GnarlyWine - Barrel-Aged
Lagunitas Brewing Company

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American Barleywine
4.1 | pDev: 7.8%
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Reviews: 15 | Ratings: 65 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Redrover
4.09/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

My wife picked me up a bomber of this at Binnys. It came in a nice box with some good information on it. This is my first BA beer from them.

Poured into my Samuel Smith pint glass, the beer is a ruddy, hazy amber with a thick and clingy dark tan head.

It has a big nose of sweet malts, molasses and bit of bourbon.

The taste is intensive and sweet. Caramel, toffee, raisins & malts. It is all backed by some tasty bourbon notes. Note that there is some heat but the beer is not boozy (if that makes sense). The bourbon is not as heavy as in some BA beers and I think that may make it a bit more approachable. The 13% is pretty well hid.

The mouth is thick, creamy and tongue coating.

This is a treat that is best split with 1 or two other folks.

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Photo of ehammond1
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On Tap

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

Cloudy brown with a small dark khaki colored head that leaves thick rings of lace down the glass. This looks thick and substantial.

A very nice, rich, decadent aroma, though surprisingly, it smells much better when cold as opposed to at warmer temperatures. The aroma is a wonderful combination of sticky sweet toffee and caramel, vanilla, and lots of bourbon and barrel. Very nice.

The flavor is nice as well, though I think the aroma is just a touch better. This is dominated by bourbon and barrel, along with lots of sticky, sweet malt character. The alcohol harshness creeped up higher and higher as this warmed. Complex.

Medium to full bodied with low carbonation.

A delicious barrel-aged barleywine, though the alcohol harshness was a bit much at warmer temperatures.

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Photo of WeedKing4
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this at the brewpub. Pours a very dark, hazy amber. Holy bourbon batman. This reminds me of Bourbon County Stout, minus the stout characteristics. It's very malty with some hops but the bourbon really dominates. This is a very big beer, but the overall flavour is pretty cool. it's safe to say I was walking wobbly after this.

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

I had this beer at the SLO Xtreme beerfest. It pours a cloudy dark sorghum color with a foamy taupe/tan head. It demonstrates excellent head retention. Chocolate syrup aroma. Viscous, with chocolate syrup up front that yields to hints of coconut. My friend even called it piña coloda. This beer is a lot of fun. Not something one would imbibe all evening, but a shifter after a steak and potato dinner would hit the spot.

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Photo of erosier
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

L: Pours a nice orange-amber color with a short and thin off-white colored head that barely laces the glass on the way down.
S: Smells of sweet roasted malts, some vinous fruit aromas, some more oak and barrel aromas as well.
T: Tastes of nice sweet roasted and caramelized malts, some bourbon/wood flavors mixed with some booze, and some vinous fruit flavor to round it out.
M: Smooth, rich, heavy feeling, perfect amount of carbonation, warming, and slightly boozy.
D: Overall it was pretty decent, a lot of flavors and it was a bit hot, but the bourbon and oak flavors rounded it out well.

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Photo of abgba121
3.71/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This beer is a ruby/orange hybrid for color, it pours a very small head that quickly fades

S: Smells sweet and with very light hop character

T: Has a light alcohol presence throughout the sip, malty throughout as well. The hop bitterness is present, but on the finish and lingers slightly

M: Full bodied and light carbonation

O: This is a great brew, I will definitely age some of these.

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Photo of fourplayed
4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

into tulip a dark brown with thin tan head.

nice bourbon and booze, some sweet caramel notes and dark fruits. plums, raisins.

boozy with some bourbon, sweet caramels and brown sugars, some hop bite and vanilla comes thru...nicely complex.

Full body, nice medium carbonation, dry finish and lingering alcohol in the finish.

A very good sipper, warms you nicely, flavors are nicely complex, alcohol very present but not abusive. A nice not too sweet - sweetness.

