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Old Guardian BELGO Barleywine - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Old Guardian BELGO BarleywineOld Guardian BELGO Barleywine

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

541 Ratings
THE BROS
74
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 541
Reviews: 298
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 16.76%
Wants: 18
Gots: 95 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  12.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: HopHead84 on 02-07-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Old Guardian BELGO Barleywine Alström Bros
Ratings: 541 | Reviews: 298 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

4.15/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is how I remember great barleywines to be- deeply resiny, malty rich, and the beverage equivalent to a swift kick to the teeth.

The pour delivers a deep mohogany, dark amber hue but with an unexpected clarity for both intensely hoppy beers and Belgian-style ales. A froathy off-white cap tops the beer but succums to the alcohol and weight of the beer rather quickly, leaving a thin lace around the edge. Light on lacing, the beer displays brandy legging quite proudly.

Barleywine aromas dominate with the bullyish balance of intense malt sweetness and resiny hop perfumes to match. Alcohol and phenolic spice rise as the carbonation settles and the beer begins to warm. Fruitiness could be attributed to the normal procession of American barleywines ro could be a result of the new Belgian yeast. Regardless, the spicy/fruity Belgian notes are there but are cleaner than in more classic Belgian ales- more like those of Flying Dog Ragin' Bitch or Stone's own Cali-Belgique.

Flavors are much more intense than the nose suggests as the malt sweetness takes on proportions of scorched molasass, dry toast, and caramel-rich breads. Hop aggression soon matches the hops with a growing resiny flavor and sharp bitterness- grassy, piney, and acute grapefruit. In the interest of Belgian yeastiness, the beer adopts added, yet understated fruitiness, along with a peppery, medicinal (perhaps a little soapy) phenolic character that creates as many contradictory flavors as they do complimentary. The intense richness of malt and hop resins combine for a minerally, quite salty taste (with a somewhat metalic note).

Rich with a blend of expansive malt and unresolved syrups give sweetness and a fat mid-palate while leaving a savory stickiness on the mouth. Still, the tongue piercing bitterness create the sensation of dryness on the throat. Bitterness is to the extent that questions a grassy astringency. Alcoholic heat gives restrained yet solventy warmth without the fusal character that's expected from a 12% beer.

The mere intensity of hops with spice, alcohol, and deep malts shout complexity, even at the expense of causing difficulty in drinking, even for the most die hard beer advocate.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2011 03:54:22 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of katan
katan

Colorado

4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz into a goblet

A - Pours a dark brown to almost ruby color. Strong mocha colored head formation, breaks down to a film with little lacing. Incredibly clear, brilliant.

S - Strong belgian yeast strain. Some white pepper, cardamom, and just a little fruity esters. A caramel malt sneaks in just behind it.

T - Malty up front, light amount of caramel and toffee. Mid-stream gets a very estery, super strong belgian yeast note. Somewhat sour, sweet and a little bit fruity. Finishes with a strong alcohol warmth that is well retained in the aftertaste. Well this is a belgo-style, I'm surprised the hops played such little a role.

M - Moderate mouth feel, body is strong, somewhat creamy and thick. Carbonation is overwhelmed by it, so hardly a player. Finishes with a little bit of a cloying sugary note.

D - Moderate drinkability - scary abv, very sneaky and well hidden. Slightly filling, a little bit of a sipper.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2011 03:21:48 | More by katan
Photo of Vonerichs
Vonerichs

Illinois

4.13/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It looks like a glass of caramel. Same color, and very murky. 1/2" of fluffy head.

The nose is sweet caramel up front, then settles into heavy banana and clove.

I really enjoyed the taste of this one. It's the perfect combination of barleywine and belgian yeast. Heavy on the caramel sweetness with the belgian attributes of banana and a spicey finish. It's phenolic, but not to much due to the caramel.

Heavy and boozy mouthfeel.

Drinkability is a little tough. On one hand, it's extremely enjoyable due to the complexity of the flavor, but it is heavy. The high abv puts a burn in the chest, too. Definitely a sipper.

As a Stone apologist, I think the "odd beers for odd years" is a great idea and they really proved it with this one. Thankfully, we can have our cake and eat it, too, because we get this and the classic barleywine. I can't wait to see what's in store for the IRS.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2011 03:13:09 | More by Vonerichs
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

3.8/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Stone

A: The pour is a dark amber in color with a finger of off-white head and minimal lacing.

