Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2010 | Stone Brewing

BA SCORE
91
outstanding
334 Ratings
THE BROS
81
good
Read the review
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2010Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2010
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States
stonebrewing.com

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.10%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by northaustin on 02-13-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ratings:
334
Reviews:
202
Avg:
4.12
pDev:
9.71%
 
 
Wants:
11
Gots:
85
For Trade:
6
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 334 |  Reviews: 202
Photo of prototypic
3.9/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The 2010 release of Old Guardian is an attractive copper color. It's a little hazy, and looks somewhat crimson when held to light. A light, off-white head covers it. It only rises to about a finger and falls quickly. Lacing was very sticky, and moderate in volume.

The nose is fairly standard for an Old Guardian release. It's good. There's some caramel malt at the center, adding plenty of sweetness to the mix. A hint of dark fruit resonates throughout. Smells like raisin and fig to me. Hops are quite prominent. The smell predominantly piney, with a touch of floral/earthy qualities. Alcohol is definitely in the mix. Smells a tad boozy if you ask me. No huge surprises.

The flavor is good. The caramel malt base is a little sweet, and is notable early on. However, it seems to fade once the hops attack. They're definitely piney, and have an earthy quality. It's very bitter. Not much balance here. I'm a fan of hoppy Barleywines, so that works for me. Dark fruit flavors of raisin and fig are subtle and secondary. They add some nice depth. Alcohol is aggressive and warm. I wouldn't say it's hot, but it's not far off. Finishes bitter and earthy.

Old Guardian has a medium body that seems to grow a little more chewy with warming. Carbonation is light, and it is fairly smooth. Drinkability is above average. This is an aggressive American Barleywine that' s big, badass, and takes no prisoners. It's a sipper to be sure. Nonetheless, I am enjoying it.

I think I've gotten past the point of expecting a surprise from Old Guardian. For an annual release that warrants a new profile each year, there's a surprising consistency to the brand. It's a good American Barleywine that I enjoy every year. Having said that, it is quite aggressive in its youth. The 2010 release is no different. Eh. Check it out and see for yourself.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Haven't drank this one in awhile and decided to crack it pretty fresh. Pours into my glass a lovely deep ruby red with good clarity and a quarter inch of khaki foam on the top. Aromas start off with a dense mix of sweet caramel, molasses, brown sugar and a good dose of fruitiness as well. Hops kick in a resinous piney undertone with some earthy floral accents as well. Great depth in the aroma. A little lighter on the hops than previous years if I recall.

First sip brings sweet dense caramel malts upfront intertwining with an array of fruit, toffee and brown sugar. Piney, slightly floral hops kick in with some nice resinous accents and a solid bitterness that helps to counteract the malt sweetness. Alcohol is there on the finish to let you know it's not playing around.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with a great viscosity and carbonation. Quite easy to drink given the fact that this packs quite an ABV punch. On the sweeter side but not overly so and the bitterness does a good job of working out some of the sweetness. Overall, a tasty barleywine and I'll look forward to seeing how it ages.

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Photo of matty
3.53/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Amber colored beer with a rapidly fading head.Aroma is caramel and dark fruits.Taste is pine,sugar cane,alcohol,dark fruits and caramel malts.Heavy bitter aftertaste.Overall a decent beer that isn't hopped to death like some of their other beers.I enjoyed it and would recommend and purchase again.

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Photo of MbpBugeye
3.95/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An earlier vintage of this was my first Barleywine. I havent had thins since I started reviewing, but nows the time.

A- A ruddy red color that is moderately clear. The head is a brassy color. I love when the labels on the bottle use colors that match the colors of the beer inside. This one does that nicely. The body is nearly the color of the red ink and the head is very close to the color of the gold ink.

S- Lots of malts and hops. It is pretty strong on hops. Alcohol is also abundant. Lots of fruity ale characteristics. Raisins, toffee, wood, pine, citrus and a hairspray smelling astringency.

T- This is a real hoppy barleywine but that is to be expected. The taste follows the nose but with much much more strength in the hops. The beer starts off nice and malty rich and full of fruits and toffee. The hops break up that party with A LOT of pine and very bitter grapefruit rind and a touch of sweeter pineapple. Alcohol comes around at the end with the hops. This beer finishes very very bitter.

M- Very resinous and palate coating. It will easily ruin your mouth for the day. I need a glass of water with this one.

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Photo of StoneBrewFanatic
4.4/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Deep red in color, fantastic head and thick lace left in the glass.

S - Smells of sweet caramel malts, brown sugar, and hops.

T - Sweet caramel, toffee, brown sugar, sweet dried fruit, hops and alcohol, all blended together perfectly in sweet harmony!

