Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 1,413 | Reviews: 208 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by kojevergas:
2.45/5 rDev -38.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2
1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle (2012 release) with standard pressure cap served into a Guinness goblet in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average; I remember enjoying the 2011 release.
Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.
A: Pours a half finger head of fair cream, decent thickness, and average (~one minute) retention for the style. Colour is a clear dark copper-gold. No floating yeast particles are visible.
Sm: Hops - both floral and bittering, but more towards the bittering end. Malts. Barley. Cream. Not a particularly appealing aroma. There's nothing unique or special about it, and it doesn't get me excited to taste it. Moderate in strength. I'm hoping it's not as hoppy as it tastes.
T: It is. Entirely too hoppy for the style, ruining the balance with wretched bitterness that doesn't at all belong. Clean malts are there alongside simple barley, but no yeast comes through. Some alcohol does. Horribly balanced. Poorly built for a barleywine. I'd vastly prefer complex malt layering with some subtle hop notes and maybe biscuity yeast, but none of that is here. The finish is okay, with some vague fruit hints coming through - but the hops still overwhelm everything.
Mf: Too thick. Wet and smooth, with some coarseness from the hops, lending it an awkward texture that feels somehow hazy. Doesn't complement the flavours well. Adequately carbonated. Weak. A touch watery on the finish.
Dr: A barleywine that demands aging to mellow out its harsh hop notes. I wouldn't have this again unless it was free and had a few years on it. I don't understand hoppy barleywines and I don't know that I ever will. A major disappointment from Stone. Age your bottles if you buy this. Hides its ABV decently. Difficult to drink on account of its severely limited quality.
Wouldn't pair well with food. Doesn't even do well on its own.
I don't know how it would age, but it can only get better. Pray for early hop death.
Serving type: bottle
03-28-2012 00:30:24 | More by kojevergas
More User Reviews:
3.79/5 rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
$7 pint at Boat Works in St. Clair Shores, Michigan.
Seeing this on-tap and loving Stone, I knew I had to try it. I'm not the hugest fan of American Barleywines, but I enjoy them time-to-time. The last one I really liked was Crunkle Sam from Clown Shoes, so this unfortunately gets compared to that.
When I first got it no doubt at a temperature far colder than the recommended temperature, I just zeroed in on the intense bitterness that would be off-putting to many. As it warmed up, it changed a lot, as I expected it to. The rich, plentiful malt character shined through, although there wasn't much sweetness, given this particular style. Massive hop bitterness with a lot of citrus rind characteristics in this one. Lacking on flavor depth, though -- a nice Barleywine-y malt quality that I expect, then the fruitiness from the hops, but nothing too new or original. I really enjoyed, for instance, Crunkle Sam because it offers a distinct orange sort of flavor.
Old Guardian is a very good American Barleywine that certainly doesn't skimp on the hops. The alcohol is reasonably hidden when it's cold, but as it approaches room temperature, you REALLY know what you're getting into. A nice beer -- not a great one, but one worth trying if you like the style, no doubt.
Serving type: on-tap
07-19-2014 02:59:27 | More by Alextricity
Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 1,413 ratings.