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Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2005 - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2005Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2005

Educational use only; do not reuse.

104 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 104
Hads: 122
Avg: 4.25
pDev: 8.94%
Wants: 11
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  11.26% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Todd on 01-26-2005

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2005 Alström Bros
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Reviews: 104 | Hads: 122
Photo of Sammy
3.95/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark copper, full mouthfeel, significantly hoppy. Salty and complex flavour, woody, hop leaf and pine, sweet malt. Easy drink, would go nice with a juicy steak. Boozy warming aftertaste. Good carbonation on tap at Eulogy.

Had by bottle, so aged 20 months. Great tasting and scent barleywine, Boozy at end. Rating the same.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.03/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of drabmuh at last weekend's Stone tasting. Served in a Stone goblet.

Pours a semi-hazy golden-caramel color with a bit of an orange hue. Short head without much in the way of retention or lacing.

The nose brings some caramel and brown sugar, as well as some older hops. Faint fruits in the background. The flavor has a good deal of sweetness and still just a touch of lingering bitterness. Medium body with low carbonation and a mixture of sugar and alcohol.

This was okay, but it's not something I'd really plan to age all that much of in the future.

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Photo of Jason
4.05/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 22 oz brown bomber with a silk screened label, vintage date of “Winter 2005” on the label. The text on the back I will one day get to … I think I need at least two bottles to even start with the babble.

Appearance: Bright reddish copper, good clarity. Tiny bubbled lace with a powdery head retention.

Smell: Malty sweet with caramel and ripe fruit in the back, touch of herbal citric oily hop as well.

Taste & Mouth Feel: So creamy … so smooth. Big malty palate, then there comes a light solvent alcohol bite. Bitterness is hard with an aim to balance. Lots of oily flavor middle to end with a hastened warmth with each sip. Suggestions of mint and pine with a shortbread cookie and caramel. Finishes relatively sweet with a long lingering finish of alcohol and hops … some toasted grain husk too boot.

Drinkability & Notes: The alcohol does not deceive, the balance is superb … with some age this will hopefully mature. Some thin wedges of sharp Parmesan and ranch crackers went very well.

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Photo of smcolw
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Orange amber color and crystal clear. The head is disappointing in that it dissipates very quickly and leaves little lace.

Beautiful sweet candy sugar aroma. There is the presence of alcohol without the

There are times where I explore the beer world for something memorable. Stone has now done it twice for me. First, I consider their IPA to be best I've yet tasted. Here is the best barley wine. The flavors start with barley malt that is not overpowering like most of this style. Still it is very full bodied. The swallow is a wonderful hop kick that mellows out the sugars.

Usually I find this style to be too obvious in alcohol or sweetness. This is stunningly well-balanced. Yet it retains all of the expectations of a fine barley wine.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.53/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Old Guardian served in an Old Guardian glass, this beer does not really improve with age but it also doesn't get much worse.

Beer is ruby and clear with a thin lazy off white / tan head of small bubbles, some lacing, low carbonation. Looks good.

Stone biting house yeast with nice MO grain / malt aroma, strong throughout.

Beer is medium in body with a mild bitter and hoppiness on the back end, it is a fine beer with a nice finish but there is this underlying faded, musky hoppiness there. I don't like it as much as the newer ones.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.53/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Shared by drabmuh. Thanks Matt.

The beer is copper orange hued with a small head that leaves sparse lacing on the glass. The aroma offers caramels, malt, light oxidation, even some old basement. The flavor is decent, but I didn't enjoy this one nearly as much as the 2004 version. I was quite surprised by how different they were from one another. Pretty simple and straightforward, with a slightly sweet malt bill leading the way. Hop character is nonexistent at this point. A pretty decent brew and fun to try.

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Photo of WesWes
4.13/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a nice amber color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a warm and malty scent that is slightly hoppy, but nothing too strong. The taste is great. It has a very smooth, malty flavor that goes down easy for an abv. of 11.26%. It has a bitter hoppy finish; very well balanced. It has a warming effect on the way down. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn good barley wine. It is so smooth for a "big beer." It has excellent hop flavor; an awesome drinker.

