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RATINGS: 461   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.63/5   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 Ė e.g. Stone Old Guardian BELGO Barley Wine Ė in odd years (2011, 2013, 2015Ö). It was met with a bit of resistance (to say the least) since we werenít originally offering the traditional Old Guardian alongside it, but weíve mended our ways and decided to make both. Youíre welcome.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
OldGrowth (3177) - the Containment Area, North Carolina, USA - MAR 12, 2013
10oz pour at Tylers Apex. Real good aroma, sweet. Candied sugar, minor yeasty spice. Clean brownish orange, good head that faded to a ring. Spotty lace. Sweet flavor, medium body, smooth oily mouthfeel, sweet finish. Darn tasty, packs a wallop.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
nyindiansfan (463) - rochester, New York, USA - FEB 26, 2013
Bottle pours orange small head. Tastes smells sweet caramel booze floral spices small amount of hops. Yeast. Good shit.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 14/20
raradel (343) - Atlanti Beach, Florida, USA - FEB 17, 2013
Good style and this is a good rendition! Nice stout body and good bite on it, a little over bitter though. Overall, this is a strong Old Ale!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
hayduke (4629) - Eureka, California, USA - FEB 15, 2013
This beer poured a dark= brown with a than head and good lacing. Nose of ripe fruit and a slight sourness. Medium body. Alcoholic mouthfeel the flavor is rich caramel malts and fruit, with raisins and plums. Finishes a little bitter. Alcohol too present but other wise excellent

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
burg326 (5264) - Florida, USA - FEB 3, 2013
22 ounce bomber aromas of tropical fruit, light figs, toffee, and sweetness. Flavors follow suit mostly sweet tropical fruit with a boozy aftertaste. Interesting take on this style, very sweet aftertaste.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
oc4111 (119) - USA - JAN 18, 2013
Had this one stashed away for a while. Decided to pop it open to see what was happening with it. Pours a cloudy copper color with a half inch cream colored head that leaves some lacing. Aroma is malt, dark stone fruit, alcohol, and a hint of Belgian yeast. Taste has all of the above elements but with a hops on the finish. Iím rating it the same as the regular version. Still a little on the boozy side. Would benefit from sitting a while longer.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
alexsdad06 (8700) - Ohio, USA - JAN 13, 2013
22 oz. bottle. Pours a hazy amber caramel brown color with a small yellowish off white head. The aroma had sweet malts, Belgian yeast, some ripe and tropical fruits with a hint of spices. The flavor has a big fruity component, Belgian yeast and sweet sugar, spices with some herbal notes at the finish. Decent, but not as good as the original.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
madmitch76 (21549) - , Essex, ENGLAND - JAN 6, 2013
24th May 2011
Hazy amber beer, ghost of a white head. Slightly syrupy palate. Rich malt. Sourish seltzer minerals that impart some bitterness. Dried fruit and aniseed. Warming finish. Pretty drinkable but I prefer my Old Guardian straight.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 10/20
michaelinwa (656) - Bothell, Washington, USA - JAN 1, 2013
UPDATED: APR 18, 2014 2011 bottle. Light golden pour, malt aroma, decent head. Taste is intense sweet ripe fruit and malt, with a massive hop presence. Even after nearly 2 years in the cellar, itís over the top and overly aggressive with malt and bitterness. (Rated at 2.5) Update: 2011 bottle, sampled 3 years old. What a change. Now a moderately dark pour, big head that hangs around, and a complex malty aroma. Taste is sweet malt with carmel and over-ripe fruit. Finishes with a lingering bitterness that is now toned down and works well. More balanced. Aged really well, and I could drink this easily. Nice cellar material.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
GarrettB (1410) - San Diego, California, USA - NOV 22, 2012
July 13th, 2011 - Stoneís philosophy seems to be "Brew whatever the hell you want", and I respect that. They donít feel obliged to put a wheat beer and an amber on the menu just because the brewing crowd does. Their panoply of beers crowd into a hoppy, sweet section of the brewing spectrum, and this does cause for some personal confusion. Itís never very easy for me to define or delineate Stone brews from each other. They all have a strong, bold flavor profile, and plenty of hops. This problem appeared again with my sampling of the Old Guardian Belgo. Barleywines I know - I know them well. But the introduction of a Belgian yeast strain confounded my poor palate. Was I in Escondido, or Brussels? Or both? It glows with Stoneís signature red amber body, and lurks beneath a thin white head. Sweet cherries and cough medicine form the nose, with lots of caramel and toffee, sweet and sticky. And of course, thereís a strong edge of hops in the aroma, but where would a Stone beer be without that? Probably without the Stone brand on its label. The taste isnít as strong as the smell, but itís got that wind-up alcohol punch that leaves brewery tourists stumbling out the front doors after only a few small samples. Bubble gum and cotton candy emerge in the mid-taste, but are kept under tight lid by both the hops and the booze. Finally, in the aftertaste is a warming bitterness with caramel, and a featuring of the caramel richness from the barley wine style parameters. This is a good beer, and while itís fine for summer, I see this being more appropriate as a winter brew.

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