhiteHillsStore
4.07/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a really nice deep amber color with a nice head that lasts although is a bit thin. The smell has a very boozy nature to it and it's hard to pick up anything else except wood. The taste though was much more complex than the smell would allude to. With alcohol mixing with the sweeter notes of caramel and toffee with heavy wood burn on the finish.

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Photo of Roguer
3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Beautiful clear ruby red brew.

A hop forward aroma greets the nose, hinting strongly at the high ABV as well.

Syrupy sweet on the palate, accompanied by juicy hops. Almost herbal and minty.

Slightly syrupy feel, as well, and slightly hot, but ultimately very drinkable - although it's a sipper, for sure.

Like Devil Dancer and DFH 120 Minute, I feel this is going to be a very polarizing beer. It's big, sweet, hoppy, and syrupy. I personally enjoyed 8 oz, but can't imagine drinking much more than that.

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Photo of KYGunner
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I let mine sit for several months, as I like my Barleywine with less bitterness and more malt. That's exactly what I got as a true Barleywine spirit is unleashed. Nutty, biscuity, maple, caramel and lots of toffee. Grains, barley, tea leaves and a fruity finish.

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.12/5  rDev +1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bomber served in an oversized Belgian tulip (pretty much my default glass).

A- Deep amber and brown color that resembles plum skin. Khaki-colored head is frothy, fluffy and abundant. Lace is plentiful as well. 5

S- Quite juicy for a barleywine. Orange juice sweetness bursts from this. Toasted bread, caramel and raisin take a bit longer to notice but are there as well and potent in their aromas too. 4.25

T- Orange juice richness continues on the palate. Sweet caramel combines with a bitter floral flavor, toasted bread or biscuits, and grapefruit peel. There's a fruitcake quality to this flavor. It's very nice. 4

M- Rich and almost sugary sweet and also zesty and potently bitter. Plenty of sensations on the tongue. The carbonation level is low and there's certainly a wine-like feel to this, except it's got a prickly hop bite.4

It's good. Heavy on the citrus and hops.

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Photo of EMV
4.46/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a tulip glass.

L: Pours a semi-opaque deep amber with 2 fingers of generous white head.

S: Caramel and hops. Candied fruits.

T/F: Caramel and malts forward with some great classic Lagunitas hops at the finish. Candied fruits and citrus... just a great complex flavor. Moderate carbonation and sticky/chewy mouthfeel.

O: A delicious beer and possibly my favorite barleywine. So much going on with the flavor that there is always more to discover. Love the interplay between the hops and malts, and Lagunitas hits this one out of the park.

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Photo of BeerDawgs
4.31/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L - Amber red with not to much clarity. 1 finger of head and some lacing.

S - Sugar and booze. Hoppy!!!

T - Big and hoppy! Booze, candy sugar. Goodness

F - Highly carbonated

O - A tasty barleywine. Boozy, so be prepared for a short night

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Brilliant copper tinted amber wit a 1” lacy but quickly dissipating off white head.
S: fairly clean nose with some grass and malt, spice.
T: Starts spicy and malty with big citrusy hops providng a bitter citrus rind finish. A touch of dried fruit sweetness up front with a drying, warming finish.
M: Very creamy medium full body and medium carbonation. The carbonation is soft and not harsh.
O: An outstanding barleywine with a good balance of bitter and sweet.

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Photo of stortore
4.28/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22 ounce bottle into a snifter.

Pours a good looking bright amber/orange, small foamy head. Smells strongly of malt, also grapefruit, caramel, toffee, orange, some biscuit. Taste is malt forward, a lot more grapefruit than the nose, caramel. A little sweet- but I'm good with that. Love the taste of this. Very smooth, good aftertaste.

Very enjoyable, this fits right in with the Lagunitas all stars. Have another to age, if I don't get impatient. Hope it comes back annually.

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Photo of ClavisAurea
4.27/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Fresh 22oz bottle served in a snifter. 2015 vintage

Appearance: dark ruby red with a billowy head of creamy bubbles

Nose: citrus, grapefruit candy, bright hops, malty, toffee

Taste: heavy and fruit laden, mouth coating thickness with a strong hit of piney and resinous hops. Spicy finish with a long malty tail. Not too much hot alcohol presence. Toasted marshmallow.

Not too bad of a barleywine. Really malt forward and I didn't really get the 10.6% alcohol hit. I'll see how the changes goes in a year or so.


Same 2015 vintage as above served cold in a snifter

Appearance: reddish copper with a sticky tan head of super tiny bubbles. Very clear

Nose: very sweet and malty, some pine in there. Big Ole malt bomb to be sure. Not too American Barleywine anymore

Taste: sweet and malty, sticky mouthfeel, coats the mouth very well, low ish carbonation, no alcohol heat at all, pine, grapefruit, candy orange, very sweet, lingering sweet finish like candied hops.

Overall: this beer really has the legs to large for a while. Bottled on 05/2015 puts this one a 1yr 4 months old give or take. I'm certain it has quite a few more left before it's not drinkable. 10-15 given the bottle size and ABV. Still a treat and truly delicious. Americans can do Barleywines.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.45/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a Lagunitas Mason Jar. 2015 Vintage bottle.

