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Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2010 - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2010Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2010

Educational use only; do not reuse.

203 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 203
Hads: 334
Avg: 4.12
pDev: 9.71%
Wants: 11
Gots: 87 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  11.10% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: northaustin on 02-13-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2010 Alström Bros
Reviews: 203 | Hads: 334
Photo of drabmuh
4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 beer. Beer is amber, dark, with a haze and a medium head of small and medium bubbles that leaves a lot of lacing on the glass. The bubbles are yellowing and fluffy. The carbonation is moderate and steady.

Mild pine hops with a thick malt aroma.

Beer is medium bodied and has a definite sweetness in the front with a strong bitterness in the back. It finishes slightly dry. The overall connectivity is pretty good, its a little hot on the front end but not too bad. I wish it wasn't so dry but I understand that's what they want. I've had a lot of these over the years and mostly haven't bothered to review them, this one is about like the rest. A vertical (with probably 4 other people) would be fun to do to see how they change from year to year or over time, but that will have to wait.

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Photo of jt31914
4.14/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a very good barleywine, perhaps not quite as good as last years or as my other favorite barleywines (ie behemoth and gnarlywine). The color is a very nice amber with a small amount of nice head and great lacing. Smell is wonderful barley sweetness and some hop balance. taste was also good barley sweetness, the main problem i have is the funky aftertaste and that i thought there was a little more heat than i would've liked on the finish (i prefer my barleywines more smooth i suppose). Very good brew though.

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Photo of TCHopCraver
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours golden-amber with a 2-finger beige head into a standard pint glass. The beer is see-through and seems to be running pretty low on carbonation. The lacing left behind is pretty sticky and thick.

S: First whiff is of piney and slightly citrus hops. This is overcome by a slightly honeydew melon, pear, and hop blend as the beer sits for a few minutes. The aroma is just a little thin and watery, but otherwise has a good balance between sweet malt and bitter hop smells. The more I bring this into my nostrils, it becomes very similar to a Pinot Grigio scent.

T: Bittering hops are ever-present throughout the sip and lend a nice balance to the abundant sweet malts. This is a pretty well balanced American Barleywine and might be the most hop forward of an A.B. that I've tried. It definitely does not tread into the syrup soup category that some others of the style do. A candied fruit flavor is a dominant taste on my palate, as well, with a creeping taste of alcohol as the beer warms a bit.

M: I am really enjoying the contrast between a creamy feel on the back and sides of my palate and the puckering hop collision with my tongue. It is a bruising hop oil presence, but I commend Stone for juicing this up so heavily with the humulus lupulus.

D: Good for the style. The malt/hop balance makes it more drinkable than other malt syrup bombs that I've encountered in other barleywines.

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Photo of Mosley1212
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A--Dark, vibrant orange with a cloudy, brown tint. It poured with a 1 1/2 inch white head that stayed around for a while before leaving. It was beautiful.

S--Wonderful. It has a heavy scent of alcohol for sure, but behind that you have fruit, fruit, and more fruit. Dark grape fruits, raisins, maybe cinnamon. This is probably the best barley wine I have ever smelled.

T--First off, it's hard to ignore the alcohol flavor. It's there from the beginning til the end. You also get a lot of the fruit notes with each sip. Tastes like cinnamon, figs, almost a rum flavor. It really tastes like a nice spiced rum. I liked it.

M--Heavy feel in the mouth. Burn from the alcohol exists for sure.

D--Not very high. It's a good sipper beer, but if you try to drink a lot of this, the 11.00% is going to catch up to you quickly.

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Photo of mjaskula
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Early 2010, served in a tulip glass. The beer is a nice clear dark copper reddish color. The head is moderately thick and tan. It thins and leaves some thick lacing.

The aroma is thick and syrupy sweet with carmel and dark fruits. It is backed with bitter pine hop aroma. The flavor follows the nose, starting off sweet and smooth. The carmel and fruit are still there, and the bitter finish is aggressive.