M - Syrupy, coats the mouth with malty goodness, medium carbonation and sticky.

D - Love this beer and look forward to trying it every year! Enjoy!

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Photo of magine
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a nonic glass.

Pours a cloudy dark tea like colored amber, with an off white pillow like fluffy head. Head retention is excellent and the lacing is excellent. Head stays thick and fluffy throughout; rings the glass beautifully.

Brew smells of big sweet barley malts, and multiple hops and yeast. Huge barley malt nose, with an excellent hop presence in there as well; floral, citrus. Very tasty smell.

Brew is very smooth, creamy and velvety, has a massive barley malt flavor. Has the hops in the aftertaste. Slightly sweet, finishes slightly dry and a little bitter. A huge flavorful brew. Brew has multiple hop flavors, fruits, floral and then the yeast and barley. Mmmmm...Tremendous stuff.

Wow - this is top shelf stuff; big, bold and flavorful. As me and my real "bro" would say this is a brew that hits you in the jaw and makes you notice. At 11% alcohol, sip and enjoy. A very easy drinking excellent looking brew. Only a slight presence of alcohol is detected. Stone is world class.

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Photo of Foxtrot
4.37/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've held off on reviewing this one, letting the bomber gain a little age on it. Paired it with some Stilton.

Pours a decadent ruby/orange body with an abundance of foam, tight bubbles slowly recedes into a beautiful lacing that is none other than world class.

Aroma is of sticky pine resin, a dash of floral hops to round it out. Its not the hops that stand out, but the sweet barley malts that really take the cake here. Perhaps even some orange peel or tangerine on the back end.

Stone continues to impress me time and time again. Slight bitterness and carbonation hit the front and sides of the tongue, floral hops take center stage mid palate with a dazzling array of pine, bitterness, and all things hops. Then to round all things off is the impressive malt balance. Modest sweetness to balance out the hop bitterness, and adds a big sticky feeling on the teeth and tongue. Finish was also exceptionally smooth but with linger aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is thick, of course. Anything less would be unworthy. Thick and viscous to a high degree, not IRS thick but just a tad under.

Drinkability is good, other than the liver loving 11.1% ABV, it is a pleasure to enjoy during the cooler season. Heck it even does well in warmer weather as well

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Photo of Vengeance526
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark orange amber color with a thick tan head that has great retention and leaves light lacing.

Nice aroma that starts off very malty with brown sugar and caramel but soon shows a hoppier side with clear hints of citrus and pine. A little alcohol is detected.

Taste again starts off with sweet caramel and follows with grapefruit and lemony notes along with some spicy and piney hops. Alcohol is a little more prevalent in the taste but isn't overwhelming.

Smooth mouthfeel with a slightly sticky finish. A great barleywine. Alcohol becomes an issue after a while but this is flavorful enough that you don't pay much attention to its strength.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.45/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap 6/19/10 at Track 84 in Warwick, RI, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep reddish brown color, with a large light tan head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malts, brown sugar, dark fruit and a good amount of hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of caramel, brown sugar and dark fruits. Then a strong but not over-powering hops presence comes in along with a significant alcohol sting. The malt character is hearty and creates a good balance. The after-taste is sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is sticky.

D: Very tasty, goes down dangerously easy, slightly filling, strong kick, very good representation of style, with each year's release this beer continues to be a very good high-octane beer to drink for as long as you handle it.

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Photo of thain709
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Served with an orange-amber body...a very thin head to begin and spotty retention...not much lacing

S - The nose was nice...sweet aromas with a syrupy texture to it...the hops, as in most Stone beers, were very pronounced and had citrus and pine aromas going on

T - This barleywine was very well balanced...the sweetness dominated in the beginning with lots of caramel malts...the hops show up at the end for a long, bitter finish...but the two of them join in the middle and play off of each other nicely...alcohol provides a warming finish when swallowed

M - Medium bodied...syrupy, smooth, nice push from the nitro

D - This was a decent barleywine...the alcohol was very evident which hinders a little but I think the balance of the flavors make up for it

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Photo of beerdrifter
3.85/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up at a great beer store, Tops Liquor, while at a conference in Phoenix. Clear copper pour with a big caramel colored head and nice lacing. Malty caramel, toffee and brown sugar in the nose with a bit of orange and hints of dark fruit. Nice spicy, bitter hop bite right off the bat. Sweet candy, dark fruit and some tangerine add to the balance. I'm also getting a touch of soap aftertaste. The alcolhol is pretty well hidden for a barleywine. Chewy mouthfeel is nice which adds to its drinkability, if there's such a thing as drinkability for a barleywine. One bomber is more than enough for me. A bit disappointing seeing that I'm such a huge Stone fan. But still a nice barleywine.

