Brewer's Reserve Old Godfather Barley Wine | Speakeasy Ales & Lagers

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11 Ratings

Brewed by:
Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
California, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 13.70%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by photomike on 12-09-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 11 |  Reviews: 9
Reviews by portia99:
Photo of portia99
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz Bierkraft growler received in trade with hoppymcgee. Thanks again Greg! Poured into a Bruery tulip.

A - Pours a nice clear amber orange color with an extremely small cap of foam that falls quickly to an uneven collar of tan foam and some larger bubbles on the surface reflecting light with an almost prism effect.

S - Heavy in the nose with caramel and toffee. Some light orangey scent, some alcohol, some black pepper, a bit of grapefruit.

T - Sweet caramel, toffee, alcohol, a touch of bourbon, just a touch of vanilla and pepper, some citrusy orange and maybe a bit of grapefruit too. Enough bitterness from hops to balance things out pretty well, but still definitely on the sweeter, malty side. Excellent.

M - Full bodied but definitely not syrupy. Carbonation is just shy of medium. A bit of tingle from the alcohol on the lips with each sip. A bit slippery on the tongue. Really nice.

D - Very nice barleywine. Shared the bottle with 3 people, which is a good thing. Not quite a sipper...just a slower drinker. Amazing complexity of flavor and good balance. Alcohol is high, but noticeable at a level less than one would expect. Really glad to be able to sample this one...this is a real treat. Get it while you can.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of augustgarage
3.7/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Blue Palms Brewhouse - served in a snifter. This was supposedly a blend of three versions (all '08 vintages?), two of which were aged in barrels (but I don't know what type).

Dark orange/bronze with good clarity and a thin collar of off-white film along with a smattering of lacing. Nice lava-like glow and average retention.

Aromatics are surprisingly subdued. At first I thought it was the serving temperature (it was rather cold for the style), but after it warmed, there still was very little going on in the nose. Some typical dark fruit and malt-forward smells, but nothing to suggest this was barrel aged.

Light vinuous taste accompanied by dried fruit, raw-ish malt, and very faint toasty notes. Once again, no vanilla, coconut, wood, or anything suggestive of time served in a barrel. Dry finish with a hint of earthy hops.

Slightly tannic, dry yet oily, and not quite medium-bodied with average carbonation.

Whatever flavor the brewer is trying to blend IN seem instead to have been blended OUT. Not terrible by any stretch of the imagination, but overall weak and muddled (despite the high ABV).

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Photo of nickd717
4.01/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Toronado for barleywine fest 2010. At least I think this is the right beer. Listed as "barrel aged" and 13.7% ABV.

Pours a clear medium reddish-amber color with a nice lasting off-white head.

Aroma is caramel, oak, and light fruits. Subtle compared to others, but nice.

Flavor is very good and complex. Somewhat sweet, with caramel malt and brown sugar, berries, toffee, oak, and a little bourbon.

Medium-full body with ABV really well-hidden.

Very drinkable. Can't believe this bad boy is above 13%. Good barleywine overall.

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Photo of steviek13
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of womencantsail
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From notes

A: The pour is a dark amber color with plenty of red highlights to it. There isn't too much in the way of head, but what is there sticks around nicely.

S: I was surprised by the hop character of the nose. A nice citrus component along with some sweet fruits, sugar, and caramel.

T: The bitterness and sweetness are well balanced in this beer. The caramel and sugar flavors are the strongest, but some good fruit and not much in the way of alcohol.

M: A fairly full bodied beverage with a low to moderate carbonation and a surprisingly dry finish.

D: I was surprised that this is nearly 14% ABV. Certainly an easy to drink barleywine with some nice flavors, but not the best I've had.

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Photo of Manoftyr
4.06/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 64oz growler into pint glass

Appearance-Pours a deep brown/amber color, some slight head raises but dissipates quickly leaving nice thick lacing along the sides. Given the ABV I'm a little surprised at seeing any head at all.

Aroma-Some hops on the nose but the malt predominates with toffee, sugar and caramel characters. There's some alcohol bite to the nose as well but it's rather subdued for a nearly 14% Barleywine.

Mouthfeel-Full bodied, but not quite syrupy with some light carbonation.

Taste-Starts off with a crisp alcohol bite and some light hoppiness that is quickly subdued and mingled with by rich malt character; primarily toffee, sugar and caramel flavors reminiscent of the nose.

Drinkability-For nearly 14% this is definitely above average, highly drinkable considering.

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Photo of photomike
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at City Beer for Speakeasy's bomber release. IIRC, this is 50% Old Godfather, 50% Old Godfather aged in bourbon and wine barrels.

Pours a clear red-brown with a short, creamy head. To the beer's credit, this was intentionally poured with no head to fill the glass, but it left just a touch of creamy lacing.

The smell is unfortunately subdued, with some smell of vanilla, red apples, and booze.

The taste is surprisingly smooth, with flavors of red apple, red grapes and candied pecans on top of a mildly bready, sweet malty foundation. Shockingly little alcohol taste for the ABV, but you can certainly feel it.

Mouthfeel is very nice. Minimal carbonation complements the medium-full, slick body.

Incredibly drinkable for the ABV and very tasty. Not horribly complex, but overall, a very fine effort from Speakeasy, and certainly one of the best I've had from them (second only to last year's Apple Jack-aged Old Guardian, and its a close race).

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Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of kaseydad
4.27/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From past notes -

Dark amber pour with an off-white head with staying power. Nice lacing.

Hoppy aroma with big booze present. Slight grape and apple present. Nicely done.

Smooth hoppy taste with malt and butterscotch in the mix. Good stuff.

Only issue...thin body.

Nice and smooth BW. Easy drinking for a 13.7 monster. Hoping this gets bottled in the future.

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Photo of popery
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tap at City Beer Store, San Francisco. I wandered into CBS earlier and found myself in the middle of Speakeasy's release party for their new line of bombers. This excellent barleywine was on tap. It pours a dusky, reddish brown with a small off-white head. The aroma was caramel malt, sherry, apricots, booze and raisins. The flavor was relatively dry for the abv and style, although I still call it fairly sweet in a more general sense. At any rate, I was expecting a sticky mess and was happily surprised. There was some booze but better than expected. I'm sure production costs are a tad higher than Old Godfather, but I'd love to see them bottle this beer. It's a treat, and I'm sure that it would just get better with age. While the rest of their lineup isn't bad by any means, this is the first beer from Speakeasy to really impress me.

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Photo of Dsimenson
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On-tap pint in a pilsner at the 510 Bistro in downtown Merced. Dark honey-colored, a bit hazy, nice head at first, persistent lacing, very nice appearance. Aroma is subtle at first when it is cold--malt and floral hops. As it warms up, I get more fruitiness in the aroma, like I'm sticking my head in a basket of very ripe peaches and apricots, with some hay. Flavor is malt, toffee, floral hops, a bit of apricots, and a slight piney note--magnificent! The alcohol flavor is masked well and not prominent. Mouthfeel is medium creamy and a bit foamy. Overall this is a unique and outstanding barley wine--a style that I really enjoy! You need to try this one!

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Brewer's Reserve Old Godfather Barley Wine from Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
Beer rating: 4.19 out of 5 with 11 ratings
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