StoneWall Ale | Stone Brewing

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StoneWall AleStoneWall Ale

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.80%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by drewbage on 06-12-2006

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 44 | Ratings: 86
Photo of Bankhead
4.62/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

quite a treat to try

pours a deep opaque amber with a lively ring and sparkly lacing and touches of foam on top of a still body that belies its strength

smells like a caramel apple and deeper whiffs reveal the fruit-popping yeast and some hop residue

tastes delicious and rich with caramel, sherry oxidation, amaretto, refined liquors with a sticky toffee center

the mouthfeel is where this takes off

it clings to every inch of the palate and the prickly hop wave in the finish leads you into the next sip

perfect age and glad i opened this now as the maturity of the beer is apparent but just right

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Photo of vacax
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one poured a delicate burnt orange color, brilliant clarity, small head but good retention. Aromas of orange, apple butter, honey, maple, and prickly bitterness. The taste has a citrus sweetness to it next to some alcoholic heat, and the finish has more of these plus a nice cookielike malt element. This one is simple yet so elegant right now, really really good. Moderate to full bodied, viscous with smooth low-moderate carbonation. This is drinking beautifully, the flavors are sharp and distinctive instead of being a huge malt or hop bomb. This would be a nice one to revisit periodically, if it were at all possible.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.4/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: The pour is a burnt amber color with a mild off-white head. The clarity is amazing on this beer.

S: Typical barleywine nose of toffee, caramel, and brown sugar. Surprisingly, there's still plenty of grapefruity citrus present after quite a long time.

T: The flavor follows the nose fairly well. The sweetness is certainly there, but it is balanced very nicely by the still substantial hop bitterness. The hops are piney with a slight bitter grapefruit note which works well with the caramel and toffee.

M: Medium in body with a fairly abundant carbonation for a barleywine.

D: I'm very glad to have had the opportunity to try this beer. A very nice barleywine that seems to be holding up very well. Thanks to Stone for putting this out for winter storm.

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Photo of SanDiegoBeerLove
4.2/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on Tap at Stone on 2/7/2010.

A - Darker Amber color with light head that fades nicely and good lacing.

S - Chocolate, Carmel, Honey, and Toffee.

T - Tastes start with Caramel, Alcohol, Honey and Bitterness. Next Tastes of hops, spice, and baked apple show. This is an excessive barleywine that is meant to age.

M - Medium/Full body and good carbonation. Alcohol(burning feeling) is very apparent in the mouth.

D - This beer is very high in alcohol Taste and Smell. I hope they have more to age for a couple more years, maybe at a higher temp.

I had this beer while nursing a cold and I would say this is the best cold medicine out there. It cleared up my cold for the rest of the day. Thank You

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Photo of HopHead84
4.62/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


48oz consumed on tap at Stone Winter Storm 2010. It appears deep crimson suffused with amber and a thick beige cap.

The nose is a well balanced blend of toffee sweetness and citrus hops, most notably grapefruit. The hop presence is formidable. Alcohol is well hidden and sweetness is present yet restrained. An earthy character is noticeable, as well as caramel and brown sugar.

The flavor is more aggressive than the bottle I tried a few months back, but I imagine this was cold stored so it hasn't been afforded a normal rate of aging. That being said, this somewhat younger and hoppier iteration is quite nice. Bitterness is at an upper moderate level and alcohol is unabashed. Hops are pine and grapefruit and they are well balanced against the rich toffee and caramel. This is fantastic stuff. I prefer this tap version to the bottle I tried. Awesome American barleywine.

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Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.88/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Drinking this as we speak at Stone Winter Storm at 9am. What an awesome brew.

Such a nice light tan head with amazing sticky lace. A somewhat darker barleywine but not super. Just carmelized look.

Smells of sweet sugar, caramel, honey, citrus. A little bit of hop aroma left.

Taste is awesome. Sweet but not too sweet. More like a sugary sweet. There are caramel, honey, malty goodness flavors going on. The finish has a nice hop bitterness that is not too strong. Amazing.

Mouthfeel is perfect. A light carb that is perfect for this beer. And it is suprisingly thinner than I expected. Which is good.

Overall I am very glad I got to try this beer. I'm gunna ge one more then on to others.

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Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2006 special 3 liter "one off" that was done for charity and in support of Stone's charity wall.

Pours a dark clear amber with a nice white head. Head held and appearance is nice.

Assertive banana and stone fruit nose; sweet floral and fruit nose. Some coffee and yeast character. Nose shows some alcohol "sweetness" that should not be confused with a fruit or malt character - it's alcohol although not offensive.

Mouthfeel is big bodied and rich with a bit of a whisky/bourbon feel and character. Carbonation is good (perhaps a bit much initially but it seems to "tame down" in the glass.

