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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: 290
Avg: 4.13
pDev: 10.65%
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 239 | Hads: 290
Photo of boogles
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Stone really does their big efforts well, I think. The barleywine is to barleywine what Stone's RIS is to RIS. It's big and complex, and does not hide the alcohol, but in a good way: it's factored into the equation.

On the other hand, I wish it had a bit less alcohol to allow the piney hops to rise up. It works in the aftertaste, but the nose hit is abrupt and there's no way around it.

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Photo of Smurf2055
4.04/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 vintage enjoyed at Bevridge Place in West Seattle. Aroma was amazing! Sweet yet balanced, malt and hops, aggressive yet friendly. Appearance was dark amber with about a finger of foam. Obviously at four years old, there’s very little carbonation on it. Taste was decent. Warming feeling and a bit of citrus. Lot’s of malt. There was a bit of an alcohol bite, and I sort of expected a bit more complexity at four years old. Palate was full and strong, all over and remains for a while. Overall, I’m not a big barleywine fan, but I still keep an eye out for them. As far as they go, this one was pretty good. It’s very Stone brewing; up front and aggressive, and it knows it.

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Photo of ehammond1
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4


Stone Brew Co.
Escondido, CA
02-20-2011 Sunday Funday Growler Fills

(Aged 4 years at the brewery)

A murky and cloudy deep copper. Very thin milky brown head with small bubbles. Leaves not so much rings of lacing as sheets of it.

Orange citrus hops, cherries, and lemon in the nose. A sugary caramel sweetness as well.

The bitterness from the hops have faded and what's left is just the essence of citrus hop flavors. These are accompanied by flavors of caramel malts, maple syrup, sweet dates, and old-fashioned donuts. No alcohol heat whatsoever. A fantastic sipper.

Silky yet sticky. Feels like drinking a divine dessert.

As with most decadent desserts, one is most often enough. Even without the slightest hint of alcohol, I don't find myself grabbing for more. (Until around midnight, just like with a rich dessert, and I sneak down to the kitchen for just one more!).

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Photo of kmo1030
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

hazed orangey amber with very little head.
malty aroma with lots of caramel, quite fruity too, i get peach, berry, fermented apple, pear, and a sugary sort of star fruit. a slight bready cocoa powder mingles with the fruit. a good amount of alcohol is also detectable along with earthy hoppiness.
the flavor is pretty malty too, and quite boozy. this is very warming. rich caramel and fruit dominate up front. pear, apple, berries, and that same sugary star fruit, and maybe something akin to grape skin. it's also got a baked goods type flavor, like pie crust. hops are big in the back, with earthy citrus bitterness taking up a good portion of the show.
i feel like the mouthfeel is similar to other years, but i'm really feeling the active carbonation in a relatively full body this time around.
as alsways a good barleywine. good to share too.

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Photo of BMoney575
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled on 3-25-07

Pours a deep red, with a nice white head with great retention, no real lacing.

Smell is good, fruity but also caramelly and sweet. Strong floral hops, with a definite aroma of alcohol.

Taste is not as good, sweet maltiness with a huge hop bite. Finishes dry and bitter with strong alcohol warmth. After awhile the alcohol becomes too much.

Mouthfeel is not good. Way to thin and watery. Changes the hop flavor to just bitterness.

Drinkability is also poor, the alcohol and thin mouthfeel makes it a beer that I won't try again without some time to age.

Overall, this is the second big beer from Stone that I've been disappointed with. Both the Old Guardian and Double Bastard suffered from an unnecessarily high abv that did not meld well with the beer. Stone's beers seem to be very well filtered and clean, and this does not lend itself well to masking alcohol. It's a shame, Stone makes so few different beers, and their biggest ones aren't any good.

Score edited: 5-2-09
2007 Vintage

Two years in the cellar made a world of difference.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Crystalline clementine with faint cherry and amber highlights. I absolutely love the stained glass shimmeriness of the beer when late afternoon sunshine is allowed to enter the glass. The attractive crown is alabaster suffused with pale lemon, and does a better than decent job of lace deposition.

