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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
Reviews: 104 | Hads: 122
Photo of merlin48
4.6/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A huge thank you to my fellow BA, kmpitz2, for this bomber of 05 Old Guardian. Served at 55 degress into an imperial pint glass, this one pours a clear copper amber body with an almond hued head that appears tightknit and creamy, standing at about one inch in height. Very good retention, and lots of patchy lace down the glass.
Aroma is not the typical Stone "hop monster" I was expecting, but is quite well balanced. Caramelized malt, fresh pressed apple cider, sliced oranges, pink grapefruit, and a note of spruce pine. Very nice bouquet.
Mouthfeel is medium full bodied, a bit oily, and much smoother than expected. Spritzy carbonation allows the palate to appreciate the immense hop and malt profiles that wander all through the mouth.
Taste is smooth and well balanced for a barleywine. The hop profile is certainly assertive, with orange and pink grapefruit notes, but the malt profile is up to the task. Lots of caramel and sweet honey drenched biscuit provide a very tasty balance to the everpresent hops bitterness. I prefer my barleywines at room temperature, and this one really shines as it reaches optimum warmth. The hop bitterness is here in spades, but is never overly aggressive as in many Stone brews. Incredible balance all the way from start to finish. The end is sweet malty caramel with balancing spruce pine bitterness.
Exceptional balance and smooth taste for a barleywine. I'm glad to have the opportunity to savor this one in its youth. Definitely, the most drinkable barleywine I have encountered.

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Photo of Vancer
4.45/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Review 1600, time for one from the cellar.

Oh man oh man, what a classic brew - pure amber pour, even after the years the ivory head still materializes in the Corsendonk tulip.

Perfect barleywine aroma of orange liquor, sweet malt and caramel. I can tell this is gonna be good. And yes it is, sweet lip smacking bubble gum of thick orange booze, but no alcohol bite to be found. This is like drinking an orange cognac that's been aged for 10 years.

A very good brew, now gone forever. Bummer there.

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Photo of srandycarter
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Stone popped this bad boy today.

A - Pours a beautiful deep amber, almost clear, large creamy head that is slow to leave and lots of lace.

S - Heavy malt, booze, some medicinal quality.

T - Sweet heavy malt, caramel, boozy, hard hops hitting it back.

M - Med to heavy body, from very sweet to very harsh. Hard to reign in those huge flavors. Done pretty well, though.

D - I bought the 2 litre growler of this sucker, and I had better find some friends to share, cuz this is not a session beer!

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.43/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I bought this beer a while ago and am sampling at room temp in a snifter/tulip glass.
The beer pours a clear chestnut color with some ruby tints as well. A fluffy tightly packed off white head of 1 cm, floats easily on the surface.
Aroma is appealing, with caramel and toffee, some citrusy hops, a bit of raisin and some dark fruit (plums) as well. A bit of alcohol says hello too.
First sip reveals a very smooth textured and even beer. Very fine gentle rolling carbonation.
Liter body than I expected as well.
Flavor is malty sweet with caramel and toffee mixing and some baker's chocolate in the middle of my tongue. I think some red grape are in there towards the end as well.
I get just a hint of piney hops and then onto my belly. Definitely some warming going on there. The alcohol is not harsh but actually increases the pleasure of drinking this beer. I cant believe how easy each sip goes down at 11.2% this is dangerously smooth.
This beer is very nice and I wish I had another bottle to cellar.

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Photo of arizcards
4.27/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Received a bottle as a gift last spring.

Poured a deep cloudy copper with a nice tan head that is sustaining fairly well. Nose is a complex medley of sweet spicy malts and dark fruits. Taste is malty and sweet, bready, and finishes with a nice compliment of bittering hops. The alcohol is very warming. Interestingly enough, the taste changes with each sip. Mouthfeel is nice and full, creamy and smooth. Drinkability is pretty good as the high abv is masked fairly well for awhile but eventually rears it's warming head. This is a very interesting beer, very complex and well put together. One must try it!

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Photo of Todd
4.35/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber. Poured into its own glass, a bright amber brew with rich copper hues, some haze. Fluffy, tight, and foamy laced head with plenty of stick.

