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StoneWall Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
StoneWall AleStoneWall Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

81 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 81
Reviews: 42
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 11.44%
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:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: drewbage on 06-12-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 81 | Reviews: 42 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
4.88/5  rDev +11.7%
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!

BigMcLargeHuge, Nov 28, 2011
Photo of jerz
5/5  rDev +14.4%

jerz, Nov 18, 2011
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.5/5  rDev +3%

westcoastbeerlvr, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of JAXSON
4.15/5  rDev -5%
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.

JAXSON, Jul 11, 2011
Photo of corby112
3.53/5  rDev -19.2%
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.  

corby112, Jul 07, 2011
Photo of nickd717
4.18/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

nickd717, Feb 18, 2011
Photo of Sideswipe
4.22/5  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.

Sideswipe, Feb 11, 2011
Photo of largadeer
4.47/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

largadeer, Feb 10, 2011
Photo of davod23
4.33/5  rDev -0.9%
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).

davod23, Feb 07, 2011
Photo of pastradul
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%
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!

pastradul, Feb 07, 2011
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.

Sean9689, Oct 10, 2010
Photo of MasterSki
4.45/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

MasterSki, Oct 10, 2010
Photo of Bankhead
4.63/5  rDev +5.9%
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

Bankhead, Aug 29, 2010
Photo of vacax
4.5/5  rDev +3%
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.

vacax, Apr 10, 2010
Photo of womencantsail
4.4/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

womencantsail, Mar 17, 2010
Photo of SanDiegoBeerLove
4.22/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on Tap at Stone on 2/7/2010.

A - Darker Amber color with light head that fades nicely and good lacing.

S - Chocolate, Carmel, Honey, and Toffee.

T - Tastes start with Caramel, Alcohol, Honey and Bitterness. Next Tastes of hops, spice, and baked apple show. This is an excessive barleywine that is meant to age.

M - Medium/Full body and good carbonation. Alcohol(burning feeling) is very apparent in the mouth.

D - This beer is very high in alcohol Taste and Smell. I hope they have more to age for a couple more years, maybe at a higher temp.

I had this beer while nursing a cold and I would say this is the best cold medicine out there. It cleared up my cold for the rest of the day. Thank You

SanDiegoBeerLove, Feb 12, 2010
Photo of HopHead84
4.6/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

HopHead84, Feb 10, 2010
Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.9/5  rDev +12.1%
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.

PeprSprYoFace, Feb 07, 2010
Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev -8.5%
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.

GRG1313, Dec 23, 2009
Photo of d0ggnate
4.85/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I never thought I would get the opportunity to try this beer, but it presented recently and I jumped at the chance with some fellow BAs. Thanks to those who made this tasting possible.

Opened the 3L growler at Stone today. An exciting pop of the flip top let me know that this one remained well carbonated over the last couple years.

A: Poured a rich amber / mahogany to my 8oz snifter. This beer held a beautiful color, almost like a autumn maple leaves. A solid single finger layer of off-white head faded in just a few minutes to only rim the glass.
S: Slightly boozy, but a pronounced sweet, caramel aroma entices me. Also picked up vanilla notes and a roasty characteristic.
T: Fantastically smooth. Clean malt flavor. Stronger than expected hop presence surprised me. More caramel and toffee tastes. Vanilla mixed in the complexity.
M: Well-rounded and very balanced.
D: Extreme drinkability. I would never know this one was 12.2% ABV by drinking it. Despite being a bit boozy on the nose, this one warmed up and drank so easily. I would jump at the chance to try this one again.

d0ggnate, Nov 16, 2009
Photo of mikedashg
4.4/5  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?

mikedashg, Jan 26, 2009
Photo of hopdog
4.43/5  rDev +1.4%
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

hopdog, Nov 07, 2008
Photo of joquiroz
4.65/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great beer!

I am part of the Stone VIPs, which at this point doesn't matter since there are no VIP events anyway :( however, I was part of the first group of people to try out this beer at the StoneWall event. The beer was indeed high in alcohol, however to be a Stone Beer, it was very different, not very bitter.

Please bear with me since I drank this beer in September 2006 (I think)

Aroma: molasses.
Taste: sweet, not bitter at all.
Mouthfeel: high gravity at the end.
Drinkability: I would drink this beer over and over if it was offered all the time.

I found some similarities between Stone's 10th anniversary IPA and this beer, again, please bear in mind we were only allowed about 1/2 glass of this beer at the StoneWall party and that was a long time ago.

joquiroz, Jan 09, 2008
Photo of rallison
3.95/5  rDev -9.6%
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.

rallison, Feb 06, 2007
Photo of Westsidethreat
4.08/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Stone Winter Storm

A: Orange marmalade color with blood orange like streaks. Appears raw and unfiltered. Head is sandy white...sparse across the top with a decent ring around the glass.

S: Toffee, hazelnut and red apple.

T: Begins very seasoned, almost like pumpkin pie spices. Lots of brown sugar, poached apple, toffee and cinnamon. Has some sweet potato flavors with a vegetable roundness to it as well as a substantial amount of toasted barley. This is like an imperial oktoberfest with dashes of vanilla and butterscotch. Some serious alcohol esters going on here, but I don't get the impression they are trying to hide it. And its really friggin' bitter...its bitter like peppers are spicy. Finishes with hints of banana, caramel, oatmeal and nutmeg.

M: Full body with a syrupy mouthfeel.

D: This beer is WAY too hot. Needs at least two more years for the alcohol to chill and the flavors to meld.

Westsidethreat, Dec 30, 2006
StoneWall Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 81 ratings.