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Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2007 - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2007Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2007

Educational use only; do not reuse.

239 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 239
Hads: 289
Avg: 4.13
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 4
Gots: 14 | 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: Wildman on 01-25-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 239 | Hads: 289
Photo of BRLockwood
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Special thanks to Joey at South Bay Drugs in Imperial Beach, CA for throwing this in with the rest of my purchase. Keep up the great work Joey!

A: Pours a cloudy amber color with a medium head - not great retention - but worthy. The cloudiness looks quite inviting, I can't see through the glass!

S: The first smell that comes to me is a caramelly/roasty smell - a fine start to this Barleywine. The hops come in with a nice herbal presence, and I detect a faint fruity smell at the end.

T: A classic Barleywine - good malt up front and plenty of herbal hoppiness as well. You get a big kick of alcohol in the aftertaste - but what you might expect from this 11.26 abv monster. A well balanced beer that just keeps kicking with all gears. To me the malt flavor keeps coming through and through.

M: This is definietely a heavy, chewy, but smooth beer. Carbonation seems to be just right and the heavy lacing on the glass leaves myriad designs as they gravitate towards the bottom of the glass.

T: The final pour of the bomber gives a real good head but again it settles rather quickly - which is a good thing in my opinion. The alcohol seems to subside as I finish the bomber - but that could be for other reasons! Truly representative of the style. I usually reserve Barleywines for the nightcap but this will be the only beer I drink today - and a fitting conclusion to my San Diego soujourn - at least until my package arrives!!!


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Photo of BretSikkink
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow. This is a good one. Tasted early '08; this ale has aged to become a jolly fine drink.

Orange-brown body, lovely highlights and a picture perfect head.

Smooth and creamy mouthfeel, traces of a ridiculous amount of hopping still present but nicely subdued. Sharp, almost sweet but not quite, the hopping is mellow but packs a punch of peppery citrus. The pine character is not as prominent as the '08; a sure sign of mellowing.

All outstanding characteristics; this is a well put together ale that would please any lover of big flavors in their beer.

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Photo of Knapp85
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Opened a bottle of this in 2010. The bottle had been on the shelves of a local beer shop for 3 years I suppose. Hard to imagine something like this sticky around for that long. The beer pours out as a nice looking thick brown liquid. The head was still pretty good right after the pour. The head settles and left a decent looking lacing on the glass. The smell of the beer was loaded with malts giving off a bit of sweetness mixed with some heavy booze aromas. There is also a healthy amount of hops on the nose too, not surprising from Stone. The taste is a so mellow, I found this to be one of the easiest barely wines I've ever drank. I'm not sure if it's because of the age or if that's how it's just made. The mouthfeel is thick and has a heavy body to it. It's a very filling beer. Overall this beer was quite impressive, I figured I'd enjoy it but I didn't expect to at this level. Very good stuff.

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Photo of atsprings
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Get to have this one on-tap at Flying Saucer as part of a 4 year vertical tasting. Served a crisp orange with a thin diminishing head. Aroma was a nice amount of burnt caramel hops, mild citrus hops and a trace of alcohol. The taste is a nice balance of sweet caramel malts with a mild hop backbone. The beer is clearly the smoothest of the four with the alcohol having become very well hidden. This one has aged out very nicely to a truly enjoyable Barleywine.

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Photo of atrus138
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this from a 22 oz. bomber into a pint glass.

First off, I've never had a barley wine before, so I wasn't sure what to expect. Poured a very nice looking orange color, with red tints. What very little head there was dissipated into a little froth that lay on top. Smell is faint, with fruity notes, but mostly alcohol. Taste is much more intense and complex than the nose would have me believe, especially when warmed a bit. Very fruity, with caramel being very prevalent. A little harsh due to the alcohol content, but less noticeable as it warms and more flavors are apparent. I've never tried cellaring before, but I'll give this one a try and see what happens (though with a little research, I found out that this is released in January, so it's already almost a year old). Very warming, which is just what I needed after all this cold temperature. This will be one I look forward to each year.