The spicy alcohol nose, suggestions of pineapple, prickly herbal notes, and raw hops hints to the ass-whoopin' that's about to occur.

Smooth, full-bodied palate. Rich, viscous, and quite chewy. Massive juiciness and near-syrupy sweetness and stick. Complex ripe fruits, followed by a serious blast of citric and rind bitterness, with salty edges and a raw, leafy, herbal-y mint, and pine character. Hop oils coat to the palate. The boozy, powerful, and aggressive alcohol lends much spice and a distinct prickly feel on the palate, with a near vodka-like burn. Carbonation lifts all of this to create a complex creaminess, to help quell the chaos, for a moment. Big bready malts, with smoothed in caramel and toffee flavors become more and more pronounced towards the finish and as the beer warms. Nutty tannins. Doughy.

At the time of this review, this heady offering is Stone's biggest beer ever brewed. It's killer. An aggressive, yet, oddly, very drinkable beer. Complex, balanced, and totally off its rocker. I recommend buying the most stank-ass blue cheese available to you, find a nice glass, allow the bottle to rest to near room temperature, and enjoy the ride.

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Photo of Floydster
3.75/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Few ounces tasted at Stone Winter Storm for two dollars, tasted alongside some other vintages of OG

A-Color was a copper brown, more on the red side, 1/2 inch light tan head, not much retention, minimal lacing

S-Bubblegum, big toffee notes, some caramel, various types of sweet malt, some herbs, pine hops, and some candy-like fruit scents

T-Big malty taste from the beginning with caramel and other kinds of sweetness, some resin-like hops with a tad of grapefruit, also toffee, vanilla, and raisins, nicely balanced overall

M-Medium body, smooth, creamy, taste lasted a long time, good level of carbonation, hoppy mouthfeel at times

D-Strong barleywine over eleven percent alcohol, alcohol is not hidden very well, heavy on stomach, definitely a sipper

One of the best vintages of Old Guardian I have tasted, recommended to anybody that can get a hold of it, seems like it will only get better with age

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.08/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this off tap a few weeks back and really enjoyed it, so lets see what the bottle does for me. Served at cellar temperature into a snifter. The beer pours a brilliant copper color with a 2 finger head that sticks around very well. The nose is deep sweet caramel, slightly fruity malts with a few wisps of alcohol and a nice sweet and slightly floral hop, but more in the background. The flavor is very much what the nose tells me it should be. The first blast is big sweet malts wtih a distant dark fruit, followed by a healthy alcohol spiceyness, moving towards a mellow spicey hop bite on the finish. The beer is rather warming in my stomach. With the light dinner I had, this will definatly do well for me without any reinforcements. The feel is big and syrupy. Very coating. Drinkability is good for a beer of this magnitude. I'm not having any trouble with the bomber. I remember the first time I had this a few years back. 22 oz were hard to take. How things have changed.

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Photo of Overlord
4.35/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a copperish amber. About a half an inch of white head. Delicious sweet smell.

It could be the age, or this may be a sweeter beer to begin with. Loads of sweet malt, lighter citrus, and tropical notes. The hop content is very muted, with some grapefruit juice mingled with the thick, syrupy mouthfeel.

Very uncharacteristic of stone. I like! Dangerously drinkable. Doubt this will cross my path again, though.

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Photo of grub
4.85/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

tasting party sept 11/06 with northyorksammy, crwills, biegaman and me (grub). everyone threw in a few bottles and we had an interesting mix of beer and mead. this one was contributed by me. jan 2005 old guardian, purchased in dec 2005 and in my cellar since then.

pours a nice deep golden colour with ruby highlights. big off white head.

aroma is excellent. rich caramel and malt with a little lingering sweetness. alcohol starts to show itself a little

taste is great. caramel and toffee. nice level of bitterness. alcohol comes through a bit in the end, but is very well balanced by the maltyness and bitterness. definitely doesn't tastes like it's 11.26% ABV.

mouthfeel is great. moderate carbonation and great body.

drinkability is also excellent. the balance between the malt/hops/alcohol is right on. this one has mellowed and meshed together really well. glad i held onto this bottle for a while. you could easily polish this off on your own because it's so damn good.