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Photo of HaysAmerica
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a small snifter glass. As it pours I notice a deep amber color w/ some red tint around the edges. Head contains numerous rows of tight, small bubbles and is tan in color. While the head goes quick, the lacing is good. One whiff of this & I pick up raisin, malt, dark fruit - prunes come to mind. Smells sweet & delicious. Some nice spicy hop in the nose to provide a backbone. First taste of this monster (abv listed as 10.6%) & I get a sweet, toffee flavor. Nice malt character to this with a slight lingering finish. Molasses comes to mind, in a great way. Balance is definitely on malt's side. A full bodied beer that goes down well for a being a big beer. Overall drinkability is good. I would easily have another one of these at dinner & it would pair well w/ many fare. I'm very glad to have picked up several bottles of this & looking forward to how they'll taste in a year from now! =) Prosit!

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Photo of chicagoabbot
3.98/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz into a snifter. Huge head and a very dark color for the style, one of the darker barleywines I've had in awhile. This one's pretty sweet as far as the huge malt, maybe from the oak, but it also has a monster malt profile. I think they could recofigure the bolster the hop profile a little and it would improve. Maybe it needs to age a little in the bottle too, a year or two. It would be hard for me to say this is my favorite barleywine, but it is a winner and worth getting if you have the opportunity.

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Photo of Glibber
4.02/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a brilliant copper color, clear, and a small 1/8" head. The lacing did not stay on the glass for long, but was there. The aroma of plum and cherry promised some sweetness. Tasted like Belgian beer going, but had more fruity undertones. Ends with a fruit, hop, alcohol, warming in your stomach. As a beer, I have had much more enjoyable, as a barley wine, it is better than I remembered. At 11%, this can get you messed up, although this brew should be enjoyed as a sipping beer. I have been joyfully savoring my 10oz pour.

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Photo of aefbjo
4.29/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

had this on tap at the twisted spoke in chicago, from their menu of barrel-aged beers.

it was a nice, dark golden brown with a minimal head. the smell was super boozy and woody, with many great flavors hinted at. the taste was in line with that, big and complex, not too sweet, not too bitter, just a BIG but rather smooth barleywine. tons of flavor, very balanced although very boozy. i could drink one or at most two of these due to the ABV. one of the better beers i've had in recent memory.

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Photo of largadeer
3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Foggy mahogany brown, near opaque. A small frothy tan head tops the body.

Spicy, oaky nose. Reminds me of cigars and humidors. Some nice leathery oxidation, a bit of molasses.

Palate is good but very boozy. Quite a bit of bourbon burn, but this has oxidized very gracefully. Sherry, leather, cocoa, a touch of drying tobacco, balanced by rich toffee and bourbon sweetness. The body is medium-full, somewhat syrupy. Finishes semi-dry and tannic, woody and boozy.

Rough around the edges, but complex and enjoyable.

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Photo of kaseydad
4.07/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery.

Came from the keg in a tulip glass and it produced a light dirty brown ale with a nice frothy beige head that did not want to stick around. The bourbon hits the nose hairs pretty strong and fast. Not bad. There is also some nice molasses and brown sugar which complements it nicely. Very boozy taste though the there is a nice blend of flavors on the swallow. Pretty easy drink even with the bourbon kick. Overall this is an awesome beer to try and well worth the trip to the Taproom to experience this rarely seen gem.

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Photo of 4000qtrap
4.68/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Source/Serving: Draft

Looks like apple cider that's opaque with caramel. Awesome looking.

Smell: Boozy caramel and toffee. Toasted honey. Sweet ripe prunes. Hints of ripe banana, cinnamon, and maple syrup below the surface.

Taste: Thick, syrupy, boozy, cinnamon, brown sugar caramel! Explodes in the middle with more warming alcohol - but not astringent. Rich molasses and brown sugar with a pear edge. Underlying leather notes. Overall super smooth and drinkable for as much booze and sweetness as this has. Finish is smooth, slightly dry, boozy, burnt oak, some spice and tobacco and burns just a little as it lingers.

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Photo of SShelly
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at lagunitas tap room, dont see it listed in their other beers so adding it.

Pour is cloudy dark brown with little to no head, some nice ruby highlights in the sun.

Aroma is a little bit of hops with quite a bit of vanilla and sweet malt.

The barrel character in this is fairly subtle compared to other ba barleywines ive had, lots of good gnarlywine taste with some vanilla and booze overlaid.

Damn this is drinkable, really enjoyed my glass.

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GnarlyWine - Barrel-Aged from Lagunitas Brewing Company
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 65 ratings