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Photo of GClarkage
3.58/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

09/18/05- Purchased at Ledger's Liquors in Berkeley, CA

Presentation- 22oz bomber with no freshness dates. Limited winter 2005 release. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Amber-gold, almost brandy-esque coloring. 1/2 inch super creamy white head. Limited lacing.

Smell- Super sweet caramel scent. Cherries aged in oak as well.

Taste- Has this been aged in oak? Very hoppy background as assumed with all Stone brews. Not really any cherry flavors detected. If any, maybe it's cherry soaked in alcohol and then covered in dark chocolate. Huge, and I mean huge caramel taste. Doesn't have the sweetness as expected though considering.

Mouthfeel- Medium to lower carbonation. Super bitter on the pallete.

Drinkability- Hopefully the '04 will impress me a bit more. Not bad, but it may need a bit more aging. A bit more sweetness would have made it more drinkable.

***Aged bottle consumed February '08.

Has become very very caramely. Flavors of vanilla and cream. Almost english barleywine flavored. Extrememly drinkable. This beer was a "5" on taste...almost 5's across the board to be honest.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.77/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from Mike’s Barleywine tasting, thanks for the opportunity!
Surprisingly still a bit of earthy hop flavor against a sweet caramel fruity maltiness.

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Photo of tempest
4.17/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Great beer, but considering this is a Stone brew, I was hoping for a little more. For starters, this is a golden barleywine, peach colored with a slight red tinge. No head unfortunately, but that happens with this much alcohol. The aroma of of sweet, syrupy pineapple and peach juice, like from the canned fruit with grass and fresh ground black pepper. The flavor matches much of the aroma but with more spicy citrus rind and doughy malt for balance. The aftertaste focuses on the spicy hops and reminds me of Italian cooking spices for their earthy taste. The body and weight are reasonably heavy for this type of beer. Finishing a bomber is no trouble, as long as you're sharing. Good beer.

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Photo of Zorro
4.17/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A bottle I have held on too for a long time.

This is now a thick copper colored ale with no head formation

The smell is sweet and fruity and still quite strongly hoppy to the nose. Aromas of alcohol and black pepper, fig, cherry, chocolate and rum.

The taste begins sweet and bitter with a nice toffee after taste. This is still quite a strongly flavored beer mostly fruit, wood and hop bitterness. The main flavor defect here is that the hop bitterness is still strong enough to cover up the more subtle flavors. This can still age some more before hitting its peak flavor.

The mouthfeel is thick.

Drinkability is good but not great. This is a beer that still needs some aging to hit its peak of flavor. At present the hop bitterness is covering up flavors, my guess is in two more years this will be at its peak of flavor.

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Photo of biegaman
4.77/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A huge thanks to Grub for this one!
January 2005 Bomber sampled September 2006. The good year and half under its belt certainly didn't hurt it!
A beautiful (I use that word appropriately) appearence. Head at a decent level but would diminish slowly through the course. Clearly enough to cross out any doubts of oxidization. It glowed a hazed ruby colour. Hoppy West Coast (typical Stone) aroma. So ever satisfying, no one does hops quite like Stone. Heavy mouthfeel, the hops add density. Warming boozy notes on the middle and finish. Really, an ultimate barleywine. Enough malt to keep things grounded, something alot of these hop monsters overlook. Largely filling. Booze, hops and excellent compliment of malt. Pushes to the back of the mouth and warms the throat. Alcohol, otherwise well contained. Increasingly coudy (and tasty) as sediment was poured in from the bottom of the bottle. Such crisp, floral hops. Just incredible. Stone is a brewery that lives up to its reputation. I would love to have a bomber (or 2) and put myself to sleep.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.8/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured a lightly cloudy orangish color with a small white head. Nose is nice and malty, chewy caramel, with some of the floral and ctirus notes still hanging in there. Taste is caramel, deep and malty, mellow and damn tasty with pine/floral notes and it was not near as hot as a nw release OG. Still had good carbonation and this barleywine was down right excellent! OG is one of the best aging bwines I have found to date.

