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RATINGS: 463   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.64/5   SEASONAL: Winter   IBU: 85   EST. CALORIES: 360   ABV: 12%
When our illustrious brewing team spiked a few barrels of the Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine with our Belgian yeast strain last year, we absolutely loved it. So much, in fact, that we knew we needed an excuse to make more. So, in our unending quest to constantly challenge the status quo (even our own), we came up with Odd Beers for Odd Years, a program to release odd beers – e.g. Stone Old Guardian BELGO Barley Wine – in odd years (2011, 2013, 2015…). It was met with a bit of resistance (to say the least) since we weren’t originally offering the traditional Old Guardian alongside it, but we’ve mended our ways and decided to make both. You’re welcome.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
BeerandBlues2 (12101) - Escondido, California, USA - OCT 10, 2010
Tap. Pours clear amber with a small, fizzy white head, no retention or lacing. Aroma is heavy malt (bread, cookie, caramel), light hops (earthy), and average esters (apple/pear) with notes of barnyard and pineapple. Flavor is heavy malt (bread, caramel, cookie), average hops (floral, citrus), and average esters (dried fruit) with notes of alcohol and barnyard. Full body, high warmth, medium carbonation , low creaminess and a dry finish.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
blipp (8178) - La Mesa, California, USA - OCT 9, 2010
Draft (2010). Pours amber with an off white head. Spicy belgian yeasty aroma with some sweet citric notes. The flavor has spicy belgian yeast and sweet tropical fruity hoppy notes. Delicious.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
brokensail (16055) - Dublin, California, USA - OCT 9, 2010
A: The pour is bright reddish-copper color with a slight haze and a small white head. S: The Belgian yeast is more noticeable here than it was in the IRS. Some coriander notes along with fruity esters. Nowhere near as intense as the regular thing, however, both in sweetness and hoppiness. T: Sweet dark fruits and mild spice esters are much more noticeable than the usual barleywine flavors. Bits of toffee and sugar, but not the intense caramel character of Old Guardian and a real lacking bitterness. M: The body is medium, maybe a little thin, with a moderate carbonation. D: Much more of just a Belgian Strong Ale than a barleywine. I am not sure if I like this quite as much as Old Guardian, which is one of my favorite barleywines.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Slipstream (2464) - USA - OCT 9, 2010
UPDATED: JUN 10, 2011 On tap at 2010 Stone/Rattle’n’Hum event, also had some in a bottle. A sharp, fresh barleywine, with plenty of honey malt flavor. Yeasty, sweet, some brown sugar, well hopped, with a warm aftertaste. Doesn’t Stone ever make a bad beer? It wasn’t this one.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
Travlr (21437) - Charlotte, North Carolina, USA - OCT 8, 2010
Draught at Churchkey. Great nose, nice taste that really lasts. Malts dominate everything, pretty straightforward stuff.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
BMan1113VR (7917) - Los Angeles, California, USA - OCT 7, 2010
On tap. Pours with a hazed amber body and a lasting barley off-white head. Aroma of grapes (yes?!), caramel, alcohol, toffee, and brandy. Flavors are strongly alcoholic, belgian and boozy. Burnt toffee. Lively and sweeter than normal. Interesting for sure.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 11/20
tastybeer (1853) - Indiana, USA - OCT 7, 2010
Drafts. Pours dark gold with an off-white head. Flavors of yeast, mocha, dark fruits, hops.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
radagast83 (7313) - Alexandria, Virginia, USA - OCT 5, 2010
Tap Takeover at Churchkey. Poured a dark amber color with a small light-tan head. Aroma was yeasty, hoppy, touch of alcohol, slight sweet notes. Flavor was yeasty and hoppy, Tad heavy, but actually pretty darn good.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Beerlando (3342) - Orlando, Florida, USA - OCT 4, 2010
Growler at RBWG. The pour yields a hazy, dark golden-orange amber body with a small, swirly head of off-white foam. There’s some wet sheeting that shows on the glass, leaving behind small, rounded spots of runny lace. The nose is a little grainy, strongly suggesting cereal in the malt base, with notes of caramelized biscuit, gummy fruit, and faded citrus hops. Belgian yeast adds some estery, airy spice elements. Flavors are primarily sweet up front, again showing caramelized grain, biscuit malt, bread, and various stewed orchard fruits. Hints of sherry-like oxidation seem out of place, and hops again seem somewhat faded and lacking juiciness, despite the bitter finish. Yeast mostly lends bready tendencies and some fruity spice. Medium-full in body, the palate sports moderate carbonation and a smooth consistency that is slightly drier than the standard version of the beer. Still, alcohol is too apparent. I found this one to be a little strange overall. I’m not a big fan of the Belgian yeast in this recipe.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
GT (9982) - Oceanside, California, USA - OCT 4, 2010
Tap at Alewife Baltimore for Stone Total Tap Takeover. Poured a clear deep amber with a massive, off-white rocky head with excellent retention and giant lacing. Nose is thyme, sage, white pepper, sweat, old hops, toffee, malt husk. Taste is spicy, perfumey, bitter. Dry moving to oily mouthfeel.

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