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Photo of hoplover82
4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear amber color with a medium off white creamy head that has very good retention and lacing.

The aroma is strong with caramel and toffee at the forfront and some resinus hops in the back. Slightly on the dark fruits side as well.

The flavor is much like the smell with lots of caramel and toffee and some resinous piney hops in the back with some alcohol bite.

The mouthfeel is huge and sliky on this one. Sweet but not cloying due to the huge hop bitterness. Finishes very smooth.

Drinks very well with a nice hoppy aftertaste that lingers forever. I would buy this again.

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Photo of hdofu
4.12/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not at all what I expected from barleywine... maltier... hoppy as all heck... but very very enjoyable. Smell is somewhat piney. Sweet with an intense bitter finish. color purple reddish with a thin pillowy head. It tastes quite drinkable though the alcohol burn is quite noticeble

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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.

 764 characters

Photo of Wasatch
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to ybnorml for this brew.

22oz. Bomber

Pours a nice dark copper color, nice carbonation, nice creamy one-finger tan head, with some nice small islands and sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with a good dose of hops, slight citrus, and some spice notes. The taste is sweet malts, hoppy, slight caramel, citrusy. Medium body, this is a pretty complex barleywine. Very drinkable, glad to get this one. Thanks Wayne.

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Photo of Briken
4.4/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear red amber with full tan head. Aromas of floral, tea and barley aroma with a little alcohol note. A whole range of flavors from tea and brown sugar to sweet barley, hazlenuts and chocolate. A nice scotch-like finish with a good mouth coating that doesn't build up the more you drink.

Stone is able to make their barleywine smooth and drinkable but still have the bite and feel of a good barleywine. The flavors blend together so well and leave with just a hint of alcohol which is quite good considering the ABV. A very fine sipping beer.

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Photo of obywan59
4.87/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

THANK GOD! My Kroger store got some Old Guardian in. None at all last year, and that was after I'd purchased an Old Guardian glass. Now, I can give my glass a proper christening.

Pours a deep amber, but mahogany against a dark background, and more like fruit juice (cherry) when held up to the light. Almost transparent. Towering light-tannish head from a pour into the bottom of the glass. Almost no lacing.

BIG aroma of syrupy malt and flowery hops. Some wonderful caramel, dark fruits, and citrus as well.

Sweet malt up front with some light bitterness that quickly grows and becomes stronger and more floral before settling down to a nice laaastiiing bitterness in the end. A bit of heartburn (and gutburn) from the ABV.

The brew clings nicely to the tongue enhancing the flavor retention. Syrupy, but not overly sticky.

I suppose the drinkability is hampered by the 11.3% ABV, but then, who can really complain about that?

I know this is rated on the high side, but I really love this beer! The '08 version (not reviewed) was my favorite beer of all time (for nearly 2 years) until I sampled Firestone 13, but this one equals the Firestone in my estimation. The only beer I've rated higher is DFH The Flying Mouflan. Perhaps that was a mistake.

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Photo of BigMike
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my trusty tulip glass. Aa dark brown with lots of cranberry like redness throughout. About a 1/2 inch worth of creamy tan head.
Smell is big on everything. Huge malts,huge hops. Lots of citrus, pine,caramel, darks figs and prunes.

On the mouth you're first hit with the citrusy hops and then the spice kicks in followed but a ton of sweet caramel and dark sticky fruits.Alcohol is definitely in forefront on this badboy. It's hard to mask the heat from 11.10% abv. I would imagine a few years in the cellar would mellow this out but then the hoppy goodness i love about it would also be faded.

Mouthfeel is full bodied for sure. Thick, creamy,smooth and pretty well balanced as far as bitterness and sweetness goes.

Overall a tasty Barleywine. I had no trouble finishing the bomber but i did feel the effects. Could probably stand a little aging. This is a pretty young bottle.

Notes: Review taken from notes written on 5-25-10

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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 ajbick
4.47/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours copper with white fluffy head.

Smells of citrus and earthy hops. Slight malt aroma.

Taste has a nice balance of malt and hoppiness. Malt up front with bitter hop finish.

Good mouthfeel. Carbonated, but not too much.

Drinkability is great. Very easy to drink. Big beer, but not too heavy.

Overall, a great beer. Great hop and malt balance. Somewhat deceptive in the alcohol content - doesn't seem like a 11% abv beer.

I highly recommend this beer.

