shigadeyo (3739) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - JAN 19, 2007
UPDATED: FEB 26, 2007 Sampled from bottle at the River’s Bend Barleywine/Old Ale Tasting on 1/18/2007...STEPHENDR (478) - California, USA - JAN 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 I’d 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 Boston’s 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).
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 guzzler67 (1696) - Hanover, Maryland, USA - JAN 13, 2007
Amber/orange appearance with an average size, off white head. Aroma starts resinous and citrusy, then a caramel malt and softer fruit nose emerges. Sweet malt taste does little to hide the alcohol. Flavors of ripe fruit and caramel gradually lose ground to a bitter, spicy hoppiness. Full bodied, decently carbonated mouthfeel leads to a bitter, lingering finish. alexanderj (3605) - Branson, Missouri, USA - JAN 9, 2007
UPDATED: JUN 6, 2008 Rerate; original ratings below. Bottle was of the 2006 vintage. Murky, lightish, orange brown color with a small off white head. Aroma of chewy caramel with some fruit, alcohol and spice?. Surprised and how much alcohol was in the taste. Flavor was dominated by caramel malt, with some toffee and sweet. Hops have mellowed a bit. Didn’t find the palate creamy like last time. Liked it about as much time, although it does lack the complexity of some of the "elite" versions of the style. Rating remained a 3.9. (Poured a brown auburn. Big malt aroma; bready; caramel; raisin. Taste was malty; pit fruit/raisin; Sweet. Used to hate this style when I first started drinking. But really enjoyed this one. Creamy mouth feel. Another good one from Stone. On a second tasting had more burning of the throat than i remembered (2007).) bluevegie (3073) - Perth, AUSTRALIA - JAN 8, 2007
Thanks to Kook, tried at homebrew club night. Clear tawny brown body with a short lasting light tan head. Big malt aroma but with strong notes of pine and then the alcohol. The palate is easy drinking but not as promising as the nose, burnt caramel, toasted and some more dried fruit. Don’t pick up the alcohol as much in the taste as in the nose.
brentfeesh (1208) - Mansfield, Ohio, USA - JAN 2, 2007
2004 bottle enjoyed New Years Eve. Pours orange-amber with a light hazy. Big malt aroma with a nice crispness to it. Lots of alcohol, strong hops, and definite notes of citrus, minerals, and pine. The flavor was wonderful. Big malts with lots of caramel and great big pine hops. Some fruit presence. This thing has really started to blend and mellow. Full bodied and creamy with a semi-dry finish. I really like this. I wish I would have saved more than one bottle. If you have any 2004 give it a try! Malakin (470) - Victoria, British Columbia, CANADA - DEC 26, 2006
Orange amber colour with a thick head and a great aroma. Strong spicy caramel flavour that’s a bit earthy. WeeHeavySD (3387) - Portland, Oregon, USA - DEC 23, 2006
UPDATED: AUG 3, 2008 Taster at Stone’s new beer garden and bistro. 2005 Vintage. Pours Amber with a small head. The aroma is sweet and full of dried fruit. The taste is pure yum (I know very descriptive). Sweet dried fruite with a nice full mouth feeling. MiP (15667) - Sønderborg, DENMARK - DEC 19, 2006
Bottle, 11.26%. Quite malty aroma, some bonbon/caramel. Red amber colour. Very bonbony flavour and aftertaste, caramellized sugar, quite sweet. Nice, but a bit too bitter. redlem (1306) - Ohio, USA - DEC 15, 2006
I look at the picture and wonder how did they get that head on this beer? For me and the bottle I had ; no way it is not happening, no head. Aroma and taste are mostly malts, caramel with not much hops, a sweet taste. Not bad but the alcohol is dominate in taste, for me.