Nephilium (1682) - Cleveland, Ohio, USA - JAN 28, 2007
3.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
2007 version. Not much aroma out of this one, pours a clear red amber, no cloudiness. Very small head that quickly fades. This beer starts sweet, finishes bitter, but with a drying effect on the mouth. This is most likely due to the high alcohol content. Tossing several bottles of this into the celler to see how it ages.
HopHeadinAZ (180) - Arizona, USA - JAN 28, 2007
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
2007 version from the bottle. Pours with a limited light biege head that quickly disappears. Carbonation appears limited. The color is reddish orange and clear. Aroma is llmited but the beer is still a little cold. Hints of caramel and raisin are notable on the nose. The flavor was sweet with brown sugar and a strong astringent hop finish. The mouthfeel is strangely mixed, itís briefly medium to heavy but quickly dissappears. The alcohol is very noticeable but might mellow after the beer warms up. Although the alcohol keeps going up the overall product doesnít hold up to earlier examples.
hotstuff (4861) - Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA - JAN 28, 2007
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
2006 version. Poured a small ivory head that mostly diminished, minimal carbonation, transparent, and a reddish brown hue. Malty, caramel, piney hops, and some raisin notes for the nose. Flavor was sweet, hops, caramel, brown sugar, dry, lightly bitter, and mildly acidic. Tingly mouthfeel. Medium body. Definitely a nice barley wine and worthy of a try.
muzzlehatch (4623) - Beloit, Wisconsin, USA - JAN 27, 2007
2.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 10/20
22 ounce bottle, early 2006 batch, from Table and Vine in Northampton, MA (September 2006), quaffed at cellar temperature from a Maudite glass. A smallish thick, creamy off-white head forms slowly and dies similarly leaving a thick ring atop the dirty caramel-copper body, faint unstable lacing....resinous, piney hops expectedly dominate the aroma, but some creamy caramel notes liven things up and soften the acrid notes, a hint or two of raisins also add pleasure; with some warmth, cookie-sweet bready malts show up and start to block out the more interesting stuff.....on the tongue, a powerful, grainy brown sugar sweetness whallops you immediately, moderate alcohol presence following on its heels, slowly those resinous hops make their presence known and by midpalate itís a hopmonster, getting very bitter, acidic and dry at the finish though touches of that cloying sugariness continue on, offsetting to some extent the harshness but not in a balanced or well-blended way. In fact, this whole affair is a mess of vaguely interesting concepts thrown together with lots of alcohol in the hopes that something brilliant will magically appear, but itís instead an incoherent swirl of uncoalesced promises. Low to moderate carbonation, sticky, and quite hard for me to get down.
UselessGdTaste (365) - Long Beach, California, USA - JAN 26, 2007
3.2 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
2007 release. Sweet. Very very very very sweet, almost on the virge of being undrinkable. Iíll let this age, then do a rerate later. It was still good, just not ready yet.
scania (188) - MalmŲ, SWEDEN - JAN 20, 2007
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle. Copper. Aroma: Dark fruits, raisins, some alcohol. Flavor: malt, malt and malt. Warming and vinous.
shigadeyo (3633) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - JAN 19, 2007
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: FEB 26, 2007 Sampled from bottle at the Riverís Bend Barleywine/Old Ale Tasting on 1/18/2007...
2006 Vintage (bottle): Hazy amber color. Ivory crown. Weak caramel and citrus hop aroma with some alcohol. Citrus and resin hop flavor and bitterness atop a toasted caramel malt base. Lingering bitterness throughout the finish and then some! Alcohol is mostly undetectable for the high content. Always a great beer!
I love the Engligh-style Barley Wines, but I also really enjoy a nice American-style Barley Wine like Stone Old Guardian from time to time. The English ones tend to be super sweet, malty, and heavy whereas the American ones are a bit lighter and much more hoppy. Both types are great, but if I had to pick between the two then Iíd lean toward the English ones. Either way, Stone Old Guardian definitely holds its own and is to be respected. It was one of my other favorites of the evening...
Sampled on draught at "The Most Arrogant Bar (Pub) in America 2006-2007" event at Bostonís Bistro & Pub (Dayton, Ohio) on 2/22/2007...
2006 Vintage (draught): Clear copper color with a creamy off-white head. Floral hope flavors along with some pine and grass. Mild alcohol. Dry finish. Not very malty or sweet. Maybe a bit ozidized?
2007 Vintage (draught): Amber color (pretty clear) with a frothy white head. Sweet, fruity, and malty in both aroma and flavor. Not overly hoppy or bitter. The alcohol is very well hidden. Much better than the 2006 Old Guardian (draught).
STEPHENDR (478) - California, USA - JAN 18, 2007
3.9 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
2006 Vintage , cellared about one year , opened 1/12/7 - 22 oz. bottle- color of murky honey , with a thin off white head - nose of dried apricots , deep red fruit , soy sauce , iodine , bitter , chocolate , and malt Ė taste of resin , honey , slight hopps , red fruit , brown sugar , and slight alcohol- body harsh but clean , and low carbonation Ė aftertaste of salty , honey , gummy , and bitter
guzzler67 (1655) - Hanover, Maryland, USA - JAN 13, 2007
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Amber/orange appearance with an average size, off white head. Aroma starts resinous and citrusy, then a caramel malt and softer fruit nose emerges. Sweet malt taste does little to hide the alcohol. Flavors of ripe fruit and caramel gradually lose ground to a bitter, spicy hoppiness. Full bodied, decently carbonated mouthfeel leads to a bitter, lingering finish.
alexanderj (3531) - Branson, Missouri, USA - JAN 9, 2007
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: JUN 6, 2008 Rerate; original ratings below. Bottle was of the 2006 vintage. Murky, lightish, orange brown color with a small off white head. Aroma of chewy caramel with some fruit, alcohol and spice?. Surprised and how much alcohol was in the taste. Flavor was dominated by caramel malt, with some toffee and sweet. Hops have mellowed a bit. Didnít find the palate creamy like last time. Liked it about as much time, although it does lack the complexity of some of the "elite" versions of the style. Rating remained a 3.9. (Poured a brown auburn. Big malt aroma; bready; caramel; raisin. Taste was malty; pit fruit/raisin; Sweet. Used to hate this style when I first started drinking. But really enjoyed this one. Creamy mouth feel. Another good one from Stone. On a second tasting had more burning of the throat than i remembered (2007).)