dslam (98) - surrey, British Columbia, CANADA - MAY 18, 2014
3.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 12/20
Lovely copper red color with a little white head. Light aroma with a little hops and something sweet that I can not put my finger on. Taking the first sip, starts off very nice and smooth. It coats your entire mouth and feels great. But after a couple seconds I feel an overpowering bitterness take over my mouth, almost forcing me to take another sip. I think I feel the alcohol on this a lot more than regular. Maybe cause I am trying my best to avoid the after taste. I also feel a little burning sensation in my throat. I generally look forward to barley wines but I donít like this one too much.
phikus (96) - syracuse, New York, USA - OCT 27, 2014
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
This is perhaps my favorite barleywine. Every year a characteristic balanced malt hoppiness screams out of the glass. The body and carbonation just perfect. A balanced bittersweet finish leaving you ready for more. It has a citrus pine hoppiness to a biscuit toffe maltiness that doesnít lean to far toward fruitiness. American all the way.
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!
BluePhish (93) - 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.
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 (92) - 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.
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.
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.
sigh_borg (90) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAR 21, 2013
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: APR 30, 2013 Pours orangish-copper with a tiny head. Aroma is smoke, fruit, citrusey hops and honey. (Someone mentioned bacon, which I can smell too, but never wouldíve identified that note if I hadnít read it elsewhere!) Taste is a nice, strong mix of sweet and simultaneous bitterness. Finish remains bitter. Mouthfeel is full and thick. An intense beer. The sweetness functions nicely to balance the bitterness. Iím not too familiar with barley wines so I canít really put this in the context of that particular style. Pretty damn delicious nonetheless. Would love to try this on tap.
Crille (90) - Varberg, SWEDEN - JUN 23, 2013
3.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Dark amber colored beer with large white head. The nose is full of sweet woody aromas, and some dried fruits, peach. Full bodied beer, of course. Creamy texture. Flavors of orange, alcohol, bitter hops and grass. Nice bitter finish.