S: Wow, a lot of spice (coriander and pepper) going on here. Lots of phenols with a bit of bubblegum. Quite a bit of booze on the nose and it cannot really be covered up by the caramel and bread.

T: A surprising amount of fruit flavor: banana, pear, and citrus. Like the nose, plenty of spicy phenols. The malt is prominent and is mostly of bread and semi-sweet toffee. Noticeable alcohol flavor as well.

M: The body is medium to full with a moderate level of carbonation.

D: This is significantly better than the previous Belgian Old Guardian, but it's still way too boozy for its own good.

Serving type: on-tap

02-22-2011 18:55:45 | More by womencantsail
Photo of flexabull
flexabull

California

3.9/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a bright copper color, slight haze, and a pretty nice off white head.

Aromas are very yeast dominant, bubblegum, and some booze.

Strong yeast flavors up front, spices, bubblegum, and light creaminess. Finish is dry, with some earthy hop flavors.

Mouthfeel is good, crisp and clean.

Drinkability is ok. It's an interesting tasting beer, but I mostly just get yeast flavors, and not a whole lot else. Worth trying, but I prefer the original version better.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2011 04:47:32 | More by flexabull
Photo of Zorro
Zorro

California

3.9/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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

Smell is distinctly Belgian. Sweet smoky with a spicy yeast aroma this smells strongly of cardamom. Scents of lemon, coriander and black pepper.

Starts out sweet with a cardamom aftertaste. Black pepper, lemon, coriander and a hint of vinegar. Can't taste the ethanol but you can really feel it warm your chest. Smoke and a little honeysuckle in this on.

Mouthfeel is thick.

Drinkability is OK. This one really needs time to develop, not yet ready for prime time.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2011 02:24:01 | More by Zorro
Photo of rye726
rye726

Colorado

4.13/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice to see more Belgo/American fusions. Poured from a 22oz bottle into a snifter at room temp. $7 for the bomber. Nice looking beer, oaky red color wit a silky beige head. Nose has a great fresh hop and peppery Belgian yeast presence over a malty barleywine. Taste is also well complimented by the additional hops and Belgian yeast. Great beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2011 00:51:41 | More by rye726
Photo of Zodijackyl
Zodijackyl

Connecticut

4.53/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22oz bomber split with my brother. It's a February and this is a 2011 release so it is most certainly fresh despite the lack of a freshness date (that I can find).

Pours very dark amber with a thin off-white head. Aroma of sticky barley, somewhat creamy yeast and somewhat medicinal hops. Taste has less astringent bitterness and is less tannic than most heavier barley wines. Very creamy malt - barley and a very creamy taste and feel from the yeast, and perhaps a bit of wheat, or something reminiscent of Belgian wheat beers beyond the yeast. Quite a smooth and malty taste, but lacking the astringency of most barley wines. Mouthfeel is excellent, creamy and smooth. This is the most drinkable strong barley wine I have consumed.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2011 00:55:00 | More by Zodijackyl
Photo of Barleythenred
Barleythenred

Indiana

3.9/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A very decent drinkable brew, specially at 12%, but it is in need for aging. I give it about 3 to 5 years before opening. but other than that it was very good but again time needs to happen to clean out some of that ethanol flavor. Apricots are very apparent at the end. Hops bursting out like an IPA, with a subtle taste of Belgian yeast.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2011 18:39:55 | More by Barleythenred
Photo of corby112
corby112

Pennsylvania

4.18/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this bottle up yesterday and am curious how it stands up to the standard version.

Pours a dark golden orange/amber color with golden blood orange hues when held to a light and a one finger frothy yellowish-beige head. Decent retention, quickly settling into a thick lasting ring that leaves sporadic streaks and spots of lace behind.

Earthy aroma with hints of floral, pine and citrus hops countered by a sweet, slightly leathery malt presence. There's also some boozy sweetness in the nose with hints of light fruit and bubblegum. The citrus rind presence from the hops are nicely complimented by the sweeter bubblegum and fruit notes. The malt becomes more prominent as it warms with caramel, toffee and biscuit. Very interesting and complex smelling. Not as boozy and/or earthy as I expected. I'm really curious to see how the nose will develop with some age.

