StoneWall Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

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StoneWall AleStoneWall Ale

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44 Reviews
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Reviews: 44
Hads: 85
Avg: 4.33
pDev: 11.55%
Wants: 103
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  12.80% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: drewbage on 06-12-2006

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 44 | Hads: 85
Photo of sweemzander
4.06/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a snifter. Major thanks to Chris for sharing this with us!
(A)- Pours an amber colored caramel color. Minimal froth, which dissipated quickly
(S)- Rich and caramel forward with subtle toasted nuts and toffee. Oxidation is pretty minimal
(T)- Similar to the smell. Some light leather and oxidation but in front of that is some nicely sweet caramel and toffee amidst some mild nutty/toasty malts.
(M)- Smooth carbonation level and balance. Age has been kind and really smoothed this out
(O)- Never would have thought I would be able to try this one. SO thankful the hops dissipated out of this and left it with the wonderfully smooth malts

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Photo of stakem
3.66/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Review from notes I took awhile ago. Lost the book these handwritten notes were in and recently found them. Bomber poured into a snifter, the brew appears copper to mahogany in color with perfect clarity. Some ruby highlights when held to the light with a yellowish coloration through the edges. A finger of yellowish tan froth rests atop and fades to a thin film. Spotty lace remains on the glass.

The aroma includes toffee with oxidized notes of cardboard, herbal hops blending to alcohol. Some toasty to biscuit-like bread character almost buttery in the back. Dark fruits like raison and molasses are the last scents noted as it breaths.

The taste has quite a bit of solvent alcohol, toasty grain and plenty of resinous herbal hops. Some fruity alcohol indication accents the harshness of the bitterness. The fruited inclusion is bitter reminescent of unripe currant or cranberries with a grassiness also present. Somewhat oxidized as it warms up with toffee and more fruity alcohol into the finish. Very mild buttery note in the aftertaste.

This is medium bodied and modestly carbonation. Still quite a boozy offering despite the age. For an american barleywine, this is kinda in a strange place age-wise. It has some oxidation indicadive of the age but still very boozy and hoppy/bitter. Great to say I had a chance to try it but im really curious how this was fresher and what it would be like with even more age.

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Photo of jvillefan
4.74/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: A murky hazy ruby tinged brown body with a half finger white head that becomes a halo of lace after about five minutes.

S: It has deep caramel and toffee aromas. There is surprisingly not alcohol bite in the nose.

T: Incredibly rich and not overly complex. It starts with a rich caramel flavor then transitions to a deep toffee. There are earthy and almost bourbon flavors present throughout.

M: Nice heavy silk body with perfect carbonation.

O: Amazing Barleywine. Well worth actively seeking out.

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Photo of portia99
4.24/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

4oz pour at Stone Bistro poured into a stemmed glass.

A - Pours a coppery amber color with a small tan head. Creamy textured thick collar that leaves behind sparse lacing on the glass.

S - Caramel and toffee up front mixed with brown sugar...a bit nutty. Alcohol is noticeable but not overpowering. Smells super smoth.

T - Brown sugar...light molasses. Burnt sugar and lots of caramel. Mid level bitterness to balance things out. Mixed in is some mild orangey citrus.

M - Medium body with a tingly lower level carbonation. Really smooth...sweet but balanced well - the hops still hold up enough.

O - Overall holding up well. Very good...a 4oz pour is just about right - could be dangerous at higher volumes. Glad to have the opportunity to try this one - thought it wasn't possible.

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Photo of HopasaurusRex
4.3/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I held onto this beer for a special occasion and shared with several friends. The beer was monumental just like the birthday.

The color was a rich mahogany with a quickly disappearing head. Not quite opaque.

The flavor travelled south into the tobacco roads of North Carolina. Complex layers of caramel, toffee, and leathery vanillin combined into a lush smooth finish. It evoked whiskey barrel aging without the bourbony burn.

A rare treat. Cheers to my friend Mitch for hooking me up with this!

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.95/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Opened tonight with friends, thanks for the opportunity HopasaurusRex and hoppy birthday.
Pours a solid reddish brown with a smallish off white head that slowly dissipates to a cap. Smells of caramel and dark fruit mixed with a hint of leather and ethanol. The flavor follows the aroma quite well. Sweet sugary malts just a hint of earthy hop rolled up in sweet sugary fruits rolled in tobacco and dipped in ethanol. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation and a sweet almost syrupy mouthfeel. This is a really nice barleywine, I'm glad I got to try it tonight. Being as old as this is I wonder what it was like fresh.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.22/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter. No bottle info. Reviewed from notes. Thanks to biggsbowler for this impressive bottle.