The aroma is pale malt-dominant with a fair amount of American hop citrusiness and an undercurrent of unmasked alcohol. Yep, this is SOGBWSA alright. Unfortunately, I was unable to find what hop was used in 2007. Then again, that little tweak doesn't usually change the beer much.

Old Guardian is always a solid sipper, but it lacks complexity (yes, in my humble opinion). As a result, it has never blown me away like much of the Stone lineup. This '07 vintage is no different. The alcohol has mellowed quite nicely and the beer has otherwise held up remarkably well. Having said that, the needle on the ol' excitement meter isn't exactly pushing the redline.

Flavors include rock candy, lightly toasted bread, light caramel, moderate orange zest and Stolichnaya Cristal. There may be a bit more caramel malt present than is usual, although it's probably just my imagination. Given the ingredients, a slightly less alcoholic beer might have been a better beer. The 9.91% ABV 2003 vintage remains my favorite so far.

The body/mouthfeel is the highlight of the experience. It's incredibly plush and is silky smooth, without crossing the line into overly sticky or thick. Stone rarely slips when it comes to mouthfeel.

Unbeknownst to me (until I checked the Stone website), today is the second anniversary of the Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2007 release. Again, this big ale has aged very well, but it probably won't change your opinion of OG one way or the other.

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Photo of bosco7
4.07/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a golden brown with sticky tan head.

Toffee, brown sugar, raisins, caramel, and earth in the nose.

Complex sugar and malt flavors throughout the entire experience. I pick up on toffee, bread pudding, raisin, some vanilla, unrefined beet sugar. Some hops hidden in there as well. Bitterness is high even after a little under a year of age.

Nice little barley wine, I prefer it fresh and rough around the edges though. Alcohol is not apparent as one might think. Recommended.

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Photo of srandycarter
4.07/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into the long Stone Levitation Tulip. Early 2007 Limited Release.

A - Murky caramel honey - virtually small to no head. Lacing and I think legs there.

S - Sweet malt, caramel and honey notes.

T - Again sweet malt, cooked sweet fruit, alcohol - maybe brown sugar a little? Orange like citrus hops take over and remove most of the sweet coating cloying. Towards the end of the bomber, I swear I get tobacco and leather notes too.

M - Full, carbonated and coating. The hops come in and neutralize most of the feel. The finish is pretty balanced, considering the mammoth elements the beer is trying to balance.

D - I read the review first and braced myself for a possible sticky sweet disappointment. I like this beer. The carbonation is good, the coating and subsequent effect of the hops are balanced to a degree. Each sip begs for another. ABV is the only real drawback here.

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Photo of neenerzig
4.08/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. This beer pours a clear, medium amber golden/copper color. It turns a deep but bright red when held up to light. Head is anout an inch thick upon pouring that settles to a a nice film layer on the beer's surface. Also has some very nice lacing too. Has a very floral, malty aroma along with some caramel or butter scotch, followed by a hint of hops. The taste is malty and sweet upfront followed by some hop bitterness. The sweet flavors remind me of caramel popcorn and butter scotch. The taste of alcohol is also somewhat present. This beer has a sort of buttery texture/mouthfeel. The mouthfeel is also crisp and creamy with moderate carbonation. Fairly easy to drink, but I hope drinkability improves with age. This is a good beer but I am confident it will become even better as it ages. I will have to pick up a few more bottles for cellaring. In my opinion Stone released this beer about 2 months too early this year.


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Photo of Bierman9
4.08/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed from a 22oz bomber... typical, rambling musings on the back, though I've yet to read it entirely.... "Limited Early 2007 Release" inscribed on the front...

Color is a clear, rich copper, with a small bit of carbo slowly meandering upwards... Head is thin, off-white, and quite finely bubbled. Lacing is light and sporadic. Toasty malt wafts about, along with an edgy, sharp, spicy hop kick and something, oddly, akin to coconut (huh?). A bit of a fruity character is also present, suggesting pear and green apple. Body is solid, and OG is quite smooth, tongue-wise.

