WhiteSoxFan (152) - USA - MAY 4, 2006
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
2006 Vintage. 22 oz. Bottle and draft at Dilly Deli. Pours just a tad cloudy, deep orangish amber. ~1cm. off white, tannish head. Dissipates quickly to a layer of foam that ends up going away completely. Not much lacing. Huge, fruity hops and big sweet malt aroma. Citrusy, grapefruity, carmelly, grapes, cherries, fruit punch. Flavor is nice and bitter, then really sweet with a big malt backbone that carries a ton of complexity. It’s hard to pick out individual flavors. Really florally and grapefruity after the swallow. Mellows as it warms. Palate - high level of carbonation. Really nicely balanced between a ton of bitterness and a big, thick, chewy, but smooth malty mouthfeel. Feels light for how big it is. Little bit of alcohol warmth, but hides 11% really well. Great Barley wine. Not as sweet as some others. Right now it has a ton of hop flavor and aroma. Really nicely balanced, ton of hop bitterness, flavor, and aroma with a big, thick malty backbone. I bought a case and look forward to re-rating as it ages.
dkingsella (152) - Portland, Oregon, USA - FEB 17, 2008
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: DEC 17, 2008 Pours a hazy copper with nice cream head. Aroma is light with slight hint of pineapple. Flavor is big on hops and citrus with cherry in the finish. Alcohol is pronounced as you would expect. Nice mouthfeel. I thought this was actually less aggressive than I would expect from Stone...not a bad thing...very well balanced.
After about a year in the cellar this one has really mellowed. Aroma is honey and pineapple. Alcohol and hops have both been tamed as the sweeter maltier flavors have really come to the forefront. Still a very nice and well balanced barley wine. I believe the extra time in the cellar improved an already excellent ale.
omegamike (152) - York, North Yorkshire, ENGLAND - JUN 10, 2012
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Angry red, amber beer with butterscotch head. Aromas of savoury hay, marmite, some strawberry maybe? Flavours are intense - plum brandy, malt liquor, it’s like arrogant bastard times 4. Strong alcohol burn.
Sathorael (151) - Oceanside, California, USA - DEC 16, 2013
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
2010 vintage on draft at Stone Oceanside. Pours amber brown with small, quickly dissipating, off white head. Aromas of sweet caramel, toffee, a bit of doughiness, alcohol, pine, chlorophil, and a little bit of woodiness. Taste is rich salty caramel, toffee, bread, grassy, chlorophil, still a bit of woodiness but a bit more oxidation/ cardboard than in the aroma(not overwhelmingly so). Finish is a bright alcohol warmth followed by sweetness and further moves into a dull bitter acidity. Would love to do a vertical tasting of this beer.
coachd (151) - Missouri, USA - APR 26, 2014
4.3 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
This is the 2014 Old Guardian. I was surprised at the low cost for a high ABV. Aroma is sweet and malty. Not too sweet, some honey and light floral notes. Great clean aroma. Great reddish-copper color with an off white head that is larger than most barleywines I have seen. Taste is not too sweet, not too bitter up front. Gets more bitter in the aftertaste, but still manageable. Alcohol is well hidden. Palate is slightly oily, slick, smooth. Fizzy, carbonated mouthfeel. This was great. It is changing my opinion about barleywine, which has not always been my favorite style. In terms of getting your money’s worth, this is one of the best I’ve had.
aarossell (151) - Grandville, Michigan, USA - SEP 4, 2007
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
mmm, bottle- warm, spicey, lightly buttery, slightly sour, and a touch of bitter hop. This one went down easily...very nice brew.
phiconners (149) - Massachusetts, USA - JUL 15, 2006
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: FEB 24, 2007 Aroma is fantastic. Smooth flavor and texture, you can feel the alcohol a bit. Very enjoyable.
possumjc (149) - Charleston - Mt Pleasant, South Carolina, USA - OCT 30, 2010
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours a cloudy amber color with a thin white head. Aroma is very malty. Thick on the palate as expected for a beer of this style. The flavor is slightly sweet with a touch of alcohol on the finish. I like barley wines and this is a fine example of the style.
Brewsmith (148) - Torrance, California, USA - DEC 19, 2008
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
2008 Release from a 22oz bottle purchased locally at original time of release. Aroma is rich and malty with some hop spice. Color is amber with a small beige head, slightly hazy. Flavor is fairly bitter but balances with the malt. Not too sweet. Hops are piney. Some alcohol present. Thick but not too viscous. Finish lingers but dries in the end which is nice for a beer this big.
FrkAabenhuus (147) - Copenhagen, DENMARK - JUL 5, 2005
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Hazy orange coloured with a fine off-white head. Very strong vinious aroma of raisins, plums and alcohol. The flavor is rather sweet and malty with a strong, warm taste of alcohol and fruit. Very full-bodied with notes of hops and spices.