Stone Old Guardian

Stone Old Guardian BarleywineStone Brewing‘s Old Guardian is a serious barleywine: it comes in at 11.26% alcohol and is vintaged by the year it was brewed. I had the "early 2007" release.

Appearance: Lighter than expected—a pinkish orange, nice and deep. Murky. Head didn’t last long, but it’s lacing the glass nicely.

Smell: Cloying brandy-sweet, caramel and brown sugar. Alcohol—not biting. Some hops, but they’re really a backseat to the sugary malt.

Taste: There’s a punch here, from the alcohol, no doubt. Then the hops, a flood of herbal bitterness, strong but quite good. Bracing! Sweet, very malty—a caramel/biscuit malt. Almost a plummy/date fruit character. Very complex, like a cognac… slightly harsh but since it is a 2007 release, it will mellow very nicely.

Mouthfeel: Very full-bodied—syrupy, almost. Biting from the alcohol and hops.

Overall: Simply, another great beer from Stone.

On BeerAdvocate, it scores 88 out of 100, with 98% approval. On RateBeer it scores 3.84 out of 5 and is in their 97th percentile.

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