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

On tap, Anam Cara, Brookine, MA...

Nice aroma, caramel, a touch of acoholic fire, and bleeding into honey. Peachy color with a small head and lots of squiggly laces on the glass. Mouthfeel approaches full and the carbonation settles in at medium, well-done but a little higher than expected. The flavor has a ton to say, starts out like peach preserves but quickly slides past overt malty sweetness towards the fruity pectin of schnapps and into bourbon notes -- more alcoholic in impression than even its numbers suggest. Very full at the close. Hot with alcohol, not so much with apparent hops, which I looked for to assert more than they did. I like a malty Barleywine, but I kind of expected more impressive bittering here.

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Photo of clvand0
4.26/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into the new Old Guardian glass from Stone. Looks beautiful in the glass. Pours an orange/copper color with a tall head that has great retention and leaves lots of lacing on the glass. The aroma has a lot of malts and quite a bit of alcohol, but there is also a nice hop presence there as well. The flavor is much like the aroma. Lots of alcohol and lots of malts as well as a little fruit. Strong hop flavor as well - pine hops, mostly. Thick mouthfeel, big body. Drinkability suffers a little from the high alcohol, but it's still extra tasty.

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Photo of Bierguy5
4.05/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The 2005 edition. 22 oz. bomber releases a pretty clear reddish/copper color liquid with a nice creamy off-white head. Fair head retention. Caramel notes, grassy, herbal and spicy hop aroma. Alcohol as well in the nose. At the first sip, you are hit hard with intense grassy hop flavor. Strong bitterness, and alcohol presence. Good amount of malt present, sweet caramel like and robust. Full body, low carbonation. What a beer this is. Yes, the hop flavor seems a bit green, but you should try this fresh before putting it away. Strong alcohol presence, a sipping beer indeed. Pretty drinkable for a beer of this size, just make sure you are ready for it to hit you. The 2005 is certainly a great edition.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.32/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a copper amber hue with a small eggshell head as well. Plenty of active carbonation. Looks quite nice in the glass..very tempting. Aromas of rich deep caramel and fruity tones of cherry and vanilla. Piney, herbal hops are in full effect as well. Very nice nose.

First sip brings a big sweet caramel maltiness along with deep cherry fruit tones. Notes of molasses and vanilla weave in and out of each sip. There's a nice piney hop bitterness on the way down that works nicely alongside the sweet maltiness of the brew. Just a really tasty barleywine..nothing less than what I've come to expect from Stone. The alcohol is so well hidden in the flavor that I didn't even notice it at all.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, chewy and really quite lovely. Goes down smooth with mellow carbonation. A nice sipper brew that was fun to share with my dad on Thanksgiving. A barleywine I look forward to every year. I'm glad I have a few more bottles lurking in the cellar!

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Photo of Phatz
4.58/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2005. Consumed April 2007. DIVINE!!!!

Appearance: Exudes from the bottle majestic and emanating with class sophistication and beauty right from the start. A brown laced with shimmers of gold and orange, magnificent clarity and big fluffy head that has good retention.

Smell: Boozy sticky malt, and sweet juicy ripe fruit with a resinous hop oil undertone, grace the nasal cavity and induce salivating.

Taste: Sweet as a bottle of schnapps and warm as brandy, very soft pineapple, caramel, and hop resin that sneaks up from underneath the sweetness and gently coats the cheeks so after the swallow you remember it was there. Magnificent! Nicely aged.

Mouthfeel: Soft but full body with mild hop bitterness and slight alcohol sting.

Drinkability: This is a sipping beer. It will take several hours of pure bliss to get through, but loving every moment.

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of rajendra82
4.15/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is my second year of trying the locally unavailable Stone barleywine, and having gotten through several more beers of this style over the past year, I feel much more qualified this year.

