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RATINGS: 1787   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.84   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 338   ABV: 11.26%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
A beautiful bold barley wine. Massive malt and hop notes. Silver Medal winner at the 2000 Great American Beer Festival in the Barley Wine category. Gold Medal winner at the 2002 World Beer Championships in the Barley Wine Category. Look for it in the first quarter of each new year. Can be cellared or enjoyed upon its release.


3.2
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Ernest (6162) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - FEB 15, 2004
UPDATED: JUN 11, 2011 Bottle. Head is initially small, frothy, off-white, mostly diminishing. Body is medium to dark amber. Aroma is lightly to moderately malty (caramel, cookie), lightly to moderately hoppy (apricot), with notes of dried tropical fruit (mango, papaya), tangerine, alcohol. Flavor is heavily sweet, lightly acidic, lightly to moderately bitter. Finish is moderately sweet, lightly acidic, moderately to heavily bitter. Medium to full body, watery/syrupy texture, lively carbonation, heavily alcoholic. Starts off relatively promising with a very fruity/estery nose, but it’s too boozy and watery and stark in the mouth to be as much pleasure to drink. Not bad, but needs work.

3.2
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 12/20
Eyedrinkale (3213) - Astoria, New York, USA - FEB 28, 2004
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.

3.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
willblake (2647) - Bel Air, Maryland, USA - JUN 1, 2004
22oz bomber. 05.24.04 Bright orange-gold. aroma has what seems to be the typical Stone signature. Sweet. Taste is appropriately sweet, but the beer is terribly hoppy for a barley wine. Not much alcohol presence or depth as I’d expect for the style. Tasty, but I can’t figure what about this beer actually makes it a ’barley wine’ as it is not at all about malts except briefly at the start, there is little depth, nothing lingering except hop burn, crazy astringency.

3.2
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
duff (5484) - Copenhagen, DENMARK - JUN 25, 2004
Bottle-In the vaults of HI International. Super hoppy and intense, as expected. Some caramelly malts, huge pine orange hops in here, and pretty bitter. Some lychee. Very noticable alcohol in the finish, tasty, but a bit raw.

3.2
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Oakes (12234) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - DEC 19, 2004
Golden bronze, thin head. Chewy, resiny aroma with oatmeal cookie dough. Deep resiny hop palate with that tongue-scraping bitterness that extends past the taste threshold. Rich malts in the finish with alcoholic warmth. I’ve had too many beers like this.

3.2
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
shadey (1879) - Nashville, Tennessee, USA - MAY 17, 2005
Apple red color with no head. Sweet malty aroma with some alcohol. Actually a little light on the palate. Malt up front but resiny hop finish.

3.2
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
DewBrewer (295) - Austin, Texas, USA - AUG 30, 2005
Bomber. Winter 2004 bottle. Pretty alcoholic...somewhat harsh yet delicious. Pretty interesting since it is about 18 months old. Lots of malt in the nose and flavor but quite a bit of bitterness has held up. Good beer.

3.2
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
ElJefe (553) - Rochester, New York, USA - SEP 26, 2005
2005 bottle. Pours bright amber with a medium sized off-white head, which leaves nice layers of lacing. Aroma of sweet prunes, earthiness, and alcohol. Flavor is sweet and somewhat fruity at first, but then the overstated hops flavors and alcohol astringency take over. Pretty simple for a barleywine. Not altogether unpleasant, but Stone has finally dissapointed me. Maybe this will benefit from some age.

3.2
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
GarrettB (998) - San Diego, California, USA - MAY 24, 2006
UPDATED: OCT 3, 2007 The praise heaped on Stone Brewery is well deserved. Their beers are full and well-flavored and the backs of the bottles always make for a good read while waiting for the beer to breath. But I think there is an inconsistency from beer to beer, and by that I don’t mean from brew to brew. The IPA’s have always been some of my favorite, and the Arrogant Bastard was, at the time, a welcome treat. But the supine and lifeless Porter, for example, or the pungent Imperial Stout have been given fulsome good marks by Stone loyalists all too eager to associate one beer’s success with another beer whose own qualities are iffy at best. Of those inferior brothers in the Stone family that have been unduly lavished I’d include the Old Guardian. It really is the innocent one. It has that kind of non-descript character that lets it take the merit it never earned and fade back into obscurity. Take its youthful appearance: a roseate and orange creamsicle colored head that swaggers above a casually colored amber red body. And the aroma? There too is a pleasant, innocuous set of smells dominated by hops and incorporating orange, fresh flowers, potpourri, bonito (fish), Earl Grey Tea and wet cement; perplexing, but so against the norm that its charming. Here’s the rub. Old Guardian tastes like a bare-bone and mundane hopsy, wheaty beer. And that’s it. The palate is fine, and the tastes themselves aren’t bad. But Old Guardian is so simplified it goes completely unnoticed. Six months later when two beer enthusiasts are conversing, they’ll come to the subject of Stone Brewing. One will ask the other if he/she has had Old Guardian, to which he/she will receive an affirmative reply, most likely carrying stolen praise from a Stone that left an impression. It is a fine example where a simplified beer has used mimicry at its finest, to change from a droll drink to a memorable drinking experience.

3.2
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
scania (188) - Malmö, SWEDEN - JAN 20, 2007
Bottle. Copper. Aroma: Dark fruits, raisins, some alcohol. Flavor: malt, malt and malt. Warming and vinous.


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