Old Guardian BELGO Barleywine - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 547 | Reviews: 298 | Display Reviews Only:
3.58/5 rDev -1.4%
Presentation: 22oz brown pop top bottle with typical Stone painted label. 2011 vintage, supposedly best by 4-14-11...I guess this was supposed to be drunk young...woops! Poured into a Duvel tulip 3-23-13. This wasn't very popular, from what I remember, but I bought it anyway, as I've been curious what a 'Belgian' barleywine would taste like ever since I heard of 'M' from Midnight Sun.
Appearance: This beer pours a deep orange amber, with glowing burnt orange highlights and good clarity. A dark ivory/light beige cap shows decent stick, especially considering the abv and age.
Smell: Interesting, though I'm not quite sure how I feel about this. Some generic dark fruit, sticky, sweet tropical fruit (especially pineapple), a brief whiff of alcohol, and sticky caramel. Rich, and fairly potent; I'm just not sure if I like it or not.
Taste: It's a bit more balanced on the palate, where the riotous fruit aromas of the nose are not quite replicated. Still fairly big booze here, even after two years. Clean, firm bitterness is still fairly forward as well, though not over-the-top. Moderate brown sugar, caramel, and juicy fruit notes make this somewhat reminiscent of pineapple upside-down cake. Not a ton of depth, and it's a bit strange, but it's not exactly unpleasant.
Mouthfeel: On the heavy side of medium-bodied.
Overall: Certainly not the best barleywine I've ever had, but this certainly isn't bad. I'm not sure how much the 'Belgian' character comes through here...perhaps it's fallen off somewhat over time, or perhaps the tropical/pineapple fruit flavors derive from the Belgian yeast. If I remember correctly, this was between $6.00-7.00 for a bomber, which is a great price for a bottle of barleywine. Overall, not a bad value for the money, and not a bad beer, though I PROBABLY wouldn't pick it up again if it was re-released.
Overall: 83 = B
03-24-2013 02:44:07 | More by BedetheVenerable
3.35/5 rDev -7.7%
22 oz bottle...2011 date...poured in a big tulip shaped Gulden Draak glass.
Pours a copper color with amber head.
Aroma of big malts but a touch of oxidation.
Big carbonation and mouthfeel.
Flavors are overwhelming with oxidation. Yikes...one may say I shouldn't rate an over aged barley wine, but the fact is these get circulated, and amongst geeks/tasters, we want to try aged beers. Stone prides themselves with unique and aged beers and that I respect. Flavors are of a brilliant mix of hops and tasty malts, strong alcohol but not bitter and biting. Lovely brew that should have been poured relatively fresh.
03-11-2013 03:12:41 | More by DenverLogan
Old Guardian BELGO Barleywine from Stone Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 547 ratings.