Old Godfather | Speakeasy Ales & Lagers

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Old GodfatherOld Godfather
Very Good
227 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 227 |  Reviews: 153
Photo of mltobin
3.54/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Gajo74
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Old Godfather pours a dark, nearly brown, amber and ruby red color with a creamy tan/khaki head. It is a large head that retains well and leaves lots of lacing.
Holding it up to the nose there is an assortment of dark fruit, caramel malt, tiger, citrus and pine hops. What is most surprising is a subtle coffee and cocoa like aroma that is Porter like.
In the mouth it is medium to full, chewy and with a soft carbonation. Plump and juicy along with a syrupy caramel and toffee sweetness. An interesting finish that combines sharp pine, alcohol and coffee.
A pretty good barleywine that is on the sweeter side and has an interesting coffee kick.

 651 characters

Photo of Nrod
3.69/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of bshefftz
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Jps715
4.6/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Properly cellared 3 year old bottle. Pours a medium orange amber with a half finger light khaki head with good retention and light lacing. Aroma of caramel malt, light stone fruit, figs, raisins, aged grassy hops. Flavor of light caramel and biscuit malt, light stone fruit, figs, raisins and grassy hops. Lingering, somewhat astringent grassy hop finish. Medium bodied with light creaminess. I regret not having had this barleywine fresh, to compare. At three years, it seems to have reached its peak. The malt leans more towards a biscuit than caramel profile, the fruit notes are attenuated and the hop bitterness is rather intense with little herbal flavors, which is to be expected at this age. Surprisingly little evidence of oxidation. Although this has survived aging with no overt flaws, I think the malt character is not robust enough to support the aging hops, leaving it a bit unbalanced. I would be happy to try this again to see what it is like fresh, but would probably not age another bottle. I took this out of the cellar for review due to the imminent closure of Speakeasy, but it is for the best as I don't think more years would improve it.

 1,160 characters

Photo of evanwoertz
4.89/5  rDev +28.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of rodbeermunch
3.39/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nice caramel and copper appearance, looks like one of those barleywines or imperial amber ales. Aroma is just concentrated sweetness and alcohol.

Taste is a rich barleywine as expected experience. Middle of the road hopping, guessing 80ibu territory, lots of crystal and maris otter malt in here I suspect. Not roasty, more sweet. All of the 10% abv is up in here.

 371 characters

Photo of Gkruszewski
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Eziel
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Rick778
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

Photo of anon
3.99/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a gorgeous deep brown/burgundy/leatherish hue. Finger width of frothy, thick, creamy foam that sticks relentlessly to the glass. Smell is a hammering of dark fruits; plum, figs, grilled peach, along with fresh baked bread. A deep presence of earth that follows right through into the taste. Plum, fig, raisins, nectarine, caramel, toffee, pine, soil, grass, slight coffee roast and baked bread chewiness. Finishes borderline medium-full bodied with a lingering lick of sweetness and slight toastiness.

Seems this one might fall victim to inconsistency, but I thoroughly enjoyed this take on the style.

 609 characters

Photo of johlac66
4.17/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Nomstep
3.13/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Thick dirty off white head. Absolutely gorgeous ruby red amber coloring. I could look at this beer all day!
S - Chocolate malt with a hint of vanilla, smell the syrup. Lightly toasted nut smell, almost hazelnut.
T - Subtle flavors. Lightly toasted vanilla. Malt forward.
M - A little syrupy for my taste, but nice thickness. Well carbonated.
O - I was expecting a little more from Speakeasy Brewery, but it is one of the more beautiful beers I've seen in awhile, with that bright amber. I'd put this in as a mid level barleywine. Not too sweet like many barleywines, a little too syrupy. I wish it was a little smokier to go with the vanilla/hazelnut tastes.

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Photo of seedyone
3.15/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

On tap at Blind Tiger, NYC. To this point, I'd rarely met a barleywine I didn't like, but I I walked away from this one. There was the smell of a grain, not sure how much was barley or how much was malt but it lacked any roasty/toasty attributes at all. The texture was weak, near watery & the finish was a bitter burn.

 319 characters

Photo of Beerpope273
4.02/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Admittedly I am a big barleywine fan so this rating may be biased but it seriously was one of the best beers i have had recently. Pours a deep reddish-brown with a quickly disappearing white head and has floral and fruity aromas that doesn't overpower the senses. The taste for me is exactly what a barleywine should taste like, strong malty flavor with expressed dark fruit and sweet flavors. I am going to have to add this to my wants or make a quick trip up north to try and find some more.

 494 characters

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

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.71/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

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

Photo of arizcards
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber at the Tempe Bevmo in early August for $8.99. No freshness date.

Beer poured reddish brown with a nice off white head on the initial pour.

Nose is dark fruits and citrus hops.

Taste has a large malt backbone that is complemented by a nice citrus and pine hop. Unfortunately there is a huge resinous oil slick that is left behind.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and very smooth.

Overall this is a solid beer that is worthy of a try.

 453 characters

Photo of Hbmiked
3.69/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of KarmicSkrambl8
4.06/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

 278 characters

Photo of Beermanmiles
3.41/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

This beer is a very good price, I will start with that. 6 dollars for a pint of barleywine is unheard of. That being said, the beer more than reflects the price. I get upset when I get a thick barleywine. Unless a barleywine is barrel aged, I do not expect thickness. This beer taste like straight carbonated grain syrup. It's really a beer that you wanna be drinking during the winter if any time because it would just make you uncomfortable in the summer, spring or fall, provided you are outside. It is also darker than you would expect and the flavor reflects the color. This is not good for barleywine (in my opinion) because barleywine is meant to be one of the only high alcohol beers with a light snap. This is not to say do not buy this beer. This beer is very cheap. If you want a high alcohol craft beer but you are strapped for cash, pick up this or a 32oz of lagunitas sucks for 10 dollars.

 903 characters

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Old Godfather from Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
Beer rating: 3.8 out of 5 with 227 ratings