Old Godfather | Speakeasy Ales & Lagers

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Old GodfatherOld Godfather
Very Good
229 Ratings
Old GodfatherOld Godfather

Brewed by:
Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
California, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Re-emerging from the shadows, Old Godfather is the first of the Infamous. Old Godfather pours a light amber with a beige lacing. Aromas of fresh pine and citrus dominate, giving way to deep flavors of nutty maltiness and burnt caramel. A spicy hop bite of citrus peel rounds out the rich mouthfeel. Bittersweet English malts and cut-throat West Coast hops make Godfather a barley wine that is not to be taken lightly. This re-release of Old Godfather is the first vintage of its kind. As a brazenly robust brew, Old Godfather will benefit from years of cellaring, developing new refinements in character over time.

Added by frank4sail on 02-18-2003

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 229 |  Reviews: 153
Reviews by JAHMUR:
Photo of JAHMUR
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.92/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep reddish color with a tight formed one finger head that left no lace behind,great balance to the aromas with a pretty big hop presence brown sugar and gummy fruit intertwined with a lingering piney hop really made for a promising beer.Sadly the flavors were more one sided and they really didnt hammer their character home,sweetish brown sugar and cherry notes hit first off,a nutty alcohol soaked cake kinda presence comes thru as it warms,as for the hops they are there but not real big hitters giving off somewhat of a herbal finish.This is a nice barley wine quite flavorful if the hops on the palate would have matched the nose it would be off the charts in my mind.

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Photo of SanFranJake
3.42/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of EastBay_Nick
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of Beerswag
3/5  rDev -21.1%

Photo of tigg924
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

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Photo of mattster
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opened 12 fluid ounce bottle and poured into snifter.

Poured a nice tea brown brew with very little/no head.

Smell is sweet/malty with hints of fruit and pine. Palate picks up mostly citrus notes, with a hint of earthiness. Bubbles are a bit more active than other beers I've had in this style, but as I let it come to temp, the carbonation dies down just a bit. It does burn a bit on the back palate, but what more can I expect from a 10.2% ABV? Mouth feel is full and coating.

A decent Barley Wine, although I've had a few I'd chose over this one.

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Photo of magictrokini
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear mahogany pour with no head. Aroma is sweet with some hops. Thick mouthfeel. Taste is sweet with a lot of hops. The bleeds over into the Imperial IPA style, but with a lot of malt. Alcohol bite kind of hits you in the end, but is well masked. Nice beer, no matter what category its in.

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Photo of jondeelee
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smells of syrupy malts and caramels, heavy sugars with a hint of flowery hops.

On the tongue, there's an immediate explosion of floweriness, which expands quickly into a lovely grapefruit-bitterness, strongly reminiscent of a low- to medium-grade IPA. Then the malts hit, bringing in huge maple-syrupy flavors, along with dark fruits and chocolates. Some reviewers have said there's a deep tobacco flavor underneath; I'm not getting that, but I do get a hint of grains toasted to the point of blackness/burnt. Then, somehow, the hops kick back in, leaving the tongue slightly tingling after the beer has left the mouth.

Categorically, this is a barleywine, pure and simple. But it does have *notes* that are strongly reminiscent of IPAs, and I think those notes set this brew apart from the field, and make it worthy of discussion. Purists might not like the bitterness in here, but I find it charming.

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Photo of far333
3.62/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.48/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a rich copper and ruby color. Aroma is powerful amounts of sugar and alcohol.

Taste, is more of the same. This is a very sweet and bitter (bittersweet!) beer. Nowhere near as hoppy as I would have expected from Speakeasy.

Mouthfeel, the bitter and sweet overpower so as to not catch any nuances. Drinkability not so much, but hey, .5 point for a great label design, which thereby promotes its drinkability.

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Photo of 01001111
2.5/5  rDev -34.2%

Photo of Reino
4.02/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- A nice copper brown body that brightens up towards the bottom of the glass blending with some yellow. An aggressive pour only yields a finger and a half of head that drops down pretty quick leaving some decent lacing. A nice looking body with a so so head. You know, that old chestnut.

Smell- Raisins, sweet bread, grape juice, and a little bit of citrus hops (oranges mostly). I think there is a tiny amount of chocolate and caramel hiding in the background The nose is very sweet and sugary.

Taste- Everything from the nose is there, but on a much smaller scale and not as dominant. There's the addition of some noticeable heat from the booze and quite tannic. There's also more citrus rind bitterness and grapefruit than I was expecting from the nose. I was kind of hoping for some of the sugariness from the nose to carry over to the hops in the taste. Doughy malt makes an appearance and keeps this beer from becoming unpleasantly sharp. Not a "Wow" flavor, but it fits the American BW bill well enough.

MF- Bitterness and some alcohol heat linger on the tongue with every sip. Luckily, this beer pretty much nails the body and carbonation for a BW. It's full bodied but with enough carbonation to keep it from being too heavy.

