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StoneWall Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
StoneWall AleStoneWall Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

84 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 84
Reviews: 43
rAvg: 4.35
pDev: 11.49%
Wants: 104
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 84 | Reviews: 43
Reviews by RyanSchwam:
More User Reviews:
Photo of ehammond1
4.63/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

Photo of OStrungT
4.03/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this beer on tap at the StoneWall release party. I doubt I will ever see any more of this, with the exception of the bottle I have, so I was very happy to have got the chance to try this one.

This beer pours an orage brown color. It sported a thick light brown head that fades slowly, leaving many laces.

This beer has a plesent sweet malty caramel aroma. This beer has a slightly spicy cinimon like aroma. Also, some citrus hops are present. The alcohol content is slightly noticable in the aroma.

This beer tastes very syrupy sweet. A strong caramle flavor is present. It has a citrusy hop flavor, mixed in with a sublte spicy flavor. I was slightly surprised how mild the hop profile was.

This full bodied beer leaves a very syrupy sweet aftertaste. The alcohol warms slightly as it goes down. This beer is highly carbonated, but not so much that it matters.

I dont think that even if this beer was available it would make a good session beer. The alcohol content is high. That would make drinking too many a problem. Also, the flavor is quite aggressive, and a little too sweet. I am very happy to have had this probably once in a life time experience.

Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.88/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Drinking this as we speak at Stone Winter Storm at 9am. What an awesome brew.

Such a nice light tan head with amazing sticky lace. A somewhat darker barleywine but not super. Just carmelized look.

Smells of sweet sugar, caramel, honey, citrus. A little bit of hop aroma left.

Taste is awesome. Sweet but not too sweet. More like a sugary sweet. There are caramel, honey, malty goodness flavors going on. The finish has a nice hop bitterness that is not too strong. Amazing.

Mouthfeel is perfect. A light carb that is perfect for this beer. And it is suprisingly thinner than I expected. Which is good.

Overall I am very glad I got to try this beer. I'm gunna ge one more then on to others.

Photo of nickd717
4.18/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.22/5  rDev -3%
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.

Photo of davod23
4.3/5  rDev -1.1%
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).

Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2006 special 3 liter "one off" that was done for charity and in support of Stone's charity wall.

Pours a dark clear amber with a nice white head. Head held and appearance is nice.

Assertive banana and stone fruit nose; sweet floral and fruit nose. Some coffee and yeast character. Nose shows some alcohol "sweetness" that should not be confused with a fruit or malt character - it's alcohol although not offensive.

Mouthfeel is big bodied and rich with a bit of a whisky/bourbon feel and character. Carbonation is good (perhaps a bit much initially but it seems to "tame down" in the glass.

Flavors follow nose with nice malt character; lovely balance, character and flavors of rich malt, yeast and hints of coffee, fruit and pine with a nice unexpected hop finish.

Photo of mikedashg
4.38/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 3L Growler of this was available to a select few at Stone Winter Storm event 2009 Sunday 01/25/09. I was honored to partake in it. I was told this had been stored in someone's fridge who wasn't much of a beer drinker. Being that this was a special and very limited brew, they thought this would be a good time to bring it and share it. The money that was collected was said to be going to a charity. Thank you Greg K and Heather for this once in a life time chance to sample this limited brew with age on it.

Poured by Greg Koch into a taster glass. Copper/carmel in color with very little head. Age has done this one well! The ABV was completely masked by a sweet candy carmel toffee brown sugar taste. It was not bitter, spicy, or hot at all. I wish I could've tried this fresh, and then now with years of age. This was the sweetest Stone Brewing Company brew I've ever tasted. In fact, it's one of the sweetest brews PERIOD that I've ever tasted. Light and very smooth/creamy mouthfeel and light to moderate carbonation.

If this is a barleywine, Stone needs to come out with this again, "Older Gardian?" I would love to try it fresh and then age it like I tried it to get me some more. I know it will probably never happen, but one can dream can't I?

Photo of rallison
3.95/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Stone Winter Storm.

Dark brown/orange with not too much of a head. Very rich flavor. Brandy-ish, with some dark fruits, toffee flavors and brown sugar. Lots of good flavors swirling around. Alcohol is definitely present at this point. Mouthfeel is very full and rich. Drinkability is not very high yet. Alcohol needs to mellow and the flavors need to come together a little more. However, this should make for one fine ale in a couple years time (for the few who have bottles they can age). As of right now, a thoroughly enjoyable, but somewhat hot, after dinner drink.

Recommended, especially in a couple years time.