Mouthfeel is thick, but not as syrupy as I expected. Overall I really like this one. I have a second bottle to age. I'm looking forward to seeing how the hops will mellow out over the next year.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Early 2010 vintage

A: Pours a nice cloudy copper color with a nice head that leaves good lacing

S: Fruity malts and some hops in the background. Some bready yeast also comes through. Surprisingly no alcohol in the smell, which is impressive for an 11.1% brew

T: Some nice dark fruits up front with definite malts, followed by a pleasant hop bitterness and some alcohol burn

M: Medium body with light carbonation. Fairly prickly from the alcohol despite the low carbonation

D: This one is a sipper for sure, and a pretty damn good one at that. More and more complexities come out when it warms up, which is very nice. I'd say it could use some more age, but it is still drinking well after almost a year

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Photo of Arbitrator
4.16/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Chilled bottle into a glass (2010). I'm working backwards through my Stone stash to kill bottles one by one.

A: Pours a chill-hazed burnt amber body with a beautiful fluffy 1.5 fingers of off-white head. Retention is excellent (2+ minutes) for a beer of this gravity. It maintains a thick collar of large bubbles with some thin, broken film on top.

S: Kind of a mild nose. Citrus hops and some pine. The hop profile immediately made me recall Double Bastard, for some reason. Butterscotch, toffee, almond brittle, caramel, brown sugar.

T: Hoppy up front, but in a flavorful citrus manner, with light wet pine needles. The bitterness is noticed but not fully appreciated, due to the strong malt presence of butterscotch, toffee, and nuts (as in the aroma, I liken it to almond brittle). Caramel is pretty strong, of course, and so is a general brown sugar sweetness. There's a medicinal bitterness in the aftertaste that I find off-putting, but otherwise, I find this is hitting a lot of right notes for me. It's very aggressive, but still enjoyable.

M: Chewy, full-bodied. Swirls in the mouth with a very viscous resistance. Carbonation is spot-on. It's definitely warming, but not hot.

D: It'll get ya drunk! You'll be f***ing fat chicks in no time! This is a surprisingly drinkable big boy. I haven't been able to finish a lot of bombers on my own lately, but I had no trouble with this one. I'm definitely a fan and will buy them again, at least fresh. I have a few vintage bottles to evaluate as to whether aging this one is worth it.

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Photo of hopsyum
4.16/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It is -2 Fahrenheit outside right now and I feel as though this is the right weather mindset to be drinking this beer. High in flavor and alcohol, this beer warms the mouth, stomach, and body creating a sense of appropriateness that few beers can.

a- Poured into a sniffer glass from a bomber bottle (early 2010 release) with a beautiful red hue that turns to a wheaty yellow at the edges of the glass. Looks appropriately thick for a barleywine.

s- Somewhat off-putting smell at first. Strange combination of hoppy overload and alcohol. After a few more whiffs it seems to make more sense.

t- I'm a fan of strong hops, so while this particular barleywine may appeal to me, I understand if someone preferred a more malty, sweet, fruity barleywine. With that being said, the alcohol adds character to the hops, and sweetness lingers throughout.

m- This beer stays around for a while. Syrupy hops linger, while the alcohol and malts fade away relatively quickly.

d- I would be curious to see how this beer tasted after another year or two in the cellar. Although this is an early 2010 release, and it is now early 2011, I think that this beer would benefit from aging. The hops are delicious, but its a barleywine, not an IPA. Where I'm going with this is that this flavor is very strong and (most likely even after aging) this is a beer to be sipped on an enjoyed in front of a fire on a cold night with friends listening to John Coltrane.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.17/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Stone has been good to the state of Ohio, it's a pretty good day when you can buy 22 ounces of Barleywine for 6.99. This one pours a deep ruby amber hue with a large off white khaki cream head forming thick with fine even lacing forming as the head dwindles. Big deep dark fruit notes soaked in alcohol, a nice raisin, plum, fig fruitiness going on with big rounded booziness. Pine and earthy grapefruit ridden hops blends in aggressively, definitely a welcomed aspect in a young American barleywine. Almost a cedar or charred oak with a bit of vanilla a very interesting humidor or oak barrel hints, although I know this one hasn't touched the wood. Perfect serving temp adds to the experience don't serve this one too cold. Big bold layered flavors, rough and aggressive hop bitterness that tends to soften with some age. Juicy citrus grapefuit rinds, with pine/earthy hop flavors colliding. Big caramel and dark fruit infused malt layers, toffee nearly burn flavors...booze blends with vanilla, charred oak and plum and fig brandy blends. Mouthfeel is full bodied carbonation is mellow and easy going, heavy abrasive waves of hop bitterness are left behind with each sip. Drinkability overall this one has huge potential with more aging much like most barleywines, a nice heavy brooding hoppy b-wine that will get better and better.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.17/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Man what a crazy beer to start my new years off with!