Appearance: Pours a deep brownish red with a moderate amount of bubbles. Solid finger of off white head that slowly settles into a thin patchy layer.

Smell: A sweet, bready, and earthy aroma with hints of caramel, biscuit, and earthy hops. Toasted barley malt with hints of sweet caramel, toffee, biscuit, grains, and yeast. Solid hop presence with hints of pine resin and grass. Sweet hints of candied sugar. Fruit hints of apple, citrus, fig, raisin, and prune. A pretty solid balanced aroma.

Taste: Like the smell, a sweet, bready, and earthy taste with notes of caramel, biscuit, and dank hops. Barley malt with sweet notes of caramel, toffee, biscuit, grains, and yeast. Big hop presence with earthy notes of pine, grass, and cannabis. Sweet taste of brown sugar. Subtle fruit undertones of raisin, apple, grapefruit, fig, and prune. A very nice complex taste.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Chewy and somewhat sticky with a fairly drying finish. Alcohol heat is minimal.

Overall: A really good take on an American style Barleywine. Big sweet and bready malt flavors balanced by a potent hop presence.

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Photo of 57md
4.02/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Copper in color. The nose has a little bit of malt essence and a little bit of hop essence. The mouthfeel is sticky. The flavor profile begins as malty sweet but a nice crisp blast of hop bitterness comes on in the finish. There is a warming alcohol presence on the finish as well.

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Photo of Carthoris
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

This is my first Barleywine so I'm not sure if it is a good example but I have thoroughly enjoyed it. It has the perfect blend of sweet and floral with a slightly bitter finish. It smells amazing as well which is a huge plus.

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Photo of 29mikoyan
3.44/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 1 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

A very excellent barley wine! It has hints of fruits such as apricot and citrus, some mellow flavors similar to red wine. Also some hints of aged whisky. The only thing I hated about this beer is that it isn't aromatic like other ales.

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Photo of Wachturm
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a snifter. Deep red/mahogany hue with a creamy off-white head. Fruity, caramel, toffee, piney/earthy, sticky/syrupy and mild alcohol. A great big beer in a bomber for only $4.

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Photo of Jwale73
4.09/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2015 vintage. 22oz. bottle served in a tulip. Pours a mahogany hue with a loose, quarter inch, cream-colored head that disperses towards the shoulders creating a frothy ring and a residual soapy slick. Clarity is translucent. Nose expresses fruity notes, a hint of toffee and a light/earthy spicy quality. Taste consistent with nose with a residual bittering that lingers between quaffs. Mouthfeel is light-medium in body with a pleasant, even carbonation falling shy of lively, a slightly oily texture and a trace of alcohol heat at the finish. Overall, an exemplar of the style and at a great price to boot.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed from the 22 oz bottle in a pint glass. This nice barley wine pours a bright, clear, copper orange with a solid off white head of thick foam that leaves great lacing and slowly dissipates to a thick ring. Nose of candy malts and sticky piney hops, and a dash of dark raisins. Flavors are a lot like the nose, sweet malt bomb up front and sticky piney hops to the sides and rear with a slight raisin note. Complex---no, delicious? YES! Smooth coating mouth feel with moderate carbonation that is lightly prickly adding to the hop bite with a sweet hoppy finish. Excellent. Dangerous ABV is hidden well. Even better!


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Photo of Mongrel
4.02/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful looking red-hued beer with big, creamy head.

This is like Lagunitas' take on SN Bigfoot, just with less hop bite and a little more of a candied flavor. Nice creamy/slick mouthfeel with a moderately long finish. Not terribly complex, but wayyy drinkable (read: dangerous).

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Photo of 81tillinfinity
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Four bucks for a barley wine and a Damn tasty one at that. Score all around. Rich, malty, with a dash of hops, alcohol not very present. 2015 bottle good with no age will see next winter.

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Photo of Foyle
4.48/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Reddish brown with a small white head.

Aroma: lots going on here. Bready, caramel, biscuit along with pine, citrus and grassy hops along with fruit (raisins).

Mouthfeel: heavy and a bit chewy with a mostly dry finish.

Taste: Rich roasted barley, caramel, brown sugar, balanced with strong bittering hops.

Overall: outstanding.

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Photo of ONUMello
4.23/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

2015 edition 22oz bottle poured into a pint glass
A: Burnt orange with a one-finger head that slowly settles
S: Toffee, caramel, citrus zest from the hops, barley, a hint of pine
T: A big beer. Hop-forward with lots of caramelized sugar, layers of hop complexity, a big dose of malt and a long finish
M: The size of this beer from a flavor standpoint almost makes the mouthfeel suffer. It's just too big and assaults your mouth from every direction. Malt, hops and alcohol all explode. Can't really fault it for what it is but sip it slowly
O: I almost think I opened this too early and if I find another bottle will try it in a year. It's quite tasty now but I think with age the complexities of the flavors will deepen and the mouthfeel will tame

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Olde GnarlyWine from Lagunitas Brewing Company
4.08 out of 5 based on 1,599 ratings.
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