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Photo of Derek
4.28/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Perhaps I should've waited another couple months for it to be 3 years old!

A: Amber-copper, light tan hfead, some retention, nice leg/lacing. Exceptional for its strength & age.

S: Bold, bitter hop aroma is resiny & slightly herbal. Sherry-like alcohol, toffee, cotton-candy fruity esters,

T: With almost 3 years in the cellar, it's still very hop-forward with an assertive bitterness. The piney, resiny hops meld with the fruity ale esters and the toffee, nutty, biscuity malt flavours. Slight vanilla and sherry. The alcohol is very warming, but not at all harsh.

M: Moderate body is smooth & creamy, with a definite hop acidity. Modest carbonation. Very well-attenuated considering it's strength, but it's not too dry.

D: Big & bold.

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Photo of DrJay
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I picked this one up last winter in San Diego, so I managed to hold on to it for almost 10 months. Bright coppery orange colour with a fine tan head that reduced to a thin layer of bubbles. Plenty of lacing, and this lastest throughout. Fairly mild aroma with lots of malt, caramel, graham crackers and a bit of fruit. The flavour was well balanced between malt and hop bitterness, with a definite caramel character and a hint of pine. Alcohol comes forward at the end, along with a bit of warmth. Carbonation was on the low side of average, the body was on the full side of medium, and there was just a hint of stickiness. I found this to be a well-balanced brew, mellowed somewhat with the alcohol nicely integrated into the character. I'm looking forward to 2006.

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Photo of Viggo
4.18/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear and bright orange/red, medium but thick white head forms, some very pretty lacing. Smell is nice and malty, carmael, grass, citrus/floral hops, alcohol, vanilla oak, and spice. Taste is caramel, pine/floral hops, vanilla, little bit of alcohol, and a clean rich, bitter finish. Mouthfeel is medium to high bodied, with low carbonation. This bastard has been aging for almost a year, very smooth and controlled, excellent barleywine. Thanks DrJay!

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Photo of Gusler
4.42/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Every year I wait for one of my favorite Stone beers to hit the shelf, of course this one hit while I was under the weather, so it got pushed back in a corner of the DBF. The beer as it emerges from the 22 ounce brown bottle a tralucent deep copper color, the head is mastodonic in size and spumescent in texture, after it slowly fades to nothingness, the lace forms a tight girdle to surround the glass. The aroma of sweet malt, over ripe fruit, hops, cotton candy all occupy the nose, what a treat, start is sweet with a thick grain profile and the top middling to full in its feel to the palate. Finish is delectably acidic and the hop potent in their spiciness, and the 11. 26 percent ABV makes itself know in the tummy warming and the alcohol bitterness in the very dry aftertaste, Another splendid vintage that will age nicely.

"bonum beer laetificat cor hominis"

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Photo of dirtylou
4.32/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"limited winter 2005 release"

appearance: served in my great lakes chalice, bright clear amber-orange body, cream white head with light retention

smell: pine sap, thick caramel malts, honey, dark fruits, orange peel

taste; for being almost 6 years old, this beer still has a tight flavor profile. the citrus hops are gone but sticky pine remains, along with lots of honey, bitter orange peel, caramel, booze. I was worried this may have passed its prime, but it's still on point

mouthfeel: rich, creamy medium body, moderate bitterness in the finish

drinkability: good

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Photo of tavernjef
4.03/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very attractive dark orange tinted bronze with a semi-dull clarity. The cap is ivory colored, small, compact, and loosely set, doesn't keep for too long, but leaves a ton of thin glazing sheets of lace.

Aroma is of caramel covered pears and melons soaked in rum. Understated hops to this one with just a hinting of floral resin hop oilyness intwined in an alcoholic heat.