Appearance - Small off-white head. Reddish. Bubbles cling to the beer and glass. Looks good after 6-ish years.

Smell - Nice caramel aroma. A touch oxidized, which I think really improves the nose and flavor of a barleywine. Vanilla. Very nice.

Taste - Again, oxidized caramel with adds to the complexity. Falls a touch flat after that. Vanilla isn't as strong at first. Hop bitterness comes through and it returns to life with some triumphant darker malts giving it a touch of chocolate.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied for a barleywine. A little dry and astringent, probably from age. A trade off, I suppose.

Overall - Really nice. I imagine it was better young, if maybe a little less interesting.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.15/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From 03/30/12 notes. Big thanks to drabmuh for sharing this one; thanks Matt. Poured into a tulip.

a - Pours a dark reddish brown color with a few off white bubbles and low carbonation evident.

s - Smells of caramel malts, sugar, sweet dark fruits, raisins, figs, toffee, bready malts, and toasted malts.

t - Tasted of caramel, toffee, toasted malts, bready malts, sugar, molasses, dark fruits, light alcohol. Sweet and a ton of caramel; very nice.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Smooth, with a tin bit of alcohol but considering the ABV not bad at all. Easy to drink for over 12% ABV.

o - Overall I liked this one a lot. I liked it better then any of the OG vintages I've had and would put it on par with the 2010 Bourbon BA OG as the best barleywine I've had from them. Very nice, very glad to try and would love to have it again.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.05/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to drabmuh for sharing this one. Served in a Stone goblet.

Pours a light copper color with a short head to start, fading quickly to a thin collar. The aroma has some nice cookie qualities with sweet malt and some nice sherry-like oxidation notes. A bit of caramel and toffee in the background.

The taste continues down the same path -- lots of malt here and oxidation has done good things to this one. Nice caramel and toffee notes along with some sweet candy and a hint of fruit. Malty and good.

Feel is medium with lowish carbonation; really smooth with almost no alcohol presence.

Really nice. I'm thrilled to finally get to try this one. Thanks again, Matt.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I don't have a Stonewall glass so I served this in a Old Guardian glass. Long time personal "whale" of mine, glad I got to share it with people.

Beer is brownish, mostly clear with a thin cap on it, low retention, low carbonation, low lacing, looks OK.

Aroma is sweet, mild oak, a little sherry, signs of oxidation present, smells good but I think it is starting to turn a little papery.

Beer is medium in body, sweet like syrup but the alcohol cuts it nicely. The finish is a little bitter but hardly so, nice sherry and raisin flavors with a mild sense of plums. I'd have this again, I really enjoyed it but it is probably a bit over.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.47/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shared by drabmuh. Whales baby, whales.

The beer is orange with a small, off white head. Some sediment floating around. The aroma offers butterscotch, malt, age. The beer tastes old, but quite good. Really smooth, especially given the high abv. Definitely the best barleywine I have had from Stone. Thanks Matt!

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.2/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a caramel color with good carbonation leaving a nice dirty white cap

S: Loads of toffee, caramel and faded citrus hops

T: Upfront I receive toffee, caramel and a nice brown sugary sweetness with faded hops which probably leant a nice citrus aqnd pine needle note from what I can still detect. A unque fruitiness with cherry and some dash at citrus fruits, a sherry taste and feel to this on the back end. Booze is falling off and it's very drinkable.

M: Big body, well carbonated, very sticky

O: No oxidation, loads of taste. A true gem for any barleywine lover!

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Photo of SoCalStout
4.47/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

on tap at Stone Brewery from Winter Storm

Appearance: Pours a bit murky/reddish with a fingers-worth of off-white head. There's a thin cap and some lacing left along the sides of the glass.

Smell: Nose of toffee, caramel, brown sugar, and citrus. A little bit of hop aroma left.

Taste: The sweetness is certainly there, but it is balanced very nicely by the still substantial hop bitterness. The hops are piney with a slight bitter grapefruit note which works well with the caramel and toffee and also some vanilla in the background.

Mouthfeel: A good medium body with a medium carbonation level.