A - Pours a light hazy copper color, kind of amber like, but way lighter than expected. A nice half inch of head looks sweet.

S - I can detect a good amount of hops here which I love stone for doing since they are hop heads! Mild caramel and bread malts dominate.

T - Well I really don't love barley wines but this one was pretty smooth. Starts off bready and sweet and then the alcohol creeps in delivering a slight burn that's quickly picked up with a bitter hop finish. Whew! Saved!

M - Heavy. I found myself sipping the bottle for at least an hour. Damn barley wines.

D - Overall I tend to stay clear of the style but this one was great. It did kind of put me under a bit since the ABV was so high (kind of the reason I bought it) but overall enjoyable. If you can still find it buy it then drink it or save it!

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Photo of MarkFy
4.17/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Clear copper color

S: Really nice, sweet and hoppy

T: nice malt upfront, the sweetness is nicely balanced and lingers throughout, definate hop on the end.

M: a very nice sharp, yet creamy start followed by a dryer finish.

D: A few of these are just perfect for me in a session.

Overall, an excellent beer by Stone, great for the price as well. Will definitely pick up more to keep on hand.

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Photo of muskabeatz
4.17/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Clear, burnt amber in color with a creamy toasted white head. Good lacing and head retention.

S- Lots of floral hops are the first thing to hit the nose, combined with herbal, spicy, grassy and bready notes. Slightly fruity as well. Citrus aroma is blended in as well with just a touch of booziness. Maybe I'm pulling this out of my ass, but I want to say I get a bit of banana.

T- Sweet malty backbone, with hints of caramel. Fair amount of hops blended in, although not overwhelming. Drying, bittering finish

M- Subdued, lingering carbonation, maybe would expect slightly more with it being this fresh. I would like just a bit more body as well.

D- Despite a few minor shortcomings, I find this to be a very drinkable beer. Only slightly boozy for it's 11% abv

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Photo of nhindian
4.17/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into an Stone Old Guardian glass.

A - Pours a dark goldenrod color with about a finger's worth of khaki colored head. Decent retention. Lacing is sporadic, yet thick. Relatively muddy body and no hint of carbonation.

S - Upon first smell this beer is definitely heavy on the malts, sweet, thick and bready. Not biscuit-dry but a bit chewy. But then the rest of the nose comes through and you can tell this is pretty heavily hopped. Juicy citrus crowd the back-end of this beer and it's appetizing.

T - Taste certainly follows the nose for this beer. The front end is very malt heavy, almost like biting into a freshly baked loaf of bread, but quite sweet. This sensation doesn't last for very long, however, before switching to a surprisingly hoppy finish. Easy to pick up flavors of pine and citrus, especially orange, which helps switch the beer from malt to the bitter finish. And the finish is quite bitter, both as a result of the hops and the high alcohol.

M - Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation. Finish is long and especially bitter. Leaves a nice coating in the mouth.

D - Drinkability is moderately high. Honestly, a great transition beer to the more malt forward beers out there and probably one of my favorite barleywines I've had so far. It is a great balance between the two extremes of malt and hop and although the alcohol is there, it's certainly not apparent that it's 11.1%.

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Photo of Overlord
4.17/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Better than some of the past vintages, for sure.

