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Stone Old Guardian (Vintages through 2003)

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RATINGS: 298   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.97/5   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 297   ABV: 9.91%
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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
yespr (37030) - Copenhagen O, DENMARK - AUG 7, 2008
22 fl oz bottle, 2002, at Stone Bistro, thanks to WeeHeavySD. Pours hazy orange with a fully gone head. Dense caramel malty aroma, slight oxidised. Smooth fruity flavour of malt and caramel. Smooth caramel into the finish. Holding up fantasticly despite the vague oxidised notes in the aroma.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
Ungstrup (31473) - Citizen of the universe, DENMARK - JUL 1, 2009
Bottled. A hazy amber beer with some sediment under a thin beige head. The aroma is sweet with notes of alcohol, wood, malt, and caramel. The flavor is sweet with notes of malt, caramel, and lots of alcohol. Thanks to WeeHeavySD for sharing.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
omhper (21892) - Tyresö, SWEDEN - JUN 5, 2003
Bottled. Reddish brown. Restrained aroma of malt and grapefruit. Soft and intensely malty with huge hopbitterness setting in early and dominating the finish.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
brokensail (14042) - San Leandro, California, USA - FEB 16, 2011
2002 Vintage. A: The beer pours a hazy amber color with a finger or so of tan colored foam. S: Starts off with caramel and citrus, mostly oranges, along with a nice sharp pine note. There’s a bit of vanilla in there, but also some cardboard, unfortunately. Brown sugar provides some more sweetness. T: Still quite bitter with a lot of pine and citrus peel. The vanilla is there again, as is a strong flavor of toffee. Grapefruit, pine, and grass add some perception of hop character. The cardboard is here, but it’s fairly minimal. M: The body is medium to full with a moderate level of carbonation. D: Not bad for a nine year old beer. I prefer it fresh or with a year or two on it, but still not bad.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
argo0 (12513) - Washington DC, USA - AUG 5, 2002
Damn this is good stuff. Orange red hue with middling head. Sweet fruity malty aroma, tinged by the clear presence of alcohol. Up front flavor, very assertive (like all Stone beers). Wine-like, malty, caramel, hops providing good support. Alcohol’s there too, but, despite the high ABV, it doesn’t overwhelm the rest of it.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
bu11zeye (12367) - Frisco (Dallas), Texas, USA - FEB 4, 2009
(22oz. bottle, 2002 vintage, courtesy of Lumpy) Pours a cloudy amber body with a spare beige head. Aroma of caramel, cherry, some oxidation, earthiness, and bread. Flavor of bread, caramel, some oxidation, mild hops (floral, pine) and cherry with a bitter finish.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
Drake (11156) - Free Union, Virginia, USA - JUL 20, 2009
UPDATED: JUL 25, 2009 2001 22 ounce bottle shared by TheBeerGod at Immy’s Backyard Throwdown. Thanks Mike! Pours a red color with floaties. Medium head with good head retention and lacing. Aroma is toffee, nutty notes and citrus hops. Taste is strong citrus hops with toffee and caramel notes. Very bitter and well balanced. Full bodied. Extraordinarily impressive after all these years.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
kp (10884) - Woodstock, Georgia, USA - SEP 1, 2007
UPDATED: DEC 31, 2012
Name: Old Guardian
Date: January 10, 2004
Mode: Bottle
Source: Tasting
Appearance: clear amber, whispy head
Aroma: light sweet malt aroma with lighter hops
Flavor: nice hop flavor, long bitter finish, touch of carmel sweetness

Aroma: 5/10; Appearance: 5/10; Flavor: 6/10; Palate: 5/10; Overall: 13/20
Rating: 3/5.0
Score: **+ /4

Name: Old Guardian
Date: August 17, 2002
Mode: Bottle
Source: Whole Foods Market, DC
Vintage: 2002
Appearance: hazy amber, scant head
Aroma: sweet fruity aroma
Flavor: rich malt flavor, sweet in the midle followed by an intense long bitter finish, after warming it becomes all about the hops

Name: Old Guardian
Date: March 01, 2003
Mode: bottle
Vintage: 2002
Appearance: clear amber, fine tan head
Aroma: strong hop aroma on top of a rich sweet malt base
Flavor: rich fruity alcoholic malt flavor with a well balanced bitterness

Name: Old Guardian
Date: April 24, 2005
Mode: bottle
Vintage: 2002
Appearance: muddy brown, scant head
Aroma: sweet brown sugar aroma
Body: rich body
Flavor: huge malt flavor, lots of thick sweetness, nice bitterness, a bit fumey but quickly fades, picks up some really nice fruityness upon warming
Overall: very interesting middle aged beer