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Photo of glid02
4.33/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this on-tap at the GA release.

Pours a cloudy copper color with a one-finger cream-colored head. The head dissipates into a wispy layer of bubbles on top and a thin ring around the glass. Lacing is pretty sticky.

Smells good. Sweet malts and alcohol to go along with a mild piney hop aroma.

Tastes similar to how it smells. A big sweet malt taste up front ending with a mild piney hop flavor and bitterness. The alcohol burns just a bit on the way down and gives a nice warming sensation.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a good thickness and the carbonation is just a tad too much. Very smooth but could be smoother.

Drinkability is great. This goes down very easily for a beer with this much alcohol.

Overall this is a very good barleywine but if I had to choose I'd go with the Double Bastard as the Old Guardian seems like a more subdued version of that.

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Photo of flexabull
4.33/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This finally made it up to Redding, and that makes me happy.

Pours a bright clear copper color, with a nice foamy white head.

Smells like sweet stewed fruits, grape nuts, and a touch of pine like hops.

Flavors are big, and the mouthfeel is incredibly full and well rounded. (I seem to notice this with all Stone brews) There is a very nutty sweet cereal grain like flavor that dominates, and there is also a hint of alcohol, that isn't overpowering, but it let's you know that this is a 11+ ABV beer. Finish is crisp, and has a nice bitterness from the hops.

Drinkability is obviously a bit low because of the high ABV. But this is an excellent American Barley Wine, and I am glad that there are a few of these in my fridge to set down for a while.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.33/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

04/30/08- Purchased at Beverages and More in San Mateo, CA.

Presentation- 22oz bottle poured into my Old Guardian glass.

Appearance- Brandy red colored pour. Very lucid. About a 3/4 to and inch larger bubbled head. Leaves a nice semi-creamy rim. Excellent sticky patchy lace.

Smell- More subdued than normal years, but still a very nice caramel malt and fruity hop aroma. About equal and nothing really trumps the other. Just a bit of a sniffer.

Taste- A year plus worth of aging has done well for this one, just as it usually does. Flavors meld very well. Sweet caramel goodness, maybe a touch of fusel alcohol as well. Sharp grapefruit and lemon hops pass up the malt by just a bit. Well balanced for Stone.

Mouthfeel- Chewy and a higher carbonation level. As always a nice bitter ass whooping on the tongue.

Drinkability- Another 2 thumbs up for Old Guardian. It appears aging is your best bet unless you like scorching hops burning a hole through your stomach.

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Photo of Jmoore50
4.33/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this 1 liter growler filled on Saturday the 19, 2009 at Stone Brewery.

The appearance is great. The first thing I have to mention is the head and the lacing. Ridiculous. This is absurd, especially for a 11.26% ABV. Great amber color with no floaters. Beautiful looking beer.

The smell is nothing spectacular, but a lot of the smells translate into the taste.

The taste is great. This is an entirely different brew than this years. The recipe was no doubtingly different, but age also puts a great spin on this. Dark fruits are the overwhelming characteristic. Dried prunes, bit of currants, apricot, and dry peaches. A small brown sugar taste with a huge sweet alcoholic flavor. I also get a bit of licorice.

The mouthfeel is great, fresh keg tapped two days ago. What else could you ask for? This is the way they wanted it, and this was great.

Drinkability is dangerously high, almost 12% ABV. I am tossing this back like it is water, shit, probably should save some for later but I cannot stop. Just so good.


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Photo of BeerSox
4.32/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber into 8oz snifter. Early 2007 vintage, purchased April '08.

Nearly opaque burnt orange hue with a foamy head that slowly fizzes to a thin rim. Strings of lace are placed randomly. Just after finishing each pour the bubbles are lively, but quickly fade to nothing. The beeris almost static once the bubbles finish combining to make the head.