Toastiness is very noticeable in the flavor, with sweetness swirling about with light, brown-sugary notes and caramel. There's some fruity action here, also, but it's well-subdued and muted, lingering in the background. Hoppiness here is pronounced and biting, with a sharp edge which sticks all over the mouth. Resiny, piney notes combine with grapefruit to hit the palate... and the 11+ % abv does its job in warming the innards. Even with that high abv, this was not as hot and raw as I expected. Quite well-received, overall, by my palate!


overall: 4.1
appearance: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | mouthfeel: 4 | drinkability: 4


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Photo of PatronWizard
4.08/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Was trying to cellar this but damn, daddy gets thirsty. Hope to get another one.

Pours a beautiful semi-clear amber under a huge white head of poorly graded bubbles. Very few bubbles float up so this head won't be replenished. Falls very slowly. Great looking brew.

Smell is good but a little weak. I expected an uppercut, got a little slap. Caramel.

Taste like a sugar daddy. Nice alcohol bite. I expected a little bite since we're at 11.26% and it's very nice when you expect it. Sweet and smooth. This is very good. Thick, but with little or no abrasiveness.

Overall: great stuff

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Photo of tewaris
4.09/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12% ABV; 85 IBU's
Served in a 10 oz. Chalice like glass.

Hazy and deep tangerine hued with a small off white head. Not big on head retention or lacing. It's amazing that the hops have survived 4 years and are still present in the strongly woody/resiny aroma. Bready and caramel malt notes are present as well.

Lots of palate bruising bitterness but worth the flavor - earthy, resiny, and woody notes, strong caramel and dried fruit. I am glad that I got to try a brewer certified aged American Barleywine. Mouthfeel is thick and sticky with appropriate carbonation. The finish is clean and a little astringent without any alcohol burn. A very good beer!

Scores: Appearance 3/5, Aroma 4/5, Taste 4/5, Mouthfeel 4.5/5, Overall 4.5/5

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Photo of maybrick
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy amber color with a sizable off white head. As it warmed, it poured clear. Great head retention. Nose is definitely malty and the alcohol is definitley detectable. nicely balanced between malt and hop. Finishes with the warming of a higher alcohol brew yet the hops crisoness is noticable. I purchased this last week and assume it was made in 2007.

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Photo of Zorro
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear reddish amber colored beer with a small tan colored head.

Smells like ice tea with lemon at first. Citrus with a definite lemon note. Chocolate on toast with a slight menthol aroma.

Starts out neutral with a savory aftertaste. Quite a smooth flavor 3 years of aging has mellowed out this beer a lot. A little bitter up front on the tongue with a woody caramel aftertaste. Not real complex in flavor though, just mellow.

Mouthfeel is good, not quite thick though.

Drinkability is where this beer really shines. At this point it is perfectly mellowed and deceptively easy to drink. It would be a mistake to age this beer anymore it is perfect right now.

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Photo of soupyman10
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours clear amber with a slow dissolving two finger head. Nose is sweet spicy malt, some breadiness, a little apple and pumpkin. Taste is a bit of a shock, off the bat. Strong spices fill your mouth, kind of bready, then a failry strong alcohol hit that stay with you for most of the beer. This one tastes like booze, although it's not something that necessarily turns me too far off. There's also some brown sugar, some molasses, and raisins, dried fruit. Main thing is a lot of alcohol, though, throughout, that you can't really avoid (I've had RIS's just as high that hid it a fair bit better). It's good, but not great. Feel, on the other hand, is incredible; thick and syrupy, just fantastic. Overall, it's a tasty one, if not any good at hiding its booze.

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Photo of smcolw
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear and light amber in appearance. Good initial head with decent lace considering the style.

