thefatmanrocks (22) - California, USA - FEB 22, 2005
This is damn near perfect. Smooth, hoppy, malty, tasty. Tried it back to back with SN Bigfoot and am hard pressed to pick a favorite btwn the two, but I choose this. pauljackson1 (25) - Fairfax Station, Virginia, USA - MAR 20, 2009
Another delicious barley wine. 22oz bottle "Twenty ’Aught-9" 11% ABV, O.G. 1.096 I.B.U 69.39
Quite sweet with subtle flavoring hops. Clean tasting. Fun label. SPDickerman (1239) - Texas, USA - NOV 12, 2012
Pours clear mahogany red with almost no head. Smells sweet and boozy. Taste is super malty, sweet, boozy, and has a touch of bitterness. Full-bodied with a smooth, slick texture and almost flat mouth-carbonation, Lagunitas Olde GnarlyWine finishes with a slick, sweet boozy kick. Cbuk1013 (247) - Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA - APR 18, 2013
UPDATED: JUN 20, 2013 A great beer for the price. From memory. Pours a mellow amber. Smells of citrus, pine, wood and malty. Taste is roasty, sweet and hoppy. Nice balance. Very smooth and mellow. Easy drinker for the style. A personal favorite of mine. Come on Lagunitas make some more! liquidhedonism (289) - Beaverton, Oregon, USA - APR 17, 2015
22 oz bottle. Aroma: malty, piney, nutty, and boozy, with hints of biscuit, toffee, and resin. Taste/Palate: sweet and thick; finishes bitter and slightly astringent and tart.
TheBeerLover (1027) - DC Metro Area, USA - JAN 25, 2006
This is the perfect time for a fine sipping brew, one that will help take the chill out of bones getting cold. Barleywine is the perfect beer style to do the trick. Barleywines are rich, complex, strong, warming ales that have an alcohol content approaching the strength of wine. Most weigh in at anywhere between 9-11% abv, but can go higher. These beers are meant to be sipped and savored, like a fine brandy, port, or single malt scotch. Barleywine is often served in a snifter in small servings, and make the perfect after dinner drink, or night cap. Most barleywines are very malt accented beers, to the point where some have to be aged a few years, or they can be a bit too cloying. Some West Coast brewers have put a truly American spin on this beer style, they brew barleywines that are not only very malty, but very hoppy as well.
I have a lot of experience with this style, barleywine is one of my all time favorites, and I have tried literally dozens of examples from a variety of breweries. Sierra Nevada’s Bigfoot Barleywine is the classic example of "West Coast" big, citric hoppy barleywine, they were the first to add a big smack of hop character in a beer that is traditionally dominated by malt. Other West Coast brewers have followed suit, Stone Brewing Company’s Old Guardian, and Snoquilme Falls Old Rattle Snake come to mind. The Lagunitas Brewing Company of Petaluma, CA is following that West Coast tradition. Their Old Gnarleywine is a wonderful, big, strong, malty barleywine, but like the other examples I have mentioned, has a really great hop character as well.
Old Gnarleywine pours to an opaque deep amber/ruby color, with a slight tan head, and a very soft carbonation. The nose on this beer is fantastic, it is just jam packed with malt and hop aromas. Big whiffs of sweet malt, butter scotch, and toffee, marry with piney, citric hop aromatics. Peppery hints of alcohol can also be detected. The palate is quite malty. Rich, complex, sweet malt flavors of fresh bread, butter scotch, toffee, and some estery fruit coat the tongue. The body is huge on this beer, very viscous and syrupy. This beer finishes with more of that sweet malt character up front, then dries out to a nice hop bitter bite and a warming, high octane, burn.
Really a wonderful barleywine, it has both great malt character, and some great hop character as well. This is not as hoppy as Bigfoot, but like Bigfoot, the hop character is most vibrant when this beer is young. Barleywine can be laid down for years, but the hop character really starts to fade after about two years or so. I like to drink barelywines such as this and Bigfoot young, and enjoy that big smack of hops, but also age a few bottles as well. I wouldn’t pair this beer with food, this is a sipping beer that can stand alone.
Hazmatt (363) - Virginia, USA - JUL 27, 2006
Bottle. Nice looking amber color with reddish tones, smaller than expected head. Excellent barleywine aroma. Great barleywine flavor. Nicely balanced malt/hop ratio. Smooth and perfect strength beer. tribblemaker (18) - Michigan, USA - APR 17, 2015
Tried both the 2011 and 2015 on draft. 2011 maltier and richer, 2015 very hop-forward, almost like a barleywine IPA. Both delicious, though 2011 was more like a traditional barleywine. grat (432) - ST. Louis, Missouri, USA - JUN 7, 2004
UPDATED: JUN 18, 2004 What a great brew. This brewery is great! They always brew great products that are distinctive in their own right from every other sort of the styles they brew. Good barleywine. I found this at a small liquor store that I’d never been to before. Must have been sitting there since november or something. So they aged it for me. Great pour. Nice dark copper hue. Shiny and amber like. Head dissipates treacly on the rim of my glass. Smells like: Floral arrangements, blue cheese, soy sauce, and a vanilla like bourbon. Predominately cheesey though. My favorite. Taste: Hints of cedar, cheddar cheese, raisins, tart cherries, anniseed. Lagunitas has a very distinctive yeast strain that they use. It has the dryness of a lager and yet retains the fruitiness of ale yeasts on the forefront, only drying out on the back of your tongue as the beer runs past it. Great brew. Alcohol is almost non existent except in the aftertaste. Very skillfully masked. I’m sure the aging has something to do with this.
G-rat STEPHENDR (478) - California, USA - JUN 3, 2006
Nice coffee hue- tan head that dissipates fast- brown sugar, sour, hops and wintergreen- flavors caramel, maple, grains, anise, sweet and silky- medium/heavy smooth body- aftertaste is short, sweet with slight bitterness