Crisp malts along with some age-tamed hops that still have some of their spice left. The cirtus aromas seem to have been preserved well. The alcohol is well hidden, but this could be due to the beer sitting for a year.

The malts are clean, meaning they show up a little at first then fade away to never return. The hops quickly take over as a shadow of their former selves. Bitter and citrusy but not overwhelming. The alcohol is somewhat well perceived, although it doesn't lower the drinkability. There is a slight thinness to the overall feel of the beer. The carbonation is there, but the flavor (again, this is aged) is a little stunned. The hops like to linger for a while after each sip. The alcohol comes out more and more as it warms. There is just a hint of the ground coffee that, to me, separates the Barleywine from a DIPA.

OG seems to be a very durable beer, as generally beers that are a year old that haven't been stored in a cellar turn out to be unenjoyable. This one has stood up. It's solid, but it's still a shell of what it was when it was bottled. This one aged well, but I'm thinking isn't as well-rounded as it was fresh. Though, that's subjective and a matter of opinion. Generally hoppy beers should be enjoyed fresh since the hops are the main focus of the flavor, although Barleywines are the exception. The American versions, such as OG, have a bigger emphasis on the hops. What I may very well be reviewing is a American Barleywine that has transformed into an English Barleywine. Even after sitting on the shelf for over a year, this is still one good beer. Recommended.

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Photo of scottg
4.32/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a tulip glass at American Flatbread in Burlington, VT during the "Stone Extravanza."

Pours a cloudy orange wtih a thin off white head that dissipates quickly leaving light lacing. Sweet aromas or caramel, honey and apricot. Up front honey flavors with grapefruit and sweet orange hops followed by caramel, vanilla and chocolate with a strong alcohol finish and bitter lemon aftertaste. Medium high carbonation, full bodied this has a bubbly start and a very dry finish. The alcohol warmth is noticeable throughout, it is 11+%, but the balance of flavors makes this highly drinkable. Hoppy than other barleywines I've had but not surprising being from Stone.

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Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.32/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am just starting to get into barley wine ales, and this one definitely pulled me in more. Sampled on tap at Teresa's in Wayne just last night.

Pours a dark hazy peach into a tulip glass, with very little head. I am starting to expect this from the style.

The smell seems like a combination of a barleywine and an IPA. It smells strongly of hops, a Stone signature. Citrusy and piney hops dominate the hop character. Sweet caramel malts come through to balance the hops. Fruity esters hang around the background of both the taste and the smell. There is only a slight presence of alcohol, as the beer is big enough with enough character to mask it nicely.

Slightly syrupy, the feel of this on my palate is something that I want to be able to get used to. The alcohol is felt more than it is tasted. I could definitely have a few of these.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.32/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this a couple months back from a growler fill but never got around to posting my review...

A: A nice amber color without much head to speak of and hardly any lacing.

S: Extremely malty and sweet caramel, the hoppiness that is usually present in this beer when fresh is almost gone.

T: Lots of malty sweetness, caramel, toffee, and some very slight bitterness.

M: Almost syrupy--very full bodied with low carbonation.

D: Much more drinkable than it's fresh counterpart, but obviously not something you're going to have several of.

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Photo of YankChef
4.32/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle poured into a la fin du monde glass.

appearance: amber with peach hues, high clarity and a thick foamy white head that quickly dies down, however leaves fine lacing.

Smell: Smells very sweet and a little fruity. Molasses, cherry, pecan, peach, pear and various other aromas. Needless to say, this beer has a very complex aroma and the aging has certainly changed it.

Taste: Obviously the first sensation is that of sweetness with raw sugar flavors that are akin to sugar cane. A little bit of plum as wel l and some other fruity flavors. This beer is still damn bitter and hoppy after all of this dame and tastes well... like a beer from stone. Strong bitterness in the middle and lingering as well that leaves you wanting more. Seriously dries the mouth out with not just the a/c but also the bitterness.

