sisyphus12 (99) - Belmont, Massachusetts, USA - JUL 20, 2007
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Great beer for the money. This pours with a light head and a huge aroma of honey and trouble. The color is a spectacular golden hue that almost shines with anticipation. The balance is decent, smooth feel, malty with a slightly sappy aftertaste.
emarkd (97) - Georgia, USA - MAR 2, 2011
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
2010 bottle. Pours cloudy amber with a small head. Looks very nice in the goblet. Aroma is quite complex with raisins and earthy smells predominant but a nice fruity strain underneath, I think mostly apples. Flavor is well-balanced between the bitter citrus hop flavors and the huge bready, raisiny malt hit, but the alcohol just comes on way too strong. Before I can get a good taste of whatís going on in my mouth the burn just drowns everything out. Not my favorite barleywine.
bigben873 (95) - Virginia, USA - APR 19, 2013
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Strong malty, buttery flavor with a little bite. Clear dark amber. A little too abrupt a finish. Really want to love it, but not quite there for me.
45thstbrewer (94) - Conowingo, Maryland, USA - FEB 11, 2008
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
I had Stoneís Old Guardian Limited Early 2008 Release and it was excellent!
sheep (93) - FINLAND - DEC 14, 2012
3.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
650ml bottle, 2012 version. Clear, deep mahogany color with a small and shortlived off-white head. Aroma is sweet with notes of ripe fruits, caramel, brown sugar, piney hops, faint alcohol. Taste is big on resinous, piney hops, a little too big - the hops coat a lot of the caramelly malt background. Bitter finish. Palate is sticky and full with medium carbonation. Needs more balance.
aaronh2012 (91) - Maryland, USA - JAN 14, 2010
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
I like it. Nice barleywine flavor, not too sweet or cloying. Itís slightly bitter, but thatís to be expected from a Stone beverage. Itís a bit pricey on the east coast but I think on the west coast itíd replace Clipper Cityís barleywine as the default.
beisen (90) - California, USA - FEB 24, 2008
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours copper/amber and very bubbly with small head. Decent lacing. Flavor is sweet with a little honey or currant. Slightly hoppy, slightly malty. Very smooth, and very strong. Iím finding it hard to type from this beer. Nice.
Hopgeek (90) - San Diego, California, USA - OCT 7, 2004
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Light amber with a very thick off white head. Aroma is very spicy, and loaded with hops. Thick, floral, estery. Flavor is exceptional for this style. Rich and sweet, spicy and strong. Thick and syrupy on the palate. Alcohol finish. This is excellent.
dra19 (89) - holland, Michigan, USA - JUL 18, 2007
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Pours a amber color with a thin white head. Aroma of malt and caramel. This is good! Nice alcohol taste throughout the beer. Not overly hopped, with great malt flavors. Everything I expect in a good barley wine.
BluePhish (89) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - MAY 13, 2010
3.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 13/20
Pours a dark, hazy amber with a medium off-white head that falls quickly but not completely.
Nose is hoppier than I would expect, but in a good way, pine, citrus, and some floral notes over malty toast, hay, hazelnuts, and a somewhat odd sugary aroma, almost like bubblegum.
Taste is a nice balance of malt and hops, with the hops finishing strong and long. Very bitter finish, but the malt character on the front end is nice. Still, perhaps a tad bitter for my tastes within the style.
Palate is definitely strong alcohol, full bodied. Alcohol is a bit heavy, but Iím sure would mellow with age. Iíd actually much like to age one to see if the hops mellow as well.
Overall a bit hot and hoppy for my tastes, but those characteristics could change with age and reveal an excellent brew.