Pours a deep amber orange. Smells like caramel-ed grapefruit, a bit of interesting mineral herbaliness, and a heaping load of randomized fruit/citrus aromas.

Taste is not quite as good. The grapefruit, citrus, and sweet, sweet malt backing are a bit eclipsed by the weird funky medicinal herbal thing that's going on. It's still pretty good, oily, sticky, and resiny, but it smells better than it tastes.

Maybe the Old GUardian stuff is back on the right track.

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Photo of bucklemyshoe
4.18/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle at 48* into a snifter.

A: This pours somewhere between burnt-orange and brick-red with a finger of long-lasting and great lacing head.

S: It features aromas of chocolate, molasses, a medium-strong hop character, and a strong caramel malt backbone.

T: It tastes like candy sugar, raisins, molasses, chocolate, and a bit of an oak taste.

M: It is a bit sticky and sweet, yet it never gets too thick.

D: This is superb in every way. It is potent but not too noticeable; sweet but in a good way; and boisterous but still balanced and drinkable. Nice.

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Photo of Tone
4.18/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear, amber color. One inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of citrus hops, sweet malt, alcohol, and hint of vanilla. Fits the style of an American Barleywine. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp with an average carbonation level. Tastes of citrus hops, sweet malt, alcohol, dark citrus, and hint of vanilla. Overall, good appearance, body, and feel.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
4.18/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

ok, so the Old Guardian is not new to me..it's darn good. This is the 2010 early release..aged about 3 months in my...uh...cellar. I have 2 more aging.

Looks damn fine. Deep amber, solid. Creamy, off white/light ruby head. Man...bee-ute-if-full. Lacing is thin...so no 5. Oh well.

Aroma is a nice balance of sweet caramel and malt, pine and citrus zest and alcohol. It's powerful. At 11%, the alcohol isn't hidden, but it's well incorporated.

Taste follows the nose. Caramel up front, sweet malt comes into play to introduce the pine and zest. It's a bit slick or syrupy in the feel. The alcohol provides a nice bit, in addition to the hops, at the end. This is nice. Perhaps a bit rough and early for this one....can't wait until the first snow of the winter.

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Photo of CampusCrew
4.18/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance: copper garnett, almost brown

smell: large hop presence, some citrus and pine aroma

taste: very hoppy anf I'm drinking this freash vs lst years at 6 months. This beer probably benfits alot from aging. slightly uncormfortably bitterness and not a very balanced BW

mouthfeel: medium bodied

drinkability: Nice beer, but probably better if aged.

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Photo of boomer31
4.18/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Waited on this one for a bit but really looking forward to it after along week. I loved bastard, oak aged bastard, double bastard, IPA and Ruinition so I expect this to be good.

A - Burnt orange haze with a thin lacing of off white head. Very nice looking b-wine

S - Lots of malt and a touch of hop fruitiness. You get a load of malt which is almost intimidating.

T - Piney hops up front then the carmel malt and more grassy hops in the back. Piney, grassy and a touch of sweet malt and thats it. Very dry finish begs you to drink more. Impressive

M - Carbonated well. Not overly viscous but you can tell there is a lot of malt in this brew.

D - Very tasty and the dry finish really make you want more and more. The hops are really up front and powerful but not overwhelming.

Overall I love this beer. Wish I would have picked up more of these...but I went with multiple RIS instead. Maybe a mistake as this is great.

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Photo of billshmeinke
4.18/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my stone barleywine glass. (From notes)

A: Ruby/copper in color. One finger slightly off white head. Slightly opaque. Real nice lacing.

S: Intense aroma. Dominated by hops. Tropical fruits (grapefruit/pineapple). Caramel malt background. Smells almost like a DIPA.

T: Honey, caramel, and a bit of toffee malt profile up front. Real bitter hop profile comes through as resin, pine and grapefruit. Some alcohol up in there too.

M: Full bodied. Bubbly, quite dry. Crisp clean finish.

D: Well masked alcohol makes for an incredibly drinkable barelywine.