Overall: Extremely enjoyable. I would never know this one was 12.8% ABV. This one warmed up and drank so easily. I jump at the chance to get some of this one every time Stone puts it on tap.

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Photo of ehammond1
4.63/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On Tap

Stone Brew Co.
Escondido, CA

Clear but very dark ruby with a finger's worth of very light khaki colored head atop. Leaves smears and dots of lacing down the glass. Gorgeous.

Sweet but balanced aroma. There's tons of caramel and toffee notes present, along with some earthy, citrusy, pine notes as well. Complete, rich, and decadent.

The flavor is staggeringly good. The rich caramel and toffee flavors combine with earthy yet piney hops (still!), freshly baked bread, and a bit of a piney sting. There's zero alcohol harshness, which is simply remarkable. Delicious.

Medium to full mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. A joy to drink.

World-class barleywine.

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Photo of FosterJM
4.3/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1089th Review on BA
Draft to 4oz taster

WinterStorm 2012

App- A very dark orange with a tinge of amber in it. A one finger head that falls to maybe a 1/8" of bubbles in the glass. No stick or cling.

Smell- A bit more like a rich and old DIPA. More pine with some deep resin notes and a good bit of malty thickness to it. Whispy booze and sweet citrus.

Taste- Tastes just like a BW should. Deep rich and lush malts with a balanced citrus flavor of orange and some zest. A bit of a lingering spice quality but not over peppery. Still can taste the booze on it.

Mouth- A good medium body with a medium carbonation level. Residual malts and and citrus caramel sweetness.

Drink- A bit lighter than I would have thought. Still retained a good balance and was still a bit rich and creamy and very smooth.

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Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
4.85/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

StoneWall? StoneWall? Are you shittin’ me?!? Damn! Another white whale is had at this send-off tasting. That’s like 3 in a row for me. Awesome! Like Bass No 1 and Bells 6000 this one has been a prized want for years and years. Thanks to everyone involved! Pours a bit murky with dark copper body and white head. The aroma is modest in strength and offers up smooth spicy hops, some sweet stale citrus and then near the end of the draw pummeling boozy pine hops. The taste is smooth to start and then quickly ramps up into firm levels of pine hop flavor. To midway it picks up more and more pine hops as well as lesser amounts of spicy hops and sweet maltiness. It maintains a fairly smooth body from front to back. This is tasting great with just some mildly blunted notes here and there!

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Photo of JAXSON
4.1/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a somewhat hazed but mostly clear dark copper with a thin head and good lacing. Nose is nicely aged caramel malt, brown sugar, a mellow kiss of dried dates. Thick, heavy body in the mouth. Gobs of aged malt, caramel, a thick smattering of brown sugar and toasted bread crust. Moderate oxidation and a pleasantly bitter hop finish. Carbonation is pleasant and the feel is very nice. I am enjoying this one quite a bit, though it's certainly a year or more past its peak I would think. The oxidation is significant, though not too distracting, and there's a lot of nice malt character left here.

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Photo of corby112
3.53/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark golden apricot color with golden orange hues anda one finger off-white head that slowly fades into a lasting ring.  Spotty lacing left behind.  

Surprisingly hoppy aroma with hints earthy pine along with subtle oxidized cardboard, boozy alcohol and sweet malt.  Lots of caramel, toffee and nut.  

Boozy with some dry, earthy, resinous hops that give off hints of pine needle.   A bit too hot with lots of sweet booze.  Slightly oxidized with a sweet malt backbone giving off hints of caramel, toffee and rye.

Overall this was decengt but way past its prime.  Surprisingly the hops have held up and are only slightly stale but the oxidization is a bit too heavy hurting the overall flavor.  His was probably very good when fresh but that is not the case at this stage.  

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Photo of nickd717
4.18/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to largadeer for sharing this rare tick.

Clear deep amber pour with a small off-white head that fades to very nice swirls.

Big caramel and toffee aroma with maple syrup, some candied fruit notes and slight cardboard oxidation.

The flavor is great, fairly sweet but intense and complex. Big sweet candy notes, toffee, caramel, cardboard, and faded hop notes that still lend bitterness.

Medium-bodied and smooth, surprisingly not boozy, with low carbonation.

Surprisingly drinkable - I could definitely have more than the ticker's pour I got, but this is a wale so that ain't happening.

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Photo of Sideswipe
4.2/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At the brewery during winter storm.

