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RATINGS: 1960   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.85/5   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 338   ABV: 11.26%
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.

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   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
talon1117 (1152) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - JAN 29, 2007
UPDATED: MAR 4, 2008 2007 Bottle. Pours a very clear amber-copper color with a mostly full, off-white, creamy, and tight head; head settles to a small frothy bit leaving minimal lacing. Nose sweet with potent alcohol; also noting raisin, date, candi sugar, and some yeasty bread with some citrus and resin in the background. Similar flavor, sweet, candy-like, and fairly warming; notes of candi sugar, raisin, date, light bready notes, a touch of rich caramel, FAINT citrus. Palate is medium, soft to lively, and chewy with significant alcohol presence; this young brew really does not hide its potency well. Finishes with some drying out with the candi sugar still remaining, but some bitterness finally presenting itself with notes of light citrus and slight herbal. This being Stone, I was expecting more. IMHO, this one is far from optimal age; many months would help greatly. Surprising from Stone, being so incredibly sweet and almost hot (for 11%), this one just did not live up to the standards of the normal Stone curve. Not bad by any means, but something from Stone that I was hoping that would be much better. I find myself not wanting to try another BW for a while after this one. The 2008 version is a bit better with less heat but still not much better. My least favorite Stone brew.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
hellomynameis (876) - Mayer, Minnesota, USA - JAN 28, 2007
Clear amber colour, thin disappearing head. Caramel and alcohol on the nose. The taste is...different. I get some grapefruit like hops with a weird butterscotch middle. Theres a bit of alcohol and some yeastiness as well. It is quite sticky and candy like. Finishes dry with a bit of bitterness.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Nephilium (1752) - Cleveland, Ohio, USA - JAN 28, 2007
2007 version. Not much aroma out of this one, pours a clear red amber, no cloudiness. Very small head that quickly fades. This beer starts sweet, finishes bitter, but with a drying effect on the mouth. This is most likely due to the high alcohol content. Tossing several bottles of this into the celler to see how it ages.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
HopHeadinAZ (180) - Arizona, USA - JAN 28, 2007
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, its 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 doesnt hold up to earlier examples.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
hotstuff (4921) - Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA - JAN 28, 2007
2006 version. Poured a small ivory head that mostly diminished, minimal carbonation, transparent, and a reddish brown hue. Malty, caramel, piney hops, and some raisin notes for the nose. Flavor was sweet, hops, caramel, brown sugar, dry, lightly bitter, and mildly acidic. Tingly mouthfeel. Medium body. Definitely a nice barley wine and worthy of a try.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 10/20
muzzlehatch (4904) - Beloit, Wisconsin, USA - JAN 27, 2007
22 ounce bottle, early 2006 batch, from Table and Vine in Northampton, MA (September 2006), quaffed at cellar temperature from a Maudite glass. A smallish thick, creamy off-white head forms slowly and dies similarly leaving a thick ring atop the dirty caramel-copper body, faint unstable lacing....resinous, piney hops expectedly dominate the aroma, but some creamy caramel notes liven things up and soften the acrid notes, a hint or two of raisins also add pleasure; with some warmth, cookie-sweet bready malts show up and start to block out the more interesting stuff.....on the tongue, a powerful, grainy brown sugar sweetness whallops you immediately, moderate alcohol presence following on its heels, slowly those resinous hops make their presence known and by midpalate its a hopmonster, getting very bitter, acidic and dry at the finish though touches of that cloying sugariness continue on, offsetting to some extent the harshness but not in a balanced or well-blended way. In fact, this whole affair is a mess of vaguely interesting concepts thrown together with lots of alcohol in the hopes that something brilliant will magically appear, but its instead an incoherent swirl of uncoalesced promises. Low to moderate carbonation, sticky, and quite hard for me to get down.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
UselessGdTaste (365) - Long Beach, California, USA - JAN 26, 2007
2007 release. Sweet. Very very very very sweet, almost on the virge of being undrinkable. Ill let this age, then do a rerate later. It was still good, just not ready yet.

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

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
shigadeyo (3648) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - JAN 19, 2007
UPDATED: FEB 26, 2007 Sampled from bottle at the Rivers Bend Barleywine/Old Ale Tasting on 1/18/2007...

2006 Vintage (bottle): Hazy amber color. Ivory crown. Weak caramel and citrus hop aroma with some alcohol. Citrus and resin hop flavor and bitterness atop a toasted caramel malt base. Lingering bitterness throughout the finish and then some! Alcohol is mostly undetectable for the high content. Always a great beer!

I love the Engligh-style Barley Wines, but I also really enjoy a nice American-style Barley Wine like Stone Old Guardian from time to time. The English ones tend to be super sweet, malty, and heavy whereas the American ones are a bit lighter and much more hoppy. Both types are great, but if I had to pick between the two then Id lean toward the English ones. Either way, Stone Old Guardian definitely holds its own and is to be respected. It was one of my other favorites of the evening...

Sampled on draught at "The Most Arrogant Bar (Pub) in America 2006-2007" event at Bostons Bistro & Pub (Dayton, Ohio) on 2/22/2007...

2006 Vintage (draught): Clear copper color with a creamy off-white head. Floral hope flavors along with some pine and grass. Mild alcohol. Dry finish. Not very malty or sweet. Maybe a bit ozidized?

2007 Vintage (draught): Amber color (pretty clear) with a frothy white head. Sweet, fruity, and malty in both aroma and flavor. Not overly hoppy or bitter. The alcohol is very well hidden. Much better than the 2006 Old Guardian (draught).

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
STEPHENDR (478) - California, USA - JAN 18, 2007
2006 Vintage , cellared about one year , opened 1/12/7 - 22 oz. bottle- color of murky honey , with a thin off white head - nose of dried apricots , deep red fruit , soy sauce , iodine , bitter , chocolate , and malt taste of resin , honey , slight hopps , red fruit , brown sugar , and slight alcohol- body harsh but clean , and low carbonation aftertaste of salty , honey , gummy , and bitter

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