The 22 oz. brown bomber looks identical to the 2004 version, except it has Winter 2005 release in the painted on artwork, and the musings on the back seem even longer. The beer pored out deep reddish amber and clear, with a cascade of bubbles making up a half inch thick foamy head which does not last long. The aroma seems muted at first with a hint of citric hops, but a deep inhalation reveals more of a malty sweet aroma and some pine resin.

The taste is sweet and malty up front, with a prickly, peppery hop presence that becomes more prominent towards the end of the swallow. The beer is syrupy thick on the tongue, but carbonation lightens that effect somewhat. The beer feels somewhat abrasive as a solitary sipper, but accompanied by Vermont extra sharp while cheddar cheese, the harshness disappears.

I still think it feels young in the year of its release. My 2004 bottle in the cellar should be probably at a mellow prime next year.

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Photo of MuddyFeet
4.85/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bought a year ago and aged since. This beer rocks.

Poured a vibrant orange-tarnish in color. Kind of like an old piece of rock candy you find under the bed after it has aged. Slight scuzzy head that dissolved into a almost invisible film. Nose is maple sugar candies, hops and apricots. Very sweet.

Chewy and hoppy. All sots of sweetness up front, in the middle and up from behind. And on top if it all were such chewy, juicy hops. This beer has not faded at all in a year and has improved in my opinion. Candd sugar, sugared raisins and dried apricots. Quite a bit of heat from the alcohol and it even burned a bit on top of the bitterness. Kind of a smack. Full body and expressive flavors. Thick and just almost syrupy. Such a nice slow-sipping, enjoyable beer. Wish I had another bottler downstairs.

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Photo of DeanMoriarty
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2005 Vintage Old Guardian

Had this out of a snifter at Holiday Wine Cellar's special event for San Diego Beer Week 2010: "Stone Vintage Archives & Decadent Chocolate Pairings" hosted by Dr. Bill Sysack of Stone Brewing. Paired with North Park's Eclipse Chocolat - Pumpkin Muscavado Truffle.

A: Pours a reddish/copper hue with a decent head and tons of thick lace from start to finish.

S: Earthy fruit, sweet and malty, finishing a bit boozy.

T: Booze up front that is balanced quickly by sweet malt, the hop that was missing in the nose comes through in the flavor nicely with the booziness mellowing as it warmed up a bit.

M: Medium to full-bodied, sticky but not syrupy at all with mellow carbonation giving it an overall smooth mouthfeel.

D: Wow - enjoyed this one a lot, but man it's only tolerable in small amounts. Heavy duty sh*t here! My wife had a sip of hers and passed it my way, which I appreciated, but I was good after her and my tastings...granted this is not my preferred style.

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

Finally received this year's version of Guardian. It poured a clear dark amber color and formed a nice light tan bubbly head that left circular lace as it subsided. An aroma of heavy on the malt, hops, caramel and citrus. The flavor was of malt, caramel and some pine. The finish was a touch astrigent. Usually Stone's barley wines taste a bit raw and need some aging to mellow them out. While this is true of this year's as well, it seems more drinkable young than previous years.

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Photo of Hibernator
4.18/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine
Winter 2005 Release
22 oz brown bomber
Snifter serving glass. I let the Old Guardian sit for about 10 minutes before tasting

This beer pours a beautiful amber copper color with a thin, oily top lacing. A fluffy head can easily be developed with a nice pour, but it settles quickly. Spotted sticky lacings cling all over the glass.

Aroma of black pepper spice, prunes and hop snappage.

Very syrupy sweetness attacks the palate with a super citrus hop bite on the finish. Caramel sweetness, rubbing alcohol warmth and floral hops blend at the perfect levels to create one nasty ass Barley Wine. At 11.26% ABV, you better appreciate this beer for all its worth.


The perfect nightcap to an absolutely incredible weeked with a great friend.

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Photo of taez555
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a clear opaque, reddish hue with tiny white tan head that died quickly.

Nose was a mix of rich malt, all malt, a little more malt, with a very mild, almost German bock smelling hop touch.