Malty, which is not surprising given the ABV (11.3%!). This is not an extreme smell; it seems well-balanced without distinct classical aromas of hops or alcoholic warmth.

Very full body...the swallow is almost hot with its alcohol warmth. A bit strong on the tongue making me swallow it rapidly. The aftertaste is all hop which is completely unexpected.

This is an extreme beer that does not have any typical one-sided flavors or smells (except maybe the alcohol warmth). It's incredibly flavorful and easy to sip, swallow and consume. Perhaps too easy!?

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Photo of sloejams
4.12/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I don't often partake in Barleywines, except around winter when SN Bigfoot is an annual staple. Aside from a few other various offerings that pretty much makes up my barleywine intake. Every year I buy a few and they always linger. They're big, intense offerings that often scare me when I look into my refrigerator. So in that regard, I find them quite easy to age - not drinking it = best way to age, of course.

Old Guardian is one I try every year. So far, it's been until today nearly August for me to sample Stone's 07 offering, and to be honest, I'm not sure what drove me to try it today, but I'm certainly glad I did.

As expected this is a big beer. Chewy malt characteristics up and down with tons of hop bitterness. Not as floral as my favorite, Bigfoot, but some say that has too much hop character for a barleywine. I like lots of hops so perhaps that is what makes me so comfortable with that. This is far more balanced, which is not to say there are subtleties - everything is there and there in spades.

Wonderful caramel and bready flavors fill out the hops and chewy malts. The body is rich and full with a smooth finish. Quite tasty. Why have I waited so long to try this?

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Photo of nickss
4.12/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a typical 16oz pint glass.

Pours a deep copper with some reddish tinges... about a 1/2" solid head recedes oh so slowly.

Whew this one smells fresh! I guess thats what I get for drinking a barleywine shortly after bottling. Loads of hops... pine and citrus team up to slap the nasal passages. Despite the front edge of hops, there is definitely some malt in the backbone... I won't say its balanced, but then again, I don't like my barleywines to be too balanced. Quite nice.

Still a fairly hoppy flavour, but not quite so hoppy as the aroma would indicate. The malt is much more obvious, lending molasses and sugar-like qualities to the brew. The alcohol is fairly noticeable... not surprising considering the abv... still... could stand to age a year or so.

Perfect... big, thick, and chewy. Subdued carbonation with bittering hops. I can't think of any way to improve it.

While I love the flavour and the aroma, this brew is too hot right now to be very drinkable. Once again, nothing a year in the cellar couldnt remedy. All in all, quite nice.

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Photo of vtfan77
4.12/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Nice clear reddish-orange color with about a half inch of head. The head doesn't stick around long and leaves a touch of lacing on the glass.

S- Big malty aromas. Caramel, toffee, molasses, and a hint of alcohol. Hops really aren't very noticeable.

T- Quite sweet up front, almost candy-like. Malt flavors include the aforementioned toffee and caramel. Hops don't contribute to a whole lot to the flavor but add a decent bitterness to the finish that lingers for quite some time.

M- Nice full moutfeel. Carbonation is higher than expected, but still nice.

D- Pretty darn good considering its strength. Alcohol is very well-hidden.

It's good for sure, although not the best I've ever had. The flavors, while nice, just didn't jump out at me. Very solid barleywine, though. Maybe a bit of age will help it. Recommended.

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Photo of stereosforgeeks
4.13/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Nice amber color with medium head but some heavy lacing. Some carbonation is present throughout the body.

Smell: Sweet caramel malts and mild hops. Mild alcohol notes present.

Taste: The alcohol notes make themselves known in the finish but mostly the caramel and hops shine through.

Mouthfeel: Nice creamy feel, the mild carbonation is pleasant but not distracting.

Drinkability: If you can get past the minor alcohol notes in the finish this is incredibly drinkable high alcohol content beer. The hops linger nicely on the tongue while the caramel malts provide a strong backbone. I plan on buying a case of this to age. Apparently this beer does great with aging.

