Ernest (6196) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - FEB 15, 2004
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
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.
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.
willblake (2652) - Bel Air, Maryland, USA - JUN 1, 2004
3.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
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.
duff (5484) - Copenhagen, DENMARK - JUN 25, 2004
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
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.
GarrettB (1022) - San Diego, California, USA - MAY 24, 2006
3.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
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.
scania (188) - Malmö, SWEDEN - JAN 20, 2007
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle. Copper. Aroma: Dark fruits, raisins, some alcohol. Flavor: malt, malt and malt. Warming and vinous.
UselessGdTaste (365) - Long Beach, California, USA - JAN 26, 2007
3.2 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
2007 release. Sweet. Very very very very sweet, almost on the virge of being undrinkable. I’ll let this age, then do a rerate later. It was still good, just not ready yet.
HopHeadinAZ (180) - Arizona, USA - JAN 28, 2007
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
2007 version from the bottle. Pours with a limited light biege head that quickly disappears. Carbonation appears limited. The color is reddish orange and clear. Aroma is llmited but the beer is still a little cold. Hints of caramel and raisin are notable on the nose. The flavor was sweet with brown sugar and a strong astringent hop finish. The mouthfeel is strangely mixed, it’s briefly medium to heavy but quickly dissappears. The alcohol is very noticeable but might mellow after the beer warms up. Although the alcohol keeps going up the overall product doesn’t hold up to earlier examples.
badgerben (4394) - Blaine, Minnesota, USA - MAR 31, 2007
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
2007 Vintage; tasted March 23, 2007. Copper color with no head. Slight malt aroma. Dry citrus taste with a little malt. Kind of a plain barley wine with some heavy hops. Meh.
POLK (2216) - Hørning, DENMARK - MAY 21, 2012
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 14/20
Copper colored barley wine with a little foam. Aroma of malt and alcohol. Sweet and dry hop taste, too strong in alcohol.