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Photo of berpwillie
4.52/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a cloudy copper orange color with spare white head and spare lacing. soft carbonation. very sweet and tart, citrus hints in the flavor, seems to be very sugary. medium body and long flavor duration. tart chalky and bitter finish. absolutley fantatsic brew. stone definitely knows how to make a fine brew. highly recommend.

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Photo of NahpunGnome
4.45/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Early 2010 Release bottle poured into a Chimay goblet.

A - Light brown/copper with no head.

S - I get peaches, dried apricots, and prunes.

T - Prunes, some citrus, and hops. It's pretty sweet and the hop bitterness balances the sweet pretty well. Not much alcohol taste at all.

M - It's a bit thick, which I would expect given that the alcohol is so well hidden and it's a bit sweet.

D - Sipped or gulped, it's pretty easy to drink. With that said, I doubt I can gulp this one down for long only because it is a little thick.

Summary - This is my first barleywine style beer and I'm glad I chose a Stone product. I've yet to be disappointed by any of their beers. I didn't feel the 11.1% abv while drinking it, but it definitely creeps in and you feel the warmth in your gut. Old Guardian is able to balance the sweetness and the hop bitterness VERY well. Great job!

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Photo of Pahn
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into a Duvel tulip. Obviously, early 2010 release.

Appearance: Rather aggressive pour yields a half inch, fluffy white head that dissipates very slowly leaving little lacing. Pours a hazy reddish amber, has good legs, and leaves occasional swoops of thin lacing that usually disappear after a minute or so.

Smell: From the bottle: piny hops, some sugary malt in the background. In the glass: Citrus, floral, and piny hops, and a really deep caramel note (in general, when I smell or taste an American barleywine, I want some form of a caramel note like this to be there). Lots going on; raisin, cherry, a hint of fig. Hard to pin down sweet notes that could be several different, unexpected fruits, or types of fresh bread or cake.

As the beer warms, a vodka-like alcohol smell swallows up almost everything in the aroma. It still smells decent, but that alcohol note is huge (significantly bigger than in the taste). The pre-vodka nose is pretty much a 5, and the post-vodka nose somewhere between a 3 and a 4.

Taste: First sip: wow, lots going on; more than I can keep track of. At first there's a thick, chewy caramel flavor that quickly (but smoothly) develops into other sweet malty notes, then a big hit of piny hop bitterness, then a very warming finish.

In subsequent sips, a very interesting mix of solvent-like, pine, and sugary pastry flavor pops up in the middle (it tastes like it's high in my mouth, up to my nose). Deeper into the bottle, the flavor really fills up with various fruit notes, and the finish takes on a spiciness along with the alcohol. The malt stays very deep and strong up front, tasting like toffee and other sweet, usually chocolaty flavors.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and medium bodied. Finishes very hot, but the bitterness is not as influential on the feel as with, say, a strong (D)IPA.

Drinkability: I love barleywines, and I love this barleywine. More than one bomber would surely put me in a place beyond the ability to type beer reviews (or do much besides embarrass myself), but it's a great sipper. I want an American barleywine to be aggressive and full-flavored, with each sip giving me something different than the last. As long as I keep receiving that, its drinkability is high, and Old Guardian doesn't stop delivering.

As expected, another stellar "big beer" from Stone. Old Guardian provides delicious, complex, diverse, but still stylistically consistent American barleywine flavors, in abundance. Further, I'd be shocked if two to three years in the cellar don't bump the smell and taste score of this beer up to 5.

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Photo of Haybeerman
4.35/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Purple color with a copper hue; color changed drastically in varied light - it was kinda cool. Poured a light yellowish head that dissipated qujickly to a ring around the edge of the glass. Lace washed in streaks.

S: Very sweet and musty. Sharp alcohol and hop aroma.

T: Really sweet boozy flavor up front with the taste of alcohol lingering. Crisp, hoppy finish.

M: Light body. Low carbonation. Resiny, hot and dry.

D: This is a sipper, but a big barleywine. Glad I had a Ommegang cork stopper to save some.

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Photo of homebrew311
4.35/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours a clear deep red with a foamy 1 finger head, sticky lacing, good retention

S: huge sweet malts with notes of caramel, pine, molasses, and bread followed by a very earthy hop character. Very in your face and aromatic. Lots of alcohol on the end.

T: the malts are spicy, a bit of sweetness which is nicely balanced by earthy hops, every things seems to be in sync, nice long finish with notes of caramel

MF: thick body, medium carbonation, slightly sticky

D: this is a well put together barley wine, huge maltiness with a nice earthy and spicy hop profile, the alcohol is well hidden and overall everything is balanced

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Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2010 from Stone Brewing
4.12 out of 5 based on 334 ratings.
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