Name: Old Guardian
Date: September 06, 2008
Mode: bottle
Source: vertical tasting
Vintage: 2002
Appearance: hazy dark amber, wispy beige head
Aroma: sweet caramel aroma, light earthy hops
Flavor: sweet sherry flavor, oxidized, rich fruit, low balancing bitterness
Overall: a bit long in the tooth right now

Name: Old Guardian
Date: December 02, 2012
Mode: bottle
Source: tasting
Vintage: 2002
Aroma: sweet caramel aroma, still some earthyness
Flavor: lots of oxidationa adds a sherry character to the rich fruity flavor
Overall: still holding well and maybe a bit of a bounce back

Aroma: 6/10; Appearance: 7/10; Flavor: 7/10; Palate: 7/10; Overall: 16/20
Rating: 3.7/5.0
Score: *** /4

Name: Old Guardian
Date: April 01, 2003
Mode: Bottle
Source: Whole Foods Market, DC
Vintage: 2003
Appearance: Clear dark amber, thin white head
Aroma: heavy malt aroma with lots of fresh hops
Overall: a big wall of hops and malt hits you upside the head on the first sip leaving a fuming reminder, after warming the hops fade and the fruity malt kicks into high gear

Name: Old Guardian
Date: April 23, 2005
Mode: bottle
Vintage: 2003
Aroma: sweet fruity malt and fresh earthy hop aroma
Body: creamy body
Flavor: rich malt flavor, soft fruity character, a bit fumey at first but quickly disappears, nice light bitterness, almosy coying swwetness that fades, bitterness grows into a long and lingering finish
Overall: turns into a creamy and fruity beverage with nice bitter finish, hops are all but gone, it’s all fruity from here for the next few years

Name: Old Guardian
Date: November 17, 2007
Mode: bottle
Source: tasting
Vintage: 2003
Flavor: dark caramel malt flavor is well balanced with the earthy hops
Overall: rich malt flavor, good fruity character, still plenty of balancing bitterness

Name: Old Guardian
Date: March 11, 2008
Mode: bottle
Source: cellar stock
Vintage: 2003
Aroma: sweet and alcoholic caramel aroma with balancing earthy hops
Body: ever the creamy body
Flavor: dark caramel flavor is well balanced with the earthy hops, sweetness still comes through with a nice growing fruityness, earthy bitterness is now not much more than a balancing footnote
Overall: gradually turning into the rich sweet fruity beer that has been destined

Name: Old Guardian
Date: September 06, 2008
Mode: bottle
Source: vertical tasting
Vintage: 2003
Appearance: hazy dark amber, wispy beige head
Aroma: well balanced aroma with the caramel malt being dried out by the earthy hops
Flavor: rich and sweet caramel malt flavor, lots of fruity character, touch of sherry, light oxidation but less than the 2004, touch of alcohol
Overall: probably peaking right now if the 2002 is any indication

Name: Old Guardian
Date: December 02, 2012
Mode: bottle
Source: tasting
Vintage: 2003
rich and fruity, no remaining earthyness, aging very well, lots of fruityness, sherry melds well with the fruityness,

Aroma: 8/10; Appearance: 7/10; Flavor: 8/10; Palate: 7/10; Overall: 16/20
Rating: 4/5.0
Drinkability: 8/10
Score: *** /4

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
daknole (10350) - Scottsdale, Arizona, USA - AUG 6, 2012
A light amber pour gives a nice mostly white head. Caramel malt, pears, apples, apricots, and piney hops on the nose. Flavor has some oxidation but it is still tasting good. Stone fruit, caramel, hops, brown sugary flavor.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
hopscotch (10265) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - NOV 22, 2002
This beer rocks. The aroma is heavily malty and moderately hoppy with big bursts of caramel, molasses and clover honey. Notes of port, pine, dates, pineapple(?) and toffee. Call me crazy, but once it hit room temperature, I detected whole grain bread in the nose as well. Wait, what’s that? Yes, I definitely detect notes of the kitchen sink. Yes, Yes, they even included the kitchen sink in the aroma. What’s NOT in this barley wine? This sparkling clear, mohogany ale has a medium-sized, off-white, creamy head. Quickly and mostly diminishing. Decent lacing. The flavor is nicely balanced (very un-Stone-like) with heavy malt and a very nice hop bounce up front. Lots of warm alcohol, clover honey and plums. Lightly bitter and salty with more alcohol on the backside. Full-bodied. Lively carbonation. Oily mouthfeel. Long, bittersweet and very dry finish. Ho Hum. Yet another very strong offering from the brewing gurus at Stone.

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