jester (1) - USA - MAR 25, 2004 does not count
a bit of sting, but overall an amazing balance for such strong flavors.... can't wait to try in 6 months... MaiBockAddict (1497) - Good Beer Bar Deprived, New Jersey, USA - MAR 27, 2004
UPDATED: MAR 29, 2004 Hot damn! Pours clear orange with a tan head. Nice hoppy BW aroma. Big malt hoppy flavor with a lingering hop bitterness and flavor. This is one smooth brew! Yum Yum!!!!! RichJ7 (1175) - Cullman, Alabama, USA - MAY 24, 2004
Very nice. Poured a deep, rich ruby red with nice subdued carbonation. Aroma is wonderful: raisiny, sweet. Syrupy on the palate with a sweet, rich flavor. I’m a sucker for barleywines, but this is definitely one of the best I’ve had. Hopgeek (90) - San Diego, California, USA - OCT 7, 2004
Light amber with a very thick off white head. Aroma is very spicy, and loaded with hops. Thick, floral, estery. Flavor is exceptional for this style. Rich and sweet, spicy and strong. Thick and syrupy on the palate. Alcohol finish. This is excellent. elektrogeist (158) - Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - FEB 19, 2005
Holy hell, is this strong. 2005 that just came out, I’ll be buying more and storing it for a long time because one can tell how it would benefit from more aging. This year’s is 12.26% so beware the strength, after the first sip my stomach started burning. Sweet but exquisitely balanced with just the right amount of hops, and despite the intensity it still goes down well. Taste doesn’t linger in my mouth as long as some other barleywines, but this is still probably the best I’ve had.
cking (1175) - North Canton, Ohio, USA - MAY 18, 2007
Rated 4/21/06: Limited early 2006 release, 11.26% abv with a long story on the back in print that is way too small. WoW this beer knocked my socks off in every aspect. Poured a subtle golden amber color with pencil thin head and no lacing, occaisional bubbles float to the surface - cool. Sitting next to me my wife suddenly said "your beer smells like wine" exactly, the aroma is a floral bouquet of super sweet malts complimented by citrus and sweet hops. Overpowering and aggressive the sweet scent invites you to sample the precious nectar that awaits. Flavor is extremely intense melding loads of malts, sweet and bitter with a dry hoppiness that shouldn’t work but it does all too well. The alcohol walks through the door and shakes your hand but you are still thinking about the malts. The flavor lends itself to a smooth mouthfeel that finishes slightly bitter, the perfect ending to a wonderful story. Overall this is intense and beautiful, truly another fantastic effort created by Stone. Cudos wetherel (1883) - Cupertino, California, USA - MAY 24, 2007
2004 Old Guardian from a growler (yeah baby) bought at Stone ($7 growler fill). 3 years old. No head, but a little carbonation. Nice background oxidation smell, a perfect amount. The beer is cloudy. I didn’t know aging made the beer cloudy. It was interesting to see the guy gingerly filling the bottle of aged old Guardian, while the next growler was overflowing with some other stuff. Very well balanced hops and sweetness. I should probably rerate with a fresh batch, this one is too good! boFNjackson (4201) - Portland, Oregon, USA - APR 3, 2008
Tap... Poured ruby with a frothy white head. Floral aroma with a hint of alcohol. The alcohol is pretty well hidden in the initial flavor by the candy and bubble gum malt flavors. Dry hops follow up with a touch of warming alcohol in the aftertaste. Really smooth and relaxing. robinvboyer (4670) - Sturgeon Falls, Ontario, CANADA - APR 10, 2008
bomber from the cheese man!
Murky brown pour with a very small off white head. Aroma is BIG on sweet malt, and some nice hops, and a touch of fruit. Wow, this smells so much of a big glass of caramel. Flavour is very smooth, some big matly notes, the hops come through in the finish, they leave that high alpha soapiness in my mouth, with a touch of pine. Finish is nice and bitter, but not too bitter, they hops are present enough, and do they job beautifully, and the malt is the star, it leavs a wonderful sweet/caramel maltiness, and adds a bit of a brandy like sweetness. Excellent barley wine, i enjoy its not a hop monster like many other american barley wines i’ve had. nathan30533 (1020) - Clifton, Ohio, USA - FEB 23, 2009
Wow what a brew. Pours a wonderful bronze color with a white forming head. Great taste of grapes and spice. Bit bitter hops. Good look, smooth, and greeat taste.