Flavors follow nose with nice malt character; lovely balance, character and flavors of rich malt, yeast and hints of coffee, fruit and pine with a nice unexpected hop finish.

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Photo of d0ggnate
4.83/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I never thought I would get the opportunity to try this beer, but it presented recently and I jumped at the chance with some fellow BAs. Thanks to those who made this tasting possible.

Opened the 3L growler at Stone today. An exciting pop of the flip top let me know that this one remained well carbonated over the last couple years.

A: Poured a rich amber / mahogany to my 8oz snifter. This beer held a beautiful color, almost like a autumn maple leaves. A solid single finger layer of off-white head faded in just a few minutes to only rim the glass.
S: Slightly boozy, but a pronounced sweet, caramel aroma entices me. Also picked up vanilla notes and a roasty characteristic.
T: Fantastically smooth. Clean malt flavor. Stronger than expected hop presence surprised me. More caramel and toffee tastes. Vanilla mixed in the complexity.
M: Well-rounded and very balanced.
D: Extreme drinkability. I would never know this one was 12.2% ABV by drinking it. Despite being a bit boozy on the nose, this one warmed up and drank so easily. I would jump at the chance to try this one again.

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Photo of mikedashg
4.38/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 3L Growler of this was available to a select few at Stone Winter Storm event 2009 Sunday 01/25/09. I was honored to partake in it. I was told this had been stored in someone's fridge who wasn't much of a beer drinker. Being that this was a special and very limited brew, they thought this would be a good time to bring it and share it. The money that was collected was said to be going to a charity. Thank you Greg K and Heather for this once in a life time chance to sample this limited brew with age on it.

Poured by Greg Koch into a taster glass. Copper/carmel in color with very little head. Age has done this one well! The ABV was completely masked by a sweet candy carmel toffee brown sugar taste. It was not bitter, spicy, or hot at all. I wish I could've tried this fresh, and then now with years of age. This was the sweetest Stone Brewing Company brew I've ever tasted. In fact, it's one of the sweetest brews PERIOD that I've ever tasted. Light and very smooth/creamy mouthfeel and light to moderate carbonation.

If this is a barleywine, Stone needs to come out with this again, "Older Gardian?" I would love to try it fresh and then age it like I tried it to get me some more. I know it will probably never happen, but one can dream can't I?

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Photo of hopdog
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared courtesy of kumquat (you know who you are!).

Poured a medium copperish color with a smaller sized off white head. Aromas of nuts, toasted malts, caramel, dark fruits, and vanilla. Tastes of brown sugar sweetness, dark fruits, toasted nuts, caramel, and molasses. Light alcohol finish. Nice...I'm waiting to see that Photo Mike

Notes from 6/27/08

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Photo of joquiroz
4.64/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great beer!

I am part of the Stone VIPs, which at this point doesn't matter since there are no VIP events anyway :( however, I was part of the first group of people to try out this beer at the StoneWall event. The beer was indeed high in alcohol, however to be a Stone Beer, it was very different, not very bitter.

Please bear with me since I drank this beer in September 2006 (I think)

Aroma: molasses.
Taste: sweet, not bitter at all.
Mouthfeel: high gravity at the end.
Drinkability: I would drink this beer over and over if it was offered all the time.

I found some similarities between Stone's 10th anniversary IPA and this beer, again, please bear in mind we were only allowed about 1/2 glass of this beer at the StoneWall party and that was a long time ago.

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Photo of rallison
3.95/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Stone Winter Storm.

Dark brown/orange with not too much of a head. Very rich flavor. Brandy-ish, with some dark fruits, toffee flavors and brown sugar. Lots of good flavors swirling around. Alcohol is definitely present at this point. Mouthfeel is very full and rich. Drinkability is not very high yet. Alcohol needs to mellow and the flavors need to come together a little more. However, this should make for one fine ale in a couple years time (for the few who have bottles they can age). As of right now, a thoroughly enjoyable, but somewhat hot, after dinner drink.

Recommended, especially in a couple years time.

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Photo of Westsidethreat
4.08/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Stone Winter Storm

A: Orange marmalade color with blood orange like streaks. Appears raw and unfiltered. Head is sandy white...sparse across the top with a decent ring around the glass.

S: Toffee, hazelnut and red apple.

T: Begins very seasoned, almost like pumpkin pie spices. Lots of brown sugar, poached apple, toffee and cinnamon. Has some sweet potato flavors with a vegetable roundness to it as well as a substantial amount of toasted barley. This is like an imperial oktoberfest with dashes of vanilla and butterscotch. Some serious alcohol esters going on here, but I don't get the impression they are trying to hide it. And its really friggin' bitter...its bitter like peppers are spicy. Finishes with hints of banana, caramel, oatmeal and nutmeg.

M: Full body with a syrupy mouthfeel.

D: This beer is WAY too hot. Needs at least two more years for the alcohol to chill and the flavors to meld.