Full bodied, complex and well balanced with a blast of fresh, dank, oily hops up front that linger throughout over the sweet malt, booze and sweet Belgian yeast notes into a slight dry finish. Nice and dry/bitter up front with hints of floral pine needle countered by sweet citrus fruit flavor, notably pineapple, grapefruit and orange peel. This is quickly countered mid-palate by some subtle boozy heat, sweet malt and Belgian yeast character. The malt is only slightly leathery with hints of caramel, rye, toffee, biscuit and hazelnut. Toward the end of the swallow, the Belgian yeast flavors make an appearance giving off hints of light fruit and subtle bubblegum. I'm picking up some apricot and apple which blend really nicely with the sweet malt flavor and booze.

The ABV is excellently masked with only slight alcohol flavor and subtle warmth in the finish. This beer is dangerously drinkable making it hard to believe that it's 12%. Much smoother and more quaffable than most barleywines with less of an earthy, boozy feel and flavor. The combination of flavors make it extremely complex and unlike most beers I've had in the style. I was a little skeptical of this one but I really enjoyed it. Highly recommended!

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2011 07:48:22 | More by corby112
Photo of FosterJM
FosterJM

California

3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

261st review on BA
Bottle to snifter

App- A nice light red with some pink highlights. A pretty consistent one finger head that didn't last long.

Smell- Take a regular Old Guardian and kick it up with some yeast and funk.

Taste- This was pretty good. It took a while to get used to it but it was a nice blend of flavors. Had some crystal malts with a nice dose of yeast that paired well with the other flavors.

Mouth- A nice medium body with a matching carbonation level. Not too much of a lasting effect. Had that yeasty feel on the back.

Drink- Not a bad re-work of the style. I prefer the original personally.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2011 05:19:21 | More by FosterJM
Photo of BeerFMAndy
BeerFMAndy

Wisconsin

3.68/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle split and poured into a Duvel tulip. 2011 vintage, 12% ABV, Age at Cellar temp (55°F/13°C) or Below. Enjoy by 04-14-11 (which, laughably, has been determined as a typo)

Thanks to my fiancee for nabbing this at Binny's while I was in town!

A - Gorgeous clarity albeit filled with chunky yeast, the beer has a nice golden amber color that's topped by an off-white, poorly retained (alcohol-induced) head. Nice spotty lace is left adorning the glass.

S - Very dry, champagne-like Belgian yeast with light citrusy notes, white grape, earthy clay, and spicy esters. Munich and caramel malt play a nice role as a backbone but there isn't much in the aroma besides yeast.

T - Spicy Belgian yeast overwhelms the flavor with tart, citrusy notes and earthy undertones. The yeast has great qualities to it but it totally overshadows the normally complex malt backbone of OG. Citrusy, spicy hops poke through though.

M - Heavily carbonated and medium-bodied, the Belgo OG feels much thinner than normal. It's also very dry and slightly bitter-finishing, but it's got a very nice feel overall.

D - For 12%, this guy is very drinkable. Belgianized flavor and high alcohol are well done but at the same time the yeast is far too overwhelming and overall it reminds me nothing of a barleywine, especially the Old Guardian, and that's really my only "problem" with it, which I wouldn't say is much of a problem at all. An interesting stab at Belganizing. I'll get one or two more bottles, but they'll be in the cellar for a while. It seems like a beer that'll get better with age.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2011 00:17:57 | More by BeerFMAndy
Photo of xnicknj
xnicknj

Pennsylvania

4.38/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into snifter glass

Pours a transparent deep burnt cherry with golden orange hues. A soft white head fades out into clouds of film with rings and spots of lacing left on the glass.

Plenty of malty presence in the nose with a noticeable Belgian funk followed by soft fruit sweetness. Light alcohol warmth and hop bitterness as well.

A nice punch of pine hops right up front, quickly followed by some sticky bitterness. The Belgian yeast comes right to the forefront with funk and assorted fruit flavors. Pineapple and grapefruit swirl with a bit of acidity. Boozy warmth with caramel and syrupy malt backbone. Finishes bitter, hoppy, and warm.

Fuller body, a bit syrupy and creamy, decent carbonation. This is still a bit hot but is super drinkable considering the ABV and complex taste. I tried this on tap a while ago and wasn't sure how I felt but I'm convinced right now.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2011 07:16:57 | More by xnicknj
Photo of Halcyondays
Halcyondays

California

4.33/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 22 oz. bomber,

A: Pours amber with a medium white head, frothy, good lace.

S: Yeasty, leather, pepper, the Belgain character is overt and inviting.

