Stone Brewing Company says:
“Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Ale is a stunning representation of all that is big and bold in beer. This beautiful, bold barley wine has a massive malt character and near-critical level of hop notes.”
Yet another clear, plastic cup. Sigh. Once again, I had this while seated comfortably at a bar stool at the Twisted Spoke during the Stone Week kickoff party Thursday, April 1st. The beer pours a deep amber, reddish color.
The hops are completely missing from the nose of this beer. Just a touch of dark fruit.
At first taste this beer is ridiculously smooth and sweet. Syrupy. Cola-like. It just coats the entire mouth. Plums, molasses, sugary goodness. The malts really shine in this beer now that it has four years on it. No longer can this be considered an American barleywine. The malts are now running the show and I would say it has crossed in to English barleywine territory.
There is a touch of hops in the aftertaste just to remind you that they were once the focal point of this beer. But they fade fast.
Wonderful. Loved it. Personally, I prefer the English barleywine style so this was a real treat to drink.
If you wondering how other vintages of Stone’s Old Guardian hold up, we recently held a 3 year vertical.