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Photo of WeisGuy
4.13/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to the superior trader that is metallitone1 for this bottle. Limited Early 2007 Release.

a - deep burnt orange color, big off-white head, nice retention and great lacing

s - big piney hops and alcohol dominate the nose, not much hint of malt

t - big piney hops up front, body is more hoppy bitterness with a subdued malty backbone, finish is very bitter with a noticeable alcohol component

m - medium-to-full bodied, moderate carbonation, quite dry finish

d - alcohol and intense bitterness limits drinkability somewhat, but I could drink this beer until I fell over and my palate was destroyed

Another great beer from Stone. Big, hoppy, aggressive, everything I expect from Mr. Koch. I imagine this would be very good aged for awhile, but I like it now.

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Photo of PBBC
4.13/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours much lighter than i expected, considering the high abv.... Nice, slightly cloudy appearance, not too clear... giving the beer a nice glow.

The scent speaks of rich caramel accented with white cherries and and perhaps melon? A very full scent... with hops dancing around the edges.

The taste is exquisite... So smooth. Whenever I try a barleywine I wince, expecting tons of flavor, but a slap in the face from the abv.... but as i sat with my friends, I quickly realized that this beer is very drinkable and flavorful.... dangerously so. Feels thick on the tongue, but finishes clean, with a nice lingering caramel-grain aftertaste...

A great example of the complexity and balance available in beer .

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Photo of kingcrowing
4.14/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

64oz Growler poured into a hill farmstead tulip, found at Pearl Street Beverage in Burlington! Huge thanks for them putting this on the Growler bar!

Pours a fairly unfortunate hazy, muddy amber brown wig a small light yellow head that settles quickly. Nose is really malty and rich - caramel and an almost honey and oats note that's really nice.

Taste is simply fantastic, no surprise but age has done this beer a lot of good! Not hot at all, rich and mellow with that honey and oat finish that was on the nose. Light carbonation and a dry finish. Very good beer!

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle, early 2007 release. Served in a nonic pint glass, the beer pours an orange/amber color with about an inch off-white head. Head retention and lacing are both good. Aroma is pine and citrusy hops, caramel malt, brown sugar, and some apricots. Taste is similar to the aroma. Surprisingly the hops are still strong in this brew after 2 years. Pine and citrusy hops dominate, while caramel malt, butterscotch, booze and brown sugar flavors are noticable, too. There's also a good lingering bitter hoppy finish. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit syrupy and slick with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is good, although you can tell there's some alcohol in this brew! Overall I think it's a good beer, aging it hasn't hurt it although aging it a bit longer wouldn't be a bad thing either.

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Photo of Progenitor
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Old Gaurdian is one cool Bastards brother. Like all the best brews this one is best enjoyed slowly. Sup accordingly.

A: Pours a perfectly balanced dark amber leaving a two fingered bone head that displays nearly uniform bubbles through out, which disipates to a thin four to five layers of oily bubbles fairly rapidly. Lacing is very quick to slide down the glass due to the slick nature of it's texture.

S: The first word to come to mind was grape folowed by pronounced vegetal aromas marked by fresh tomatoes, also there are russet potatoes, turnips and beets and behind that though faint some strange sour citrus hints of lemon and lime maybe grapefruit. This brew would be beautiful to use for a deep fried beer battered beet recipe. Barley pronounces itself boldly and towards the end gorgeous hops jump right off the top.

T: Remaining consistent with the aromas, this fine libation continues with the earth notes, adding a kind twist of fine pungent blue and limburger chesses and just the right amount of a hoppy kick to balance the brew. In fact my favorite part of the drink is letting it rest on the tounge for a few seconds and allowing the alcohol to do it's work on the sides of the member kicking and screaming its bitters along the way.

M: For an 11% + ABV it is suprisingly smooth. Truly perfecting the balance between the hops and the alcohol which can both be fairly harsh in the hands of the wrong brewmaster. The maker of this libation is definatley not the wrong brewmaster.

D: Yes.

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