Shadrach (176) - Brooklyn, New York, USA - APR 5, 2004
Rich amber coloring with minimal head. Aroma has a decent grapefruit to it. Palate is smooth with minimal bitterness, though the taste is akin to grapefruit toffee, with a definite taste of hops but not overwhelmingly so. brettpace (176) - New York City, New York, USA - SEP 23, 2007
Good barley wine, highly hopped which adds to the character. However I felt the alchohol was not as well hidden as say, the bigfoot barley wine. Beeronaut (176) - Cambridgeshire, ENGLAND - JUL 16, 2010
22oz Limited Early 2010 Release. Pours out deep rusty amber in colour, with honeyed hues. Big creamy head which recedes quite quickly to leave a good tight covering and lace over the beer. Nicely carbonated, lazy in style. Aroma is really quite different to last years offering, much more toffee, fudge and caramel aromas. Nice bit of rich sweetened barley, sugar, tons of golden syrup and maple syrup, then some pine and citrus from the hops in the background. Once again, more focus on the sweeter, richer notes in the flavour with the hops bringing a welcome bitter balance. The 2009 was dominated by hops and was thinner bodied than this one. Enters with a good full bodied feel, sticky candy flavours, heavy caramel, a touch of licorice - but not much, more like bitter-treacle, manuka honey, really rich warming barley, then in comes some good bitter, quite earthy, hops with mineral flavours, wet stone, pine, lemon, grapefruit and so on. Finish is moderately bitter which keeps the beer remarkably fresh tasting and also makes it very drinkable. The finish also has great length and leaves a flavour of lemon peel, pithiness, vanilla and bitter orange as well as boiled sweets and yet more treacle. Alcohol - as ever with Stone - is impeccably tempered. Mouthfeel is excellent; somehow keeps quite clean and shows it’s complexity well without any muddiness. This really is an excellent barley wine, and I’m not really even a fan of the style, but the hops keep me interested. It is a hell of a lot better than the 2009, which I found to be thin, stupidly bitter and a little one dimensional for Stone, this has totally redeemed Old Guardian in my eyes. I’m glad I gave the new Vintage another go, as I had my suspicions that the ’09 was a slightly lesser vintage. However, I expect that the ’09 had better aging potential due to the amount of hops, and therefore these would integrated well to give wide ranging complexity. But all in all the 2010 is a stunner, and I will certainly be buying another couple bottles to drink and age. [As a side note to "INBE" below me, glad you liked the beer, but surely you must realize that Barley Wines are brewed for High Alcohol... You don’t get 6% Barley Wine. The Term Barley wine pretty much implies High alcohol, as they are classed as "Wine Style" brews.} muteprint (176) - Olympia, Washington, USA - MAR 12, 2011
22 oz bottle. Orange red in color with just head enough head to lace the glass as it is drank. Full malt aromas. Taste contains a strong fruit presence, the high abv is very well masked. Very good barley wine. Weevo (175) - Indiana, USA - OCT 16, 2016
Bomber bottle from beer club. Pours dark mahogany with a one finger tan head. Brewers description is fairly accurate which made it an enjoyable beer for me. However I thought I suffered a small stroke trying to read the small print on the back of the bottle. Then I realized the ABV was 11%.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
Tjoxen (173) - SWEDEN - SEP 21, 2012
Bottle from 2012. Pours clear brown red with a small beige head. Roasty aroma. Some caramel, orange peel, sweet alcohol. Clear bitterness that stays. Its fantastic! Keil (171) - Denver, Colorado, USA - MAY 15, 2012
Aroma is all malty sweetness with some piney hops in the background. Thick, full body. Big malt backbone you’d expect from a barleywine but with very present bitterness. Seriously bitter, finishes for a while. Solid barleywine, one of the hoppiest I’ve tasted. raiderfost (170) - virginia beach, Virginia, USA - FEB 21, 2008
Having only recently started to enjoy barleywines, i was really looking forward to the one from my favorite brewery. Id have to say i was a little disappointed. I really expected more hops. It wasnt bad at all just not what i expected. porterdude (170) - Bellingham, Washington, USA - DEC 12, 2005
Poured a very ruby color, completely clear, and with a thin head. An aroma of port wine, raisins, and chocolate came from this beer. Initial taste was a bit "hot".... lots of alcohol, but after the shock a warming flavor of port and chcocolate shined through till i finished my glass. EddieG (169) - Palos Heights, Illinois, USA - FEB 21, 2004
Its hard to dis' a nice beer because it clearly misses its style. So I didn't. The beer is good, hoppy with decent malt body, good aroma and fairly complex with tobacco and citrus notes. However, it anin't a barleywine per se. I also don't want to fall into the trap of calling it a "disguised" IPA which is IMHO a bullshit way of lumping a beer into a category based upon one inability to critically differentiate between a beer and proper style. However, the beer is missing the residual sweetness from the typical crystal, Special B (or whatever its replacement is called) biscuit and other malts which typically lend a BW its charater and complexity. With thta said, I still enjoed this beer.