Taste is quite mild. Medium malts with a full fronting caramel and fruityness favoring a bit of tropical flavors. Pineapple, pear, melon, dates, and a mish-mash of rummy/whiskey malt-like malting and warmth. Actually, this is quite a warm belly full. Slight pine and hop heat with a tiny floral edge add some depth to its finish. Warm and long standing finish of heat easing off with touches of the caramel laced with the floral hop tend to keep a solid position on the palate, in the throat, and down into the belly.

Feel is about medium and less substantial then most other Stone brews I've encountered. Not quite as beefy or big. A little more loose and free in this one. Still has that inevitable creamy smoothness and low carbonation that can be found in most other Old Gaurdians'. The somewhat lack of body is more then made up for in its beautifully enhanced warmth. Its very soothing and warm. A definate worthy sipper in that regards. The bigger ABV is evident enough in its warming character but still yields that quick and slick drinkability, even when sipped, the palate still yearns for more, making this another dangerously fine drinker from Stone.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – The liquid is a translucent brownish-orange in color and almost seems to glow in the dark. The head was negligible, which is typical of the style.

Smell – The malts and sugars here are huge, as is the alcohol. The hops are a little more subdued than in previous years, although I can pick up some traditional citrus.

Taste – The piney hops come out much bigger in the taste, although this one is all about the malts and booze. The sugars are very strong as well. They are like refined sugar that you pour on your Cheerios in the morning. There are also some nice fruity flavors like watermelon and pears.

Mouthfeel – This is full-bodied with a sharp alcohol sting and a serious dry finish.

Drinkability – This is more like Barleybooze than Barleywine. It is large and in charge but begs to be kept from the cellar, unlike previous years.

Update – I cellared a case of this and popped one at year two (2007). The alcohol sting has sunk into the background making this one of the most pleasurable ABWs on the planet.

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Photo of gford217
4.32/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2005 bottle courtesy of crosling poured into a snifter.

Pours a light, crystal clear amber with a small creamy beige head that recedes to a small collar and leaves some legs after each sip.

The aroma is wonderfully sweet. It's got caramelized dark fruits, toffee, brown sugar. There's not much left of the hops, maybe some orange peel and musty grasses, but the aroma has taken on a brandy-like aroma that's extremely appetizing.

The taste is just as sweet. It's got tons of caramelized sugar, oranges, and toffee. There is a much more prevalent spiciness in the taste, maybe from the remaining hops.

The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied and sticky sweet with a low, tight carbonation that keeps things from getting too cloying.

This one has held up exceptionally well and I think I may prefer this to the fresher bottles I've had. It's really mellowed and turned into a sugary sweet after-dinner sipper. Excellent.

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Photo of francisweizen
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Yee-haw, the new version of a favorite on tap at the Stone 6.6.6 event at Anam Cara this past Friday. Dark glowing orange copper with a nice head of off-white foam. Good sheets of lace from this one as well. Aromas are all booze, alcoholic malts, lovely sticky citric, and floral hops in a great unison. Taste is awesome. Super hoppy, hoppier than any other vintage in fact. So smooth and ready to drink right now. Mouthfeel is creamy and so warming. Thick, syrupy, and enveloping. Drinkability is damn good as well. 11.2%!? Crazy talk! This stuff is nuts.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.95/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 22 ounce screen printed bottle that retains the overall Stone Old Guardian screen printed design, yet those Stone fans with a keen eye will notice that the “Limited Winter 2005 Release!!” has some minor changes, the Gargoyle has been placed in a circle, are they clipping his wings?? And the word Stone is set inside a red box, rather than the words Old Guardian on the past designs. I also note that unlike any other Stone Bottles that I have had, this one seems to have the following words ‘Old Guardian Barleywine Style Ale 2005 Edition Bottle-Conditioned’ etched into bulge on the neck of the bottle. Oh yeah, and this years offerings is 11.26%, crazy shit.

Appearance: Lovely looking dark orange amber burnished copper color, perfectly clear with a large fizzing tan head at first, but that soon settles to reveal a broken covering that retains a halo ring and some smattered single layer bubbles in a broken scum like covering. Low carbonation.