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Photo of ReDave
4.08/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I was lucky to be able to attend this party at Stone Brewery. Thank you Eyedrinkale! If i knew then what i know now, i would have spent at least the 250, just so i could take some of this home.
We only received one half glass per guest. It was darker than i expected, but not as dark as some barley wines. Nice darkish head that left a Very sticky lace all the way down. I have to admit i was expecting more hops, probably due to the huge build-up, but truly i was not let down. It seemed reminiscent of Bigfoot. Would love to taste them side by side.
Great Job Stone.

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Photo of imblane
4.4/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I was fortunate to have this one on tap at the Stone Wall party. My wife does not drink beer, so I got her taster ticket as well!!! Score! The dark orange hued appearance was quite nice in the 10th Anniversary pint glass that Stone provided. Nice stong dark ale appearance with a sweet malty and alcohol nose to it. I thought the mouthfeel was almost perfect, but I am biased heavily towards almost any Stone product. Sweet creamy, remarkably un-hoppy for a Stone product, but finished with a warming alcohol bite. As the beer warms these flavors come alive and the alcohol announces it's presence. This is certainly not a session type beer, but I look forward to cellaring my 3 bottles and sharing it at the "appropriate" time. Too bad this won't be available in the future.

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Photo of tfasano
4.07/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I travelled all the way from Northwest Indiana for the stone wall party, and the ale served was quite interesting.

A strong, potent brew at 12.2 percent. Very sweet taste at first sip, but good alcohol finish and familar Stone hoppiness. Only had half a pint at the party, the 22 oz. bottle chilling in my fridge shall be interesting, after some aging.

Good stone brew, after a 22 oz. though Im sure the alcohol would catch up with me, so this is an excellent brew to share and enjoy with another.

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Photo of Boolshot
4.17/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I was lucky enough to go to the Stonewall party thanks to Winomark. Made the drive from the San Fernando Valley, mainly just to try this beer.

Had to wait until 1pm, and was 3rd in line. They only served 1/2 a glass, in a Stone pint glass. Poured a dark reddish brown, large head that lasted a little while.

Smell was sweet, with the alcohol showing its strong ABV. I didn't get a bottle, but was told it was 12.2%

The taste was kind of strong, I am not one to name all the flavors as many reviewers do, one day I may be that good, but still learning. It reminded me of Old Guardian, but with more of a hoppy finish. Tasted similar to some "Old Ales" I have had. It should age well, hopefully I will get a chance to get a bottle somehow.

I like the strong beers, and at 12.2% this is a great one. It is too bad it won't be available. I am lucky to have had this one, thanks to Stone for another great beer.

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Photo of OStrungT
4.03/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this beer on tap at the StoneWall release party. I doubt I will ever see any more of this, with the exception of the bottle I have, so I was very happy to have got the chance to try this one.

This beer pours an orage brown color. It sported a thick light brown head that fades slowly, leaving many laces.

This beer has a plesent sweet malty caramel aroma. This beer has a slightly spicy cinimon like aroma. Also, some citrus hops are present. The alcohol content is slightly noticable in the aroma.

This beer tastes very syrupy sweet. A strong caramle flavor is present. It has a citrusy hop flavor, mixed in with a sublte spicy flavor. I was slightly surprised how mild the hop profile was.

This full bodied beer leaves a very syrupy sweet aftertaste. The alcohol warms slightly as it goes down. This beer is highly carbonated, but not so much that it matters.

I dont think that even if this beer was available it would make a good session beer. The alcohol content is high. That would make drinking too many a problem. Also, the flavor is quite aggressive, and a little too sweet. I am very happy to have had this probably once in a life time experience.

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Photo of drewbage
4.72/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled on tap at the Stone "StoneWall" celebration party for donors to the StoneWall Charity Project. For availability notes, this is, in theory, one of the few times that the StoneWall ale will be on tap.

Poured into a standard american cheater pint, the beer (only a half pint!) billowed with a large tan head over a rich burnished copper caramel beer. There is a surprising amount of carbonation rolling through the beer as it continues to bubble through the beer for the hour it took for me to finish my sample.

Aromas are a bit mellow with the beer chilled to pale ale/ipa temp, but as the beer warms up the aroma begins to open up with a low hop spice mingling with a burst of vanilla and cinnamon over a orangey caramel malt.

The flavor follows suit with a similiar gentle hop profile (from Stone?) that isn't assertive even during the coldest sample period. Rich, clean and bright while only being slightly sweet. The spice and tannic notes of oak meld well against the malt and provide the break needed to keep the beer from being cloying.

The finish is smooth and amazingly warming, richly coating the palate without seeming heavy and being gentle with it's payload of 12.8% without burning like rocket fuel.

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StoneWall Ale from Stone Brewing
4.33 out of 5 based on 86 ratings.
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