T: Strong crystal malt flavour overall. The yeast is heavy and truly dominates the beer in a good way. Heavy leather, mushroom and bacon fat with a hint of funkiness, intense and flavourful.

M: Full-bodied, resiny but smooth, easy carbonation.

D: A really good take on the classic Old Guardian. Well worth a pickup, I loved this.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2011 04:42:16 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of brew3crew
brew3crew

Ohio

4.15/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

At jungle jims event with 1arrogantbastard. Had side by side with regular old guardian

A-pours. Deep amber with minimal head
S-funky and sweet. Belgian for sure.
T-tastes a lot like it smells. Belgian and malty. Not too much hops here.
M-medium bodied and pretty smooth
D-nicely drinkable but not as nice as the regular. Dangerous.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2011 04:18:44 | More by brew3crew
Photo of edrachman
edrachman

New Jersey

3.95/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a bomber into a snifter with little white creamy head that leaves nice lacing. Deep amber color with hints of red.

Very dry aroma - presumably from the barley - with malty notes. Exotic fruit (rather than citrus) is in the background of the aroma - but can't exactly place the fruit. The alcohol really comes through.

Taste a fruity malt. There is a dryness as well. The Belgian yeast is definitely discernible in the taste, but a little tough to describe.

The mouthfeel is nice - good amount of carbonation and a certain smoothness that goes down nicely. The malt flavor makes the beer a little less drinkable than ideal, but otherwise top notch.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2011 02:49:33 | More by edrachman
Photo of rdilauro
rdilauro

Connecticut

3.3/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a golden glow with little head. The two aromas I picked up was malt and citrus/honey. It was a very big beer, full, not very carbonated.
It was very soft, almost too soft. Too malty for my taste and the finish was somewhat boring.
I wish that the barley was match with some stronger hops and more flavor

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2011 01:34:38 | More by rdilauro
Photo of cpetrone84
cpetrone84

Pennsylvania

3.43/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on draft at the Stone Total Tap Takeover in Baltimore.

A-pours a transparent orangish amber color with an off white dense and creamy head.

S-the nose brings light notes of yeast, very citric aromas, orange peels with notes of caramel malt backbone.

T-caramel malts and light notes of brown sugar set a foundation. this gives way to a nice spicy yeast. a big time citric hop presence is strong in the back adding orange peels with a hint of pine. the finish has a moderately aggressive bitterness to it.

M-medium body, very syrupy with a slightly muffled palate and medium to light carbonation.

D-tasty and balanced, nice amount of spice with enough malt body. the typical huge hop presence in the back.

Serving type: on-tap

02-18-2011 18:22:05 | More by cpetrone84
Photo of sweemzander
sweemzander

Illinois

3.2/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

on tap at the Barley House. Poured into a snifter.

(A)- Pours a caramel colored amber and produced a minimal but present white cap of foam that stuck around for a bit.

(S)- Very dry with a mineral-like yeasty bite. Bits of fig and caramel.

(T)- Similar to the smell. Very yeasty. That belgian yeast strain rlly takes center stage with some caramel and fig bits in the far background.

(M)- A good carbonation level to it. The one plus to the overpowering dry yeast is that it really covers up the 12% this carries along with the hop addition.

(D)- All in all an interesting take on Old Guardian, however I far prefer the regular version to this. I would be curious to see how this one would age, but from what I am seeing in this glass, I would be hard pressed to buy a bottle if the regular was next to it on the shelf.

Serving type: on-tap

02-18-2011 03:49:14 | More by sweemzander
Photo of IKR
IKR

California

3.35/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Medium amber-red color with small light brown head.

Smell -Citrus hop overtones with a slight musk from the Belgian yeast. Some alcohol also comes through.

Taste - Moderate citrus flavors, with some some toffee/dark sugar flavors. The Belgian musk present in the smell also makes an appearance. The hop bitterness and alcohol are the main players in the finish.

Mouth-feel -Decent body with light carbonation.

Drink-ability - Decent for a 12% ABV beer.