Taste was big and very thick. Barley, barley, barley and some alcohol make up the taste of this baby. A surprisingly subdued hop taste. There is however a decent sized hop bitterness that balances well against the big malt taste. More of an English style barley wine, with just faint hints of a spicy/pine hop flavor.

Not your normal Stone Hop attack of a beer, just a classic style barley wine. Went well with some stilton and sharp cheddar.

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Photo of AlexJ
4.35/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Warm copper with a brilliant crimson cast and thin head of wheat-hued froth that has moderate retention and very light lace.

Aroma is deeply caramelized malt and rich toffee, it's almost creamy like creme brule'. There are layers of warm fruit cobbler and honeyed peaches offset by rustic hop notes of pine and earthy dried greens.

Flavor starts with chewy caramel and scorched toffee, vanilla, and golden raisins. It's hoppier than I anticipated, pine and cedar flooowed by grassy hay and light candied citrus. Balanced and complex, alcohol kick is warming, but not tasted.

Body is just below big, mildly carbonated and has a very creamy, soft texture. A classic and sophisticated example of the style, I really can't wait to try my 04 next!

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Photo of asabreed
4.35/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber into a Brooklyn tulip.

Appearance: Cloudy and very hazy. Lighter from the bottom to the darker top. Darker brown top and a lighter copper orange at the bottom. Pretty color overall, but little lacing and only a few thick drops cling to the bulb part of the glass. The color and depth save this one on the eyes.

Smell: Orange peel soaked in honey and drizzled caramel. There's also some leafy citrus hop presence, orange marmalade, and a lot of raisins. In addition, there's a nice peppery and spicy presence from the hops.

Taste: Chocolate nibs soaked in orange marmalade and drizzled with honey. Can't believe it's held up this well, especially considering the spicy and pungent hop presence. Fruit esters are mostly citrus, and there's some raisins and possibly figs in the mix. As it warms, the hop presence is still, seemingly miraculously, extremely strong and lingering, especially for this being five years old.

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly rich and creamy, with good full and prickly carbonation, which was completely unexpected. Doesn't remain cloying at all, which is also surprising.

Drinkability: I wonder how long this could hold up. I'd say for at least a few more years, and that's what bumps this up from my originally planned half-lower rating. A pretty awesome brew overall, and I hope to try more vintages in the future. I'm sure they all bring some great characteristics to the table.

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Photo of mmmbeer
4.35/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

I found this on the release date but waited until now to consume. 22 oz. served slightly chilled. Pours a reddish amber with a light tan, 1 finger head that leaves slight lacing and reduces to nothing by the end of the bomber (granted it did take almost 3 hours to finish). There is a slight cloudiness in the second pour. Smell is of malts - sweetness, bubblegum, diacetyl, with a bit of piney/perfumy hops and alcohol. Ridiculous amounts of malts on the palate, contributing notes of dark fruits, caramel, diacetyl, chocolate, and molasses. Hops (piney/perfumy/some citric) keep trying to overtake the malts but fail. However, the bitterness of the hops is substantial and lingers forever, reminding you of the "tons of hops" they used to balance the "whole buncha barley" the label touts. Mouthfeel is perfect. The beer is so chewy I feel like I'm not taking sips, but bites from the glass. The alcohol content is bittersweet - one bomber gets you nice and buzzed but because of this the drinkability is reduced. I need to age a bottle or two to see what happens.

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Photo of bruachan
4.21/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

bought 'er at arrowine in arlington, but for some reason never tasted of the fruit

at first i thought the head was going to be a total dud but a little aggression in the pour and we've got a nice bone-colored fluff up there. underneath, however, is the gods' work. the beer is a brilliant deep ruby with an ever-so-slight amber tint. the head dimishes but never leaves the room

i think if i were to choose a color to fit the aroma it would be the one that sits in my glass. rich malt aromas: butterscotch, caramel, sweet bread

and then the can of kickass opens. it's huge! peach (peach!?), butterscotch. i would have expected hops to have more of a role—the bitterness is nothing to scoff at, but at the same time it's not all that intense—but malt is mos def the focus here. fruity, caramelly, cranberry (without the natural tartness)

it's complex, yet so simple

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