atpayne (615) - Zionsville, Indiana, USA - FEB 28, 2004
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: MAY 15, 2005 04’ Sampled in unison with the ’03 vintage. This one is a very clean looking light gold color with an army of slowly rising bubbles that feed the head for quite a long time. Aroma leans toward a hoppy smell. The first taste is dominated by a piney hop flavor with a saltiness that lingers. It is not as full as it’s ’03 companion but hides the hint of alcohol better than the ’03, even though it is slightly higher in volume. It’s not as good as ’03, but is still a great beer.
’04 again (March 2005)- Very distinct grapfruit bitterness was the one thing that stood out in my mind this time, and there was also a somewhat salty character. In addition, when the alcohol kicked in and started to mix with the hops, I got a taste similar to gin... there seemed to be juniper character.
2005 Quick thoughts on my first sample of the ’05. Standard look and a fairly strong hop aroma. Full of malt but lots of bitterness dominates at this point. No score change.
Schroppfy (2360) - Łódż, Warsaw, Poland; Michigan, Ohio, USA - FEB 28, 2004
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Some salty maltiness and ruinous piney hop action. Pepper. Lighter in body than I supposed, less effervescent that some. Very very good.
kaospunk (8) - seattle, Washington, USA - FEB 28, 2004 does not count
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours a dark, hazy orange color with little to no head. Aroma is sweet, malty, and full of hops. The taste is intense...again malty and just chock full of hop flavor. Another fine Stone brew.
vwsteggie (684) - Paxton, Massachusetts, USA - FEB 28, 2004
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Has a great amber/orange color with little head and carbonation. Smell is sweet malt/hop/candy. Taste is malty alcohol and finishes with hop bitterness. Overall a good strong beer, but not my thing.
Eyedrinkale (3213) - Astoria, New York, USA - FEB 28, 2004
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 12/20
Draft. Light orange color with big ivory head. Citrus and malt aroma . Nice lacing. Another Stone over the Top beer. Alcohol is the firstthing that hits the palate. This stuff will kick your ass. Sour and sweet and bitter. I thought the alcohol taste was a bit much.
BierBauch (784) - Cape Coral Waterfront Wonderland, Florida, USA - FEB 28, 2004
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: JAN 30, 2010 22oz Bomber. A cloudy orange in color with minimal lacing. Sweet hoppy aroma with notes of candy sugar, caramel, tropical fruit, pine, mango and peaches. The body here is oily and soft. Flavors lean sweet with a sharp hop bitterness, sweet malt and stinging citrusy hops, Overall one of the best in this style.
VAYankee (327) - Virginia, USA - FEB 27, 2004
3.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Has an orange/copper body with a cream colored head. Aroma is strong, sweet, hoppy(pine), and mildly yeasty. The flavor is overflowing with piney hops that dominates a mild sweet malt and mild yeastiness. Has a strong warming sensation as it goes down. Finishes dry and moderately bitter(from both the alcohol and the hops). In general this is barley wine is over-hopped, but still of excellent quality.
Gusler (2653) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - FEB 24, 2004
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: NOV 1, 2007 Early 2007 Release
After its release from the 22-ounce brown silk-screened bottle, it resides in the glass a cloudless burnished copper with a gigantic head that is tan in color, creamy in texture and as it slowly erodes, the lacing provides a glutinous curtain to drape the glass. Nose has a big sweet malt aroma, caramel, with hints of strawberry cotton candy, oh yeah, fusel alcohol, also in the mix a touch of hops. Start is ambrosial, with the alcohol and hops providing a serious bite at the rear, the palates not my derriere? lol
Top feels medium to full, with the finish modestly hopped, sweet with malt and the acidity generous, alcohol evident, with the aftertaste sweetly dry, a true tummy warmer, maybe a better term, "Stone Old Guardian Sensation"!
Early Spring Release 2006
The beer upon the pour from the 22-ounce brown silk screened bottle is a clear burnished copper with a voluminous creamy light tan head that after erosion leaves a nice coating of lace upon the glass. Nose has a nice malt sweetness, hints of caramel, and oh yes a bit of fusel alcohol, and touch of hops me thinks, start is sweet, and the grain profile perfect and the top medium to full in feel to the palate. Finish has perfect carbonation, the delectable in their spiciness, nice bit of tummy warming, and the aftertaste dry. This beer has been a longtime favorite, and one I look for each year, along with the Imperial Stout, of course any beers from Stone Brewing are always a welcome site.
Every year I wait for one of my favorite Stone beers to hit the shelf, of course this one hit while I was under the weather, so it got pushed back in a corner of the DBF. The beer as it emerges from the 22 ounce brown bottle a tralucent deep copper color, the head is mastodonic in size and spumescent in texture, after it slowly fades to nothingness, the lace forms a tight girdle to surround the glass. The aroma of sweet malt, over ripe fruit, hops, cotton candy all occupy the nose, what a treat, start is sweet with a thick grain profile and the top middling to full in its feel to the palate. Finish is delectably acidic and the hop potent in their spiciness, and the 11. 26 percent ABV makes itself know in the tummy warming and the alcohol bitterness in the very dry aftertaste, Another splendid vintage that will age nicely.
"bonum beer laetificat cor hominis"
One of my favorite beers that I look for each year, and one I get by the case. The beer as it renounces the 22 ounce bottle in favor of my beer glass is a tralucent deep copper color, the head is behemothic in size and spumous in texture, after it dissolves, the lace forms a thick blanket to cover the glass. The aroma of hops, fusel alcohol, fresh pineapple also sweet cotton candy like tones, a real treat for the schnozzle and the peepers, start is ambrosial, rich in malt, the top middling in its feel to the palate. Finish is controlled in its acidity, the hops unyielding in their spiciness with the aftertaste bone-dry, and long lasting, the 10.6% ABV produces a nice touch of alcohol bitterness and a definite belly warming sensation, a “Hoot” as it is every year, and it only gets better with age just like “Old Gusler”?
TChrome (1417) - Bedford, Texas, USA - FEB 24, 2004
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Beer pours quite orange in color with a medium sized off white head that is somewhat retained. Aroma is not huge by barleywine standards. Hints of toffee, ash, and alcohol. Flavor is where the action really picks up. Flavor is malty sweet on the front side, but the finish is the real eye opener. One of the strongest blast of grapefruit juice ever in the finish. Me thinks will definetely benefit from the cellar.
Ringo (963) - Loveland, Colorado, USA - FEB 24, 2004
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Big barley wine, but tastes more like an APA to me. It's missing the syrupy, candy-like "red" flavor that I like in a barley wine. I liked the old Old Guardian better. I'm not really an advocate of aging beer, but if a year would take the edge off of this, then I think that it would benefit. A nice beer but just a tad hot for my tastes. I didn't read all of the stuff on the back of the bottle, but Greg said something about people from Colorado being cool so I added an extra point for that. What the heck, it's all subjective anyway, right?