Overall: Biggest baddest barleywine of them all. Stone doesn't mess around and this beer is another testament to that fact. Even after over a year of aging this beer is still aggressive and bold. Will it mellow out over time... you be the judge if you have a bottle of this sit on it.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.32/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler fill from Stone Brewing Co.

Pours a deep honey amber color with a 1 inch off-white head that fades to nothing. Small rivulets of lacing on the glass. Smells of caramelized sugar, cherry cordials, citrus zest. Taste is sweet sugary caramel malt, cherry cordial, and citrus zest hops. Bitterness is quite subdued but still noticeable, which I attribute to the 3+ years of cellaring. Good carbonation still present on this beer. Leaves a sticky sweet coating in the mouth. Drinkability is quite good for such a high ABV. A rare treat from the Stone cellars.

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Photo of BigV
4.32/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tried to drink a whole 2 liter growler myself(I didn't finish lol)

(A) pours a reddish orange copper body with a nice tan head

(S) a little bit of alcohol left, but mostly sweet fruits and earthiness

(T) some alcohol but most of it had worn off over the past 3 years(I drank this in 2010). Sweet, apricot with a little bit of citrus

(M) very malty, but obviously it"s a barelywine. Exactly the kind of mouthfeel you would want in a barelywine.

(D) very drinkable considering its 11.27%. It was very smooth and 3 years aged on it really brought this brew together.

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Photo of ByTor2112
4.31/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to my rep John for snagging this for me last year!
Pours up the color of orange marmalade/ orange blossom honey. A soapy one finger head stays then breaks down leaving medium lacing. Aroma- buttery caramel with a faint whiff of alcohol, some dried fruit-apricot maybe? Heavy malty aromas are keeping the hops down but they are there.
Mouthfeel- BIG bold barleywine flavor here. Not too sweet but you can tell the backbone is solid malt and the alcohol is present but is not too hot. A froth intensifies the hops and leaves a lingering metallic bitterness right on the back sides of the palate on the finish.
This ale has a thick resinous mouthfeel like a DIPA that just exudes all that is Stone! I do agree with mt5000 about it tasting like a barleywine and then fading towards a DIPA or IIPA. But I enjoyed that. This one was choice!

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Photo of Tolann
4.3/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Orange in color and hazy. Not too much head. Dense, white head that fades quickly.

S - the smell hit me before I was even looking for it. Kinda fruity and hoppy. Not a boozy smell. Bigger smell than other beers I've had, but it's not offensive or too over powering.

T - lots of citrus hop taste. Bitterness is strong but balanced and not offensive.

M - can feel the alcohol warm you after the sip. Taste lingers some and keeps you from drinking too fast. Probably a good thing. Bitterness really sits on your tongue. Some carbonation can be felt in the sip. The bitterness comes out as you burp it. Not exactly a 'wine' like quality like in the style name may suggest. It's a medium/light body.

D - Good to have another, but I don't want a lot at one sitting. I'm glad I have another in the fridge, but it will be enjoyed a later date.

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Photo of WesWes
4.3/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours an amber color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a bold, pale malt scent with just a bit of crystal malt to add some complexity. It's warm with some hop aroma to boot. The taste is great. It has an extremely smooth flavor that goes down slow and warms in the finish. It's simple in design, but delivers a near perfect flavor experience. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. It has a nice hop bitterness which helps balance the high abv. . This is a damn good drinking barleywine. It's flavorful, but not too extreme. Excellent job guys.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.3/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Been sitting on this one well over a year. When I first popped the cap I could smell the sweet malts. Pours a nice orange golden amber color, nice creamy tan head, nice lacing/puddles throughout the drink. Scents of sweet malts, citrus, hops, spices, caramel, yeast, and slight alcohol. The taste is amazing, sweet malts, hoppy, slight caramel, and slight alcohol, nice dry finish. Medium body, pretty complex barleywine. Very drinkable, another awesome brew from Stone to say the least.

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Photo of rallison
4.28/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Beautiful dark amber color with a 2 finger fluffy white head that never really dies down (make sure you serve this not too cold, or you'll get no head!).