Photo of largadeer
4.47/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

Photo of vacax
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one poured a delicate burnt orange color, brilliant clarity, small head but good retention. Aromas of orange, apple butter, honey, maple, and prickly bitterness. The taste has a citrus sweetness to it next to some alcoholic heat, and the finish has more of these plus a nice cookielike malt element. This one is simple yet so elegant right now, really really good. Moderate to full bodied, viscous with smooth low-moderate carbonation. This is drinking beautifully, the flavors are sharp and distinctive instead of being a huge malt or hop bomb. This would be a nice one to revisit periodically, if it were at all possible.

Photo of Thorpe429
4.05/5  rDev -6.9%
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.

Photo of hopdog
4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared courtesy of kumquat (you know who you are!).

Poured a medium copperish color with a smaller sized off white head. Aromas of nuts, toasted malts, caramel, dark fruits, and vanilla. Tastes of brown sugar sweetness, dark fruits, toasted nuts, caramel, and molasses. Light alcohol finish. Nice...I'm waiting to see that Photo Mike

Notes from 6/27/08

Photo of SoCalStout
4.47/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

Photo of womencantsail
4.4/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: The pour is a burnt amber color with a mild off-white head. The clarity is amazing on this beer.

S: Typical barleywine nose of toffee, caramel, and brown sugar. Surprisingly, there's still plenty of grapefruity citrus present after quite a long time.

T: The flavor follows the nose fairly well. 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.

M: Medium in body with a fairly abundant carbonation for a barleywine.

D: I'm very glad to have had the opportunity to try this beer. A very nice barleywine that seems to be holding up very well. Thanks to Stone for putting this out for winter storm.

Photo of portia99
4.24/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

Photo of FosterJM
4.3/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

Photo of ReDave
4.08/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I was lucky to be able to attend this party at Stone Brewery. Thank you Eyedrinkale! If i knew then what i know now, i would have spent at least the 250, just so i could take some of this home.
We only received one half glass per guest. It was darker than i expected, but not as dark as some barley wines. Nice darkish head that left a Very sticky lace all the way down. I have to admit i was expecting more hops, probably due to the huge build-up, but truly i was not let down. It seemed reminiscent of Bigfoot. Would love to taste them side by side.
Great Job Stone.

Photo of johnnnniee
3.95/5  rDev -9.2%
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.

Photo of Bankhead
4.62/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

quite a treat to try

pours a deep opaque amber with a lively ring and sparkly lacing and touches of foam on top of a still body that belies its strength

smells like a caramel apple and deeper whiffs reveal the fruit-popping yeast and some hop residue

tastes delicious and rich with caramel, sherry oxidation, amaretto, refined liquors with a sticky toffee center

the mouthfeel is where this takes off

it clings to every inch of the palate and the prickly hop wave in the finish leads you into the next sip

perfect age and glad i opened this now as the maturity of the beer is apparent but just right

Photo of HopasaurusRex
4.3/5  rDev -1.1%
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!

Photo of Sideswipe
4.2/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

Photo of stakem
3.66/5  rDev -15.9%
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.

Photo of HopHead84
4.62/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2/7/2010

48oz consumed on tap at Stone Winter Storm 2010. It appears deep crimson suffused with amber and a thick beige cap.

The nose is a well balanced blend of toffee sweetness and citrus hops, most notably grapefruit. The hop presence is formidable. Alcohol is well hidden and sweetness is present yet restrained. An earthy character is noticeable, as well as caramel and brown sugar.

The flavor is more aggressive than the bottle I tried a few months back, but I imagine this was cold stored so it hasn't been afforded a normal rate of aging. That being said, this somewhat younger and hoppier iteration is quite nice. Bitterness is at an upper moderate level and alcohol is unabashed. Hops are pine and grapefruit and they are well balanced against the rich toffee and caramel. This is fantastic stuff. I prefer this tap version to the bottle I tried. Awesome American barleywine.

Photo of imblane
4.4/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I was fortunate to have this one on tap at the Stone Wall party. My wife does not drink beer, so I got her taster ticket as well!!! Score! The dark orange hued appearance was quite nice in the 10th Anniversary pint glass that Stone provided. Nice stong dark ale appearance with a sweet malty and alcohol nose to it. I thought the mouthfeel was almost perfect, but I am biased heavily towards almost any Stone product. Sweet creamy, remarkably un-hoppy for a Stone product, but finished with a warming alcohol bite. As the beer warms these flavors come alive and the alcohol announces it's presence. This is certainly not a session type beer, but I look forward to cellaring my 3 bottles and sharing it at the "appropriate" time. Too bad this won't be available in the future.

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StoneWall Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 84 ratings.