I'm not a hop head and to my tastes, for the last 2 years, Old Guardian seems to have been brewed for those whose tastes lean towards DIPAs. I prefer a more balanced or malt-centered beer and need to seek out the English-style Barley Wines if the trend for American-style Barley Wines to taste like DIPAs continues.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2011 05:25:12 | More by IKR
Photo of emmasdad
emmasdad

Colorado

4.15/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Saw this one on the shelf last night at Argonaut Liquors, and figured I should give it a go. Poured a medium amber color with a finger or so of tan foam on top. Aromas of Belgian yeast, oranges and cloves. On the palate, this one is medium bodied and way to drinkable for its alcohol content. Slightly phenolic, with Belgian yeast, some hops and a lingering bitter finish. A very good beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2011 04:23:05 | More by emmasdad
Photo of patm1986
patm1986

New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into Duvel snifter

the beer has an impressive head for a barleywine: very thick and sea-foamy, it retains much like a barleywine, less like a brew with such head regularly would. the cream-colored lace settles after a swirl and a sitting for a few moments. the color of this beer is a beautiful, reddish-brown, like mahogany.

it smells of honey, grapes, raisins, some ambiguous berry, and that all-too-familiar belgian yeast sourness. alcohol coasts underneath, but mildly.

it tastes unlike any barleywine i've had. it's sour, then sweet, then the carbonation explodes with the honey and sharpness of yeast. it has a casecade and simcoe bitterness in the middle there that plants some serious hop-pop.

it's thin-bodied. i haven't tasted a barleywine this light that has such complex characteristics. it's so smooth, and that's a total testament to the yeast; it veils the abv and the hop-forwardness incredibly. this beer just flows through your palate and down the hatch.

at 12 abv, it's a tall order, but the flavor and body deceive that detail. this is a wildly interesting take on the style for me; the belgian yeast really makes everything that seems out of the genre feel like it should be involved invariably. this is beautiful.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2011 03:47:19 | More by patm1986
Photo of TIJAE
TIJAE

Connecticut

4.35/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at A&P in Old Lyme for dinner at the Cove - served with a potluck-a-palooza with the Tuesday night gang - Dave's Quiche, Doug's Spinnach, Dan's Stuffed Mushrooms, Jon's Spagetti Casserole, and mini Valentine's cupcakes...
Appearance: Red, with a hint of brown

Smell: Gin soaked olive with juniper berry

Taste: Roasted grain with a long aftertaste that melts in your mouth. It tastes like a freakin' martini - dirty, with a lot of vermouth and olives. That's all we can say about it.

Mouthfeel: Smooth. that's it.

Drinkability: Only in small servings - chill first then swirl in a wide bottom glass until room temperature.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2011 02:55:34 | More by TIJAE
Photo of aval89
aval89

California

4.25/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: dark copper.. nice soft off white head..

S: white grape peel.. light biscuits.. yeast spiciness.. some dark fruits.. slight apricot/banana..

T: apricot/banana.. slight white wine characteristics.. spiciness from the belgian side.. very mild dark fruits.. there is a slight bitterness from the hops but the spiciness is a little overpowering.. also some candy sugars.. wow this brew is very robust & complex.. tasty.. its like a tripel mixed with a barley wine..

Mf: full bodied but smooth.. leaves your mouth a bit warm from both the spiciness & booze..

D: this thing is amazing!.. but with the abv/rough mf it might be a little hard to swallow for some.. but for me this thing was great! A nice way to end the night..

Overall, I was greatly impressed with this!!

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2011 09:23:43 | More by aval89
Photo of ThreeWiseMen
ThreeWiseMen

California

3.83/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

4oz. pour from bottle during Stone's Winter Storm. The following review is based on notes taken Thursday, February 10, 2011.

Served in a fluted tulip.

Appearance: Crystal clear, deep reddish-amber body with a big layer of khaki froth on top. Head retains as a moderate-sized crown for the entire session and drags tons of web-like lace.

Smell: Pine battles banana, clove, and bubblegum - smells a lot like a fresh Belgian IPA. Molasses lays down a solid base. The mix of strong aromas masks the alcohol pretty well.

Taste: Banana and bubblegum come forth first, then shortbread, and then a wave of pine and alcohol. Molasses and caramel are surprisingly subdued - apparently not bold enough to hang with the other flavors. Flowery esters peek through in an intensely hot and bitter finish. Bold throughout. Needs time to cool off.

Mouthfeel: Starts full and creamy with fine, rolling carbonation; finishes hot, dry, and bitter. Fresh Old Guardian sort of walks the line between pleasure and pain, though it's leaning more toward the pain end at this point. Still, I'm diggin it.

Drinkability: Intense and hot when fresh, just like the regular version. I'd love to try this in a year or two, but right now 4oz. is more than enough.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2011 18:32:25 | More by ThreeWiseMen
Old Guardian BELGO Barleywine from Stone Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 541 ratings.