S: Smells of caramel and toffee malts with a nice touch of hops. Very nice smell - although I wouldn't mind it just a touch more pronounced (this is nitpicking, not real criticism).

T: Delicious. Tons and tons of great tasting caramel and toffee malts, but with a great hop bite. Not the most bitter barleywine I've had (can someone say Old Crustacean?), but hopped just enough to balance the tons of malt. Hops are more of the This is one beer that absolutely must be served warm enough. I've had it too cold before, and it absolutely loses the characteristics that bring everything together. Served at cellar temperature, all the aspects balance each other out. Mmmm.

M: Rich, delicious, and yummy. Low-ish carbonation, but good for this beer.

D: Relatively drinkable, but not the most drinkable for a barleywine - of course, for 11.26%, it's pretty drinkable.

Highly recommended. Go get yourself a bottle.

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Photo of NEhophead
4.28/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

1 pt 6 fl oz brown bottle; served in a snifter.
Limited early 2007 release.

Crisp auburn in color with light shades of oak. Creamy, dense off-white head that sits up without budging. Thin and spotted lacing around the entire snifter with tremendous strength.

Slick, sweet maltiness: cream and moderate honey aromas. Aged vinous fruit with notes of tartness. Complex whaffs of intense alcohol. Touches of lingering oak.

Bold, yet short-lived citrus: pineapple, lemon, orange, and green apple met with a brash, pine-hop character. Creamy, vanilla and honey malt undertones adding a moderate level of sweetness to the bold hops. Smooth in the finish with an intense, but warming alcohol presence.

A full, medium in body; smooth and creamy with a slow-building slickness accompanying the alcohol character.

A bold, flavorful, and balanced Barleywine. Quite tasty and can only improve with age. A stellar offering, but beware the 11.26% abv.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.28/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is the early release 2007

It pours from 22oz bottle a hazy copper colour with a 1 finger head of foam. The foam recedes to a fine broken layer and it has some nice lacing.

The smell is of caramel and roasted malt, citrus hops, and some fruit.

The taste has big notes of caramel malt, roasted malt, grapefruit hop bitterness, some molasses, some dark fruit: fig, toffee, a bit of plum...very complex and boy, it has an alcohol kick to it that really warms during and after the swallow. I like how the malt and hop character are nicely balanced and makes it, despite the agressive flavours, a smooth sipping BWSA. Really nice stuff! Oh, and the alcohol becomes less noticeable further into the session.

The mouthfeel is nice and thickish and the carbonation is on the light side. It finishes semi sweet.

Bottom line: A very tasty and enjoyable example of the style indeed. I wouldn't hesitate in buying more. Another great job by Stone Brewing!

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Photo of sleazo
4.28/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Pours a dark amber with a substantial head. Goes down quicly but plenty of lace. Nice for a barley wine

S-Toffee, Alcohol, slight fruit

T-Sweet malty richness followed up by a nice hop backbone. The alcohol is there but i was expecting worse considering the newness. Delicious. I was expecting this to be harsh and it really isnt. I will need to see what age will do to this.

M-Smooth and rich wouithout being too viscous

D-Way too smooth despite %

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Photo of DIM
4.27/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a: This is lighter than the average barleywine, looks a bit like an amber ale. Pours with a medium sized white head.

s: It's been less than a year, but the change is pronounced. The piny hop has ebbed a bit to let the malts through.The malts are now big and sweet with hints of chocolate and cherries. Alcohol blankets everything.

t: Some changes for the better here as well. The piny hop still dominates and is still a bit too rough and agressive. The balance from the malt is coming along nicely, however. Some mild chocolate and moderate amounts of brown sugar. Still a bit too hot on the finish.

m: For a hoppy as hell barleywine the carbonation is perfect, foamy rather than fizzy. Thick and very sticky.

d: I might try to find some more 07s for aging.

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Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2007 from Stone Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 239 ratings.