Silphium (3199) - Traverse City, Michigan, USA - FEB 22, 2004
Stone done remodeled my precious! Rather than tossing Precious into the hot liquid magma, they reforged it in the name of change. Well, I am forced to reckon that change isn't always for the better. Pours orange-copper and leaves plenty of lacing on my St. Bernardus glass. Alcohol and lots of citrus in the nose. Citrusy body with a touch of caramel and a rather strong alcohol presence enhanced by bittering hops. The candied fruit (good wording, Drew) is still present, but overall this is thinner-bodied than the earlier "make." Not a big winner, but not a loser either. Ringo (963) - Loveland, Colorado, USA - FEB 24, 2004
Big barley wine, but tastes more like an APA to me. It's missing the syrupy, candy-like "red" flavor that I like in a barley wine. I liked the old Old Guardian better. I'm not really an advocate of aging beer, but if a year would take the edge off of this, then I think that it would benefit. A nice beer but just a tad hot for my tastes. I didn't read all of the stuff on the back of the bottle, but Greg said something about people from Colorado being cool so I added an extra point for that. What the heck, it's all subjective anyway, right? vwsteggie (684) - Paxton, Massachusetts, USA - FEB 28, 2004
Has a great amber/orange color with little head and carbonation. Smell is sweet malt/hop/candy. Taste is malty alcohol and finishes with hop bitterness. Overall a good strong beer, but not my thing. DarkElf (3062) - La Jolla, California, USA - MAR 2, 2004
UPDATED: MAR 4, 2004 Notes for earlier vintages suggest that earlier versions were better and rated higher; The style of this barleywine is more sweet and fruity and less malty than others, though previous notes indicate it is sweeter now than in past years, and once again quite bitter; The light smokiness of previous years is barely detectable, perhaps only imagined; Moderate bitterness initially becomes progressively more dominant in the finish; Sweet, fruity nose matches the flavor; Palate is moderately thick and syrupy; Orange-amber in color and clear; The off-white head is smallish on the pour, but maintains a thin layer; Small bits of lacing on the glass, but largely is missing FlacoAlto (4182) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - MAR 31, 2004
Pours a clear copper color with a frothy tan head. The aroma is of thick chewy crystal malts and hops, though the malt character seems to surprisingly dominate. The beer itself is thick and chewy, with lots of malt character. There is hop flavor in the finish with notes of orange and a grassiness. A bitterness then kicks in at the very end. This beer is surprisingly malty, though with definite hop character, it is quite subdued for Stone. I much prefer the regular Stone lineup to this one.
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. mortimer (8) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - APR 20, 2004 does not count
This slightly foggy, amber beer had a small, frothy off white head, which quickly faded away. The aroma was heavily hopped, slightly sweet (maybe grapefruit) and the scent of pine was also apparent. The flavor was a little bitter, presumably because of all the hops. Again could detect a sweet citrus flavor. Its finish had a moderate alcohol burn. However, I noticed that as the beer warmed, the alcohol aftertaste diminished and I was left with a more pleasant beer to savor. Personally, if I am going to drink a Barley wine I would prefer the English styles, such as Thomas Hardy’s or JW Lee’s. If, however, you prefer extremely hoppy beer, go for this one, you may enjoy it. CaptainCougar (7133) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - MAY 6, 2004
UPDATED: JUN 17, 2007 2007 vintage sampled on 6/17/07: Pours a hazy dark copper bronze with a frothy thin light tan head. Aroma of fresh citrusy grapefruit hops and sweet caramel malt. Body starts sticky sweet and caramely with a big, biggering hoppy presence toward a drier, warming bittersweet finish. I’d prefer this with a little more aroma and flavor hops and not as many bittering hops, but then I’d probably taste the alcohol more.
Cornboy (424) - Eastampton, New Jersey, USA - MAY 20, 2004
2005 vintage sampled on 9/28/05: Pours a dark copper with orange tiint and a big, frothy off-white head with greenish hues. Aroma has a very nice balance of sweet caramel malt and piney hops. Body has a good, sweet malty and hoppy balance, but doesn’t hide the alcohol anywhere near as well as the Old Horizontal I just had. This will probably be pretty good after a few years of aging, but even six months has little effect right now. Needs more of a silky smooth, viscous palate as well.
2004 vintage sampled on 5/6/04: Pours a rich copper bronze with a thick and well-lacing white head. Aroma is a bounty of sweet caramel malt and floral hops. Body starts syrupy sweet, turning more bitter and lightly fruity toward a finish that masks the alcohol very well. All the flavors of a great barleywine are there, but they just don’t seem to mesh together as well as they could. A little more balance and more subtle bitterness, and this could be improved. Still a nice barleywine, but I expect a little more from Stone.
Copper pour with medium lacing. Very hoppy aroma immediately present. Alcohol very noticeable in the taste. Hops, grapefruit rind, slight malt come through strong. Slight malt/alcohol finish. This one needs to rest for some time, a little too raw at this point in its life. igneous1 (1535) - Davenport, Iowa, USA - JUN 23, 2004
deep cloudy golden color, minimal but mostly lasting head. aroma is very heavy on buttery toffee and earthy hops, and for some reason a little bit of canteloupe. flavor is lightly sweet, tongue numbing alcohol, hops not really all that assertive in the flavor. finish is moderately sweet. I was hoping this would be better.