4oz pour yells a small head which dissipates quickly. The beer is a dark copper color. Huge legs, syrupy.

Smells of sweet malts And caramel. There is a latent hop presence. As well, but the caramel predominates.

Taste follows the nose with huge caramel and sweet boozy malt. Very smooth. There is a distinct hop bitterness to the finish which is great considering the age of this monster. This drinks like a good port.

Huge, sticky mouthfeel. Low carbonation is perfect. This would be a great brew to have with a cigar.

Drinkability is good even with the high ABV because the beer is so damned tasty! It goes down way too easily.

I would have this as a nightcap with a good cigar on a regular basis if it was available. Overall one of the best barleywines I've tried.

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Photo of largadeer
4.47/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Syrupy, leggy mahogany. Carbonation is low.

Smell: The nose has a wonderfully rich caramelized malt character. There's a trace of pine, but the hops have largely faded. Pleasantly oxidized, bringing to mind sherry and toasted nuts. Faint vinous fruitiness, jam-like.

Taste & mouthfeel: Rich caramel malt and toasted nut flavors up front, with a liqueur-like sweetness appearing mid-palate. There's a bit of reserved fruitiness that reminds me of stewed dark fruit. Hoppier still than the nose suggests, firmly bitter and resiny, almost herbal. Alcohol is still noticeable in the finish, lending a pleasant heat. This certainly exceeded my expectations, probably one of the better American barleywines out there.

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Photo of davod23
4.3/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer I was most looking forward to at Stone Winter Storm. Got two pours of this.

The pour is a burnt orange color, a bit of off-white head doesn't stick around long.

Aroma is of sweet fruitiness, and hints at the booze a bit (though I gotta believe this is far mellower than it used to be). I'm getting a fair bit of juicy orange here. Lighter aspects of vanilla are also there.

Taste is excellent. Sweet malt, alcohol is well hidden. Oranges! This beer is juicy. Hops are not particularly evident, as expected. Interesting.

Mouthfeel is full, thick, but not syrupy. Long finish.

Drinkability is great. I savored them, but these pours could have gone down a lot faster.

I'm glad to try this, and it's a truly excellent beer. However, there are barleywines that are more-easily acquired that are just as good (e.g., Stormwatcher's).

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Photo of pastradul
4.72/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Got a double pour out of the bottle at Stone Winter Storm.

Really looked forward to trying this out of the bottle instead of draft.

The pour had a small amount of slightly tan head the dissipated somewhat quick to a small lace around the edge of the snifter.

Smell- wow, the aroma is sweet fruity malt with just a hint of alcohol in the very back of the nose.

mouthfeel- this brew is pretty thick nice and coating on the palate.

Taste- lots of sweet mild cherry like malt in the front with very clean and crisp finish in the end. The alcohol os almost totally hidden. I drank through my full pour way faster then I had planned.

Time is doing this brew wonders for sure!

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Photo of Sean9689
4.35/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber.

A - Pours a reddish/orange with a fingers-worth or so of off-white head. There's a thin cap and some lacing left along the sides of the glass once this one settled down.

S - Sweet caramel, burnt sugars, slight oak, still a hoppy character in there as well. Very smooth, some burnt sugars. A touch of alcohol but no where near 12.8%.

T - Similar to the nose. Caramel, burnt sugars, slight hops. Very smooth for 12.8% and goes down with ease. The sweetness and hoppy notes work well together. Tasty!

M - Medium to full, syrupy, rich, slightly bitter/sweet finish.

D - An excellent BW. Not quite as rich and smooth as Wooden Hell, but the sweetness and hops are wonderfully combined in this BW. Yum x 1000.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.45/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Derek for sharing this beer (again!). Served in a tasting snifter.

A - Pours with a nice foam that settled to a thin ring and some light filmy haze. Opaque light brown color. Pretty good looking barleywine.

S - Burnt sugars, sweet caramel, maraschino cherries, some spicy esters and even faint piney hops. Alcohol is faintly present, but implies a far lower ABV than 12.2%.

T - Liquid caramel, brown sugar, cherries, and other sweet things balanced by some hop bitterness. Exactly how I like my barleywines.

M - A touch undersized for the ABV. Smooth, with low carbonation. Alcohol is very well-hidden.

D - Much better than Derek's other bottle, which seemed more faded and oxidized. I had a refill of this one, and I'd love to try it on-tap at Stone some day.

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StoneWall Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 44 ratings.