Drinkability-High abv and bitterness make this beer a one and done for me. It kind of reminds me of Full Sail's Old Boardhead which saddens me because I could have bought a bomber of that for 40 cents more than what I bought this 12oz for. I have no idea how fresh this bottle is so I might revisit Old Godfather when I know I can get a fresh bottle and see if the hop flavors shine more than they are in this one.

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Photo of degerbah
3.08/5  rDev -18.9%
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.

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Photo of JMS1512
3.89/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of samtrillo
3.96/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - deep translucent woody amber with a good bit of lacing.

S - sweet caramel malt and somewhat some hop resin.

T - smokey sweet! Roasted caramel malt flavor and hop bitter finish. More bitter than I've had recently with Barleywines and I like that.

M - medium to full. Very smooth. Limited carbonation. Sweetness sticks around on the roof of my mouth for a couple seconds and moves into the bitterness.

O - very drinkable American Barleywine. Balanced. Check it out!

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Photo of watermelonman
4.27/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This arrived as a very dark brown with hints of red. The head was very thin but left a fair amount of lace.

The smell is strong, full of hops and sweet malt. The taste adds alcohol up front along with tons of malt, and the finish is bitter. Alcohol starts to come through as well. The mouthfeel is a little light, while drinkability is high.

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Photo of IntriqKen
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

April, 2006
Poured dark amber in a snifter with a small amber colored head that melted to a substantial lacing for the rest of the drink.
Aroma is unusually sweet with a citrus hop and very strong alcohol scents
Mouthfeel is full and syrupy coating on your tongue but very little carbonation.
Taste is strongly citrus/piney/grapefruit hops with sweet toasted malts and dark fruits, finishing back to citrus hops and then heavy alcohol.
Right now this still feels a little rough and unbalanced. I want to cellar a couple of bottles to revisit a year from now.
June 27th, 06 revisit.
As i suspected this has mellowed with age.
Alcohol is still VERY predominate in both the aroma and taste (less in taste than aroma) but overall it has mellowed and become much more balanced.
Revisited my last bottle Aug 1st, 2006.
It has already mellowed and balanced. I hope to find more to drink and keep.
Taste is no longer raw, but rather smoothed with a touch of brown sugar. Alcohol seems almost hidden now. Good job, Speakeasy.
Ok...I admit...I'm in love.
Just kicked TASTE to 4.5 based upon current tasting.

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Photo of Tuckersmth
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of Sammy
3.6/5  rDev -5.3%
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.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.56/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The Old Godfather offers a hazy chestnut brown body beneath a beautiful head of creamy tan that holds well and leaes some very nice lacing about the glass. The nose is typically malty with rich caramelish malt, floral hops, and alcohol. The flavor follows suit, but with more heat, and at only 10.2% abv that shouldn't be the case. Allowed to warm a bit, the alcohol diminishes slightly as the malts seem rounder, but it's still there. A touch of piney hops becomes apparent. It's boldly bitter, and with the exception of the heat, well rounded. I'm hoping that next year's version will be better.

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Photo of dirtylou
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz single, i think obtained from IrishSnake in the "These go to Eleven Bif", that spawned in my mind one night

appearance: somewhat mysterious bottle with the creepy eyes on the neck staring me down as i pour...pours into a snifter a glowing clear garnet body, light beige cream head with little retention and slight lacing...this appearance usually indicates a hoppy monster is on its way...

smell: one dimensional hop blast on the nose even though this was likely released at least 6 months ago, pungent fruit punch cocktail, holiday spicing, big and bold cherry, flashy and energetic

taste: yikes this is quite the barleywine. It's definitely one dimentional as a hop bomb, but the winter season has resulted in me drinking less full fledged hop bombs so this was a nice treat...sharp boozy presence (light gin/vodka trait), fruit punch, dripping green hops, light caramel malt balance provided, strong pine presence. strong and tasty

mouthfeel: pungent hoppy beast, boozy but smooth

drinkability: its tough, but i'll manage

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.44/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a half finger of head on a hazy light brown body.
The aroma has a little caramel, lots of hay, barnyard and plowed dirt.
The taste is grainy, a little caramel sweetness, more dirt and grains.
The texture is fairly light with nice fizz.
The aroma is great, the flavor fine.

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Photo of jmccraney
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of russpowell
3.86/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Can't remember if I picked this up from Liquid Solutions or Bottletrek

Pours an effervescent caramel/orange with 1+ finger of sand colored head. Superior head retention & above average lacing

S: Cakey & piney & bit of booze as this warms

T: Cakeyness, earthy & piney hop, plus a some orangey & grapefruitty hops up front. Leafy hops, a bit of fruittyness, then pine & grapefruit dominate once this brute warms up. Finishes dry, with some peaty notes, plus other whisky notes to include some booze burn

MF: Medium bodied to chewy with a nice creamyness; balanced good for the style. Very warming

Drank a bit slowish, due to the style & ABV. A good, not great American Barley Wine, more malt needs to show up to this party!

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Old Godfather from Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
Beer rating: 3.8 out of 5 with 229 ratings