I was a little caught off guard due to the somewhat DIPA characteristics of this beer, but I feel it was a very interesting twist on the style.

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Photo of n0rc41
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this beer in a 22oz bottle. poured into a pint glass

A: Deep red, amber dark wood color. Head was cream color off white, 1.5 fingers thick, good lacing as it went down.

S: strong hop, pine bitter smell.

T: Malts, pine(reminds me of SN celebration ale) bitterness is good, small caramel smell maybe? wood? good smell

M: suprisingly good! nice and almost syrupy thick cream feel, bitter taste, pine, malts what you would expect from this barley wine. oily, goes down great!

D: Its good drink-ability, sipper, I wouldnt though a party with it thats for sure! I could go for another thats for sure! cuz I am already feeling great!

Overall I would say this is a very good, barley wine. I havent had to many barley wines. I got a few more I am getting ready to try this week. So I dont want to say too much. but I like most all stones brews. Cheers!

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Photo of SuperSpy
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Very cloudy copper. If not for the small head that quickly dies down to a nice foam cap I would say that this almost looks like apple cider.

S - Very fruity, sweet and malty. Some dark fruits but also hints of tropicals like starfruit and guava. There is a heavy malty aroma that lets you know this is going to be a BIG beer.

T/M - Very rich deep flavor. A bit of caramel, a woodsy flavor that is reminiscent of the smell of the air in a humid forest. Bits of dark fruits. Cured hickory, but not at all smoky, more like the aroma of the cured wood. Warm alcohol and a dry finish. heavy bodied and almost chewy.

D - An excellent barley wine. I will be cellaring a few bottles of this and revisiting every 6-12 months.

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter from a 22oz bomber.

A - Pours a gorgeous dark amber color with slight haze and muddy hints. a thin .25 inch head that is off-white forms. It is pretty dense and there is active carbonation raising up the glass.

S - Delicious caramel sweetness from the malt. Tons of malt sweetness that is expressed as plums and some nice brown sugar as well. Slight honey and booze as well and a mild grassy aroma form the hops.

T - Crisp citrus blast up front that is nice and intertwined with some caramel sweetness as well as some slight bready malt. Pretty dry finish with the earthy and grassy hops on the back end. The citrus is very strong but delicious and refreshing. Very much an American Barleywine.

M - Crisp complex and full bodied with great face-sucking citrus and nice dry mouthfeel. Very carbonated.

D - Delicious but high in ABV.

Edit: as the beer warms there are some delicious pineapple hints that pop up in the fruit sweetness.

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Photo of Anaz
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Almost looks like honey in the glass, golden, red-orange with a large white head that leaves some sticky lacing.

S-Lots of citrus, very bright with pine, caramel, and some raisiny, brown sugar sweet smells underneath. There is some booziness on the nose.

T- Mandarin and Meyer lemon zest, orange flower water, and pine from the hops with a boozey honey and caramel sweetness that fades into and assertive grassy bitterness with sugar and toasty malts at the finish. A lot of depth that will only become richer with age. I had a 2007 and a 2008 OG a few weeks back, so I know good things will come to those who wait.

M- Boozy, but very nice dry finish, not syrupy or astringent. Nice.

D- Deceptively drinkable, but the alcohol makes itself known, so slow sipping is a must. I hope I can buy a few and keep myself away from them for a few years, but it drinks really nice now with the hops being so prominent.

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Photo of NefariousR
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz. glass bottle into a pint glass. Labeled as "Limited Early 2010 Release."

A - Deep orange amber with a slightly yellowish head that dissipated fairly quickly. Fairly hazy.

S - Malt, sweetness, with some light fruity notes, mostly citrus (Grapefruit). "Bright" aromas.

T - The maltiness hits right upfront, then fades to a sharp hop note, followed by light citrus and warming alcohol.

M - Thick and sticky with little carbonation. Of all the barleywines I have had, this is probably the closet to an actual wine consistency in the mouthfeel.

D - A solid barleywine, deep and complex. I would be interested to try a slightly older bottle to see how this ages.

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Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2010 from Stone Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 203 ratings.