Nose: Lots of malts as expected. Strong alcoholic Barleywine feel throughout. Oily pine needles and some sharp caramel. Lighter than previous years I think.

Taste: Malts and lots of alcohol. The sappy bitterness is oily and pine like and it’s all in the beginning. Huge malt bill swims in an Ethanol filled Olympic sized swimming pool. Big sweetish finish that combines all these traits but the malts get it. Warm finish rapidly rises to a hot swallow. Terminates with a dry feel and lots of Aniseed lingers on the tongue long after the heat dies out.

Mouthfeel: Oh its huge, the alcohol is not well hidden, it doesn’t need to be. Powerful licks and strong back kicks add to the devastating warmth in the back end. Massively Full-Bodied.

Drinkability: Took a while to sink this one, even late at night it’s a monster to sink. The heat in the swallow and the kick-ass alcohol makes this one a sipper for sure. Drinkability would improve with some nice aged Cheddar and snacks I feel.

Overall: Had this for a few months before tackling it, seems rather high octane and seriously “big”. I think that this does need some time to develop a little, but the hardcore Stone fans will disagree and I have heard it said that this is good to go right now. I fall somewhere in between, I think a little aging may help, I’ll return to the rest of my stash in another 6 months time.

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Photo of Bierman9
4.26/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had another bottle of this last night (26JUL06), to see how it has stood the test of time.... Nothing different in appearance... still a beautifully rich chestnut hue...nice head and lacing... Aroma on the mild side, exhibiting mostly malty notes... toffee... Found the mouthfeel to have improved. Was a medium-plus, and velvety smooth on the tongue. Hell yeah! Flavor? Wow... lots and lots of malt... the hops have mellowed big time! Caramel and toffee sweetness abounds... great malt... Some heat becomes evident... Very late in the game it gets real piney and resiny, and this flavor lingers long in the after-taste... Malt really takes over after a year+, though... Quite nice!

overall: 4.3
appearance: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | mouthfeel: 4.5 | drinkability: 4.5

*** ***

I found a couple of bottles of the latest edition this morn (26FEB05) at my local, and I just HAD to score them. Front has "Limited Winter 2005 Release!!" painted on, with an interesting Turkish diatribe from Greg gracing the back.
Poured a gorgeous, deep chestnut color into the goblet, with crystal clarity and a small amount of bubbles slowly rising within. Head was initially 1/4", but faded rapidly to a fine, thin layer of beige bubbles, most of which congregated at the perimeter. Smell had a toasty malt aspect, along with a "hot" alcohol kick, and some sharp citrussy hops. Body bordered on medium, and it passed fairly smoothly across the tongue, interrupted only by a bit of bubbly carbonation. Taste has a crisp, caramel maltiness along with a noticeable alcohol warmth. Hops are fruity, with a sort of pineapple lean to them, and linger well on the palate and in the mouth. They also possess a super piney, resiny quality. Hell yeah! A real nice bier, though it doesn't seem as complex as past years. Perhaps a bit of aging my help, and I can revisit this review later.
In general, though, I enjoy the Smuttynose Barleywine more at this point. Throw in the fact that Smutty is $2.49 per bomber as opposed to $7.95, well...there you go... (4.5/3.5/4.5/4.0/4.5 = 4.25)



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Photo of UncleJimbo
3.93/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled on-tap at Redbones.

This barley wine poured a hazy, deep amber color with white foam that settled but which clung to the glass in spots. The smell was malty and hoppy with a touch of dried fruit and a hint of a papery aroma. The taste was malty and hoppy, and was very well balanced. The alcohol was noticeable, though not overly so. There was a light touch of sweetness overall, and the hop bitterness came out in the finish. The mouthfeel was very smooth and airy on the tongue. The body was medium-full with low carbonation feel. The aftertaste was light malt with tangy hops. This was a nice barley wine for a nightcap.

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Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2005 from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 104 ratings.